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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
been thinking the last few years about setting up a 1 acre foodplot in one of the areas I hunt... looking for advise (size of plot/types of plants) from anyone is Southern New Brunswick that have had success in getting a plot started and used by deer.. I have a one hundred acre lot that has been cut over about 15 years ago with some mature wood still standing. There is an adjacent 100 acre lot to the south that is all mature wood (spruce/cedar) and some pretty good wet spots/mossy areas.. the adjacent property to the north is 50 acres and it was fully cut over, no standing wood about 5 years ago. I do have an old log landing that they used when they cut my property, still fairly open, it's pretty much right in the middle of my lot and that's where I planned to place the food plot.

thoughts?
 

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I can come look at it this spring if you want and give you some help to get things started.

My advice if you have already decided on an acre plot then take a soil sample from it as soon as you can and find out the amendments you should be adding to make it suitable to grow crops. Usually the ph and fertility will be low on new ground. If you are using a log landing then chances are it had the topsoil either pushed off or it got mixed and the area is compacted so you should have it ripped to break up the compaction.

For an acre plot you are limited in what you can plant due to the amount the deer will utilize it. You can go with a mix of annuals and perennials or you can strip plant it with annuals on one end and perennials on the other. I would stay away from things like corn, beans, field pea, etc until you are talking larger acrerages since the deer either won't let it get up or it will get utilized too quickly to provide much benefit.

If you don't have the equipment to do the work and are limited to hand tools then your best option is spray it with roundup, wait a couple weeks, add your amendments, rack it and broadcast your seed. If you have a wheeler or something you can run over it to press the seed down to get better germination.

Pick seeds that do better at lower ph's and fertility such as a mix of red, white and alsikes clover with birdsfoot trefoil for the perennials and add some brassica, cereal rye or oats for the annuals. If your going with a mix you'll have to plant it all at the same time. If you split the plot then plant your perennials in the spring and then do your annuals the last of July or first week of August.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That would be greatly appreciated! I'd have no problem giving you some gas money to cover the cost of you coming to check it out. At this point I'm looking to rent a mini excavator in the spring to take back to the location and rip it up, flatten it out and get rid of a small patch of trees in the center of the landing. I'm ignorant to the types of plants to go with, the only things I had looked at were the seed mixes (mossy oak biologic type stuff) tailored to attracting/holding deer in the area. We can discuss more once you've had a chance to survey my setup. I don't have a lot of deer around there.. several does and a couple of young bucks and an older buck or two, (caught on game camera) the odd bear and a couple of moose wandering around. Mainly looking to set it up so it will hold what I have now in the area and possibly attract more. Down the road if all goes well, then look at possibly setting up another acre lot and have a summer feed and fall feed location.

I can pm you my info or you can send me yours and I'll be in touch once the snow is almost gone. Thanks!
 

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e-mail sent..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
spent the afternoon yesterday putting up boundary markers for the first plot, based on my garmin gps, I'll only be able to get .82 of an acre due to the low lying wet area surrounding the plot. Been buying quite a bit of farming equipment for the plot(s) so not going to be able to afford bringing in an excavator this spring, perhaps in the fall.. for now I'll get to cutting down the trees that are inside the plot boundary lines and hauling the pulp wood out.
 

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Would 1 acre be the smallest plot size you would want to go with (with an average amount of deer in the area)? Less would just get eaten before anything grows? Been wanting to put in a food plot, but I'm thinking its just a pipe dream
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
around home, there are limited deer numbers and based on trail cam pics I guesstimating about 6 to 8 deer in the area.. I'm hoping that .8 of an acre would suffice as a destination plot..I might be able to tweek it out to an acre if I cut a few more trees out of the way.. if it works out then I'll have to see if I can put in another... too many boggy areas in south eastern NB. It may not be enough however I'd like to put something in vs not putting in anything at all. I might have to look at options to keep the deer out until it has grown enough to be able to handle the browsing. I've been doing lots of reading on the QDMA site, lots say put in what you can afford, some say the 10% rule for amount of foodplot to woodlot ratio, some say only put in quarter acre size plots, some say put in as big a destination foodplot as possible like 3 to 5 acres and create the hunting plots at strategic places around the destination plot... all kinds of info.. I still got lots of reading/web surfing to do... but in the end.. I can only put in what the lay of the land will allow and budget. There are some knowledgeable people here on the forum as well when it comes to foodplots. My only other option is to put in another acre size plot but it is very close to the bedding area, was trying to keep it a couple of hundred yards away to allow for stand placement and catch the deer travelling to and from the plot without hunting the plot. I recently bought a 3 year membership to QDMA, looking forward to receiving their literature.
 

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I have 12 acres of food plot and its alot of work to maintain. I started off with 1/2 acre and the deer just ate it to the bare ground, now with 12 acres they eat it to the bare ground as well. Your better off with 1 acre planted correctly than 5 acres planted incorrectly. Use lots of lime first thing, prepare the soil as per instructions and fertilize. My soil was at 5.6 to 5.9 ph, and after adding over 2 tonnes of lime per acre its up to 7.0 to 7.3 ph. One of the best foodplots i planted was white clover with oats, the oats will shade the clover, provide good mositure and you will get good growth. I alos joined QDMA a couple of months ago, and i think its a great organization. Good Luck with your planting. TH
 

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Would 1 acre be the smallest plot size you would want to go with (with an average amount of deer in the area)? Less would just get eaten before anything grows? Been wanting to put in a food plot, but I'm thinking its just a pipe dream
Its not a pipe dream just depends on what your trying to accomplish here is a 1/4 acre plot deer use it from early spring untill mid to late Nov.



If you want late season or winter forage you need larger areas as plant growth slows down at this time and deer will wipe out small plots
past nov.On smaller plots you have to be more careful what you plant.Perennials are a good choice.
 

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Thanks guys. I have access to private ground that doesn't have much for woods left all around it. The property has lots of tractor trails from select cutting. Awesome spot! I don't worry much about attracting deer, they don't have anywhere else to go. Just want to make sure they have everything they need so they don't leave! I'll just do what I can for now and see what happens
 

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I'd be equally as happy with sending a few does and fawns off to their wintering grounds next Dec/Jan in good shape. A buck with the bow would be nice too...but the plots are more about habitat improvement than they are slam dunking a big narly bruiser. Anyone who's hunted foodplots knows it's not as easy as the "pros" on WIld TV make it look. They do not guarantee meat in the freezer thats for sure.
X2!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
that's a nice looking foodplot ThreeD... I still got lots of trees to clear before I can get the excavator in to level it all out and rip out the stumps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the tips TD, I'll keep that stuff in mind when I finally get him here and for sure I'll be there when the work is being done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
.. so far behind... still cutting trees down.. only got .48 of an acre cleared!!! AAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Think I'm gonna just get buddy to come in with the excavator and finish the rest of what I started and do up the second plot with it vs me using chainsaw and cutting everything down... I'm getting a supper sweat deal for the excavator work, I might was well take advantage of it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
that's an option ThreeD, I'm trying to keep it low key though, most of my friends are hunters! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well, got all the excavator work finished up today... now gotta get a soil test done and pick some rocks and do a little leveling with the chain harrow... then fertilize/lime and plant... perhaps I'll ready for this fall?? would be nice!
 
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