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#530220 - 12/16/07 12:34 PM how much (habitat management)
deerchaser007
10 Point


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

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In every management book you read it tells that a 2 to 5 percent of the total property size should be in high nutrition food plot plantings. Food plots are becoming the escape goat when it comes to management on a property. Food plots are only part of the equation. Habitat management is far more important. BUT,.. its never discussed in detail what percentage of the total property should be set forth for quality habitat for food and cover. SO,.. for you die hard guys,.. how much percentage of the total property do you set aside for nothing but habitat changes? In a typical hardwoods setting,.. whats the best method for creating it? Do you prefer large areas, or small blocks seperated up within the hardwoods? Can you go to far with this and hurt your hunting potential? Any other advice? such as getting preferred browse to grow in these areas such as greenbriar, honeysuckle,ragweed, blackberry and other important forbes for deer and wildlife. How to maintain the habitat after completion?

I've been here awhile and read alot of good stuff in sections about this ,. but never discussed in detail. Figured it would make a great change in topic over the food plot issue that comes up here all the time. As stated,. plots are important, but in TN i feel habitat changes should be the main target for a QDM plan. This could only help myself, other qdm guys that may pick something up, and the newcomers to the site that may have missed really good info from prior post.
Thanks,......
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#530236 - 12/16/07 12:56 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: deerchaser007]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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Jeremy,

I currently have 2% in food plots. I have many acres that have been select cut (leaving mast trees) to the point where I will have problems hunting it in a couple years. I have areas that have tree laps and are grown up to provide cover and food. What I have done and need to do much more of is bushog, disc, fertilize, and lime easy access portions of the cut areas. This will not only provide nutritious natural browse as you have mentioned but will also cut down on areas that will become unhuntable. It is a work in progress that sees no end. ;\)
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#530239 - 12/16/07 12:59 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: TAS]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
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Loc: Hickman County

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Oh yeah the area that I have select cut that is described above is probably 60-65%. I would like to hear more about sanctuary size, placement and percentage also.

Edited by TAS (12/16/07 01:01 PM)
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#530248 - 12/16/07 01:12 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: TAS]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
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Mine is currently 15% mature hardwoods and 85% thick cutover with a few mature trees mixed in. After the dozer man is done it will be 15%mature hardwoods, 20% food plots, and 65%thick cutover.
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#530263 - 12/16/07 01:37 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: TAS]
Radar
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 31209
Loc: Kansas City, Mo.

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 Originally Posted By: TAS
Jeremy,

I currently have 2% in food plots. I have many acres that have been select cut (leaving mast trees) to the point where I will have problems hunting it in a couple years. I have areas that have tree laps and are grown up to provide cover and food. What I have done and need to do much more of is bushog, disc, fertilize, and lime easy access portions of the cut areas. This will not only provide nutritious natural browse as you have mentioned but will also cut down on areas that will become unhuntable. It is a work in progress that sees no end. ;\)


That's what the landowner has done with the select cutover that I hunt . He clears lanes and bushhogs ever couple of years to knock down the tall saplings and create openings and new browse for the deer .
This is a 100 acre cutover ,and if I were to create such a cutover from a deer management perspective instead of timber management perspective , I would make much smaller blocks and create edges between cover and open hardwoods along travel corridors to promote easier, natural shooting lanes in deer travel routes .
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#530449 - 12/16/07 05:18 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: Radar]
deerchaser007
10 Point


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4260
Loc: Bradyville, TN USA

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TAS,.. you posted a pic on serious deer talk of hardwoods habitat which provided no food source for wildlife. Can you post that here for this thread?
BSK,.. you also have a good pic,.. do you mind posting it also??

My place was select cut about 4 years now. BUT,. it was a very select cut. In areas,. i still have some good browse on the floor. BUT,.. others i am loosing fast and need to maintain them areas for forage production,.. but open up some larger areas for forage production with open cover. I'm gonna lay out a plan for attack on habitat this year. Cutting trees of no value to wildlife or value to me as a landowner. Open those areas up for forage.Cut the trees to sell for firewood. Open up some cedars and let it grow in and sell the cedars for fencepost. My farm is hillside ,.. maintaining by bushhog and tractor is not possible on the slopes. SO,. everything i do will be by hand and 4 wheeler. Gonna be a project i spread out for a couple of years probably. SO,.. i'm looking for some info i don't currently have.

