Grant's Answers → Food Plots

← Grant's Answers

Jump to a Question

How often do you use Roundup to control weeds in Eagle Seeds Big Fellow beans?

Question
Hi Grant! We have around 200 acres to play with here in southwest Missouri. We are reestablishing a couple of clover plots as well as prepping for some soybeans. We are taking the plunge on some Big Fellow beans but are unfamiliar with Round-Up ready seeds. We will be broadcasting the seed. Once they germinate, how often do/can you spray the beans for weed control when establishing a new plot? Thanks for your help!

Jordan,

Make sure the plot is weedfree before planting the beans.  This can be accomplished by using Roundup to terminate the existing weeds.  Soybeans need to have good contact with the soil to germinate and sprout.  So it will be best to broadcast the seeds into a good seedbed and during a rain so the seed makes good contact with the soil.

Use the Roundup once the weeds are about 3 to 6″ tall.  Don’t allow the weeds to mature past 6″ or so.  By then the beans will be close to creating a closed canopy and shading out any new weeds.

You should attend our Field Event April 1st and 2nd and come visit with the owner of Eagle Seed!  Check out:  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/spring-field-days-2016-april-1st-and-2nd-registration-21092207360 for more information.

Enjoy creation,

grant

March 2, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are soybeans better for deer than clover?

Question
How do you know where the predators are going to step I have lots of coyotes and don’t know where to put it where they will step on it. And what would be better for deer soybeans or clover I’m able to plant one I live in Tennessee

Ben,

I recommend soybeans over clover for Tennessee.  Clover rarely does well during the antler growing season that far south.  Soybeans are also easier to grow and keep weed free.  

Trappers use scents to attract coyotes to their sets.  There are several shows and tips about trapping at http://www.GrowingDeer.com!  Click on the videos tab and then on trapping or predators!

Enjoy creation,

grant

March 2, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I plant brassicas in Minnesota?

Question
Hello Grant,
I will be making my first food plot attempt this coming spring. I live in Minnesota in an agricultural area with scattered patches of woods. My property is 60 acres which we rent to a local farmer who rotates beans and corn. There is an unused corner about 1.5 acres in size where I’ll plant. I was thinking of planting a portion in a brassica mix in late July or early August. I asked our farmer his thoughts and he asked why the heck would I try to plant in the hottest dryest part of the summer? He suggested planting everything in spring when we have the most moisture. I value his opinion but would like to have yours as well. It is not uncommon to have frost here in September. Being that our growing season is shorter than yours, does he have a point? Thank you.

David,

I like to plant brassicas about 45 to 60 days before the date of the average first hard frost. I realize this may be during the summer at the latitude of your farm.  If you plant brassicas too early they will mature and progress to the seed production stage before deer season and not be very palatable or attract critters while you are hunting.   Different brassicas have different maturation dates. Many take about 75 days during the primary growing season to mature.  

I agree with the farmer that it’s not wise to plant when soil moisture is in limited supply.  I suggest waiting till about 60+ days before the average date of the first hard frost and postponing a bit if the conditions are dry.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 24, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot blend should I plant considering I’m surrounded by corn and soybean crops on neighboring properties?

Question
What food plot blend should I use to plant for deer I am surrounded by corn and beans from the neibhoring properties

Charles,

I assume you are asking about fall crops as the deer will likely be feeding in the neighboring bean fields during the summer. 

Typically production corn and soybean crops are harvested long before deer season is over.  If that’s the case where you hunt, many of my friends use Eagle Seed forage soybeans as they remain greener much longer than production varieties of soybeans.  This allows you to hunt over the green forage of soybeans during the early season when the crop beans are starting to turn brown and then over the bean pods after the production beans have been harvested. 

To have the best of both worlds I often overseed the forage soybeans at my place with Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend.  This allows me to have both soybean pods and greens in the same field!  Deer prefer the pods during cold periods and the greens during warmer days.

Check out http://www.EagleSeed.com.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 24, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will clover germinate well if broadcast into CRP fields?

Question
Hi Grant,

Really appreciate the show, very informative on a lot of interesting and applicable topics. I am considering throwing down some clover seed in the next couple of weeks (mid-MO) but it’s on mowed strips in CRP fields. I’m wondering if I’m wasting my resources just throwing it on top and letting snow and/or thawing take the seed in? Or would I get better germination if I mow the grass low and spread on top? I work a normal schedule so limited weekends are all I have available to get things perfect as far as seed bed goes, so if all else fails, I’ll prepare for a fall seed blend over the summer and hope for the best.

Thanks!

Jordan,

I use a similar technique (called Frost Seeding) each year. I simply broadcast cover about this time of year (in southern Missouri) and hope it frost to snows a few times.  The freezing and thawing temperatures causes the soil to form small cracks that open and close.  This serves to cover the seed about 1/8th inch deep which is perfect for clover!

I suspect the rate of germination and growth of the clover you plant will depend on how thick the duff or grass is where the seed is broadcast.  If the grass and/or duff is inches thick I doubt all the seed will reach the soil. If the seed doesn’t reach the soil it won’t grow.  If the seed does reach the soil and germinates, the success will then largely depend on if the grass is also growing and out competes the young clover for sun, moisture, and/or soil nutrients.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 24, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can I get deer to stay on 150 acres?

Question
Hey Dr. Grant
My family and I lease an 150 tract of land consisting of 90% cutover with most of the land boarding the property consisting of hay fields , rotating crop field ( milo, corn , and soy bean) and cow pastures . My question is what process would it take to contain those deer to that property through food plots and percentage of plot to land size?

Andrew,

Most deer have a home range size larger than 150 acres.  I doubt there is any habitat work that will encourage deer to only use that property.  It sounds like most of the cover in the neighborhood is on the property you lease.  So, unless the hunting pressure is so high that deer associate the leased property with danger they should spend most of the daylight hours using the cover.  That’s good news for you!  

It would be a good plan to create some food plots on the lease.  If positioned and hunted correctly these plots would likely serve as staging areas before deer leave the large patch of cover and feed in the neighboring crop fields.  The goal of these plots is to attract deer during hunting season and position them so you can approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer so they will continue to feel secure when using the 150 acres.

To accomplish this consider predominant wind directions, thermals, and how hunters can approach, hunt, and exit the plots without alerting deer.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 24, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will I have to water my food plot if it doesn’t rain?

Question
Hello Grant,

i hunt on many farms where they grow crops such as clover, corn and soy beans. I just got promission to hunt where there is no food crops at all and wanted to put a small one in but im worried about if we dont get that much rain how would i water so it can grow to its full potential. Thanks for making a great show that i rewatch everyday and hope one day can have the same sucess as you and your team.

thanks for what you do, Mike G.

Michael,

Thanks for sharing the encouraging words!

You are correct that drought can have a very negative impact on forage crops.  It’s rarely possible to irrigate food plot crops given they are often in remote locations.  That’s one reason why I like Eagle Seeds Big Fellow variety (www.EagleSeed.com) of forage soybeans.  This variety has been bred to be very drought resistant. In addition, I use very limited tillage so soil moisture is conserved.  Even with all these precautions my food plots aren’t as productive as normal during drought conditions. The more severe the drought, the less productive my crops.

It’s not practical to haul water to most food plots.  As an example to cover an acre with 1/2 inch of water requires 27,000 gallons!  It’s much better to plant drought resistant crops and use sound conservation tillage practices.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 23, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crop do you prefer to plant in Tennessee?

Question
what crop do you think is best for deer hunting in Tennessee?

Will,

I have several friends in Tennessee that have great success with Eagle Seed’s (www.EagleSeed.com) forage soybeans.  They are drought hardy and the forage provides high quality browse all summer.  The soybean pods provide quality and attractive feed during the season!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 23, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I create food plots in valleys or on the ridgetops?

Question
I recently purchased 206 acres in northern Michigan that is 95% woods with mature oaks and white pine. My previous property was flat, but this property has a lot of hills and ridges. Where would you suggest I make my food plots, on top of the hills or in the valleys? Any advise will be appreciated!

Ron,

There are many variables. However, in general I prefer food plots to be on ridgetops.  This is because the wind usually swirls much less on ridgetops compared to in the valleys.  

I certainly suggest plots designed especially for stand/blind locations be on ridgetops!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 22, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What to plant for food plots near Rose Hill Kansas?

Question
I have recently purchased a small farm near Rose Hill Kansas, with 8-10 acres of pasture surrounded on 2 sides by fields (what very from corn, wheat , soybeans and milo) with the 3rd side a small medow with woods. I am new to food plots and looking for information on strategies to get white tail deer and turkeys on a constant passing for food and forage. There are a lot of trails with deer tracks and turkey scratchings all along the property along with coon, skunk and coyotes. I am a trapper with hopes of thinning down varments and predators in the coming winter as well. The pasture is fenced with wire and is completely open with exceptions of small trees along the fence line. There also is a run off creek to the right of the property that has a constant flow of water through the year as well from a small spring. Any information would be helpful. Thanks

James,

Congratulations on purchasing the farm!!

No matter what you plant it will be tough to compete with the commercial crops on the adjoining farms when those crops are in place.  However, once those crops are harvested you will likely have the best food in the neighborhood!

I suggest you plant Eagle Seed forage soybeans and clover (not mixed). Plant about 80 to 90% of the plot acreage in the Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  These beans will stay greener much longer than the adjoining commercial crops.  This will help attract deer during the early bow season.  Once the commercial crops are harvested the pods on the Eagle Beans will be a huge attraction to deer. 

The clover plot will attract deer and turkey in the spring and if in early fall if the soil has enough moisture.  

Finally, I strongly suggest overseeding the Eagle Seed beans with the Broadside blend like I do. This will provide greens and grain during the hunting season.  Deer tend to prefer the greens on warm days and the grain during cold weather.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do you like my habitat plan for where I hunt in southern Virginia?

Question
Dear MR. Grant
My mother and father own 8 to 9 acres of land in southern Virginia, that two fields. All the surrounding area is wooded for cover. the two fields used to be horse fields one is 1 to 2 acres and the other is 2 to 3 acres. They are not keeping a horse no more so I can hunt this. I have been watching growing deer .TV a lot lately and wonder what you think of my plan for this small property. The larger field has a fawn born in it every year so I think I should leave it alone. The smaller field I want to prescribe fire it then plant food plot half clover and half soybean. then in fall plant a honey hole food plot in area I intend to hunt over. I also want to add a mineral rock where the two fields meet. I plan to hunt from the barn because it over looks the two fields and the back is horse stall with no back so its open to the fields. I killed a big doe there this past season. Please let me know if I should change any of this. keep up the good work with Growing Deer .TV and as always keep GOD first. Thanks Chuck

Chuck,

I like your plan!  I would simply add to make sure and collect a soil sample and have the soil tested.  This often the least expensive and most important part of establishing a great food plot!  Without adding the appropriate nutrients food plot crops are often malnourished and won’t attract deer.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What kind of fence do you suggest to protect an 1/8 acre food plot?

Question
Hi I was wondering what kind of fense to put up around 1/8 acre on a very short budget. thanks, mark

Mark,

I’ve had great results with the Non-Typical fence!  Check out:  http://www.btibrands.com/brands/non-typical/?archive=hot-zone-fence

You may use the discount code GDVIP50 to get a great price!!  Feel free to call Kyle Smith at:  (573) 777-7614 for more information!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant in an 1/8 acre food plot for turkey and deer in south metro Minnesota?

Question
What should I plant in a 1/8 acre food plot for turkey and deer in south metro minnesota
 Mark,

Clover would be my first choice for a plot that size and at that latitude unless the site tends to be dry (sandy soil, etc.).  Clover usually won’t attract deer after the first frost. If you are a late season hunter you may wish to try Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend. It’s great for early, mid, and late deer season. It’s also what you see turkeys using in our videos now at my property.  You can check out my Facebook page to see some recent videos of toms using Broadside.

I’ve also had great luck using a Non Typical electric fence the forage in smaller plots till hunting season.

Enjoy creation,

grant February 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What do the numbers on bags of fertilizer mean?

Question
Please explain the numbers on fertilizer bags. I know that the first number is nitrogen (N), the second phosphorus (P), and the third potassium (K). Does a bag labeled 5-14-42 mean it contains 8% N (5/61), 23% P (14/61), and 69% K(42/61)? Consequently, if you applied 100 lbs of 5-14-42 are you applying 8lbs of N, 23 lbs of P, and 69 lbs of K?

Dennis,

A bag of fertilizer labeled 5-14-42 means that for each 100 pounds of product there will be the equivalent of 5 pounds of nitrogen, 14 pounds of phosphorus, and 42 pounds of potassium.  If each bag has 50 pounds of product, then reduce those numbers by 1/2.

There’s more information at: http://www.ncagr.gov/cyber/kidswrld/plant/label.htm

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Why do you take soil test?

Question
Hi Mr. Grant

I Love the Show and have asked a few Questions in the past and i have 2 more today.

#1 in episode 170 you were putting out antler dirt and you took some soil samples and said you did this so you would know how much to add or not to add. my Question is why wouldnt you just add the same amount each year?

#2 today i went out search for some stand locations and i found one that look pretty good and had some good deer sign but i found some deer bones i was wondering is that a good or bad sign? Thank you so much for your videos and hope to one day do exactly what you do!

Connor,

Good question about the Antler Dirt!  Different crops require different amounts of nutrients. For example corn needs a lot of nitrogen. Soybeans or clover require very little nitrogen.  Another reason to take soil tests is that different amounts of rain can leach different amounts of nutrients too deep in the soil for the roots to reach.  In addition, the food plot crop rotation I use improves the soil. I rarely need to add Antler Dirt anymore except to newer plots due to improving the soil’s quality.  It’s much less expensive to take a soil test than to add nutrients that aren’t needed – or not to add nutrients that are needed and a crop failure occur.

To address your second question, deer die all the time from predator attacks, injuries from fighting, cars, etc. I wouldn’t worry about finding a deer skeleton. Deer don’t seem to mind death like humans do. I’ve never noticed deer shying away from bones, etc.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 15, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Have you ever tried any other brands of food plot seed besides Eagle Seed?

Question
Have you ever tried any other food plots like Antler King or Whitetail Institute to see if the feed and grow better antlers than Eagle seed

Ethan,

My clients and I have tried several different forages and brands of food plot crops.  I encourage others to try different crops and see what works best for them!  Several university studies show Eagle Seed forage soybeans as producing the most tons of quality forage per acre of any crop they’ve tested.  

I also like the fact that the vast majority of Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young record entries come from areas that produce soybeans.  Anyway you slice it soybeans are a wonderful forage for deer and Eagle Seed has spent more decades breeding forage soybeans than any other company.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 15, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant in a 1/2 acre food plot in southeastern Pennsylvania?

Question
I live in SouthEast Pennsylvania and I have a couple questions about building a successful food plot throughout most the time of the deer season.
• The area of the space where I want to build this food plot is about 1/2 an acre. What plant do you think I should use?
• Durring what part of the year should I build this food plot?
Thanks for you’re help. I enjoy all the videos on YouTube.

Logan,

If there are a lot of deer in the area, then clover may be a good choice to plant in the 1/2 acre food plot.  Clover handles being browsed heavily about as well as any forage crop. 

One good plan may be to plant the clover this August if there is ample soil moisture available.  I like to plant a forage wheat with the clover. The wheat serves as a cover crop to protect the clover and makes a lot of forage quickly! 

Be sure and do a soil test to check the nutrients before you plant. Forage that doesn’t have good quality nutrients will be malnourished and such forage won’t attract as many deer and won’t produce as much tonnage as well feed crops.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 15, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I till the standing Eagle Seed beans now and prepare for spring planting?

Question
Love your work.
We met in 2004, I took care of your “South Carolina Mom” as you wrotwe in my book.
Hope you Dad is improving.

I have acres of Eagle soybeans in Edgefield, SC. When I get time off from the office I do all my work, I have time this week to get my harrowing done, and good soil moisture. I have harrowed my corn which has no more value to the deer / turkeys, all eaten. My Eagle soybean still have lots of pods, but the deer are not eating them and when I break open the pods the beans look like dry rotted. Should I let them stand, I doubt the deer or turkey will utilize them or can I use the time and moisture to get them harrowed in now.

I attached files of the results of reading, listening and implementing your plans.

In Greenwood area I have killed several bucks 190-220 pounds (depends on pre or post rut) which the locals say can’t be done around here regularly. But I manage too, a pun, ha ha.

Matt Bachinski

Matt,

I enjoy a good pun!  Thanks for sharing!  You tagged a dandy buck!  Your management is paying off!!  Congratulations!!  

It should be spring soon in the South Carolina Piedmont.  Deer will be chasing green versus grain soon.  You are wise to get the plots prepared ahead of time!  Often soil moisture and organic matter are both limiting factors in the Edgefield area.  You might consider renting or borrowing a no-till drill and using it to establish your plots. This is a great tool to conserve soil moisture and build organic matter.

I saw my “South Carolina” mom at recently at the QDMA National Convention!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 15, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Why didn’t some of the seeds I tested germinate?

Question
Hello again,

(Sorry asking so many questions) so I purchased some soybean seeds recently and I wanted to make sure they worked so I put some of the seeds in a little tray with some dirt from the garden, put a lamp up (to simulate the sun) and watered them to see how the germination rate was. I was a little surprised that they were not sprouting after seven days so I decided to dig up the seeds and see what was wrong (I planted the seeds 1/2 inch deep). When I dug them up they had just turned into mush. I had also planted some normal garden bush beans (in the same soil) to compare. 3 of the 4 bush bean seeds came up and the other one turned into mush to so I tried more of the soybean seeds but I could not get them to even sprout. So I am wondering if its just a dead package of soybean seeds? or if its because I need to inoculate them?
Thanks for your thoughts on this,
Jeremy

Jeremy,

I’m proud of you for testing the germination rate before planting the seeds!  

There are a number of reasons why the soybeans you planted may not have germinated.  Soybeans need the soil temperature to be at least 60 degrees to germinate.  If the soil is cooler than 60 degrees the beans may simply soak up moisture and turn to mush.  

When I test soybean seed germination rates I simply place a paper towel on a plate and soak it with warm water.  I then put the seeds on the towel and add a bit more warm water.  I place the plate in a south or west window so it will receive plenty of sun.  I add warm water daily to replace what’s evaporated or been used by the seeds.

I usually place seeds in rows of 10 so it’s easy to determine the percent that germinated.  Soybeans don’t hold germination rates as well as hard seed like clover or corn.

Give this technique a try and hopefully the results will be better!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 12, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should we convert corn plots to clover?

Question
Management question. We have 500 acre lease that is mostly select cut oak forest with lots briars and thick stuff and some 3 year old clear cuts. We have about 10 1/2 to 1 acre food plants that we alternate clover, green, and corn.

We kill all our deer in the oaks. Only deer we ever kill in the fields is by kids and they are usually small bucks.

We have 3 members. Our plan is working pretty good but it takes a lot of time and expense to plant those fall plots.

My question is would it hurt or help or no change if we just frost seeded all our plots in clover seed in the next few weeks and not worry about fall plots?

Brett,

I think a key is your statement “Our plan is working pretty good…”

You may not kill many deer in the the corn plots, but I assume deer are consuming the corn (probably at night) and these plots serve to keep deer close. You are wise to hunt away from the plots and not disturb deer using this food source that’s probably helping keep the deer’s core home range on or close to your property.  

I’d be hesitant to stop planting corn. If you must make changes, I recommend you reduce the number of plots you plant with corn by no more than a third for the first year and monitor the herd’s response.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 12, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant in a mostly shaded area in central Wisconsin?

Question
I recently purchased a small hunting parcel in central Wisconsin.The land is pretty much solid oak trees.I was wondering what would be the best food source to plant on a small area with limited light.A friend of mine suggested Buck Oats because of the large populations of deer in the area.He said he had tried other things but the deer would wipe them out before they matured.

Don,

Most forage crops do best when they receive full sunlight.  This is especially true with the small grains like oats.  In addition oats mature from the blade stage (looks like a blade of grass) to the stem stage (a rounded stem and grows rapidly).  Deer don’t prefer oats or any of the small grains once they mature to the stem stage.  

Clover does better when grown in partial shade than small grains.  In addition, clover is remains more productive when being browsed heavily than small grains.  Given the plot will be partially shaded and relatively small I recommend you do a soil test and tell the lab you wish to plant cover, add the appropriate nutrients, and plant clover. 

Clover will normally offer quality forage for many more months throughout the year than small grains. If you establish the clover during the fall I do suggest using a cover crop of wheat or oats with the clover.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 12, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I frost seed clover now in Ohio or wait and plant during May?

Question
Hi Grant, I have an 80 acre farm in NE Ohio. This winter I cleared an acre on a west-facing hillside that I want to put in a clover food plot. Right now, it is bare soil. But anytime I open the canopy, multi floral rose comes in thick. My question is, what is the best planting option for a new stand of clover? Should I frost seed soon, then deal with whatever comes up from the seed bank… Or should I wait to see what comes up, then spray and rework the soil and then plant in May? Also, could you give me your fertilizer recommendation? The ph is, surprisingly , neutral. Thanks in advance…

Mike,

I’m a bit concerned about establishing clover on a west facing slope. Clover needs more soil moisture than many forage crops and west facing slopes then to lose more moisture to evaporation than north or east facing slopes. I share this information so you might watch and see how the stand progresses.  

I’d go ahead and broadcast the clover (frost seed) now.  You can spot treat any multiflora rose that comes up with glyphosate.  I’ve had good success when broadcasting clover in snow.  

Be sure and add the appropriate amounts of fertilizer!

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do you have any tips for a quarter acre clover hidey hole plot in suburban New Jersey?

Question
Hello Grant,
Would you happen to have any tips to help grow and improve on an extra small food plot (around 100x100ft). I live in suburban NJ and have limited space to work with. We were thinking about scaling down a hydee-ho clover plot around April any help would be greatly appreciated

sincerely, Greg Marchese

Greg,

I’ve worked a lot just outside of Newark!  I’ve hunted there while watching TV through the neighbor’s windows.  That was an odd sensation for me!  

Clover is a good choice for small hidey hole plots in the northeast, especially if there’s fairly good soil at the location where you wish to establish the plot.  Clover plots often succumb to lack of nutrients and/or weed competition.  Do test the soil and be sure to tell the lab you wish to plant clover!  Clover requires much different nutrients than say wheat or brassicas.  In addition add the required amount of lime.  

The seedbed should be free of weeds before planting and as weeds germinate they can be spot treated with glyphosate.  

This should get you started!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 9, 2016 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crop should I plant in an area of sandy soil in lower Alabama?

Question
Hi Grant – I’ve really enjoyed watching countless episodes of GowingDeer.tv and can’t wait to get to work on our lease later this week. Our deer season in lower Alabama ends Wednesday and I’ll be out gathering soil samples Thursday morning!

I have a question for you in regards to Spring / Summer food plots: What should I plant? Forage Soy Beans, Sunn Hemp or something else?

I have been planning on planting Eagle Seeds “Game Keeper” since it has the Whitetail Thicket variety in it and our food plot acreage is probably very low compared to deer density (I’m guessing). Our soil is VERY poor quality (sandy) and I’m afraid they may not stand a chance to the browse pressure since I don’t have an electric fence.

The Sunn Hemp seems to have some major advantages for soil building while providing good quality forage as well. Please let me know your thoughts.

I’ve attached a picture of a food plot on our lease – no this isn’t a beach!

Through GrowingDeer.tv I see that our “most limited resource” is not cover or water – it is without a doubt FOOD… And too many coyotes but that’s another story.

Thanks & God Bless y’all!

David,

Tracy (my wife) and I lived in South Carolina for years and I still work on many properties throughout the southeast.  In fact Adam and I will be working with one of our clients east of Montgomery during April.  

Soybeans will work fine in sandy soils if fertilized correctly and soil moisture conservation techniques (like I use here on the super gravelly soils) are used.  

I’ve never planted Sunn Hemp. Some of my clients have and it will often produce a lot of biomass which is good for building soil.  However, I’ve yet to hear from someone I knew personally that deer consumed Sunn Hemp.  Deer are picky eaters and if there’s nothing but pines in your area they may readily use Sunn Hemp. I believe it would be great to plant to build soil and follow the next year with forage soybeans.  

If you plant Sunn Hemp please keep me posted how it performs for you.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 8, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Which Eagle Seed variety do you recommend for Pennsylvania?

Question
Which Eagle soybean variety do you plant? You have expressed a preference for forage soybeans but when you show your plots in the winter they have a large supply of seeds to sustain the herd through the winter. In PA will these beans mature early enough to broadcast the Broadside blend into them the assist with the late season stress period?

Tim,

That’s a great characteristic of Eagle Seed.  Through literally 40+ years of hand pollinating they’ve created varieties that are great forage and pod producers!  

Eagle Seed’s Northern Manager’s blend works very well for your area.  I have clients that plant it at a much further north latitude.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 8, 2016 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I apply lime to my land in south Alabama?

Question
Dr. Grant, I am from south Alabama and I have just recently acquired a new piece of property to hunt next fall and I’m wanting to plant spring plots for the first time. I did some soil test and my results say I need about 2000 lbs of lime per acre in one field and about 800 lbs of lime per acre in another. I also have to add some 34-0-0 fertilizer as well. I was wondering would it be alright to add the lime, fertilizer, and seed all in the same day/weekend or if I should add lime now and wait till the fall to plant? Also, if you have some eagle seed recommendations you would like to add then please do. Thank you in advance!

Hunter,

Congratulations on acquiring a hunting property!  I’m very proud of you for testing the soil!  I suggest you apply the lime now.  It takes agriculture lime months to significantly alter the soil’s pH!  I’m curious about the need to add only nitrogen (34-0-0).  Did you inform the soil lab what crops you wish to plant?  Different species requires different amounts of different nutrients.  For example soybeans require no or very little nitrogen but a lot of phosphorous and potassium.  Wheat and other small grain crop require a lot of nitrogen.  

I have a long term client in south Alabama that has great results with Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  They plant the Wildlife Manager’s blend.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 7, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What do you suggest planting in roads and gas lines?

Question
I have a hunting lease of about 300 acres with no fields.There are 2 gas wells and a lot of logging roads and some gas lines. I can not cut down any trees. The amount of sun is limited. What would you recommend to plant on the roads and gas lines. I have done soil tests and am working on the results. We are blue collar workers so our budget does have limits. Thanks for any information you can give us. God Bless and thanks for giving our creator the glory

Bob,

I am thrilled to learn you are doing soil tests!!  Know that it’s very important to tell the soil lab what you intend to plant.  This is because different crops require different amounts of different nutrients to be productive.

It’s also good to consider that if the area is timbered than roads and gas lines that run north and south will receive much more shade and therefore retain more soil moisture!  Just the opposite is true for roads that run east and west.

What to plant depends on where (what state/climate) and the mission for the plots.  If the mission it only to attract deer during season, then appropriately fertilized forage wheat does a good job of attracting deer.  

If you wish to improve the amount of quality forage for the herd year round, then about 10% in clover (probably on the north south oriented openings) and the rest in Eagle Seed Forage soybeans would be a great plan.  Several universities have shown that Eagle Seed forage soybeans produce more tons of quality forage per dollar than any other quality forage crop.

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 7, 2016 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When will the Genesis drill be available?

Question
I recall reading your post about the Redexim prototype seed drill. Any news on when it will be ready for production and whether it performs as hoped? Thanks, and hope you are well.

Brian,

I was extremely pleased with the last prototype Redexim (now called the Genesis) drill I tested.  They were very patient and during a several month period shipped prototypes back and forth to Holland to incorporate improved designs based on testing in very rough conditions.

I saw Paul Hollis with Redexim at the Quality Deer Management Association convention and he assured me production drills would be available for the spring planting season.  You may reach Paul at:  314-378-1889.

Paul will be demonstrating a Genesis at our April 1st and 2nd Field Event (http://www.eventbrite.com/e/spring-field-days-2016-april-1st-and-2nd-registration-21092207360).

I believe he is also offering attendees a discount.  That will be great since there is already a waiting list for the Genesis at full price!

Enjoy creation!

grant

February 5, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I apply lime?

Question
Hi Dr. Woods,

I’m going to plant some soybean food plots this year on our southern Ohio property and have a question about lime. I will be taking soil samples this spring before any seed gets put in the ground, but I assume I will need to add lime. When is the best time to add this? The fields are grassy and have been put up in hay the last several years. I plan to spray them with glyphosate in early spring, then no till drill the seeds later. Should I apply the lime well before spraying, or just before I plant? Thanks so much for all the great info you share!

Matt Hooper,

Sounds like you have the makings of a great food plot. You are taking all the correct steps to making it as productive as possible. I would recommend adding lime to this areas as soon as you can. Lime usually takes roughly 6 months to fully incorporate and activate itself into the soil changing the pH. Many conventional ag-farmers apply lime during the month of November so that the soil is ready for planting in the spring. Not to worry though, the soil will become balanced during the growing season so beans will have healthy soil to grow in. 

You have a great plan, be sure to take the necessary recommendations when you receive the soil tests. This will increase the quantity and quality of your soybeans! 

GrowingDeer Together,

Matt Dye

2016-02-05

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is there a forage crop that will grow well in standing water?

Question
I own a 50 acres in a big harwood wetland swamp (2000 acres) surround by bean and corn field .
80% of the tree was mature red maple .

I project to cut one or 2 acres this winter.

And cut mature tree to let the sun hit the ground

Did you no something i can plant in a soil like that ?

And what the besttimber management can i do?

The land came dry in august and came back wet in late september.(see picture in attachement).

Tanks for the attention to my questions.

Pat.

Patrick,

I’m not aware of any forage crop that deer prefer that grows well in standing water or saturated soils.  I suggest you focus on the highest ground on your property!  If the highest ground floods frequently you might consider cutting trees and establishing cover versus a food plot.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 31, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is there a forage crop that will grow well in standing water?

Question
I own a 50 acres in a big harwood wetland swamp (2000 acres) surround by bean and corn field .
80% of the tree was mature red maple .

I project to cut one or 2 acres this winter.

And cut mature tree to let the sun hit the ground

Did you no something i can plant in a soil like that ?

And what the besttimber management can i do?

The land came dry in august and came back wet in late september.(see picture in attachement).

Tanks for the attention to my questions.

Pat.

Patrick,

I’m not aware of any forage crop that deer prefer that grows well in standing water or saturated soils.  I suggest you focus on the highest ground on your property!  If the highest ground floods frequently you might consider cutting trees and establishing cover versus a food plot.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 31, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I only plant cool season crops on my 40 acre farm in northern Missouri?

Question
I have cleared a two acre plot on my40 acre ne missouri farm
I live out of state and can not make extra trips to tend the plot. What would you suggest to plant on this two acres …something similar to pure attraction and frigid forage in late july or risk it and plant soybeans?
Should I wait and plant it in the fall so weeds wouldn’t be as much a problem?

Bobby,

If the mission for the food plot is to attract deer during hunting season than a cool season (planted during the late summer) forage may work great!  You are wise to match the forage type with your mission for the plot and the resources (time, etc.).  

I prefer Eagle’s Seeds Broadside blend as it includes forage types that are palatable during the early, mid, and late season.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 31, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s a good food plot crop for west Texas?

Question
Hello grant, I would like to know what food I should put out for the deer on the ranch I hunt. We have twelve 150 acre or bigger plots that are all in wheat. I live in west Texas and was wondering what you think would be a good food for helping grow the deer to their full potential. I also have around 10 smaller food plots (50 acres) what do you think I should put in those? Thanks for the help.

Ethan,

Wow!  12 x 150 is 1,800 acres of food plots!!  That’s a commercial farming operation – not a food plot program.  I suspect wheat is working well in that area if 1,800 acres is committed to the program.  

Wheat that is appropriately fertilized can provide quality forage, especially in areas such as west Texas where it can be too dry to grow other crops.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 31, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What brand of clover do you use?

Question
What brandname of clover do you use?

Mason,

I’ve been using an experimental variety from Eagle Seed. I believe they are going to make it available this year. Check out:  www.EagleSeed.com or call:  870 684-7377.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 25, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When is the best time to plant food plots?

Question
when is the best time to plant food plots?

Johnny,

There are many variable about when food plots should be planted. Different species of crops should be planted at different times of the year. I encourage you to go to the Videos tab at http://www.GrowingDeer.com and then click on Food Plots on the left of the page.  There will be many videos about how and when to plant food plots there.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 25, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s the variety of Eagle Seed forage soybeans that grows in a vine form?

Question
I saw a recent episode of yours where you talk about a certain type of eagle seed bean that the vines lay over each other and are very browse resistant and I was just wondering what kind it was?

Thanks and God bless

Mason,

The Eagle Seed forage soybean that grows in vine from is called Whitetail Thicket.  It’s available in Eagle’s Wildlife Manager’s blend.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 25, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How should I set back plant growth where pines at my farm have been thinned?

Question
I manage and hunt a 320ac farm in central Alabama, it is 120ac of planted pines that were thinned in 2014-2015. The property has been cut with skidder trails running along and off of a major road thru property, and as we suspected the deer love the new browse and fresh growth and most of all the cover. My concern is that within the next few years the property will soon be overgrown and very thick, would you suggest mowing a select number of skidder trails to allow fresh growth and visibility or allow the entire property to grow up? Any information would be appreciated! Have seen more and better deer thanks to your info and growing deer tv. Eagle seed beans are amazing, as is trophy rocks we now have almost all does on property dropping twins which up until about 2 years ago we hardly ever saw!!!thanks again Steve Thompson

 

Steve

Congratulations on managing the 320 acres in a manner that has resulted in improved deer herd health!

As the saplings and forbs grow the forage quality will decrease. I do recommend mowing, using prescribed fire, herbicide, etc., to set back the maturity of these plants. I often covert skidder trails, rows where pines have been thinned, etc., to food plots.  Deer readily use these linear plots that are very close to cover.  I often leave two rows as is and plant the third.  This pattern of food/cover creates ideal habitat!

You may wish to check out the GrowingDeer episode a the following link for more information about growing food plots in pines.

https://www.growingdeer.tv/#/food-plots-in-thinned-pine-stands

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 25, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What steps should I take to start food plots on a property in Perry County, Arkansas?

Question
hello,
I recently purchased 160 acres in perry county Arkansas. use is strictly for hunting and recreations. I would like to start a year round food plot program on this property. in this area the game–whitetail deer–turkeys–ducks and geese.
the property consist of 10-12 acres open—13-15 acres planted pines and the rest is hardwood bottoms that flood in the winter.
I have 3 small food plot sites picked out between 1/4-1/2 acres that I would like to hunt, I have a 5 acre field that I would like to plant but it may flood in the winter.
I know the first thing is to prepare my food plots by spraying them,discing them and taking soil samples at each site.
my question is: what can I plant this spring that will start helping improve the game on my property and also improve the soil.
I know I would like to get like you and have soybeans and clover because like you I think that is the best.
also what type soybeans and clover do you recommend?
any suggestions or recommendation would be greatly appreciated
thanks craig

Craig,

Congratulations on purchasing the property!  Food plots are great tool to increase the quality and huntability of local wildlife populations.

There’s no need to apply Roundup if you are going to disk.  Disking will kill the weeds and Roundup doesn’t have any soil activity. It only kills growing vegetation.  It doesn’t keep seeds from germinating, etc.

I like planting Roundup Ready soybeans in new food plots. This is the easiest method to control weeds!  Be sure and do a soil test as your first step.  Malnourished crops don’t taste good/won’t attract deer and won’t produce as much.  

You may consider attending our Field Event April 1st and 2nd.  We’ll demonstrate step by step how we establish and maintain food plots!  

Brad Doyle from Eagle Seed, Paul Hollis from Genesis drills, etc., will be here to help answer questions.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 25, 2016 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I disk in the Eagle Seed forage soybeans before planting the Broadside blend?

Question
I am creating a new small food plot but Because of how poor my soil content is (rocky acidic) would it be a wise move to plant eagle seed soybeans in the spring and disk it in the fall before planting my broadside to kinda put some organic matter into my soil, or would that be totally pointless?

Thanks, Mason

 

Mason,

There’s no need to “disk in” the standing soybeans.  Disking does much more harm than good. Disking adds much oxygen to the soil and causes the organic matter to break down very quickly!  A better approach (and what I do at The Proving Grounds) is to simply broadcast the Broadside blend over the standing Eagle Seed soybeans.  This system has several advantages.

I want deer to be conditioned to always eating from my plots.  Disking removes all forage and causes deer to need to go elsewhere to feed. I call this cleaning the table.  To avoid cleaning the table I simply broadcast the Broadside into the standing beans and allow it to germinate while deer are still feeding on the beans!  This system is faster and less expensive than disking.  In addition, it doesn’t force deer to feed elsewhere.

This system will also result in building up more organic matter than disking!!

Any remaining beans will produce pods which adds another quality food source during the winter!  To learn more about this technique check out:  https://www.growingdeer.tv/#/scouting-hit-list-bucks-and-fall-food-plots-all-hands-on-deck

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 23, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I plant Eagle Seed’s Broadside in Northwest Alabama?

Question
I live in northwest alabama (rocky, acidic soil) i have a 1/2 acre bow hunting field i am gonna plant this year but am unsure when i need to plant my broadside for my location, when do you suggest i should plant my broadside blend?

Thank You and God bless,
Mason

Mason,

Broadside works best when planted 45 to 60 days before the first frost of the fall.  The date of the first frost can vary substantially each year and location to location depending on elevation.   I look at the average first frost date for the area to be planted and then consider if the year seems warmer or colder than normal.  I also try to plant Broadside just before or during a rain.   The soil moisture helps insure rapid germination and forage growth.  Be sure to collect a soil sample and have it analyzed long before planting time.  

All forage attracts deer better if it’s healthy.  If there aren’t enough nutrients (fertilizer) in the soil the plants will be malnourished and won’t be as tasty/attractive to deer.

Enjoy creation,

grant  

January 22, 2016 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s the best method to apply lime to relative small food plots?

Question
I have a question about liming that i’d like to run by you….
I have 5 small food plots between 1/4-1acres in size. I need to fix the ph levels after deer season. I want a long-term fix instead of short-term from using expensive pelletized lime.
These food plots are too small to use a lime truck with a belt-driven lime spreader. What would you suggest I do in order to fix my ph problems with either bulk ag lime or bulk bagged pulverized lime. Should I have the co-op deliver ag lime and use a shovel to spread it?

-Travis Hull

Travis,

If there road access to the plots, it’s probably less expensive to allow the lime truck to spread a bit of the lime off the plot than pay for pelletized lime.  

The native vegetation will benefit from the lime and the cost of bulk ag lime spread by a truck is much less expensive any other source of lime.

It will be very difficult to spread lime eveningly and at the rate required by using a shovel or other hand tools.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is Roundup herbicide dangerous?

Question
Just wondering if Grant has considered using non gmo seeds and getting away from pesticides and go more organic with his deer feeding program. Roundup is a dangerous chemical. I suggest he does some research on sustainable agriculture for his deer patches.

Philip,

Decades ago there were some very dangerous herbicides commonly used.  However, modern herbicides are very safe!  I doubt any herbicide or crop tool has been researched more that Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup).  Even with all that research there’s never been one scientific publication to my knowledge that found anything damaging to wildlife about Roundup Ready crops. Even Readers Digest published recently that there’s never been one study that showed any danger from GMO crops.

Millions of deer have consumed GMO crops for more than a decade without one reported negative result.  

Roundup Ready crops have helped farmers save millions of tons of dirt from being eroded due to reducing the need to cultivate for weed control, etc.  In addition, millions of gallons of diesel fuel were saved due to reducing trips through fields.   

If you find a scientific, peer reviewed paper that shows different results, please share with me! I’d certainly like know.

Currently there are way more benefits than liabilities to using GMO crops.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do deer prefer annual more than perennial rye grass?

Question
Grant,

I am going on active duty military orders next fall and I will only be able to hunt my family farm when I am home on leave. That being said, I am wanting to plant a rye grass food plot. Given that I have limited time to spend at the farm , I would like to plant a perennial rye so I don’t have to replant it every year but I have heard deer prefer annual rye. My question is, do deer really prefer annual rye over perennial? Given my situation do you think I could get away with planting a perennial?

Also, have you ever considered doing a squirrel hunt episode?

God Bless,

Beau Fugitt

Beau,

Thank you for your service to our nation!  

Deer do often prefer annual more than perennial ryegrass.  This is probably because deer prefer young, tender growth compared to mature plant growth.  

I’m not aware of any forage that can be simply planted and not maintained that deer find attractive.  This is why deer like managed crops such as soybeans!  There’s always a source of new growth that’s well fertilized to browse.  

My daughters and I really enjoy squirrel hunting.  Great woodsmanship skills can be learned by squirrel hunting!  

May God bless you with safety and peace throughout your military career!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What variety of Eagle Seed soybeans did you use in the smaller plots?

Question
I recently watched one of your videos where you showed a small food plot planted in eagle seed soybeans. In that plot you suggested a different variety of bean that vined more so that it would not be consumed as fast as a more upright growing bean. Can you tell me the variety of bean this would be and would it work well for me here in Pennsylvania. I planted the Wildlife Manager’s Mix last year in 3 small plots and they consumed this all summer long. I was hoping this other variety might produce even more for me.
Thank you

Francis,

I planted the Whitetail Thicket variety in some of the smaller plots and was thrilled with the results. I don’t know if Eagle Seed will offer this variety during 2016. I believe it will be included in some of their blends.  

The Whitetail Thicket variety will germinate and grow well in Pennsylvania.  

I also try planting more seed than normal in my smaller plots. I don’t worry about too much competition as the deer browse won’t allow the plants to mature and become too crowded.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s the best time to establish food plots in Georgia?

Question
Grant,
I want to let you know that my Father and I enjoy watching and learning from your videos. He did not have the opportunity to grow up enjoying the outdoors like I have so it has been a great experience growing and learning together. As a whole, we have not had a ton of success whitetail hunting but have progressively seen more and more deer throughout the past two years. Fortunately, we found an opportunity to hunt some great property for next year in Georgia. My mind is constantly wondering on how I can make the most of this opportunity for next year thus leading to my question.
– When would be the best time for me to go in and begin construction of food plots?
– What would be the ideal forage for me to plant during those time frames to best support the local deer herd?

thanks again,
-Bryce

Bryce,

I’m glad you and your father have a place to hunt!  I attended the University of Georgia and still have several clients there.

Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans have worked very well for my clients in Georgia.  Soybeans produce very high quality forage that attract deer during the growing season (including early deer season) and pods that attract deer when the temperatures are cold.  I often overseed the standing beans with a cool season blend such as Broadside about 60 days before the average first frost of the fall.  This system provides quality forage for deer almost year round with minimal work and does a great job of improving the soil quality.  

Soybeans should be planted when the soil temperature is about 60 degrees at two inches deep.  The University of Georgia maintains a good website (http://weather.uga.edu/?zip=) that posts current soil temperatures and other useful information.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How should we start a food plot program?

Question
Hello Grant, my friend and I are looking into starting planting our own food plots, and we have no idea where to start. We have the land to do it, and we were just wondering where you could recommend where we should start?

 

Jarrett,

Food plots can be a great management and hunting tool!

Remember that malnourished crops don’t taste good. So the best first step is to collect a soil sample and have it analyzed to see what nutrients should be added to grow the specific crop you wish to plant.  For example, corn requires way more nitrogen than soybeans.  Without the benefit of a soil sample, it’s likely the food plot crops won’t produce very well or attract many deer.

There are many GrowingDeer episodes about establishing and maintaining food plot crops!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant to attract deer in hidey hole plots in east central Alabama?

Question
Hi Grant,

I have recently been given permission to hunt a 78 acre piece of property in central east Alabama. The land consist of volunteer pines and hardwoods with two small clearings and a spring/ bedding area running through the middle of them. I wanted to ask for your recommendation on what to plant in these small plots. They are both roughly 1/8 acre in size. From what scouting I have done the deer definitely like to roam the surrounding area for food and come to this property to bed. The only food source on the property are the acorns which are long gone this late in the season. I would love to hear your suggestions on what to plant in these two plots for next season. I should mention that I only have hand tools to do the planting but could possibly get the use of a tractor and plow but no seeder or drill. Thanks for your help.

Cade,

Congratulations on receiving permission to hunt the private property!  

The openings sound like good locations for plots designed to attract deer during the hunting season.  Using simple hand tools the existing vegetation can be sprayed and the duff burned or removed by hand.  Even in small plots it’s important to do a soil test and add the appropriate nutrients. Malnourished forage doesn’t taste good and usually won’t attract deer.  

Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend works great for me to attract deer – especially before or after acorns are available.  This blend is easy to plant by broadcasting by hand, etc.

Be sure to consider how you will approach, hunt, and exit these plots without alerting deer.  It’s easy to condition deer to avoid such plots during daylight if you alert them while approaching or hunting the area.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do you know of a late blooming apple tree?

Question
Hey Mr. Grant, it’s me again. Thanks for your quick reply on my last question. I have 1 more however. So I own 64 acres in Northern Ky, right by the licking river. I don’t have a ton of land for big food plots but I want to keep deer on my property. The soil by the Licking River is some of the most fertile you will ever see. Anyway what I would like to do is plant a late dropping apple orchard. There’s just one issue, the area by the river is naturally low-lying and the fog comes up from the river regularly. If the fog comes up in early spring and we get a freeze, all the blooms on the apple tree will most likely be killed off. Do you know of any apple varieties or techniques that could help me get an orchard in that convenient area? Thanks again so much for your time,
Sincerely, Reuben Stamper.

Reuben,

I really like using tree plots (small food plots with fruit producing trees planted in them).  I don’t know which varieties of apple trees would work best at your farm. I like pears and other varieties of fruit trees that tend to require less maintenance than apple trees.  You might check with the folks at http://www.FlatwoodNatives.com.  They know much more about fruit trees than me!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s a good food plot variety to broadcast into standing corn or soybeans?

Question
Dr. Woods, I have a property I hunt nestled in northern Indiana ag country. Only a few pieces of that land is tucked away. It has small wood lots but predominantly corn and beans. I am looking for seed that I cause broadcast into the standing corn and beans in the early fall for a deer food plot. I do not want to have to terminate it in the spring. I am leaning toward radish/rape/turnip but didn’t know specific varieties being more palatable or even if there are other species I should consider. Anxious to hear your response.

Kent,

Broadcasting seed into standing corn or soybeans is a great technique! The more progressive farmers do this and call it a cover crop. There are many advantages to using cover crops including building soil, reducing wind and rain erosion, etc.  Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend works very well to attract deer and as a cover crop. It includes a forage radish, a forage wheat, and two varieties of brassicas.  These cultivars will need to be terminated or they will produce seed.  This will be true for all forage crops that I’m aware.  

Farmers have to terminate all cover crops and usually do so by using the appropriate herbicide.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is it a good idea to plant turnips and radishes during the spring?

Question
Dr. Grant;

I have tried planting Eagle Seed soybeans the past two years on my property; I have not obtained the success I was hoping for but I am not able to drill the beans; I have had to broadcast them which I’m sure is the reason for this. I need or would like food year round and I am lacking a summer food source.

I have had a lot of luck with Maximum and Deer Radish for my fall plots. What is your thought on planting turnips and radishes in the spring? My deer herd will start eating the turnips well before the first frost of the year. I would assume that I would need to cut down and replant these plots for my fall/winter food plots late summer to early fall. I would also like to add wheat to my plots. Have you had any luck with Eagle Seed Monster Buck Wheat?

Thanks for the help again

Aaron Olson

Aaron,

Both turnips and radishes tend to mature much quicker when planted during the spring.  This results in these crops becoming non palatable to deer rapidly.  You might try buckwheat as the seed is relatively small and often grows well when broadcast into a good seedbed.  Many folks have great success broadcasting soybeans into a well-prepared seedbed just before or during a rain.  The rain serves to help bury the seed and the soil moisture ensure rapid germination.  If lack of germination is causing the poor performance you might give this technique a try.

I have used Eagle’s Monster Buck Wheat and have been very pleased with the results.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 14, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant in a flood zone?

Question
Good Afternoon: Grant.
The Question I have for you is. I hunt a 30 acre plot of land in NE Ohio, they have normal farm crop but theres not much hunting area by them, but theres a large creek and all the hunting area is a bottom but I want to plant a plot about 100 yards long by 30 yards wide, but the problem is if we get a heavy rain or long rain it floods for a day or two then goes back down, What would you suggest to plant and what should I do to prep for this area? thank you and sorry for the long explanation.

Shane,

It’s always risky to plant crops in flood zones.  I’m not aware of any forage crop that does well when flooded.  Did the area you wish to plant go underwater during the recent flooding?

How often does the area flood? If only once every ten years, then that’s an acceptable risk.  If it floods every few years then I’d find another location.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 12, 2016 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s a good food plot crop to attract deer during deer season?

Question
Hey Growing Deer Team,

If I want to plant one food plot that I can hunt in from October to December in New York what type of plant should I use?

Thank You

Hayden,

I’ve had great results with Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend. It has radishes, a forage wheat, and two types of brassicas.  I strongly prefer blends during the fall because different forage varieties attract deer at different times during the fall.  

Broadside is easy to plant and grow.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 12, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What type of corn should be planted in eastern Kansas?

Question
We are new to food plotting and feeding fields. We have a +/-6 acre field in which we want to plan a corn-based feeding field. Where in Eastern Kansas can we get this type of corn and how much do we need per acre. Thank you.

Clark,

There are literally 1,000’s of varieties of corn.  I suggest you work with a local seed dealer to find variety that’s best adapted for your property and to meet your mission.  There are corn varieties that are more drought resistant, pest resistant, higher yields, etc.  No single variety has all the traits.  

Corn is sold in bags with 80,000 kernels. Hence different varieties will have different weights per bag, but the same number of seed.  Corn is planted in units of kernels per acre.  Most varieties are planted from 18,000 to 36,000 kernels per acre.  The amount planted depends on the variety and quality of soil.  Better quality soil and support more stalks per acre.

Again – working with a local seed dealer is probably the best way to identify good varieties of corn for your property and mission.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 12, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s a good food plot crop’s’ for year round in southern West Virginia?

Question
Hey Grant, first wanted to thank you for acknowledging the Lord in all of you videos don’t see to many people talking about Him publicly. My question is I bow hunt in Southern West Virginia where the terrain is steep, and thick what would be the best choice to create a food plot for all seasons, and get there full potential antler growth.

Thanks,
Matt Tiller

Matt,

I’ve have great results using Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans during the growing season and overseeding them with Broadside about 60 days before the average first frost date during the fall.  Deer love and prosper on the soybean forage all summer and then enjoy the soybean pods when it’s cold during the winter. Deer tend to eat the green forage produced by the Broadside during the warmer winter days.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 12, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How hard is it to plant and maintain Eagle Seed forage soybeans?

Question
Grant,

I am coming in to a new lease soon and I plan on doing some food plots. On one of the plot I want to do the Eagle Seed Soy beans. I seen it works great where you are at. The area is a wooded area I am getting rid of some trees that are already dead and using it to plant a food plot. I was wondering how hard is it to plant the soy beans and how much care do they take one the ground is tilled and the soy beans are planted. Thanks for your time in this matter. Also thank you for allowing me to be part of your field staff team. Because of you I have changed my degree path in college to Wildlife management. Thank you and God Bless.

Timothy,

Thanks for being part of the GrowingDeer Team!  We’re honored to work with you!!

Eagle Seed forage soybeans are very drought resistant and easy to keep weed free.  Simply prepare a seedbed and always do a soil test (www.Watersag.com).  Remember that malnourished won’t grow well and won’t taste as good/attract deer as well nourished plants.  This is why it’s so important to do a soil test and add the appropriate nutrients with any crop!

Soybeans do best when planted when the soil temperature is at least 60 degrees at 2″ deep (and no cold front is coming).  Many states have a website that shows soil temperatures by county.

I like to plant soybeans about 1/2″ deep. Don’t plant them too deep.  Just make sure the seeds are covered with soil.  

Once the beans have germinated it’s easy to control the weeds by using glyphosate (Roundup).  This won’t harm the beans but will control the weeds.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 12, 2016 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How to plant soybeans with hand tools?

Question

Grant,
I recently got permission from a neighbor to hunt on his property and establish some small food plots. I am planning on planting some soybeans, and clover. I was wondering if you could tell me how to plant the soybeans with hand tools? It is just basically a test plot to see if black-tails will eat soybeans so it’s really pretty small.
Thanks,
Jeremy

Jeremy, 

Great question, that sounds like an exciting opportunity!

When planting soybeans it is critical to create a seedbed that will allow the seeds to germinate. This includes removing all of the debris and duff layer. Using rakes to rough the surface or grub the ground will be necessary.  Once that step is complete, I highly recommend broadcasting these soybeans during the rain or just prior to a heavy rain. This will allow the seeds to settle into the already prepared seedbed. You do not want to have the seeds covered by any more than 1/2 inch of dirt, but covered and not exposed is critical.

Even though this plot is small be sure to add fertilizer to this plot. This will help to jump start the young soybeans as the take off after germination.  

I hope you will keep us posted on this process. I am interested to know how quickly the black tail deer will consume the beans. 

Enjoying Creation, 

-Matt

2016-1-10

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can I broadcast Broadside into standing Eagle Seed soybeans?

Question
I’m looking to change to a different seed company and I really like what I’ve seen from eagle seed through your videos. I get a soil test every year and do everything right to get the best growth possible, where I live here in Indiana we have great soil for growing really healthy plots. One thing I don’t understand if I plant the eagle seed forage beans and come in during the fall and broadcast the broadside blend over it, does it get enough light through the beans to grow well or do you recommend planting two different sections one for the beans then another section of broadside? I would love to be able to broadcast into the beans to maximize the amount of food just wanted to make sure there would be good growth for the fall blend.

Derek,

In larger plots where the soybeans aren’t heavily browsed there may not be enough sunlight reaching the soil for the Broadside to grow well.  This depends on the food plot size, the number of deer in the area, etc.  

In these cases I either plant additional plots with Broadside or plant it by using a no-till drill in some of the standing Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  I’ve found that a substantial percentage of Eagle Soybeans won’t be damaged by drilling through them.  I really like this technique as it provides grain (the soybean pods) and greens in the same area.  Deer tend to eat the bean pods during colder days and the greens during warmer conditions.  In addition, the Broadside makes a great cover crop and helps improve the soil.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 10, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crops will grow well when planted in the thinned row of pines in Mississippi?

Question
Dr. Grant,

I live in south Mississippi, and I’m new to hunting. I’ve been given permission to hunt on my in-laws property and I would like to begin to manage the habitat. On the property I hunt there is a stand of plantation pines that have recently been thinned a year ago. What can we plant in the newly opened rows during the hot summer heat? Or, should we just wait until the coolness of fall and plant clover?

Stephen,

Planting and hunting in thinned pines is one of my favorite techniques!  Pine rows that run north and south receive less sunlight and tend to hold more soil moisture compared to rows that run east and west.  I’ve had great success with Eagle Seed forage soybeans, clover, the Broadside blend, etc.  I really like hunting plots planted in thinned pines as the remaining pines tend to funnel the wind and keep it from swirling.   Deer are very comfortable feeding in plots planted in the thinned row of pines as they are never more than a step or two from cover.  Deer appear to be much calmer in these environments.  

I typically plant forage soybeans in a row where the pines have been thinned, skip two rows for cover, and then plant another row with beans.  I overseed the beans with Broadside about 45 to 60 days before the average first frost during the fall.  

For more information, checkout the GrowingDeer episode at:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grant-Woods/260242857400

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 10, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What do you mean when you use the term “glyphosate”?

Question
Dear Dr. Woods,
I have a couple questions for you.
1. I am wondering if when you us the term Glyphosate if you are using straight Glyphosate or if you are using round up or some other herbicide that has Glyphosate in it on your food plots and trees? (When you use the hack and squirt method.) As I Googled Glyphosate and could not find 100% Glyphosate. I could only find it in Roundup and other herbicides.
2. I am also wondering as you said that Glyphosate will not kill certain trees if it will kill Oaks, Maples, Cherry trees and Hickory trees? As my friends and I are going to be doing some TSI work in WI.
3. My last question is when you planted some of your food plots in whitetail thicket were you using just whitetail thicket? As I can find it only in some of Eagle Seeds other soybean blends. And if you can not buy just whitetail thicket by itself at the moment, are they going to be selling it by itself as they are the Big Fellow and Large Lad varieties?

Thank you very much for your time and answers! Please keep the episodes coming I love them and have watched every single one of them, and have learned a ton! God Bless you and have a great New Year! I hope and pray that your Father can get over the cancer.

Brother in Christ Joshua

Joshua,

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup and the generic versions of Roundup.  I typically purchase products that are 41% glyphosate.  

41% Glyphosate doesn’t do a good job of controlling oaks or hickories. I haven’t tried it on cherries and maples.  I doubt it will work well to control those hardwood species.  

I begged the owners of Eagle Seed to allow me to try some pure Whitetail Thicket!  I was very impressed with the results. I don’t believe they plan to make that available soon.  I will be planting the Deer Manager’s blend this year as it includes the Whitetail Thicket variety!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 10, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s a good forage crop for areas with very wet soil?

Question
Dr. Grant,

Can you recommend something to plant for a food plot that will be in a super moist area? We have a large area in North Louisiana that is in an open bottom, but after big rains it will hold water for quite a while. Just not sure if it might be too wet for eagle seed mix. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Stacy,

I’m not aware of any quality forage or grain crop that does well in areas with saturated soils or standing water.  If this area tends to be drier during the fall you might try planting Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend during the fall.

I’d focus on finding suitable areas to plant outside the flood zone.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 10, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How do I submit my soil samples for analyses at Waters Ag?

Question
Hey grant, just wanting to see if you could give me the process by which I send in my soils for the soil analysis at waters agricultural laboratories in Owensboro,ky.

Grant,

I’m very proud of you for have the soil analyzed!  That’s a critical step to growing quality forage!!

You may wish to check out the GrowingDeer episode at the following link to see the steps I use to collect the sample:  https://www.growingdeer.tv/?ep=better-dirt-bigger-antlers&#/food-plot-tips-how-to-take-a-soil-sample

Once the samples are collected I simple make sure each sample is labeled. I usually label each sample with a simple numeric code which makes it easier for the lab folks to record. I make sure I have a key for numbers that relate to the food plot names.  

I also insure I tell the lab, by using the forms available at:  http://watersag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Soil-Plant-Nematode-Samples.pdf

I make sure communicate to the lab what crops I will be planting. Remember that different crops requires different amounts of soil nutrients.

The folks at Water’s Ag are very good to assist with this process.  Feel free to give them a call!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 10, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will radishes and turnips germinate if top sown into an existing stand of clover?

Question
Hello Grant, I am planning for a new food plot next year (clover) and I was wondering if I can spread radishes/turnips over the top in September? Would the radishes/turnips grow or would they need their own food plot? Also, when should I plant the radishes/turnips if I live in SE MN? Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!

Rylan,

If the clover is dormant due to drought, etc., top sown (broadcast) radish and turnip seeds may get seed to soil contact and germinate.  However, once a clover stand is established and productive it’s rare for seed to be broadcast into the stand and have enough seed to soil contact to germinate.  I recommend you create a separate plot for the brassicas to be planted during the fall.  

Radishes and turnips should be planted 45 – 60 days before the first average frost during the fall at your location.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 10, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What type of seed should I plant in sandy soil?

Question
Hey Dr. Grant I was wondering what type of seeds I should plant in Sandy soil?

Denzel,

There are many variables such as what time of year you wish to provide forage, size of plot, number of deer in the area, etc.  In general Eagle Seed forage soybeans are as drought resistant as any crop I’ve tested.  In addition, it’s very easy to control weeds in the beans and controlling weeds saves more water for the soybeans! 

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 9, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant in my small food plot?

Question
I hunt in an area that is mostly timber and I am planning on making a very small food plot just to attract deer, not to improve the herd. My question is what should I plant in a small food plot that will last as long as possible and will grow well in an area that doesnt get a lot of sun due to all of the timber.

Thank you
-Luke

Luke,

Great question! These small plots can be very attractive to a deer herd that spends the majority of there time in the timber. There are many different options to choose from when planting, however we have found that either Eagle Seed Broadside blend or wheat works great! Wheat may do slightly better in a more shaded area, however if the plot will get a good deal of sunlight, the Broadside blend is designed to attract deer all season long based on the 4 different cultivars in the mix. Check out the Broadside mix here (http://www.eagleseed.com/BROADSIDE.html) Deer are natural browsers, so they like a variety to feed on! 

I hope you are successful in creating this small food plot! 

GrowingDeer together,

Matt Dye

1-8-16

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How can I control ryegrass?

Question
Grant,
Do you have any suggestions on fighting wild ryegrass in food plots? I am currently implementing a strategy but wanted to get your input as my efforts have been only mildly successful. I have plots planted in annual clovers and wheat that have infestations of wild ryegrass. It was brought into the plots years ago by a friend of mine using his bushhog without blowing it off between jobs. In the past two to three years it has gotten so bad that it seems to “poison” the ground causing anything planted with it, with the exception of clovers, to die by first frost. Wheat will not survive, nor brassicas. My strategy, beginning last year, was to spray the plots in February killing everything before the ryegrass could seed. Obviously there are lots of old seed in the seedbed as I got it back again this year. Now I have plots with ryegrass and beautiful stands of arrowleaf and crimson clovers. I would like to let the clovers go to seed but am certain doing so would allow too much time for the ryegrass to re-seed as well. Thinking best to go another year or two sacrificing my clovers earlier. Your thoughts?

Tommy

Tommy,

Ryegrass can be a significant problem!   You are probably correct in assuming there’s a ryegrass seed base there that can cause problems for years.  A relatively easy way to control the ryegrass is to plant Roundup Ready soybeans.  This will allow you to spray the plot multiple times with glyphosate and terminate the ryegrass as it germinates throughout the growing season.  Leave the beans standing and overseed the plot with a cool season blend and then plant Roundup Ready soybeans again the following year.

When ryegrass stops germinating you can go back to planting clover if you wish.

You can also try using a grass-specific herbicide but it’s very tough to control ryegrass with these products once a ryegrass seed base is established.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 8, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What forage species do you recommend for an area with wet land surrounding it?

Question
Hey grant i was wondering what type of food plot seed you would recommend for and area with wet land surrounding it? Thanks!

Garrison,

I’m not aware of any quality forage that deer prefer that grows well with wet feet. If the area you wish to plant remains dry, then the wet soils close by aren’t a huge factor and forage soybeans (my most preferred food plot crop) should work great!  

Always do soil test and add the appropriate amounts of lime and fertilizer!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 6, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is it OK to apply lime on top existing vegetation?

Question
I have a 5-6 acre field that is an old pasture with about 1 acre of failed food plot attempt. We had a soil test done and it said to plant soybeans we needed 1250 lbs of lime per acre and 114lbs of potash. My question is we are planning on having the local co op add the lime in which they have a minimum of 8 tons so we would be at the mercy of when they could fit us in to their schedule. Is it ok to have the lime added on top of the current vegetation that is in the field? We will probably plant 1-2 acres using no till and eagle seed soybeans. And is it ok to add the lime on top of an existing clover plot without discing it in?

Don,

I’m very proud of you for doing a soil test!!  It’s fine to apply lime on top existing vegetation, especially this time of year.  Standard ag lime requires months to fully react with the soil so applying now is a great practice!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 6, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s a good food plot crop for my 60 acre farm?

Question
Grant,
I live on a 60 acre farm with about 35 of that being pasture and 25 being timber. What would be a good food plot option and what could I do to get the maximum amount of deer to visit my farm?
Thanks,
Taylen

Taylen,

There are many variables that should be considered when selecting a food plot crop. 

Without knowing the answers to these variables soybeans are very easy to grow and maintain and deer love them!  Deer crave soybean forage during the summer and the pods during the winter.  Eagle Seed forage soybeans have been the mainstay of my food plot program for years.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 3, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How can rye be controlled?

Question
I have property in SC that has perennial rye, white clover. I keep adding clover but the rye out competes with it. What would you recommend to control the rye?

Steve,

I’m not a fan of rye grain or rye grass. Both tend to mature quickly and deer don’t / aren’t attracted to mature rye.  Rye does a good job of scavenging nitrogen from the soil and producing lots of biomass. The biomass, if managed correctly can help build soil.  However, forage wheat does almost as good of job in these categories and doesn’t mature near as rapidly.  

There are several grass-specific herbicides that can be used to control rye (Poast, clethodim, etc.) or simply use glyphosate then the clover is dormant.  It may require several treatments as rye is a good seed producer and the seeds tend to remain viable for years.  This means the current crop and subsequent volunteer crops may have to be terminated

A very good option is to plant Roundup Ready forage soybeans for a year to clean up the rye and provide quality forage.  Then clover can be seeding on top the soybeans as there will be a weed-free seedbed below the beans.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 2, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will deer come to my food plot if there are hay fields near by?

Question
Will deer come to a food plot if there are plenty of hay fields surrounding the woods where I hunt?

Andrew,

Deer tend to feed at the best food source within their home range that they don’t associate with danger.  Deer don’t like most hay/pasture grass forage species.  If the hay fields near your plot are grass such as fescue, orchard grass, timothy, etc., deer probably won’t feed there unless that’s the best forage in the area.  If there’s better forage such as brassicas, wheat, soybeans, etc., in your plot and it was fertilized appropriately deer should feed there.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 1, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should we do to improve the quality of crops where we hunt?

Question
( I am 15) My dad has this property in Piedmont region of Va. He has usually keeps up with the crops but work is getting in the way. I don’t know if he ever did soil test on it because the crop never do that well. I would like to ask you what would you do to orange dirt ? This year we have had a lot of rain and last year I think it was dry. ( we have a no till Seeder)
Thank you, Connor

Connor,

I’m thankful your father is working to support your family!  

Tracy (my wife) and I used to live in the Piedmont of South Carolina.  That area has the same “orange” clay as where you live.  I was amazed at how good of crops it would grow if treated correctly.  An extremely important step is collecting a soil sample.  Check out the GrowingDeer episode at the following link to see how to collect samples correctly:  

https://www.growingdeer.tv/?ep=better-dirt-bigger-antlers&#/food-plot-tips-how-to-take-a-soil-sample

Using the no-till drill will go a long ways toward conserving soil moisture and improving the soil quality!  Follow the steps we show to establish and maintain food plots and you’ll be amazed at the results!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 1, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crop do you suggest to plant in the sand hills of South Carolina?

Question
Dr. Woods I have a few questions about putting in food plots in the sand hills of South Carolina. Obviously the soil is very sandy and our funds are short. We plan on not doing more than a few acres 4-5 tops in some clearings. Do you have a suggestion on what to plant? We would like to plant an ALL SEASON plot. Something that grows for the spring dies off, summer then dies off, winter then dies off. If you could offer any suggestions on what to sew and a reputable manufacturer it would be greatly appreciated. God Bless!

George,

Tracy (my wife) and I lived near Abbeville, South Carolina for years!  I had several projects in the sand hills.

Soybeans are about as drought tolerant as any quality forage crop and easy to establish and maintain.  The soil where I live is very gravelly and doesn’t hold moisture. I’ve found Eagle Seed’s Big Fellow variety (http://www.eagleseed.com/forage.html) has proven very drought resistant. My clients in Georgia and South Carolina that planted them last year were very impressed how they performed during drought conditions.  

They are easy to keep weed free and I simply broadcast Eagle’s forage wheat over the beans during September (in South Carolina) for a good attractant during the hunting season. I then spray the beans and wheat with glyphosate (generic Roundup) the next spring and repeat.  This rotation will add nitrogen to the soil and add lots of organic matter to improve the carbon ratio.  This is a great way to build the soil, conserve soil moisture, and provide quality forage for deer!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 30, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is clover a good option for a summer food plot crop in Louisiana?

Question
Hey grant I was wondering you opinion on planting clover and chicory as a spring and summer foot plot to hold and attract deer and would it be good to hunt over during the fall. I live in north west Louisiana. Thanks

Jeremy,

It’s usually too warm in Louisiana for clover to grow well during the summer.  In addition, I’m not aware of any good herbicide that will keep weeds out of clover and not harm the chicory.  

Soybeans do much better in areas with high heat and are more drought tolerant than clover. In addition, they are much easier to manage! Many of my clients in Louisiana plant soybeans during the spring and overseed them with a forage wheat or the Broadside blend during the fall.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 30, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is clover a good option for a summer food plot crop in Louisiana?

Question
Hey grant I was wondering you opinion on planting clover and chicory as a spring and summer foot plot to hold and attract deer and would it be good to hunt over during the fall. I live in north west Louisiana. Thanks

Jeremy,

It’s usually too warm in Louisiana for clover to grow well during the summer.  In addition, I’m not aware of any good herbicide that will keep weeds out of clover and not harm the chicory.  

Soybeans do much better in areas with high heat and are more drought tolerant than clover. In addition, they are much easier to manage! Many of my clients in Louisiana plant soybeans during the spring and overseed them with a forage wheat or the Broadside blend during the fall.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 30, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can I mix soybean varieties and plant at the same time?

Question
Grant,

After years of watching your videos now i finally decided to plant soybeans. I used a high yield ag bean and was quite happy with the results except in a few areas where the deer took them out complete. I do not have a super high deer population but was interested if I could use a mix of 30 lbs eagle beans mixed with 50 lbs of the beans I planted this year to try to offset the browse damage on the grain beans. I cant find anything on QDMA forums or anyplace that has a answer if this would be a waste of money or a viable option to extend the forage life and the pod production a little longer. I do not drill I broadcast and drag the seeds in to the dirt. The seeding rate I was given from A WI ag extension was 80lbs per acre broadcast and I am not sure if mixing how that would work if a equal split is required or if it can be more split one or the other way and what would be best. As always keep up the great work and many blessings for your father and your whole family.

Kyle Casetta

Kyle,

I truly appreciate your prayers for my father!  

It sounds like you have a good plan!  The size of the seeds in the different varieties may be slightly different but that shouldn’t create any problems.  I suggest you plant some areas at the rate you mentioned and with some with a 50:50 blend to compare the results. I look forward to hearing about the results!  Send pictures!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 29, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can you do a show about the benefits of cover crops?

Question
Can you do a show on cover crops and soil health? You’ve dabbled with using covers in the eagle seed beans. But for areas outside of the ozarks with more soil depth the benefits of cover crops and no-till can allow for more food on the fields to help support herds. And this is especially important for absentee landowners who have no idea their operators practice fall tillage that lose food and tons of soil/acre a year. Without soil, no habitat and food and without those, no wildlife.

Cody,

I’m a huge proponent of using cover crops no matter where/what type of soil. Cover crops paired with other good soil conservation practices are a key to sustainable agricultural and increased profits!  

If I have an opportunity I’ll certainly share more information about the benefits of cover crops!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 29, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot species should I plant at farm in Iowa?

Question
Grant,

I just had a couple questions for you about a farm i just purchased. I was able to buy 132 acres in Boone IA. Which is in the center of Iowa. It is 66 acres tillable and 66 acres of timber. My questions are about food plots. Also i will be bow hunting and gun hunting. So hunting from October 1 thru January 10th.

I outlined my property in red. The blue line is a creek. The white dotted line is a train tracks which a train passes by every 8 minutes. To the north there isn\’t much timber. But to the south there is a bunch of timber. The farm consists of 5 fields.

Fields 1-4 are going to be soybeans that i am going to combine.

But field 3 i plan on leaving 2 acres of beans for the deer.

Field 5 i am going to be 3 acres of CRP in the white. And then 2.7 acres of food plot. Im going to plant soybeans and something green.

One of my questions is, what besides soybeans should i plant in the 2.7 acres.

Also on the map there are 2 yellow circles. Those are flats that i could clear some trees and plant some food plots. I was wondering if i should just keep it to the 2 food plots i have planned. Or make both those yellow circles into food plots so then i would have 4 food plots.

So those are my main questions.

Do i plant 2 or 4 food plots?

What do i also plant besides the soybeans?

One more quick question. On a path coming up to field #3 there are a bunch of scrapes. But the trail that the deer walk is pretty hard to walk thru. Tree branches hang low.

My question is do I need to cut a nice easy trail for the deer to walk out into the food plot. Or leave it the way it is.

Thank you very much,

Dane Titman

 

Dane,

One of the primary factors of why Iowa produces great bucks is soybeans!  Soybeans are a great two season crop as deer eat the forage during the summer and pods during the winter.  Soybeans are very easy to grow and maintain.  I suggest you plant forage soybeans (longer maturing like from Eagle Seed).  Once the commercial beans are harvested from nearby ag fields the best forage will be in your plots.  The slower maturing varieties from Eagle Seed will stay green much longer than the commercial varieties normally planted in Iowa.  Hence once the commercial varieties beginning ripening (turning yellow) deer will prefer the still growing and green forage of the Eagle Seed beans.

I also suggest over seeding the beans in the plots with a cool season blend such as Broadside that has a radish, forage wheat, and brassicas.  This will provide greens and beans in the same plot.  Deer will prefer the pods when its cold and the greens when the temperatures are warm.

This is a great soil building rotation that’s easy to plant and maintain.

If deer are using the trail I wouldn’t modify it much!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 28, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can you give me some tips about planting and maintaining clover?

Question
I have an 120 acre property in Western Kentucky. 7 acres are plantable fields (one field on a ridge top the other is in a valley bottom). The rest is mature timber. I set aside an acre to plant clover. I currently have 5.5 – 6 acres in Eagle soybeans. The soil has been tested. Lime and fertilizer applied accordingly.

I did not have time to plant clover before it got too late in the year. So, I was planning on frost seeding near the end of winter. However, I have several questions….

When is the best time to frost seed?

With so many varieties of clover…. Which type and/or brand is going to give me the best forage for turkey and deer?

How many pounds/acre is best when frost seeding?

What should I do during the year to maintain a healthy stand of clover once it is established?

Never tried to plant clover and I don’t want to make a mess out of it.

Thanks again Dr. Woods, and God bless.

Heath,

Clover is usually easy to establish but can be difficul to maintain. 

There are many, many varieties of clover.  The last clover I planted was from Eagle Seed – a newer variety they have.  I often plant at least 50% more (by weight) seed when frost seeding compared to spreading on a prepared seedbed.  

Two common causes of clover to fail is lack of nutrients and weed competition.  I always take a soil test and tell the lab I wish to plant clover.  This will allow them to make fertilizer recommendations specifically for clover!  

Weed control in clover isn’t as simple.  There are several grass-specific herbicides that are safe to use over clover including Poast Plus, Clethodim, etc.  However, there are very few options that will control broad-leafed weeds and not harm the clover.  The two most common used is Pursuit and 2,4,D-B. Make sure and use the formulation with the “B.”  2,4-D will kill clover.  

Mowing isn’t necessary and mowing without herbicide won’t control weeds.

I prefer to frost seed clover when there are two to three frost left.  This is not 100% predictable so I watch the weather during each late winter and plan accordingly.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 28, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How many pounds of Eagle Seed soybeans should I plant per acre?

Question
Grant,

Thanks for the quick response. Are farm is in iron county MO. I will most likely use soybeans in the five plots. How many pounds of soybeans do you recommend per acre? Also how much broadside blend per acre?

James,

My land is so steep that I’m limited to how many acres I can plant. Deer tend to over browse the beans in my plots so I plant 80+ pounds per acre. This is less expensive than clearing more land and makes patterning deer easier.

I tend to plant 50 to 80 pounds of Broadside per acre, depending on how browsed the beans are by mid August.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 26, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What would you recommend planting and what time of year?

Question
Grant,

I am going to put in 3 1 acre food plots and two slightly smaller ones next year. This is the first time I’ve ever done it and was wondering what you would recommend planting? Also what time of the year to plant each crop?

James,

There are many variables including what other food sources are in the neighborhood, your mission (provide quality nutrition or attract deer), budget, etc.

I’ve had great success with Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  They provide very high quality forage and last about 10 months.  Deer eat the forage all summer and the pods during the winter.  I over seed the beans with the Broadside blend about 60 days before the average first frost.  I plant soybeans when the soil temperature is 60 degrees at two inches deep. 

If you watch http://www.GrowingDeer.com I’ll show you exactly how and when I plant this spring. You can watch all the past episodes there also – and see the techniques I use.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 26, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What forage species would you recommend for my 40 acre farm in northeast Missouri?

Question
I own 40 acres in ne mo So I compete with a lot of other corn and soybean crops
I only have approx. 1 1/2 acre of food plot. What would you recommend
eagle seed beans or some sort of clover mix. I also have a couple of other small areas 1/2 acre that could be planted but am wary as to spreading out my deer for hunting as I have limited time to hunt. Should I plant these other small areas in clover just for the nutrition of the herd.
thx

John,

I would recommend Eagle’s forage soybeans for the larger plot and a good white clover for the smaller plots.  Once the beans are harvested in the production fields you’ll probably have the only beans around!  The clover will be great for during warm winters like we are having so far this year an spring turkey season.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

December 26, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can sandy soils be improved?

Question
I live in the sandhills of South Carolina where the white sands make it difficult to grow grass let alone food plot greens. Most hunters in our area elect to feed corn. Despite the poor soil, our county (Chesterfield) has produced 3 or 4 160 class deer over the last 5 years.
Any suggestions you may have regarding soil management and food plot growth will be much appreciated. I raised my family hunting and fishing and my eldest son suggested your website. I have certainly enjoyed the site keep up the good work. Thank you for honoring our Savior with your life and lip. He is worthy of our praise.

Dr. Andy Wells
Pastor, Galilee Baptist Church

Pastor Wells,

Thank you for sharing the encouraging words!  Tracy (my wife) and I lived near Abbeville, South Carolina for years.  

Sandy soils don’t hold much moisture or nutrients.  They can be improved but the expense to improve them is often more compared to better quality soils.

The first step is to never disk those soils. Disking will expedite soil moisture and nutrient loss.  Rather, use a no-til drill to plant and herbicide to control weeds or terminate the crop.  

These soil conservation steps will make a difference!  You (or at least I have been) amazed at how quickly (speaking in years not days) organic matter will build on top the sand! 

I use the same techniques as at The Proving Grounds where the soils are extremely gravely (don’t hold moisture) and low in nutrients.

Enjoy creation,

grant December 23, 2015

  

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What crops would you recommend we use to establish food plots northeast of Dallas?

Question
Grant,

This year I purchased 55 acres located one hour northeast of Dallas, solely for my family and I to hunt. Since I have not hunting in this part of the state, and knew very little about the deer population, I decided before I make any modifications to the property I would spend the year observing how the deer move throughout the property and surrounding land.

We have determined that our property, along with an adjoining 150 acres, broken into 3 individual tracts, are the sanctuary for a large portion of the deer population. On our property you will find heavy cover, large trees, a dense creek line, and native grasses. We have water and cover, but the only feed we offer is browse and acorns.

We have identified two fields 2-3 acres in size that we will plant in food plots early this next year. We plan to take soil samples, cut, treat/burn and prepare the fields, but would love to know your recommendation(s) for how to build a sustainable food plot, which does not require mass amounts of fertilizer after the first treatment.

Our initial thought is to plant clover to build a strong base, and then in late summer plant one field in soybeans, and the other in the Broadside mix. Is this a sustainable pattern year after year, or should we consider alternative solutions?

Blessings on you and your family,

-Erik

Erik,

Congratulations on being a property owner! 

It sounds like you have a good plan.  Even after the existing weeds are killed there will still be a huge weed seed bank.  This is why I like to establish food plots using Roundup Ready Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  I can simply kill the weeds by using glyphosate and then control the weeds that will germinate after the food plot crop is planted by using glyphosate again.  Soybeans are easy to grow and will serve to add nitrogen to the the soil.  

I use a rotation of soybeans which provides extremely high quality deer forage (soybeans are the key to large-antlered deer throughout the Midwest) and add valuable nitrogen to the soil.  Because I can maintain a weed free crop, It’s easy to broadcast wheat, brassicas, radishes, etc., over the beans about 60 days before the first expected frost during the fall.  This allows me to keep forage growing almost year round to provide food and continue building the soil.

I never disk my plots.  I simply spray the cool season blend the following spring and use a no-till drill to plant soybeans.  By allowing the forage to decay on top the soil serves as a great mulch to conserve soil moisture, prevent weeds, and erosion.  This rotation and use of conservation tillage has served me and my clients well!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 22, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Sse prescribed fire to clear leaves or disk them into the soi?

Question
Dr. Woods
I am planning on clearing a few spots in my timber this winter in preparation for fall food plots next year. I would like to use a prescribed burn to remove the leaves if the conditions are right. However, I live four hours from the property so it may be tough to get up there when the weather is right. Would it be a bad idea to mulch and disc the leaves into the soil? Do you have a recommendation on how to go about this task if a burn is not possible? Thank you and God bless.

Jason

Jason,

If you need to remove trees I suspect much of the leaves and debris will be disturbed as part of the clearing.  If the plots are already clear of trees than prescribed fire is a good option if it can be safely conducted.   If you are going to disk, than disking the organic matter into the soil is fine. Remember that disking results in compacting the soil just below the disk and causes other problems.  You may need to disk the plot to create a smooth seedbed the first time and then start using conservation practices such as using a no-till.

Once the plot is established I strongly recommend you discontinue disking and allow the past crops to decay on top the soil.  This is much more beneficial than disking the vegetation into the soil!  

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 22, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will leaves smother a stand of clover?

Question
My 2/3acre food plot, mostly clover, is in the woods. Should I blow leaves off the remaining crop before snow flies? If leaves are left, will they smother the clover? Thx

Chris,

We just used a backpack blower to remove oak leaves from one of our hidey hole plots in the timber. A few days later Matt tagged a hit list buck near that same plot!  

If the clover is still growing – the temperatures are above freezing – then clover needs sun daily to photosynthesize.  If there’s enough leaves to block the sun they are damaging the clover.  I suggest you remove the leaves unless the clover is dormant due to cold temperatures.  It’s easier to maintain a stand of clover than to replant it!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 21, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Where can I find more information about the no-till drill you helped develop?

Question
Grant- very interested in your new no-till drill equipment that is in the works. Where can I find more info. on it and when will it be available ? Thanks and Merry Christmas -Jim

Jim,

The drill now has a name!  They named it Genesis.

I signed off on version X (I lost count but was amazed how how patient they were with my field testing and suggested improvements) a while back and am told units will be available about mid February.  

Paul Hollis is the person in charge of that project for Redexim (www.Redexim.com).  Paul’s cell number is:  314-378-1889.  Paul travels frequently so don’t hesitate to leave or message and try again.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 21, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will soybeans grow on rocky ridge tops in Tennessee?

Question
Dr Grant
I have a large tract of land that is located in the hills of Tennessee. Everything is ridge tops and steep hollers not really suitable for good food plots like soybeans or corn. The main food source is oaks and natural browse. I feel like any type of food plots that I could add to this farm would help with the overall health of the heard. I plan to clear a couple areas this spring. What type of plants would you recommend? This is not ideal soil and some of it could be rocky. Would something as simple as winter wheat be beneficial? Thanks and I love your website!

Cori,

My place is also very steep and rocky!  There was no topsoil (literally) when I started.  There was no where I could get an 1″ of soil in a shovel.  I simply killed the existing weeds, did a soil test, added the appropriate amount of lime and fertilizer (www.AntlerDirt.com) and drilled in soybeans.

Soybeans are very drought resistant and easy to grow.  The plots you see at my place can be grown on yours!  Simply follow the techniques we show and you’ll be amazed at what grows! 

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 21, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s a good food plot crop for a beginner?

Question
I’m a beginner and I’m wanting to make a food plot near my house. And I’m wondering what would be the best seed to start out with? I also live in Kentucky.

Trent,

There are many factors that go selecting what size and type crop to plant in a food plot.  These include:

1. Size of plot you have permission to establish.

2. What equipment is available (tractors and drills or a rake and hand spreader).

3.  If you want the plot to provide quality nutrition throughout the growing season or simply attract deer during the hunting season.

There’s much information about establishing all types of plots at http://www.GrowingDeer.com.  Go to the Videos tab at top and then select the Food Plot tab on the left.

As you refine you mission for the plot I’ll be happy to try and help give more specific information.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 21, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I plant a mix of timothy, alfalfa, and clover in a small food plot in West Virginia?

