Food Plot "Maze" Idea

Discussion in 'Whitetail Management' started by corygnc, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. corygnc

    corygnc New Member

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    Was reading on the QDMA forum about Tony Lapratt and Ed Spin.... on how they recommend createing mazes in their food plots and properties so that the bucks have to spend more time on your property visually checking each food plot pocket verses checking one large food plot and moving on. I see the key is keeping the deer on your property and making them spend as much time as possible there.

    My farmer bales the corn stalks into round bales and I was thinking that these round bales stacked in rows in the food plots would work for helping create these mazes (pockets). Would help create funnels too.

    Good or bad idea?
     
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  3. Liv4Rut

    Liv4Rut Active Member

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    I haven't seen the article so maybe I am not following it completely but I believe a buck would spend no more time visually looking. They can simply walk downwind of any foodplot and know whether or not there is a doe in heat nearby or has entered the field. I have watched many bucks cruise right by fields loaded with does and not even take a second look at them. I have also watched them single out one doe out of a group of a dozen before he gets to the group. Its amazing. It seems like a lot of the young bucks see a doe and run over there and check her out, but I haven't seen any truly big ones acting that foolish.
     
  4. corygnc

    corygnc New Member

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    If the buck enters the foodplot upwind he will have to travel thru the foodplot or circle it to see if there are any does. This could cause him some extra time on our parcel verses our neighboring parcels and lessen his chances of getting shot on the neighboring parcels. I think the idea is to "try" to keep them as much on our properties as possible. Makes sense as the wind can change directions daily.
     
  5. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Liv4Rut is right on! What Tony and Ed advocate is fine but in reality mature bucks waster absoultely no time "looking", they use their noses to circle my farms, well away from food plots.

    They check doe runways and only pursue if they can smell what they are looking for.

    Secondly mature bucks are largely nocturnal and extremely unlikely to be caught in any open areas in daylight hours and my trail cameras verify this.

    The stay well away from areas of lots of activity and follow subtle exterior cover areas.

    Tony and Ed have some good ideas but they live in a state where 95% of bucks are killed their first year of life so their experience with truely mature bucks is very limited.

    I like to create travle corridors using shrubs, switchgrass, egyptian wheat, etc. that give deer a hidden but easy path to follow but "hiding" food plots has never proven helpful to me unless the plot is exposed to roads or people activity.

    I plant them in "hidden/safe" areas in the first place.

    Food plots aside, I have learned a tremendous amount of information by moving trail cams to out of the way little used runways and then followed suit with my tree stands.

    Mature bucks have very different habits and the only way you can learn about those habits is to...hunt where they live and watch and learn.

    It seems odd that advice would come from people living in a state where mature bucks are as rare as hens teeth.....;)
     
  6. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    I'll agree with this too...

    In the fall of 2007 I saw two bucks cruise a trail within 15 minutes of each other during the peak of the rut activity that is hardly ever used otherwise. I set a stand on that trail and hunted it last fall, 2008, or almost exactly one year later than the day I saw the two cruisers the year before. I had a mature buck cruise that same trail that morning, possibly one of the two bucks I had seen the previous year, I don't know for sure about that though, that day but I blew the shot. (All my fault and I am still ticked about it 9 months later. :()

    Although I didn't get that buck, I did feel pretty good about my choice to hang a set there and "sit it right". That trail runs parallel to my biggest food plot and is about 30 yards "back" from the field edge and it was apparent to me that the buck(s) were cruising using their nose to scent check, from a downwind position, known "doe areas", in this case a "destination foodplot".

    Big bucks will expose themselves during the rut, but they still use their heads for the most part when looking for does and conserve energy/time while scouting for a receptive doe. Their nose is their best ally when avoiding us AND when searching for does.
     
  7. kurtish

    kurtish Member

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    I agree with the other statements...lots to be gathered from doubletree's and daver's posts. I think the pockets will accomplish what you want with 2 1/2 and younger bucks that haven't quite figured out how to fully use their noses. The bales could definitely be used for a funnel along a field edge to force deer to enter exit a field within bow range of your stand, but i wouldn't use them for breaking up the field.
     
