Shearwood Forest

Getting plenty of rain now and things are taking off, everytime I think I got a planting in late I remember if I had gotten it in earlier it would have seen 3 weeks of little to no rain. Buckwheat grows crazy fast and the deer seem to be a fan of it.

I got my last field behind the barn done right before a soaking rain, well actually finished in the rain and continued to get rain the next 2 days so Id expect fast germination.

Got a blind set up on a secluded location, I need to brush it in and finished the backside access but the sky's really opened up and I left it until this weekend. It's on 1/2 acre opening in the shape of an X that is situated between a ravine and marsh with lots of thick pine around it.

Kids hung with me pretty much all weekend helping with the work and chores even when it poured they stayed out. My daughter did find a dead fawn, not sure what happened but I've had a ton of bear activity including a sow and 2 cubs in the immediate area of the fawn just an hour earlier.

Little disappointed I haven't seen any turkey poults as I've worked really hard on next predators and still found 3 destroyed nests in springs and yet to see a successful clutch. I will continue to work on the varmints and nest/brood habitat until I see a difference.

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I just found this thread. Super-looking place!! What county are you located in?? Our camp is in northern tier of Pa. - so climate is most likely the same as you get there.
I just found this thread. Super-looking place!! What county are you located in?? Our camp is in northern tier of Pa. - so climate is most likely the same as you get there.
My property sits on the line of Steuben Co and Allegheny Co NY, I'm 10min from Genesee in Potter PA.

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Great country up there. Been through Steuben several times on the way to Keuka Lake / Pen Yan area. Bought my F-150 4x4 at Simmons-Rockwell in Hornell. Wife and I have friends in Hornell area.

Your place looks great. Good deer country from what I've seen, and been told of from those friends. I'm gonna bet you'll have good success from all you're doing there. Thanks for posting the pics. Keep us posted on anything happening at your place. Have a good day!
Great country up there. Been through Steuben several times on the way to Keuka Lake / Pen Yan area. Bought my F-150 4x4 at Simmons-Rockwell in Hornell. Wife and I have friends in Hornell area.

Your place looks great. Good deer country from what I've seen, and been told of from those friends. I'm gonna bet you'll have good success from all you're doing there. Thanks for posting the pics. Keep us posted on anything happening at your place. Have a good day!
Thanks, I'm enjoying the process. We have some good neighbors and that's a huge plus we even traded some construction roof work with the guys that lease next to us in return I planted 4 acres for them.

Very familiar with the Keuka Lake area, before we purchased this place I was care taking a property right on the east side of the lake in return for hunting access. That was incredible hunting but I knew I'd not be able to afford it once it goes to sale, so I had to turn my attention to something I could afford and work to build to habitat and hunting there.

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This past weekend I did no "hunting" related work, just family time around camp. My wife painted up an old shed by the wildflowers patch I planted her a few weeks ago and hopefully what I planted turns out as nice as her painting. I'd like to plant a few fruit trees for her and I have another section to plant some natives.

My son managed 2 firsts, landed his best bass to date all by himself from hook baiting to release. picture is best I have as I instructed my daughter how to use a phone camera and my son how to lip a bass. he also fell in the pond fully clothed while trying to catch frogs (I knew that would happen eventually) he no longer will ask to swim in it now that he knows how soft the bottom is though.

My daughter played with her Barbies and the wildlife at the same time.

The buckwheat is growing like crazy and the deer seem to have taken to it but it seems to out grow the browse everywhere but the edges of major trails, I hope its soil building properties pave the way for productive fall plots that lush.

This week I'm in the planning stages of fall plots and the hardest question is always, what is the best date to plant this or that!?

I am on the very edge zone 5a/5b my average first frost date is Sept 25th.

I'm thinking of spraying on July 15th several plots that were planted last year but without a great kill or pH they turned out 70/30 grass to forage and I kept them mowed this year and limed twice.

Plant brassica July 29th in those sprayed areas after light tillage and will include a half rate of clover. brassica will be blends of turnips, radish, and forage varieties.

July 29th plant clover with a cover crop (likely oats and peas) into 3/4 acre of buckwheat that will be 8 weeks old. This sits next to a 1/4 acre of clover planted last fall that did very well. This is semi visible from a road although I do have a screen growing that should help it's not really a hunting plot as much as an area that holds does and fawns in the summer due to its proximity to a water source, and shaded timber.

August 12th I will plant a BOB blend that contains winter wheat, oats, peas, brassica, clover, and trace amount of hairy VTech. I'd prefer to mix my own but I got a price better than I could make a similar mix. This will be planted into 7 week old buckwheat. I'm doing 2 acres of the same thing and process for the neighbors that I planted buckwheat for the same day as mine. The question here is do I throw and roll with a cultipacker or disc in, plant, and roll?

August 12th I will also do throw and roll into some small plots I planted in April, the clover is doing well but there's visible moist soil underneath and the oats are fully mature and should crimp great. I will likely do a grain heavy mix and roll the oats down good. I don't want to disc up the clover but I also want some forage for deeper draw into season for the plots most likely to get hunted directly over. These plots do have weedy in patches but I'm not sure if i will spray anything or not.

