Terminating rye


5 year old buck +
To my disappointment the deer are not touching the WR. It looks so nice too. It is the first spring I have had it so maybe they have not figured it out yet. When I want to mow it to terminate it how tall does it have to be? Do I have to wait for it to go to seed?
How do you know that the deer are not using it? Usually the deer will use it until other things start greening up. When I was up by my land for turkey hunting, the deer had the rye browsed down like a well manicured lawn.
I have a cage, plus none of the ends are nipped. It is about 1/2 acre of WR and clover. I put a camera on it so I will know more this weekend.
Why do you want to kill it? Just because they are not eating it? If you want a fall "cover crop" to terminate, save yourself $ and plant oats. It will die on it's own.
Once green up occurs, deer back off the rye. They are probably still feeding on the clover. Just let it go to maturity. Makes for great thick fawning cover. Come mid summer, it will die and you can roll or mow while planting your fall seeds into it. In addition, you get free WR seeding from the dying stalks. If you have to plant a summer crop into it, just broadcast and allow the WR to shelter that seed and growth.
I agree with the above, I personally would not terminate that rye. Do as dipper and dogghr suggest and leave it go to maturity. Mowing it alone will not kill it unless you let it start to produce seed heads, it is a grass and will keep regrowing like your lawn for most of the summer, until it would be at the age of "maturity" which would be sometime in July most likely, and then it would start to brown down and die. If that is what you are going to do anyway, you might as well let it grow and become fawning and brooding cover for the deer and turkeys and roll it or mow it to get a nice mulch and free cover crop for your fall planting. Broadcast(or drill) your fall seed into the standing rye after it has gone to seed and then just mow it short or roll it down with a packer and watch the magic! The fall clover, oats, brassicas, AWP, or whatever else you throw in there will love the moisture holding cover the rye straw will provide and will have no problem pushing right through it once it germinates, it will grow right along side the new free rye seed that you "planted" with your mower/roller .
I was going to kill it because it is pretty thick and I didn't want it to hurt the clover/chicory I planted with it. It sounds like it won't hurt. I do have more deer than normal for this time of year. I put the camera on it last weekend so I will know for sure. So if I want to add oats and brassica this year I can just broadcast it before I mow then I will get free WR, oats, and brassica?
Yes that is what I did. I will wait to mow. I had the camera on it all week and only one skin and bone buck fawn was in there. At least he is taking advantage. The rest of the deer we were seeing have scattered. This happens every year, then we start seeing them after fawn drop again. I wonder if they leave because of all my commotion with the tractor, chainsaw, atv, and plantings. Still no coyote sign so maybe we will have more than one or two fawns this year. The clover will be waiting for them.