Right now i have 3 percent in plots,.. and i'm done with that. I have no more area for plots that can be maintained. BUT,.. only have around 10 percent of my area for forage production for habitat. The rest ,.. well,.. there is nothing growing on the ground floor. Its all hardwoods. I thinking that is just not enough. The areas in plots and habitat set aside for forage is recieving heavy browse. SO,.. i'm thinking i need to add more on the habitat side.

Thanks Guys....
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#530717 - 12/16/07 09:06 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: deerchaser007]
birddoginQ
4 Point


Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 171
Loc: Knox, TN

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deerchaser, I would also recomend "girdling" trees. It is a great timber stand improvement tool, as well as a way to acheive the small openings you are wanting. Can be done a variety of ways most succesful that i know of would be using a chain saw and cuting a shallow ring ( or two) all the way around the tree that you have selected to remove. This will effectively cut off the flow of water to the top of the tree, as well as from the top to the roots by severing the cambial layer.....killing the tree. These standing dead snags provide excellent habitat for small and non-game animals while opening the canopy to allow light to the ground.

Also less work on the removal end..

just another management tool.
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#530923 - 12/17/07 06:46 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: birddoginQ]
BSK
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deerchaser007,

What you are talking about is a Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) cut--removing trees with no wildlife or monetary value.

You can use a chainsaw, girdling and/or hack-and-squirt.
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#530926 - 12/17/07 06:47 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: BSK]
BSK
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Here are the pictures you were asking about:



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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#531244 - 12/17/07 01:07 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: BSK]
kholmes
4 Point


Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 280
Loc: Nashville

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Good Thread. I agree that there is not enough info dedicated to habitat. My wife is getting me "Forest Plants of the Southeast and their wildlife uses" for Xmas. Hopefully it will shed some light on this issue for me.
With the price of fertilizer and diesel this coming planting season, I will be scaling back my food plots and concentrating on creating cover and native browse.
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#531543 - 12/17/07 06:00 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: kholmes]
deerchaser007
10 Point


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4260
Loc: Bradyville, TN USA

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Forgot about girdling. This may be what i have to do with some of the extra large beech trees.

BSK,.. the top pic is what i'm up against to the tee. Trees are not that large,.. but the hillside slope is the same. The bottom pic might resemble a long flat on a ridgetop i'm thinking about clearing and creating a wind-row along the boundary fence. MAYBE!!

The biggest starting question i have is how to you remove all those leaves on the ground?? Sunlight to the ground is key,.. i have leaves angle deep in some places. Fire is not a option ,.. I'm to skeptical to even attempt it. I'll burn he whole farm down with my bad luck. And i can't see a leaf blower doing alot of good. Any comments on this?

Second question ,.. does anyone else have trouble getting ragweed to grow on slopes like in the first pic. I've searched and searched and ragweed on my place in the current opening is very sparse. Honeysuckle, polk, greenbrier, sumac, and typical woody browse is abundant. I would like to have more ragweed considering how important it is for summer forage. Any ideas??

And,.. on the H @ S technique ,.. can't remember what you recommended on using as the herbicide and the rate you spray. Can you remind me again.
THANKS


Edited by deerchaser007 (12/17/07 06:07 PM)
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QDMA member...Cannon co.
Guard your tongue in youth,.. and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people!!
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#531769 - 12/17/07 08:38 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: deerchaser007]
Quailman
8 Point


Registered: 08/04/03
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Loc: Winchester, TN

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DC007,
ragweed will definitely grow just about anywhere, as long as there is adequate sunlight and limited competition from non-native vegetation. However, to increase the amount of herbaceous plants on your property, some type of soil disturbance will be needed. This can be accomplished through annual disking or prescribed burning. Disking is by far the best technique to accomplish this, but it will be difficult to accomplish on hillsides that have a steep slope.
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#531776 - 12/17/07 08:42 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: Quailman]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16923
Loc: Allardt, TN

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Weeds will come up through the leaves, I promise lol
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#531791 - 12/17/07 08:48 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: deerchaser007]
birddoginQ
4 Point


Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 171
Loc: Knox, TN

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BSK..you can correct me if im wrong but I believe ragweed needs bare mineral soil to germinate, and generally has to be managed for with disturbance such as discing. And even though ragweed is often a native nuisance to farmers, planting is a great option for achieving a reliable stand. I have been playing around with it in quail plots latlely and have had to plant it to get what i wanted and still not there.

