Putnamcounty Bowhunter

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About Putnamcounty Bowhunter

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    Newbie Hunter

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  • Hunting Location
    Lower Hudson Valley
  • Bow
    Hoyt Maxxis

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  1. Did you plant the biologic beets and greens or some other mix? I planted their radishes and the beets and greens mix this year and both did pretty well but the t-raptor and barkant turnips def outproduced the biologic.
  2. I ordered it from outsidepride.com but I’m pretty sure that a few of the larger online seed distributors sell it as well. Its available in a northern and southern blend (you’d wanna use the northern blend up here). It’s about 50-60% “aber” variety hsg, 20-30% improved clover varieties, and a splash of chicory and ptt. The sweet spot blends were developed specifically for food plots/deer farming, but they also sell some seed blends for cattle that are popular choices too and come in larger bags. If you check out the sucraseed website, it lists all the diff seed blends. A lot of guys use the “cash cow” mix to seed larger plots. Haha nice catch on the ferns- they’re out of control on my lease cus the ph is so low, but I picked Up a few tricks that have allowed me to grow really lush food plots with no tillage and without tons and tons of ag lime. 1. Apply super fast acting calcium based pellet lime. A 30lb bag covers 5,000 sq feet and begins working almost instantly. it doesn’t last as long as dolomitic lime and doesn’t have as much magnesium but it will get your ph to a workable level faster and with less product than any other available option. I did supplement this with 50lbs of regular pellet lime per 5k sq feet for the magnesium and additional ph benefits and I do continue to add lime whenever possible hoping to eventually get enough down to provide some long term stability. 2. Apply 50-150lbs of granular humic acid per acre. The Andersons sells a product that is 74% pure humic acid derived from Leonardite- this is by far the most concentrated humic acid product I’ve found. Humic and fulvic acids increase the organic material in the soil, aid in the growth of beneficial microbes, and act as a natural chelator that allows plants to better utilize macronutrients in subpar soils. Some humic acid products like antler Kings plot max or jolt (whichever one it is haha) claim to “stabilize” or even raise soil ph but this is pure nonsense- an acid, by definition, is not going to raise soil ph! it does is help mitigate the nutrient lockout that can occur when ph is not within ideal range- which mirrors the results of having good ph but I find it really misleading when companies claim it increases ph. 3. Add 50lbs/acre of micro nutrients. I use an evaporated sea salt product called sea-90. It’s loaded with dozens of micronutrients that are beneficial to both the plants and soil microbial life. I had a small pile of it left over and found that the deer had eaten every last grain of it and proceeded to dig a big hole where it had been sitting. Not advocating anyone break the law by putting this out as a mineral lick but it does demonstrate there is some nutrient in this product that deer crave, so using it as soil amendment should help ensure the food plot crops contain those nutrients as well. 4. Lastly, in addition to applying about 300lbs an acre of 15-15-15 split over two applications, I did a foliar application of a product called nutratender from keystone pest. I used one gallon per acre and mixed 1/2 gallon of product to about 3.5 gallons of water and applied it with a backpack sprayer about 3 weeks after germination. It’s a full spectrum fertilizer that contains all major and minor nutrients plus some biologics that aid microbial life in the soil. I believe this helped a lot during a critical stage of growth at a time we weren’t getting a lot of rain. The foliar fertilizer is taken up directly by the plants and isn’t impacted by soil chemistry. I don’t think it would work as a stand alone unless you were willing to apply it once a week or maybe once every two weeks, but it’s a great way to compliment granular ferts, address acute nutrient deficiencies, or as a boost during stress periods like drought. The above suggestions are based solely on my personal experience and I am by no means an expert on any of this stuff (although I did stay at a holiday inn last night lol). While I can’t guarantee that anyone else will have the same results with these products, I will say that everyone who has seen my food plots is shocked by how well they’ve grown on rocky virgin soil that’s never been tilled without the use of any herbicides. I don’t have a tractor or a seed drill, most of the applications are done with a 20lb hand spreader and backpack sprayer and all the seed was broadcast ahead of rainfall. I’ve successfully grown soybeans, oats, wheat, rye, triticale, turnips, hybrid brassicas, rape, radishes, chicory, clover, peas and buckwheat using this method and the deer have readily eaten everything I’ve offered. My food plots are never entirely weed free but aren’t ever completely overrun either. Most important to me is that the local deer and turkey look great, they are feeding in the plots from all day long, practically every one of the does on the property has two fawns (one even had triplets or adopted an orphaned fawn), and all of the fawns are big and healthy heading into the winter. Attached are some pics of this years plots and trail camera photos.
