Food plots for deer and other wildlife

 

My friend Josh came in to the office in early spring to talk about how he could grow food plots for deer on his land in Hocking County.  He had been trying various seed but was not having success.  Josh is not only a hunter like many around here but he is also a conservationist(also like many around).

One of the first thing that you do when evaluating a spot on your land as a food plot is to see what it offers the wildlife.  They basically need what we need:  Food, Water and Shelter.

Josh had picked a great spot.  It has cover with woods up both sides of the food plot area-

deer1

It also had a water source with a very nice looking creek on one side-

deer2

Just needed to work on the food.  My first thought when he described what had been going on was that we needed a soil sample to see how the fertility is.

The soil sample completely told the story.   Evidently the ground had been strip mined at some point and then not remediated after that so it was not capable of doing a good job supporting a forage.

soil test

According to the soil test he needed to lime the soil, increase the organic matter, and add the big 3 of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus.

Which Josh did.  He is a hard worker.   He added all the soil amendments and planted forage brassicas as well as planted a buckwheat cover crop on another spot that will be mowed and tilled to increase organic matter and fertility for an upcoming fall deer food crop.

And it worked like crazy.

Here are the forage brassicas that Josh and his buddy planted.  That is not a Tonka truck in the picture.

 

deer josh2

 

Here is the buckwheat getting mowed right in full flower, before it sets seed. Same principle we are using for the same reason at the Logan Community Garden

 

Josh Buckwheat4Gosh do I love cover crops.

I am hoping Josh and his buddies land the biggest trophy bucks of their lives this season.  They will have earned it the hard way, and he is improving his land for future generations.

If you want to develop your land for future projects let me know and we will get started with a plan.

I will be speaking on Food Plots for Wildlife including deer and game birds at the Farm Science Review on September 21st at the Gwynne Conservation Area.  Stop by and say hello.

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