Removing the leaf litter like you have mentioned would definently help. Though it may be slow, a leaf blower may do the trick. Maybe blowing or raking into small piles and then burning would be an option.

Garlon is a good option for use on hardwood with the hack and squirt treatments.
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#531817 - 12/17/07 08:58 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: birddoginQ]
smstone22
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Registered: 01/11/04
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Ragweed will certainly come up better through disturbed soil but I was meaning alot of other weeds. I wouldnt think it would be worth the time to clear all the leaves off a large area.
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#531961 - 12/17/07 11:07 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: smstone22]
Crosshairy
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Registered: 08/22/06
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gotta clear trees first, or the leaves will keep coming back \:\)
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#532063 - 12/18/07 07:13 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: Crosshairy]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Garlon is definitely best, but Roundup will work. One hack per 2 to 3" of tree diameter, 2 milliliters of 50% roundup concentrate and 50% water per hack. One squirt from a windex bottle generally is one milliliter.
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#532070 - 12/18/07 07:18 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: BSK]
BSK
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If you want to keep a logged area open for a good number of years, let it begin regrowing in hardwood saplings and then spray it with Arsenal. Arsenal will kill almost all of the hardwood regrowth, promoting weeds, grasses and native legumes. But be careful not to spray near timber left standing as it can transmit through roots and kill the standing timber.

I like to spot-spray sections of regrowing clear-cuts to produce pockets of different types of habitat (increase habitat diversity).
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#532078 - 12/18/07 07:22 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: BSK]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
If you want to keep a logged area open for a good number of years, let it begin regrowing in hardwood saplings and then spray it with Arsenal. Arsenal will kill almost all of the hardwood regrowth, promoting weeds, grasses and native legumes. But be careful not to spray near timber left standing as it can transmit through roots and kill the standing timber.

I like to spot-spray sections of regrowing clear-cuts to produce pockets of different types of habitat (increase habitat diversity).




Bryan,

When is the best time to do this?
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#532154 - 12/18/07 08:22 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: TAS]
BSK
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Late summer and early fall, just as the water is going down out of the leaves and into the roots. September is a good time.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#532180 - 12/18/07 08:42 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: kholmes]
brier rabbit
4 Point


Registered: 07/22/07
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DEERCHASER007. Their are other types of plants you may want to look at growing. strawberry bush is loved by deer and hevily browsed. autum olive is also browsed by deer and make great cover and grows in the poorist of soils. Their are also some very good chestnut hybrids now that can grow in foristed areas. chiness chestnuts must be grow out in the open they do not grow tall enough to grow in forests. look for timber hybrids they will start to drop nuts in about 4-5 years, they bloom in early summer so late frosts do not afect nut production and they are fairly drought tolorent. Try some sawtooth oaks very early producers also.
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#532287 - 12/18/07 10:08 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: brier rabbit]
BSK
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brier rabbit,

Lots of planting are good for wildlife, but what most landowners/managers need is massive amounts of natural food sources and cover. Timber removal/thinning is definitely the most cost effective way of accomplishing that.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#532414 - 12/18/07 11:50 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: BSK]
Quailman
8 Point


Registered: 08/04/03
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Loc: Winchester, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
brier rabbit,

Lots of planting are good for wildlife, but what most landowners/managers need is massive amounts of natural food sources and cover. Timber removal/thinning is definitely the most cost effective way of accomplishing that.