  3. You definitely still have time. Cornell did a study looking at yields of of winter planted cereal grains in New York that involved plantings as late as November 1st And farmers regularly plant well into October to accommodate the harvest of whatever crop the grains are following. Rye will germinate in soil temps all the way down to 33f and will grow well with soil temps above 40f . I agree 100% with the recommendations of use cereal rye. The deer are crushing it on my plots at the moment. If you want to try something a little outside the box, you could plant a perennial high sugar ryegrass like sucraseed sweet spot. It’s a little on the expensive side, but it is a perennial so you’re not stuck planting it every year. This is NOT your average throw and grow ryegrass, it was developed in New Zealand specifically for palatability and high sugar content. Stays green thru the winter and the deer on my place cannot stay off it. Depending on how large of an area you’re planning on planting, you may want to consider using some kind of hay or straw as thatch to protect the seed. It’s not necessary but it helps with germination this time of year when the nights are getting colder. As the hay/straw decomposes it will provide a little extra heat and nutrients to the newly germinated cereal grain. Attached are a couple pics of a little trail I cut to connect two larger food plots planted in sweet spot. It’s a highly shaded area that maybe gets 4 hours of light a day and it’s done wonderfully. These photos show it about 2.5 weeks after planting.
  4. Saw a couple posts where people are having their plots wiped out before or just after the start of hunting season- for anyone in that boat, there is a simple and effective remedy that will salvage the plots for hunting season and beyond: if the plots get wiped out early enough in September, plant 50lbs oats and/or winter wheat and 50lbs of cereal rye to the acre. Also doesn’t hurt to mix in 5-10lbs of red clover and maybe even a few pounds of a fast growing rape/turnip hybrid- the grains will start producing forage with a couple of days and can handle browse pressure like no other- grasses grow from the bottom up so as long as the roots are intact and it’s above freezing, you’ll get decent regrowth. If your plots get wiped out in late September thru mid October, just plant 100lbs of cereal rye to the acre... you can also go back top seed cereal rye if you replanted in September and still have some bare spots to fill in. Rye will germinate with soil temps as low as 33f, which for most parts of NY means you can produce decent forage with rye that’s planted as late as mid-late October or even early November in milder years. To give these late planted grains a boost right when it’s needed the most, I top dress with 50-75lbs of 46-0-0/acre in late September/early October when the grain is about 4-6” tall. It produces a nice flush of growth right at the start of the hunting season and increases the protein content of the wheat/oats/rye, making it highly palatable to deer. I incorporate cereal grains in every plot I plant and am convinced it’s been the game changer for me. I even throw down 25lbs of oats to the acre in my May planted soybean plots- they jump out of the ground and take much of the early browse pressure that would kill soybean seedlings- I am convinced it’s why I’ve been able to plant smaller soybean plots that don’t get wiped out in areas of high deer density without any fencing. It prevents me from using a lot of common herbicides but so far weeds haven’t been a major problem. I also top dress with 50lbs of milorganite at planting and a second time 2-3 weeks later. Doesn’t eliminate browse pressure but keeps enough deer off the beans to give them a chance. I also seed about 20-30% above recommended levels for beans to ensure that I get a decent stand because some seedlings will get killed by browsing early on no matter what. Ive got a 1.5 acre bean plot that is still producing forage despite almost nonstop browsing since mid July. Over 3000 trail cam pics a month in that plot.
  5. Haha never mind- I read the op again and saw this wasn’t a soybean plot! That’s a really nice plot. I thought I read it was soybeans or I saw the pics of the fence and assumed it was beans. Depending on how thick the brassicas are seeded, you might not get much forage out of the clover this year but it’ll still be growing and developing a strong root system and next spring it will jump out of the dirt. Might not work with your herbicide regimen, but you could try mixing in a small amount of cereal rye this fall- not a huge amount 25-30lbs an acre should do it. It will keep producing green forage most of the winter, but where it’ll really shine is next spring. Since all the brassicas will be gone and the clover will just be getting established, there will prolly be a lot of bare dirt early on, but if you add some rye now it’ll provide early spring forage and the perfect cover for your clover plus itll help suppress weed growth during spring green up- as if that’s not enough, it will also capture all those nutrients the decomposing brassicas will be releasing. By mid-late April the clover should be filled in completely and you can just mow down the rye and leave the thatch as green manure. Couldn’t use the cleth with it, but with fall seeded rye, brassicas, and clover you might find you don’t need any herbicides next spring and that one or two mowings is enough to keep it weed free.
