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#316934 - 07/28/07 10:07 AM i have 140 acres... Any quick start suggestions?
J Hartman
6 Point


Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 787
Loc: Spring Hill, Maury, TN

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I'm trying to attract new deer onto my property I'm not exactly sure what to plant, when to plant, what pattern to plant, or if it matters... any suggestions?
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#316971 - 07/28/07 10:44 AM Re: i have 140 acres... Any quick start suggestions? [Re: J Hartman]
WestTn Huntin'man
16 Point


Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 12091
Loc: Benton Co.

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Wait a month or 2. Go to your local CO-OP tell them you want a fall mix for a food plot. They should be able to hook you up.
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Proverbs 3:27 Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it

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#317126 - 07/28/07 03:57 PM Re: i have 140 acres... Any quick start suggestions? [Re: WestTn Huntin'man]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
12 Point


Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 6636
Loc: Nashville

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Interlunium-

You did the best thing you possibly could...ask a question.

All too often people rush blindly into these things and end up wasting more money than they need to. They see something on TV, read something in a magazine, or hear about something someone else is doing and think it pertains equally to them. So here is my best advice...

All land is not created equal.

If you are looking to improve the habitat (deer holding ability) on your property, do NOT look at your land first. I'd advise you take a ride around the areas surrounding your property and see what they have first. Don't look for things that deer want (i.e. highly preferred foods), start by looking for the basics, things that deer need. One of the most often overlooked features of great deer habitat is bedding or escape cover.

Is the thousand acres surrounding your property bean/corn fields? ...mature hardwood forest? ...something that's creating a monoculture?

Then the simplest way to attract deer to your property is by providing cover. Just let a field go fallow or create a clearcut in a mature forest. You wouldn't even have to plant seed #1 and I guarantee you'll begin attracting deer from neighboring properties.


If surrounding properties have the basic needs (food, water, cover), then begin by looking what foods are available. Deer are like people, they have food preferences. In other words, sometimes they like to eat their dessert first, then they'd much rather eat their meat and potatoes before they eat their sald. Try to identify the foods that surround your property. If there are already a lot of meat and potatoe items out there, plant the dessert items. If there are only salad items (grasses), provide the meat and potatoes (forbes). The best thing about planting the meat and potatoe items is that if your are providing the main source of it you will soon begin to see improvements of overall health of your deer (i.e. body weights) provided the land is not already over-populated.

The key to attracting deer is to make YOUR land more attract than your neighbors, the only way to do this is to know what your neighbors have first.

If you want to know what the best desserts and meat and potatoe items are, I can send you a great planting guide if you give me your contact information. Otherwise, ask BSK...I hear that man knows how to plant a mean food plot.


Edited by BigGameGuy (07/28/07 04:01 PM)
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#317146 - 07/28/07 04:41 PM Re: i have 140 acres... Any quick start suggestions? [Re: BigGameGuy]
LA man
18 Point


Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 20820
Loc: spencer, tn/houma, la.

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good info bgg
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#317162 - 07/28/07 05:10 PM Re: i have 140 acres... Any quick start suggestions? [Re: LA man]
Tnyoteboy
6 Point


Registered: 11/01/06
Posts: 668
Loc: Bartlett

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Very good advice.
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#317289 - 07/28/07 08:01 PM Re: i have 140 acres... Any quick start suggestions? [Re: Tnyoteboy]
deerchaser007
10 Point


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4276
Loc: Bradyville, TN USA

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BGG gave you some great advice...

The only thing i would add to it is study the deer patterns and movements on your property. Once you figure out their patterns you should implement your improvements to their regular movements. I have learned that you cannot just place a clearcut or a food plot or any improvement in any ole place and expect great results. If deer don't feel safe in a area for some reason,.. it don't matter what you do to it,.. they will not feel safe. This especially holds true in the hillcountry.


Edited by deerchaser007 (07/28/07 08:02 PM)
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#317438 - 07/28/07 09:51 PM Re: i have 140 acres... Any quick start suggestions? [Re: deerchaser007]
Chris Tripp
10 Point


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 3762
Loc: Brush Creek, TN

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I agree BGG.... I would also suggest joining QDMA to learn more about sound habitat and herd management.
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#317459 - 07/28/07 09:56 PM Re: i have 140 acres... Any quick start suggestions? [Re: deerchaser007]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
12 Point


Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 6636
Loc: Nashville

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Very sound advice deechaser007. Once you determine what the best attractant will be for your property, that's when you start studying your land. Look for natural funnel areas and try to determine the best places for your habitat management plans. Food plots and cover will be much more attractive if they are located in close proximity to natural funnels. You can provide the best, most gnarly, most inaccessble sanctuary possible but if a deer has to cross 300 acres of cleared pasture land to get to it, I guarantee it will be under utilized or used primarily at night. That's why I am a huge proponent of fallow fields. Besides providing great habitat for other species they make great travel corridors for deer to get from one place to another.
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If given the choice between education and regulation, I'll choose education every time.

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