Question
My name is Zach Sloneker, and I live in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and plan on putting in a small 15×30 yard food plot. I was thinking about mixing Timothy, Alfalfa, and Clover. Although, about 85 yards away, there is a gas-line with red and white clover on it. But before I plant anything, I want to do a soil test, and I have no clue on where to start this procedure?

Zachary,

Deer very rarely are attracted to or eat any pasture grasses such as timothy.  I don’t recommend planting timothy to attract deer.  Alfalfa is very difficult to maintain. There are many insects that damage alfalfa.  

I suggest you plant quality white clover and forage wheat as a cover crop or use Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend.  You’ve seen us tag many deer over the Broadside blend!

You can see step by step instructions of how to collect a soil sample at:  https://www.growingdeer.tv/?ep=better-dirt-bigger-antlers&#/food-plot-tips-how-to-take-a-soil-sample

I really enjoy creating and hunting near hidey hole plots!  I wish you well with yours!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 21, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crops work well in southwest Wisconsin?

Question
Grant,
I look forward to each weeks video release, finding you and your team’s passion for deer management, hunting and general enjoyment of nature contagious!
I’m beginning to develop a small management plan along with my neighbor on our combined 65 or so acres and find your advice extremely helpful.
In our southwest Wisconsin area, baiting and feeding of deer is not legal at any time of the year (if I read the regulations correctly). Food plots can be created but mineral supplements cannot be used any time of the year. Do you have a suggestion on specific food plot plantings that would help supply minerals to lactating does, developing fawns and buck antler growth during the appropriate times throughout the year? We have a lot of surrounding ag related food sources and am working on 12 month food plot availability within our properties for when the ag sources are gone. I planted Eagle soybeans last year with great results and will continue to be part of my future plans. Considering a February frost seeding for a new plot with cerial rye/chicory/clover mix for this comming year as a perennial plot.
I feel your show and website is turning deer hunters like me into deer managers! Thank you for that,
Travis

Travis,

Thank you for sharing the encouraging words!  

I’m glad you had success with Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans.  Raw soybean seeds are very high in many minerals including calcium and phosphorous.  See the following table.  I really like a rotation of soybeans overseeded with a mix of radish, forage wheat, and brassicas.  This blend of forages provides deer with a high quality source of protein and the radishes and brassicas are very good at transferring minerals from the soil to the consumer (deer).  

In addition, all of species in this blend have small-sized seeds so they work well to be broadcast directly into standing beans during early August in your area.  After this crops matures during the spring I simply treat it with glyphosate and plant another crop of forage soybeans.  I’ve used this rotation for years and have been very blessed with the results and soil building qualities.  

I like chicory but it’s a very tough crop to control weeds when mixed with clover.  I’m not aware of any herbicide that’s safe to use for both clover and chicory.  Without being able to control weeds, perennial plots rarely work well.  

If I was establishing a perennial crop, I would plant a white clover and forage wheat. I simply allow the wheat to serve as a cover crop for the clover.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 21, 2015 


    Amount Per 100 grams1 cup (186 g)1 cup (186 g)

    Calories 830
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 37 g 56%
    Saturated fat 5 g 25%
    Polyunsaturated fat 21 g
    Monounsaturated fat 8 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Sodium 4 mg 0%
    Potassium 3,342 mg 95%
    Total Carbohydrate 56 g 18%
    Dietary fiber 17 g 68%
    Sugar 14 g
    Protein 68 g 136%
    Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 18%
    Calcium 51% Iron 162%
    Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 35%
    Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 130%

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I apply lime?

Question
Hey Grant! Huge fan of all you do!

I have a question about lime. I’m going to convert a powerline strip into a food plot this spring. I’ve already got my soil test back but I’m not sure the correct way to add my lime. I’d like to plant Soybeans this spring and know from the soil test I need to apply about 2 tons of lime. I’m planning on using pelletized lime. My questions are, (1) do i need to apply herbicide prior to lime application? (2) do I need to till in the lime or can i just spread it on top of the existing vegetation? (3) Should I go ahead and get the lime going now so it has more time to actually change the Ph level or wait until this spring?

Thank you,
Bill

Bill,

I’m glad you took the soil test in advance and are planning ahead!

Pelletized lime is convenient but usually cost several times the amount of standard crushed ag lime.  There’s a brand or two of pelletized lime that’s actually ground much finer than ag lime and therefore reacts with the soil much quicker. If you are using one of these varieties (you know because they are marketed as a special product and cost more) then it shouldn’t be applied too early.  

This is because the finer ground lime reacts quicker with the soil (because there is much more surface or reaction area due to the finer ground).  This product changes the soil’s pH  quickly but the results don’t last as long as a course ground lime that basically functions as a slow release product.  Both product have value depending on the application. If using standard ag lime or stand pelletized lime (simply ag lime formed into pellets) then it’s best to apply approximately six months in advance. It will take this long for much of the lime to react and change the soil’s pH.

Most herbicides (like glyphosate) should be applied about two weeks before planting.  If you kill the weeds much sooner more will germinate and grow before the crop is planted.  If you are tilling the soil there’s no need to use glyphosate as it only kills growing plants. It won’t kill weed seeds, etc.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 20, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will the soil nutrients in a stand of soybeans be enough to produce a crop of brassicas, forage oats, and winter peas?

Question
Dr. Woods,
I am writing you in hopes to get a little more info on over seeding a fall food plot blend into an existing stand of soybeans. I recently watch a clip where you and your team broadcasted a fall mix into standing beans on a rainy day. I wanted to do the same thing using a mixture of brassicas, forage oats, and winter peas. Prior to sowing the beans I will take soil tests and react accordingly. So my question is in theory will the ph and nutrients in the soil be sufficient for the fall mix after the beans have been growing all summer? In addition by doing this will the rainfall be enough to insure proper seed to soil contact? Lastly, what are your thought on using milorganite in the freshly planted beans to deter deer browse on the new shoots of beans?
As a side note I wanted to thank you for your great videos you put out. They are very informative and a breath of fresh air in regards to the content of hunting media we see today. You are a great embassador for hunters and and owners alike.

Best regards,

Brian Laux

 

Brian,

Thanks for the kind words!

Unless there is a major flooding, etc., event soil nutrients (except nitrogen) change relatively slowly except for those removed by the crop.

The results of the soil test conducted before planting the beans will show if there are enough nutrients for a crop of beans and a followup cover crop.  The soybeans, if they grow well and are allowed to mature will add approximately 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre.  The amount of phosphorous and potassium available will be known before the beans are planted.

Therefore, if you add the appropriate nutrients there should be ample nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to produce a the cool season blend you mentioned.

Winter peas are a relatively large sized seed.  It’s tougher for larger seeds to make good contact with the soil when they are broadcast compared to smaller sized seeds like brassicas.  Depending on the amount of forage when the seeds are broadcasted and condition of the soil the winter peas may have a low germination rate.  When I plant larger sized seeds into stand beans, I often use a no-till drill. The drills I use damage about half the beans and results in a great mix of soybean seeds and winter greens!  I really like this technique.

Dr. Karl Miller at the University of Georgia did some research with milorganite years ago and reported some level of success at reducing deer from browsing on young soybeans.  Since then other researchers have found conflicting results. The primary variables are the number of deer in the area compared the amount of quality forage and if deer have been exposed to milorganite before. Deer rapidly become conditioned to ignore deterrents that don’t physically threaten them.   The best forage protection system I’ve tried is the Non-Typical solar powered electric fence.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 20, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How much fertilizer is needed by the Broadside blend?

Question
Grant, I like your method of planting soybeans and overseeding with Broadside in the late summer. You say that you add the appropriate amounts of P & K but hold the Nitrogen when planting the beans… My question is how and what do you fertilize the Broadside with (if any)? Do the beans fix enough Nitrogen or should I supplement? Thanks in advance!!

Mike,

The existing soil fertility can vary significantly from plot to plot even if they are in close proximity.  Hence, the best practice to insure good results is to collect a soil sample and have it analyzed by a quality lab (www.Watersag.com).  This simple step is often the difference between success and failure!  I collect soil samples from every plot (even hidey hole plots) annually.  Unless there’s a major land use or flooding event the available soil nutrients won’t change much throughout the year (except for nitrogen which is very volatile). 

At my place I’ve been using no-till and cover crops so long that the soil quality has significantly improved.  By planting Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans and overseeding with Broadside there’s a crop mining or recycling nutrients everyday the growing conditions are favorable.  This prevents most nutrients from leaching too deep for the next crop’s roots to obtain.  In addition, the biomass produced is allowed to slowly decompose on top the soil. This serves as a slow release fertilizer to continue feeding new crops, prevents moisture loss through evaporation, and soil loss through wind and water erosion.  

When I purchased The Proving Grounds the soil was very poor due to years of poor management.  I added Antler Dirt (www.AntlerDirt.com) and increased the soil nutrients and organic matter.  By using only no-till (I don’t own a disk) and always using cover crops (Broadside) I rarely have to add any nutrients.  In fact I haven’t added any form of fertilizer in two years to most of my plots (only to the newest plots!).  

The long-lived Eagle Seed forage soybeans and the amount of organic matter produced by the rotting vegetation provide more than enough nitrogen for the Broadside (and most crops). In fact, soil test results from my plots show an average of 90 pounds per acre of E.N.R. (estimated nitrogen release).  

I hope this helps!  I explain and show my techniques in detail during our annual Field Events. They are tentatively scheduled for April 1st and 2nd and August 12th and 13th, 2016.  There will be more information about these event soon at http://www.GrowingDeer.com.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 20, 2015

  

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Would it be beneficial to fertilize my entire eight acres?

Question
I would like to start by saying I am a big fan of your work and appreciate everything you have done to provide us as hunters valuable information to better everything about this fine sport of deer hunting.

My question is, after reading one of your articles pertaining to growing big bucks anywhere, I have always wondered if completely fertilizing a small tract of property (approx. 8 acres) like I own here in Ohio would benefit me in any way. What I mean by this is would it be beneficial to basically just walk through the woods and fertilize my whole piece of property with the hopes of not only attracting deer to my property because of the increased growth potential of the browse, trees, etc. but ultimately would this increased nutrition (if it occurs) provide the benefits I am looking for to also increase antler growth? My next question is if this is beneficial what would you actually fertilize with, 10-10-10, etc. to cover all browse and tree species?

Thank You For Your Time,
Fred

Fred,

Thank you for sharing the kind words!

Deer and other critters might benefit from fertilizing the entire eight acres.  However, I suspect critters would receive much more benefit by focusing your resources on plants that are better at converting soil nutrients to an edible form that is desireable.  For much of the fertilizer that is applied under trees will go to producing wood and not forage material (nuts, fruit, leaves, etc.). 

Depending on the vegetation present, the fertilizer may encourage weed growth rather than plants that deer will consume.  Based on research there’s no doubt more benefit will be provided if you created a one acre food plot and planted it with a crop that is known to covert nutrients in the soil to digestible forage.  

Remember that 10-10-10 stands for the amount of nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium in 100 pounds of product.  So by using a fertilizer like 19-19-19 twice the actual nutrients can be spread with the same amount of time and labor!  Even more importantly collect a soil sample and determine what, if any, nutrients are missing. Folks that don’t apply fertilizer based on a soil analysis often apply (pay for) too much of one element and not enough of another. In addition, each type of forage will require different amounts of each element. For example, corn requires a lot of nitrogen while soybeans require very little nitrogen (the “fix” their own by taking nitrogen from the soil and air).

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 20, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Where should I place food plots?

Question
Hey grant I have a question about locating some food plots on property I lease it is 331 acres and about 135acres is 10yr old clearcut that is very thick which I know hold a lot of deer I’m able to place several food plots throughout the property and before I do I wanna place them in the best areas where I’ll get the best results.. 3/4-1acre will be the biggest I can go. There is plenty of cover and water on this parcel.. I attached a couple maps for you to look at I would appreciate any advise you could give me feel free to mark on the maps.. Thank you for your time..

Chad,

I try to create food plots between where deer bed and larger feeding areas (where they will feed during the night).  I also consider if the hunter can approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer.  I consider this as important as any other feature of the plot. 

Without walking the property, knowing the prevailing winds and thermals, it’s tough to select locations for plots.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 18, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What steps should I take to convert unmanaged pasture land to food plot crops?

Question
Still digging your show, I tell everyone that wants to manage their land for wildlife to watch!

I have several acres of old pasture which is grown up with some native warm season grasses, weeds, fescue, etc. In the pastures where there are no warm season grasses, I would like to start the process of using a no till drill to plant forage soybeans. I will be starting this spring and would like to know what the proper steps for beginning this process. Should I use prescribed fire to go ahead and remove any vegetation presently occupying the fields? There are 9 fields totaling about 23 acres. I feel like this may be the missing link for our already balanced herd and older age structure. Discing and tilling seems to be a waste of time for us.

Thanks for your time,

Tom,

Thank you for sharing GrowingDeer with your friends!

I agree with your plan!  I’d create a fire break around the pastures and use prescribed fire to remove the current weeds and duff.  Please get help if you are not experienced with using prescribed fire!  

This spring the fescue and other weeds will green up. You’ll need to use herbicide to kill these weeds (probably two quarts of glyphosate per acre).  Then soil test and add the appropriate lime and fertilizer. Remember that malnourished forage doesn’t attract or benefit wildlife near as much as healthy forage!

Then use a no-till drill to plant forage soybeans.  There will some fescue and weeds germinate from the seed bank.  Eagle Seed forage soybeans are Roundup ready so simply spray the plots again just before the beans make a full canopy.  Once the beans shade the soil very few weeds will grow.

I wish you well!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 16, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are there pictures online of the of the no-till drill you’ve helped design?

Question
I read that you are releasing a no-till drill for food plots. I would love to see pictures. Can I find pics online?

David in Oklahoma

David,

I have been helping the Redexim company design a high quality no-till drill.  Redexim.com is a world leader in manufacturing turf management equipment.  They contacted me about helping design a no-till drill. I’ve been extremely impressed with their engineers and how responsive they’ve been to my suggestions based on in the field testing.  

I’ve “signed off” of the lastest prototype and they are manufacturing now.  The drills should be available during February or so.  The contact for Redexim is Mr. Paul Hollis (314-378-1889).  He will know much more about availability, pricing, etc. I know there’s he has a waiting list.  

You can see one of the early prototypes at:https://www.growingdeer.tv/archive/#/deer-hunting-made-easier-field-day-2015.  The drill has changed and improved significantly since then!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 16, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is a 50 by 30 yard spot close to a swamp a good location for a food plot?

Question
Hello Dr. Grant i found a spot that is about 50 yards by 30 yards and i have a swamp behind it but it needs to be cleared and the soil is dry.Is this a good spot for a food plot and should i use a hot zone fence.?

Denzel,

From what I know, it sounds like a great Hidey Hole food plot location!  Deer probably use the swamp for cover and feed elsewhere!  I’ve had great success putting Hidey Hole plots between food and cover.

50 x 30 yards about a third of an acre.  Deer can remove forage from such a plot quickly. It would be a good idea to protect the forage with a Hot Zone fence and allow the forage to produce some tonnage before deer begin browsing there.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 16, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What are some good forages to grow near Massena, New York?

Question
Grant,
What would be some good food plots for our land in Massena New York (upstate) I truly enjoy watching all of your hunts and educational advice.
Thanks,
Steve

Steve,

I’ve traveled through Massena frequently going to projects near Potsdam, Silver Lake, Beaver Lake, etc.  That’s neat country!

There are lots of soybeans and corn grown in the flatlands of that area.  Deer love soybeans during the summer and brassicas and forage wheat during the winter. My clients have had much success with Eagle Seed’s Northern Manager’s blend of forage soybeans there during the summer and overseeding it with the Broadside blend during late July or early August.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 15, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will ryegrass grow if thrown on top of pine straw?

Question
Will rye grass still grow if you just throw it on the ground and the ground is covered over with pine straw

Walker,

Most all seed needs seed to soil contact.  I’m sure some of the seeds will germinate if thrown on top pine straw – if the straw is wet. I suspect it would be sparse stand.

The germination and survival rate will be much better if you rake the straw back and expose the soil.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 14, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I protect a food plot in northern Wisconsin until hunting season?

Question
Grant I\’d like to say your site has the best whitetail information of any Iv\’e seen.
This past season I hired someone to help me put in a 1/2 acre plot. He planted Brassica (mostly Turnips) the 1st of July. I live in northern WI. By the 1st of Oct. the plants started turning yellow, and by the end of Oct there was very little greens left on them. My local feed store told me they where just mature and not lacking any fertalizer.
Baiting is legal in WI so I put out some corn in the plot to keep the deer coming starting the 1st part of Nov.
I did take a nice 10 pointer heading towards the plot with my crossbow Oct 31 right at the tail end of a rain front. The second day of rifle Nov 22 I shot a nice 8 pointer at 1st light. I feel I\’m a good hunter and know where and how to set up, and when to hunt.
So all and all I had a great season, but saw very few bucks on my cameras day or night. Mostly lots of Does.
One of my neighbors has a large food plot a 1/4 mile away which I\’m not sure what he has in it. Other hunters in the area put out corn. There are also some red oaks in the area (not many acorns this year).
This next year I\’m going with Eagle beans and than broadcast Broadside on top of them the 1st of Aug (1st frost here is mid Sept.), just as you suggest.
My question is, am I better off keeping the deer out and let the beans form beans so when I start hunting the very end of Oct
I have more food and more types, or do I want the deer to start coming before that. If I don\’t keep them out at all I\’m sure they will eat everything up.
Thanks for all you do for us hunters,
Mark

Mark,

Congratulations on tagging two nice bucks!

If the mission for the food plot is to attract deer during hunting season then using a Hot Zone fence to protect it works great! I typically create a gap in the fence about a week before I plan to hunt the area.

If the local oaks have a bumper crop next year I wouldn’t open the fence until most of the acorns have been consumed or have rotted.

I like your plan and look forward to learning about your results!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 10, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Where should I create some hidey hole plots?

Question
Dear Grant,
I love your shows I watch them every Monday keep up the good work.I hear so much about food plot placement and small hidey hole food plots i am planning on adding one or two or three this spring on my property.I was wondering where your opinion was on the locations of these on my property.I have outlined in orange where I hunt and there is quite a bit of hunting pressure on the edges of the property line.And maybe a suggestion on what to plant in these bad boys.Tag soup isn’t real tasty no matter how much ketchup you put on it.
Thanks Matt.

Matt,

Hidey hole plots can be great stand/blind locations!  

I don’t know the scale and can’t tell if there are any openings in the timber where sun reaches the soil at least during 1/2 the normal hours.  I’d also consider where deer bed in the area and current travel areas.

I like to place hidey holes between bedding areas and primary feeding areas.  I also consider if I can approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer. I suspect you’ll need a stand/blind for each a north, south, east, and west wind!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 10, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What would be some good food plots for our land in Dent County, Missouri?

Question
I am a young hunter (16). I hunt about 15 miles away from montuak and the current river in the dent county area. I was wondering how to control a prescribed fire. And what would be other good food plots to add some variety to our 192 acres of land?

Jake,

That’s beautiful country!  

The Missouri Department of Conservation offers great prescribed fire classes! I strongly suggest you attend one of those before using prescribed fire!

My favorite warm season food plot in the Ozarks is Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  They are drought hardy, easy to grow, and deer love them!  I use the Broadside blend for my cool season (fall) food plots. I have about 10% of my plots in clover as it’s productive before it’s warm enough to plant soybeans. However, clover rarely stays green and productive during the summer in the Ozarks.

Be very careful with fire and enjoy creation,

grant

December 10, 2015
 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I add Antler Dirt?

Question
Hey Grant, love what your doing and all the info you share. I have a question in regards to adding antler dirt. Our land id in the hills of the finger lakes region of NY. Our property and most of the surrounding property’s are all woods. So were in the process of clearing out 2 acres for a food plot. We cutting the trees down, chunking up for firewood and leaving the stumps for the dozer. Our soil is pretty poor, gretor silt loam (not rocky). Ive been thinking of adding some antler dirt soon after the dozer clears out the stumps but what’s the best way to do it. Land has a gradual slope and I’m worried that about it running off over the coarse of a few rains.
Should I simply apply and the seed, till up the soil then add the dirt? Appreciate your time, Merry xmas to you and your family and staff!!
Zack

Zack,

Once the stumps are removed and limbs picked up I try to never disk a plot again! Disking can lead to erosion and soil compaction. I haven’t disk a plot in more than a decade.  

I suggest you plant the plot and once the forage is three inches tall or so add Antler Dirt!  The forage will help control erosion of the Antler Dirt.  

If you continue with good soil management practices (no disking) there will be a layer of duff on the ground throughout the year and you will build soil versus losing soil to erosion and the roots and earth worms will break up compacted soil!

It may be helpful to rip the plot after the stumps are removed as the felling of trees and heavy equipment tends to severally compact soil.  This means water will run off versus seep in and roots won’t be able to penetrate the soil.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December  10, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How does horse manure compare to chicken litter?

Question
We have used chicken litter on our food plots for years with good results. We now have an opportunity to purchase horse manure from a farm down the road at a much cheaper price. Would horse manure be a good alternative to chicken litter?

Thank you for answering our questions.

Ryan,

One big difference is that weed seeds tend to pass through a horse and still be viable.  This is not the case with poultry litter. Spreading horse manure often means fighting weeds.  

Horse manure doesn’t have as high of nutrient value as chicken litter. It will require much more horse manure to contain the same amount of nutrients as chicken litter.  I suggest you collect a sample of each and then compare the pounds of N, P, and K per ton of each and see which one is the better value – or use standard values found on line and compare price per nutrient quantity.  I don’t know what you are paying for either, but I suspect the chicken litter will be a better value.

For more information, check out:  http://modernfarmer.com/2015/05/get-a-load-of-our-manure-guide/

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 8, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is milo detrimental to the environment?

Question
Dear Dr. Woods

My name is Eric and I am a 25 year old new hunter. I am interested in you teachings about food plots. As of last spring due to droppings from my bird feeder milo has started to grow in my yard. I let the small patch of milo grow and produce seeds. My question to you is. Would it be detrimental to the environment if I went out and planted this small crop of milo seeds that I grew? I am only talking In Terms of maybe a quarter pound of seed. I would like to try to grow a bigger food plot from this modest start. I am currently an under grad and have little money to invest in hunting. This is the only reason I don’t invest in soy beans or other food plot mixes.

Thanks a lot!
Eric F Geier

Eric,

Thanks for watching http://www.GrowingDeer.com!

Milo isn’t harmful to the environment.  I don’t know if the seed used in that bird feed product is protected by laws. You might read the fine print on the feed bag.  I can’t speak to the legality of planting it, but am certain the Milo won’t harm the environment!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 4, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How large should a food plot be for soybeans?

Question
I’m 14 and my family has have about 100 acres and it is mostly wooded and is very dense I want to cut an area so I can plant a soy bean plot about how large should it be? And I love your videos they really give me a lot of useful tip and tricks and inspire my desire to hunt thank you!

Logan,

Thank you for watching GrowingDeer and for sharing the kind words! 

The size of the plots should be based on then the mission. For example, if the mission is to provide deer quality forage throughout the year than the plot will need to be large enough so deer don’t over browse the forage while it’s still young.  I often use Hot Zone fences to protect small plots from being over browsed and then remove the fence or a part of the fence before hunting season.  

Be sure and have the soil tested and add the recommended amount of lime and fertilizer so the soybeans will be healthy and tasty!  Healthy forage attracts deer much better than malnourished forage.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 3, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How may I establish food plots in an area that’s primary mature timber?

Question
I was wondering if you had any ideas on food plots for me. There are no logging roads through the property and it is old timber so the ground is mostly dirt. What do you suggest i do other than log a part of the property. Thanks
Ben,

I’m not sure I understand your question.  I believe you are asking if food plots will work well in an area that’s covered with mature timber.

All forage crops that I’m aware require at least a half a day of sunshine to prosper. Most do best when they receive all sunlight available during a day.  If there are no openings in the timber’s canopy such as where lightning killed a tree, etc., I doubt any crop will prosper.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 3, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How can forage soybeans be planted if a no-till or conventional drill isn’t available?

Question
If a no till drill or even a planter is not available to use when planting forage soy beans, what do you suggest I should do? Broadcast it and pull a drag over it with an atv or something different than that.

Jason,

Soybeans (all forage crop seeds) need good soil contact to sprout. To accomplish this I prepare a seedbed and broadcast the seed just before or during a rain.  Rain will splash some dirt over the seeds and insure there’s adequate soil moisture to germinate rapidly.  Rodents and birds can remove a substantial amount of the seeds rapidly if they don’t germinate and aren’t covered with soil.  

Using a drag can help.  I prefer to broadcast the seed and use a drag just before it rains.  It’s often best to plant 10-50% more seed (depending on how rough the seedbed is) when broadcasting compared to using a drill (placing the soybean seeds one inch deep in the soil).  

Just as an FYI – most county NRCS offices throughout the whitetail’s range rent no-till drills for a very reasonable fee.  I’ve rented several for $7 to $10 per acre!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 29, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What type of fence do you use to protect food plots until the late season?

Question
What kind of fences do you use to help deer out to reserve some of a food plot for later season.
 Colton,

I’ve used the Non-Typical Hot Zone system for years. In fact I’ve used the same two for many years in a row!  They work great!  For more information check out their fence system!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 29, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is Broadside OK to plant in small plots?

Question
Hi Grant, I love your Growing Deer TV website. It is very useful for us do it yourself type of people. Kudos to your family and friends. I have eight acres with a house and I have been managing it for bow hunting for a long time. I have great thick cover from continuous TSI and plenty of water. I have had a micro food plot that I can expand to 1/8 acre. Believe it or not that existing food plot is extremely effective as I have a wide range of fruit trees and up and coming nut trees. Would Broadside be ok to plant in that size plot? I know the smallest broadside seed size bag is 1/4 acre. If not what do you suggest planting specifically as far as seed blend and seed company? Please don’t post my email.
Thank you, Kevin

Kevin,

It sounds like you are doing a great job of managing the property!  Tree plots are a great technique to attract deer!

Check out my Facebook page (Grant Woods). I’ve posted several videos during the past few days of bucks in my hidey hole (small) plots. These are all planted with Broadside. It should work great for your plot also!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 28, 2015

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How do I create food plots in areas covered by thick brush?

Question
Dear Dr. Woods,

My name is Walker and i am 15, my family has had a 180 acre property in Northwestern Ohio since 1912. I am the only one in my family that has has a great desire for hunting. I have harvested over 4 deer through 3 years, but i am still very new to this. My goal through out the years is to produce large antlers and safe haven for the deer with bedding and food plots. Our property is mainly dominated by corn and bean fields but there is a very dense area that is covered with brush and trees. In this area i would like to make a food plot and i would like to hang a few stands after i know the pattern of the deer. To create a food plot in these dense woods, how would i get started? Also, i love your videos they have helped me so much and made me love the sport and everything before the shot. Thank you so much.

Sincerely, Walker.

Walker,

I’m proud of you for hunting!  Sounds like your family farm is set up well for hunting with cover and row crops!  

The corn and bean crops provide great quality feed for deer throughout the growing season. A few small food plots would do a great job of attracting deer once the corn and soybeans have been harvested.  

I look for areas within cover that receive sunlight during at least half the day.  I also look for areas that I can approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer.  Being able to hunt without alerting deer is key to success!  

This may mean taking an indirect route to the stand to keep the wind in your favor.  Sometimes there are ditches or creeks that hunters can use to access stands. I often clear any obstacles from ditches during the late winter so I can walk through them safely and quietly during the next deer season.

I look for where large trees have died, dried ponds, etc., within cover to find areas where the forest canopy is blocking the sun from reaching the soil.  

Once I’ve located such a location, I clear the debris (leaves, brush,etc.,) so seed can make contact with the soil. I add fertilizer and wait to broadcast the seed until just before or during a rain.  Rain will help cover the seed by splashing dirt and the moisture will cause the seeds to germinate rapidly. Otherwise birds and rodents can consume much of the seed before it germinates.

There’s much more information about these techniques in some of our episodes at http://www.GrowingDeer.com.

Be safe and enjoy creation,

grant

November 27, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant near Grovespring, Missouri?

Question
Hey Grant. I have no food plots. I have around 220 acres to hunt around Grovespring, MO. We have a lot of deer on our property, and they look healthy. I am planning on planting some food plots this next year. We need most of our open land for hay, so I was planning on clearing a small spot in 40 acres of woods to plant. My question is what should I plant here? Thank you for all of your advice.

Ethan,

I’ve had much success with Eagle Seed Forage soybeans during the summer and overseeding them with the Broadside blend about 45 to 60 days before the first expected frost.  This rotation does a great job of building the soil (soybeans add a of nitrogen to the soil) and the Broadside blend does a great job of capturing nutrients and transferring them to deer. 

You can see us tagging several deer over this blend in the episodes we already shared this fall.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 25, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do you take the entire electric fence down or just one side?

Question
Thanks for your answer about when to take my electric fence down. In your video it looks like you only took down one side of your fence.
Should I do the same or take down all four sides? Once the realize that they will not get shocked will they just jump the fence or still go around to the open side?
Thanks,
Tom

Tom,

I often open one side of the fence or create a fence gap. I make sure the fence remains hot so deer won’t get conditioned to jumping the fence.  

I create a gap in an area that’s favorable to my stand/blind. 

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 25, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can Broadside be planted by broadcasting the seed?

Question
I am thinking about planting a broadside food plot next fall and was wondering if you can just plant it with a hand spreader or if you have to drill it? Thanks.

Ben,

I have good success broadcasting Broadside!  For good success the seed needs to make seed to soil contact.  There will be a low survival rate if the seeds land on vegetation, etc., rather than directly on soil.  It’s also best to broadcast the seed just before or during a rain!  This will help by splashing dirt and covering the seed and insuring there’s adequate soil moisture.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 24, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How can I establish and maintain food plots when live five hours from where I hunt?

Question
Our hunting property is about 5 hours from me in KY (now live in St. Louis). What would be the most efficient food plot strategy knowing I can only get there 2-3 times during the off season with limited equipment (atv, tractor, disc harrow, bush hog, and sprayer)?

Malcolm,

Some of my clients hire local farmers, etc., to prepare their plots.  Others hire a food plot contractor.  Paul Hollis (lives in St. Louis) does some food plot contracting work. They do turf management for major athletic fields, golf courses, etc.  Paul enjoys hunting and does some food plot work also. Paul’s number is:  636 326 1009.

Forage soybeans probably require the least amount of work to produce a crop.  You’ll need to lime and fertilize, prepare a seedbed, plant, spray at least one.  This could be performed in three trips if the weather and equipment cooperate!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 24, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I remove the electric fence if I plan to hunt the area December 19th?

Question
I have some property on the Meramec river in Bourbon MO.
I have a 1\4 acre of soybeans with an electric fence around it.
If I am going to black powder hunt on Dec. 19th how far in advance should I take the fence down. I don’t want to take it down to early but I don’t know how long it will take for the deer to realize that that they can now eat these soybeans.
Maybe a sign would help!
Thanks,
Tom
PS
Enjoy your show!

Tom,

It typically takes deer a week or less to find a new, desirable food source.  There are some variables including what other food resources are available, how many calories they need based on weather, etc. 

I plan on opening my two Non-Typical fences the Monday after Thanksgiving. My beans produced a lot of pods and even if the deer consume most of them by muzzleloader season they will continue searching the area for food unless a better source becomes available.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 24, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are Diakon radishes a good good plot crop?

Question
Grant, I’m considering taking a lesson from our local farmers and planting Daikon tillage radishes as a cover crop to improve soil conditions and increase the nitrogen in the soil. Any chance these would also be attractive to deer and provide good hunting over them for the season, similar to the success that I have had with turnips?

Mike,

I’ve planted a blend that includes Daikon radishes for years!  Deer will consume the radishes (once they are conditioned to them) and the Daikon does a great job of obtaining nutrients that are deep in the soil profile and transferring them to the top.   

Research shows that a blend of species is better to build the soil compared to a single species.  In addition, a blend of forage species will attract deer during a longer period of time.  For example deer tend to consume radishes early, forage wheat during the mid winter, and different types of brassica forage (turnips) during the late season.  Deer often consume turnip bulbs during the latest portion of winter.  

When deer will consume which forage species is a factor or weather conditions and what other food sources are available. I use Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend which includes soybeans, radishes, a forage wheat, and two types of brassicas.  This blend has worked very well for me.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 24, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What can I plant in an area that floods frequently?

Question
Grant,

What can i plant in the fall in areas that stay damp and prone to holding water at times for deer? This area is on the edge of a swamp and i am limited on options. Area is in south eastern most part of mississippi. I have researched every avenue short of hauling in dirt. Not even mississippi state had information that i could find.

Jon,

I’m not aware of any quality forage crop that does well in saturated soils.  It may be best to plant annuals like wheat or the Broadside blend in this area during the fall when conditions are normally drier.  During wet years it may be best to skip planting this spot.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 23, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Which Eagle Seed variety should I plant in Kentucky?

Question
I am planting a good plot in Kentucky I plan on planting soybeans what eagle seed soybeans would you recommend for my area and also I want a attraction early season and late season? I also would like to over seed this plot before season opener which is in September what could I over seed with and can I just broadcast or is there another method I should do ? My last question is what would be best to over seed with ?

Cody,

Sounds like you have a good plan!  The soil types vary widely throughout Kentucky.  If the soils where you wish to establish Eagle Seed soybeans tends to be dry I recommend the Big Fellow variety.  If the soils are dark and tend to hold moisture I recommend the Wildlife Manager’s blend.  Always do a soil test!  Testing the soil and adding the recommended amount of lime and fertilizer is critical to the success of whatever you plant! Malnourished forage doesn’t attract deer or grow well!

I over seed the Eagle Seed soybeans with Broadside and this technique has worked great for me! I simply over seed the beans about 45 to 60 days before the first average frost date during the fall. I wait and broadcast the seed just before or during a rain.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 19, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What do you recommend for one and two acre sized food plots in southeast Alabama?

Question
Dr. Grant

I am located in south east Alabama and was looking using the eagle seed soybeans. On our property we do not have any fields larger than 2 acres with the majority around 1 acre. My father has been hesitant to plant soybeans due to our wild hog population. From your experience and knowledge with plots that are smaller in size would we be able to get a good return on the soybeans with out having to put up an electric fence system? I believe that our best chance of improving our deer heard is providing more food and we just can not afford to supplemental feed during the off season. Would there be any other product that you would possibly recommend for my situation? Love your show and the desire to teach about conservation and management techniques. The best part of your show is the message about our creator. Please continue your good work.

Cody,

Thank you for the encouraging words!  

It’s recently been great growing conditions in southeast Alabama!  Whether forage soybeans would do well in one and two acre sized plots depends on how many deer are in that area and what other quality food resources are available.  If there are a lot of deer and the surrounding area is primarily timber that has a closed canopy than the soybeans would likely suffer from browse damage before they could mature.  That doesn’t mean they didn’t help the herd. As long as the beans get a foot or so tall and continue making new leaves all summer the herd receives much benefit!  

Clover isn’t as palatable to deer throughout most of the growing season and may be an option. However, most varieties of clover aren’t as drought hardy as Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans.  Clover often turns brown and dormant during the summer in southeast Alabama.  

I often plant more pounds (seeds) per acre in areas where there are a lot of deer not enough food plot acres.  This technique allows enough stems that the deer can damage some by overbrowsing but others will survive and mature.  

Even if deer  the soybeans and prevent them from growing five feet tall, as long as they survive and make new leaves all summer it accomplishes the objective of providing high quality forage during the  growing season!  I have some small plots that I plant with Eagle Seed forage soybeans knowing the deer will limit the height of the beans.  However, the soybeans make new leaves all summer and I overseed the plot with the Broadside blend about 60 days before the first frost.  

This technique has worked very well and saves time and money.  It also results in providing quality forage throughout most of the year.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 19, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What percentage of my 250 acres should be in food plots?

Question
Hey Grant, This is Lucas Livingston again from Bristol, VT

Thanks so much for your great feedback on our bedding situation.

I have another question, on 250 acres, about how much of it should you have to food plots? or what is a good number?

Lucas,

There are many variables including the forage quality available on neighboring properties, quality of native habitat, etc.  

A good rule of thumb is that a minimum of 10% of a property is in quality native vegetation (early succession) or food plots.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 18, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What can I plant during the spring that will attract deer during the fall?

Question
What could I possibly plant in a kill plot in spring for the year ? Most blends are for the fall planting but what could I plant in spring in my mini plots ? And it still be platable in hunting season.

Cody,

There are many variables such as your location, size of the kill plot, etc.

Deer are very attracted to the forage of Eagle Seed’s soybeans during the summer and the pods during deer season.  However, the soybeans may get over browsed depending on the size of the plot and number of deer in the area.

Clover is another option.  Clover tends to be lush and attract deer during the spring. It can be lush during the fall if adequate soil moisture is available and the temperatures aren’t too hot (too far south) or two cold (too far north).  

Clover is a bit of a gamble depending on the location and specific site characteristics.  There are many more options for crops to plant in Hidey Hole plots during the fall.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 17, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food crops should I plant near Clare, Michigan?

Question
We own 120 acres of what was formally pasture land near Clare MI. The seed bank is full of cool season varieties including birds foot trefoil. The ground is primarily low lands with spotty pieces of high ground located throughout. We have had good luck planting brassica’s, chicory, and forage oats for our approximate 3/4 to 1 acre food plots. For cover, we have had good luck planting prairie grass mixes and pure stands of switch grass. We have limited woods (25 to 30 acres) and have done a little hinge cutting to thicken that woods up. Autumn Olive has also contributed to a lower understory in our woods. Our land is located among primarily corn and soybean agriculture. Corn and soybean harvest takes place several weeks before season and continues through the end of gun season (11/30). What is your opinion on planting a large stand of corn (say 3 to 5 acres) with the objective of attracting and holding deer during hunting season as well as providing food for the deer and pheasants over the winter months? Please feel free to call if you need more information.

By the way, I find your videos most helpful.

Best Regards,

Mike

Mike,

It sounds like you own a nice patch of cover in an area of production agriculture!  This can be an ideal situation!  

I like the idea of planting five acres of corn or some corn and soybeans and leaving the crops standing!  I suspect once the crops are harvested from the neighboring properties a majority of the deer whose range includes your farm will seek feed and cover at your property.    

It will be just as important to hunt the farm in a manner that doesn’t alert deer or condition them to using it only after dark.  I’d also create stands/blinds for each wind direction and ways to approach and exit the stands without alarming deer throughout your farm.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 17, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Would you plant a food plot that visible from a public road?

Question
I have a property I hunt I have the ability to plant one acre of soybeans for a food plot I could plant three more acres but it would be highly visible from road so I’m trying to stick to just one acre . How many deer on average can one acre of soybeans support or what else would be a good food plot ? There is nothing withing miles except woods and thickets as far as agriculture a garden is as close as you can get.

Cody,

I think you are wise to not plant a food plot that’s visible from a public road!  That’s simply inviting trouble!!

Eagle Seed forage soybeans have been tested by multiple universities to produce more forage than any other crop and a good stand will produce seven tons per acres.  Deer can easily consume a ton per year.  Deer will likely consume some native forage, etc., so on acre would support five to seven deer.

I don’t believe the extra forage is worth planting the acreage that’s visible from the road!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 16, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s the best food plot crop for Kentucky?

Question
What is the best to plant for a food plot in Kentucky for deer to eat all season?

JMZ,

There are many variables to determine what crop is best for food plots in different situations.  Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans is my favorite crops.  Deer love and thrive on soybean forage during the growing season and the pods during the cold season.  If I was limited to one crop they’d certainly be my pick!  

I often plant Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans during the spring and overseed them with the Broadside blend about 45-60 days before the average first frost date during the fall.  This has proven to a very successful rotation!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 16, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Does mowing cereal grains make them more palatable?

Question
Here in central Alabama we have had abundant rains since October 1 and our cereal grain food plots are flourishing. In many of them the plants have grown nearly a foot tall and the leaves are as much as 1/2″ wide. Does bushhogging these plots make sense to increase attractiveness?
Incidentally, not this farm but another that we hunt borders the property of Mark Pugh, a great neighbor.

Norman, 

I’ve never tried mowing cereal grains during this stage of development.  As long as the tips are narrow and pointed the forage should be palatable.  If the plants are maturing past the blade stage and starting to form a round stem the palatability will decrease.   

If the plants are forming a stem, you might trying mowing a sample plot and checking a week later to see how the plants respond. If you do this test please share the results with me!

Mark is a great guy and talented deer manager!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 16, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What type of food plot would you recommend for this small property in southwest Michigan?

Question
Dr. Woods,

My Dad has just recently moved onto 30 acres in South West Michigan of low, wet land with a river running through the property which makes it impossible to get quads and other equipment back onto the property. I have always been interested in building a food plot because of your amazing videos, but I have a small budget and very limited knowledge on the topic. What would you recommend for size, type, location to the river, and any other recommendations you may have? My family and I have seen many doe, a few fawns and also my brother has seen 3 shooter bucks! I have attached a picture with the property outlined, while still showing the surrounding land! Praying you you and your family! Keep making amazing videos!

God Bless,
Ben Rand

Ben,

It appears your property is in a great travel corridor!  I believe a few small plots could be very useful to attract deer to your property as they travel the river corridor.  

We often make small plots using hand tools.  These plots are simply to attract deer as they can receive excellent nutrition in the local production ag fields.  Once those crops are harvested your plots should become a great attraction! 

I use backpack leaf blowers, rakes, etc., to remove the duff and expose the soil.  Because there probably won’t be much forage available during the hunting season forage wheat, brassica, etc., work well to attract deer. Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend would work well and provide a forage that palatable during the early, mid, and late season.  Be sure to add plenty of fertilizer as healthy plants taste much better (attract deer better) than malnourished crops!

The biggest limiting factor may be sun!  Forage crops require at least 4+ hours of direct sun to be productive.  You may find areas where a large tree has died, etc.  Anywhere the sun is reaching the forest floor will work.  If there’s nothing growing there it’s probably because the areas holds too much water or doesn’t receive enough sun.  You may remove enough trees to create a small plot!  Look for slightly higher elevations that are weedy and it’s probably a great food plot location!

