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Newbie food plot question

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Newbie food plot question

Postby rtaylor » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:28 pm

I just acquired some property that has TVA powerlines running through it that would be perfect for a food plot. My problem is I've never done one before. I'd like a nice deer plot and if possible something that I could shoot dove over also. I was thinking of getting it down to dirt and top sowing wheat. Right now it is head high black berries and briars. I know that I'll have to lime it and get a soil sample I'm just not sure of my steps from today until September when it appears people are planting. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby JCDEERMAN » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:41 pm

What equipment do you have or have access to?

Wheat is easy to grow and will be a good one to start off with. May want to throw in some crimson clover which is also easy to grow. Both of these together will also give you a nice turkey hunting spot when spring arrives.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby rtaylor » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:03 pm

I have a 39 hp tractor with a bush hog and was going to get a disc. Should I go ahead and bush hog the briars down?
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby DoubleRidge » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:12 pm

Powerlines can be great locations for food plots. We have a large TVA line going through our place and have several plot areas....I agree wheat and crimson clover would be a great fall planting that will green up nice.

But don't underestimate the native vegetation you already have....you have a tractor and bush hog so your we'll on your way.....find the natural travel corridors the deer are using and plan your bush hogging in those areas....bush hog lanes or strips this summer and the native grasses will green up and put on new growth... the deer will love it.....and then pick some spots to disk for wheat and clover as well.

By doing your wheat/clover plot....plus some bush hogged strips for new growth....then leave plenty of it just as it is today....by doing this your creating diversity.....we've done this in several areas on our place and the deer will use it....food, cover and easy travel routes through the thick growth.....and other than tractor fuel and some seed it's not so expensive.

And while soil sample, lime and fertilizer is a huge benefit....you can bush hog now, let it green up then spray it...once it's killed out sow it heavy with wheat and it will green up nice.....but disking to expose more dirt certainly wouldn't hurt.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby JCDEERMAN » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:27 am

Agreed on the native browse! Simply bush hogging now will create new, natural growth that the deer and other critters can benefit from. I'd want to do that sooner rather than later before August and September gets here when we typically get dry and extremely hot. When you plant this fall, if you can rough up the dirt some, planting will be easier and you'll have a diversity of plants. Best of luck!
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby rtaylor » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:21 am

Thanks for the tips guys. I'll start doing a little bush hogging this weekend.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby JCDEERMAN » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:00 am

Just look out for fawns. That would be my only concern this time of year. They are getting more mobile now, but I'd just take it slow. We do love before and after pics on here :super:
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby DoubleRidge » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:44 am

An example of cutting a strip or lane in a travel corridor....easy travel and once green they stop for a bite.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby DoubleRidge » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:49 am

Long lane improves visibility too....as well as edges...thick stuff is blackberry, honeysuckle, natural grasses and weeds.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby DoubleRidge » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:56 am

This example is an area that once was briars and honeysuckle.... after several years of bush hogging the native grasses have taken over.... fertilized this area once....other than that keep it bush hogged.....lost cost plot surrounded by honeysuckle, blackberry and weeds.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby DoubleRidge » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:03 am

JCDEERMAN wrote:Just look out for fawns. That would be my only concern this time of year. They are getting more mobile now, but I'd just take it slow. We do love before and after pics on here :super:


Great Point on the fawns!! Yes......recent fawn I saw around house was up and bouncing around but I'm always nervous and watching for fawns and poults.

And I think pictures are a requirement to post in the food plot and Quality Deer Management section....LOL.

Bottom line is that it's very rewarding to manage land for wildlife.... and it's motivating to see others progress.....good luck on the journey.....it's hard work but worth the effort....keep the updates coming.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby rtaylor » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:28 pm

Those plots look great. I will definitely post a before and after. I'll go super slow because last thing I want to do is to bush hog a future booner.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby RS » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:15 pm

One thing to be aware of is how TVA maintains the powerline right of way in your area. Some areas they bush hog, and other areas they spray by helicopter. Depending on the contractor conducting the spraying, they may spray it all..it doesn’t matter if it’s a food plot or not. I’ve heard stories of people giving up on powerline food plots because every few years they get sprayed and killed out.
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Re: Newbie food plot question

Postby DoubleRidge » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:06 pm

RS wrote:One thing to be aware of is how TVA maintains the powerline right of way in your area. Some areas they bush hog, and other areas they spray by helicopter. Depending on the contractor conducting the spraying, they may spray it all..it doesn’t matter if it’s a food plot or not. I’ve heard stories of people giving up on powerline food plots because every few years they get sprayed and killed out.


You can contact the TVA vegetation manager for your area....before planting any plots that's what I did....wanted to be certain there would be no spraying....he ensured me there would be no spraying from a helicopter.....he explained that they received so many complaints from property owners that they stopped that practice years ago....now they have contractors who have backpack sprayers who walk or drive powerline and spot spray base of towers and hack-n-squirt any saplings. Then every 3 or 4 years they will bush hog....last time they actually used rotary brush cutter and mulched everything......but even when they bush hog they go around our food plots.....you can look up TVA vegetation manager contact info on web site....our experience has been good working with them......no issues.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
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