Best Fall Plot? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Best Fall Plot?

I'm looking for the best stuff to plant in late August. Not trying to feed year round, just attract during hunting season. I'm guessing some kind of good mix to attract from Archery to gun season.

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post #2 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 10:51 AM
tdd
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Believe it or not, we have had super good results from oats.

We get sacks of it from the local feed mill, and we get "heavy oats", which is ridiculously cheap because it's intended to be used as feed, but it will grow. The germination rate is lower than seed oats, but the cost is so low that we just buy a bunch and seed heavier.

I've seen deer literally eating it like spaghetti with plants hanging out either side of their mouth as they chew.

If you can scratch up/till/disk the dirt, it really helps with seeding. They won't do well if they have to compete with weeds from the start, but if you get the soil cleared/dug up a bit and then seed the snot out of it (ideally, watch the weather and do this with rain in the near future in the forecast), they'll jump right up, grow in thick, and keep the plot fairly weed free.

August will work for planting....July might be better if weather conditions are favorable.

They will grow as the deer eat them. We have two plots of about 1/2 acre each and a lot of deer around and they won't mow them flat on our plots.

The only downside to oats is that they might tolerate one frost, but the second one will definitely bring the party to an end. We mixed wheat in this year to see how that does....some will mix in brassicas (turnips, beets, etc). Others mix oats and clover.

We've tried it, neither worked well for us. I'm curious how the wheat will do, and if the deer will want it in later seasons. I've seen them out eating just plain grass then, so I'm assuming so, but that's not a sure thing. We've planted barley, and deer will eat it up like crazy for about 3 weeks after it comes up. Then they won't touch it. I have no clue why, but we gave up on barley for that reason.

For what you're after, oats or an oats/wheat mix would likely fit the bill.

We get our oat seed at Brown's in Fleetwood. I think it's less than $10/50lb bag. Might be like 5 bucks a bag...I forget..it's been a while. Just go in and ask for "heavy oats" and they'll know what you are asking for. A hand seed spreader (one of the hand-held or chestpack ones with a crank) is a great way to spread them, but we've done it by hand, too. It's not brain surgery, lol. Just seed the plot completely and very heavy.
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post #3 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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I definitely will look into the oats. I do want something else to draw them into Nov.-Dec. and even January.

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post #4 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 01:31 PM
tdd
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If you can, do multiple plots. Seed clover as cover over the cold-weather stuff.......turnips or brassicas or the like are popular. I've seen deer in turnips way earlier than the experts claim (usually you'll read that the deer won't eat the tops and won't eat the beets or turnips till it gets real cold). I've seen deer munching on the greens on top of the beets/turnips on a neighbor's field like they were kids with candy....and that was with temps in the 50's and no serious cold before hand.

If you can't do mutiple plots, consider a "doughnut" approach....do a perimeter of oats, for example, so they'll be near the edges. Make that as broad as you can, then plant the center in clover/cold weather plants of your choice. Let the clover come up fast to cover/protect from weeds, which gives the other crop time to establish and grow, eventually taking over when the cold kills or makes dormant the clover. The cold weather stuff could go in the middle since you'll have a longer reach in the non-bow seasons.

For that crop, you might want to take soil samples to the ag center for testing. It'll tell you what the soil will need. A lot of soil in this area is real low in pH. The time to address that for August was about 4 months ago. Lime applications in the fall and spring will help, over time, but won't have sufficient impact by August at this point. If fertilizer is needed, that's doable, of course.

I've found oats to be very tolerant of soil conditions. We have super low pH and need a few things for "optimum" with regards to nitrogen/phosphorus/etc. We don't bother, and the oats grow well.

Another crop you could consider is triticale. I put in about 1/8-1/4 acre of that one year (like wheat). All year I thought it was a waste of money. It grew tall and they didn't touch it. Grew big seed heads, they didn't touch it. I vowed to never use it again.

Then we got about 6" of snow and my trail cam had deer all over it. It was wiped clean in two days. Not the stalks, but every seed head was gone.

Ha...I'd forgotten about that. I may put some in this year again and see if that same situation repeats!

One year I tried the concept of planting soybeans and corn side-by-side. The concept I'd read about was that the beans would help feed nitrogen to the corn and the corn would provide some cover to protect the beans. I'd seen pics of plots planted like this. The beans and corn combined formed a real jungle, and it's all food for deer. Seemed like a great plan.

But.... our plots aren't huge. Both are less than a full acre. The deer simply mowed down all the plants as they sprouted and we were left with weed plots till the season hit. Crops like beans and corn need more volume than we can provide or the deer will just annihilate them.
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Last edited by tdd; 06-19-2018 at 01:36 PM.
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post #5 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 02:12 PM
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Try some purple top turnips and rape, probably the best draw for fall feeding. Should be sowed by the first week of Aug..
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post #6 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 02:41 PM
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Based on my experience deer seem to like clover the best until around the end of October.


For a general and later fall plot I mix of oats, winter rye, and crimson clover. Some people use Austrian winter peas instead of the clover. But the crimson clover is easier for me to plant.


Brassicas are supposed to be good after the first couple of frosts but the deer around me don't like them. I usually mix a little dwarf Essex rape and radishes with the oats mix to see if the deer start eating them.
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post #7 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 09:33 PM
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I like to split the plots in half, brassica, Austrian winter peas and clover together planted the last week of July, first week of August depending on weather, then oats ( I use Whitetail Institute Oats) they are more expensive but very winter hardy, they last into December in Potter Co. If your deer don't care for brassica don't use a lot in the mix but keep putting some in, sometimes it takes awhile for them to get a taste for them. Maybe add some forage soybeans to the early mix to take some pressure off the peas,
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post #8 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Is there a particular mix of the brassica, peas and clover or do you mix yourself?

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post #9 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:53 AM
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I would go with rye grain seed. I have had deer walk though Imperial Whitetail clover and go strait to the rye. Rye also grow though winter giving deer a food sourse for late season. AND IT IS CHEEP
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post #10 of 106 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:58 AM
tdd
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Hmmm...that's a new one. I haven't tried rye, but now I might. Good tip.....thanks!
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