Brush Hogging Fallow Field For Deer Habitat
This excerpt of an Outdoor Life article is interesting.
"Mow the Grass
Last December, I hunted a farm in Iowa that had corn, soybeans, clover and peas. But I kept wondering why so many does and bucks, including a giant eight-pointer, were feeding in nearby CRP fields each evening.
I investigated and found that a smorgasbord of tiny, green weeds had sprouted up in the mowed strips. Then I got it. Some deer were ignoring the crops and plots and feeding on the succulent, protein-rich forbs. I didn't get the big eight, but I did shoot another buck in a strip.
I left the Midwest with a good deer and a great new trick: You can create "feed strips" anywhere you hunt. Maybe there's an overgrown field or a dry, grassy swamp or a creek bottom on your tract.
Well, mow a few strips through that cover next fall. If you don't own or have access to a tractor and a bush hog, pay a local guy $100 or so to do the job.?"
I think there may be something to that. Fallow "old fields" often get dominated by goldenrod, autumn olive and other stuff, which keep the ground shaded and limits the growth of young forbs.
If you simply mow some strips through the thick stuff, taking it down to 6 inches or so, that lets in more light, and you get new growth of young forbs, which the deer like.
I've seen this done in state gamelands. The vegetation in the mowed strip is a lot different than what is growing in the areas that have not been mowed for quite a while. The tall thick stuff provides cover. But in the mowed strip there is probably more tasty stuff (young forbs and clover) for the deer.
In another gamelands area, they did a controlled burn, which has similar effects.
Last edited by troutbert; 09-03-2018 at 12:59 PM.