If you are removing trees then pick a location that allows the hunter to approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer.  If feasible create multiple locations so no matter what the wind direction is you can approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer!  

Finally – I suspect the thermals drift down the river during the morning and evening.  Spend some time checking out these thermals before creating plots. Locations where your scent will go down the river could be fabulous hunting locations!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 16, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can you recommend a no-till drill?

Question
Hi Dr. Woods, just if you can answer us this question, so if you can help us decide. I’m looking to do food plots on my property, I have a 170 acre property. I own a New holland T4105 tractor and a couple of small tractors.
I have a Woods 10 foot disc harrow that we’ve been using to disc the fields and works great. I’m looking for a seeder now……. can you recommend one? I looked at WOODS PSS84 hunting edition or the Firminator G3. We are planning to plant a variety of seeds from clover to soy beens. Or can you recommend one? a non-till drill that you use??

Thank You,
John Nuzzi

P.s. Very big fan of yours…..God Bless America

John,

Sounds like you have some nice equipment!  I don’t own a disk and haven’t used a disk in any food plot at my place since we created the first food plot.  

Disking always results in some (a lot or a little) soil erosion and compaction.  Using a no-till drill will conserve soil moisture, promote creation of high quality new soil by allowing the existing vegetation to decompose, reduce nutrients leaching through the soil profile, etc.  

I simply spray with glyphosate about two weeks before the soil is warm enough to plant during the spring. I then no till Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans directly into the duff.  The duff serves as a great mulch that conserves soil moisture and reduces weed competition!  As it rots it releases nutrients slowly throughout the growing season. 

About 45 to 60 days before the average first frost date during the fall I broadcast Eagle’s Broadside blend into the stand beans. The beans created a surplus of nitrogen and Broadside will utilize this and other elements released from the decaying mulch.  

This rotation provides very high quality and attractive forage throughout the growing season and soybean pods throughout the winter.  I simply repeat the next year!  


You can learn more about this rotation by watching episodes at http://www.GrowingDeer.com.  You can learn about the new no-till drill I tested and helped design by call Paul Hollis at Redexim (
314-378-1889).  Check our Redexim.com.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 16, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What forage should I use in areas with low quality soil?

Question
I hunt an area with very low soil quality, and I was wanting to know what I should plant. I dont have any heavy machinery , so I am going to use hand tools. Also, what herbicide would be good to successfully kill weeds and unwanted shrubs in a cutover ? Thank you for your time, and I hope your father gets well soon.

Joseph,

The soils here at The Proving Grounds are very poor!  I’ve had much success at improving the soils using a rotation of Eagle Seed forage soybeans and Broadside.  

Soybeans are legumes (take nitrogen from the air and place it in the soil).  Eagle’s forage soybeans take much longer to mature than most so they are actually converting nitrogen from the air and releasing it in the soil for more weeks/months throughout the year!  I broadcast the Broadside blend on top the standing soybeans about 45 to 60 days before a frost.

Broadside includes a radish, forage wheat, two types of brassicas, etc.  These species do a great job of extracting nutrients from the soil and bring them back to the surface.  Deer either consume these nutrients or the plants die and the nutrients are placed in the top portion of the soil’s profile and available for the next crop to use!  This system of something growing throughout the entire growing season and the  forage decomposing on the soil’s surface is how the fertile soils of the great prairie were built!  

I’ve used this rotation for years haven’t needed to add any fertilizer or lime for years.  

Eagle’s soybeans are Roundup Ready so it’s easy to control the weeds.  Just like the great prairie you can use a prescribed fire to remove the plant duff during the spring and prepare the seedbed for replanting. It will be necessary to use some technique to insure the soil is exposed enough to allow for good seed to soil contact.  

Many NRCS offices (one in almost every county) rent no till drills and some rent tractors!  These are amazing inexpensive – usually $10 per acre or less!

You can easily search the http://www.GrowingDeer.com site for more information about this technique!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 16, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What was the no-till drill you were trying out?

Question
I seen on one of your episodes you were trying out a new no till drill. I was wondering what kind it was and how much they cost? Thanks for your time.

Todd,

I used and was impressed with a newly designed no-till drill by http://redexim.com/.  They are world leaders in turf grass establishment and management. They decided to build a no till drill specifically for the food plot market and we’ve been testing it and suggesting slight tweaks for months.

I’m told the no-till drill will be available during early spring 2016.  You may learn more by calling Paul Hollis (314-378-1889) at Redexim.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 13, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What do you recommend for food plots in east Texas?

Question
I hunt in east texas and would to srat using a food plot. What do recommend?

John,

There are several variables including the size of the plots relative to the number of deer and other food sources in the area?  

I’ve worked a lot near Tyler, Texas and had great results with Eagle Seed forage soybeans during the summer and over seeding them with Broadside during the fall.  

Clover rarely does well in sandy soil in areas with long summers.  Those conditions are often too dry for clover to thrive.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 13, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I broadcast Broadside in to my “feeding” plots during the fall?

Question
Hi Dr. Woods,

I very much appreciate all the work you and your team put into providing some great shows that are both educational and entertaining!

I have several 3-acre plots here in Louisiana that I am converting into “feeding” plots while creating 1/4 acre “Hidey Hole” and “Staging Area” plots near the larger plots. I plan to have 90% of the feeding plot planted in soybeans with the remaining 10% in a clover/grain mix.

My question is if I plant the Hidey Hole plot with the Broadside mix in the fall, should I broadcast anything into the standing soybean field or just let it remain solely soybeans? My desire is to have the feeding plot providing ample nutrition to the deer with the Hidey Hole plots providing some harvest opportunities.

Thanks for your time,

Francis

Francis,

I really enjoy improving soil quality and providing year round nutrition for critters.  For these reasons I always broadcast or drill Broadside into plots with standing soybeans!  

If plants aren’t growing throughout the entire growing season (most of the year if you use a cool season blend like Broadside in Louisiana) than soil nutrients will leach deep into the soil profile. These nutrients will be too deep for new seedlings to reach the next spring. So – using a cover crop saves soil nutrients and therefore reduces the need for fertilizer!  

In addition deer will eat the Broadside during warmer days and the soybean grain during cooler days – making the plot more attractive to deer more days during the hunting season. In addition, Broadside will produce much biomass which will decompose the following spring (after being sprayed).  This builds soils, holds soil moisture, and reduces wind and water caused erosion. I could go on – but the  bottom line is using Broadside as a cover crop is good for deer, good for deer hunting, and great soil management!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 11, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What kind of food plot should I plant?

Question
What kind of food should I plant and how do I keep it all year for deer to have enough?..

Jack,

Whew – There are way too many unknowns about your question for me (or anyone) to give an accurate answer.

You might consider:

1.  Location – latitude, average precipitation amounts, type of soil.

2.  Goals – attract deer during the fall or provide enough quality food year round to improve the local herd’s health.

3.  Other food sources in the area (are the commercial crop fields near by or is all the surrounding properties timbered)?

4.  What equipment do you have access to to establish and maintain the plot?

5. What’s your budget?

I suggest you scan through several of the questions in the Food Plot category of Ask Grant. I suspect you’ll find much useful information there from other hunters!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 11, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is it OK to plant brassicas more than two years in the same plot?

Question
I’ve watched a large percentage of your YouTube videos related to food plots and predator control. I’ve read that you shouldn’t plant brassicas more than two years in a row because of a disease. Is this the case or is there a seed type that doesn’t contain that disease? I know you use Eagle Seed and we are considering the Broadside following soybeans, similar to what you do.

Just some background, our property is in the UP of Michigan and our deer herd took a real hit over the last few winters.

Thanks for the help!
Chris

Chris,

I’ve planted the soybean followed by a mix of brassicas and wheat (Broadside) rotation in plots for years with no issues!  Start by doing a soil test and adding the recommended amount of lime and fertilizer.  The rotation of a legume (soybeans) and Broadside won’t result in any issues.  Crop rotation and keeping something growing during as many months as the climate permits is great for wildlife and the soil!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 9, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What tasks should I do during the winter to prepare to establish plots next spring?

Question
1st of all, I appreciate your posts when you share your faith. Thank you for that.

I just gained access to about 500 acres that is almost all wooded. This property was select cut about 3 years ago. As a result, the woods are almost impenetrable. There are several logging trails and staging areas that, I think, could be planted in something.

I don’t own any heavy equipment including an ATV. I’m going to take some soil samples this weekend while out muzzle loader hunting to gain a sense of what’s going on with the soil. Is there anything else I could or should do during the colder months?

This is my first real opportunity to hunt in close to 15 years. I’ve not been able to adequately scout the property and don’t expect much this year. I’m just pleased to be out in God’s country again.

Jon,

Congrats on acquiring a property to hunt close to your home!

Taking soil samples is a very important first step!  You might clear any woody stems from areas where you wish to establish plots.  Late winter is also a good time to consider stand placement, trim shooting lanes, entry and exit paths, etc.  You’ll probably need a herbicide sprayer (backpack models, etc.), and other hand tools to be ready to roll next spring!

Enjoy the process of learning and managing this land!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 9, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Which fruit trees provide the best nutrition for deer?

Question
Grant i seen that you feel like growing soybeans helps your buck grow bigger antlers ,we have 150 acres but very little that is flat enough for food plots but we do have some spaces that we could plant several acres of fruit trees was wondering witch trees would be healthy for deer? what makes antlers grow? and wich trees have whats best for deer health? thanks Amos

Amos,

Fruit trees can do a great job of attracting deer!  Fruit is mainly sugar (energy) and fiber.  Both energy and fiber can benefit deer and are part of a healthy diet.  However protein is essential for antler development.  

My property is very steep. I use a no-till drill to plant and never disk the soil. This greatly reduces the chances of erosion and establishing soybeans this way is much easier than maintaining fruit trees.  I like and have a combination of both – soybeans and tree plots with fruit trees.  I prefer fruit trees that are known to do well in the area. For example apple trees don’t produce well where I live due to the apple/cedar rust (there are lots of cedar trees in the area). 

I suggest you plant fruit trees that are adapted for the local climate.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 3, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How can I create a food plot in a 10 year old clearcut using hand tools?

Question
Hey Grant,

Thank you so much for your work! I learn a lot from watching your show.

I purchased a 40 acre property in Wisconsin that was completely clear cut about 10 years ago. It was reseeded and now there are 1000+ sapling per acre (mostly apen, poplar and some maple/oak) – 8-15ft high and 1-3″ thick. Hunting/patterning is difficult since the terrain is pretty flat and each acre seems to look like the next.

I am hoping to open up some trails and food plots in a connected system that will promote more consistent movement. What is the best method for clearing the saplings and dealing with the stumps/root systems if I don’t have a huge budget for heavy equipment. I am hoping to do as much as possible with hand tools or small engine machines (chainsaws, rototillers, etc.) That said, do I have any hope of producing food on my land?

Thank you,

Paul

Paul,

Such habitat can be very difficult to hunt!  

Yes, you can create food plots in such habitat by using hand tools and (lots of) manual labor.  We’ve done the same here.  We simply cut the stump sprouts/saplings as close to the ground as possible without dulling our chainsaws. We then treat the stumps with the appropriate herbicide for that species. The herbicide needs to be applied within five minutes or less after the sprout has been cut.  Otherwise the herbicide may not penetrate the sap.  

We pile the sprouts in the center of the clearing and allow them to dry for months.  We then burn the sprouts.  We do a soil test and add lime and fertilizer as needed and then broadcast seed. It important for the seed to have contact with soil to germinate.  Depending on the time of year the seed is to be sown, you may need to spray the area with glyphosate to kill weeds, etc,. You may also need to rack or use prescribed fire to remove the duff to insure good seed to soil contact.  

Broadcast the seed over the sprout stumps.  They will rot out in time, but won’t hinder the plot establishment at this time.

This is a simply, but labor intensive method to create plots in such habitat with hand tools.  Deer simply want the best food within their range that they don’t associate with danger. By creating hidey hole sized plots in such thick cover, I suspect deer will readily use the  plots you create!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can I pull a no-till drill with an ATV?

Question
Dr. Grant
You say that tilling your food plots take nutrients that is key to growing big, strong, and healthy deer, out of the soil. You say you use a no till drill. How exactly does this work? And We’re can I get one, and a big part is the cost. I want to make it worth my money because I have reasonably large piece of property to hunt and due to the CRP and key bedding area, we plant in a relatively small area to stay out of the CRP and out of the way of the cows that the farmer lets roam around a good percentage of the property. The place were we do most. Our hunting is a spot where cows can’t get. Anyhow we have been planting In tree’d in valley, where they are sheltered, covered an now have a good amount of food. I , looking for a good way to do this but keep the cost down. Would it be easier is a small area to plant by hand or what. And also can I pull the no till drill behind my 4-wheeler

David,

Using good soil conservation practices will certainly help improve soil quality!  Quality soil produces quality forage and healthier deer.

I’m not aware of a quality no till drill that can be pulled by most ATV’s.  There are some models designed for small tractors (30-50 horsepower).  Many NRCS offices throughout the whitetail’s range rent no-till drills. I’ve rented them in several states.  

I also create small plots by hand. I use glyphosate herbicide to kill existing weeds, use a hand rake, back pack blower, etc., to remove enough of the duff to allow good seed to soil contract, add plenty of lime and fertilizer, and plant the seeds just before or during a rain.  It’s very important to plant just before or during a rain.  The moisture is necessary for the seeds to germinate rapidly and raindrops will splash a bit of dirt on the seeds.  

If you don’t spread the seeds just before or during a rain birds and rodents can remove most of the seed within a few days.  

There are many video examples of this technique at this site!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 30, 2015
 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crop should I plant in an area where lots of soybeans and corn are grown?

Question
First of all I would like to say thank you to Dr. Woods for the focus that expresses in every video about his faith. I wish more people could show the same thankfulness on how we are blessed.

Dr. Woods- I own about 40 acres of woods in Switzerland County Indiana and need some help choosing a food plot type. The area has a large amount of crops that rotate every year between soy beans and corn. The deer in the area seem to be very healthy every year. My direct neighbor farms 10 acres in soy beans or corn and that has me questioning what to plant. I know that your go to crop is soy beans. But would this also apply in this instance?

The large highlighted area on my attachment is the neighbors farm crop and the 2 smaller highlights is the area I want to develop.

Currently there are not any other food plots on my land. I would like to strategically plant other small plots to hunt over in the future.

Thanks for you time!

Doug Sturgeon

Douglas,

You are wise to realize that food plots rarely compete with commercial soybean and corn crops during the growing season!  It often recommend Eagle Seed forage soybeans in such situations.  Soybeans are relatively drought resistant, easy to maintain, etc.  Eagle Seed forage soybeans are maturity groups 7 and 8.  This means they will stay green and growing much longer during the fall than production varieties of beans that are usually maturity group 4 or 5. So – when the crop beans are turning yellow the Eagle Seed forage soybeans will still be green and likely the best forage in the neighborhood.  

Eagle Seed forage soybeans often produce 30 – 50 bushels of beans per acre.  This is 1,800 to 3,000 pounds of high quality feed per acre!  In addition, I over seed the soybeans with Broadside (a mix of radishes, forage wheat, and brassicas) 45 to 60 days before the average first frost date during the fall.  This results in tons of quality cool season forage in the same field where pods are available. Deer tend to eat the pods during days colder than normal and the greens during days that are warmer than normal.

This program has worked very well for me.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 30, 2015
 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Would a clover or Eagle Seed forage soybeans be a better choice to plant in a plot on my 25 acres?

Question
I have right at 25 acres do you think a clover food plot or eagles seed beans would benefit better? its all hard woods with no food around.

 

William,

If there are a lot of deer in the area and the plot size is relatively small than clover may be a better choice.  However, if the plot size will allow you to plant enough soybeans that the local deer herd doesn’t destroy then rapidly soybeans will provide better quality forage, be easier to maintain, and provide food during more months throughout the year!  Deer will consume the soybean forage all summer and the pods during the winter!

 

October 28, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What forage crops do you use and what percentage of each?

Question
You mentioned you like to have clover be about 5% of your deer plot food. What would the rest of your breakdown be that you like to see? I have about 15 acres in various tillable land areas.
Thanks.

 

Bill,

There are many variables including quality and quantity of natural and cultivated forages available besides food plot crops in the area.

When food plots are the primary forage and there’s enough acres of plots that deer don’t totally consume all forage rapidly I prefer about 10% of the food plot acreage in clover and 90% in forage soybeans.  I overseed the beans about 45-60 days before the average first frost date with Broadside (a mix of radishes, a forage wheat, and brassicas).  This plan works very well to provide quality forage, attract deer, and improve the soil.

 

October 28, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When do you use herbicide to control weeds in soybean food plots?

Question
I know that on your soy bean fields you say you don’t use herbicide prior to planting and you let the old stalks decompose and naturally fertilize. How do you get the weeds out well enough to be able to do this? Do you occasionally use a herbicide?

 

Clay,

I do use herbicide about a week before I plant soybeans.  Soybeans are not competitive and won’t perform well if there is weed competition.  I often plant 80+ pounds per acre of Eagle Seed forage soybeans because most of my plots are small (less than two acres) and I like a lot of stems per acre to get ahead of browse damage when the soybeans are small.

Another advantage of planting more pounds per acre is that the soybeans form a crown (block sun from reaching soil) faster and this limits weed growth. Using this technique I usually only have to spray one more time – or two times all year.  This saves money and compensates for planting more pounds per acre.

 

October 28, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are there too many deer where I hunt?

Question
Grant
Thank you for all the information you pass on to all of us who follow you. I have followed your advice on how to plant food plots and provide nutrition for our deer herd year around this year we planted about 18 acres of eagle seed soybean in 6 plots the results were unbelievable to say the least however the deer seem to have consumed the pods early even though we seeded back into the beans with wheat oats and brassica and these have come up nicely as well have you ever encountered this and is this a sign of too many deer.
Thank you
And God bless

Leon,

It’s tough to maintain a balance between the number of deer and amount of quality food.  If the 18 acres is on 100 acres then I’d assume there are a lot of deer in the area. If the 18 acres are on 500 acres (3.6%) then it simply may mean the local deer herd has consumed the primary food source (the ice cream plants).  

A better measure would be to compare the body weights of deer and see if they are increasing or decreasing over time and how they compare to deer in areas with similar climate and soil.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 27, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When do you plant soybeans and Broadside?

Question
Thanks Dr. Woods. I really liked you episode and method of planting broadside over the soybeans so that when the soybeans die down, there is still food in the plot. What time of year do you typically broadcast your seed over the soybeans and when do you typically plant your soybeans. I’m going to give this a try this year. I’m in the mountains of extreme North East Georgia if you have any suggestions on when I should plant in the spring.

Thanks again for your reply,

Darren

Darren,

Soybeans should be planted when the soil temperature is 60 degrees and there is adequate soil moisture.  The calendar date when these conditions occur will vary annually.  The University of Georgia maintains a website that shows current soil temperature at:  http://weather.uga.edu/index.php?content=tr&variable=SL

Broadside should be planted 45-60 days before the first forecast frost.  That’s about October 10th where I live.  Make sure there is plenty of soil moisture available!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 10, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How close to a creek can a food plot be established?

Question
Hello Grant,

First off I want to say that your shows are more than enjoyable to watch! I would just like to ask a question about foot plots. How far from a creek would you suggest to place it? And also, how far from another corn/bean field (alters every year) would you suggest to place an early season food plot?

Thanks for your time!

Issac,

My only concern about locating food plots by creeks is flooding/erosion.  So – out of the floodplain is my only guideline.  I like food sources to be 200+ yards apart so I can locate and access stands/blinds off the plot and not alert deer when approaching, hunting, and leaving the stands.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 27, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s your thoughts on milo versus corn for food plots?

Question
Grant,

My land is 170 acres in very southern Louisiana. Milo seems to grow well for us, so I’m wondering what are the advantages vs. disadvantages of milo for deer? 40 acres of the land is plantable and is the only plantable land around other than sugarcane. The rest is swampland and hardwoods. We try to plant large areas of soybean and milo then smaller areas of clover, buckwheat, peas, corn. With the price of milo alot cheaper than corn I was just wondering your thoughts on milo.

Thanks,
Jonathan

Jonathan,

It’s often easier to control weeds in Roundup Ready corn compared to milo. Multiple herbicides are usually required to control weeds in milo.  Another consideration is that milo grain is exposed and corn is protected.  Hence, corn typically last much longer in the field than milo.  Birds can remove a huge percentage of milo crops rapidly.  This is one primary reason farmers then to harvest milo rapidly after it’s ripe.  Again corn is protected.  

Corn often produces many more bushels per acre compared to milo.  I prefer corn over milo for these and more reasons.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 27, 2015

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should we harvest more does from our 750 acres in southeast Iowa?

Question
Grant,
We have a situation that we would like to have your advice on.
We manage 750 acres is southeast Iowa. Every year we have some controversy over how many does that we need to harvest.

Our property has 40 acres of grain and 30 acres of alfalfa that we rent to a local farmer and we plant 30 acres of food plots, and we have 78 acres of switchgrass and 270 acres of CRP, the rest of the property is timbered with oak and hickory trees.

The dilemma that we have is during the spring, summer, and fall months we have no problem sustaining the local deer herd, but during the winter our 25 acres of beans and 6 acres of wheat and brassicas get completely wiped out.
In 2012 we harvested 47 does trying to fix this problem and we still did not have any food left in the spring so in 2013 we tried harvesting about the same amount and only managed to harvest 19 does. Then in 2014 we did not do a doe hunt because of various reasons, but we did harvest 5 does during the archery season. All this did not make a difference in the amount of food left in the spring. (We have not have had any food left in any spring) I have attached the harvest data that we collected from the deer that we harvest during this time period.

We have been doing trail camera surveys every year. I have attached the survey results.

The question is, is it worth our time to travel to Iowa every year to harvest 15 does, are we gaining anything at all?

The only time that the DNR allows non-resident hunter to harvest does is in the December shotgun season. Will a doe hunt during this time help at all in making our food last thru the winter? Given the situation how many does would you try to harvest? We want to give our bucks every chance to express their genetic potential.

Winston,

I’m very impressed with the data collection and analyses!!  

If the surveys were performed correctly and approximately during the same time each year I’m most concerned with the decreased fawn recruitment.  Traditional camera surveys during August will underestimate fawn recruitment. However, it should be an index and representative each year.  The data indicates more does and a substantially lower fawn recruitment rate.  

Bucks have the best opportunity to express their antler growth potential if they have quality forage year round.  Based on your description I doubt you’ll remove enough does to allow 31 acres of plots to provide enough food.  This is compounded by the fact that your property is in an area where there’s not much native vegetation and agricultural crops are the primary food source year round.  Deer in such areas tend to have very large home ranges and will travel to quality food sources after production crops are harvested.  I suspect some of the deer on your property during the winter are on different properties during the remainder of the year. This is great for shed hunting, but reduces the amount of forage available for resident deer during a critical time of year.

There’s obviously more deer than food at your farm during the late winter.  Harvesting does is a good plan. However, it may not have the impact it would have in areas where deer tend to have smaller home range sizes.  

I strongly encourage you to have more quality forage available during the late winter if the goal is to maximize buck’s antler growth potential.  Often the least expensive method to accomplish this in areas with commercial soybeans and corn is to pay the farmer to leave a few acres unharvested.  Farmers often purchased seed, fuel, etc., in such large quantities that they can produce food for less than food plot farmers.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 16, 2015 

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How’s the Whitetail Thicket forage crop doing?

Question
Dr. Wood,
Enjoy your video’s thanks for taken time to produce them . One of your earlier video’s you planted eagle’s seed whitetail thicket do you have any updates that you will be posting? Thanks

Martin,

I was/am very impressed with the Whitetail Thicket variety from Eagle Seed!  It provided quality forage all summer even in plots that are less than an acre.  I overseeded those plots with the Broadside blend and the combination of soybean forage, pods, and brassicas and wheat looks great!  

I’ll be trying Eagle’s Wildlife Manager’s mix next year. This includes about 20% Whitetail Thicket along with their other forage varieties.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What’s the best warm season forage crop to plant for deer in southern Alabama?

Question
I hunt in southeast Alabama, just your average hunter on a budget. What is the best thing I can plant for spring and summer that are low maintenance and not overly expensive? Was thinking peas or soybeans. We hunt 600 acres and have 8 established food plots. What are your thoughts?

Daniel,

I manage some properties in southern Alabama and we’ve had great success with forage soybeans from http://www.EagleSeed.com.  I often plant the Big Fellow variety.  This variety is very drought resistant and it seems there’s frequently periods of drought during the summer in south Alabama.  Eagle Seed forage soybeans are Roundup Ready which makes weed control easy.  

Soybeans are very high quality forage and also produce pods that are high in protein and energy.  Unless the plots are small/there are a lot of deer in the area forage soybeans are my favorite warm season food plot crop.  This is because they provide great forage during the summer and grain during the winter.  I often simply broadcast a winter mix over the beans during the late summer so there’s a crop growing during the winter.  This plan provides tons of quality forage and helps build better soil! This is the same rotation I use at my property.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 13, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are there steps to reduce the impact of drought conditions?

Question
Grant,
First and foremost, thank you for your site and weekly show! It has become a weekly tradition in our home for my 9 year old son and I to watch together.

I have been following your advice on food plots for the past 18 months and had great success over them last season. This year we have our plot areas ready to plant. However, we are going on nearly 100 days without rain. Is there anything you would recommend doing in drought conditions?

Our season opener here in TX is still four weeks away. With no rain in the extended forecast, our seeds are still in the packaging.

Appreciate your insights and the good work your team does!

Lonnie

Lonnie,

I’m honored you trust GrowingDeer enough to share it with your son!  

The crop rotation and no-till practices I use are the best techniques I know to reduce the impacts of a drought.  

When there’s no rain in the forecast and limited soil moisture available I wait to plant. Seeds are living organisms and require moisture to germinate and grow.  The longer seeds or seedlings are without sufficient moisture the higher the stress levels and the less productive they will be throughout the life of the plant.

Sometimes drought conditions are so severe that plants simply won’t grow. During those conditions I rely on the established native vegetation and making sure the number of deer is less than the habitat can maintain in quality condition during stressful situations.

I hope it rains where you hunt soon!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 9th, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How old is this Maryland buck?

Question
Although Pin Oaks are a red oak species which are less favored by deer, the often put off massive amounts of acorns per year, would you recommend them for a tree plot tree ? Also what would be your best guess on this bucks age? I got him on camera 2 years ago so i know he at least has to be 4. Thanks for the great webisodes and tips.

Respectfully
Grant Smith

Western Maryland

Grant,

I tend to like prefer soft mass (fruits and berries).  There are usually plenty of acorns but fruits and berries are limited.  I like a variety of species so something will be ripe at different times throughout the season.  The more limited the preferred resource the easier it is pattern deer. I have some different fruit and acorn trees in my tree plot.  I got them from http://www.FlatwoodNatives.com.  

That’s a neat looking buck!  He’s neck merges with his chest at his brisket.  His chest sags below where his leg meets his shoulder and his shoulder and ham is well developed.  I estimate this buck is four years old and likely older.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 9, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can you provide me tips on managing red pine?

Question
Hello Grant

I had sent you a question about a month ago and thanks for the information. I however, did not proof read my question. What I meant to say was, I bought 100 acres of Red Pine, that are about 18 years old. Where can I go to get more information about land improvement on this type of land. Now there are some areas of hardwoods here and there, and small openings to put in food plots. But in general want more information about when to cut, how/what to cut to improve the deer hunting.

Now, another question. I would love to no till drill in forage soybeans, but don’t have access to one. I do have access to a small tractor, rear tine tiller. What is the process for using these tools to obtain the best germination.

Thanks again,

Dennis

Dennis,

It will take more space than this format to adequately describe how to manage red pine plantations.  There are many options and which one you use should be determined by your goals.  Potential goals include maximizing timber value, wildlife habitat quality, etc.  

There’s a good guide about red pine management prepared by Forest Service at:  http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/fmg/nfmg/rp/docs/rp_all.pdf

Many farmers and food plotters till soil before planting soybeans.  Simply till the soil and then use a traditional planter or broadcast the seed on the freshly prepared seedbed. If you broadcast the seed it’s best to do so just before or during a rain.  Rain will insure there’s adequate soil moisture for rapid seed germination and help cover the seed.  Soybeans do best if covered with 1/2″ of soil.  If the seed are covered to deep soybeans can die in the soil before the reach the surface and make leaves. If they aren’t buried rodents and birds can rapidly consume most of the seed!  

Just an FYI – most county NRCS offices (almost every county has one) rents no-till drills at a extremely reasonable rate.  I’ve rented several throughout the whitetail’s range!

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do you use soil surveys to determine food plot locations?

Question
Did you look at any soil surveys to determine food plot location? A surprise to me, my 80a of MO Ozarks has a lot of soil diversity. I have 3 ridges, and only one has what you’d call soil. The others are much more rocky, but do contain dirt, and have some ideal funnels for food plots. Is it possible to grow in such conditions?

Matt,

I rarely locate plots based on soil types.  This is especially true for plots designed to hunt versus simply provide nutrition.  Hunting plots work best if located in areas where deer wish to use and the hunter can approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer.  

Many of the plots at The Proving Grounds were literally established in areas with only gravel showing.  By using good conservation practices including a crop rotation of soybeans (legumes) during the summer and brassicas and wheat during the winter and never tilling the soil many of these plots now have two to six inches of great soil on top!  

I encourage you to use the same crop rotation and planting techniques.  You will be amazed at the results!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 9, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are dried soybean leaves toxic to deer?

Question
Hi Grant,
I grew up in farm country. I’ve hunted since I was 12 (I’m now 33). I have a question about deer feeding on soy beans. Over the years I’ve observed deer obviously hitting the beans hard when the leaves are on and nice and green. Once they start to turn yellow, they lay off of them for the most part. Then, after all the leaves are off and the beans are drying in the fields before the farmers pick them, it seems the deer start back on them. I know that for horses when leaves fall to the ground and die they produce toxins that can be dangerous to horses. Is this the same for the leaves on the bean plants in relation to the deer laying off them until all the leaves have fallen? I was just curious! 🙂

Thanks,
Megan

Megan,

Your observations are correct!  Deer do tend to prefer soybean leaves when they are green and growing.  They also readily consume the ripe soybean pods.  

Deer rarely (unless they are fairly hungry) consume dried soybean leaves.  However dried soybean leaves are not toxic to deer.

Deer are ruminants or have a four-chambered stomach.  Horses have a single-chambered stomach.  They are much more sensitive to some plants and toxins than deer.  

Good question!  

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do I need to put feed out for deer if I have 150 acres of soybeans and corn?

Question
Hello Grant
I’m a big fan of yours. I have learned so much from your videos. I do have a question. What is your opinion on feeding deer out of feeders? I have 1,000 acres in Alabama, and every year I put about 5 acres in food plots, 150 acres in soybeans and corn. I also put feeders out in the winter and fill them with corn. I have never seen any of your shows addressing feeding deer with feeders. Is this a good thing, or do I even need to do it? Thanks again for the great videos and God Bless You William Tower

William,

It sounds like you have a great hunting area.  Corn and soybeans do a great job of supplying energy (corn) and protein (soybeans) to deer and other wildlife.  I doubt there’s any need to place feed out when these crops are available.  If these crops are all harvested do deer consume all the forage in the food plots?  If, so is it possible to pay the farmer to leave a few acres of the corn and soybeans standing.  It’s often less expensive to purchase standing grain than to purchase bagged feed and maintain feeders.  

The great deer herds in the Midwest are driven by corn and soybean crops.  There’s very little feeding in most of these areas and they still produce record book bucks year after year. I recommend using the funds you spend on purchasing feed and maintaining feeders to leave some of these crops standing.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do I have to plow before planting soybeans?

Question
Hello Grant,
I have been watching a lot of your videos lately on youtube, and I have a plan on making a hidey hole food plot on our land. I really want to try to plant some soybeans, and my dad thinks we will have to disc or plow the area for them to grow. In a few of your videos I thought you were broadcasting soybeans in the rain without churning the dirt up. How should we plant our soybeans?

Ethan,

Thank you for watching GrowingDeer!  

Soybean seed germinates best when it has good contact with the soil.  I never plow or disk to achieve this. I use a no-till drill in larger plots and use a leaf blower and hand rake in hidey plots to expose the soil.  When using this technique I always wait till just before or during a rain to broadcast soybean seeds.  Rain causes the seeds to germinate faster and helps cover the seed by splashing dirt over the seed.  This works best in lighter soil. It doesn’t work as good in hard, clay soil.  

If the seed is broadcast and it doesn’t rain birds and rodents often consume a substantial portion of the seed.  

This technique works even better with smaller-sized seed such as brassicas or clovers.  I hope you give this a try!

Enjoy creation!

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Would having more cover in food plots result in deer using them more during the day?

Question
Dr. Woods,

I am graduate from Eastern Kentucky University and an active hunter, I didnt begin hunting until after I returned home from active duty in 2009. After receiving my degree in wildlife management I have been practicing different approaches for my families food plots. One approach I have not put into practice yet and was wondering what your opinion would be, is creating horizontal cover in the form of a food source. Instead of having that abrupt edge created from the food plot being put in a wooded area like we have in Kentucky, would it be beneficial to apply a horizontal cover aspect? Such as a few rows of corn at the edge created by the food plot, then just inside that wheat or soy beans that will grow chest high, and then clover or brassicas in the center of the food plot?

In my mind, I think it would create a transition zone that would relax the more mature deer and instead of standing on the edge and looking into the opening created, it would be more inviting for them and then they may be a little less cautious.

Thank you for your time in answering this and I look forward to your thoughts and learning something new as I do when watching growingdeer.tv

Robbie,

Congratulations on finishing your degree in wildlife management!

Deer tend to use food sources that they don’t associate with danger during daylight.  Cover, such as corn may help a bit. However if deer associate the location with danger they will still avoid it.  This is true with tall native warm season grasses, corn, etc.

One consideration with having a tall forage crop is that it may block a clean shot to the kill zone.

Enjoy creation,

grant.  

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is September 30th too late to plant in Maine?

Question
9-30-15 today it was poring rain in central Maine and 60 degree’s I broadcast green patch plus in to my sunflowers and pea patch it was a one acre bag of seed and I used it all on about 30 yards by 30 yards, we have had two light frost do you think it could still germinate at all or is it turkey food????? my peas and sunflowers are thick and 3-4 feet tall!!! your thoughts??? could you face book me with your answer please I don’t check my emails….thank you sir

Bradley,

Congratulations on having a successful sunflower and pea plot!  I bet the deer (and bears) are attracted to the sunflower seeds!

I suspect the seed you just planted will germinate. Unless it’s a very mild fall I doubt they produce as much forage as normal.  The daylength is getting short and temperatures are likely fairly cool for rapid forage growth in your area.

Sorry – I’m not a master at Facebook.  I hope this reaches you!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will a frost hurt my food plot in northwest Wisconsin?

Question
Dr. Woods

I planted my fall crops on August 15th – a blend of brassicas, turnips, sugar beets, kale, rye and barley. We’ve had above average rains and favorable growing conditions since the crops were planted and the crops are coming in pretty well. We have frost warnings tonight in the region of our hunting property. What will a frost do to our fall crops?

I enjoy your videos and any podcast that you make guest appearances on.

Thanks

Mark,

Thank you for sharing the kind words!  

Brassicas, turnips kale, and rye are all very cold hardy. Unless it’s a hard frost and the conditions are just right I doubt it will do much damage to your food plot crops.  

There are many factors such as if the weather has been cooling down and stimulated the plants to “harden off.”  This is a term biologists use to describe the process many plants undergo to prepare for a frost.  If the weather the past week or so have been warmer than normal, then expect the frost to do a bit more damage than normal.

The cooler temperatures should make deer more active during daylight!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How can my family attract deer to our 60 acres in southeast Missouri?

Question
Hello Dr. Woods, my family owns 60 acres that borders Mingo Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Missouri, we have been hunting the property for years now and the hunting has always been very poor, there are times that we go season to season without seeing a single deer, no rubs, scrapes, ect… Many have told us that this is due to the safety factor of the deer and that they just stay on the refuge because they know it is safe. We are wondering if attempting to provide cover would be an effective tool to try to being the deer over the refuge border. Additionally, the property is only a few hours from the proving grounds, and was wondering if it would be cost effective to have your team come and evaluate or property to see what our best options and strategies would be. Also, if we tried food plots, I would love to try the Eagle seed forage blend soybean, however, we do not own a no till drill, is there another method that would be effective in planting it. Pleas help, we have a new generation in our family that we are going to take hunting with us and the way it is now for our family, with no deer around, more then likely, this family tradition of ours will be lost. P.S. love the videos! Keep em’ coming! Thank you and God Bless.

Troy,

Thank you for the kind words and for watching GrowingDeer! I have several clients in southeast Missouri and a college I attended (Missouri State) took many field trips to Mingo Refuge.

I agree 100% with your assessment that new hunters need to see deer sign and deer to remain excited about hunting. I’m thrilled you are concerned about your family continuing the hunting tradition!

I always begin new projects by evaluating the food, cover, and water resources on the property that I’m trying to improve and on the neighboring properties.

Unless you border a unique part of the Mingo refuse, there’s probably plenty of water and cover on the refuge. Certainly deer on the refuge won’t be disturbed frequently when on the refuge. Unless there’s better quality food on your property compared to the refuge, there’s not much reason deer would leave the security of the refuge to spend time on your property. It’s likely that the development of quality food resources in areas where your family can approach, hunt, and leave without alerting deer would significantly increase the amount of time deer spend on your property and the quality of the hunts for you and your family. To create this huntable habitat requires some evaluation and planning.

Many folks establish and maintain soybean plots without the aid of a no-till drill. The appropriate steps are to do a soil test and add the appropriate amount of lime and fertilizer. Malnourished plants won’t be healthy and unhealthy plants don’t taste as well (attract deer and other critters) as well as healthy plants. In addition a good seedbed is prepared and the seed is broadcast just before or during a rain. The rain helps cover the seed and ensure there’s adequate soil moisture for rapid germination. Some folks use a drag of some typ  (a section of chain link fence, etc.) with hopes of covering the seed.

Cover the seed is important for two reasons. First, it significantly reduces the amount of seed that will be removed by birds and rodents. Most folks are amazed at how many seeds birds and rodents will remove within a few days. Second, soybeans have a much higher germination rate when covered with a 1/2″ or so of soil.

Many counties rent no-till drills (through a NRCS office) for extremely reasonable rates). Another neat option is that Paul Hollis (south of St. Louis) has crews and lots of equipment and contracts establishing and maintaining food plots for landowners and government agencies. You may reach Paul at 636 326 1009.

Adam, Daniel, Matt or I would be happy to assist you in developing a habitat management and hunting strategy plan. Send me a note if you wish for us to quote you a price for this project.

Enjoy creation,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Where can I learn more about the prototype no-till drill you tested?

Question
Grant,

Thanks for the educational aspect you offer on your shows and not simply just another hunting show with a bunch of kills.

My question is, who was the no till drill company you recently had on an earlier episode that you were gonna try some prototypes for?

I’m extremely interested in specifically a 3 point no till drill for food plots and would like to see their product line and prices.

Thanks in advance,
Dave

Dave,

Redexim (http://redexim.com/) is the worldwide company that manufactured the prototype no-till drill I’ve been testing.  Their world headquarters are in Holland and their USA headquarters are near St. Louis.  They are known to make the best turf establishment and management equipment in the world.  Their seeders, etc., are used on most of the finest golf courses and athletic fields.

They approached me about designing and testing a drill to be used in a food plot setting.  I’ve been very impressed that with their engineers’ willingness to test, change, and retest.  

They currently plan to have production models available during early 2016.  I’m thrilled they have not pushed production ahead of testing.  To learn more, feel free to call Paul Hollis (636 326 1009) at Redexim.

I’ll share more on http://www.GrowingDeer.tv as I continue testing.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What forage should I plant in Vermont?

Question
Hey Grant, I have several questions for you to answer/ give your input on. First, I have a landowner that owns about 100 acres, and we are planning on putting in a few food plots next year. I’m from Vermont so often we have cold, harsh winters that can last 6-7 months with below freezing temps and snow on the ground. Also, the plots are going in on powerlines with a lot of thick invasive species such as raspberry bushes. We also have a LOT of apple trees up the powerlines. I’m wondering what you would suggest planting, as right now I’m leaning towards clover. It needs to be a perennial because it is difficult to access because of lack of time and the rolling hills here in VT, so planting year after year would be a bit tricky. My other question is a bit more personal and it’s possible that you get asked this a lot, but maybe you don’t! It’s worth a shot. I’m 17 and about to go into college and I really need an upgrade, but don’t have a ton of money to spare. So I’m wondering what you do with your old bows as (I’m assuming) G5 provides you and your staff with new bows often. If you have any from past seasons that you’d be willing to ship out I’d gladly take one! If not, would you have any recommendations for a high-quality bow at an affordable price? Thanks so much! P.S. The easiest way to respond would be an email to me, maybe you respond that way anyways. Not sure because I haven’t done this before haha. Thank you for your time! -Jaxson

Jaxson,

Clover does tend to grow well in the northeastern states! However, clover requires more maintenance than most annual varieties.  Clover requires feeding (fertilizer) usually annually.  Clover also requires work to keep weeds out!  I often spray clover two or more times a year. Without proper fertilizer and weeding clover stands rarely last longer than a year or two.  

Malnourished forage doesn’t taste as good as healthy crops.  So no matter what you plant it will require some maintenance.  If the local habitat is poor deer will eat almost any crop.  The better the habitat the more selective (and healthier) deer will be!  I find forage soybeans much easier to care for than clover. Deer readily consume the forage during the summer and pods during the winter.  

Clover may be a good option for you!  However you need to plan on doing a soil test before you plant and adding the appropriate amount of lime and fertilizer.  Then plan on using herbicides to keep the weeds in check.  Otherwise it rare for clover to last more than a year or two.

Don’t overlook the apple trees!  Established apple trees are relatively easy to care for and improve.  Deer certainly are attracted to apple fruit!  It would be nice if you could care for a few apple trees and establish a food plot to provide food during more months!

I often host a sweepstakes at the end of the season for my bow.  Keep watching http://www.GrowingDeer.tv for more details!

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is it OK to plant seed when it’s dry and there’s no rain in the immediate forecast?

