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Discussion Starter #1
First year planting brassica's on my property. I've read that I shouldn't expect deer to start utilizing it until after the first frost. I've yet to see any deer feeding on it, and not many trail cam pics. As you can tell from the pictures it's nearly 3' tall, and the radish's and turnips are huge. When can I expect the deer to start hitting it? Winter maybe?
 

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Once their primary food source diminishes tthey will hit it...Acorns leaves,etc keeps them fed now..I would go for a bowl of those purple tops, mashed with butter , right now..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Once their primary food source diminishes tthey will hit it...Acorns leaves,etc keeps them fed now..I would go for a bowl of those purple tops, mashed with butter , right now..
Uck! You must be hungry? :grin2:
 

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Brassicas are a bit of a mystery sometimes. One buddy - his plots are the only show in town, with only some grass hay fields nearby - cannot even get his established...the deer eat them as soon as they start growing. He has had to mix in oats and rye so he does not end up with a dirt plot by rifle season.

Another buddy in a high deer density area - the deer start eating them right away as well....but again, no crop fields nearby to speak of.

We have planted them on the edge of a field on a dairy farm, fairly high deer density....the plot looked beautiful, huge green leaves and bulbs the size of baseballs and softballs. The deer never touched them, even through the winter.

At our cabin property, the deer eat them....but it's usually late December, January, and February. I have some pics of them digging through the snow to get to them.

And sometimes it takes the deer a few years to figure out what they are....and then they start hitting the plots pretty good once it gets cold and a lot of other food is long gone.

The greens become more tasty to the deer after the frost....most times the deer don't hit the bulbs until the middle of winter.
 

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I love turnips, mashed like potatoes, smeared with a little butter...
Must be an old farmer thing....my Dad will pick a few while we are hunting bunnies in the winter and munch on them, despite a huge spread of food we have for bunny camp!

:smile2:
 

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My plots looked like that for 2-3 years. Now like above said hard to get established even planting Big and Beasty seed
 

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Talked to a buddy tonight, his turnips did not do well this year, has lots of greens but no turnips due to a wet late summer and fall
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm only going to give them one year. If the deer don't touch them I'll go back to cereal grains.
 

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I'm only going to give them one year. If the deer don't touch them I'll go back to cereal grains.
Hopefully you are pleasantly surprised once mid-winter hits. I ain't taking any bets on it though....cuz I have see both sides of that coin.

I would recommend keeping at least a small strip of them going every year....because once the deer figure them out, they are a great, cheap late fall/winter food plot.
 

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That looks pretty frosty!! I'm anxious to see what happens to your plot. I'm hoping that you have a dirt plot come spring...and I'm guessing with your lake effect snowfall, the deer will be digging them up like crazy through the winter. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.
 

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Brassicas are a bit of a mystery sometimes. One buddy - his plots are the only show in town, with only some grass hay fields nearby - cannot even get his established...the deer eat them as soon as they start growing. He has had to mix in oats and rye so he does not end up with a dirt plot by rifle season.

Another buddy in a high deer density area - the deer start eating them right away as well....but again, no crop fields nearby to speak of.

We have planted them on the edge of a field on a dairy farm, fairly high deer density....the plot looked beautiful, huge green leaves and bulbs the size of baseballs and softballs. The deer never touched them, even through the winter.

At our cabin property, the deer eat them....but it's usually late December, January, and February. I have some pics of them digging through the snow to get to them.

And sometimes it takes the deer a few years to figure out what they are....and then they start hitting the plots pretty good once it gets cold and a lot of other food is long gone.

The greens become more tasty to the deer after the frost....most times the deer don't hit the bulbs until the middle of winter.

I agree with this above. Brassicas can be a funny thing. Not sure of exactly where you have your plot, but aren't you in the middle of some pretty big Ag up there? That may be part of it.
 

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If you go to about 5:50 in the video you will see a bunch of doe on a plot eating the stalks to some brassicas.


I will add that I think cereal grains are easier to grow and produce consistent results. Not sure how big your plot is but can you plant both and then maybe alternate sides year to year. You really shouldn't plant the same thing more than a couple of years in a row anyway.
 

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Talked to a buddy tonight, his turnips did not do well this year, has lots of greens but no turnips due to a wet late summer and fall
We did turnips one year the deer did not hit them not even in the Winter.. But that was also true with the corn. The deer not hit it until the second and proceeding years and they went crazy fo the corn.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That looks pretty frosty!! I'm anxious to see what happens to your plot. I'm hoping that you have a dirt plot come spring...and I'm guessing with your lake effect snowfall, the deer will be digging them up like crazy through the winter. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Thank you for the well wishes. I hope they dig it up, too. I never hunt this plot, so as long as they utilize it at some point during the year I'll be happy. Hate to put the time and money into it for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I agree with this above. Brassicas can be a funny thing. Not sure of exactly where you have your plot, but aren't you in the middle of some pretty big Ag up there? That may be part of it.
Lots of corn in the area, cspot, but it's been chopped into silage at this point, and I don't think the cut corn fields could sustain a field mouse. They really leave nothing behind. I was blaming the lack of use on the bumper mast crop we had this year, but now after listening to you more experienced plotters I'm hoping it turns on after this cold snap.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We did turnips one year the deer did not hit them not even in the Winter.. But that was also true with the corn. The deer not hit it until the second and proceeding years and they went crazy fo the corn.
Hoping that's not the scenario that plays out with mine. Just seems weird to me they have to learn to like them. Everything else is dead, and they're nice and green.
 

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Hoping that's not the scenario that plays out with mine. Just seems weird to me they have to learn to like them. Everything else is dead, and they're nice and green.

Well from some posts above get yourself some butter and cook them up. That way it won't be a complete waste. :grin2:
 

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Only other thing I would say is this year the woods as stayed green late this year it seems to me. That may be keeping them from hitting them before this as well as they may be feeding more back in the woods.
 
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