Early Succession Plots?


5 year old buck +
I almost purchased a NT drill (Genesis) this past week, but with my crazy schedule and my wife telling me that we WILL go camping this year, I am thinking about simply using the 3 point tiller and seeing what's in the seedbed for plots in the highlighted locations. The areas in yellow are the ones I was considering planting--with a 20' plot paralleling the access road and four small plots around the oaks. The groves of trees are 24 y.o. White & Red oaks, so there is lots of deer action in the fall, but most is outside of shooting light. There is also hunting pressure from the south.

The first picture shows, in yellow, the areas I am considering a 3" to 4" till, and "let's see what grows" approach.

The second picture shows our property along with the neighboring lands. On our "north" property I have a clover & rye plot, with most of the property in year 3 of a 5 year EQIP wildlife and pollinator project.

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From what I understand, you might get some good summer plots, but you are unlikely to get any decent hunting plots from that strategy. You are probably better off planting brassicas and crimson clover, and then over seeding with rye and/or wheat later in the summer.
You might get some early season browsing with your plan, but once you get a hard frost the deer use is likely to decrease. You would get more deer usage if you tilled it then broadcast some seed and fertilizer.
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This will be my second season managing this 65 acre property, which we purchased in Dec 2021. While the cameras did not pick up much deer action until late summer, I saw some fairly fresh scrapes around the oaks from January & February. The neighbors to the west have horses, and to the east is another corn/soy rotation (this year will be corn). Within a normal "home range" the area is about 40% ag (corn/soy, no cover crops), 10% cattle grazing, 20% forest/timber and 30% 10-20 acre homes. Hunting pressure is moderate, and primarily gun season, with the exception of the property to the south who are avid bow hunters.

So, with the goal of saving time, should I forgo tillage work this spring, terminate the current weed-base in August, and plant a traditional fall food plot. I'd like to bow hunt the early season, so possibly add a bow-range burn around August 15 to encourage early season browsing that corresponds with the mid-to-late September acorn drop.
bl;end some oats in with the rye, it will bring the deer in better this fall, if you need a spot of prime attraction for bow season.

Frosts dont kill oats, 15 deg nights is what does it. A mild frosr or two wont ruin ya.
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Good advice on the oats/rye. It’s usually late December before we drop into the low teens.
A few things I see. Your smaller parcel to the north, That SW corner is likely used for traveling around. The southern large parcel. That pond would love some red dogwood.

The early succession areas, I suggest discing them and mixing some lime and maybe some 6-24-24 for phosphorus and potassium. That will wake up alot of dormant weed seed this summer, which the deer will enjoy, and give time to get pH ans PK levels to adjust. If the desire is early succession land, get some early succession trees n bushes and cage them. These will produce seed for the spot quicker than casual bird / animal seed transport.

If that was my land, the south property would be left to get brushy on the last 20 yards to the west, it'll make a good travel and privacy spot for deer who would go there n the evening.

I also dont see a little privacy spot for you truck or for camping out there, if needed.

If the southern spot will be used for corn, consider getting a broadcast spreader and cultipacker. Spread rye and cultipack it. Be great winter and spring forage. You can spread rye and clover in the corn in august in smaller spots to draw some attraction to that southern parcel. See if you like it this year. If so, some folks are using drones to seed cover crops in mature rops like beans and corn. Could be worth the investment for folks renting their hunting land out to farmers.
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