Question
“Food Plot” for Deer.Here in southern Ark. we have a lack of moisture in the ground. It’s dry and it’s the 22nd of Sept.. Will it hurt anything to put my seed in the ground and cover it, hoping it will rain in the next 10 to 15 days. Normally the seed is in by now.
Thanks in advance!
Joe

Joe,

It’s important to remember that seeds are alive!  They are in a deep stage of dormancy when stored in a dry and cool environment.  When planted there’s usually more heat and/or moisture than when in storage.  This causes the seeds to break dormancy and try to germinate.  

Another concern is that rodents and birds find seeds rapidly.  They can consume/remove most of the seed planted in literally a few days.  Normally this is avoided because once seeds germinate birds and rodents don’t find them attractive.  

Seeds that aren’t removed by rodents will be more stressed as they try to germinate in tough conditions compared to if they had been dormant while in good storage conditions. 

If the growing conditions aren’t good, I suggest you wait to plant.  I suspect you’ll establish a much better crop by waiting and planting just before a rain or when conditions are better.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Which forage attracts the most deer?

Question
Grant,
I have put a ton of time, effort, and money into making 2015 a successful season. However, I am running into a few problems. The property we lease is a fantastic deer habitat (tons of food, cover, & water). The only thing wrong with that is I am having a hard time seeing any deer movement during shooting hours. I almost think that when these deer are feeding, they have so many options to choose from, why would they choose my areas over somewhere else?
Overall, I would like to know which type for forage/foodplot would best maximize my chances of seeing deer throughout different times of the year?
Thanks!

– Bryce

Bryce,

Deer are very selective feeders.  They tend to eat the best food within their home range that they don’t associate with danger.  They may avoid the best food source, at least till after dark, and eat secondary choices if they associate the best food source with danger.  

Typically during the spring and summer (the growing season) deer prefer forage that are high in protein and are very digestible such as soybeans.  Once deer shed their summer coats they prefer foods high in carbohydrates such as grains or acorns.  

I suggest you focus on food sources that are high in energy this time of year and sources of those foods that deer don’t associate with danger.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I use herbicide or mow my clover food plot?

Question
Mr. Grant,

I just wanted to start off by saying I really love your show and love even more the fact you give thanks to God after each episode! That’s really awesome to see especially with the world that we live in today. But to my question, I have planted a 1/2-3/4 acre of clover, chicory and winter wheat. I planted in late August, done all my soil testing and applied the approximate lime and fertilizer and I recently checked my plot and its doing great! But my concern is the maintenance. I understand that I need to apply herbicide and even mow if need be, but I was wondering when I should apply the herbicide in the spring and fall and when should I mow? Thanks and God Bless

John,

Sounds like you’ve done a great job of establishing a food plot!

Usually weeds aren’t much of a problem during the cool season.  I doubt you’ll need to control weeds this fall.

Next spring you may need to use a herbicide to control weeds.  There aren’t many good options for controlling weeds in clover.  Mowing won’t control grasses and most broadleaf weeds. Hopefully the wheat will serve as a good cover crop and shade out most weeds. If that’s the case, I usually use glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) and spot treat any weeds in the clover.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the cost of clearing land for food plots in the Ozarks?

Question
Dr. Woods,
Love your show and the amazing amount of information you provide to us all!

I watched the video from May 14, 2012.

My question is about clearing the land.

I’ve got some land just south of you across the Arkansas border north of Harrison AR. I’ve built a few food plots by hand but none are large enough to be “feeding” plots. I want to create some larger “feeding” ones but I’m concerned with the budget. Can I ask the approximate cost of getting a contractor in to do that type of work? Since our land is less than an hour apart…I just may be better off contracting the same folks that you did instead of getting some random dozer company that is used to clearing an area for a subdivision or roads etc…and not creating food plots.
Also, what about the large underground stumps and the inevitable HUGE rocks/slabs that weigh hundreds if not thousands of lbs…what do you do about those?
Thanks, Dr. Charles DC.

 

Charles,

I agree with you – many dozer operators aren’t skilled at clearing/preparing land for food plots. Here’s a couple of important tips.

I always have the equipment operator push/pile the debris up hill!  Pushing trees downhill will cause the loss of more soil compared to pushing trees uphill.  There is a significant difference.

I prefer a trackhoe (long arm and bucket with thumb) to a dozer.  Trackhoes can reach up and push trees over using leverage and therefore remove trees with less soil disturbance.  They also can create much tighter burn piles at they can stack trees versus just shoving.

In my area, it typically cost $500 to $1,000 per acre to clear medium to small trees and burn the piles.  This should leave the area ready to soil test, fertilize and plant.

It’s often cost prohibitive to transport heavy equipment very far. I’ve had the best results by finding a local contractor that I like and sticking with them.

One final tip – I always flag very tree I wish to leave. Don’t assume the equipment operator has the same vision you do for the plot.  Flag as high as you can reach so the  operator can easily see the flags while sitting on the equipment. Blue flagging or paint seems to work best in timber.

I have the operator remove all stumps the find.  If not, they will rot out and create large holes in the plot. I ignore slab rock if the majority of the plot is plantable!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What no till seed drill does Grant recommend?

Question
Dr Grant,

What no till seed drills do you recommend. I currently use a roto-tiller, and cultipackor , & JD grain drill.

Tom

Tom,

I’ve used an old, used Sukup no-till drill for years. I got it at a good price and it’s worked fine.  It’s a tongue pull (versus 3-point hitch) model.  Tongue mounts require much more time and do more soil compaction to turn, etc.

I’ve been testing a prototype 3-point hitch model by Redexim (www.Redexim.com) for several months.  Redexim is a worldwide company that makes premium turf establishment and maintenance equipment.  Their drill, aerators, etc., are used worldwide on fine golf courses, athletic fields, etc.  I’ve been very impressed with their prototypes and they’ve been very responsive to my suggestions.  I very confident if their drill works well here at The Proving Grounds it will work well anywhere as the soils where are EXTREMELY rocky!

I’ll share on http://www.GrowingDeer.tv the next time we use a Redexim drill.  We used on during our Field Event. You can watch that episode at:   https://www.growingdeer.tv/archive/#/deer-hunting-made-easier-field-day-2015

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will it hurt clover to overseed it with a cool season blend?

Question
Grant,
I really enjoy your show and I have learned a lot.
I was wondering if it would hurt my clover food plot to plant a cool season blend on it once its not being used by deer.
God bless!

Jeremy

Jeremy,

Thanks for sharing the kind words!  

I like to overseed clover with a forage wheat.  Forage wheat varieties like Monster Wheat from Eagle Seed stays in the blade or palatable stage longer than commercial wheat.  

I don’t like using brassicas to overseed clover because they produce so many viable seeds they will often crowd out the clover stand the following year.  I don’t like rye because is bolts or produces a stem very early during the spring and becomes non palatable to deer.  

I’ve had great success with a forage wheat. It needs to be planted a well before the first frost. I have the best results planting it just before or during a rain if the seed is broadcast.  It won’t cause the clover much harm to use a drill to plant.  Using a drill usually results in better seed to soil contact and a higher germination rate.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How small can a food plot be and still be effective?

Question
I just bought almost 7 acres just north of Springfield. Half of my property is wooded and half is pasture. How small of a food plot can i effectively have. Deer do cross the bottom triangle of our property. Thank you for any advise.

Arlen,

The best size for a food plot depends on:

1. How many deer are consuming the forage.

2. How rapidly the forage is growing/recovering from being browsed.

3. The growing conditions.

4.  How many months you wish for the plot to attract/feed deer.

Obviously a plot would need to be much larger if 20 deer were feeding their daily compared to three deer.  Some crops like cover (if the growing conditions are good) can recover from being browsed faster than corn.  During severe droughts 20 acres many not produce as much forage as one acre during ideal growing conditions.  

I share this simply to say it may require some trial and error to determine the appropriate sized plot for your mission.  I suggest starting with an half acre or acre and see if there’s ample forage to attract deer throughout the season.  

I’d rather have a half acre plot that limed and fertilized appropriately than three acres of malnourished forage.  The better the quality of forage the more it will attract and benefit deer!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will Eagle Seed forage soybeans grow in east Texas?

Question
I live in east Texas and lease 95 acres to hunt deer. It is mostly wooded with a electrical and gas right away going through it. I can’t really clear off areas for food plots but I can plant on the right aways and some small open areas. Would the Eagle brand seed work down here? We generally do not get much rain between June and October. We also had a forest fire come through several years ago and now I have 30 of that 95 acres as a mix of rag weed and one year old pine saplings. How do I hunt that and how can I use that for improving my chance of hunting success? If you do not think the Egale brand seed mix would not work in my area can you suggest what might?

Bob,

Eagle Seed forage soybeans will grow in east Texas.  You’ll need to use the same techniques I use – do a soil test, add the appropriate amounts of lime and fertilizer, control weeds, etc.  

It’s typically very dry during the summer here in the Ozarks also!  Part of my success is planting the Eagle Seed beans as soon the soil is 60 degrees at about 9 am.  (Soil cools all night and begins warming about 9 am.)  By planting early the soybeans can develop a good root system and forage crown before the temperatures are too high. This allows the plants to find soil moisture and shade the soil so less moisture is lost through evaporation.  

If allowed, I’d mow or weedeat strips through the ragweed to create travel lanes and shooting corridors.  This will allow you to see deer in this cover and encourage them to travel in predictable areas.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I add trace minerals to my food plots?

Question
Dr. Woods,
I searched all of your threads about food plots and did not find my answer.
Remembering on one of your episodes, that you were incorperating Trophry Rock Four65 into your food plots along with AntlerDirt.
I would love to apply Antler Dirt but is just to pricey for me to obtain and is not available in PA.
Can I broadcast trace mineral into my food plots and get the same results? I remember you saying your animals are what they eat and good quality food is important. Will the plants draw the minerals through their roots that way?

Thank you for your time, I love all the great valueablr free information you provide and it is entertaing also.

Mike

Michael,

The only way to know for certain what minerals should be added to a food plot is to do a soil test. I use http://www.Watersag.com and the B4 test annually on each of my plots.  This test monitors 10+ trace minerals!  

Many food plot farmers ignore trace minerals and therefore there crops aren’t as productive or as palatable as they could be.  I suggest starting with a quality soil test and then adding what’s necessary!

Trace minerals are required in very small amounts – often only a few pounds per acre.  There is very finely ground Trophy Rock in Antler Dirt and it has worked very well for me!  It’s easier to spread the small quantity of trace minerals when they are mixed or incorporated with something that’s spread in a hi

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant in Michigan to attract deer during the late season?

Question
Hello, I am from Michigan and I am curious as too what you think I should plant for the late season. The field I want to plant in is currently corn which I didn’t plant the farmer who owns it planted that. He has given me permission to plant anything in it. I just have to wait for him to get the corn off but what do you think would be best?

Thank you
Andrew Dent

Andrew,

Most forages do best if planted 45 to 60 days before the first frost. That doesn’t mean that forages won’t grow if planted closer to the first frost or even after the first frost.  It does mean that the crops probably won’t be as productive (produce as much tonnage) due to the shortened growing season.  

Many farmers plant a cover crop in standing corn (before the corn is harvested).  The corn harvesting process will damage some of the new forage.  However, the added growing days allows the undamaged forage to produce more tonnage than what will be damaged by most harvesting operations.

Blends, like Eagle Seed’s Broadside, that include a forage wheat and brassicas grow quicker than other types of forage.  Producing quality forage quickly will be very important for your situation.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant in small-sized plots that traditionally are heavily browsed?

Question
Hi Grant, i just have a quick question for you. M friend and i this year finally started working on food plots. We did not have any summer food unfortunately. My question is that our food plots only equal up to about 1.45 acres. Now I was watching the video on the whitetail thicket beans that are new. Would you recommend those for our small food plots, or what would you do with the food plots that will get grazed heavily?

Thank You,
Adam Kunkel

Adam,

Depending on what latitude (how far north) the plots are located, I recommend one of Eagle Seed’s Wildlife Manager blends.  These blends include the Whitetail Thicket variety of forage soybeans.  I often plant 80 or more pounds per acre of soybeans in plots that traditionally are heavily browsed.  The increased number of stems per square foot allows for for more tonnage of forage to be produced per acre.  The increased number of stems per acre works well in plots that are heavily browsed as not all plants will reach maturity.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are brassicas poisonous to deer?

Question
Dr. Woods,
I enjoy watching your show every week, and I appreciate how you encourage people to look to Christ the Creator of all, and enjoy the beauty of all He has made. I also enjoy all the tips and advise that you give on the show.

I am an all season deer, (and turkey), hunter here in central IL. I hunt on 50 acres belonging to a friend of mine. I have thought about trying to put some food plots in to supplement the late season forage.
I attended a seminar last fall with Dr. James Kroll. One of the things he talked about was how brassicas are poisonous to deer, and that they will just eat themselves to death on them. I’m assuming he meant in large quantities.

Now I know that you guys use the Eagle Seed blend that has brassicas in it. Obviously you wouldn’t use something that you feel would be detrimental to the deer herd. Can you give me some thoughts on this? I know that Dr. Kroll is also selling a product that he has helped develop, but he seemed to make it sound like this is something the people should never use at all.

What do you think? Have you done any research on this?

Thanks and God bless,
Mike Yotter

Michael,

I first learned about brassicas while touring deer farms in New Zealand.  These farmers raise deer and elk to harvest their antlers.  They wish to produce the largest antlers possible.  These deer were in high fences and only had access to brassicas.  The New Zealand deer industry is very well established and sophisticated.  They are the world’s best at growing deer for antler production and brassicas are the primary crop they use.

Since then millions of deer have consumed brassicas throughout the United States.  Farmers plant various types of brassicas as cover crops on millions of acres throughout the whitetail’s range.  With all of this I’ve never heard of one scientific study that reported any negative consequences of deer eating brassicas.  

I’m sure, like with any plant, too much of a good thing could be bad.  However, I’m not aware of any reason to not use brassicas as part of a good food plot program.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What tips can you offer about getting a good stand of soybeans when using the broadcast planting technique?

Question
Morning Grant!

I tried planting Eagle Seeds forage soybeans this spring with moderate results. Part of this was due to the lack of rain after planting and some deer browse. I do not have a means of drilling the beans. I curious how broadcasting them reduces the overall results? I see this year that you planted the Whitetail Thicket and then broadcasted your fall seed over the top during the fall. I’m trying to keep food on the ground as long as I can on my property but I’m struggling growing beans. Would you have any ideas on planting the beans?

Thanks for the help

Aaron Olson

Aaron,

Drought and excessive deer browsed can certainly limit the production of soybeans.  I suspect those factors may have reduced the plot’s potential more than the planting technique.

The biggest hurdle to planting soybeans by using the broadcast method is insuring the seed makes good contact with the soil.  Soybeans do best when they are covered by about a half inch of soil.  This is much different than clover, brassicas, or wheat which have a high germination rate if the seed is simply laying on top the soil.

To increase the success I typically only broadcast soybeans right before or during a good rain (1/2″ or more).  The raindrops serve to insure there’s adequate soil moisture and splash some dirt on top the seeds.  A drag make out of chainlink fence, etc. can also be used in an effort to cover the bean seeds with a bit of dirt.  Drags tend to move seed and deposit them in low places, etc., so be careful using this technique.  Don’t use a drag make out of a railroad tie, etc., as seed almost always pile up in front of such pieces of equipment and then are deposited in low spots.  

Finally, I typically use at least 25% more seed when broadcasting compared to using a drill.  Almost always more seed will die due to being left on top the soil or be consumed by birds and rodents when it’s broadcast versus being placed at the appropriate depth by a drill.  

Many county NRCS offices rent drills for approximately $10 per acre.  I’ve rented many drills to establish food plots. It might be worth checking on the availability of a drill near you.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What can I do to make my 160 acres of land in Kansas better hunting?

Question
in your grunt call video you never said which call you liked best??
we have 160 acres of land 55 acres in CRP rest native grass about/ 15 in brome grass/ 18-20 acres in bottom/creek area a 7 and 5 acre clover plot turnips& radishes /have not had very good luck getting to grow used frigid forage brand seed/ used round-up twice before we planted then used a blend of fertilizer the co-op blended and recommended 10-10-10 for clover we put about 200 pound per acre first time / put 4 tons of granular lime on the 5 acres and 8 tons on the 7 acre P.H was about 6.78 on 10 different sample we checked/ we did get it in just before a 3/4″ slow rain
But rain has been scarce last two years/ we planted two years ago/ Any ideas on how to “help” it along?
I have planted white oaks (24) in the last 8 years most of them in the first year/ planted 18 chestnuts last year, were 3 year old trees/15 lived
Any ideas what else we can do to “help’ MAKE IT BETTER FOR DEER? WE DO NOT PLAN OR PUTTING ANY LAND BACK INTO FARMING PRODUCTION Has one pond that was dug out last year it is run off type pond/ the small stream in one corner has not went dry in all the years we have had the land since 1930 (GRANDFATHER’S) NOW MINE. TAXES ARE NOT THAT BAD SO WE WANT TO MAKE IT FOR DEER HUNTING MOSTLY SON (40) IS A BOW ONLY HUNTER and it is a 70 mile round trip for him to hunt / and he has 7 children so his time is limited children are getting to hunting age too! 5 girls, 1 foster boy, 1 foster girl ages are 3 through 14 so hunting ages !!!! I work part time at TREASURE CHEST GUN IN McPHERSON KS. I HAD A BRAIN INJURY/multiple fractures/ 14 YEARS AGO fell 54 ft. worked in an oil refinery here so cannot do as much hunting was “retired” at 54 I do check your web site out a lot too/ Enjoy it very much aka Fallman

James,

Wow – it sounds as if you are very blessed to be alive!!  

It sounds as if you are doing a lot of techniques well!  Taking soil tests and adding the recommended amount and blend of fertilizer is critical to good forage production.  No forage does well without adequate soil moisture.  You mentioned the area has received limited rain during the past two years.  That’s probably the biggest cause of the limited forage production.  

I suggest you continue doing soil test each year and adding the appropriate amounts of fertilizer.  Remember that plants are simply nutrient transfer agents.  Without the appropriate nutrients (fertilizer) in the soil, the plants can’t express their full potential!  In addition malnourished plants don’t tastse as good and won’t attract as many deer as healthy plants!   

I use tree tubes and weed mats to protect and help all the fruit and nut trees I plant. I get these items from http://www.FlatwoodNatives.com.

May God bless you and your family,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is there a rule of thumb for what percentage of a property should be planted in soybeans to supply ample quality forage to a deer herd?

Question
Enjoy your videos very much!

As you know I’ve been planting eagle seed soybeans for some time at my place in Alabama. I only plant a couple of fields totaling about 5 acres. Either you plant a lot more acreage than I do since your episode videos that show your fields that are not be eaten up like mine.

Attached is a couple pictures of my grown soybeans this year. I have to protect them with the electric fence for about 3 months to grow maximum forage, then I take it down so they can eat them and it only takes them about 2 months for the deer to consume just about every leaf. That’s my goal, to feed them the forage as a supplement mid summer to early fall when they’re growing for hopefully more added nutrition.

What would you recommend if anything to improve for the next step? Is there a rule of thumb for acres of soybeans planted as a percent of the total property?
I could plant more fields, but current only have 2 electric fence sets. Maybe if I plant more scattered fields they all won’t all be eaten up before they can mature…
Should I try to Whitetail Thicket variety you mention on some of your recent episodes?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Keith Swilley

Keith,

It appears your plots did very well!  

There are many variables that determine what percentage of a property should be established in food plots to provide ample quality forage for the local deer population.  Some of these variables include growing conditions (there’s often a huge difference in the tonnage produced during a year with ample rain compared to a drought), the number of deer (the number of deer per square mile can vary drastically from location to location), and the availability of alternate food sources (location being all timber compared to commercial soybean farms, etc.).

The best rule of thumb is to continue establishing quality food sources until there’s plenty of food available during the late summer and late winter (the two traditional stress periods for deer).   

There are about 60 acres of food plots out of 2,000 acres of land at The Proving Grounds.  During years with good growing conditions, there is ample quality forage during both traditional stress periods. However, there’s not near enough quality forage during drought conditions.  This year I will try to remove two does per 100 acres to reduce the number of deer and establish some additional food plots.  Due to all the variables, finding a balance between the amount of quality forage and number of deer is a constant balancing act.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is it better to use liquid or pelletized fertilizer?

Question
Grant,

Is it better to use liquid fertilizer or fertilizer with crystals?

Ryan,

There are lots of variables to consider when selecting which and how much fertilizer to use.  The first step is to do a soil test!  This is the easiest and most practical method to know which and how many nutrients are needed to produce a specific crop at each location.  Remember that plants are simply nutrient transfer agents.  Forage crops remove nutrients from the ground and air and convert them to a form that critters can consume and digest.  If the nutrients aren’t in the ground and/or air plants can’t make them available for critters to consume.  

Malnourished plants often don’t taste good in addition to being unproductive.  Hence, malnourished plants won’t attract as many deer as healthy plants.  This is why it’s critical to do a soil test (so you’ll know what type and how many pounds of nutrients to add) as part of establishing every food plot. Often 100’s of pounds of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are required depending on the type of crop being ground the needs of the local soil.  

It’s is often very difficult to add enough nitrogen, phosphorous or potassium in a liquid form to meet a crop’s needs.  Remember that most of liquid fertilizer is water – and the percentage of nutrients in each gallon is often very limited.  There is no magic formula.  Determine how many pounds of each element is needed and then add that amount in any format and enjoy hunting over the healthy crop!  

Enjoy creation,

grant  

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are GMO crops harmful to humans or deer?

Question
There is a growing amount of evidence that suggests using GMO seed has negative side effects on both plant & animal…Have you researched any of these claims? What are your thoughts relative to the whole GMO Seed Debate?

Jeff,

I’ve never found (and I’ve searched) one refereed (peer reviewed) study that shows any negative impact on humans or deer (or other critters) from GMO crops.  Literally tens of millions of deer, turkey, etc., have feed on GMO crops with no reported impacts.  In fact, the largest deer in the world are consistently harvested in the midwest were 90%+ of the crops are GMO.  

GMO crops have been the most studied crops in history and still no credible reports of harm to humans and wildlife.  Even Reader’s Digest recently reported that’s there’s never been a study that’s found any evidence of GMO crops causing humans harm.  

Lots of folks make wild claims based on emotions.  The fact is that GMO crops save a huge amount of fossil fuels, soil erosion, soil compaction, etc., by significantly reducing tillage.  

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Which compact no-till drill should I purchase?

Question
Grant, Regarding no till drill systems. Let me first say I’ve bought a lot of hunting product some of which turned out to be a great purchase and others not so much. I can’t afford to make the latter mistake on a purchase as large as this. I wish GrowingDeer could do a comprehensive hour-long show on different models and different uses. Since that’s probably not possible I’d like to ask you specific questions. I would like to acknowledge that you have shared a lot of helpful info already on the topic. As for the
New line of equipment you introduced after this years Field Days, I haven’t been able to find enough information to feel very confident about waiting on that unit. I’ve looked into the Cabela’s By Woods Food Plot Seeder. I have a number of specific questions that I could post if you think it’s beneficial for you to respond for everyone to read. I’ll spare those specific points now and wait for your response. The bottom line is that it’s a lot of money and a lot of hopes for the future food plots and property that would hinge upon it, and I crave more information And confidence before making such a purchase. It also seems that a lot of these products are new as I understand that the market for these compact units for hunters is relatively new. It seems a lot of salesman don’t know a lot about them or have experience or feedback. I’ll stop rambling now and look forward to your response and be glad to go from there if you suggest.
Your loyal viewer,
Joe

Joe,

I’m with you – I don’t wish waste funds purchasing equipment that doesn’t work to my expectations.    

I’ve never used the Woods Food Plot Seeder and none of my clients have purchased that model. I  don’t know if that’s a quality unit and/or a good value. 

I’ve spent several months with the engineers (literally) at Redexim testing their prototype units.  They are the largest manufacturer of turf management equipment.  This includes compact seeders, soil aerators, etc.  Their equipment is used on the finest golf courses and athletic fields around the world.  They are taking their time to create the best value in a compact no-till drill for food plots.  This is the same engineering process they used to create their world class turf management equipment.

I’m very confident they will have a great unit at a value price – when they are finished testing, evaluating, etc.  I’ll let you know when I’m totally happy with the unit.

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Where is a good place to purchase traps?

Question
Hi Grant.I live in sand hills in E. Tx. and for the first time I purchased some sorgum for a food plot. Did I make a mistake for a fall planting? I also have wildlife feed combo and some clover. My plot is only 1/3 of an acre. Also my land has coyotes and I am going to try to trap some. I have looked at episodes 270 an 271, but would like the videos. Also what would be a good place to get traps and how to prepare them before putting them out. I know it’s a lot of questions so thank you for your help. Oh, I am 75 and love hunting although time is catching up.

Sincerely,
Joe Wilkerson

Mr. Wilderson, 

In most areas sorghum does best when planted during the early to mid summer.  Depending on the variety sorghum usually requires 75 or more days to mature.  I doubt sorghum will produce grain if planted this late – even in east Texas.  Sorghum seed is relatively hardy and the seed should keep till next summer if stored in a cool, dry location.  

All of our episodes are available 24/7/365 at http://www.GrowingDeer.tv. We don’t have any of the episodes available on DVD, etc.  

I get all of the traps I use from http://www.DukeTraps.com or http://www.BassPro.com.  There’s some neat instructions about how to prepare traps, etc., at http://www.tacticaltrappingservices.com.  

My father is 84 and will be hunting with me later this week. I hope you are blessed with many more years of hunting!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is using a disk the same as using a no-till drill?

Question
Grant, hows it going? Love the show, I watch every episode. I have a small question. I do not have a drill and do not make plots as large as yours. I use a ATV plow and make micro plots. Is plowing the vegetation “duff” into the ground the same as drilling thru it? Are the benefits the same?
Thanx Calvin

Calvin,

Thank you for watching GrowingDeer!

I really like “micro” or Hidey Hole plots!  Such plots can be outstanding stand/blind locations and bucks will often use such plots during daylight hours.

Disking isn’t quit the same and using a no-till drill.  Disking allows much more oxygen into the soil which results in the “duff” to break down much quicker compared to that vegetation decomposing on top the soil.  In addition, the dead vegetation on top the soil servers as a very high quality mulch that prevents weeds from growing and moisture from evaporating from the soil.  Disking kills many earthworms – more than the limited soil disturbance caused by a no-till drill.  

This is not to say that great plots can’t be established by using a disk!  I suggest using the disk as little as possible and don’t disk too deep.  This will limit soil disturbance.  I’m helping Redexim design a no-till drill that’s appropriate for an ATV.

Enjoy creation!

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When will the new no-till drill be available?

Question
I saw your new no till drill and was wondering when we could get more info

Randy,

Redexim and I have been working on prototypes of this drill for months!  We won’t make it available until I’m satisfied with it’s total performance.  We’re close, but there are still some tweaks. I suspect it will be available during February or so 2016.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will my crop grow if I broadcast the seed but don’t drag or disk it in?

Question
Hello Growing Deer Team/Dr Woods. I need your help to tell exactly what this seedling is. Best I can match it to is one of the “greens”. We are preparing food plots but the neighboring new hunters mistakenly disced and planted in our field. We don’t want to undo any good thing that has been done. The ground is pretty soft and broken up. Do you think we would be ok just to broadcast over their seedlings without dragging the field to cover our seed? And what do you think this seedling is? Thanks for your help.

Matt,

The two factors that makes broadcasting seed work are adequate soil moisture and seed to soil contact.  An easy way to insure both these factors are working in your favor is to insure plenty of bare ground is showing and broadcast the seed either just before or during a rain!  I really enjoy planting during a rain (but not a lightning storm).  

The rain will serve to insure there’s adequate soil moisture and literally splash some soil over the seeds or push the seeds into the soil.  This technique works best with smaller sized seed like clover or brassicas.

Unless there’s lots of weeds growing in the plot, you should be fine using this technique.  The bigger question is if there are adequate soil nutrients available.  Remember that plants are only nutrient transfer agents.  Plants won’t grow as much or taste as good (be as attractive to deer) if they are malnourished).

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I harvest the soybeans from my food plot?

Question
Grant,

I am wanting to plant soybeans this next spring for a food plot. I have never planted them before and I am having a hard time trying to find out when to harvest them… Do I keep them for the deer until December? Do I cut them in Sept/Oct. and plant a winter crop? When I do cut them can I just use a bush hog to cut them? I am new at creating food plots; I just made my 1st one last year with clover and have had great success with pictures and my herd looks very healthy. I want to be able to have that protein “free feed so to say” on soybean plot, and get some antlers growing on my land 🙂
Thanks again,
Joey

P.S. Tell Daniel I said hi, use to work with him at CofO at the butcher shop.

Joey,

Most food plots are too small or too difficult to reach with a combine to harvest. In addition, the soybean pods are great deer and turkey food!  

I simply broadcast a blend of cool season forages into the standing soybeans.  This creates a wonderful food source and wildlife attractant!  

Deer, turkey, and other critters will consume the soybeans pods during the cooler temperatures and the forage crop during the warmer days.  In addition, by keeping a crop growing throughout the year the plants will mine or recycle soil nutrients before they leach too deep for new plants to reach them.  I’ve used this rotation for years with great success at attracting deer and improving the quality of soil in the plots.  

I plant Eagle Seed’s Broadside fall blend in standing beans about 45-60 days before the first average frost date. That means I plant during mid August and anticipate a frost during mid October.  

I’ll tell Daniel you said “Hello!”

Enjoy creation

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How many pounds of Eagle Seed forage soybeans should I plant per acre in East Alabama?

Question
Grant, I have about 300 acres in east-central Alabama that has 4, 1 acre food plots. I currently have a winter blend planted but wanna plant Eagle Seed soybeans this spring and was wondering how many pounds of seed per acre you recommend.. I live about 6 hours from the property so I don’t get to visit it much during the off-season so I was thinking of planting the seed a little heavy and hoping for the best. I watch your videos weekly and really have learned a lot from you. Now if I can only get my buddies on my less to buy into the program!!!! Enjoy Creation.. Thanks, Tim

 

Tim,

If there’s a lot of deer in the area, I suggest planting at a heavy rate.  I’ve planted as high as 120 pounds of Eagle Seed soybeans per acre in one acre plots in areas where there are a lot of deer.  Deer can remove a lot of the soybean plants before the mature so it’s best to start with a lot of stems.

Remember that all forage crops are nutrient transfer agents. If the nutrients aren’t in the ground the forage can’t transfer nutrients to deer.  I suggest you do a soil test, and add lime and fertilizer as recommended.  You will need to return to property at least once after the beans are planted. The beans will likely need to be sprayed once about a month after they germinate to control the weeds.

There’s lots of information in our past episodes about how to establish and maintain forage soybeans.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do you have much experience with a throw and grow type seed blend?

Question
Dr. Woods-

First of all, love your show! They’re so informative, practical, and I love the fact that you always honor Christ in your actions. I’m hunting a property with about 46 acres in Western KY. We are surrounded by ag fields, but right now there is nothing on the property to keep deer there. We have plenty of bedding, and 3 corn feeders right now. I just hung a ladder stand in an area of the property that has never been hunted. there isn’t much open area, but between the hardwoods, there is enough sunlight for a plot to grow. I would like to put a food plot in, but there is no way I can get a tiller or tractor back to the stand. Do you have much experience with a “throw-and-grow” type seed? Also, what would you recommend putting down? The deer already frequent the area, I just want to give the reason to hang around a while.

Chris,

I’ve never had much success with a throw and grow type product.  All plants need nutrients to grow – just like critters.  Forage crops also need sunshine.  Clover and brassicas do about as well as any forage crop in partial shade.  

I often use a backpack blower or hand rake to remove leaves and duff so the seeds will make good contact with the soil. I always add fertilizer!  I try to plant just before or during a rain.  Rain helps the seeds germinate quickly so they aren’t all consumed by birds and rodents.

There’s lots of examples of us making small plots with hand tools at http://www.GrowingDeer.tv!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What forage grows well under walnut trees?

Question
I am a disabled hunter who hunts from a 4-wheeler on 60 acres in North-Central Georgia, about 1 hour NE of Atlanta. Rolling hills & thick cover – lots of trees. Surrounded by pastures used for cattle – no agricultural use. I have 2 areas (2 acres & 4 acres) where there are numerous old large Walnut trees. There is very little underbrush in these areas (is it caused by the tannins from the Walnut trees?). I would like to develop food plots in these areas so that I can setup a little farther away to help with concealment and minimize scent.

Can you suggest something to plant that will thrive under the Walnut trees and in moderate sunlight? I am looking for food plot solutions for both warm & cool weather.

Many Thanks!!

 

Greg,

Walnut trees do produce a mild toxin (juglone) that inhibits many plants from growing near them.  This is why there’s not much growth underneath the walnut trees where you hunt.  I’ve found that clover tends to grow better than most forage crops underneath walnut trees.  You might establishing a clover blend in these areas.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I wait till the leaves fall off my Eagle Seed forage soybeans before broadcasting a cool season blend into the beans?

Question
Love watching the beans get some water while the pods are in the last stages of maturing! It’s about 2 weeks out from planting my fall plots. Would it be better to wait till the leaves fall off the beans to broadcast over the top or go ahead and broadcast the seed? I know it’d be ok if the beans weren’t canopied but they are full canopy where the ground doesn’t get any sunlight.

Enjoy creation,
Corey

Corey,

Most cool season forages should be planted 45-60 days before the first expected frost.  The average first frost date at my place is October 10th.  This means I need to plant the cool season forages by mid August or so.  The Eagle Seed forage soybeans at my place never shed leaves by mid August.  I have already (August 29th) broadcast Broadside into the standing forage soybeans at my place. They have a full canopy but the Broadside has germinated already.  These seedlings will grow slow till the forage soybeans allow more light to penetrate. However if I had waited till later the Broadside would have had limited time to grow before it frost. 

I strongly prefer  to broadcast just before or during a rain to insure better seed to soil contact and plenty of soil moisture.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can I plant soybeans year after year in the same plot and produce a healthy crop?

Question
In Episode #299 (Field Day 2015), Brad Doyle mentioned that he continuously plants soy beans in the same plots. I have always avoided this for fear of establishing Nematodes. Based on his comments, do you feel I can eliminate this fear, and if so, what can I do to my soy bean plots to best prevent these worms from being able to imprint in my soils?

Derek,

The plot where Brad was standing when he talked about planting soybeans year after year has been in soybeans for seven years!  I overseed them with the Broadside blend each August.  That blend includes radishes, a forage wheat, a bulb producing brassica and a non bulb producing brassica.  

This rotation provides great forage all summer, and soybean grain and fresh forage throughout the winter!  This has been an excellent food plot program for me.  I’ve never had problems with nematodes damaging the soybeans.  This rotation is also a great plan to build/improve the soil!  In addition the local herd knows what to expect and there’s no learning curve due to a new type of forage.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How can I keep buffalo out of my food plots?

Question
Hello Grant,

I am in an interesting predicament and could really use a professionals perspective. I currently hunt a 400+ acre pasture farm used to raise buffalo in northeast Kansas. About 80+ acres is wooded creek bottom that has great pinch points on traveling deer. However, there are no food plots on this land or surrounding lands which makes deer traffic very inconsistent. Fortunately enough this is a great travel corridor in the close area due to mature oak trees and natural clover that grows within the pasture, but its not ideal to keep mature deer on the land throughout the year.

My main concern with adding food plots is the buffalo. Unfortunately fences are not an option and the buffalo have free range to all the land. Is there any food available that if planted, or spread manually on a consistent basis, that buffalo would not be attracted to that would hold deer on this land better?

Any insight would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Graham

Graham,

Whitetails are very finicky eaters.  I don’t know much about buffalo but am very confident that any forage whitetails like will also attract buffalo.  Would a small electric fence work?  Folks in Texas often use a simple solar powered electric fence (check out:  http://www.btibrands.com/brands/non-typical/?archive=hot-zone-fence) to keep cattle out of deer plots.  You would need to only use two strands so the deer would jump the fence.

Without a fence you may be best to hunt the travel corridor and acorns.  Be careful around the buffalo!  They can be very dangerous!

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is there a herbicide that will kill burdock and nettle without harming clover?

Question
Hi Grant; is there anything I can spray in my standing clover field that will kill burdock and nettle without killing off my clover? I have been mowing my clover field about every three to four weeks to keep them under control. I debating if I just kill off everything and start over but that would be more expensive. This is the first year of this clover plot as it was planted in the spring.

Thank you for your time

Aaron Olson

Aaron,

I’m not aware of any herbicide that will kill burdock and nettle without killing clover.

There are lots of species of nettles.  That’s to say nettles is a common name for many plants.  All of them that I’m aware are difficult to control.  Depending on how many stems are in the plot it may be best to simply spot treat each stem and then overseed.  This may be less expensive and allow a food source to be preserved.  I often spot treat weeds in my clover plots.

Enjoy creation,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is Roundup Ready alfalfa a good choice for a food plot crop?

Question
Hi Grant, I have 1 1/2 acre clover field that is three years old and is getting over run by weeds and I was wandering if round up ready alfalfa is a better way to go? I don’t know if alfalfa is as good for deer as clover. Thanks for your help. Todd

Todd,

The easy answer is “no.”  It’s illegal to use Roundup Ready alfalfa for wildlife food plots.  This isn’t due to any potential harm to wildlife, but rather due to the patent on the technology and fear that it won’t be mowed before it produces seed and might interbred with non Roundup Ready alfalfa.

In addition, I’m not a big fan of any alfalfa for food plots.  Alfalfa requires a huge amount of maintenance to keep it producing quality forage. It must be mowed more frequently than clover and the mowed hay removed or it will shade out the crop and result in killing a portion of the stems.  

Where alfalfa is grown and maintained professionally it provides quality forage that deer will consume. However, this level of maintenance is rarely practical for food plot farmers.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crops should I plant in typical Ozark Mountain habitat?

Question
Hello to the Growing Deer team, and thanks for all you do for us!. I h
ave the age-old question of what to plant. Our place is exactly like yours, but smaller. While we have 100 acres, it is marked by a primary ridge top that is about 6 acres of open ground and around that are steep, steep hills with white oak, red oak and hickory with an assortment of typical Ozarks understory. We also have about 2-3 acres of open valley floor that is at the bottom of those steep hills. We have pursued TSI activities and burned most of the hillsides, as well as cut cedar on south facing hillside glades and burned them as well to start the glade restoration.

The question, what to plant in my limited open area? I have clover now with strips of milo/millet mixed in. I tried bean but failed miserably due to, I am sure, a variety of factors: soil test, spray regimens, pressure, etc. If all you had were these smaller area surrounded by seas of forest and what open ground there is covered in fescue. What to plant in spring and then again in the fall?

Brian,

The rotation of Eagle Seed forage soybeans and Broadside have worked extremely well for me.  You describe having nine acres that’s plantable per 100 acres land.  That’s a much higher percentage than at my place.

All crops require lime, fertilizer,and weed control to prosper.  I’d use the same recipe that’s worked great at my place for years!  You can watch our past episodes at the Videos tab and see the exact steps we use to establish and maintain these crops in Ozark habitat.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Which food source should I hunt by?

Question
I love watching y’all I’m fifteen and we live in virginia with fifty acres bbutthe biggest buck on the property is a nice 10 maybe 18 inch spread idk how to discern between two hunting spots i planted In sugar beets winter bulbs and rye and oats and firtilized it with triple 19 but i get confused in wich place to hunt and how to figure out patterns? So if u could tell me it would be great!! I am a christian and live for hunting i love how y’all put god into your show !! God bless

Jordon,

I[‘m proud of you for establishing two food plots!  Sounds like there’s a great buck using your property!  

I recommend looking for deer sign such as scat or browsed plants and let the deer tell you which plots they are currently using. Make sure and have the wind in your favor when you hunt!  Don’t forget to scout and see if deer are eating acorns or other natural foods throughout the season!  

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I use pecan hulls at a source of organic matter and will they raise the soil’s pH?

Question
Regarding improving the soil…..
Our hunting properties are in SW Georgia. PH of plots prior to liming was low and mid 5’s. Now they are better. On our new property, they are low and I had an idea.
A friend farms pecans. He has huge piles of waste from the pecan sorting facilities comprised of dirt, branches, leaves, shells, etc.
I soil tested some of this once and it came in at 7.5 or slightly higher if I recall. I assume it would be considered to be “lots of organic matter”.
I can haul trailer loads on to our new food plots. I would think it would be great for the soil. One friend cautioned that it would add weed seed. I don’t think so as these piles are relatively sparse with weeds and hello….. the food plots get COVERED with weeds anyway.
Whatcha think? Genius or waste of time? Or worse?
Thanks!
Joe

Joe,

I don’t know much about the chemistry of pecan hulls.  Do local farmers use this practice?  If not, there’s probably a reason why!  

When course organic matter (like limbs, etc.) are added it can take years for the soil microbes to decompose such materials.  These soil microbes will tie up many of the available nutrients and therefore more fertilizer must be added.  

Again – if local farmers aren’t spreading the pecan hulls on their fields (free soil amendments) I wouldn’t spread them on a food plot.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant for cool season forage in west central Georgia?

Question
I live 10 miles from the Oakley’s Beaver Pond Plantation in West Central GA. I am perplexed about what to do with some of my food plots. I have one which is a carpet of durana clover (blooming) and another with chickory (barely adequate). it is approaching time to plant fall food plots and i dont want to disk so i can use my grain drill (not no-till). what do i do? Leave it and broadcast over it? Pull the grain drill through it even though it is not no-till? Leave it alone? other?

If you suggest broadccast is broadside the thing? can i do my own blend which may be local adaptive ( like rape, turnips, arrowleaf, daikon radish, ??). Last year i planted grain rye, arrowleaf, crimson or durana (different locations) and turnips. there are some shady areas within the plots. I have corrected pH but probably time to do soil tests again.

Thanks for your help.

Hugh,

The only treatment I suggest for the clover plot that looks good is to do a soil test and add lime and fertilizer if needed.  Clover requires lots of nutrients.  Many clover plots literally starve because not enough fertilizer is added.

