Thoughts on this for food plot?

   #1  

CMV

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Dealing with the coyotes in hopes to get deer & turkey back on my land. Used to be all over the place - groups of 30+ turkey almost daily, frequent visits by deer. They may have just found greener pastures and just coincidental, but I noticed fewer and fewer until almost none deer & turkey inside my fence while the coyote pair visits increased over past several years.

Anyway.....I just had a ~200yds path cleared thru a wooded area. This will be a long, walking shooting course lined with steel targets so will see some foot traffic. Will also occasionally run the SxS thru the area. Still have to finish leveling. The track loader that cleared it did great, but it's rough. After that I have to put down ground cover anyway so thinking it would be a great food plot and hunting area.

View attachment 658537

But, I really have no idea what I'm doing. And don't really want a large plot that i have to spray roundup, disk, replant every year. So this is what i'm thinking....tell me where I'm off, what else I should do, or what is plain wrong please.

1. After leveling/smoothing the way I want it, broadcast spread 150 lb lime pellets, 50lb 24-0-11, and then 40 lbs 10-10-10. For a typical established lawn that's the right amount of 10-10-10 and 2x the amount of 24-0-11 you'd use. Right amount of lime to go up .5. This is poor red clay soil/fill dirt so just guessing at amount of fertilizer. Haven't done a "real" soil test, but have done the DIY ones with the colored water similar to they type you check a pool or hotub.

2. Broadcast mix of equal parts (by weight) crimson clover, NZ white clover, chickory, millet, & alfalfa. I'm thinking that will be somewhat low maintenance, will mostly come back for several years, and can withstand some foot traffic and occasional ATV or SxS.

3. End of summer, along 1 edge (left side in pic), roundup a 2' wide strip and then do the annual & fall plant stuff along that edge. Oats, purple top turnips, chufa, radish, peas. There are also some small, flat, cleared areas along this "path" on the sides not in my pic above (pic is most narrow spot). I could easily just do the annual/fall plant stuff there and leave the main path just the clover, alfalfa, chickory, etc.

For maintenance I'm thinking just bushhog when it gets about knee-high, re-do the annuals areas every year (no way around that I guess), and just lightly overseed the main area every spring with same clover, millet, etc and maybe change the mix depending on what grew well or didn't at all. i.e. chickory didn't do well, try rye grass in it's place or something like that.

So it's at least 10' wide, some spots a lot wider. 200 yds long and i I can go another 50 yds or more easily. At the end is a low spot where water collects when there's rain. Not a pond, but marshy area. Cat tails grow there. Also an intermittent but more dependable stream just across my fenceline (not on my property) so i'm thinking this would be a good spot to attract the deer & turkey. I *think* I'm picking out stuff to plant to attract both & will grow well in partial shade, water nearby, and secluded enough it's an attractive space.

Is it big enough to attract them even? in all would be like .18AC. I have another small plot going on the top part of my land. Real close to this but also small. 15' wide, 50 yds long. Garden is right next to it and when that's done, fall planting stuff will go there extending that plot to 40'+ wide. But that's out in the open and a very steep hill separates the areas. The right side of pic above - above that mess is open flat field.
 
   #2  

jeff9366

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If you shoot over your land regularly the chance of having deer return are slim.
 
  
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CMV

CMV

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If you shoot over your land regularly the chance of having deer return are slim.

The land is primarily a gun range. But private so not in use but for a few hrs here & there.

But I've had many times I've had to stop shooting and wait for deer to leave because they hopped the fence to come in and hang out around my 300yd berm....while I was in middle of shooting at it.

The turkey also....at first they scattered & took the trees when I'd drive up. Over time they got to the point they'd casually stroll off, but could care less that I was around.

Quite possible I'm just too noisy the couple days a week I shoot some, but it took them a good 3 years to come to that conclusion :)
 
   #5  

nyone

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Last rifle season I shot a buck and didnt hear it run. Not trying to be quiet I got down out of my stand and walk over to the spot, there was crunchy snow on the ground. Didnt see him, walked back to my stand, went up and back down the stand to try and spot him. As I was getting down the second time I see 3 deer walking on the same trail about 15fr from where i eventually found him and where I walked. So how afraid are they of gun shots if you can shoot and within 5min 3 are walking along like nothing happen.
 
   #6  

Complete Turf Care

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1. I can't open the attached picture. I get this message. "Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator"
2. I would not apply any lime without a soil test. A soil test will also tell you the best fertilizer to use.
3. Since I can't see the picture, will your shooting lane/food plot get enough sunlight? If there are tall trees and it is oriented north and south, it would need to be a good bit wider than the height of the trees in order to get at least 8 hours of sunlight per day. If it is oriented east/west, it may get enough sunshine.

Sounds like a fun project. Good luck.
 
  
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CMV

CMV

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20200518_164726.jpg


20200518_165002.jpg


Maybe that will work for pics?
 
   #8  

Complete Turf Care

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Yes, now I see the pics. Looks like you should get enough sunshine there.

I think your plan is worth a try. But, the native grasses and weeds will return eventually, and probably fairly quickly.
 
   #9  

coobie

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If you shoot over your land regularly the chance of having deer return are slim.
NOT True..:sneaky: Our 100 yard rifle range is next to this food plot

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Egon

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You can try a number of different kind of seeds. If they do not work it can always be reseeded with different varieties.

Consider small trial sections for different seeds to see what works.

also consider some wild prairie grass, alfalfa, peas, beans and even buckwheat. If it’s possible get seeds from varieties that will reseed themselves. The odd apple tree and hazelnut bush should also go well.
 
 
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