Blue Hill

From woods to food plot

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Hello everyone, I am new here so I thought I would share a little bit of what I have going on at my NY camp.  We began clearing this 3/4 acre plot in the spring of 2016, The phosphorus and potassium was very low. We applied 400 pounds of 18-18-18 as a start for the first year. The ph was 5.1 so we applied 2.5 tons of lime over the next year. The first planting in late summer of 2016 was a mixture of radish, turnips, soybean and winter rye; knowing that if nothing else the rye grain should do alright because the lime had only had a few months to work. I included a picture of us clearing the plot and a picture of the 1st years growth, the deer kept the plot trimmed down as you can see inside the exclusion fence in the last picture.

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7 hours ago, sailinghudson25 said:

Wow  5.1

Looks nice.  Keep those edges brushy if you can.  They'll walk right in instead of playing the "is it ok or not" game outside of bow range for the last part of the day.

Not a bad idea! Thanks SailingHudson.

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Thanks for the welcome everyone! Spring of 2017, we added clover to one end of the plot (durana, ladino and patriot) mixed in a little chickory too. We added 5 apple trees, 4 pears and a few chestnuts. Late summer we planted half the plot in a brassicas mix which the deer destroyed and the other half in winter rye. You will see in picture below brassicas are around 20" inside exclusion fence. I didn't take many pictures of the plot but my trail cameras took a few.

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Well from your photos it seems that your next step should be some kind of timber management. And feather edge of your plot to allow more light and cover.. when you get some saplings growing the bucks will rub the crap out of them as well as stage downwind..  i know its very tempting to put your stand onnthe plot but honestly your better off in the staging area 20 to 50 yards down wind.. at least for the pressured mature buck nys has. If you were the only hunter on 400 acres like out west then hunt the plot.. 


I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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19 hours ago, G-Man said:

Well from your photos it seems that your next step should be some kind of timber management. And feather edge of your plot to allow more light and cover.. when you get some saplings growing the bucks will rub the crap out of them as well as stage downwind..  i know its very tempting to put your stand onnthe plot but honestly your better off in the staging area 20 to 50 yards down wind.. at least for the pressured mature buck nys has. If you were the only hunter on 400 acres like out west then hunt the plot.. 

G-Man, I agree with you 100%. The first thing on my list is to feather what I can on the southern edge of that plot. I can only do about half of it because Ny state would get pretty angry with me if I feathered the hole thing. You are right about the plot we actually don't hunt it. Two of the bucks we killed this year were a result of the plot  but not killed on the plot. Both bucks were on this plot the night before they were harvested and were taken next to bedding areas (staging areas) 400 yards away in 2 different directions.

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From what little we see of the timber around there, it looks a little cramped.   Competing tree should of been thinned out a few years ago.  Take the reject and use them for funneling areas.  Even a spot or two away from the plot, to make a bedding area.

I've had just as much success making bedding areas as I have making food for deer.   Especially if you are competing with a neighbor who manages their property for deer.  Also, just managing the forest in a fashion where you make a more denser line of trees can be really helpful during bow season.  Give the understory some more light in a line and the deer will use it.

IF you do harvest trees or do any other tree work, try to do it in the winter if it can be done safely then.  You will be provide them with food if you do it in january or February.  That use to be my goto move for muzzleloader season in NY.  Cut down a few trees last week of rifle, then come back in a few days and cut the branches laying higher up on the felled tree.  

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51 minutes ago, sailinghudson25 said:

From what little we see of the timber around there, it looks a little cramped.   Competing tree should of been thinned out a few years ago.  Take the reject and use them for funneling areas.  Even a spot or two away from the plot, to make a bedding area.

I've had just as much success making bedding areas as I have making food for deer.   Especially if you are competing with a neighbor who manages their property for deer.  Also, just managing the forest in a fashion where you make a more denser line of trees can be really helpful during bow season.  Give the understory some more light in a line and the deer will use it.

IF you do harvest trees or do any other tree work, try to do it in the winter if it can be done safely then.  You will be provide them with food if you do it in january or February.  That use to be my goto move for muzzleloader season in NY.  Cut down a few trees last week of rifle, then come back in a few days and cut the branches laying higher up on the felled tree.  

All great ideas! I do love making bedding areas too! I need more land!

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