I’d drill some cool season forage into the plot with chicory unless there are lots of weeds growing there.  If you like the results of the “local” blend than use it.  I’m not a huge fan of arrowleaf clover. It can grow large, but often matures past peak palatability and quality.  

If your soil is sandy as is typical for that area a regular drill will probably work  OK!

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How should I set a no-till drill when planting a blend of different sized seeds?

Question
When planting a mix, such as Broadside, what is the correct setting for no till drill?

Thanks

Evan,

I always calibrate my no-till drill no matter what species or blend of forages I’m planting.  Seed size often varies year to year even within a single species, such as soybeans, due to growing conditions, etc.

I do the same when planting Broadside.  I put some seed in the drill and turn the wheel enough to simulate planting 100th of an acre and do the math. I use a blanket to catch the seed, weigh the seed adjust the drill to plant at a higher or lower rate until it’s calibrated to plant at the appropriate rate.  

I believe there are instructions how to calibrate on line for each model of no-till drill. 

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What to plant in an area that’s been striped mined?

Question
I just got permission to hunt some land that a friend owns (33 acres with a 9 acre pond) that is surrounded by strip mining. I have done some excavating this past summer and discovered that the area I was planning on putting in a food plot is nothing but a small layer of dirt (6 inches roughly) covering a shale shelf. what would you recommend as far as stable perennials that will preform in this loose and rocky soil?

Bruno,

There’s literally not 6″ of dirt at any food plot at my place!!  The Ozark Mountains where I live is extremely rocky.  

If you use the right techniques forage will grow well in your plot!  

1.  Don’t till!  Tilling will only bring rocks to the surface, speed up the rate of organic matter decomposition, kill some of the earthworms that are there, etc.  

2. Do a soil test.  Plants are simply nutrient transfer agents.  They can’t transfer nutrients to deer if the nutrients aren’t available.  In addition, malnourished plants don’t taste as good/won’t attract deer like healthy plants.  

3.  Add lime and fertilizer as needed.  This is more important than what variety of crop you grow!!

4.  Perennials are pretty much limited to clover. Clover probably won’t do as well as annuals like soybeans, wheat, etc., give the conditions.

5.  I recommend you plant this fall a mix of radishes, forage wheat, and brassicas (the Broadside blend) to attract deer and and condition the soil.  

Your plot won’t look like an ag field the first year.  Remember most ag fields have been limed and fertilized for years.  It will take a while to improve the soil in your plot.  

This can be a great plot if you follow some simple principles.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I remove the HotZone fence from protecting the soybeans?

Question
Hi Grant,

I apologize as I realize in the hundreds of food plot related questions but after looking through a few hundred I couldn’t find one that answered this question.

We have 7 acres of food plots on 550 acres in central Oklahoma (1/2 acre beans, 1.5 acres sorghum/summer peas/soy beans, 1 acre clover, ). The property is roughly 60/40 woods vs open fields and the native browse is pretty good in the wooded areas (we have done some TSI. Lets say the combined TSI areas make up 75 Acres done a few years back). It is legal in Oklahoma to provide supplemental feed and we feed protein in 3 feeders on the property from late summer through winter, part depending on how much rain we got and how well the food plots and native browse is).

I have 1/2 acre of Eagle Seed Gamekeeper beans planted and protected by a Hot Zone fence. This is the first year the beans have flourished on the property and have a chance at making beans, and they are about waste high. There are no other beans on the property that aren’t browsed down too near nothing. The fence is still up now, the beans are flowering and i’m suspecting there will be beans on them fairly soon. My goal is to FINALLY have some beans that remain for late fall/winter, when is it safe to remove the fence and let the deer start taking advantage of the great leafy beans that are there?

Thanks from one Grant to another.

Grant,

It sounds like you have a good habitat management plan in progress!  

Based on your goal of having pods available during the late season and that the unprotected beans have received lots of browse pressure I suggest leaving the HotZone fence up until you wish to hunt that plot.  This will insure you meet your goal of having bean pods available during the late season.

Enjoy creation,

grant

  

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can I make a food plot with limited tools?

Question
Hey, Grant!

I’ve got a 110 acre lease in the timberland of East TX from a logging company which I’m disallowed from doing any serious land management. There’s about a 1.5 acre clear cut area that I could possibly make a small food plot on, but I’m not allowed to clear the stumps, till it, or use herbicide. What would be your suggestion as to how to go about implementing a food plot here, and what would you recommend as far as seed? There are also some fire breaks that get enough sunlight (the canopy is pretty heavy in most places that aren’t cut) to possibly broadcast out some seed as well. Thanks!

Austen,

I suspect the clearcut is covered with weeds and saplings. It sounds as if you’d have to pull the weeds by hand.  If saplings are growing in the area it will be very tough to convert to a food plot with using some type of tillage. I like the idea of planting in firebreaks!  These areas will be small, but large enough to attract deer.  Both soybeans and wheat do well in east Texas.  However it will be difficult to control weeds in soybeans without the use of herbicide.  It may be best to use plenty of fertilizer and plant wheat during the fall.  These small plots can be established by using hand tools and could be very effective stand locations!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I plant clover, rye, and turnips in the same plot?

Question
Hey Grant I was wondering when the latest time would be to plant clover, rye, and turnips. I am planting these around Lebanon missouri. Also I would like your input on combining these three or if I should just combine the rye and clover and just the clover and turnips. One plot would be in a power line cut on the side of a hill and the other one is in a creek bottom. I was thinking about putting the turnips in the creek bottom due to better and deeper soil.
I was also wondering what you thought on burning a section of woods that is really thick but deer use for a bedding area. There is a section of woods about 3 to 4 acres that’s so thick that you cant hunt it. I was thinking about burning it to let some sun reach the ground and also so we can see in to it but I’m worried about spooking the deer from the area.

Jeff,

I’m not a big fan of rye (especially ryegrass).  Most varieties of rye mature much quicker than wheat which means it provides quality forage for deer for a shorter period of time.  In addition rye usually cost more than wheat.

I like the idea of mixing wheat and clover.  The clover won’t produce much forage this fall and the wheat will serve as a cover crop and attract/feed deer.  As the  wheat begins to mature next spring the clover should come on strong and dominate the stand.  

Turnips can shade out the clover and make it difficult to control weeds next year.  I suggest planting the turnips by themselves or with wheat.

Prescribed fire can be a great tool!  Like all tools, it should be used for a specific mission.  I assume you wish to use fire to set back the cover because it’s maturing (getting to tall) to work well for deer?  If that’s the case, then using prescribed fire may be a great action.  It’s currently very wet near Lebanon.  I doubt you will be able to conduct a successful burn till next year.

Be careful and enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I make a hidey hole plot on the four acres where I hunt?

Question
Hey Grant, Im 15 years old and thoroughly enjoy taking time to watch your show.
I Hunt on litterally 4 acres at my dads house around a pond. I have tons of deer here and have had a couple encounters with large bucks here. I have a wooded area right next to my stand with what seems to have fairly good soil. Is it worth cutting down cutting the trees, only around an inch in diameter, and broadcasting some clover here. I don’t want to go through the trouble of testing my soil but is it worth taking the time to cut this 20×20 yard area and broadcasting clover. I really believe that doing this will give me a better lane to shoot my bow and will attract deer to a specific area which will give me more time to pull off a shot.
Just interested in asking you since you are a professional.
Thanks for all you do for everyone and sharing your love for christ.

Jake,

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer and for sharing the encouraging words!

It sounds like you are seeing lots of deer!  I like the idea of creating a small hidey hole plot to attract deer to an area where it’s safe for you to shoot and a stand or blind can be placed so the wind will likely be in your favor.  

All plants taste better and attract deer better if they are healthy.  Malnourished plants rarely taste good.  This is why taking a soil sample and then adding the appropriate amount of fertilizer increases the odds the forage will attract deer!  

If you don’t have time to take a soil sample I suggest you plant wheat and apply a few bags of 10-10-10 or higher analysis (13-13-13) fertilizer.  Wheat grows in a much wider range of soil types than clover.  I often use wheat when creating new plots.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should I start a food plot?

Question
Hello Grant,
You talk a lot (and for good reason) about using plants to mine nutrients from deeper within the soil. The plants also provide a “loosening” of the soil by the way the roots grow and die and leave small “paths” in the soil which can otherwise be packed down by tilling.
Here is my question:
For a couple new plots we just tilled in the woods, should I try to plant wheat/radish or clover this winter? Keep in mind that the ph is probably hi 5s or low low 6. It is probably low on other key elements also as it is a 10 year old cut over stand. Or……. Should I save my time and money (not to mention don’t disturb the place prior to the approaching hunting season) and let weeds grow up? Wont the weeds also provide some of the benefits mentioned above? Will they be too tough to fight later if I let them establish now? Next spring, when I kill weeds or desirable plants” won’t they mine the same nutrients and thus compost to the same effect?
I hope I’ve made my question clear and thanks for your help!

Joe, 

I’d start the plots now.  The weeds will produce more seed – especially the ones deer don’t consume!

Begin by taking a soil test and adding the recommended amount of lime and fertilizer and then planting.  Deer typically ignore disturbances such as clearing ground.  Deer will avoid while the immediate location while the work is occurring but rapidly return once the heavily fertilized forage is growing!  

I suspect by the time season opens you’ll be happy you started now!  

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How important is soil quality in relation to antler growth?

Question
Hey Dr. Woods ! This summer’s program of posts, blogs and shows on GrowingDeer.tv have really been fantastic. The release of the research by MSU on nutrition vs genetics was truly great. In 2012, I asked you the “Top Ten” question about managing land for producing mature, huntable deer. Back then, you were certainly promoting Antler Dirt – well more than in the past year – year and a half. So let’s consider the issue noted by MSU regarding the soil nutrient characteristics associated with quality forage. Could we say perhaps that your investment in Antler Dirt soil modification is a part of the better production in some of the PG’s food plots? With the coffin being closed on the genetics to size issue, how might you rate the land manager’s cost-benefit options on increasing nutrients and nutrition through soil modifications, such as antler dirt, versus no-till practices which generate greater organic composition, or improved forage products such as the latest in forage soybeans which have greatly increased N2 nodule growth, or tree plots which may return mast year after year – versus simply using supplemental feeding practices like pelletized feeders? (Mind you , I do not advocate putting out a few dozen tubs of pellets or corn across the property!) The MSU study and your Proving Grounds indicate it’s a long term investment (including trigger management) of 3 to 5 years to see the first ROI of better quality deer. Where might the best early investments be made – besides the trigger?

Dan,

I don’t believe there is a magic bean – or one secret to producing quality bucks.  In areas with lots of production ag (soybeans and corn) deer typically have had access to quality forage for generations.  The toughest part of managing deer in such areas is allowing bucks to reach maturity as the local farmers are insuring soil and forage quality is good.  

In areas where there are no row crops, deer managers must work to improve soil and forage quality as part of improving the local herd’s quality.  Usually if there are no row crops in an area the soil is poor to too steep, etc.  In such areas results will be achieved quicker if the soil is improved by adding Antler Dirt or another quality fertilizer and using conservation soil management practices such as no-till, etc.  

Antler Dirt certainly improved the soil quality at my farm. However, the results wouldn’t have been as quick if I’d used conventional tillage through the years.

There’s rarely a magic bullet solution to any problem.  Rather there are proven principles that can be applied and this is true with habitat and deer management also!

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the seeding rate for Eagle Seed forage soybeans?

Question
Hey Gant I have two questions I hope you can answer for me, 1st how many eagle bean seeds do you plant per acre? 2nd which is better a field of clover or a field of alfalfa to a deer? Thanks Todd.

Todd,

The amount of Eagle Seed forage soybeans I plant per acre depends on the amount of browse pressure expected.  For example, in relatively small plots where there’s not much other quality forage around I often plant 80 or more pounds per acre.  The increased number of plants per square foot helps offset the damage due to browse pressure when the beans are young.  

In larger plots or areas where there are relatively fewer deer likely to browse in a plot I reduce the seeding rate to 50 pounds per acre.

It’s less expensive and easier hunting to plant at a higher rate than it is to clear and establish additional acres of plots.

Enjoy creation,

grant

   

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the nutritional value of ryegrass?

Question
Hey Grant, I have question for you. There are a lot of people that really love planting food plots that are mainly annual rygrass. I know that this ryegrass is good for attracting deer, but it has little to no nutritional value right? I was just wondering because our family owns land and we have one plot with a mix of rape, radishes, forage peas, and buckwheat. One with a mix of alfalfa, ladino clover, white dutch clover, medium red clover, turnips, radishes, kale, swiss chard, dwarf essex rapeseed, and 1.9% anuual rygrass. Another plot with 4 different clovers and chicory. And another that is mainly annual ryegrass with some radishes. Some of us are unsure about the food plot that is mainly annual ryegrass because of its low nutritional value, but others think that its a great plot nutrition wise because of the annual ryegrass. If you could let me know if the annual ryegrass is a good nutrition source for deer that would be great! Thanks.

Nick,

If properly fertilized ryegrass can produce high quality forage.  With that said, I rarely recommend ryegrass for food plots.  

Ryegrass can both grow and mature quickly.  Once ryegrass goes from the blade (flat) stage to the stem (round) stage it decreases in nutritional quality and attractiveness to deer.  Wheat, especially forage wheat, tends to remain in the blade stage much longer and therefore attracts deer much longer.  In addition forage wheat is often less expensive than a quality variety of ryegrass.  

All forages are simply nutrient transfer agents. That’s to say if the nutrients aren’t in the ground they can’t be transferred to deer.  Proper fertilization is just as important as forage variety.

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What cool season crop should I plant in a hidey hole plot in central Oklahoma?

Question
good afternoon grant,

my name is mac moore and I own 300 acres in central Oklahoma in river bottom.
I have created a “hidey hole” plot off of my 6 acre plot field and trying to encourage bucks to use that plot during daylight and such to get better bow opportunities at them. I have eagle beans in different plot and plan to move them to the big field off this hidey hole field next year. my question is what is your opinion on seed to plant in hidey hole plot if the big field will be in cool season annual this year.
brassicas only? separate out oats only? or just fertilize the cool annual heavily in this hidey hole and try to make it more green and lush earlier.
plan to do cool annual in hidey hole and eagle beans in big field next year. just looking for best plan this year if its gotta be green and green

thanks for your expertise and time

Mac

 

Mac,

Your question is very similar to one recently asked by Mark. I shared with him…

I’ve been using the Broadside seed blend from http://www.EagleSeed.com for years.  I like it because it includes a soybean variety that germinates rapidly.  Deer are very attracted to young soybeans during the early fall.  These soybeans attract deer to the plot.  As deer are consuming the soybeans they find the radishes.  Deer tend to eat the radishes next.  As deer are consuming the radishes the forage wheat is producing forage and becoming very attractive to deer.

Broadside also includes two types of brassicas. One produces forage and the other produces forage and a large bulb.  Deer tend to consume the brassica forage and bulbs during the late season.

The forage wheat will flush again during the early spring providing quality food for deer and turkeys.This blend has worked well to attract deer during the early, mid, and late season.  In addition, we’ve tagged a pile of turkeys in these plots during the spring!  

The combination of forage varieties does a great job of ‘mining” or “recycling” nutrients from deep in the soil and preparing a great seedbed for the crop next spring.  We’ll start planting Broadside later this week. I like to plant Broadside 60 – 45 days before the average first frost date.  That’s about October 10th here at my place.

Mac – I believe Broadside will work well in your hidey hole plot as it has forage varieties to attract deer during the early, mid and late season.  Unless they associate the hidey hole plot with danger, they will likely feed there before dark!

Enjoy creation,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What to plant in Hidey Hole plots?

Question
Hello Grant sir,

What will you guys be planting in the “Hidey Hole” plot that the team started working in the most recent episode? I hunt a similar area where I need such strategy but I have absolutely no experience with farming. I’m a student of the game and I’ve given this much thought but I still have a lot to learn. My concerns are a seed plant that can withstand some browse pressure and hopefully something that will still be desirable in the late season. I’m also curious about how the grade of the terrain will effect small plots. I’ll be doing this in the northern tip of Kentucky. Thank you for any information and God bless all of you at the proving grounds.

Mark,

Thank you for asking God to bless us!!  Your prayers are sincerely appreciated!

I’ve been using the Broadside seed blend from http://www.EagleSeed.com for years.  I like it because it includes a soybean variety that germinates rapidly.  Deer are very attracted to young soybeans during the early fall.  These soybeans attract deer to the plot.  As deer are consuming the soybeans they find the radishes.  Deer tend to eat the radishes next.  As deer are consuming the radishes the forage wheat is producing forage and becoming very attractive to deer.  

Broadside also includes two types of brassicas. One produces forage and the other produces forage and a large bulb.  Deer tend to consume the brassica forage and bulbs during the late season.  

The forage wheat will flush again during the early spring providing quality food for deer and turkeys. This blend has worked well to attract deer during the early, mid, and late season.  In addition, we’ve tagged a pile of turkeys in these plots during the spring!  

The combination of forage varieties does a great job of ‘mining” or “recycling” nutrients from deep in the soil and preparing a great seedbed for the crop next spring.  We’ll start planting Broadside later this week. I like to plant Broadside 60 – 45 days before the average first frost date.  That’s about October 10th here at my place.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I use a cover crop when planting clover?

Question
I’m getting ready to plant some very small deer food plots in the woods and open field edges. I have heard you say that low growing clovers generate faster in high traffic areas. What type of clover is low growing and would you mix other things with it or would you sow it solo?

Thanks,
Tim

 

Tim,

I strongly prefer using wheat as a cover crop when I establish clover during the fall.  The wheat will usually germinate quickly and provide forage while the clover is still very small. In addition, the wheat will protect the young clover from hard rains, harsh sun during dry conditions, etc.

The following spring the wheat will serve to outcompete most weeds. In addition, when the wheat matures deer and turkeys will benefit and be very attracted to the wheat grain!

Once the grain is consumed the wheat straw will decompose and serve as organic matter and fertilize for the clover.

I’ve had much success using the Monster wheat variety from http://www.EagleSeed.com.

I like a short growing clover.  I avoid most ladino varieties.  I’m experimenting with some newer varieties now and will keep you posted how they perform.

Enjoy creation!

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How much Roundup should be used to treat food plots?

Question
I’m not a farmer and I get very confused on how to read and figure out the proper mixture of roundup to water to kill weeds and grasses before I plant. Any guidance would be appreciated.

David,

I agree!  Herbicide labels can be confusing due to all the legalize.

The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate and it’s one of the safest herbicides used today.  Unless there are weeds that are resistant to glyphosate most farmers use 2 quarts of Roundup per 20-25 gallons of water per acre.  

There are many variables such as the hardness of the water, the droplet size produced by the sprayer’s nozzles, etc. However, 2 quarts of Roundup mixed with 20-25 gallons of water is a very generic and successful recipe.  

Enjoy creation!

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What to plant in food plots that are less than an acre?

Question
Grant!

Fellow “Ozarkian” here! haha. I live just south of Branson MO, across the Border in Omaha, Arkansas. So we’re neighbors!
Let me first start off by saying thank you for all your efforts and wonderful information, great videos, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. As nothing is possible without him.
Now, on to my question. I’d like to spice up my small food plots, where each is less than an acre, and I’d like your personal input on what version of seed I should get from Eagle since you know our weather, terrain, and layouts down here in the Ozarks. I’d love to use a “multi” type seed where i had clover, beans, wheat, turnips, so that they come up at different times. That sort of seed that works well with other seeds. And the best time frame to seed it.

Thanks a ton Sir,
God Bless,
Allen

Allen,

I’ve been planting Eagle’s Seed’s (www.EagleSeed.com) forage soybeans in small plots and then over seeding them with Broadside during mid August (when there’s ample soil moisture available.  Eagle’s Wildlife Manager’s blend works great for smaller plots.  This rotation has both attracted deer and built soil!  Deer love the soybeans all summer and the Broadside blend includes radishes, a forage wheat, and two types of brassicas.

Deer prefer the radishes early, the wheat during the mid season, and the brassicas during the late season!

The forage soybeans are Roundup Ready so it’s easy to keep the plots weed-free all summer and the Broadside blend can be seeding into the weed-free beans during the fall. This rotation does a great job of breaking the weed cycle!

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How long will it take for deer to return to an area after it’s been disturbed?

Question
Grant,

I was receiving several day and night pictures of different deer every day on my cellular trail camera. I did some plowing and planting on the food plot, hung a 55gal free choice corn feeder, and disposed of some old feed oats in the garage around the plot. Since doing so 4 days ago I have not seen a single deer on the camera. I moved the camera only 20yds or so. My fiance and I both used bug spray generously while we were there.

What can I do to bring them back?

I know the camera is functioning properly because I’m receiving raccoon pictures.

Thanks,

Neil

Neil,

Deer don’t like change.  It can take a week or longer for deer to accept significant changes.  The feeders, smell of the oats, removal of vegetation and plowing all were major changes in the area monitored by the camera. I suggest you simply stay away from the area a few days and allow deer to accept the changes aren’t associated with danger.  Once they are comfortable they will return to the plot unless they’ve found a better food source or one they don’t associate with danger.    

Enjoy creation,

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I spray before I disk?

Question
I’m wanting to put in a brassica food plot and I have got to spray the weeds to kill it out before I can plant. I have glyphosate 50% to spray with how long do I need to wait before I can disk and plant new seed? Would appreciate any insight. Thank you in advance Danny

Danny,

Glyphosate has no activity in the soil.  It’s only works by entering plants through green leaves, etc.  So there’s very limited value in spraying glyphosate before disking.  The disking should kill all the weeds.

Enjoy creation!

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What steps should I take to create a staging area food plot?

Question
Food plot question. I looked at the ask Grant section and got a lot of tips but none fully addressed my question. I hunted a soybean field last season with my stand on the edge of the field/woods facing the field. Not many opportunities in the field occurred but a lot of ‘just out of bow range’ activity was going on in the woods behind me. I moved my stand last week near a trail intersection with some decent rubs (last seasons) nearby. It seems like a staging area and i am positive the ‘big 9’ uses it to get in and out of the field. There is a break in the canopy where some ground cover grows, it doesn’t get browsed. I would like to replace it with some sort of staging forage. Can I use a weed whacker to cut it all down, and lime/fertilize in one day then come back and seed? Or should I “round-up” then come back and rake, fertilize seed. We are getting close to bow season and I don’t want to miss this opportunity to hold deer in this area. I am in the Upstate of SC bow season starts in about 5 weeks.

I really like your plan to move off the field edge and create a staging area hidely hole plot!!

Whether it will be best to cut the weeds or use herbicide depends on the species of weeds.  Most perennial weeds will simply sprout back after being cut.  The safest bet is to use glyphosate. You can spray on day (in good conditions) and literally add lime, fertilizer and seed the next.  

Make sure the site receives at least 50% sunshine a day.  Forage crops need sunshine to grow.  I often use a rack or other hand tools to prepare hidy hole plots!  

Let me know how this one turns out!

Enjoy creation!


 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How can I control grass in my radish food plot?

Question
I planted a food plot (rack radish crush item #1808301 at basspro) about June 12th My friend then unwittingly planted grass over the same area. The grass is obviously higher than the radishes, which have been munched on by the deer a lot as well. The grass is actually doubling over some. My question is, should I mow the area to give the radishes a fighting chance? Will it even help?

Thanks!

Wes

It depends on what type of grass and how mature it is.  There are several grass-specific herbicides such as Poast Plus, Clethodim, etc.  None of them are very effective on grass that’s very mature.  So using a grass-specific herbicide depends on the maturity of weeds. You could try mowing but most grass species respond to being cut by growing again if it’s during the growing season.  

It may be best to terminate the weeds and crop by herbicide or tillage and plant a fall crop now.  If you take this action, make sure there is plenty of soil moisture before you plant the new crop!

Enjoy creation!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is it safe for deer and other wildlife to consume plants treated with glyphosate?

Question
Dr. Woods,

I need to spray 3 small food plots in NW Wisconsin with glyphosate so I can get them planted with fall crops. The deer have browsed most of the good forage out of the plots but they along with some turkeys are still foraging in the plots on a daily basis. I don’t want to spray a chemical that will harm the critters. Do I need to worry about deer that try and browse the food plots after I have treated it with glyphosate?

Thanks for the help with this question,
Mark in Wisconsin

Mark,

There are no grazing restrictions on the glyphosate label.   In addition literally millions of deer and other critters have browsed on glyphosate treated crops throughout the U.S. for years without one reported negative response.  There have been literally 1,000’s of studies and not one scientific, peer-reviewed study has shown a negative relationship between glyphosate and humans or deer.  

Based on the research to date, and no known negative reports for more than a decade, you should feel comfortable using glyphosate per the instructions on the label.

  

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should the Broadside blend be planted in northern Mississippi?

Question
I have a question about planting fall food plots. I hunt on about 85 acres, mostly farm fields and lets say 25% woods.
The question is the farmer plants soybeans in May and cuts around Nov. could I spread eagle seed broadside over top of the soybeans and the crop come up? I’m going to plant 3 plots in this same seed mix.One field will be 1 acre and the other 2 plots are going to be long half acres. Whats your thoughts on planting like this; I will also plant in the last part of August. because I live in North MS.
Thanks for your help and keep up the great work on the videos.

Corey,

Broadside should be planted 45 to 60 days before the first expected frost.  The average first frost date in northern Mississippi is during late October (check out:  http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-mississippi-first-frost-date-map.php).  Based on this information I’d suggest planting during the first week or two of September.  Within that range I’d try to broadcast the Broadside just before a rain.  There will normally be a higher germination rate for seed that’s broadcast if it’s planted just before or even during a rain.  

This technique usually results in rapid germination and prevents seed from being damaged by desiccation and/or being consumed by rodents and birds.  

You need to check with landowner/farmer to insure they are OK with Broadside germinating before the soybean crop is harvested.  I’ve used this technique often with great results!

Enjoy creation!

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How much Broadside should be broadcast over existing Eagle Seed forage soybeans?

Question
How much broadside should be broadcast in a half acre of eagle seed beans?

There’s always some seed that doesn’t germinate when using the Broadcast technique.  This can be due to where the seeds land, being consumed by rodents or birds, etc. 

I’ve had very good success broadcasting Broadside over existing beans at 25 pounds per quarter acre.

Enjoy creation! 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should Broadside be broadcast in northern Indiana?

Question
It is time in Northern Indiana to broadcast Broadside in our eagle seed beans. I have a half acre of eagle seed beans how much Broadside do I use? Do I use a half acres worth or less? Azar (aka Big Boy) would like to know! See Pic.

Broadside does best when it’s planted 45 – 60 days before the first hard frost.  None of us can predict when the first frost will occur each fall so the best  we can do is use the average first frost date for each area.  The average first frost date for northern Indiana is around the 2nd week of October.  Based on this average I suggest broadcasting the Broadside blend during mid August or so.  I would wait until there is a good chance of rain in the forecast.  The broadcast planting technique works best if the seed are spread just before (or even during) a rain.  

We’ll be planting Broadside at The Proving Grounds about the same time as you!

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How is Antler Dirt made?

Question
Dr. Grant. I don’t have access to Antler Dirt here in Statesboro Georgia. Go Georgia Southern Eagles!!!! How can I create my own with dried chicken manure? Could you provide me with a step by step ingredient list and how much to add per acre? I love your show and have learned so much from you and Adam. Thanks.

Antler Dirt is composted and humified poultry litter.  You can learn more about how it’s made by watching: https://www.growingdeer.tv/#/big-antlers-start-in-the-dirt

To build Antler Dirt correctly requires turning it daily and adding beneficial living microbes, etc.  I suspect it would be much less expensive to pay the shipping than to purchase the equipment and all the ingredients.

You might reach out to the guys at http://www.AntlerDirt.com to learn more.  

Enjoy creation!

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How fast does lime work to alter the soil’s pH?

Question
Hi, my name is Duane Spurgin. I have mainly hunted public ground my whole life but I have recently acquired permission on a 60 acre tract of land. I am located in central Missouri. (Phelps county to be exact) The landowner has given me permission to plant a couple small food plots. Both are approximately between 1/4 to 1/2 acre. I am new to planting food plots so I’m looking for any advice as to what to plant. I’ve done some research and everything strongly recommends lime but I don’t have the time to adjust the pH with bow season quickly approaching and planting season about 2 weeks away. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and god bless

Duane,

Congratulations on accurate some land the manage and hunt!!

It can take months for normal ag lime to totally react with soil. However, the finer particles will begin reacting with the soil within days if there is adequate soil moisture.  I suggest you go ahead and apply lime now. The crops will get some benefit now and more as they mature throughout the fall! 

The finer the grind of lime the faster it reacts with soil. There are some sources of very finely ground lime that has been pelletized so it’s easy to spread.  I did some research on high quality pelletized lime years ago and it substantially improved the soil’s pH in a month!  

Whether you use standard ag lime or high quality pelletized lime I suggest you spread it as soon as you can!

Enjoy creation!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are there ways to improve the germination rate of seed that’s to be broadcast into standing soybeans?

Question
hi mr. woods thank you for answering my question about spreading broadside in the north!! im excited for a qdma field day at my local branch this weekend, anything I should look for or important questions to ask? I sprayed my plot and I have almost a pure stand of growing beans im really happy with eagle seeds habitat seeds, hopefully broadside has same results. my question to you now is im going to broadcast my broadside and some other fall blends to give different variety, when looking at my plots we have had very hot weather and I have a “top crust” if you want to say with cracks, ridges etc, im more concerned with germination or if seeds to deep things of that nature. Is there anything I can do to help like spread top soil by hand or anything to get bit of dirt on top? does it matter?

Thanks again!!
mike

Mike,

I hope you enjoy the Field Day with your local QDMA Branch!  

I wouldn’t broadcast the seed into your standing soybean food plot until the chances of rain are very good!  There must be adequate soil moisture for seeds to germinate and survive.  Rain also serves to splash dirt and help cover the seeds!  In addition rodents and birds can consume must of the seed if it lays on top of the ground and doesn’t germinate.  

I often broadcast seed during rain with great results!

Enjoy creation,

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What percentage of land should be in food plots?

Question
How many acers do you own? And how many food plots should you have on your land per acer? Also, how many food plots should you have per however many groups of deer?

There are many variables that determine how many acres of food plot there should be on any property.  If the hunting property is an area where corn and soybean crops are commonly grown then food plots, especially during the summer, are rarely necessary.  In these areas food plots during the hunting season can be useful to attract deer after the production crops have been harvested.  

In areas where timber or pasture are the primary land uses then more acres of food plots will be necessary to provide enough quality forage for all deer to express their full genetic potential. Ideally there will be enough acres of food plots that each deer has all the quality forage they wish to consume. 

An easy and accurate indicator that can be used to evaluate the quantity of food to the number of deer in an area is to notice if quality forage such as soybeans is being over-browsed.   If it is then either more acres of food plots should be established or the deer population should be reduced – or both actions at the same time.  

Enjoy creation! 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Should I overseed Eagle Seed forage soybeans even if they produced a good crop?

Question
Thanks Grant for taking the time to look at my question. I live and hunt in Wisconsin near Trempleau county. I have a 1 acre plot that I planted in eagle seed soybeans this spring, with the expectation that it would provide forage for deer during the summer, but it would be over browsed, probably not set pods, and come late summer, I would be able to overseed it with broadside blend. Well I may have underestimated the browse tolerance of eagle seed beans and they are about knee high (I’m 6’3″) and have totally closed off and created a canopy such that I can’t see any bare dirt when I look at them from afar and up close. Not being a farmer and never having planted soybeans before, I’m not sure how to tell if these plants are going to produce soybean pods to hunt in the winter. I don’t want to ruin perfectly good beans and at the same time waste the eagle seed putting it in the plot and not have it germinate because the seeds can’t get any sun. Similarly, i don’t want to be fooled into thinking that these plants will set bean pods, not seed it, have the forage beans die in October and nothing but bare dirt to look at come thanksgiving. Not to mention the weed problem come spring when I try to plant again. Thanks in advance if you have a chance to answer my question.

Like you, I’m amazed every year at how much forage Eagle Seed forage soybeans produce even when being heavily browsed.

Unless there’s an earlier than normal frost at your property or you planted a very late maturing variety of Eagle Seed such as Big Fellow or Large Lad it shoulds like the beans in your plot will produce pods.

I really like the many benefits of cover crops!  Some cover crops can provide excellent forage for deer and other game.  When the temperatures are warmer than normal during hunting season deer tend to prefer green forage versus grains (bean pods). By overseeding standing soybeans you can provide deer both greens and grain in the same plot and keep attracting deer during both warm and cold temperatures.  

Eagle’s Broadside blend works great to mine or recycle nutrients. That is to say this blend grows in all but the coldest conditions and actively growing plants take up nutrients that otherwise might leach below the reach of new plants next spring.  When the winter cover crop is terminated the decomposing forage and roots release great nutrients for the new warm season crop.  I could go on with benefits of cover crops.

I strongly suggest planting Broadside in your standing crop of forage soybeans.  If you use a no till drill this will create gaps where the sun will reach the soil and allow the Broadside to germinate.  If you plan to broadcast the seed you may wish to drive and ATV through the plot, etc., and disturb at least 1/3 of the forage crown.  This will allow the Broadside to germinate and the remaining beans to produce pods.

I know it sounds crazy to remove a small portion of a plot you worked hard to grow!  However the benefits of a cover crop outweigh any damage to a small percentage of the standing beans.

 

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What forages are extremely shade tolerant?

Question
Grant: I have a beautiful secluded area of mature trees along a creek bed whose understory is almost 100% wild oats (which the deer do not eat). What can I plant there (after mowing the oats) that will be an attractive and nutritious deer food? Obviously, this area is heavily shaded. I thought of some type of clover, but when I read about the clovers, they all seem to want quite a bit of sunshine.

Most forages do require at least 1/2 day of sunshine to be productive.  The sun is the source of all energy and with ample sunlight the photosynthesis process doesn’t work.

I agree with you that white clovers are about as tolerant as any forage I’ve tried  You will need to insure there are plenty of nutrients in the soil. All forages are simply nutrient transfer agents and if the nutrients aren’t in the soil the  plants can’t transfer them to deer.

If the site has a full canopy I wouldn’t recommend using your resources to try to establish a food plot in that location.

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What liquid fertilizer should I use?

Question
Hi Grant,

Keep up the great work. Love the videos and information that you provide.

I am aware that you utilize Antler Dirt for fertilizing your plots, but in my situation I don not have access to the equipment necessary to apply the Antler Dirt especially in remote areas of my property and was wondering if you could recommend an all around good fertilizer for use with various types of food plots that can be applied with an ATV sprayer? If so what is it and when is the best time apply it considering both spring and fall plantings?

Regards

Plants requires a certain amount of nutrients to grow. I’m not aware of any liquid fertilize that has enough nutrients to work without a base of some traditional or composted fertilizer.

I’m sure there are some great add-on products.

Your best bet may be to build the quality of soil using minimal tillage and good crop rotation.  I’ve been amazed at how much the soil fertility has improved at my place simply from using soybeans during the warm season and a combination of radishes, wheat, and brassicas (Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend) during the fall.

 

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Could I spread Eagle Seed Broadside over top of production soybeans and the crop come up?

Question
I have a question about planting fall food plots. I hunt on about 85 acres, mostly farm fields and lets say 25% woods.  The question is the farmer plants soybeans in May and cuts around Nov. could I spread eagle seed broadside over top of the soybeans and the crop come up? I’m going to plant 3 plots in this same seed mix.One field will be 1 acre and the other 2 plots are going to be long half acres. Whats your thoughts on planting like this; I will also plant in the last part of August. because I live in North MS.
Thanks for your help and keep up the great work on the videos.

Great question! Yes, you can definitely plant the Eagle Seed Broadside mix over the standing production beans. See this video for my suggestions on easy food plots over standing crops: https://www.growingdeer.tv/#/secrets-to-quick-food-plots

My only concern is that you don’t plant too early. If you plant too early the farmer may have difficulty combining his soybeans in November. You always want to stay on good terms with your local farmer!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When should the Broadside Blend be broadcast in northern states?

Question
hi Mr. woods like to take a moment and just tell you I really enjoy watching your videos and im glad I found a person in the hunting world who is helping other hunters learn about management practices without charging for there answers. I live in Albany ny and have several acres just in outskirts of the city, high deer density but there are some nice bucks in area. I planted eagle beans for first time and im using a deer barrier system to keep them out, seems effective now and beans are about shin high. I purchased your broadside blend as cover crop and I would like to know at what point should I broadcast over beans, I know its usually 60 days before first frost but are area usually stays dry come September and into hunting season, would it be ok to spread within couple weeks while I still have rain coming or should I wait? also I sprayed glyphosate over beans for weed control would there be a lot of competition with the broadside if weeds are not completely gone?

Thank you very much and keep great videos and the info coming!!
mike

Mike,

It sounds as if you have a great food plot established!  I’m glad you are preparing to overseed the Eagle Seed forage soybeans with Broadside. That’s a great technique to keep attracting deer as the seasons change.  

The Broadside or most forage crops will do better with less competition.  If the weeds are turning yellow they will likely be gone before the Broadside germinates.  If not, it might be best to treat the weeds again before planting the Broadside.  

Can you see some of the soil while walking through the plot or have the forage soybeans made a complete canopy?  If there is a complete canopy there won’t be much sunshine reaching the soil and allowing the Broadside to germinate and grow rapidly.  If this is the case I suggest splitting the plot in 1/2 and allowing deer to browse half the beans while protecting the other 1/2. Plant the Broadside in the 1/2 where the deer browse the beans and open up the canopy so at least 50% of the soil is receiving sunshine.  

Either way, I suggest planting the Broadside while there is adequate soil moisture.  This will result in a much higher rate of germination and more tonnage produced before the first killing frost.  

Enjoy creation!

grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Why is ragweed growing in my food plot even though I sprayed Roundup?

Question
I have bunch of this growing in a new food lot that we planted this spring, and I cant figure out what this is. I don’t think its a weed as we sprayed round up twice and let it get nice and crispy before discing up the land. Any input would be appreciated.

The plant in your picture appears to be ragweed.

The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate.  Glyphosate is only active on living leaf surface area.  It won’t prevent weed seeds that are in the soil from germinating.  Disking often results in bringing weed seeds within the top inch of soil. These seeds will usually rapidly germinate.  It’s rarely necessary to spray Roundup before disking as disking will remove the weeds and Roundup won’t keep existing weed seeds from germinating!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What fruit trees are a good deer attractant?

Question
Dr. Grant,
Really enjoy your videos, guidance and passion for developing deer management strategies. I’ve learned a lot from your web site!

This is a suggestion based on an experiance I am happy to be having as a result of a neighbor setting up bee hives on his property. My neighbor set up 4 or 5 bee hives early this spring and I’ve noticed them all over my wild apple and plum trees when they were in bloom. the droning was incredible! Now the apples and plums have started to grow and I have never seen them producing so much fruit! (I’ve had the property for 9 years). Some of the plum tree branches are actually breaking under the weight of the fruit. My apple trees, one in particular that is close to my house, seem to have 50% more apples this year. We have also had good rain in the area (South West corner of Wisconsin). So if fruit bearing trees are part of your habitat strategy, Bee hives may be a good investment to promote pollination with a pleasant side effect of being able to collect some honey!

Guess I’ll add a question: How does fruit bearing trees and brush such as black caps, rasberries etc, play into your forage habitat planning?
Thanks,
Travis

Travis,

Like you, I have a friend that keeps his bees at our place!  I enjoy the work they do and the honey they make!!

I have a tree plot (fruit and nut producing trees planting within a forage-based food plot) at my place!  Here in southern Missouri I prefer fruit trees as the landscape is primarily covered by oaks.  I usually prefer plums and pears to apple trees simply because apples trees tend to require a lot more maintenance to produce fruit.  I get my tree stock from Flatwood Natives and have experienced good success and I appreciate thier service and advice!

You can see some of the planting and maintenance advice from Flatwood Natives in episode #247 here.

There’s lots of native soft mass at my ranch as a results of the native habitat management.  These include wild strawberries, dewberries, blackberries, etc. Most of these ripen long before season opens but do provide a source of energy for deer and other wildlife species.

Thank you for watching http://www.GrowingDeer.tv!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What herbicide is best for food plots with multiple forage species?

Question
Mr woods thank you for your dedication to deer hunting and conservation in general also sending out great messages for all viewers about time spent in the outdoors and creation. My 5 year old daughter loves to set down and watch your videos with me its also something I don’t have to worry about her watching and for that I thank you!

My management question is what can I use to spray on food plots with multiple species of forage such as one plot having chicory, clover and alfalfa in an existing plot that will not kill my plantings. I use glyphosate to kill new areas to be planted but I want something to treat my plots with in early-late spring before weeds mature and take over. I have about 100 acres of my personal land to tend to but also I tend my hunting club that’s about 4800 acres of free range land in the tip northeast corner of Alabama. I know some company’s sell small bottles of select herbicide but I need something a lot more cost effective. I already mow the plots soon as possible in spring but sometimes that doesn’t work out.
thank you Matt

Matt,

Thank you for for sharing the encouraging words and leading by example!  Your daughter is blessed to have a Dad that loves her enough to constantly protect her and spend time with her!

I’m not aware of a herbicide that’s safe to use over legumes (clover and alfalfa) and chicory.  Weed control in plots with multiple species is difficult.  You can use most of the grass- specific herbicides over legumes and broadleaf (chicory) with damaging the forage crops.  There are several grass-specific herbicides and all have advantages and disadvantages.  

Mowing rarely controls weeds (grasses or broad-leafed weeds).  This is one reason I tend to plant warm season plots with a single species like forage soybeans and use blends during the cool season.  Weeds are rarely a problem in cool season plots – especially if there has been a warm season forage crop and good weed control during the summer.

Depending on the size of the plots and the number of deer in the area the best rotation I’ve found for attracting and feeding deer is Eagle Seed forage soybeans during the summer followed by overseeding the beans with the Broadside blend about 60 days before the first expected frost of the fall.

The Roundup ready beans make it easy to keep the plot weed-free during the summer and the Broadside is a great soil builder and deer attractant!

Enjoy creation,

Grant 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How long does it take to spread lime by hand on food plots?

