Complete novice need help withfood plots

Discussion in 'Whitetail Management' started by DARTONJAGER, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. DARTONJAGER

    DARTONJAGER New Member

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    Greetings to all from a Hoosier. I must say I greatly envy your superb management of your states deer herd especially how tightly you control non resident numbers and do not have a fire arm season during the rut. I wish my home state of Indiana was as wise.

    As I never have nor do I plan to do so in the distant future do any deer hunting in your state I joined this website on the advice of others at the bow hunting website "The Bow Site" in my efforts for educating myself on how to plant food plots. I have always thought about deer hunting in Iowa, but I simply don't have the time now or even in the distant future to even consider doing so.

    Now to my reason for joining your website. I just was granted permission two days ago to hunt a 60 acre block of private woods in my home state about a 3hr 20 minuet drive from my home. It is old Peabody coal company land. It is comprised of almost entirely of dense woods with a lot of thick under brush. The property's entire eastern border is an old blade road that was created to allow drag lines to travel from area to area. It has access on all sides and is surrounded by areas of far more dense woods than open areas. Per the land owner this blade road is about 50 yards wide and runs the entire length of the lands east border.

    This "blade road" road is still maintained by the land owner and the natural growth never gets much above ankle height maybe a little higher. There is very little in the way of agriculture or crops with in 2-3 miles in any direction.

    Now for what I need help with. I know basically nothing about creating food plots and the land owner strongly suggested I do some frost seeding of red or white clover in some small areas in the blade road based on the deer sign I find.

    I am going to the land the 3rd weekend this month for 3-4 days and if possible would like to do some frost seeding then. What I need to know is how does one frost seed with the best chance of success? I own a NITB Scotts broad cast spreader so I can use that to cast the seed. If anyone knows of a video or a link to a good explanation of all the information I need to know to be successful at frost seeding please post it. If not then I will need someone who has enjoyed a high level of success with frost seeding to please share with me all the steps they took.

    I would also need a recommendation on who makes a clover seed that works best for frost seeding. I have pulled up the land on Goggle Earth and the woods look at this point to be much to dense to plant a food plot in and I wont know if any areas can be cleared and made into a food plot till I get down there, so frost seeding the blade road looks like my best bet for a chance at getting a food plot started with minimal effort for the my sons and I first hunts this fall.

    I think I would likely be best served if someone can from first hand experience recommend a good step by step book for a complete novice such as I on food plots that includes frost seeding.

    I feel it is worth mentioning that I have very limited tools available to me for improving the land for planting food plots and at this point so any food plots will have to be small and simple. The fact I am a little over 3 hours travel from the land and I don't get much time off work is also another factor that I need to consider in any food plots I wish to create.
    Based on the lack of agricultural crops in the area I can see where a food plot could really help my boys and myself chances of bow hunting success this fall.

    Well that's it, thanks to anyone who takes the time to help me out with my beginning education in planting food plots.
     
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  3. DARTONJAGER

    DARTONJAGER New Member

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    Well just found the Dbletree's forum page and I suspect that will answer all my questions or will give me new ones to ask.
     
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  4. Duckriver

    Duckriver Member

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    This is a great resource.
    A Guide to Successful Wildlife Food Plots Blending Science with Common Sense. By Craig Harper.
     
  5. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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  6. Sod Savage

    Sod Savage Member

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    If there is snow on the ground your chance of the seed catching will be way worse than if its bare soil. At least that's what my wife told me last spring when I wanted to put some clover in my pasture. She is a certified agronomist so I took her word for it.
     
  7. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    Huh. I have had very good success multiple times broadcasting clover seed over "late" snow. Late being February or March. It is really easy to see where you have been too. The only time I think this didn't work out well for me was when I was broadcasting into deeper snow, like 8" or so.
     
