An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 8-7-2013
First Food Plot
The following plan was born when my daughter and I shot a couple of tom turkeys on a piece of private property near my house last April. Selina has been showing a lot of interest in becoming a bow hunter and since she is twelve, I figured I had better get her started before she is too old and scheduled.
The only problem that I had was, that I do not have a reliable place to hunt deer with a bow and arrow, and where I hunt, in the Meadow Valley Wildlife Area, is very difficult to see a deer much less kill one with a stick and a string.
To make a long story short, I offered my neighbor my services as far as cutting firewood for heating his house and in exchange, Selina and I can hunt on his land and even better yet, I can put in my first food plot.
Monday, July 29th
High 74, low 56
First and most importantly! I had no idea what I was getting into as far as putting a food plot in which would include the work, the knowledge of how to prepare the soil, and what to plant.
Accepting my lack of knowledge, I reached out to Scott Christensen who is the plant manager at Allied Cooperative in Adams. Not only is Scott Christensen the plant manger at Allied but he also has a lot of knowledge on food plots, which includes a couple on his own property.
The property that Selina and I will be hunting is made up of an oak and pine forest, which recently had a logging job done on it. Sometime in the past, someone dug a hole that is about the size of two dump trucks. That hole, which is about ten-feet deep, has some of the only water in the immediate area.
The water is adjacent to an old field which I have no idea how long since it has been planted, but this year Selina and I would be putting just over a half acre of soy beans, oats, turnips, brassica and rape into it.
One of my first realities was equipment or my lack of it. I would mow the field with my riding lawn mower. The next step in this process is to let the mowed vegetation grow a couple of inches and then spray it with Round Up or Cornerstone Plus. I paid $58.00 for two gallons of this weed-killing product and used about a quart of it. Back to the lack of equipment, I used a two-gallon sprayer and it took me a total of six hours to spray my half-acre (next year I will have a better plan)
The most important part of this process is a soil test and in my case I need a lot of lime.
I purchased a ton of bulk lime and will buy another 1000-pounds in the morning. For fertilizer, I purchased three bags of 17/17/17 this was spread with a lawn spreader, Selina spread the lime with a feed scoop, and it was big job (another investment for next year)
My plan is to plant a row of soybeans that are mixed with oats in the middle of the plot. This will give the deer and hopefully turkey some green feed in mid-September and October.
Scott recommended turnips, rape (canola) and brassica. The brassica and turnips create green feed and once there has been a couple of hard frosts, sugars are created in the brassica and turnips that attract the deer pretty much until everything has been consumed in December.
I was fortunate that I have so many good friends and instead of using my rototiller this land is being turned over for $30.00 and a case of beer.
The land is being worked in three days and that night (the 5th) Selina and I will plant it.
After we hand broadcast our seed, I will lightly drag it and finish the job by packing it down with my four-wheeler.
Once the planting is over, all you can do is pray for rain. We just put a trail camera on the pond. Selina shoots her bow at the plot and we will finish this job by building a couple of ladder stands, which I will also have Selina practice from
I was really impressed with Scott Christensen and his fellow employees at Allied, most of them seemed to be outdoorsmen and all of them had a good work ethic.
It may seem crazy to go to all of this trouble for a quality place to hunt deer with my daughter, but in my opinion we are going to have a blast, create some excellent memories, and make some meat.
Enjoy your day! Sunset
THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Cedar Country Cooperative