Question
In the latest video, you show lime being distributed with a hand seeder. But you talk about rates of 2 tons per acre.  How long does it take to spread that much lime using a hand seeder?

Doug

Doug,

I only spread lime on small plots (1/8th of an acre or so) by hand.  This still takes some time, but my spreader holds 50 pounds so I open the flow gauge up wide and spread each load quickly.  I think the effort is worth it as mature bucks readily use high quality forage in small plots that don’t receive much hunting pressure!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Burning and replanting

Question
How can I achieve a soil management goal with out a no-till drill or is that unachieveable? My method now is to burn old fodder and replant, thus leaving my plots bare at times with no food and no protection at times.

Michael,

Prescribed fire can be a great tool in your soil management program!  Fire was a big factor in building the great soils in the prairie states.  You can use fire to remove the duff from past crops and then broadcast seed on plot.  Remember that fire rarely destroys the roots from past crops.  There is often more roots (plant material) under the soil than what is present on top the ground.  The roots will break down creating high quality organic matter and channels for roots of new plants to seek sources of water and nutrients.

When using a fire-based system of preparing a seedbed you will need to select crops that germinate well when the seeds are broadcast on top the soil.  Common crops that work well in this system include clover, wheat (most all small grains), turnips, radishes, buckwheat, etc.

I often plant 20% more pounds per acre when broadcasting compared to using a no till drill because of the seed will be consumed by critters (birds, squirrels, etc.) or won’t germinate due to limited seed to soil contact.

This system works best if the seed is planted just before a rain.  Rain prevents the seed from desiccation and helps insure the seed have good contact with the soil.

It’s often better to terminate the mature crops with herbicide to insure there’s dry vegetation and the fire will effectively burn throughout the whole plot.

The GrowingDeer.tv episode at the following link shows an example of me using fire to remove the duff from an unmanaged pasture to create a food plot:  https://www.growingdeer.tv/#/a-new-buck-and-storm-proofed-food-plots

Be careful with fire and enjoy creation!

grant

 

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What crops are good for growing deer in southern Ontario, Canada?

Question
Hi, I hunt a property that has a farmer farming the land and he usually plants either corn, millet bird seed and the odd time he’ll plant soybeans. I was just wondering, are these good crops for growing deer? I live and hunt in southern Ontario,Canada, if that would have anything to do with it?

Sounds like you have permission to hunt a good farm! Corn and millet are both great sources of energy for deer (and other species of wildlife)! However, they don’t provide much protein for deer. A combination of soybeans and corn (on different parts of the farm) would be great – with the soybeans providing protein during the growing season and corn providing energy (carbohydrates) during the winter. If some of these crops (odd corners, etc.) were left standing during the winter, they would be a great feeding and hunting area! You might consider trading the farmer work days during the off season for him leaving a bit of grain standing for hunting during the winter. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What greens would you recommend planting in our food plot?

Question

Hi Dr. Woods, I emailed you in early October about why we were not seeing mature bucks. Our luck changed as the season went on and we had multiple encounters with some very good bucks. I alone have spent over 100 hours in the tree stand this year trying to put some antlers on the ground. As hunting goes, some things happened and we just couldn’t close the deal. This year we intend on planting about 3 acres of forage soybeans, but we want some short greens next to the beans closer to our stand set ups. This way we have an area for shots. We are avid bow hunters. What greens would you recommend?

Curtis

Check out the current episode at http://www.GrowingDeer.tv (Watch GDTV 215 here) – you’ll see several bucks gorging on Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend and my dad tagging a buck! I tagged several deer this year by placing stands so I could hunt food plots planted with Broadside. The blend of forage varieties in that blend has worked VERY well for me! May you be blessed with some great hunts during 2014!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can you plant soybeans without a drill?

Question
Dr. Woods, I am an admiring fan of you and your family shows. My question is, can you plant soybeans any other way than with a drill and still be successful? I only have a 60 acre lease with an acre plot, which is all I’m allowed to plant under my lease. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

James

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv! Soybeans can be planted successfully by preparing the soil (working it with a disk, tiller, etc.) and then broadcasting the seed (I often use a hand spreader) and then covering the seed by using some fencing, logs, etc., to drag the soil. I usually plant about 20% more seed than normal when using this method as some seed won’t be covered and birds, squirrels, etc., will consume a portion. Planting just before a rain usually produces the best results. I wish you well with this project!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should we do to improve the hunting and food plots on our small farm in Wisconsin?

Question
I have a few questions. I manage a small parcel of land, 24 acres to be exact, but hunting in our area was tough due to a few factors this year. Now that the season here in Wisconsin is all but over with the bitter cold setting in, I am evaluating my season and all my camera photos to set a new plan for next year and would like your advice or input. My first question is: We have a smaller ag field on the property that a farmer plants in corn for us and I plant the outer edges in food plots. This year I got some more equipment and am looking to plant the whole 4 acres of food plots myself. Would it be best to plant half in an annual like brassicas and half in a mix of clovers and wheat or would it be best to plant one species in the whole field? The land is surrounded by production agriculture with over 100 acres of corn and alfalfa each within a quarter mile. Our land has a hilltop hardwood ridge between two large cedar swamps. The next question is: One of the farms that borders our land is a factory type farm and employs crop damage tags to harvest a ton of deer. I like the fact of the intense doe harvest before and during hunting season but it made it tough from early October to mid December as the deer went total nocturnal and seemed to vanish. I thought it was over hunting of our small parcel but it was a regional problem as we ended up the season with two deer, a nice 9 point and a yearling buck (my wife’s first deer). During the firearms season out of a total of 25 people and around 3000 acres of land we did the best. No one saw much of anything buck wise and very few does were sighted, it was not just eyes – all game cameras went dead too like the deer just vanished. Any advice on how to deal with this problem or hurdle? We only access two stand sites to hunt the property and unless working on timber management or food plots we never walk in swamp land or any areas that are known bedding areas. Thanks for your time. Have a blessed new year and I look forward to 52 new episodes of the show, I can’t wait every week to see what is next.

Kyle, congrats on your previous successes and thanks for your support! As a fellow Wisconsinite I understand the frustrations that go along with tremendous fluctuations in local deer herd numbers across the state. Not sure where you are at exactly, but I see a lot more deer in SE WI than in N WI, and for some obvious reasons…food, predators, and hunter numbers. We could talk all day about WI deer management, but I’ll choose to save that for another day. Your first question was how you should go about planting the large (4 acre) ag field. My answer would be to experiment. Since the property is surrounded by ag, I would expect little over browsing during the early fall. Thus, I love the thought of providing a smorgasbord of quality forage types in your food plots. The majority should still be planted with grains because my guess is the surrounding farmers till the fields after harvest. Try out a pattern like this: 2 acres of corn, 1 acre of soybeans, ½ acre Broadside (great mixture of brassicas, winter wheat and soybeans made by Eagle Seed), and ½ acre of clover. This will be a great way to view what the deer are preferring to eat during different times of the year. Monitor from an observation stand or time lapse mode on trail cams and hunt based upon what you are seeing. Your second question may be a tough hurdle. From your description it sounds as though the deer numbers are low in your area and the factory farm shoots every doe they can. Tough scenario to deal with because you can’t really blame the farmers for using their ag tags because the crop is their moneymaker. Also, shooting at them with rifles will turn them nocturnal. Maybe you could ask if you would be able to fill their ag tags with the use of a bow before season? Could be a win win. You get to hunt and the deer get shot at less, and eventually learn it is safe to feed during the day again. I hope these suggestions help. Hunt safe!

— Andrew Gall, GrowingDeer.tv

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How should I plant this food plot?

Question
Hello, I planted Eagle Seed beans on a 3 acre food plot this season and had great success. However, my dad and brother have been complaining that the beans are too tall. The major difference between them and I though is my first love is archery and they primarily gun hunt. The beans are perfect in my eyes by adding a huge food source and adding amazing cover but that also means that they are not able to shoot as far as they want into the beans. Would you suggest any pattern or plant changes within the plot to add windows of opportunity? I planted about an acre of Broadside on the other side of the creek with great success. Would it be beneficial to save a lane through the heart of the plot to plant Broadside when it gets closer to fall and lose that extra bean production? The average numbers of deer hitting the plots with this cold front is 25-30 on an evening sit. This is up from previous years due to the amount of groceries I’ve added.

Thanks for your help,

Brett

Would you rotate and plant beans to the food plot on the “other side of the creek”? I would consider planting all beans to provide the summer forage and then mow a strip in the center of the larger field about August and plant Broadside. This seems the best way to have your cake and eat it also. Or consider an elevated blind like I use to hunt the Eagle Seed beans and allow your Dad and brother an advantage!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Have you ever tried Milorganite to protect your food plots?

Question

Have you ever tried Milorganite to protect your soybeans or other plants from deer, when they are first sprouting up?

John

I remember years ago when the University of Georgia tried Milorganite in some experiments. It did seem to keep deer from browsing for a few days. I use an all natural fertilizer called Antler Dirt. It seems to do the same, but has a very high organic matter content. You can learn more about Antler Dirt at http://www.AntlerDirt.com. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How much of your land have you turned into food plots?

Question

Hey, I was wondering how many acres of land you own? How much of it have you turned into food plots?

Thanks,

John

Tracy and I have about 1,500 acres. We have about 60 acres of food plots. We’d like more but the land is so rough that there’s not many more acres that are flat enough so the tractor won’t turn over – literally!  You can read more about Our Place by clicking here.

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crop can I plant to attract deer during bow season?

Question

For the past several years I have been planting Eagle Seed Beans.  It is a great crop and brings in plenty of deer in the late season, after our deer season. What can I plant to get them in the food plot during bow season, October and November?

Thank you,

Frank

Deer are picky eaters! Their preferred foods are based on what else is available at that location and time. What are the deer eating at your place between when they are focused on the soybean forage during the summer/early fall and the pods during the late winter? Do you hunt/plant in an area where there are lots of acorns? I live and hunt where there are lots of acorns. I plant Eagle Seed Broadside blend during August and deer are readily attracted to it until the acorns are present everywhere. Deer tend to abandon all my food plot crops while there are plenty of acorns and then return to the plots when the acorns become less abundant.

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is there an alternative to no-till drilling food plots?

Question

Is there any method to mimic no-till drilling? We are thinking of spreading Antler Dirt, then broadcast our seed and then cover it with hay. Would this work?. We don’t yet have the funds for a no-till drill or for a tractor at this time. Like you, our land is rugged and rocky. Thanks for your input.

Matthew

One problem with spreading hay is you will likely spread weed and/or grass seed that you don’t want in your plot. I think in your case it will be less expensive and produce better results to simply spread more seed (to compensate for a lower germination rate) and hopefully spread the seed just before or during a rain. This works great for small seeds like clover, turnips, etc. It works good with wheat. It doesn’t work as well with soybeans and other larger sized seeds. This may mean focusing on planting forage that has smaller sized seed – not a bad program! Rain helps cover the seed by splashing dirt on the seed and burying the seed. It also allows the seed to germinate quickly so rodents and birds don’t consume the seed.

Best,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Clover food plot maintenance: mow or don’t mow?

Question

I was watching your video on clover plots (GDTV #187). What is your recommendation on mowing? There are some that say mow and some that say don’t mow. If the plot is clean and growing good should you mow it especially if the clover is well over knee high? Is there a nutritional difference in the new young clover verses the mature clover?

Thanks,

Rob

Rob,

Yes, new growth is almost always more nutritious. That’s one advantage to mowing. However, mowing causes the crop much stress – so don’t mow if it’s dry and the crop is already showing signs of stress, etc. I also don’t mow if I wish to increase the number of plants in the stand and need the existing clover to produce seeds.

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

When is the best time to plant winter wheat in a food plot?

Question
I live in southern Indiana.Is it better to plant winter wheat early in September or toward the end of September into October? Also, can you do a burndown with glyphosate and then broadcast the wheat two weeks later right before some rain? Or do you have to work the ground up?

Wheat can be planted during a wide range of dates. The best time to plant depends on the mission. If there are lots of early season food sources in the area, then it may be better to plant wheat later (mid to late September) so it doesn’t mature past being palatable before deer start using it as a food source. I usually begin planting wheat during early to mid August depending on when soil moisture is available so the forage will be available and attracting deer by the opening of bow season – September 15th – as there isn’t any competing food sources in my neighborhood. Wheat seed, like all crops, needs good seed to soil contact. The existing vegetation can be burned down with glyphosate, but the seed needs to be placed in the soil with a no-till drill or the weed duff removed so the seeds will reach the soil.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What do I do now for my clover food plot?

Question

Thanks for the Monday morning videos. I have loved these for quite some time. Also, thank you for taking a positive stand on the Creator. I HAD a picture perfect crimson clover food plot 6 weeks ago. It fed the deer through the winter and was beautiful this spring. I went back this past week and the native grasses were 18 inches tall and completely blocking out the clover. The grasses are deep green in this area which tells me the clover is still there adding nitrogen to the soil. I think the grass is fescue. What do I do now?

Thanks,

Bob

Bob,

Thanks for the encouraging words! Crimson clover is a winter annual where you and I live – and has about finished its productive season by this time of year in the Ozarks (depending on precipitation amounts). I agree with your observations that the fescue is using the nitrogen provided by the crimson clover and doing well. If the crimson clover is all brown and made a hard seed already, then I would spray the fescue with glyphosate (generic Roundup) to control the fescue before it gets too tall. Once fescue is more than one foot tall it’s tough to control. You could use a grass specific herbicide like Clethodim, Select, Poast, etc., but those herbicides cost more and are not as effect as glyphosate at controlling fescue. If you do control/kill the fescue I’d plant a mixture of brassica, wheat, and radishes in the plot this fall about 60 days before the first expected frost. If the crimson clover has already made a hard seed, those seeds will germinate this fall/next spring and result in another great crop of clover for the early growing season!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What products do you use to spray grass in clover food plots?

Question

I watched the latest video on clover food plots (GDTV #187) and I am wanting to know what products you use to spray grass in clover. I am having trouble understanding how to mix the herbicide. I usually spray our field with a 3 gallon backpack sprayer. I try to spray them around the end of May to the first of June (our farm is in southern Tennessee). I usually spray post but I don’t quite remember how I mixed it last year. Any help would be much appreciated!

Drew

Drew,

I use Clethodim to control grass in clover. I follow all instructions on the label, including using a non-ionic surfactant. Clethodim – like most grass-specific herbicides work best when applied when the grass is 4-8″ tall. For the best results, following the instructions on the label! Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the best food plot mix to plant in a shady location?

Question

I really like your site and the information your team provides. I have read your food plot information but have a question for you. My hunt club is 400 acres. We have about 16 small food plots. A few food plots are around 7,500 square feet and the majority are around 1,200 square feet. Most are clover mixes and some brassica. I have a private area that has a good bit of pines around it. It is somewhat shady. It is about 1,200 square feet for a possible food plot. With the shade/filtered light what do you recommend as the best type of food source to plant here? I want it to be very active during hunting season. It is located in north Georgia.

Thanks for the help,

Peter

I find hidey holes (small plots off the beaten trail) great locations to kill mature bucks! 1,200 square feet is about 3/100 of an acre. Hence, it needs to be a browse tolerant forage, or time the planting/hunting closely so deer don’t consume all the forage before there are good conditions to hunt! White clover is fairly shade and browse tolerant. I suggest making sure all weed competition is removed (using herbicide or tillage) and heavily fertilize the area. Fertilizer will accomplish two goals including making the forage more palatable than other food sources and allowing the forage to continue growing even if there are lots of deer eating at the plot. Another great tool is a Hot Zone electric fence (you may have seen them used on GrowingDeer.tv). These solar powered fences keep deer out until you wish to hunt, then you can create a gap in the fence that funnels deer into a good shooting position.

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot seed would you recommend for around Ontario, Canada?

Question

I have been a long time follower of your site. If you had only a small amount of area to prepare for a winter feed plot, say 1/2 to 1 acre, would you plant it in soybeans or would a turnip brassica blend be more beneficial? I live in Ontario, Canada. We can have winter from mid November to early March. Soil conditions are ok for either forage – just wondering on your advice.

Thanks,

Darren

If your primary concern is to attract deer during the fall and provide quality forage during that season, I’d probably go with a turnip/brassica blend. This is especially true if there are a lot of deer in the area. A few deer can limit the pod production potential of soybeans in a 1/2 acre plot. Therefore, planting soybeans in that plot is a bit of a gamble. However the risk is limited as it’s easy to broadcast brassicas into heavily browsed beans about 45 days before the first frost – so a combo may be best! Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot seed would you recommend for hunting over in October to November?

Question

I would like to put together some food plots in the area I hunt. This area has some pretty harsh winters and the deer migrate out of the area to large cedar swamps for the winter. Is there a seed conglomerate that you would suggest to plant for hunting purposes (Oct/Nov) that matures best before the deer exit the area (Dec)?

Thanks,

Gary

I like a blend of radishes, turnips, and forage brassicas. I like to plant them at least 45 days (preferably more) before the first expected frost.

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the best food plot plants that are at a decent price?

Question

My parents and I would like to find some property this summer that we can have our ranch on and use for hunting. My question to you is, what is the best food plot plants that are at a decent price that you would recommend for the Caulfield area of Missouri?

Thank you for your time,

Edward

Edward,

The Eagle Seed soybeans give the most tonnage of high quality forage per dollar and effort. Several university studies have evaluated the forage quality and quantity of Eagle Seed forage soybeans. Remember to have a soil test and lime and fertilize appropriatly as all forages need good growing conditions to express their potential.

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What should I plant in the small, shady food plot at my hunt club?

Question

I really like your site and the information your team provides. I have read your food plot information but have a question for you. My hunt club is 400 acres. We have about 16 small food plots. A few that are around 7,500 square feet and the majority are around 1,200 square feet. Most are clover mixes and some brassica. I have a private area that has a good bit of pines around it. It is  somewhat shady. It is about 1,200 square feet of possible food plot. With the shade/filtered light what do you recommend as the best type of food source to plant here? I want it to be very active during hunting season. It is located in north Georgia.

Thanks for the help,

Peter

Peter,

I find hidey holes (small plots off the beaten trail) great locations to kill mature bucks! 1,200 sq feet is about 3/100 of an acre. Hence, it needs to be a browse tolerant forage, or you must time the planting/hunting closely so deer don’t consume all the forage before there are good conditions to hunt! White clover is fairly shade and browse tolerant. I suggest making sure all weed competition is removed (using herbicide or tillage) and heavily fertilize the area. Fertilizer will accomplish two goals including making the forage more palatable than other food sources and allowing the forage to continue growing even if there is a lot of deer eating at the plot. Another great tool is a Hot Zone electric fence (you may have seen them used on GrowingDeer.tv). These solar powered fences keep deer out until you wish to hunt, then you can create a gap in the fence that funnels deer into a good shooting position.

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Which food plot variety is the best for hunting purposes?

Question

I would like to put together some food plots in the area I hunt. This area has some pretty harsh winters and the deer migrate out of the area to large cedar swamps for the winter. Is there a seed conglomerate that you would suggest to plant for hunting purposes (Oct./Nov.) that matures best before the deer exit the area (Dec.)?

Gary

Gary,

I like a blend of radishes, turnips, and forage brassicas. I like to plant them at least 45 days (preferably more) before the first expected frost.

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What Should I Plant in My Food Plot?

Question
What Should I Plant in My Food Plot?

This is the most frequently asked question I receive. However, it’s like asking what aircraft I use. I use a helicopter to count deer in the brush country of South Texas. However, a jet works much better to get me to clients’ properties in distant portions of the whitetails’ range. Both aircraft work, but are much better suited for different missions. Similarly many varieties of food plot crops will grow in different areas. However, specific crops should be selected based on a site-specific basis depending on the mission of plot, the soil type of the plot, budget, etc.  Throughout the year, the Growing Deer Team will frequently show and discuss what crops they use to establish specific food plots for specific missions (warm season, cool season, attractant, nutrition). As an example, I use forage soybeans from Eagle Seed for the last few years in plots where the mission is maximum warm season forage with great success. I use a different crop for small, attractant or cool season plots. My best advice to you in this limited space is to research several options and continue to watch here for more shows and tips on this exact subject!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Cover Crop near Public Road

Question
I watched one of your videos about the soybeans that get very tall (4′ to 6′).  What type of beans are these and where can they be purchased?  My property isn’t very big and is almost all open next to a town road.  Currently I plant normal beans surrounded by corn.  I would like to get my hands on these beans so I don’t have to plant corn around the edges all the time.

Thanks,

Michael

Michael,

The forage soybeans I referenced are produced by Eagle Seed.  It is a family owned business, and that family has been selecting soybean traits for literally 40+ years.

However, I’m not sure you should plant the Eagle forage soybeans within sight of a public road.  Deer find the Eagle Seed soybean forage and pods very attractive.  I suspect that may make the deer more visible — at least the corn provides some cover.  This is especially true during the early growth stages when the soybeans are 4’+ tall.

A cover crop that I frequently recommend for similar situations is Switchgrass.  Switchgrass provides great bedding/escape cover and typically stands all winter (even through snow and ice).  I plant it next to public roads so poachers can’t see and don’t wish to walk through it.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Can corn be planted in the same food plot over multiple years?

Question
Grant,

I know from watching your video that you don’t recommend it…but is it possible to grow corn on corn each year?  Based on my property layout corn is the only crop that I can grow other than sorghum or Egyptian wheat that will provide food and screening from neighbors.  The area I’m thinking of is also a powerline easement that lies in a valley.  I was talking to local farmers and my local co-op and was told the only effect was a decreased yield.

Thanks.

Garry

Garry,

Food plot crop rotation is an excellent practice.  However, it is possible to plant corn in the same location multiple years in a row.  However, there is a much better chance of allowing the population of pests specific to that crop to increase significantly as their cycle is never broken by rotation crops.  In addition, different crops usually remove different micronutrients from the soil.  By growing the same crop at the same site year after year this will usually result in depletion of that micro nutrient.

Another consideration is if there is more corn being produced than the critters eat?  If so, it’s likely that deer in the local herd are not expressing their full antler or fawn production potential.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the best way to kill weeds and grass in food plots?

Question
I have a field that has not been planted in 8+ years.  It is now overgrown with weeds and grass as it is only cut once each summer.  What is a good weed and grass killer that is available to the general public that would still allow me to plant something this spring?

Larry

Larry,

Depending on the species of weeds, Glyphosate (the chemical name of Roundup) is probably the best option.  It usually works best if you use fire first to remove the duff (dead plant material) from the field (check out GDTV 20 for an overview of prescribed fire).  This allows the herbicide to make better contact with the fresh vegetation that will grow after the burn.  If a burn is not an option, mowing or even disking is the next best option.  No matter what option you select for preparation, it’s important to remember that Glyphosate is most effective when the new growth is relatively young and there is enough leaf surface area for the herbicide to make good contact with the plant.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What type of soybean and clover are best for whitetail food plots?

Question
Hi Grant,

I love the show and everything you do to help hunters and wildlife managers with our way of life.  What is your favorite type of Eagle Seed bean? I used Eagle Seed Wildlife Managers Mix last year and it work great.  I was wondering which type has the best browsing tolerance and which type produces the most pods?

What is your favorite clover type?  I am trying to figure out what would work best in my area, after a proper soil test and working the ground as needed.

What do you think would be the best fruit trees to plant for the deer?  I started about ten trees (mostly apple with a few pear trees) a couple years ago.

Thank you for your time and help in getting me and others on the right track.

God Bless,

Chad (central Pennsylvania)

Chad,

Thank you for your kind words!  There is a very detailed explanation of each variety of Eagle Seed beans on their website.  I use both Large Lad and Big Fellow per the recommendations on their site.  There are several good varieties of both white and red clovers.  I like clover varieties that put more energy into producing forage than stems.

Deer usually readily use the fruit from both apple and pear trees.  In fact, they readily consume most fruit that they have had experience consuming in the past.  Deer often take some time to learn to eat cultivars of fruit that they haven’t been exposed to previously.  However, by using different varieties of fruit, the tree plot may remain productive and attractive longer than when limiting the cultivars to apples and pears.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Crop Selection for Sandy Soil

Question
Hi Grant,

I recently purchased 40 acres in western Michigan and want to plant crops that will attract deer and enhance antler growth.  The land is sandy and mostly covered by pines and oaks.  However 3 to 4 acres are tree free. Would you recommend any particular nutrients and crops that I could plant in the tree free area that would help me accomplish my goals?  Thank you for your help, and keep those great videos coming!

Pete

Pete,

Congratulations on owning your own Proving Grounds.  Crops are simply nutrient transfer agents that serve to transfer nutrients from the ground to the deer.  So the first step is to ensure there are ample nutrients in the soil by collecting a soil sample and having it analyzed at a good soil lab like Waters Ag.  Check out GDTV 71 for a refresher on how to properly collect and label a soil sample.

I prefer forage soybeans over other types of forage because they are relatively drought resistant, easy to establish and manage, and very nutritious to deer.  Few other crops produce quality forage throughout the entire growing season.  If you are far enough North, white clover works fairly well, but doesn’t usually do well in sandy soils and won’t produce nearly as much tonnage as Eagle Seed forage soybeans.

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv and the kind words!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the best spring food plot mix for small plots that will attract deer and turkey?

Question
I want to plant some food plots in northern Arkansas in an area with very sandy soil.  What is the best spring food plot mix for small plots that are 1/4 to 1/2 acre in size?  I’m trying to attract deer and turkey.

Thank you,

Justin

Justin,

I would try Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  They handle droughty conditions as well as any forage crop I’ve tried.  However, if there are a lot of deer in the area, the forage soybeans might be severely browsed in the smaller sized plots.  I use a food plot fence to protect the soybeans until they mature a bit and can handle browse a bit better.

Remember that all forage plants are simply nutrient transfer agents.  That is to say if the nutrients aren’t in the soil, the plants can’t transfer them to the deer.  That’s why one of the most important steps in establishing a food plot is to collect a soil sample and have it analyzed at a reputable lab like Waters Ag.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What to Plant in Food Plots

 

Question
In the recent frost seeding episode (GDTV 68) it was mentioned that only 5% of your food plots are planted in clover.  What is the breakdown of percentages for different plants in your food plots and what is the reasoning behind it?

Thanks

Dan

Dan,

I use prescribed fire, etc., to promote very good native vegetation at The Proving Grounds.  Most native vegetation is at peak production and palatability the same time clover is productive – during the spring green up period.  However, as the spring progresses and the temperatures warm and the amount of soil moisture decreases clover decreases in productivity and quality.  This time of year, soybeans usually provide much more tonnage and quality than clover.  So, I plant about 5% of my food plot acreage in clover and the remainder in soybeans and corn.  I usually plant 2/3rds of this acreage in soybeans and 1/3rd in corn as corn typically produces twice as much grain as soybeans.  This grain is critical to provide quality food during the winter or non-growing season months (again, when clover is unproductive).  Soybeans provide forage during the growing season and grain (their pods) during the non growing season, so they play a larger role in my deer food management program than corn.

Each property will have a different composition of native vegetation, neighboring ag fields, ratio of food plot acreage, etc.  However, the ratio of crops I described above is a good starting point that can be customized on a site-specific basis.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Learning Curve for Deer

 

Question
Grant,

Last year we planted Eagle Seed soybeans with corn.  The deer browsed heavily on the bean leaves but they are not eating the beans.  The corn has disappeared but we are not sure which animals ate it.  It was probably birds.  Why didn’t the deer eat the soybeans?

Thanks,

Martin

 

 

 

Martin,

There are no agricultural row crops (soybeans or corn) in the county where The Proving Grounds (where I live) is located.  The first year I planted soybeans, deer didn’t consume the bean forage or pods.  However, some brave deer apparently took a bite the next year and it was obvious when the local herd learned to consume the forage and pods.  I don’t know if this is the situation in your area.  I would be surprised if the local herd has been exposed to soybeans and didn’t consume them on your property unless they had a strong association with danger and the food plot location.  I would recommend you plant Eagle Seed soybeans again and use a Reconyx trail camera to monitor usage.  Another great tool is a utilization cage.  The cage won’t provide data of which deer are using the plot, but will confirm if the soybeans that are growing outside the cage are being consumed versus the beans that are protected from consumption inside the cage.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot varieties work best in Louisiana?

Question
What would be a good seed to plant in the summer that would carry through deer season?  I live in Washington Parish, Louisiana and we have dry and wet summers.  I have found that clay peas work pretty well before the season.

Robbie

Robbie,

Eagle Seed forage soybeans have been shown by several universities to produce more tons of digestible, high quality forage than almost any other crop that deer prefer!  Deer consume the foliage during the summer and the bean pods during the winter.  It can truly be a 10 month per year crop!  However, deer find these soybeans so attractive, that small-sized plots can be over-browsed when the seedlings are young unless protected by an electric food plot fence.

The size of the plot that won’t need any protection depends on the number of deer in the area and the availability of other high quality foods.  If your food plot is large enough, I doubt you will find a better crop!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Spreading Lime by Hand

 

Question
In your video on frost seeding clover (GDTV 68), you show lime being distributed with a hand seeder.  Brad talks about a generic rate of 2 tons per acre.  How long does it take to spread that much lime using a hand seeder?

Doug

 

Doug,

I only spread lime on small plots (1/8th of an acre or so) by hand.  This still takes some time, but my spreader holds 50 pounds so I open the flow gauge up wide and spread each load quickly.  I think the effort is worth it as mature bucks readily use high quality forage in small plots that don’t receive much hunting pressure!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How big of a food plot is needed for soybeans?

Question
Grant,

What size field do you recommend if you don’t wish to have a fence around your soybeans?  I have been watching your videos and saw that some of your fields you listed at .9 or right above an acre did not have a fence around them.  Thanks for the help and I love the videos.

James

James,

The size of the plot necessary to produce soybeans is dependent on the number of deer locally, the productivity of the plot, and alternate food sources such as the quality of native browse in the area.  I do a lot of prescribed fire and have fairly high quality native browse.  The quality of the native browse at The Proving Grounds peaks about the time when the forage soybeans at my place are germinating, there is plenty of food and deer don’t decimate the beans during the critical stage of their development.  I have 53 acres of appropriately fertilized food plots and about 500 acres of productive native browse/cover areas in the 1,500 acres of The Proving Grounds. However, the neighboring properties are mainly unmanaged hardwoods and fescue pasture.  There is no row crop ag within counties of me.  So I provide the quality forage for all the deer in the neighborhood.  The ratio of plots to total acreage to produce quality deer will be more or less at different areas depending on the production of each plot and land use practices on the neighboring properties.  If the deer density is high and there are many other quality food sources when the soybeans are germinating, then plots even an acre or more in size would need to be protected with an electric fence to allow them to mature enough to not be damaged by browse pressure.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the correct time to plant spring soybeans?

Question
When do you typically plant your beans?

Weston

Weston,

I plant when the soil temperature at two inches deep is 60 degrees at 9:00 AM.  9:00 AM is usually when the soil temperature is the coldest throughout the day.  Soybeans germinate and grow rapidly at this temperature.  They will germinate when it is warmer, however, warmer temperatures result in more soil moisture evaporation and lack of moisture rapidly stresses seedlings.

I plan to plant my Eagle Seed forage soybeans during the next 10 days or so, depending on weather.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot crops do you recommend for Nebraska?

Question
Dr. Grant,

I would like to commend you on the videos you are producing for the web site.  I have watched most of them since the NWTF Convention.  There is a lot of useful information in them for anyone wanting to get started in deer management.

I live in southwestern Nebraska and I have mule deer, white-tailed deer, merriam’s turkeys, rio grand turkeys, and a hybrid of the two turkeys.  I am running my operation on 7,000 acres of private ground.  Other than ag crops, what would you recommend planting for this area?  On the acreage I operate I grow corn and wheat in a rotation crop.  In the winter I plant a winter food plot mix consisting of turnips, winter forage peas and brassicas.  In the spring I plant several plots consisting of spring forage peas, red clover, yellow sweet clover, sudan grass (headless), oats (reeves), cereals, rye, turnips (purple top), and a hybrid brassica mix (grazing).

I am trying to hold deer year around.  It is not working very well as I have only a few resident deer that I see often.  In hunting season I see deer that I don’t see the rest of the year.  My mule deer herd which should be migratory is not and they stay pretty much year around.  I just don’t see them much in the summer months due to heat.  I know I have a coyote problem and I shoot them on site whenever possible.  I have shot about 40 in two years.

I am just starting out on the deer management and have a lot to learn.  I am reading and watching everything I can get my hands on for this topic (any recommendations here would be helpful also).  I do soil samples on every plot, usually from several areas through the plot then blending them together as recommended by our co-op. Our co-op then sends them to an Iowa university to have them tested.  I receive a printout of fertilizer recommendations along with lime and ph numbers.  Any advice you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.  I don’t have a lot of help and I pretty much do everything myself.  The rancher I work for allows me use of his equipment.  I am a whitetail freak, I love growing them, watching them and harvesting them with my bow and rifle.
Thanks for your time and consideration!

Bryan

Bryan,

Thank you for the kind words!  It sounds as if you have a good deer management program started!  You are correct that providing quality food is a good tool for minimizing the home range size of deer.  The biggest change I would suggest to your program would be to plant forage soybeans rather than the warm season blend you described.  Deer may consume some of the varieties you described, but none of them produce as much tonnage of quality forage as forage soybeans.  In addition, soybeans are relatively easy to establish and maintain.

I’m not sure I understood correctly, but it sounds as if you are mixing soil samples from all your plots and then submitting one sample to the lab.  If that’s the case, I strongly suggest you watch GDTV #71 about how to collect and label soil samples.  I think it will clearly explain a better system to help you produce better crops and better deer!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do Deer Have a Learning Curve

Question
What do you know of the relationship between deer utilization of a food plot planted in a common local ag crop vs. a crop not grown in the area.  Are there observed delays in deer utilizing the foreign crop?  For example, I planted Iron Clay Cowpeas in a three acre plot and got zero utilization. With the exception of winter wheat there are no ag crops anywhere close to me.  I assume that the food source was foreign to the deer and that contributed to the lack of deer browsing.  Have you ever seen a delay in deer utilizing a crop that is not a common food source?  Will deer eventually figure it out after multiple seasons of planting?  Although I plan to plant Eagle Seed beans this year, local seed stores are baffled when I tell them that the deer did not eat the Iron Clay Cowpeas.  Thanks for any insight!

Jamie

Jamie,

I had the same experience when I first planted soybeans at The Proving Grounds!  There are no soybeans within a couple of counties in any direction of me, and during the first two years I planted soybeans I couldn’t tell that a single leaf had been removed by deer.  Now they readily consume them.  Deer certainly can and will learn to consume new forage types.  It’s up to the landowner to decide if the variety of forage he is planting has enough benefit to weather the duration of the learning process.  I felt (and still do) that Eagle Seed Forage Soybeans were so productive and high in nutritive value that weathering the learning process was well worth the wait!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What are your preferred herbicides for food plots and wildlife?

Question
I have been growing food plots for 28 years the old fashion way, till and broadcast.  I used very little herbicides until generic Roundup became available.  I have just purchased a no-till drill, GPS guidance system and tractor pulled sprayer.  I am leaping into the 21st century of wildlife management.  The vast array of herbicides gets confusing.  Could you break down the products that you prefer, how you use them, and possible alternatives?  Maybe a web tv segment would be the best format.  I look forward to your response and really like your website, it is very informative.

Jim

Jim,

Thank you for the kind words!  It seems there are new herbicides and new combinations of herbicides annually!  A great resource is “A Guide to Successful Wildlife Food Plots” by Dr. Craig Harper that is available at QDMA’s online store.  I primarily use glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) as I plant mainly Roundup Ready soybeans and corn.  If you plant a wider variety of crops, I think Craig’s book will be a great resource.

Growing Deer (and learning) together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What is the best food plot seed for wet, clay soils?

Question
Hi Grant,

I live in New Jersey and want to start a food plot.  I have clay soil and it’s very wet.  What would be some good things to grow in this soil to attract whitetail deer?

Thanks,

Nolan 

Nolan,

Most forage crops don’t do well when their feet are wet.  White or ladino clover is about as tolerant of moist soils as any food plot crop that I’m aware of.  Food plots that are oriented east and west will receive more sun and evaporation than those oriented north and south.  By ensuring the plot receives as much sun as practical each day will help remove some of the excess moisture.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Establishing Chicory

 

Question
Dear Grant,

I planted a one acre food plot with BioLogic Maximum last August.  It was the best food plot I have ever planted as far as growing a full lush field that really attracted deer.  My 15 year old son and I both killed very nice 2 1/2 year old bucks off this field with compound bows, one 9 pt. 176 lb. and one 8 pt. 165 lb. buck.  A friend also scored on a 2 1/2 year old 8 pt. in archery season, as well as two relatives killing nice 2 1/2 year old 8 pt. bucks in rifle season.  All of these on just 80 acres in southeast Pennsylvania, 3 of them off this food plot.

It worked so well I was tempted to replant the field again this fall, but decided instead to take advantage of the present conditions of the ground to do a frost seeding, saving time and money on tilling.  I will plow and plant my other food plot with BioLogic Maximum this fall.  I am planning to frost seed a mix of white ladino clover and red clover, a mix that has worked for me in the past.  However, I would love to also establish chicory or alfalfa in addition to the clover mix.  In the past, I had once tried frost seeding both chicory and alfalfa with poor results.  Is it worth trying again, or is there something else you recommend frost seeding?  Based on my results with conventional planting, I would like to establish chicory in with the clovers.  I do not have a no-till planter and must till before spring or fall plantings, which is a lot of work.

I appreciate any advice or recommendations you can give.

Thanks,

Dan

Dan,

Wow – sounds like some great hunting on your farm last season!!  Congratulations!

Clover is easily established using the frost seeding method (GDTV 68).  However, alfalfa rarely can be established as well using that technique.  Alfalfa germinates best when there is a firm seedbed and very good seed to soil contact.  This is rarely the case when frost seeding.

Chicory is a softer seed and often will crack or rot before germinating when planted when frosts are still occurring.  To establish a good stand of either alfalfa or chicory, you will need to either till or use a no-till drill once the soil temperatures warm up a bit.  Many counties rent no-till drills so be sure and check with the local county extension or NRCS office.

As I write this, there is snow covering portions of Pennsylvania.  I’ve established great stands of clover by spreading it directly into late season snows and letting the seed be placed by the melting snow.

Growing Deer (and crops) together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Eagle Seed Soybeans in Virginia

Question
I want to plant some Eagle Seed Roundup Ready soybeans.  I live in central Virginia.  I understand that Eagle Seed has a number of Roundup Ready varieties including Habitat Haven, Big Fellow, Wildlife Managers Mix, and others.  Which would you recommend for my location?  Do all the mixes have blends for different growing regions (i.e. South, Midwest, etc.)?

Tom

Tom,

I’ve planted all of those varieties of Eagle Seed forage soybeans at that latitude with great success!!  There is a great description of each variety/blend on their website.  I think you will be amazed at the production of Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Establishing Native Warm Season Grasses

Question
Hello Grant,

I purchased a small farm in southern Iowa last spring.  I had a small field planted in corn but I would like to plant this same field in switchgrass.  It’s a low lying field with a 58 CSR.  What would be the best procedure in accomplishing this?

I enjoy your website.  It is very interesting and educational.

Ty

Ty,

I’ve had my best results establishing switchgrass following a crop of Roundup Ready soybeans.  The Roundup Ready soybeans add nitrogen to the soil and allow weeds to be controlled.  The following spring, I simply use Roundup to remove any weeds and no-till the switchgrass seed into the weedless field.  Corn uses most of the available nitrogen, and therefore the switchgrass will be slow to become established and allow more weeds to develop.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How should we manage our hunt club food plots in an area that is heavy timber?

Question
Grant,

I’m a member of a hunting club that owns 700 acres of strictly timber ground in northern Pennsylvania.  We have the necessary sanctuaries and we are adding 12 acres of food plots in the center of the property.  What is the most profitable food that will hold deer and increase harvest opportunities?

Also, have you ever tried to no till brassicas in late summer into clover plots?

Keep up the great work!!

John

John,

The 12 acres is only 1.7% of the property in food plots.  If the remainder of the property is closed canopy forest, then clover might be the best option.  Do the existing plots receive a lot of browse pressure?  If so, more palatable crops such as forage soybeans would most likely be over browsed unless they were protected by a food plot fence.

I have used a no-till drill to seed brassicas into an existing clover stand.  This technique works well if the clover is dormant from drought conditions.  The brassicas will struggle if the clover is lush and blocking the sun from reaching the soil.

No matter what you plant, it’s critical the crops are as productive as possible given the food plot to timber ratio.  I recommend you do a soil test annually and request the lab base their recommendations on a maximum yield.

Finally, I also recommend using a utilization cage in each plot so production versus utilization can be compared.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What can I plant in a food plot that is pretty to neighbors and attractive to deer?

Question
Grant,

I own 14 acres in central Missouri.  My land is surrounded by a mixture of mature woods and pastures.  There are no ag crops in the vicinity.  I do have a couple of small food plots on my land, but I’m really trying to figure out the best thing to plant in the 2 or 3 acres of fields I have that are currently fescue.  These fields are really an extension of our yard, so how they look is important (at least to my neighbors!).  Ideally, I’d like it to be something perennial.  I mow these patches two or three times per year.  Would rye grass be a better option than fescue?  What could I plant that would benefit the deer in this situation?  Thanks for your help and the incredible wisdom that you share with deer nuts like me!

Todd

Todd,

I’m not a rye grass fan.  However, heavily fertilized rye grass is more attractive and will provide more nutrition to deer than fescue.  Given that you want something that looks like turf that deer will consume, rye grass is a viable option.  If it was my yard, I’d plant soybeans, make the deer happy and let the neighbors worry about their own yard.  Obviously, I’m more of food plot guy than a yard guy — just ask my wife.

Growing Deer (and relationships) together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Roundup Ready Alfalfa

Question
What are your thoughts on planting Roundup Ready alfalfa for deer?

Brady

Brady,

Roundup Ready alfalfa is not labeled (not legal) to plant for wildlife consumption.  This has nothing to do with Roundup being toxic to wildlife, but rather Monsanto did not pay for research to get the government to label the product for wildlife consumption.

