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Rook624
LSU Fan
Marrero, LA
Member since Jan 2012
18 posts
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Questions for beginner deer hunter
I'm hunting on family owned property in SE LA. Its very thick woods. No clear cuts. Have a few questions....

Should I attempt to make some type of small food plot? If so, what to plant? Or should I just fertilize the briar and oaks thats already there?

Do you guys feed the deer through the spring and summer? Should I put out some mineral licks? What type?

TIA!


Teague
Alabama Fan
Huntsville, AL
Member since Aug 2007
14208 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
I think it really depends on your land. If there's a ton of stuff for the deer to eat year round, a food plot might not be all that great. But, in most places, once the acorns are gone, the food plots pick up.

But you say it's "really thick" which says to me briars and honeysuckle, both of which provide the deer with greenage in the winter.


wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
35433 posts
 Online 

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
How much land are you hunting and what does the surrounding property look like?


Rook624
LSU Fan
Marrero, LA
Member since Jan 2012
18 posts
 Online 

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
12 acres. All of the land is surrounded by woods. Lots and lots of briar..


Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
I hunted family land for this first time this year (100 acres though) and most of it is really thick

We made 3 shooting lanes that we will plant for next year along with two places we scouted for ground blinds


wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
35433 posts
 Online 

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
If your property is thicker than the surrounding land the deer might be using it for a bedding area. You need to spend some time on the off season to lean how the deer in the area use your land...


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Rook624
LSU Fan
Marrero, LA
Member since Jan 2012
18 posts
 Online 

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
I would only be able to clear maybe 75ft x 75. Being so small, would it be a waste of time? I would think the deer would have everything up rooted in no time??


Rook624
LSU Fan
Marrero, LA
Member since Jan 2012
18 posts
 Online 

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
quote:

If your property is thicker than the surrounding land the deer might be using it for a bedding area. You need to spend some time on the off season to lean how the deer in the area use your land...


All the surrounding land is just as thick. The deer definatey move through my area. Just trying to find ways to keep em there and help them grow bigger and healthier racks.


spens
Tennessee Fan
Member since Oct 2010
1088 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
quote:

help them grow bigger and healthier racks.


Don't listen to the commercials, the best way to do this is to let them grow.

ETA: Also, if the area is brambles and other good food, they are eating very healthy. Especially if there are oaks scattered in the thick stuff.
This post was edited on 1/22 at 9:20 pm


Rook624
LSU Fan
Marrero, LA
Member since Jan 2012
18 posts
 Online 

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
quote:

Especially if there are oaks scattered in the thick stuff.


There are oaks scattered around. Should I fertilize them??


spens
Tennessee Fan
Member since Oct 2010
1088 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
Nope, never heard of anyone doing that.


Langston
USA Fan
Cenla
Member since Nov 2010
7654 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
If the woods around you are being hunted, I would try to find out what they shoot/cull before I made any decisions on what to let walk on property that small. JMO

The plot question is hard to answer not actually knowing how thick it is. If the size you mentioned is the largest you could do, I would just put out feeders instead of planting.


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Raz4back
Arkansas Fan
Member since Mar 2011
2937 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
quote:

There are oaks scattered around. Should I fertilize them??


It wouldn't hurt anything, but you should do it before the leaves start sprouting. Your best bet is to only fertilize the oaks that you can hunt. Given a choice, deer will choose to eat acorns from a fertilized tree over those from one that hasn't been fertilized. I don't know that it would increase the nutritional value of the acorns though.

As far as the food plot goes, it really depends on the density of your deer heard whether 75x75 would be big enough.

I would put a mineral lick close to the spots where you plan to have stands. Not a trophy rock or salt block, but some kind of bagged mix (I've had luck with 30-06). Deer will use these sights throughout the summer and it seems to get them comfortable coming to the area. Quite a few times I've had early season scrapes near my mineral sites.


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prostyleoffensetime
USA Fan
Mississippi
Member since Aug 2009
8020 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
I've never heard of fertilizing oak trees. They make enough acorns on their own to take care of things.


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Nodust
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
20300 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
Go to a feed store and get some trace minerals. Put in middle of your property. Place some cameras out in different trails and see what you have on the property.


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mylsuhat
Chicago Cubs Fan
NOLA
Member since Mar 2008
43209 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
IMO, dont worry about a "food plot"


find a place you want to put a stand and then clear 4-5 shooting lanes about 6' wide (not too wide)

then you can put some rice brand down for the deer to get extra protein


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Chris4x4gill2
Alabama Fan
North Alabama
Member since Nov 2008
2688 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
Fertilizing the oak trees is a good idea. (ignore the bama logo in respect to tree talk - i get my tree info from an auburn guy)

The Auburn Ag guy I talked to said that fertilizing the oaks helps them to produce sweeter acorns - that the deer prefer over the non fertilized trees.

here is some info I just found
LINK

The thing to remember is that all trees do not produce acorns each year, some produce one year and not another so you have to scout each year to find wich trees are producing.

I do think that fertilizing particular trees will increase the chances of them producing though.

And here is an article by a UT guy saying fertilizer has almost no impact. SO take all advice FWIW

LINK


spens
Tennessee Fan
Member since Oct 2010
1088 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
Craig Harper knows what he is talking about. Very smart and well known guy.


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Slickback
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Deer Stand
Member since Mar 2008
26934 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
If there is a spot for a food plot, I would recommend planting one. Oats/Wheat would probably be your best bet. They come up pretty easily.

I wouldn't worry about Spring/Summer planting on only 100 acres. You won't be able to manage a herd on that small of a tract, and will be at the mercy of whatever your neighbors management plan is. No point in beefing the deer up for your neighbors.

Since you won't be holding many deer, you need to make your place attractive to deer to come through. I'd keep it as thick as possible, and put up only a few stands with a couple of shooting lanes. Keep the ATV traffic light on the land and park as far away as you feel comfortable walking.

For food, I'd focus more on attracting than feeding protein/nutrient rich feed. Corn from feeders, rice bran, etc. For your food plots, oats and wheat would be the easiest, but if you have a good spot, peas are extremely likeable by deer (cow, purple hull, winter, iron clay).


TigerDeacon
Wake Forest Fan
West Monroe, LA
Member since Sep 2003
26247 posts

re: Questions for beginner deer hunter
quote:

I wouldn't worry about Spring/Summer planting on only 100 acres.


He said 12 acres so a food plot might not be a good idea as the surrounding hunters can just hunt the line to catch the deer coming in and get all the benefit of the plot without the work.


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