Title: How Do You Do Your Food Plots?
Almtnman - August 24, 2006 01:55 AM (GMT)
How is a good way to put in a food plot and keep the deer coming top it on a regular basis?
IDKY - November 20, 2006 12:04 AM (GMT)
My wife and I own a ranch here in NM. We took about 200 head of cattle off about 6 years ago to give the place a rest. The gramma grass was 2 foot high (seed head stalks) this year after a good wet summer.
I have tried to plant alfalfa, clover and pasture blends in areas over the years , but nothing has come up. the only thin gthat I have found is to remove the cattle and jsut let mother nature do her thing.
We have had great numbers of Elk herds during the breeding seasons for the last 5 years. I know it has to do with NO hunting pressure here on the ranch and the feed and water that is here.I would still like to plant feed plots here to help manage the herds better. I'm thinking about clover and native grasses again this summer.
If anyone can help me figure out what and how to plant in high and dry soil in NM, please respond.
Almtnman - November 20, 2006 12:22 AM (GMT)
IDKY, have you asked your state game agency about what you might could plant? I was also wondering what that native grass of yours on the ranch would do if it was bushhogged kind of high. Do you think it might make the grass better eating for the elk and deer? I'm not very famaliar with the type grass you mention, but I know some farmers that mow for hay will sometimes bushhog it high if they want to come back later and mow it.
Sounds like you have a good place to hunt. I wish I had a place like that. :D
IDKY - November 20, 2006 01:18 AM (GMT)
Yes we have gotten with the US Fish and Wildlife dept. and put part of the place in habitat improvement programs fot he next 15 years. we had to build 6 miles of new fence last year to be able to get into the program. the fence was to keep cows out of the creek bottom that we are trying to get back in shape. the elk ate everyone of the 200 cottonwood saplings we planted.
The lady with Fish and wildlife said she'd give us $5,000.00 for a redwood bird deck. I told her that we didn't have a lot of bird watchers come out to the ranch. I said we really need another well dug for the wildlife. No way would they help us out on that cost. I asked her why the bird watchers just couldn't stand on the ground and let us have the money for a well. she just said there was money for the bird deck and not the well. We now have a real nice bird deck in case ya know of any bird watchers that want to look at birds. we have real nice birds here on the ranch and their virgin birds to boot. ( never been looked at)
I hope to buy a bush hog next spring to cut back some of the rabbit brush where I will be planting grass seed.
swimmer - January 23, 2007 02:23 PM (GMT)
I do gardens for othr people and am always looking for the same kinds of protections against the wild foreagers. Ther are so many products available, but none are getting the 'sure bet' rating from anyone I know who has used them. It seems that physical barriers are the best bet so far. Mixtures of animal blood, human urine, and direct treatment on edibles with red cayanne powder seem the most effective topical treatments. Let me know if you have heard of anything else.
As far as what to plant, I'm sure the native grasses and herbs would be the best bet. If you let mother nature do her thing, as you say, you're bound to get higher quality medicinal herbage in the feilds which should reduce the amount of common medical issues with your stock. The only thing is that you hace to periodically survey the feilds for the few things-like cherry- which may be poisonous to them.
That's my two cents. I'm still trying to get rid of invasive exoctic ground covers that were planted on our small acreage. Japanese privet among others. Do you have any problems with these kinds of things that could get out of hand if you try to let it go wild?
danlnga - February 8, 2007 08:42 PM (GMT)
I would think that you would have a county agent that might help with suggestiions for planting. If that fails, go to the state university (on line usually) & investigate the links with their agriculture department. If that fails, contact the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. They have programs for habitat improvement & who knows, you might even get a little financial help (maybe).
I have utilized the internet here to seek answers from the Univ of Georgia Ag School & they work. I am Habitat Mgr of our 1271 acre deer lease here.
danlnga - February 8, 2007 08:47 PM (GMT)
If you are trying to protect small gardens, go to your local barbershop & collect all of the hair they have swept up. Cut the legs off of your wife's or daughters panty hose to make a long "sock". Fill it with hair & hang around the garden edges.
The "human" odor last a while but if it seems to become ineffective..........just go back to the barbershop & reload the socks.
Almtnman - February 8, 2007 10:00 PM (GMT)
Dan, I run across a new food plot product that claims it is good for deer. It's called 'Deer Weed" and annual weed that has to be planted each year. The real name of it is "Kenaf" seed. Have you heard anything about it?
swimmer - February 13, 2007 02:14 PM (GMT)
Thanks a lot Dan.
I had heard of this treatment...Never thought of going to the barber shop though.
I reckon hair's hair.
My brother-in-law used to pee in a perimiter line around his garden. Unfortunately, I don't think my clients would appreciate me doing that in their backyards. Plus the golfers on the course behind some of their homes might get distracted from the game!
I'll try the hair-balls!
Almtnman - February 13, 2007 02:30 PM (GMT)
swimmer, my wife talked to a local gardener that was having problems with deer eating his garden. He drove sticks around the perimeter and strung a monofilament fishing line about 2 foot high all around the garden. He claimed when the deer walked to the garden at night to eat, their knees would run into the fishing line and they wouldn't go any farther and they wouldn't jump over it since they couldn't see it, only feel it. Now, I've never tried that but the man that was doing it claimed it worked for him.
In my garden when I plant peas and corn I have a deer problem as that seems to be what they want to eat and don't bother the rest. I have a Lab dog that is trained to stay with our four wheeler, so during the garden season, we park the four wheeler next to the garden and the Lab guards it all night. Why this dog does this, I don't know, but anywhere that four wheeler is parked on our property the dog will not leave it even all night. If it happens to rain, we throw a tarp over the four wheeler and she sleeps underneath keeping an eye and ear out for deer. We reward her for her night shift duty though.
swimmer - February 14, 2007 05:00 PM (GMT)
That's great advise about the fishing line. I think I'll try it at my house. It might even be something I could use in my customer's yards beacuse it wouold be virtually invisible.
They have problems with rabbits and moles, too.
It's always something! <_<
Thanks a lot!
yeticowboy - February 6, 2009 06:18 PM (GMT)
The best way to start is to go to to your local NRCS or go online at www.nrcs.usda.gov They will have soil maps to tell you what kind of soil you have on any particular part of your ranch and it will also tell you what plants grow best in that soil.
Now if you are talking about management for deer I would tell you that brush control is key. Grazing management is important as well. If you have cattle they can be one of the most important tools you have to manage your land. Controlled burns are also a must for serious management. As for food plots always think native. A lot of people buy that Bio-logic crap and it doesn't do much good. Most of the stuff in that won't grow in the Southwest U.S. If you want food plots for deer then I suggest simply plowing up the ground and letting native forbs (weeds) grow back in. White-tailed deer especially love to eat that and I have had success with this type of food plot. Not to mention it's the cheapest and easiest way.
For elk I would say if you have a good established grassland then go with that. They are grazers so just keep the brush from encroaching on the native grasslands.