I don’t like alfalfa as a food plot crop.  All varieties of alfalfa require intensive management to be productive.  I like hunting near alfalfa that farmers establish and maintain.  However, it requires more equipment and work than I and most food plot farmers can expend.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Using Slay on Clover

Question
Dr. Woods,

I so enjoy all of your programs and appreciate you publishing them!  I have enjoyed your book as well!  If you have time to respond to one quick question, I thank you.  Can we use Slay on Durana and Ladino clovers?

Hope you’re doing well and I send my best to you.

John

John,

You can use Slay on those varieties of clover.  However, you may find very similar chemistry in ag stores that are priced much more reasonably, depending on local supplies.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Row Spacing for Soybeans

Question
Dr. Grant,

First off I want to tell you how much I enjoy the GrowingDeer.tv series.  The series has really been educational for me, not to mention entertaining.  I look forward to your email every Monday, keep up the great work.

My question, what do you use as your row spacing for Eagle Seed beans?  I have heard 30-36″ but I was hoping to use a 7.5″ drill.  The drill on your show looks to be narrower than the 30-36″.  The field I am planning on planting is in north-central Wisconsin.  The field is going to be 3 acres of alfalfa, as it has been for the last 5-6 years.  I have not taken a soil test yet so I don’t know the specifics, but I think it should be pretty good.

Any ideas or helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Ryan

Ryan,

Thank you for the kind words!  I also plant soybeans with a no-till drill and use a 7.5″ spacing.  This actually gives each bean more room around the plant and allows for better utilization of sun, fertilizer, and soil moisture.  This spacing is not good for a typical combine, but is great for four-legged combines (deer) that I want to harvest the crop!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Type of Forage Soybean

Question
In GDTV 64, Winter Storm Forage, you show and discuss soybeans.  What specific brand and type of beans are those?

I really enjoy your videos!

Thanks,

Danny

Danny,

Thank you for your kind words!  The soybeans in that episode were Eagle Seed forage soybeans — the Large Lad variety.  Eagle Seed is the only soybean breeder that I’m aware of that sells group 7 (live until it frosts) forage soybeans that produce as much tonnage of forage and tremendous pod production as well.  They’ve literally won forage production tests at several universities.  Simply stated, they are a private company that has been family owned for 40+ years and no other soybean breeder has created such great quality forage soybeans.  Eagle Seed is literally decades ahead in selecting traits that make them the ultimate forage crop!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Crabgrass as Deer Forage

Question
Will deer eat red river crabgrass?  I plan to plant a food plot in cowpeas but was thinking about adding the crabgrass also.  Our ranch is about an hour and a half north of Abilene, Texas.

Brad

Brad,

Deer will eat almost anything if they are hungry enough and nothing else is available.  However, there are much better forage options in most areas than any variety of grass.  Deer simply don’t have the correct bacteria in their gut to digest grass as efficiently as cattle.  The grass would simply act as a competitor to the cowpeas — competing for water and nutrients that the much more preferred forage could use.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How does Lablab rate as a food plot crop for whitetails?

Question
Hey Grant,

I’m starting to plan spring planting and I was trying to decide if lablab would be an asset.  I live in mid-Georgia and I have never used lablab or know anyone in the immediate area who has.  I already use beans, chicory, peas, wheat, oats, grain, and sorghum in different combos (usually on a base of clover).  Would lablab benefit overall?

Thanks,

Floyd

Floyd,

Lablab is an annual legume somewhat similar to soybeans.  It usually doesn’t produce as much tonnage as Eagle Seed forage soybeans (selected specifically for high quality forage production).  It is also more fickle to establish (soil temperature, etc.) and weed control is tougher because lablab is not Roundup Ready.  For these reasons and more, I prefer forage soybeans as an annual legume for food plots.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Cover Crop for Plots in Canada

Question
Hi Grant,

I live Nova Scotia Canada and I’m replanting a 5 year old 1/2 acre clover plot this year.  I’m preparing it for an early August brassica planting for the fall.  I was thinking on planting it in something this spring rather than tilling it in and then replanting with brassica.  What would you recommend to plant right now that would give the deer some feed over the summer but act as a manure for my late season planting?  I was thinking on some fall rye and annual clover.

Thanks,

Bob

Bob,

Cover crops are extremely valuable tools.  In fact, there is a new field of study of cover crops.  Different crops provide different values such as extracting more nutrients from deep in the soil to fracturing hard pans.

Unfortunately, some of the cover crops are not palatable to deer, especially during the summer months.  One that I like to use up north is buckwheat.  Buckwheat is an annual flower forage crop that deer readily consume.  Any portions that are not consumed can be tilled back into the soil as a source of organic matter.  Soybean forage also makes great organic matter.  For this purpose, it is not necessary that the plants produce pods.  This is a great application for rapid growing Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  Their aggressive growth will provide lots of quality organic matter during a short timeframe.  However, they may need to be protected with an electric fence in a plot that is 1/2 acre in size.

Remember that even cover crops need fertilizer to express their growth potential.  This is especially true if the cover crop is to double as a source of forage for deer.  Make sure to have the soil tested at a reputable lab, I use Waters Ag, and apply lime and fertilizer as recommended for the crop.  You can inform the lab that you will be planting buckwheat followed by brassicas for a custom recommendation.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot variety would you suggest for a small plot designed for hunting turkey and deer?

Question
Grant,

I have a 1 acre ridge top area inside the woods that I want to put a hunting plot in for next hunting season.  I am in northwestern Missouri and am surrounded by corn and beans. Should I plant the 1 acre opening with Eagle Seed soybeans or should I plant half turnips and half wheat?  I’m concerned about 1 acre soybeans making it through without too much deer damage, but I am surrounded by commercial beans.  Just curious what crop you would suggest.  Thought a wheat plot would also double for turkey hunting, but deer would be my main target.

Blessings,

Brandon

Brandon,

Eagle Seed soybeans will remain green and growing much later in the fall than most production beans.  That’s positive for most hunters in most situations because once the local production beans turn brown the deer tend to find the Eagle Seed soybeans very attractive.  However, if the local deer population is high, then the beans could be damaged by excessive browsing in a small plot.  The ultimate design in the situation you described is to use a food plot protection fence and protect the Eagle Seed forage soybeans until you wish to hunt.  Then open the gate and allow deer access to the beans.  If there are any pods left, the plot would be very attractive to turkeys the following spring.

I have the same concern about turnips if the local deer population is high.  Once deer decide turnips are palatable, they can remove the forage and bulbs in just a few days in the situation you described.  The forage varieties of Eagle Seed soybeans have been consistently shown to produce five tons or more of forage per acre in university trials.  That’s not counting the pod production.  So, if a food plot protection fence is used it’s tough to find another forage that will provide that much green forage during the early bow season plus 2,600 pounds (at a production of 40 bushels per acre) of high quality grain during the winter.  For comparison, wheat produces 1,200 to 1,600 pounds of digestible forage per acre.  Given this, it’s easy to see why deer populations are higher and in better health in ag production areas versus non-ag areas.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

The Need to Soil Test

Question
Grant,

While I was watching your March 14th episode (GDTV 68) I saw what I think is a common mistake.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but….

Brad seeded an area and then applied lime in order to neutralize acidity.  He said he was going to wait a week before applying fertilizer.  My understanding is that fertilizer tends to raise acidity.  As a result, applying lime and fertilizer cancels the affects of the two out.  Yes?

Matt

Matt,

Yes, some forms of commercial fertilizer are acidic.  However, nutrients must be in the soil for plants to transfer them to deer.  So fertilizer and enough lime are added to insure nutrients are available in the soil and the soil’s pH is balanced at about 6.5.  By adding enough lime, the acidic qualities of the fertilizer are more than neutralized.

This is a perfect example of why soil tests are so important — the results of a soil test provides accurate information of how much fertilizer and lime is necessary to create a healthy environment for the specific crop to be planted.

Adding lime and fertilizer is always a balancing act!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Protecting Deer Forage from Cattle

Question
Grant,

I have a hunting lease in Oklahoma.  The land has cattle on it, the landowners don’t care what food plots I plant as long as I don’t put up a fence.  What would you plant in that field that the cattle won’t eat first?

Rodney

Rodney,

The quickest and most cost effective method to protect quality forage from being browsed by cattle is to use a Gallagher Electric Fence.  Usually a single or double strand of electric wire or tape powered by a solar charger will easily exclude cattle but allow adult deer to simply jump the fence.  This is different from a food plot protection fence where a single strand is placed three feet in front of a second row of fence with two stands.  Using Gallagher fencing, food plots can be established anywhere within the cattle pasture that provides an advantage to the crop and/or hunter.

This technique has been used and refined in Texas and other states where cattle have access to most of the properties.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Chufa

Question
What about Chufa?  I’ve searched the web and wanted to get your advice on using Chufa as a food plot.  What are the pros, cons and your personal experience?  Do you use it on The Proving Grounds?

Andrew

Andrew,

The Proving Grounds is simply too rocky for chufa, which does best in loose soil conditions.  Some of my clients that are die-hard turkey managers do use chufa as part of their program.  The National Wild Turkey Federation has some good information about establishing and maintaining chufa.  Check out their website or contact one of their regional biologists.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Does Roundup Harm Turkeys?

Question
Grant,

I plan on spraying glyphosate on a pasture to kill fescue and plant NWSG.  A friend of mine is telling me that the glyphosate could poison or have a negative affect on the turkey population. What do you think?

Chris

Chris,

To my knowledge glyphosate hasn’t been a problem with turkeys.  Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, which is used to kill weeds in Roundup Ready crops, like corn and soybeans.  Roundup Ready crops have dominated the agricultural market for the past couple of decades yet turkeys are still thriving.  From personal experience on The Proving Grounds my turkey population has grown tremendously since I began incorporating glyphosate and Roundup Ready crops into my food plot program.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Planting Corn and Soybeans Together

Question
Grant,

I am a consulting Forester in Pennsylvania and I work mostly on wildlife habitat projects.  I have a client convinced to plant NWSG as well as Eagle Seed soybeans.  I saw in one of your videos that you recommended against planting corn and beans together, but you have photos of a very good stand of corn and beans.  What has been your experience planting them in the same food plot?

Stephen

Stephen,

Good observation, I have planted corn mixed with soybeans in the past.  However, after digging deep in the available research I have found that rotating corn and soybeans instead of mixing them provides better results.  Two of the primary reasons are parasites and disease.  In particular, whenever a crop, say corn, is planted in a food plot year after year the parasites and disease that accompany corn start to build up to a point that they begin to negatively affect yield.  By doing a rotation and planting soybeans instead of corn on some years the corn specific parasites and disease levels quickly fall off.  After a year or two the corn can then be replanted in the food plot with little loss in yield due to these factors.

At minimum, it’s best to split the field and plant half in corn and the other half in soybeans, then rotate the location of each crop the following year.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

What food plot variety has the highest protein in the summer? Should I put a trail camera by my food plot?

Question
Grant,

What kind of protein should I be giving the deer?  And should I put a trail camera by my food plot?  I live in Louisiana and our food plots are great but the deer use them as a bedding area.

Shelby

Shelby,

One of the best kinds of protein is that produced by forage soybeans.  Forage soybeans produce highly digestible and high protein leafy forage in the summer and grain in the winter.  I can’t think of a better method of providing high quality protein forage for an extending time of the year.

Food plots are great places for trail cameras.  Deer live and die by their gut so putting a camera over a food source is one of the quickest ways of taking their picture.  I leave my cameras out year-round and the vast majority of them are usually overlooking a food source.  The more pictures you can get of a particular deer, the more you can learn about his particular movement patterns around the property.  While you are running those cameras keep in mind to minimize disturbance so as to not unintentionally condition the deer you wish to hunt to avoid the area during daylight hours.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Pasture Grass for Deer?

Question
If a fellow wants to create a horse pasture that is deer friendly what is the best seed mixture to use?

Blessings in abundance,

Wilson

Wilson,

Deer don’t eat orchard grass – or any pasture grass.  They will eat the clover, but the grass will outcompete the clover for nutrients.  Seeing clover grow and deer getting good nutrients from clover are different.  Certainly deer will benefit from the clover more than solid grass.  However, it is like fishing from ski boat versus a bass boat.  It can be done, but not as well.

I would use a Gallagher fence in a portion of the horse pasture.  This will simply (and relatively inexpensively) exclude the horses and quality deer forage can be established and maintained.  Another huge advantage of this is that the owner will know exactly where the deer will feed – not just simply watching an entire horse pasture.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

The Best Food Plot Crop

Question
What is the best food source for a food plot in the St. Louis, Missouri region?

Brehdin

Brehdin,

The best crop to plant for deer depends on several factors including, but not limited to:

  1. The time of year to be planted.
  2. The time of year it’s desired to feed deer.
  3. Whether the mission for the plot is primarily to attract or provide nutritious forage or grain for deer.
  4. The size of the food plot, etc.

You might look through Grant’s Answer’s in the food plots category on GrowingDeer.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Keeping Cattle out of Food Plots

Question
Last fall I planted a small plot of white clover (1/4 to 1/2 acre).  It did not germinate as we did not receive any rain before the frost.  Will it come up this spring?

Also, I hunt a 180 acre cattle farm in northwest Tennessee.  I have two small areas that I can keep the cows out of that I plant.  Any advice on managing for deer while working around cattle would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the helpful videos!

Nate

Nate,

If weeds didn’t grow in the plot, then the clover seeds may germinate.  However, I’d suggest you deal with any weeds that have germinated and then reseed the plot.

It’s relatively easy to keep cows out of a food plot and allow deer to enter by using a Gallagher electric fence designed for such purpose.  Electric fences are commonly used for such purposes and keep cows away from feeders while allowing deer access to them.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Modern Ag practices

Question
Hello Dr. Woods,

I own some property in Mississippi and I was wondering how today’s agriculture practices affect deer herds using them.  The farmers who have been farming our place have been planting corn year after year.  They begin in March which means the corn is out by the end of August.  They don’t rotate corn and soybeans anymore because the deer ate the farmers’ soybeans.

Geoghegan

Geoghegan,

A corn/soybean rotation, especially if corn and soybeans are both available within close proximity, provides great deer forage and grain.  Corn has the added benefit of providing great cover from when it is two feet tall until it is harvested and soybeans have the added benefit of providing high quality forage throughout much of the growing season.  Advances in combine efficiency results in less spilled grain now than during previous years.

No doubt areas of intensive corn and soybean production can produce great whitetails!  However, the productivity of such areas is determined by the local farming practices.  For example, if the fields are tilled shortly after being harvested there won’t be much grain available.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Selecting Locations for New Food Plots

Question
Grant,

My hunting lease has diverse terrain.  One part is on a hill covered in post oak and cedar but drops off approximately 40′ into a creek bottom covered in water oak, yaupon and briars.  In past years we have not utilized food plots or feeders, so patterning deer movement and concentration has been difficult.  In the absence of a food plot, can you shed some light on which terrain the deer would prefer?  We plan on establishing two soybean plots and one clover plot this year, with the clover just off the creek in the bottom and the soybeans in a terrain transition area.  Is this a good idea or bad?  Any suggestions will be most welcomed.

Thanks,

Chance

Chance,

The more similar the habitat, the more difficult it is to pattern deer.  This is because there are no limited resources that are more valuable than others to attract deer.  For example, if the entire property has oaks, then hunting acorns is probably not a good strategy.  It sounds as if high quality forage would be a limited resource and therefore very attractive to deer on your property!  Remember that deer are usually more concerned about surviving than eating.  So even if the food plots are the only quality forage in the neighborhood, deer, especially mature bucks, will avoid the plots during daylight hours if they associate them with danger.

I would be careful about establishing the clover plot by the creek if flooding is probable.  Another consideration is that if hunting is a primary mission for these plots, locate them where it’s to the hunter’s advantage to approach and hunt without alerting deer.  Usually the wind swirls less on ridge tops compared to bottomland locations.  Unless the soil is extremely low quality, I tend to establish hunting food plots on ridge tops.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Beans for Clay Soil?

Question

Good morning,

I live in the Piedmont area of Georgia in Augusta.  I have a small tract of land with good surrounding tracts around me.  What type of beans can I grow in a soil that is mostly clay?  What can I plant in the same soil in the fall that will help grow healthier deer?  I have children that are starting to hunt with me now and my biggest goal this year is to help them take their first deer.

Thank you,

Eric

Eric,

Eagle Seed’s forage beans will grow in the Georgia clay soils.  I have several friends that grow them throughout the Piedmont of Georgia and South Carolina.  Make sure to collect a soil sample and have it tested at a soil lab so you will know how much lime and fertilizer to add to ensure the crop will grow and express its full potential!  Healthy soybeans certainly help deer express their full potential and are a forage that deer find very palatable.

My girls have both harvested deer that were in plots planted with Eagle Seed beans.  Deer consume the forage during the growing season and the grain the beans produce during the fall/winter.  Good quality forage soybeans are truly a two season crop.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Producing Mature Bucks

Question

I have 1,100 acres near Ava with about 250 acres in pasture and the rest are typical Ozarks hills.  I have about 15 acres in food plots, with the main food sources being clovers with turnips and some winter wheat.  I can’t seem to keep bucks to the older ages.  What should I do to draw and hold older class bucks?  Since you have been here awhile you know what we have to deal with as to neighbors, etc.

Kirk (Missouri)

Kirk,

That sounds like a nice property with lots of potential to produce mature bucks.  Producing mature bucks requires protecting them from being harvested or killed by predators until they reach the age class that you wish to harvest.  The habitat in “typical Ozark hills” doesn’t provide much cover.  Therefore hunters and predators can have a huge impact on deer, especially bucks after the rut.  In addition, without adequate cover, hunters must willfully withhold from harvesting bucks until the bucks reach the level of maturity that hunters wish to harvest.  Mature bucks can be produced on almost any 1,100 acre property if that’s the hunter’s objective.  Trigger finger control is the primary tool for producing mature bucks.

However, there is a big difference between producing mature bucks and producing mature bucks that have expressed their full antler growth potential.  To produce mature bucks that express their full antler development potential requires improving the habitat unless the property has quality forage and grain production.  It’s helpful to remember that the majority of deer in northern Missouri where world class bucks are produced were stocked from the Ozarks.  Hence, deer with the same genetics that have access to quality forage and grain clearly express much more of their antler growth, fawn production, and body size potential.  To allow deer in the Ozarks (or any area that doesn’t produce quality forage and grain) to express their potential requires lots of habitat work.

My property, The Proving Grounds, is extremely steep and rocky.  There is no quality forage or grain produced within miles (counties).  In addition, there are 34 neighboring properties, none of which share my deer management objectives that I’m aware.  However, by providing quality food, cover, and water, bucks at my place are producing antlers similar to deer in northern Missouri of the same age class.  Given you are only an hour from me, I’m very confident you can achieve the same results.  I encourage you to attend one of our field days and see in person the techniques I’ve used to provide quality food, cover, and water.  There are simply too many details to provide in this format.  The next event is our 2nd Annual Shed Hunt where we will collect sheds and tour much of my property.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Ideal Food Plot Crops & Acreage

Question

Grant,

I have 220 acres of hunting ground in Northeast Arkansas.  I only have about 3-4 acres of food plot areas.  What should I plant to take full advantage of my small planting sites?  Should I clear more ground for more food plots?  What is a good ratio of food plot acreage to total acreage?

Thanks and have a great day.

Luke

Luke,

What crops to plant and how many acres to plant are both somewhat dependent on the local deer density.  For example, if the deer density is low and very palatable crops can grow without being over-browsed in the existing plots, then forage soybeans and corn are a great choice to provide the protein and carbohydrates necessary for deer to express their full potential.  If the local deer population is relatively high, then consider either adding more acres of food plots or protecting the crops in the existing plots until they can withstand the browse pressure with a Gallagher Food Plot Protection Fence.

The number of deer per square mile can vary significantly from property to property.  Therefore there is no standard ratio of the amount of food plots to total acres.  If the deer management mission is for deer to express their full potential of antler and fawn development, then there should be adequate quality forage and grain so that deer have all they want to consume during the late summer and late winter stress periods.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

High Desert Food Plots

Question

Grant,

Is it possible to utilize food plots in the west?  I live just west of Denver in an area that is very populated with elk and mule deer.  The area that I hunt/live in is considered high mountain desert at around 7500 feet of elevation and receives 18-20 inches of rainfall a year.  I have full access to about 100 acres of private property that is surrounded by private property on all sides for miles.  The terrain is rugged with a mix of open/park-like ponderosa pine stands on the south facing slopes and dense Douglas Fir/Spruce stands on the north.  The only water is found in the drainages and it is seasonal.  Is it possible to grow or propagate anything useful to elk or deer in an area like this?

Thanks in advance,

Josh

Josh,

I’ve had food plots in a very similar elevation and climate in New Mexico.  We planted brassicas and the elk loved them!  Concentrated food is rare in such environments and is very attractive to elk.  I recommend collecting soil samples and fertilizing according to recommendations from a soil lab.  Then plant a mix of winter wheat and forage brassicas.  I think you will be pleased with the results.  I’m willing to bring my bow and do some research during September!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Food Plots Must Be Fed

Question

Grant,

I have 120 acres in northern Missouri.  I planted my first food plot last year with decent results but I had issues with my corn and other plants not reaching full size.  I am planting Eagle Seed beans this season with some type of annual.  Do you have any suggestions for which annual and what type of fertilizer to use?

Thank you,

Dustin

 

Dustin,

Last year most of northern Missouri received feet (literally) of rain more than average.  In places, many of the soil nutrients were likely leached below reach of the plants.  This resulted in small, hungry plants.

Remember plants consume food just like deer, and when they consume the available nutrients in the soil, fertilizer must be added for the next crop to grow well.  Therefore it is very important to sample the soil in food plots each year and add lime and fertilizer according to the recommendation from the soil lab.

Make sure and tell the soil lab what crops you plan to grow so they can recommend the correct type and amount of fertilizer.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Inoculate Eagle Seed beans?

Question

Do you inoculate your Eagle Seed beans?

Taylor

Taylor,

Recent research shows that soybeans often yield more if they are inoculated.  I inoculate the Eagle Seed beans I plant based on that research and because that practice is relatively inexpensive compared to the other food plot establishment costs.  Inoculation is very important if soybeans haven’t been grown in the plot to be planted during the past year.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Which Eagle Seed Variety Should I Use?

Question

Dr. Grant,

I have been talking to the good folks at Eagle Seed about their bean species and have placed my order for this year’s seed.  Have you had experiences with Large Lad, Big Fellow, or Managers Mix?  If so, what were the results as far as production and deer preference?  I will be planting the Eagle Seed beans this spring in the southeast region of Kansas and would like your opinion on what bean seed to try.  I am planting three plots totaling 12 to 14 acres.

Also, I already have a 17 acre field of clover on this farm and would like to plant two or three small 1/4 to 1/2 acre plots.  What would you recommend for variety in these areas?

Thank you,

Lee

Lee,

I have planted the Eagle Seed Large Lad and Big Fellow varieties and the Game Keeper blend at The Proving Grounds and at client properties literally throughout most of the whitetails’ range.  Both Large Lad and Big Fellow are excellent forage producers!  From my experience, Large Lad seems to produce a bit more grain (pods).  This is a plus when the plots are managed (as several of mine are) as 10 month + plots.  Deer consume the forage and then consume the pods.  The only time Large Lad is not attracting and feeding deer is when I prepare the plot for replanting and the time necessary for germination.

Big Fellow seems to be a bit more drought resistant.  I use this variety where the conditions are a bit more droughty (sandy soils, west facing slopes, etc.).  The Game Keeper blend has Large Lad and Big Fellow plus a climbing/viney variety that will produce forage extremely late into the growing season.  It a good option if you are unsure of the conditions where the plots will be planted.  Eagle Seed’s web site has a detailed description of each variety/blend.

There are gads and gads of clover varieties.  I doubt any of them will provide forage throughout the entire growing season in southeastern Kansas unless it is an abnormally wet year.  Clover is a great crop to use to cover the gap in time between early spring and when the temperatures become warm enough for more productive forage crops (like forage soybeans) to produce.

Given this, I usually plant about 10% or less of my food plots in clover and the remainder in a more productive forage crop.  When clover is growing actively it produces gads of forage during a short timeframe.  Therefore, not much acreage is needed.  The exact percentage of the plots that should be planted in clover will vary from property to property depending on growing conditions and the number of deer using the plots.  However, I would suspect that a 17 acre field of clover produces more forage than the local herd consumes during early spring and provides almost no quality forage during the late summer or late winter (the two critical stress periods).  Late winter is a good time to review the productivity of food plots so the plan can be tweaked for the next planting season.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Question

Hey Grant,

I work for a conservation organization in northern Arkansas.  I’ve had numerous landowners ask about establishing birdsfoot trefoil as a longer lived perennial legume in food plots on sandy well-drained soils.  Is it too hot and dry to establish and maintain birdsfoot trefoil here?  I haven’t run across anyone that has any experience with its use in food plots or forages for cattle.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Bob

 

 

Bob,

I haven’t planted birdsfoot trefoil in the Ozarks.  Where I have tried it, I wasn’t overly impressed.  This crop requires more management than the return in forage it yielded for my preference.  Rarely do the long-lived legumes (alfalfa, trefoil, etc.) do well in an uncontrolled browsing environment like a food plot.  If you or your contacts give it a try, I’d like to hear about the results!

Growing Deer (and crops) together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Clover for Food Plots?

Question

I have only had my property for about 1 1/2 years.  I am new to all this and have lots of questions.  I have 80 acres with a small stream going all the way through it and a 6 acre pond. No food plots yet.  I have some clover but it’s too close to the hunting cabin.  I have about 1 to 3 acres of open ground that I want to put in a food plot.  I am thinking more clover but would like to  hear your thoughts. I have a tractor but not a plow. I know a cattle farmer who might be able to till up the land for me.

Thanks,

Pat (Ohio)

Pat,

It sounds as if you’ve been blessed with a wonderful piece of creation!  All food plot crops have strong and weak points, so it’s best to pick the crop that fits your mission.  If year round nutrition is the goal, then it’s tough to beat a corn/soybean combination.  However, if the local deer density is too high, they will consume all of your crops before deer season.

Clover is very good during the early spring and fall.  However, it usually goes dormant during the warmer summer months, especially if it is dry.  Clover is always dormant during the winter — providing no food for nutrition or attraction.

Enjoy your property!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Best Cover Crop

Question

I have a property in Kansas that also has cattle on it.  What tall cover is available to plant when trying to hold more deer?

Thanks,

Darren

Darren,

It is tough to develop cover when cattle have access to the area.  Most new crops that would be used for cover, such as native warm season grasses (switchgrass, big bluestem, etc.,) are all very palatable to cattle, especially when they are just established.  My favorite cover is a blend of switchgrass, big bluestem, and little bluestem.  The ratio of each species I recommend in the blend somewhat depends on the geographic area and long term management goals.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Eagle Seed Pod Production

Question

Grant,

I have been planning for the next season already and I was wondering if you could give me some more insight on Eagle Seed beans.  I have seen your comments but some people are really going after them as not producing good pods.  Are they a good late season food plot?  I am trying to make sure I have a good December/January food plot standing for my herd next year.

Thanks for your time,

Nic (Illinois)

Nic,

I think you can simply watch the recent episodes or those from this time last year on GrowingDeer.tv and see a two year history of great pod production on the marginal soils at The Proving Grounds.  The family that owns Eagle Seed has literally been selecting and cross breeding soybean varieties for 40 years to maximize forage quality, quantity, and pod production.  The pod production of Eagle Seed’s forage soybeans carried the herd (and turkey flock) at The Proving Grounds last winter and are currently doing the same this year.  You are welcome to check out the pod production during our annual shed hunt this March!  I’ll post more information about that event soon.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Forage Beans for Northern Latitudes

Question

Mr. Woods,

I noticed Eagle Seed beans listed on your web site.  Do you know of anyone who has planted them in southern Iowa?  If so, how did they perform?  Do you recommend different seeds if planting in Iowa vs. Georgia?

Thanks for your time,

David

David,

I have clients that plant Eagle Seed beans literally throughout the whitetail’s range – as far north as northern Minnesota.  All the varieties of forage beans are late maturing varieties.  Some of my clients with land in the northern latitudes plant the Wildlife Manager’s Mix as it has some faster maturing varieties included (they are not forage varieties).  Don’t be confused by the term “forage varieties.”  Eagle Seeds’ forage varieties of soybeans have been selected during the past 40 years (literally) for their volume and quality of forage produced while maintaining the seed pod production characteristics.  No other company that I’m aware of has such a long history of selecting desirable qualities in forage soybeans.  In fact, Eagle Seed makes 3 blends specifically for northern latitudes.   These blends have a bit more of the earlier maturing beans for maximum pod production with the later maturing forage varieties.  This allows hunters to produce quality green forage until very late in the growing season (or the first hard frost) while gaining a bit more pod production.

It’s important to plant the longer growing forage beans early.  I plant them when the soil temperature at 2” deep at 9 am (soil is as cold as it gets at 9 am +/-) is 60/62 degrees and rising. Iowa State has a web site that monitors and reports soil temperatures throughout the state.  If you are planting production size fields (30+ acres each), then the value of forage beans is that they will remain green and palatable until very late in the growing season or until the first killing frost.  Such large fields will usually provide enough forage to not be totally over browsed by deer.  However, if you are planting smaller fields in areas with a high deer density, the browse tolerance of Eagle Seed forage beans will often be the difference between a productive plot and a total failure.  Varieties of production soybeans simply can’t withstand as much browse pressure and will often die as the results of excessive browsing.

I’ll be working tomorrow in Fulton County, IL.  I manage multiple properties in Fulton and Adams counties where the owner has successfully planted, produced, and hunted over the standard Eagle Seed forage soybeans.  I usually don’t use the northern mixes south of Wisconsin, etc.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Keeping Deer out of a Food Plot

Question

How do I go about keeping deer out of a garden (food plot)?  I put up an electric fence with three strands, but the deer tore it down.  How can I keep them out?

Thank you,

Carroll

Carroll,

I’m sorry to hear about deer invading your garden.  Did you use a Gallagher electric fence system with a single wire on the outside and 2 wires placed 3′ back (toward the garden)?  Was power kept to the fence 24/7?  These are common reasons why electric fences don’t keep deer out of a food source.

Another reason is that deer learn there is food in a specific location and become conditioned to eating there.  Once deer get conditioned to feeding at a specific location, they will sometimes continue to cross the fence even if they get shocked.

I hope these questions help you resolve the problem.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Gallagher Food Plot Protection Fence

Question

Why didn’t those deer just jump that fence you had up?  That fence didn’t look too high, was it electric?  The fence can be 4′ tall and they still jump them in North Dakota so why didn’t they jump yours?

Tyrel

Tyrel,

Yes, the Gallagher Food Plot Protection Fence is electric.  It is powered by a nifty solar charger.  The combination of the electric fence and the two-tier approach (the first tier is one wire 18” high and the second are two wires 8” and 24” high – the two tiers are separated by 3’) does an outstanding job of keeping deer out.  Yes, they could jump both tiers, but simply don’t.  Folks use this Gallagher system to protect orchards, vegetables, and other very expensive crops.

The fence has worked excellent at my place.  In areas with cattle or feral hogs, a single tier of two strands can be used to exclude cattle and hogs while allowing deer to access food plots.  The Gallagher Food Plot Protection System is an excellent tool!!!

Growing Deer (and crops) together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Food Plots and Other Habitat Features

Question

My property sounds very similar to The Proving Grounds in that I have very hilly terrain with marginal soil.  Can you discuss what type of terrain you look for when adding hunting plots?  I know the obvious answer is flat ground, but outside of that, what are you looking for in terms of terrain surrounding the hunting plot?  Also, once this plot is established, what manipulations/improvements do you make to the surrounding terrain to encourage deer to come into the area and feel safe?

Mark

Mark,

Deer need food, cover, and water.  I try to ensure each of these habitat features are available in areas that I can approach and hunt without alerting deer.  I evaluate the terrain, predominate wind direction, roads, and other features that impact how deer use the area and then attempt to supply all the needs of a deer herd in a fashion that allows me to pattern and hunt mature bucks without alerting them to my presence.  I’m a huge fan of food plots, but they are only part of developing quality habitat for deer and deer hunters.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Magic Bean?

Question

What is the best food to put out that the deer will eat all year around?

Brehdin

Brehdin,

I wish there was a magic bean or one singular crop that grew year round for deer.  However, I’ve never found such a crop.  Forage soybeans are about as close as I’ve found.  I use Eagle Seed beans and if managed correctly, they produce tons of forage during the growing season and then deer consume the pods during the cool season.  If the crop yields 30 bushels per acre (60 pounds per bushel), then they would produce 1,800 pounds of feed during the cool season after feeding deer through the summer.  That’s about as close to a year round crop for deer as I’m aware.  Soybeans are one of the main reasons deer grow such large antlers on average in agricultural areas.

Growing Deer (and deer food) together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Clover vs. Soybeans in South Carolina

Question

Grant,

Great video as always!  I hope you get that buck you’re looking for.  I live and hunt in South Carolina on 125 acres.  I planted 10 acres of soybeans this year along with clover.  The clover won’t really come into its own until the spring and the next few years.  Do you think I could bypass planting soybeans and just plant white clover for the deer (say a 5 acre plot)?  I saw deer this year, but I don’t feel like the soybeans were any more of a draw than the clover and I need to devote more of my acreage to bedding areas and cover.  Would a single large plot be better on my property than several smaller plots?

Garry

Garry,

I select food plot crops based on my mission for the plot (feeding vs. attraction, etc.) and what crops perform best in the soils where they are to be planted.  I lived in South Carolina for a decade and still work on projects there.  Except in the mountains, the summers tend to be a bit hot and dry for most varieties of clover.  Clover rarely remains green and succulent during these periods of stress.  If your mission for the plot is attraction and it rains during the time of year you plan to hunt, clover may be a good selection.  It’s tougher to control weeds in clover than soybeans.  If nutrition is your goal, then soybeans will usually remain green and succulent in drier conditions than clover.  If the beans are allowed to mature, the pods are an excellent source of nutrition and attraction for both deer and turkey.  Soybeans are usually more palatable to deer than clover. However, soybeans can be over-browsed when they are young.  If this occurs it’s best to protect them with a Gallagher Food Plot Protection Fence or plant a more browse resistant crop such as clover.

If providing quality nutrition is the goal, I’d plant one large plot near the center of your property.  If creating locations for frequent hunts is the primary mission, than multiple, smaller plots may be a better strategy.  Combining both would be ideal!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

One Acre Cover Plots

Question

Grant,

I have 128 acres that my dad and I hunt, and one day my son will hunt with us. There are already three 1 acre plots on it. We are always improving our woods with browse and cover. However, I’m having a hard time determining a pattern for the deer, although I do see deer in each plot. Would it be better to create one larger plot in the middle of my property (about 5 acres) and convert the other plots to cover? I don’t want to because they are already there and I maintain them, but it has been hard to predict the deer movement. We usually kill one or two 3.5 year old deer per year, typically over the plots during the rut. We try hunting between cover and food but the best cover is on a neighboring property.  This makes it hard to get close to the edge without spooking deer, so we’ve found the best hunting near or on the plots.

Thanks,

Garry

Garry,

I think you’ve been very successful by harvesting one or two 3.5 year old bucks annually on 128 acres! Certainly harvesting one 3.5 year buck per 100 acres annually is above the national average!! However, properties can almost always be improved. Deer require food, cover, and water. Mature bucks usually use the best source of each of these in their range. Best may not be the best source based solely on quality, but their usage also depends on the amount of danger they associate with each resource. For example, you could have the best food source for deer in the neighborhood but if deer associate it with danger they won’t use it much during daylight hours.

If your neighbor has “the best” cover it’s doubtful one acre cover blocks will be better. I’d evaluate what’s the limiting factor in your neighborhood and make sure you have the best of that resource available on your property. By providing a resource that deer need and is most limited in your neighborhood, and working to insure deer don’t associate that resource with danger, you should have great hunting!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Winter Food Plot Crops in Michigan

Question

Grant,

Thank you for the great information that you provide every week on your show, it is great to finally have a show that that puts the creator first.

I live in Michigan where baiting is no longer allowed, which means no mineral licks.  All of the crops around me are corn, which is harvested then disked under every year.  I lease 250 acres with about 2 acres available to plant in food plots (4 different locations).  What would be the best seeds to plant in those areas?  Two of the food plot locations are shady with only about 4 to 5 hours of sunlight during the summer months.  Thank you again for the awesome show.

Trevor

Trevor,

Thank you for the kind words!  It sounds as if you could have a fabulous situation!  The local commercial agricultural fields provide quality food during the warm season.  This is especially true if some of the neighboring acreage is planted in soybeans as corn forage is rarely consumed by deer during the growing season.  If that’s the case, I recommend concentrating on providing quality forage during the hunting season.  Heavily fertilized rye grain (not rye grass) and brassicas provide great cold season forage!!  If the deer density is relatively high in your neighborhood, a Gallagher Food Plot Protection fence may be necessary to protect the crops from over browsing until you are ready to hunt.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Best Food Plot Crop

Question

I have a dream spot in my backyard.  We have a 42 acre pasture with a pound and plenty of hardwoods.  I want a mature buck and I know they are around as I’ve seen them.  What would be a good food plot to help get one in?

Jordan (eastern North Carolina)

Jordan,

It sounds as if you’ve been blessed with a good hunting location!  Different crops mature at different times during the season.  Soybeans are extremely attractive to deer during the early season.  If they are managed to allow them to produce bean pods, deer readily consume the pods during the late season.  I’ve used Eagle Seed soybeans for years and they have proven their worth time and again.

Deer will readily consume heavily fertilized winter wheat and it is relatively easy to grow.  There are many more options.  I always consider what’s available on the surrounding properties and make sure the food on my place is more attractive than what deer might find across the fence.  For example, if your property is surrounded by timber and/or pasture grass, then almost any common food plot that is heavily fertilized would be the most attractive food source in the neighborhood. If the neighbors have production soybeans and corn, then you may plan on planting crops that mature late and are available after the commercial crops have been harvested.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Food Plot Crop for Iowa

Question

I live in Iowa and I need a plant that will attract a lot of deer and will give them enough protein for them to grow big racks, preferably something that will sprout quickly.

Mason

Mason,

We all want that magic bean that will sprout quickly, be extremely attractive to deer, yet deer won’t over browse the crop.  Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find that crop.  Crop selection for food plots is not only based on these criteria but also what other food sources are available in the area.  For example, deer will readily consume lower quality food in heavily wooded areas, but won’t touch them when they are planted next to a soybean field.

Antlers are a by-product of an overall healthy diet that includes plenty of digestible protein, calcium, phosphorous, and several trace minerals.  No single plant provides everything that is needed to produce healthy deer.  Soybeans probably come as close as any crop.  That’s why most of the large-antlered bucks harvested are found close to an area that produces soybeans.  I plant soybeans at The Proving Grounds and there are no production soybeans for several counties around.  However, Eagle Seed forage soybeans are easy to grow and very drought resistant.  They are very palatable to deer and shouldn’t be planted in small food plots unless they are protected by a Gallagher Food Plot Protection Fence.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Dove Field by Deer Food Plot

Question

If one plants food plots for deer near fields where dove hunting is to take place, will the dove hunting in September negatively affect the deer hunting in October, November and December?  Or is it better to have dove plots in one area and have deer/turkey plots in another with some distance between them?

Tom

Tom,

I like to limit disturbance near food plots that I plan to hunt as much as practical.  However, deer readily become conditioned to accept activities they don’t association with danger.  I’ve watched deer feeding 200 yards from a very active sporting clay range.  The range was used frequently and the deer became conditioned to the presence of the shooters and the noise.

However, if the range was only used infrequently, I doubt the deer would have been as tolerant of the activity.  Another factor is if there are alternate food sources available in the area of equal or better quality.  If there are, the deer may simply use the alternate food sources.  The availability and distribution of food has a lot to do with where deer forage.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Keeping Cows Out of Food Plots

Question

Hey Grant,

Just want to say that I stumbled upon your show and I have watched about 20 episodes and I really like what you are doing, keep it up!!

How would you go about planting or hunting ground with cows?  Both of my properties are half timber and half cattle pastures.  I get a lot of deer pictures in the summer but no luck in the winter.  What location is best for a mineral lick?  This is primarily how I get my summer pictures, but I do not think it is 90% of the herd.

Sincerely,

Kalvin (northwest Missouri)

Kalvin,

Cows can make it difficult to plant a high quality food source.  I have had the greatest success by excluding cows from a portion of the property.  An easy way to exclude them would be with a single stranded Gallagher fence.  With only one strand the deer will adapt to jumping over it while the cows will remain outside it.  This will allow you to properly plant, fertilize, and grow a high quality food source.  With one or more good food sources deer become much more patternable, especially in an area dominated by pasture land.  I like to hunt the travel corridors between bedding areas and food sources so the deer continue to utilize the food during daylight hours.

I place Trophy Rock mineral licks wherever I think deer are already traveling, below a pond, food plot, etc.  Although I’ve tested the herd’s ability to find mineral by throwing Trophy Rocks into extremely brushy areas and the deer still readily found them.  I like Trophy Rocks because of their sheer number of trace minerals – over 60!  I usually place one about every 160 acres.

Lastly, if you want to increase your camera success and get a better idea of your herd composition I suggest doing a camera survey.  With the help of corn in early August you shouldn’t have too much problem getting a large portion of the herd to stand in front of the camera.  A camera station/s can be set up inside the electric fence/s to exclude cows.   Just be sure to have the corn cleaned up at least two weeks before the start of the first hunting season.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Shape of Food Plots

Question

Grant,

I’m looking to enclose a part of my property with a few shrub or tree lines.  This chunk of the property is roughly three acres.  After I enclose the field, I would like to plant a food plot.  I am trying to persuade the deer to stay on my property instead of using it for a quick passageway.  I have also noticed that the bucks don’t roam on my property either.  I’m hoping to attract them.  What should I plant and what pattern should I plant the tree lines and food plot to make it a deer haven?

Sincerely,

Lee (Michigan)

Lee,

If I were to plant shrubs or trees I would plant them along the border of the property to obscure the vision of neighboring hunters.  However, I am a much bigger fan of planting stands of native warm season grass.  Tall warm season grasses such as switchgrass and big bluestem provide tremendous thermal