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  8. Sod Savage

    Sod Savage Member

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    Yeah, I would look at the forecast for sure. She was concerned about the birds also being able to see the seeds in the snow and eating it up. So if it looks like its going to melt right away it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  9. DARTONJAGER

    DARTONJAGER New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately the book by Craig Harper is no longer available based on my Goggle search for it. I have been reading a lot of information at the Dbletree page and the only thing I am unsure of is preparing the ground for frost seeding. I will be heading to the land in 10 days and based on the G/E satellite pictures the area the land owner recommended I frost seed looks like it should have minimal weed growth, which confirms what my land owner said.
    So the only tool I have on hand to cut and clear weeds is my Stihl gas weed wacker.
    Based on all I have read I am going to proceed on the assumption that using the weed wacker to cut down the weeds and expose the top soil at the same time is my best option given my limited tools available to me. So I need someone to tell me if scalping if you will the ground of weeds to expose the dirt is sufficient top soil preparation.
    I am very serious about making a minimum of 2-3 small food plots work as the land owner told me that the nearest crops are at least 2-2.5 miles from the land he has given me to hunt so the benefit of a food plot or 3 are obvious.
    Again thanks for the help so far.
     
  10. Tim Hull

    Tim Hull PMA Member

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    Stay away from Berseem clover. It doesn't frost seed.
     
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  11. DARTONJAGER

    DARTONJAGER New Member

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    Can someone please recommend what is regarded as the best brand of seed for frost seeding that requires minimal soil preparation and maintenance? And where to buy it? Thanks,
    Arthur.
     
  12. goatman

    goatman I hunt days ending in Y

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    Welter Seed in Iowa. Several good types of clover. Let them mix and match and you'll be covered. Let's the deer have variety. Alice white,durana, kopu II,and jumbo white are some of my favorites. And to be honest the bucks around here like red clover very well.
     
  13. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    Welter is a great source, I have bought from them many times in the past too. But seeing that the person posting the initial question is from Indiana...you should be able to find a more local source. Despite what the marketers would like you to think...deer will eat "standard" clover just fine. Goaty has already provided some good varieties, I use all of those, and some others too, with good success. The only clover that I wouldn't try to frost seed is, as mentioned previously, Berseem.
     
  14. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Are the weeds dead? Or what are they? That will define how to proceed & what u need to do for spray later, etc.
    yep- agree with above. Clovers will reach soil. They are hard & small. Reds, whites, etc. there’s lots of great options. If a guy did separate clovers.... read Dbltree clover section & choose some of these: one red clover, a few whites: ladino, kopu II, Alice white, Durana, etc. I’d add one more like Alsike. Seed it heavy in ur case. Seed it in late February or beginning of March. Only way to frost seed berseem is to buy “frosty berseem” which has special coating. Correct on above - no go on frost seeding regular annuals.
     
  15. DARTONJAGER

    DARTONJAGER New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. Didn't have much luck finding a local source of clover seed near my home so after looking at a mind numbing number of websites I found
    www.seedranch.com
    Best website I found for buying food plot specific white clover. Listed the exact seed, that it was as well suited for frost seeding as any had inoculation coating and the price was IMHO reasonable $38.50 for 10# W/S&H. I decided as this is my first ever attempt at food plots I would begin with a small amount of seed.

    Again thanks for all the help will post my results as my food plot progresses.
     
  16. 7mmsendero

    7mmsendero New Member

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    I’ve been doing small food plots by hand for 5 years or so just inside a swamp edge. Weed wacker is typically my only power equipment. I have sprayed three times and it’s much better when I do this (roundup). I’ve used a spade to breakup the ground, that seems to work good. Spading fork was good too.

    Best pattern for me:

    1- Weed wack, rake and leave it about 2 weeks.

    2- Spray.

    3- Weed wack again, rake and prep ground. Plant and fertilize.

    Soil testing is a really good idea, my plot needs lime. We just use imperial shade tolerant seeds. It’s ok, not sold on it though.
     
  17. DARTONJAGER

    DARTONJAGER New Member

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    Thanks 7mmsendaro, was about what I was thinking.
     
  18. turkeyriver

    turkeyriver PMA Member

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    Be sure to check the seed descriptions for frost seeding. Red clover frost seeds the best, hands down. The white clovers MAY frost seed fine but some are not recommended. I have never had red clover fail, but have had some whites not do so good. That said, white clover is great deer feed, but red will probably last longer and be cheaper.
     
  19. 7mmsendero

    7mmsendero New Member

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    The important thing I came to realize is the plot didn’t need to be all that great. In fact, it’s better with just minimal traffic. It’s enough to get deer to wander through from bedding to the major food sources (corn or soy beans and apples). Basically I wanted them to funnel out of cover to feeding.

    The best year we had for the plot the Does stayed too long and usually got nervous.

    Glad to help, I’d be curious how things go. More folks should embrace the creativity that can go into food plotting. Heck of a workout this way as well.
     

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