Sept 2nd I will try and time with rain that weekend, over seeding a rye heavy mix into my summer plots which I don't plan to terminate and just let stand filling in anywhere I can see soil.


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Great times, Shearwood Forest!! Kids learning about the outdoors will give them lifelong interest / hobbies / pastimes. Sunflower on the shed looks good!
Picked up a CZ 457 scout last night for the kids to begin learning with. 12in LOP and 16in barrel

We should get some plinking in this weekend

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Spent a weekend on some foodplot work. Worked in a few different methods.

3 newer plots got throw and mow into the spring clover and oat growth

Several acres of buckwheat were crimped and sprayed (first for me)

A few acres got traditional disc, seed, cultipack

This weekend was brassicas, blends and clovers. in august I'll plant my winter grains blends and over seed the clovers with grains as a nurse crop. I'll come back labor day with additional rye to fill in anything that hasn't popped yet.

Sun flowers and sun hemp coming along nicely and my wife's wildflowers are really taking off and starting to bloom ultimately this is an experiment year as I got from someone who planted about 1 acre a year to over 10. It's fun, I want to throw a lot at the wall and see what sticks.. a few bad plots or poor outcomes aren't just wasted seed and time but learning experiences. Also need to figure out deer usage, preferred foods and dial in plot layouts for the future.

Add a new machine as well, an EV side by side. Very hesitant that the battery life will keep up with a day of chores but ultimately I planned to just adding a golf cart because I have a tractor and ATV and wanted something that both my wife could drive and seated the whole family. I just didn't think a cart would get everywhere so I switched to side by sides but didn't want some loud 60mph machine, this fell in my lap at a good enough price and come hunting season will allow my father to get around to some access points with reduced noise and walking over his ATV.

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Beautiful place man! Plots are looking great. What electric utv did you get?
Beautiful place man! Plots are looking great. What electric utv did you get?
Intimidator, I'll report more on it once I get real time with it. So far we used it for 2 days

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I'm very pleased with the 1 year transformation of this location.

Original pictures is from March 2022 when I first walked the property pre purchase, I saw the potential of this little clearing deep in some thick cover on 3 sides but yet still had pretty easy access on the other. April 2023 I had it cleared and levelled with a dozer. I added lime and seeded peas, oats and clover without any weed treatment and let it be for the spring and summer. Came back at the end of July, the oats were dying back but had given enough shade and cover for the clover to make it through the summer drought while thin had good coverage. There was a good bit of weeds and ferns encroaching back out of the woods but was decent for having no treatment, I over seeded clover and #2 radishes, added more lime and fertilizer, mowed, and sprayed cleth and 24db. Clover absolutely exploded and the radishes are doing well, I came back in august and added a bit of nitrogen for the radish and the plot has become a location that gets pictures all day long.

I likely won't hunt this spot at all early and let it hold deer in the center of my property through most of the season. There's a very heavy historical rub line that runs right down past the location and I made sure to leave a sign post rub and licking branch when I carved out the spot.

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Looks like the deer like the plot!!
Been some time but I'll update the thread with my food plot activities going into fall with some details about the planting and layout. Probably more for me to look back on next year but might have some interest to others to stumble across.

The first is my barn field. Which was a weedy hay field this spring and absolutely could have used more than 1 spraying in retrospect but it's likely the best soil I have and timely rains grew everything I planted well.

The basis of the field is about 2 acres of sun flowers and sunn hemp, then I made an arching 10-15yd wide strip of screening with sorghum sudan through the middle and down the one side because I wanted to add some height for screening from both the road and down my tractor access path. Then behind the screen I added beans, cowpeas, and lablab.

Behind all that in the bottom and running parallel with the ravine corridor I have several areas of clover planted with different methods. One I planted last fall with light tillage, another I spring planted with peas and oats and didn't mow until late summer to let the tall oats protect the clover through the heat, the other I planted buckwheat in late June and then planted a mix of clover, alfalfa, chicory, oats and radish before crimping with the cultipacker. I also added a small plot of mixed brassicas that did very well where wetter soil led to a grass problem in last years clover. I put some oats and wheat out last weekend into this falls clover areas.

The deer hammered the sun hemp and buckwheat the most over the summer, I think the peas and beans got lost in the jungle, they ate what they found but there's a lot left out in the center of that mess. The last few weeks they have really turned their attention to the sun flowers as have the bears. It will be interesting to see how the "summer" plants do into fall and how much cover they provide once they get shut down by frosts.

The lower plots are set up to hold and funnel deer behind the taller screening plants to a barway tractor road between two fields, the other field is also screened both by the road and down the edge of a triangular shaped plot that was another, fall clover nurse crop mix into summer buckwheat.

The soil in these fields and how well they grew screens and sun flowers makes me think I could possibly get corn to work down the road.

Arial, green is clover based, bright green is brassicas, yellow is sunflower jungle mix and bright yellow is screening. The purple line is a very steep drop into my ravine pictures showing plots from various angles over the last few weeks, my wife next to one of the screen walls, and a picture looking over the field from the top of my barn hay loft.

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Looks great Shearwood!! Good variety of things planted there, and the screening is a big plus, I believe.