My First Pathetic Attempt at a Food Plot

Natty Bumppo

5 year old buck +
You may recall I posted a thread about finally getting a parcel of land gifted to my wife and I from my mother-in-law a few weeks ago.

http://habitat-talk.com/index.php?threads/finally-a-land-owner-just-posted-my-land.1548/

Well, as we knew this was in the works, about 2 winters ago my MIL gave me permission to open a little clearing in the middle of the parcel in so I could create my first food plot. It's about a third of an acre. There are some apples nearby. I pulled all of the firewood off the plot the summer of 2013 and this past summer I burned brush and limbs, took the stumps down low, and hit it with Gly. I also did a soil test last spring. The pH came back at 4.8 and very low nutrients over all. I did not have time this summer to lime or fertilize…so I just threw down some rye in early Sept. just to get something on the ground.

Well, the rye came up a bit. It's small. It's pretty pathetic. But it is attracting deer. I hunted the stand for the first time last night..my first time EVER hunting a food plot. And, I did get a pic of a few small bucks hitting the rye…again, a first for me. As lame as it is, it does mark a turning point for me in terms of my land management objectives…which are basically to provide high quality hunting experiences for me and my family.

I can see how this can become addicting. And with absolutely no ag in the area, I do get a sense that this could be a game changer for me if I do it right.

Clearing the plot during the summer of 2013:

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A few small bucks in the plot during the week:

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My first sit over the plot last night:

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Jordan Selsor

5 year old buck +
Looks like a fun spot to hunt! Did you have any action? Congrats again on your land
 

scott44

5 year old buck +
You may recall I posted a thread about finally getting a parcel of land gifted to my wife and I from my mother-in-law a few weeks ago.

http://habitat-talk.com/index.php?threads/finally-a-land-owner-just-posted-my-land.1548/

Well, as we knew this was in the works, about 2 winters ago my MIL gave me permission to open a little clearing in the middle of the parcel in so I could create my first food plot. It's about a third of an acre. There are some apples nearby. I pulled all of the firewood off the plot the summer of 2013 and this past summer I burned brush and limbs, took the stumps down low, and hit it with Gly. I also did a soil test last spring. The pH came back at 4.8 and very low nutrients over all. I did not have time this summer to lime or fertilize…so I just threw down some rye in early Sept. just to get something on the ground.

Well, the rye came up a bit. It's small. It's pretty pathetic. But it is attracting deer. I hunted the stand for the first time last night..my first time EVER hunting a food plot. And, I did get a pic of a few small bucks hitting the rye…again, a first for me. As lame as it is, it does mark a turning point for me in terms of my land management objectives…which are basically to provide high quality hunting experiences for me and my family.

I can see how this can become addicting. And with absolutely no ag in the area, I do get a sense that this could be a game changer for me if I do it right.

Looks like you have a good start, good luck with everything. That plot looks like it should produce for you.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
If u got wicked stumps and roots out there, I wonder if some manure couldn't get some P and K into your soil. I don't know top dressing P and K would do anything.
 

Jordan Selsor

5 year old buck +
When my neighbor came home from the war in 1972 I asked him the same question, If he seen any action? He told me he got the Clap 4 times! :eek:

I learned as a 12 year old not to ask that question anymore!;)
Sounds like he was playing with the village door Knob! I guess desperate times call for desperate measures
 

Natty Bumppo

5 year old buck +
Looks like a fun spot to hunt! Did you have any action? Congrats again on your land

Thanks Jordan. No action Saturday...whitetail or otherwise. Low deer densities and a lack of ag and hard mast make for some slow hunting. I can go seasons where I am lucky if I see 4 or 5 does on the stand...and they are off limits in my zone anyway.
 

MA VT Flatlander

5 year old buck +
Natty how many deer per sq. mi. do you think are in your area?
 

Natty Bumppo

5 year old buck +
Natty how many deer per sq. mi. do you think are in your area?

I have always thrown around 8, 9, or 10 deer per sq. mile in Savoy where I hunt when having discussions about this. Mass wildlife estimates around 10 per sq. mile in the Berkshires...the northern part of the Berkshires. After bow season last year I did a huge, all day Larry Benoit style hunt during shotgun on Mt. Greylock in the snow and the mountain was almost completely devoid of deer sign...saw one set of tracks...doe and a fawn. I was shocked.
 

MA VT Flatlander

5 year old buck +
I have always thrown around 8, 9, or 10 deer per sq. mile in Savoy where I hunt when having discussions about this. Mass wildlife estimates around 10 per sq. mile in the Berkshires...the northern part of the Berkshires. After bow season last year I did a huge, all day Larry Benoit style hunt during shotgun on Mt. Greylock in the snow and the mountain was almost completely devoid of deer sign...saw one set of tracks...doe and a fawn. I was shocked.

8-10 deer per sq. mile not many deer,and it's not going to get better any time soon. Mass Wildlife still issued 400 doe permits for that area zone 1, with 1229 hunters applying for them.

Your putting lot's of work into your food plot it will pay off for you!
 

Natty Bumppo

5 year old buck +
Your putting lot's of work into your food plot it will pay off for you!

Thanks MA VT Flatlander. That's my hope. I am excited to see what happens next spring, summer, fall when I can actually get some lime and fertilizer down and do it right.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
Natty ... what is the brand name/mftr of the trailer you are using for log hauling?

Looks pretty heavy duty.
 

Natty Bumppo

5 year old buck +
Natty ... what is the brand name/mftr of the trailer you are using for log hauling?

Looks pretty heavy duty.

It's a Versa-Trailer by DR. Two winters ago I did some major apple release and needed a way to get the downed timber off the land. My trails are all unimproved and very rocky and lots of roots. My little John Deere 750 would just not be able to get back in there to do any work. So, I bought the ATV and the trailer. I have removed 10 cords of firewood with it so far. It will haul about one-sixth of a cord per trip.

The trailer is awsome. It will go anywhere my ATV will go. Dual tires on independent boggies that just float over everything. The neat thing too is that the bed comes off easily. So, I can use that to remove bucked up firewood, or remove the bed and install the log brackets to remove whole logs. It comes with out-riggers and a manual hand lift for picking up and moving large things. I don't use them, but they are an option.

Here's a link: http://www.drpower.com/power-equipm...ailer-6ft-tandem-axle-1-ton--complete-kit.axd

I also see now that they have many extra add ons that were not available when I bought mine 2 years ago.
 

Native Hunter

5 year old buck +
Congrats on your land and your plot. Looks like the hard work has set in - you are going to love it!!
 

Natty Bumppo

5 year old buck +
Natty,

Nice job. Keep at it. I've got some plots in that are not as good as yours. The deer don't mind the stumps. Only thing I could add would be to blow those leaves off the plot with a leaf blower. We are apt to get some warmer days later on the winter rye should respond.

Thanks Native Hunter and NH Mountains.

Good tip about getting the leaves off the rye. This is all new to me. Fun stuff.
 
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