Progression of a Food Plot

Fantastic thread and pictures. Looks like an awesome place and I like what you've done with it.

How are the spruce growing that you planted a while back?

Most of the spruce died off. If any got to a decent size the bucks rubbed them bare or broke the tops off. I tried to transplant some but my success was limited.

Talk about starting a thread off with a BANG!
What a gorgeous place, and STUD bucks to boot.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Opening night of bow season had us in the blind on an observation sit. The deer used the mowed path we put in.
Congrats on a heck-of-a-great job creating that plot and surrounding regen. Your plots look super!!! What type of fertilizer do you use on your brassicas? I don't know how you got a big field of soybeans to pod-stage with as many deer as you have there. I'd have thought they'd have them eaten to the dirt when 5" or 6" tall. Great they made beans!!! Big, healthy deer you have growing there, too. No wonder with all the good groceries you're planting.

As for mowing paths for deer - we've noticed the very same thing as you did. When we mow paths into our food plots or in thicker cover, deer use them. Like humans, they like the easiest way too! Mowing with cover of about 2' tall and taller (I think) gives them a sense of security and leads to heavier path usage. We just tried paths on a whim - and they worked.

Thanks for posting all the pics and story!!! Much enjoyed.
Most of the spruce died off. If any got to a decent size the bucks rubbed them bare or broke the tops off.
Just saw this post / pic of your spruce problems. Been there, friend. We use 5 ft. tall concrete mesh for our cages, and make them about a 4 ft. diameter to allow for several years of growth - once and done. We let our Norway spruce get at least 7 ft. tall before we remove the cages, and even then bucks will still rub some. But at that size, they won't die (usually) from rubbing. We've had bucks rub, tear up, and destroy spruce anywhere from 2 ft. tall to 5 ft. tall without cages on them.

We've found that if we want spruce to survive - we have to cage them. If you can get your Norway spruce to get a foothold, you'll really have some 5-star habitat / cover for deer & other critters.

In your clearcut areas, are you getting any thick aspen root sprouts / saplings coming from cutting the older aspens? Just curious.
Great thread! Would love to see an aerial of your total property and how it sits in your neighborhood. How many total acres???

Love the progression of your food plot. Very similar to our largest which has grown from 2.5 acres in 2011 to pushing 6 acres now. Next logging, I will increase to closer to 9 to 10 acres. Very long and linear with multiple stand sites for bow hunting all along the plot.