  6. Do you get pods with such a late planting of soybeans? The fence system looks great but I’m not sure I understand the decision to plant beans in August and then fence them in unless they are a super fast maturing group that can actually throw pod in the month or two before the start to yellow out. Most of the guys I know who plant soybeans either plant them in late May/early June for summer forage and pods in the winter, or they plant them in a fall blend around the time you planted yours and use the sprouting beans as a way to draw deer to the plot until the grains and brassicas can get established. I planted some laredo forage beans back in May on a little over an acre and just kept applying milorganite until they could handle the browse pressure- they’re still producing leafy forage but are definitely on the decline at this point- don’t think they’ll make it to the season opener- then again the temps in the Catskills are already dipping into the 30’s at night. I would think your exact set up with some real world or eagle pod haven beans (or just plain ok ag beans) planted in late spring early summer would be the way to go. After about 6 weeks you should have close to a closed canopy and can let the deer forage on the leaves throughout the months of August and September and still get pods to hunt over later in the season. If what you’re doing now works then def keep doing it, but it seems like a lot of work to open up the bean fields right around the time they stop producing forage and before they have a chance to put on beans for the winter. Would love to know more about how these August planted beans fit into your hunting/management plan. Thanks!
  7. I like the way Hock did it with a bunch of 3-4 day minications. Whenever I take a week or two off in a row, I always find that the day I should have been in the woods is my first day back at work. So this year I told my boss that instead of taking my usual two weeks, I’d be in two days a week in November- when he asked which two days I told him I wanted to keep my staff on their toes so I’d be mixing up the days I’m in so they don’t get complacent. I couldn’t believe he went for it but the conversation ended with him saying “good idea. You should mention this at our next managers meeting.” Haha gotta love when a plan comes together!
  8. Hi G-man everything looks great! Would love to hear more about how you got the hazelnuts established- They look fantastic! My lease partner and I are planning on creating wide transition zone around our main plot complex that we envision as sort of an "fruit and nut savanna" that looks similar to the area in the upper right corner of your food plot picture. Looking at adding a mix of spaced out fruit trees, leaving the handful of native oaks in the area standing, and installing small clusters of hazelnuts, plums, blackberries, and high bush blueberries (already several of these in the area). With a lot of bear and deer in the area, we're concerned that the shrubs and trees will take a beating unless protected. Rather than protecting individual bushes we thought we could fence of a couple 10' and 20' diameter circles to protect clusters of shrubs from the bears and deer for a couple years. Depending on how the high sugar ryegrass performs this year, we'll probably use the sweet spot mix and some nwsg's to create the savanna under and around the trees and shrubs. Hoping the finished product will provide good fawning cover and significantly increase forage production around the food plots.
  9. Pretty happy with the way it came out considering everything was broadcast seeded with zero herbicides and no tillage (other than the smooth side of a chain harrow used to lay the standing beans down over the seed). Soil is incredibly rocky clay that most of the “experts” I consulted said would take years to make productive. This is the first year anything has been grown on this site.
  10. Wanted to share some pictures of the fall plots. The first round of planting with brassicas, legumes, oats and winter wheat went it right ahead of a storm in the last week of July. Right around the same time, I cut a meandering path through some early growth forest/bramble to connect my two plots and planted it in Northern Sweet Spot. Its a fairly long corridor in thick cover so i hung a stand about halfway between the two plots and cut a little backdoor path to it that I should be able to use during the prevailing north-westerly winds without spooking any deer. The plots were planted in strips into standing laredo soybeans that were then terminated over top of the seed (As of 9/4 the standing beans are still producing leafy forage and should continue up until the first frost, but they will not produce pods. I followed up the initial planting over labor day weekend with 50lbs/acre of rye and maybe another 30-40lb mix of some oats, wheat, and triticale that I hadnt used the first time around, including the areas with standing beans since they'll soon be toast. Nothing fancy, all the seed was broadcast ahead of rain and used a chain harrow behind atv to terminate the beans and ensure good seed to soil contact. included about 200lbs of triple 19 at planting along with 50 lbs/acre of 70% granular humic acid and 50lbs/acre of Sea-90 micronutrients at planting followed up with a foliar application of Nutratender plot fertilizer (from keystone pest) around August 15th and 50lbs of urea over Labor Day. Plots are being visited all day long by deer and turkey and producing tons of forage. All the attention is on the cereal grains, remaining soybeans, and peas at the moment, allowing the brassicas to do really well so far. Sweet spot isnt seeing as much browsing as main ploits, but theyre definitely using the path and browsing as they go which should make for great hunting opportunities without having deer camped out under me the entire time. Some pics of the larger plot (about an acre). In the upper right hand corner of first pic you can see the entrance to the sweet spot path that connects the two plots. There is also a larger trail system that connects them on the other corner thats planted in cereal grains chicory and clover. Some pics of the sweet spot trail: Some close ups of the smaller plot:
  11. Why not plant the peas in the rough bed, then either cultipack or smooth out with a drag harrow, and then go back and throw out the clover and turnips? I would think having the seeder open wide enough for the peas would cause spotty seeding of the clover and turnips since the seeds are so much smaller. Curious how long the corn lasts for you too... between the bears and raccoons, I don’t think a single kernel from 3 acres of corn would make it to October 1st where I hunt. They seem to ignore the soybeans for the most part though.
