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Location: GA/AL
Joined: 07/20/2009
Posts: 4
I'm new to the site and need some advice.

I've been an outdoorsman my whole life but recently started hunting whitetails.My grandpa owns land in Northeast ALA(about 300 acres).Its a mix of pasture,hardwoods and planted timber.I've planted numerous food plots(under the advice of some friends who are avid,lifelong whitetail hunters).My question to you is am i wasting my time?Ive had good success on turkeys for years on the place,and have seen some deer.I'm hooked on the sport after hunting last year and hunting season is appproaching.But i dont want to waste the time and the money on food plots if the land isnt enough.thanks

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Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
I'm new to the site and need some advice.

Welcome to BGH, Happycamper

To answer your question, I think that maintaining a food plot is worth your money as long as you are seeing benefits from it.
Food plots are not really designed to provide a "place" to hunt but rather a place where Deer can feed on quality, nutritious food that has the nutrients and minerals needed to maintain herd health and provide a food source during the winter months and for minerals needed for optimum Antler growth.
Most of us hunt a "food plot" anyway when we hunt near a field planted in crops. Only difference is who the crops were planted for. People crops or Deer crops.
Plots do also offer you a place that you know that deer will visit however they will not change their habits and simply walk out in the open during daylight, or at least the old Bucks won't, so you will still have to hunt them as you normally would.
If you are satisfied with your hunting place now then a plot can only help the health of your Deer and you won't have to make any changes to your stand locations....maybe some slight adjustments...but usually not.

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Location: GA/AL
Joined: 07/20/2009
Posts: 4
Thanks.

I should have made myself a little more clear.I planted the plots with the deers nutrition/antler growth in mind.Last year was my first year hunting and i was satisfied with the number of deer i saw(although i only took a doe for meat,and a nice 8 point buck).However,i would like to sustain the herd.So you awnsered my question as far as that benifit of a food plot.My stand locations are fixed,but i have a couple climbers if they go "cold".I guess i was wondering if the plots make my land more attractive to the deer?......Also how do you feel about feeders?I have friends who do and those who dont.Are they benificial?I have always planted millet/sunflowers for the birds and it does the trick.Im just new to the deer hunting and wanted to ask questions.......thanks

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Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
Re: Thanks.
Happycamper wrote:
My stand locations are fixed,but i have a couple climbers if they go "cold".I guess i was wondering if the plots make my land more attractive to the deer?......Also how do you feel about feeders?I have friends who do and those who don't.Are they benificial?I have always planted millet/sunflowers for the birds and it does the trick.Im just new to the deer hunting and wanted to ask questions.......thanks

I don't use feeders so I don't really know how well they would work. That said I have been considering a feeder to put out pellets for Antler growth supplements, just haven't done that yet nor do I know that I will.

As for a plot making your land more attractive to Deer, I would have to say yes, given everything else is also there.
I don;t believe that a Buck will travel from one property with a plot to another with a plot unless the other had some sort of something that one did not have, whether that be better plants, water or thicker cover nearby for him to hide out in. The presence of Does will eventually draw a number of Bucks from other lands nearby so that's a plus.

Millet is a great plot food source as it multi tasks, attracts birds as well as deer. I plant Clay Peas, Soybeans, Red Clover and occasionally Carrots in the
summer. Clover, Chicory, and Soybeans again in the fall. I do believe that soybeans would be all that I needed cause the Deer will tear them up.
I can't plant corn as it will attract Black Bears and we can't shoot them and they keep the Deer at a distance.

I have some friends who swear by those mineral rocks sold at Bass Pro Shops but , again, I have not tried them personally.

Tndeerhunter's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
I'm new to the site and need some advice.

Your idea of food plots is an excellent one and excellent start to creating a private "preserve". After food and water, deer concentrate on cover and safety, away from predators, man included, of course. I'd suggest that the next thing you do/try is to create some places where the deer can remain undisturbed. What I mean is to put some of the property "off limits" if that's possible.

If you give the deer in the immediate area a spot (some spots) where cover is thick and they feel completely safe because humans never venture there, especially during the hunting seasons, you will maintain a safety zone they feel comfy in and keep "resident" deer there. If possible, locate a bedding area already present, that already has some heavy cover. It can help to actually produce ground cover by cutting down and leaving some trees.

The additional light overhead will aid in brushy growth and the physical presense of the tree litter, branches and trunks will add secretive pockets for the deer to bed in. These areas need not be huge, 1-2 acres of actual blowdowns and a couple more acres of "buffer" to keep them comfy would work well.

A couple such sanctuaries spread out on the property will absolutely aid in keeping deer "residents" there, with no need to move very far to feed on your plots and then return to the heavy cover to bed. The proper placements of stands on these travel routes, or in funnels should be the key to taking some venison. Remember, if you HOLD does on your property in these small sanctuaries, the bucks will come searching for them during the rut. So you will also definitely increase your buck population as well, at least temporarily. All you need is one sighting of a buck passing through, looking for your does, to make a successful season!

We have done similar things with pieces smaller than yours, and if everyone cooperates, it will definitely help, there is no doubt. But all have to agree to leave certain areas off-limits to human traffic for it to work properly. Thumbs up

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Location: Louisiana but hunting MS
Joined: 09/15/2009
Posts: 24
I'm new to the site and need some advice.

If you are concerned with wasting your time and money, then you should go buy you a trail camera and see how the deer react to your new plots. as far as i am concerned, the more the deer have to eat, the better. just do your research. dont just plant anyting if you are looking for antler growth. find something high in minerals and protine. as far as the mineral blocks. no luck there. the rain has washed mine away. sure deer will tast it every now and again but not enough to bennifit from it. but thats just my experience. on the topic of feeders. depends on how you look at them. i prefer to use a feeder but i hunt for meet mostly. a feeder will limit the amount of effort of looking for food. there fore making lazy none grazing bucks. put a camera on them. mostly night time bucks will eat out of feeders. well good luck. and dont just try corn or soy beans. ive had really good luck with some of the pellets out there. just go to your nearest feed store and ask them what the local hunters have been saying about their products and they will point you in the right direction

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Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
I'm new to the site and need some advice.
new to the game wrote:
If you are concerned with wasting your time and money, then you should go buy you a trail camera and see how the deer react to your new plots. as far as i am concerned, the more the deer have to eat, the better. just do your research. dont just plant anyting if you are looking for antler growth. find something high in minerals and protine. as far as the mineral blocks. no luck there. the rain has washed mine away. sure deer will tast it every now and again but not enough to bennifit from it. but thats just my experience. on the topic of feeders. depends on how you look at them. i prefer to use a feeder but i hunt for meet mostly. a feeder will limit the amount of effort of looking for food. there fore making lazy none grazing bucks. put a camera on them. mostly night time bucks will eat out of feeders. well good luck. and dont just try corn or soy beans. ive had really good luck with some of the pellets out there. just go to your nearest feed store and ask them what the local hunters have been saying about their products and they will point you in the right direction

Thumbs up Thumbs up Excellent advice Thumbs up Thumbs up

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Joined: 09/27/2009
Posts: 4
I'm new to the site and need some advice.

Deer feeders are another good method for maintaining a herd. I would suggest that you use a mixture of corn and 20% protein feed if you want to increase growth, weight and antler size. One other thing I would suggest is a mineral salt brick and a 20% protein brick. If you utilize these along with your food plot you will start seeing more deer visit and an increase in the size of deer.

Mike
http://www.mikeswildlifefeedersandsupplies.com

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