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Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 01/23/2005
Posts: 36
Preparing for deer season in NC

Hey fellas, I will be hunting a friends land this up comming season and wanted to ask y'all what you think I can start doing now to help my chances this October. I scouted the land recently and found 3 ponds, two creeks,some great srcub for them to bed down in, some swampy/low land areas, many trails and a few rubs. Our laws allow, and the land owner gave permission, for me to put out some mineral blocks out if I choose. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I'm new on the Whitetail scene, and got one last year. Now that my wife has a taste for venison, she expects me to bring home a lot more next year. I'll sure have a good time trying!! Any advise or tips would be appreciated.
John-

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Location: Alabama
Joined: 08/25/2003
Posts: 634
Preparing for deer season in NC

So you caught the bug eh? Welcome to one of the most addictive things in the world - Whitetail hunting!!

My first recommendation would be to find what might be the deers source of food. This could be pastures or nearby crop fields or a few acorn trees. If they are using pastures or crop fields( which since they weren't mentioned I'm assuming aren't on the property you are allowed to hunt ) find the trails leading from the bedding areas to these feeding sources. Hunt these in the moring and late evening. You can catch them going to bed and to eat . If they are using acorn trees then hunt those. Whichever find several stand locations to make sure the wind is right.

Mineral blocks and white bag salt are great for giving minerals to deer. Clean out about a five foot circle and put the block in the middle and pour salt around and on top of it. Do this in several places. You might even consider an automatic feeder. Which spreads corn or other feed automatically at dusk and dawn.

Later in the summer around late july or august and all the way to hunting season you might try using trails cameras to see how many and what quality deer are on the property.

If you have any other questions post them and I'll be glad to help.

Offline
Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 01/23/2005
Posts: 36
Preparing for deer season in NC

bnow,
Thanks for the tips, and yes I definately got the hunting bug. It's all over now.
There aren't any crops on the land I can hunt, but there is one that butts up to it. There are too many trails leading to that area to count, and most of them lead to a tall grassy area near one of the creeks, with a pond within app. 25 yards. A buddy of mine and I went out there the other day, he couldn't find any white acorn trees. He is a pretty experienced hunter, and he told me I should have no problem getting a deer. I just want to increase my chances of filling my tags and having a freezer full of meat for the rest of the year.
My plan for now is to go to the land every weekend and drop some corn and a salt/mineral mix in the same three or four spots. Does this sound like a good idea? Should I mix up the pacements or foods? I can't afford an automatic feeder, but i'm willing to go out weekly and replenish an area. Again, thanks for the tips, and keep 'em commin'.

By the way, here is the salt/mineral recepie I am planning on using. If you have a better one, let me know.

(1) 50lb bag of granulized dicalcium phosphate, (2) 50lb bags of trace mineral salt, and (1) 50lb bag of rock salt. Using a 32oz cup mix 1-cup dicalcium phosphate 2-cups trace mineral salt and 1-cup rock salt (ice cream salt) into 5-gallon bucket. Rake leaves and other debris out of the way in a 6ft circle then add mix evenly over the circle. Try to find a moist area for best results. Slightly rake back over mix and then leave alone. Deer will actually eat the dirt when they find it. This makes about 200lbs and is the majority of what's in the 3006 mineral blend. Cost is about $30.00

John- (I did not create this recepie, but found it on the web. I don't want to steal someone's thunder.)

Offline
Location: Alabama
Joined: 08/25/2003
Posts: 634
Preparing for deer season in NC

The mix sounds good but we just use mineral blocks and white bag salt pouring 1-50 lb bag on 1-mineral block.As for replenishing it with a salt lick you should only have to put it out 1 or 2 times from mid-summer until hunting season. Yeah they'll eat that dirt like it was candy. Before long that spot will be as twice as deep as it started off being.

As for the feeder we use these things from bass proshops that you attach to a bucket or drum of your own. They run off 1 6volt battery and disperse at dusk and dawn. They run about $40-60 depending on size and options.

It sounds like the deer may be using the tall grassy area for staging before they go in to eat on the crops. Or they maybe using as a watering area.

Anyways sounds like you got a good spot there. Got any more questions send em' my way.

Offline
Location: Matthews, NC
Joined: 02/21/2005
Posts: 13
Minerals

Drum,

Mixing all that stuff sounds like a lot of work! You can get more volume by doing your own mix, or you can buy a block or rock.

I have both on my properties and they are a lot less fuss.

If you don't want to buy feeders, you can make one. I use old 5 gallon buckets. Home Depot sells a 12" round particle board for $1.29. I use a hole saw to cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket, then bolt the board to the bottom of the bucket. I leave about 2" of space between the bucket bottom and the board. Gravity feeds the corn out the bottom and the deer quickly learn how to get it out. I have also seen them made out of PVC pipe, but that is more expensive.

Have you thought about a no-till food plot? This might be an alternative if you have the right location.

Offline
Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 01/23/2005
Posts: 36
Preparing for deer season in NC

I don't have the area for the no-till, because most of the hunting space is pretty much woods with some trails creeks and ponds. I take it by no-till you mean planting things like clover etc. At any rate I'll try the home made feeder you wrote about. Where should these feeders typically be placed? Should the mineral area be near the feeder? You guys have great ideas and thanks again. BTW, I'll make the feeder tonight and let you know how it comes out.
John-

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Location: Matthews, NC
Joined: 02/21/2005
Posts: 13
Placement of feeders and mineral licks

Place them near existing trails where they can easily be found.

I plant no-till plots in existing openings. Sometimes that is a clearing in the woods, sometimes an access road, or anywhere the sun can get down to the forest floor. Just beware, there is a lot more involved in food plots than finding an open area and throwing down some clover seed! You can waste a lot of money doing that!

Offline
Location: Raleigh, NC
Joined: 01/23/2005
Posts: 36
Preparing for deer season in NC

I bet plots can be tough work and expensive. I talked to the land owner and he told me he regularly sees about a dozen or so deer eating his wife's garden. In the group there is what he told me a nice 10 pointer and several doe's around. Hopefully he's right about the points, and it sticks around. I've never gotten a buck, but this year I'll take one if the opportunity arises (only if it's nice one, none of this 6 point/spike stuff). I want to see quality bucks just as much as the next hunter, but honestly I'm in it for the meat and the love of the woods.
I'm going to take the home made feeder out tomorrow and see how it works. I had it set up with just a little corn in it to check it out, and my damn dogs were rattling the thing to eat the corn. They wouldn't eat the stuff if I gave it to them, but since I don’t want them to, it was bon appetite.
John-

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