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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
yea, everything in this big plot was wet except the top edges. This one was planted in clover, brassicas and chickory. A pond is going in at the very bottom which we can then ditchwitch all the top water to the pond and end the water plot problem. The photo with the 4-wheeler is the new small plot about 40 yds long by 15 yds wide. It was dry and sits along a dense stand of hemlocks the deer use for safety.
 

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Do you put them this early every year? We usually don't get started until late august or early Sept.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Buckshot, I really like to get the food plots in as early as possible to give the bucks high protien during the antler growing period and give additional nutrition to the does and fawns. The brassicas need that 1st frost to start the sugars into the leaves and they should be 2' high by September. I got a late start with my dad's passing and wet weather in PA this spring. To be honest I've never tried a fall planting. I may go back and try to plant the rest of the plot that was too wet this weekend. What do you plant? We only allow my buddy's dad to hunt the food plots as he is 76 and has severe diabeties, heart by-pass, can't walk/climb well, smokes cigars, so we cut him some slack.:nerd:
 

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We plant winter wheat, cow peas, three types of clover, some plots we add rape. I like them in for that period after the rut when the browes is not as good and the mast is gone. The bucks have lost weight in the rut and need the extra norishment.

I have always heard that this years antler growth is a result of last years food and it has always seemed to bear out. Years that have bad mast crops are followed the next year with smaller than average rack sizes, like last year.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have read where a bucks antler growth is dertermined by genitics, and nutrition availability during the summer growth cycle. If a buck does not get enough protien and minerals his rack will not be to his true potential as his skelatal system takes most of the first nutrients from winter draw and the antlers get whats left. Maybe others here can shed some additional info on antler growth cycle. WMI should have this question down to a science!
 
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I think both are true. the spring and early summer are recuperating times. then comes the building on for the up coming winter. So whether they bulk up on the good groceries in the winter or the following spring and early summer in all leads up to a healthier animal. year around plots that fill the bill, such as strip plots, would be the best way to go. I would suspect that good winter, through the fawning period, eats may lead to more twins and triplets. good summer eats gives them a head start into winter and so on and so on and so on. Bucks don't eat as much during the rutting periods so getting a head start going in can't hurt, which is the spring summer foods.
 

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That's true they do need good nutrition year round, I just focus on the time when the natual food is at it's lowest point. I figure from Spring green up to fall there should be plenty to go around so I don't try to supplement at that time.
 
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thats true, but the spring/summer plots are a boost for antler development and the kick going into the rut, and doe lactation to build healthier fawns. interesting topic i think the combo would be the best way to go
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Did some more reshearch. The bucks skeletal system sacrifices minerals during the antler growth period and thus need all they can get during that period to produce the maximum set of antlers, then they need additional mineral/protein during the post rut and winter to re-build the skeletal system to get ready to start the whole process again. Genitics play a secondary role as without adequate nutrition growth will be marginal. "nutrition plays the biggest role in maximum antler growth". So I think if we provide year round additional high protein/mineral food source would be the best course to follow. Bucks need around 16% protein to achieve maximum antlers. Fall corn doesn't help bucks very much as its only 8% protein and maturing at the post antler growth cycle. It would help to leave standing corn for a winter food as it is high in calories. Most of the high dollar plot seed companies advertise around 30-38% protein for their products. Probably should continue this discussion in another forum.
 
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