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Small Foodplots

A.GunA.Gun Member Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭✭✭
Looking at possibly leasing a small tract of land in Pennsylvania this year (from OH). Hate to say it but the big buck population seems to be dwindling. A buddy of mine hunts in PA and they have a 4 point restriction to one antler. He has shown me some nice ones as 2-1/2 year olds, granted good property usually produces good deer but just the thought concept of button bucks and yearlings making it is enough for me to go scout a new property and try to lease it.

Now to the question!

Is a 125'x 40' too small of a plot? I will not be able to access the property with heavy equipment so it will be hand tools only.
Any suggestions? I was thinking it would be a great spot come October/November for scrapes to hunt over and bucks to check for does.

Thanks All!

Comments

  • Chief ShawayChief Shaway Member, Moderator Posts: 5,891 ******
    edited November -1
    I believe that anything helps. It sure will not hurt.
    I have smaller patches than that.
    I use turnips and clover with some grasses thrown in for good measure.
  • dcso3009dcso3009 Member Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Above is some good advice. We use both small & large plots. The small ones seem to be better to hunt over. The more irregular shape the better. The larger ones tend to be visited in the dark mainly.

    We have used hand tools, garden tillers, ATV w/ disk, and tractors with plows & tillers. The ATV & disk seemed to work very well for the smaller plots. Garden tiller was a bear to handle, hand tools didn't get much done before we where defeated.

    As for what to plant- Think of what your goals are. We planted early plots with soybeans for food source to grow antlers. Then in July would till & plant winter wheat & "Trophy Radishes". Rapeseed & chicory are good choices for late season as they don't "sweeten" until after frost. If you only want to till & plant every few years maybe clover is a better choice. Maybe consider leaving some "rub trees" in and around the plot. A cedar in the plot will get a lot of rub action!

    Bottom line- as long as you don't spend so much time there to scare the deer off, no harm can come from a food plot IMO.
  • DONDALINGERDONDALINGER Member Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have been wanting to put in a small food plot here at my place for years and finally this year I did it. It is a small patch back in the woods I cleared back in early spring. I tilled it with my garden tiller and planted a "Trophy Food Plot Blend". It has sweet peas, forage oats, triticale, brassica (turnips) and clover. It is coming up pretty good, but it has been hot and dry here lately (Virginia). I plan on clearing some more each year and expanding this if it pans out. I will probably plant some other stuff this fall in this same plot. My brother has a small plot like this and 6 deer were taken out of it this past fall. He got 2, his son and daughter both got one each and his neighbor killed 2 all in one small food plot. Supposedly the deer only eat the turnips late in the season and it makes for a deer magnet after all the acorns are gone. Here are a couple pics. Good luck with your food plot. (Notice the ladder stand in the 1st pic[;)])

    Don
    plot_zps9ol0gx3d.jpg
    Plot1_zpsdkgnlovs.jpg
    plot2_zpsl1vagn32.jpg
  • Chief ShawayChief Shaway Member, Moderator Posts: 5,891 ******
    edited November -1
    Looks like a very nice plot. Looks like a winner to me.
  • DONDALINGERDONDALINGER Member Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Shortly after everything started to "green up" I saw deer tracks all in this area. I plan on setting up the game camera at some point to see what all is visiting.

    Don
  • A.GunA.Gun Member Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Looks really nice! I need to get some mineral blocks and salt licks out to see what made it through gun season last year. I know the neighbor killed a nice one that I missed the same day but other than that I don't believe a lot of bucks were killed. We had a couple nice 2.5 year olds and one really nice 3 that I think survived so this year should be pretty nice.
  • DONDALINGERDONDALINGER Member Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I put out a camera in late January early February and got a few pics of a nice buck that made it through the season. He will be a nailer this year for sure. Here is a picture.

    Don
    HUNT0455_zpsfryqimtb.jpg
  • A.GunA.Gun Member Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That sucker looks wide Don!

    Hope you connect with him!
  • DONDALINGERDONDALINGER Member Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The widest racked buck I have ever taken is only 19". I prefer a wide rack over a tall rack. This picture of this buck is only about 250' from the food plot I put in. I hope he visits this fall[;)]

    Don
  • dcso3009dcso3009 Member Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    New food plot machine has arrived!
    IMG950679_zps8rylk2rn.jpg
    My father in law picked up this for a great price.
    Cub Cadet (Yanmar) compact tractor (34hp?) with a backhoe, loader, belly mower, brush hog, tiller, chipper, and sprayer.
    Not bad for $14K.
  • MN HunterMN Hunter Member Posts: 2,299 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Looks good dcso!! Very envious [:)] We are only doing a half acre..maybe a acre food plot if we are lucky, but we don't have much land to work with. We are however getting plenty of deer. We got a few shooter bucks and a few does we would take. The problem around here, we don't have enough land to 'hold' deer and neighboring farmers shoot "brown and it's down" so they get back in the fields. I will post some pics of our plot and deer in the next week or so. Might also solicit some thought/ideas as to what you all use and what works-doesn't work [:)]
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 11,480 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The problem I've seen with the smaller plots: the deer eat them as they grow leaving very little for later in the fall. I gave up on small plots and don't even bother with less than 2 acres. Even that size will get grubbed out if the weather is dry or surrounding areas don't provide much for the deer to eat.
    We have a high deer density here so if your deer numbers are low to moderate, the smaller plots may survive better.
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