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J-birds place

Bill

Administrator
Looks like the fertilizer definitely helped the brassicas.
wonder if the deer might use those more/first. Even though you have picky eaters....
 

j-bird

Moderator
Looks like the fertilizer definitely helped the brassicas.
wonder if the deer might use those more/first. Even though you have picky eaters....
I'll keep an eye on usage and see if it matters any, IF I can get the deer to eat it at all! I just really had high hopes that the AWP would be a strong enough draw to compete with the other ag crops during hunting season. Looks like I will just stick with my spring soybean/corn and fall overseeding of cereal grains/brassica plan. At least I have food should things get bad, I am curious about what things look like come spring.
 

Bill

Administrator
I planted soy beans, sunflowers, brassicas, rye and oats in September. Everything sprouted. The deer didn’t let the beans or sun flowers get more than 4 inches tall, then they wiped out the brassica greens. Maybe throw some of those in the mix next year to get them munching.
 

j-bird

Moderator
I planted soy beans, sunflowers, brassicas, rye and oats in September. Everything sprouted. The deer didn’t let the beans or sun flowers get more than 4 inches tall, then they wiped out the brassica greens. Maybe throw some of those in the mix next year to get them munching.
you got a lot more deer than I do, and I have 100's of acres of ag (corn, beans and forage crops) all around me. I can grow small 1/2 and 1/4 acre plots of soybeans without any protection (me or the beans) and they will grow and produce grain. I then will broadcast some turnips and wheat/rye over it once it dries down. I think I will just go back to row planting my beans on roughly 15" centers come spring and then broadcast a turnip wheat/rye, annual clover mix come time when the beans start to yellow. That is the tried and true for me...as long as everything goes to plan. Beans are also less work/$$ seed and fertilizer wise as well. I just plant typical ag beans for my area. I get year old seed for like $30 a bag.
 

j-bird

Moderator
The deer seem to have found the AWP finally....still no use of the turnips however.... You can see the row of AWP that the deer have down to the ground.
AWP mid december.jpg
 

Bill

Administrator
Next time skip the stuff they like. Make them earn it!
 

j-bird

Moderator
So we got our first snow of the season over night. I was able to get out this evening and take a few pics....had a few 4 legged friends who wanted to tag along...
first snow of this winter season.jpg

My SW plot... you can see the weeds/switchgrass buffers around my fall plot, with the latest shooting house.... I have plans to plant some MG around the shooting house to help hide the access to it. This is the same plot where I saw the buck I had to pass on. This is along a natural travle way with a decent creek behind where I am standing. The deer move thru here to move between bigger areas of woods.
SW plot.jpg

While I was out I thought I would take a pic of this soft edge... This is where some natural weeds meet a switchgrass planting and the deer follow this edge....you can see the deer trail the dogs are on. This wasn't done on purpose, but it certainly shows how an edge of even different cover types (thought very similar) can help guide deer movement. The switchgrass has some native weeds in it so it's not a monoculture....but it's far thicker than the goldenrod and the like on the right side of the photo. This is a little path that leads from a small block of woods to my plot in the SW.
Soft edges.jpg

This is my plot area in the south bottom area. This area is a flood plain and you can see the plots in the photo, but you can again see the weeds/switchgrass buffers and the the wooded slope. This is a difficult area to hunt because the deer like to bed up on the slope and then can see this entire bottom area... This poses an issue also because I have to come from the higher elevation (where the house is). So I try to pick a small area where I come down the slope and then try to drop down into a creek bed when possible to access stands. I like the switchgrass simply because it stands well in the snow and has more cover than just the natural weeds. Goldenrod and ragweed and the like simply turn into a mini-forest of sticks and don't provide a lot of cover this time of year. The switchgrass does a far better job...as long as you keep in in a mixture to keep both food (mostly for birds) and the cover in a balance.
South bottom.jpg
I figure by the weekend the snow will be gone...
 

Bill

Administrator
I like the goldenrod, switch transition. Like you said “edge”. Any edge it sometimes seems.
 

Bill

Administrator
And those weeds and switch under the box seem crazy thick..
 

j-bird

Moderator
I like the goldenrod, switch transition. Like you said “edge”. Any edge it sometimes seems.
Here in farm country we tend to see very "hard" edges. In many cases the woods but right up to the ag fields. Buffer areas like this can be a great way to add additional edge, provide a different habitat type and help small game animals like rabbits and quail. In areas like mine where we lack cover....I have to do what I can. AND...this is CRP so I get paid to do this (as this was formerly row crop ground).
 

j-bird

Moderator
And those weeds and switch under the box seem crazy thick..
It is...but that was planned. That area has a shallow top soil and wants to erode so I wanted a solid root system in that area. I also don't want the deer that close to the box blind. I have a path thru that area that connects my plot you see in the pic and my orchard plot. The deer use this little path a lot. We only gun hunt from the box blind (I never intended to bow hunt from it) so it's a comfortable 50~75 yard shot and with a solid rest to shoot from. Great set-up for the kids. One of the few areas I can access that I don't bump many deer when I do it. And it will get better as I plan on planting a wall of MG along the leading edge of the switch up by the blind to hide our movements and entry/exit. We hunt this blind when the wind comes form the plot area and blows toward the blind and then out into roughly 20 acres of row drop field.
 

Bill

Administrator
I’ve seen crazy nothing edge dictate the movement of an animal. Like a hay field up against a hay field that was cut 3 weeks earlier and had some growth.
We don’t see it. “Maybe at war years ago”. Anything that looks different from above or on the next hill might hide you.

what the heck is growing in that switch grass under your box? I see the switch, but that is some thick looking stuff.
 

Bill

Administrator
Posted at the same time...:emoji_wink:

But I’m still curious what’s in there besides switch. It may be a picture thing but that looks dense.
 
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j-bird

Moderator
Posted at the same time...:emoji_wink:

But I’m still curious what’s in there besides switch. It may be a picture thing but that looks dense.
Part of it is the picture angle I think...we are looking up hill to some extent so I think it may look thicker than it is. As we are looking thru it and not down into it. But nothing in there other than switchgrass and native weeds that I am aware of.
 

Bill

Administrator
Gotcha, it just looks impenetrable in that pic.
 

j-bird

Moderator
Gotcha, it just looks impenetrable in that pic.
You have to pick your way thru it, but certainly not impossible. My plan was to simply make it a struggle and then offer a path of less resistance and for once.....it seemed to work.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
Might be a good shed season for you!
 

Knehrke

5 year old buck +
It's funny you talk about hard edges. I'm letting a farmer hay a 15 acre field at my place in return for some plot work, and I asked him to leave a 20' edge around the field so that I could begin feathering it. Lol. He left me at most five feet, barely enough to walk. I think that most farmers can't stand to see a piece of plowed ground go unplanted. We will need to have a conversation...
 
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