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jdwillemin 03-01-2013 02:02 PM

New to plots...any help appreciated
Hey guys, I'm new to the board and will be planting my first food plot for deer next week (plan on planting Mar 6th 2013 with decient chance of rain two days from then).

I hunt on a little over 400 acres in Victoria, Texas. Over the past few years we have notices quite an increase in quality of our bucks, dropping some 130 class bucks which is quite good for the area. I wanted to increase my deer size over the next several years as my dad wants to get into selling hunts in his retirement years and I would love to assist in making that a reality (as he is about 8-10 yrs from retirement so I figure I need to start now with a manangement program for results by that time). We have trophy turkeys (and a lot of them), bazillions of wild hogs, but the deer just are not appealing to a paying hunter IMO.

I currently fenced off 1/3 of an acre with 4ft goat wire by his blind as kind of a test plot. The rest of the land has cattle and I went with the goat wire to keep out the hogs. I have disced the area with a 4 wheeler disc and have applied 1000lbs of lime and 45lbs of 0-46-0 fertilizer as per the soil sample recommendations. I plan to plant tecomate lab lab plus in the plot and inocculate it. I feel that I have done a lot of research before doing this project so hopefully it's successful.

This however brings me to my questions for the board.... I have a 1000yd by 60ft wide clearing where the powerline company just came and cleared last year. I don't think I can fence it off without the company having a problem with access to thier lines, so anything I would plant there would have to open to cattle. I was thinking of planting a one acre test plot of chicory on this clearing to see if the cattle destroy it or if they actually help as chicory has to be mowed often. I chose chicory because my soil pH is withing chicory growing range and I would not have to lime for that plant. Anyone have an opionion on this? Will I just be wasting my time? Also anyone have any other advice for dealing with cattle and food plots?

jdwillemin 03-01-2013 02:11 PM

Just an addition to my first post, the rest of the property is wooded with mesquite and oak trees, so the property besides the road and power line clearing is wooded. Our feeding program has consisted of....nothing but corn. As you can see I am very new to deer nutrition and am eager for knowlege.

Thanks for any replies :)

delbert 03-05-2013 06:17 PM

If the cows like it they will eat it all day long
good luck with the plot were at least 30 days before planting

jdwillemin 03-07-2013 06:38 PM

Thank you.

I put all of the seed in the ground yesterday (Mar 6th). Packed it in and looks really nice. Inoculated the Lab Lab, pea, sorgum mix and that was wuite fun...Definitly will let the seed dry more next time after using the slurry method. Spreading that seed was really more difficult it should have been.

Expecting rain on Sat and Sun (9th and 10th). Help me pray that we actually get the rain and my plants can grow, the weather man for that county prolly uses a dart board for his forcast :shocking: .

Ill provide pictures if this stuff comes up....on the bright side I saw 13 trophy toms on the two days I was out there and this morning 3 of them were following a hen. Really early but there was a lot of hens being vocal as I top dressed one of the plots with some 21-0-0. Excited about my opening weekend on Mar 16th. I'm thinking of hunting near the freshly churned up dirt and see what pokes around :smile:

Hunting Man 03-07-2013 10:00 PM

I'll be using a mix in PA this year, chickory, rape, clover, in the bigger plot and brassicas in the smaller plot that way I have a two season planting. I'm gonna try to plant all the 4-wheeler trails in something like shot plot, mostly rye grass, but it's something.

jdwillemin 03-08-2013 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by Hunting Man (Post 78130)
I'll be using a mix in PA this year, chickory, rape, clover, in the bigger plot and brassicas in the smaller plot that way I have a two season planting. I'm gonna try to plant all the 4-wheeler trails in something like shot plot, mostly rye grass, but it's something.

Do you plant all of that at the same time (the winter stuff just lay dormant all summer) ? Or do you plant one plot in the spring and the other in the fall?

Hunting Man 03-08-2013 03:50 PM

Plant all at the same time. The brassicas aren't touched until after the first frost that's when the sugar content of the plant maxes out then the deer just mow it down.

jdwillemin 04-02-2013 09:10 PM

So I spoke to a local bulldozer operator who is doing work around my hunting area and basically he will clear me a one acre field for cheap as a favor to my dad. I am going to have it done cutting into about 50 acres of heavily wooded area that is just crawling with deer and where many bed. Which brings me to a question for you seasoned vets....

When reading about different plants, what does it mean to have well, moderate, and poorly drained soils? This area is heavy soil and holds moisture through out most of the year under the surface. However, after a heavy rain the area may hold standing water (one to 3 inches) in it for a week or even two. Is this area considered poorly drained? moderatly drained? Since Texas cant seem to break our 10 year drought, I figure this is a good spot to plant.

What crops would grow/flourish in this type of soil? I'm thinking of planting a perrenial such as chicory/clover blend in the area....would this be a good choice? Are there better choices?

Bud 04-11-2013 07:33 AM

Sound like the worst of poorly drained too me.Good luck and keep us posted.

Hunting Man 04-11-2013 01:39 PM

The dozer work could create a rain trough of sorts to give the area a faster run off and help get the field drained asap. Without quick drainage plan, I do not know what you could plant that wouldn't rot under the conditions that you describe.

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