  12. Thanks for the info g-man! I’d imagine the 3 pounds of turnips eventually dominates that plot. Are the peas just early season attraction until the brassicas are established or do they last for a while? Do you get any surviving peas with the spring flush of clover? I’ve heard as long as they’re protected by snow or it’s not too cold that they can and do bounce back in the spring, but never had them last long enough to see it first hand. By next spring, My food plot layout will be fairly similar to yours with two 1 acre plots separated by about 2.5 acres of grain crops... planning on a mix of rr soybeans and was toying with the idea of planting a 10 yard strip of “dirty corn” on the perimeter by mixing in a bag of wi’s power plant to dirty up the corn. Do you alternate the location of the brassica plot and the pea plot each year? Wondering how repeated turnip plantings in the same ground work out since you use them in both blends?
  13. G-man, can you expand a little on how you employ winter peas in your plots? I’ve had mixed results with beans and peas- seems like they either get crushed the second they pop out of the ground (happens to my fall planted peas) or get completely ignored (happens to spring and summer peas). As a result I’ve been a little reluctant to rely on peas too much in the fall, but with the planned expansion of the plots at my new lease for next season and a couple acres to play with this year, I really wanna “give peas a chance” lol ive got a 50lb bag of frostmaster white blossom peas I’m planning on splitting between two acres but would curious to hear how you plant them- do you mix everything, plant strips, grow them separately in monoculture stands? How many acres do you plant in peas? Seeding rate? How they perform? Thanks in advance for any info! I figured if I spread them out, some of the other crops will absorb some of the browse pressure and I might get a few pea plants over 6”, but also see the potential benefit of planting them all in the same area where they won’t have to compete with other plant varieties.
  14. +1 except I’d suggest seeding the clover in the fall with the cereal grains as a nurse crop. By the following spring the clover will already have established roots and will jump out of the ground so that by the time you mow the grains down in May, there is very little weed infiltration. I’ve found that warm season weeds are a much bigger Issue in Spring planted clover, even frost seeded, than clover planted the previous fall. I do not use heavy tillage or herbicides on my plots so fighting weeds with allelopathic grains like rye and beating them out of the ground in the spring is really important to keep them from overrunning my plots.
  15. Haha yeah it’s a lot of seed but after reading a lot stuff from Jeff Sturgis and seeing guys put it in to practice out in Michigan, I’m sold on the concept of layering cereal grains over multiple plantings. The seed cost is def higher than some other routes, but in the scheme of things $150/acre for a thick stand of layered food plot crops that will produce close to year round isn’t bad- if I had enough acreage cleared to justify planting roundup ready beans this year that would have cost about the same in seed, not counting coming back in around late August and over seeding with brassicas and grains. The layering method can be done for far less if I’d passed up some of the variety I wanted to include this year. This is the first year on this lease for me, so part of the reason I am planting so many different varieties is to get a sense of what performs well on this ground and what the deer seem to prefer. Will tailor blend/scale back accordingly in years to come. A cheap and hardy alternative that will still produce a 10 month plot for about $50/acre would go as follows: 100lbs cereal rye: $25 50lbs bin oats: $10 10lbs vns red clover: $15 add 5lbs radish or turnips: $10-$20 depending on variety Early-mid August- broadcast oats, drag with chain harrow, top seed with clover and brassicas (if using) Early sept.- broadcast 50lbs of rye ahead of rain storm, focusing on any bare spots. 3rd week of September- broadcast 50lbs of rye ahead of rain storm across whole plot. Another reason for the seemingly high seeding rates is that I am broadcasting the seed with minimal tillage and have to account for reduced germination rates and seed loss to birds/rodents. I have found that you can broadcast pretty much any seed out there if you time it before a good soaking rain and adjust the seeding rates by about 20-30%. For larger seeds I’ll either plant in the rain (this is my preferred method for broadcasting soybeans/peas) or drag a chain harrow/ride a quad across the plot to incorporate ahead of rain.