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Thoughts From The Field

Blog posts by the
GrowingDeer.tv team

Fall Time Clover Management

Last week we discussed fall food plots and the specifics of how planting a mixture can serve as a time released food plot during hunting season. Having an attractive food source throughout the season is important to holding deer on your property.

Fertilize clover for a better spring food plotContinuing the theme of food plots, this week is all about fall time clover management. If you have clover plots, then you have most likely experienced the struggle to keep them weed free. Herbicide applications can be ineffective during certain stages of weed growth. Mowing can be time consuming as multiple mowings may be needed. To limit the amount of weed growth in our plots we plant a cover crop of Monster Wheat right into our stand of clover each fall.

Clover is a legume; this is a fancy term meaning it fixates nitrogen and returns it into the soil. The excess nitrogen that clover does not use is often taken advantage of by noxious weeds. This is why weeds can be so prevalent in stands of clover. Weeds are most present in clover plots when the clover is dormant. During the fall the wheat takes advantage of the nitrogen produced by the clover, instead of the weeds doing so the following spring . In addition, wheat is another great forage for deer that provides an additional attractant to a food plot.

During the following spring the wheat will grow and produce a head. During certain stages of maturation, the wheat head is highly sought after by both deer and turkeys. By planting a cover crop of wheat the excess nitrogen is used to benefit your plots health and increase the amount of forage available to the local deer herd. This is a win-win for deer hunters and managers. Fight weeds by planting more food for deer!

GrowingDeer together,

Matt

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Time Released Food Plots

Each year thousands of hunters take to the deer woods to plant their food plots. The options or varieties of seeds to plant are endless. Our food plot goal is to provide attractive forage for deer so they will return to the plot all season long. This makes patterning deer easier. Some varieties of plants tend to attract deer better during specific times of the fall, like corn and clover. To increase the odds of patterning a mature buck we prefer to plant a fall blend called Broadside.

fresh fall plot on The Proving Grounds This blend is comprised of four different seed varieties, soybeans, wheat, turnips, and radishes. All of these selected species have a specific roll throughout the fall and winter. As a new, tender sprout soybeans are highly attractive to deer. So the purpose of the soybean is to attract deer during the early season when the soybeans are the most palatable. These soybeans are not intended to produce pods, but to provide a high quality nutritional food source as the rest of the stand establishes itself. Once the soybeans are browsed down, this makes way for the wheat to thrive. Under the right conditions wheat can grow and add serious tonnage to the plots. In our region wheat will continue to grow through much of the winter even when heavily browsed. This makes wheat an important addition to the mixture. As the cooler temperatures begin to set in the turnips and radishes then become highly attractive to deer. Deer will browse the green tops of the turnips while the bulbs and tubers grow in the soil. When old man winter comes to town the explosion of wheat, turnips, and radishes will keep the deer coming back for more.

We plant this blend in our plots each year and deer follow the same cycles each season. The Broadside blend serves as a time released food plot throughout the hunting season. The plot produces an attractive food source throughout the entire fall. It is important to never clean the table and not offer food in your plots. If your plots are barren, then the local deer herd will be seeking an alternative food source. This could be your neighbor’s food plot! Keep your food plots growing and attractive this fall, hopefully you will be feasting on venison and not tag soup!

Chasing Whitetails,

Matt Dye

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Early Season Scent Reduction Tips

Hunting during the early season can be tough. It is typically warm and humid, a scent cautious hunter’s worst nightmare. Despite the conditions there are a few techniques that can be used to reduce the amount of scent produced. Follow the tips below during early season for better success in the deer woods.

  • Wear a lightweight t-shirt for the walk in.
  • Wear a hiking boot instead of rubber boots, they are much cooler.
  • Leave early, walk slow, and take breaks if needed to limit perspiration.
  • Remove the t-shirt once you’ve arrived at the treestand and store in a scent tight bag.
  • Apply field spray and use camp clothes once in the stand.

 

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How To Get Deer In Range: Scent Control Techniques

With hunting season around the corner it’s important to get your hunting gear and equipment ready for action. One of the most important parts of this is removing foreign odors. We want to get the bucks in close without them detecting our scent. Watch to see the process we take to get our gear scent free for deer season. This process has been vital to our past successes when bow hunting and getting the bucks within bow range.

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