  8. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Man, if you have the time, I'd monkey around with different food plot stuff. i think some of above won't work, some might.
    I think a person can do a lot with rows of standing corn OR haybales for entrances so you aren't seen OR to screen the deer from road & make them feel more comfortable where they are feeding.
    I have a spot 1/4 mile or more off the road BUT you can still see it from the road where they feed- NEVER could shoot to it. I just plant corn rows so no one sees the deer BUT more so the deer don't see anything else and feel comfy.

    So, if it were ME, I'd plant varieties of food plots all over, experiment, do some fun stuff and learn (maybe some of those ideas will work?!?! Give it a whirl- not too hard or expensive) AND I'd do lots of screening of food plots using stuff like Egyptian wheat, corn (or more permanent or different stuff: trees, haybales, shrubs, etc). My entrances would have strategic plantings as well to shield me and deer. That recipe would SURELY get more bucks on anyone's place and does with mine. Have fun!
     
  9. SEIowaDeerslayer

    SEIowaDeerslayer Active Member

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    I've been bowhunting for several years now and have never seen a 4 1/2 or older buck cruising a main trail or through any of my funnels I've created during the DAY. They've always been on the adjacent or parallel trail to the main doe trails. At night its a different story, judging from the pics I get on my cameras.
     
  10. shrek1

    shrek1 PMA Member

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    I've watched Tony and Eds videos. There more about managing small properties-which is mostly what Iowa is anymore. On Tony's video he takes you thru what he did on his 60 acre property to keep a buck "busy" and protect him until he harvested him at 6 or 71/2 yrs old when the buck started going downhill. Yes he talks about dividing food plots up to make the buck have to look into each one of them, but I think the biggest part of his video thats getting missed here is that he had multiple bedding areas on his property. So now the buck has to cruise downwind of all the different bedding areas and foodplots before he gets onto the neighbors ground. So was it the divided foodplots or the multiple bedding areas? I would say probably the multiple bedding areas,where the buck had safety and laid up all day, but the different foodplots and divided foodplots sure doesnt hurt either.
     
  11. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    Exactly, big bucks move with purpose and don't run around with their heads cut off like younger bucks. When I see a couple mature bucks moving through an area like that I make sure and put up a stand there if I know why they are moving through. Cause you can guarantee another mature buck that comes through with the same purpose will do the same thing. :way:

    I watched several good bucks move through a doe bedding area one day all from the same direction and moved off in the same direction. That's how I figured out it was a doe bedding area in the first place. You can bet I have my eye on that spot when the does come in heat cause the keep doing the same thing every year to check that spot.
     
  12. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    I would say it's a mixture, multiple bedding areas and food plots will hold more does which in turn holds the buck longer for 2 reasons.

    1. More places to check.
    2. Once he finds a doe they will bed up anyways so the better habitat you have the more time a mature buck will spend on your land.
     
  13. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Just to add a couple more thoughts to this subject...

    Rather then trying to create a maize, it is important to create "safety", so planting screening cover around plots is certainly something I think we all advocate. We want deer to feel safe and if they have safety and food they will be more likely to stay on our properties.

    If one has an open food plot with no cover adjacent, that can and should be corrected but that doesn't mean a mature buck will spend any more time "searching" for a doe, he does that with his nose not his eyes.

    Secondly, when a mature buck gets ahold of a hot doe here in Iowa, he's going to hot foot her outta there! I doubt anyone who lives here in Iowa and travels at all during the rut has not witnessed a huge buck standing all day in a wide open field with a hot doe.

    The properties mentioned in Michigan are nothing like our situation here in Iowa where we have huge expanses of rolling hill CRP broken by ravines and crop fields. They also have few mature bucks and large amounts of heavily timbered or forested lands.

    Creating multiple bedding areas is important but here in Iowa one only needs to get out the binocs this time of year to see groups of bucks often far from cover of any kind and when the rut rolls around many of those mature bucks will cover miles on end in a relentless search for his quarry.

    A few of course will remain in a small territory, but many will make a one pass dash through any given property and on to the next, with or without a hot doe in tow...;)

    To kill those bucks we need funnels, not a maize, we need food sources that hold does well into the late season and plenty of screening cover to make them all feel safe. :)
     
  14. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    Screening cover is very important for mature bucks. I see a big jump in mature bucks in areas where they feel safe moving around and cannot be seen from long distances. That's the only place I see mature bucks working scrapes in the daytime hours too....which leads me to believe they are close by those areas when I have a weapon and am on stand. :way:
     

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