Definitely agree with this statement. Landowners spend way too much money on trying to create food sources, when everything they need is laying in the soil, waiting to be released. You can accomplish a great deal more by using herbicides, disking, and burning than you can by buying expensive food plot mixtures and specially propagated tree and shrub species. The techniques listed above are much more economical in the long run and provide as much if not more benefit to wildlife.
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#532457 - 12/18/07 12:24 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: BSK]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Late summer and early fall, just as the water is going down out of the leaves and into the roots. September is a good time.
Thank you!
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#532772 - 12/18/07 04:50 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: TAS]
birddoginQ
4 Point


Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 171
Loc: Knox, TN

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very true, think about how many post have been posted recently about what folks have planted and deer dont seem to be touching. why not capitalize on what is already there and what the deer already know. Stawberry bush is a good native plant to manage for along with other native browse such as wild berries (black/blue), beggar tick, clover, viburnum, honey suckle, beauty berry.... the list goes on. Not to mention trees, dogwood is a deer favorite (leaves in spring and summer, fruit in the fall) and honey locust is another over looked tree.
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#532778 - 12/18/07 04:54 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: birddoginQ]
birddoginQ
4 Point


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fall would also be the time of year to do any tree work such as girdling to prevent excessive sprouting. Trees cut either for management of timber harvest (which is also managment) are subject to excessive sprouting as the tree is bring everyting up from the bottom anyway in an attempt to grow. Sprouting is always an issue in situations where herbacide is not used but can be minimized with planning the time of year you do it.
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#532966 - 12/18/07 07:08 PM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: birddoginQ]
brier rabbit
4 Point


Registered: 07/22/07
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BKS
I am not dissageeing with you but chestnuts were once a very big part of out eastern woodlands. they where nearly wiped out by a blight imported on some chinese chestnut trees. The hybrid chestnut trees are not very expensive they grow fast and produce lots of nuts. great food for wildlife. the strawberry bush is native to the eastern states and is usually browsed out by deer. i still find some growing on my place but are usually very small. if you can find some of these small woody shrub growing on your land they are definetly worth tending to.

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#533537 - 12/19/07 07:47 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: brier rabbit]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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The problem is brier rabbit, trying to nurture just a few plants doesn't produce much food volume. What most lands in expansive hardwoods areas (like much of TN) lack is total food volume. Instead of worrying about a couple of species that are attractive to deer, simply let Nature take its course by allowing sunlight to reach the ground through timber removal. I would always worry about total food volume first, then worry about specific attractive species once food volume requirements have been met.

Always address the lowest hole in the management bucket first. That is the hole most of your management effort is leaking out of.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#533568 - 12/19/07 08:10 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
I would always worry about total food volume first . . .

Always address the lowest hole in the management bucket first. That is the hole most of your management effort is leaking out of.

I agree with nearly everything posted thus far.
But would particularly like to add something regarding BSK's "lowest hole".

Provided you have diverse habitat, then the lowest hole in your bucket may be a lack of forage mass in late winter. Therefore, if you're planting food plots, shouldn't you focus on plants that provide the greatest potential forage mass during late winter?

For most of my plots, I think am best accomplishing this with a mix of mostly brassicas, mainly because the deer tend to not like it much during its early growing stages, allowing a great amount of forage mass to be produced. However, Dwarf Essex Rape (DER) is one type of brassica I may reduce in my future mixes for two reasons: One, the deer seem to like it better, and hit it earlier, in some cases eating it up before the most critical time. Two, other less-preferred (by deer as a food item) brassicas seem to grow taller and produce much more food volume. I've been most impressed with the Biologic Maximum in terms of filling the lowest hole in my bucket. But the Maximum is expensive while the DER is cheap, so am sure will continue to use some of both.

One other thing.
Few things are as good for year-round nutrition as a mix of various clovers with about 10 - 20% of the mix being chicory. If you produce the huge forage mass of brassicas I'm talking about, it may shade out your clovers, and you may need to do some early spring/late winter frost seeding (once the brassicas have been eaten down) to maintain the clover plots for spring/summer/fall. I look at the clover plots to add some extra protein when the deer need it most, and the brassicas to add some high-quality winter forage when needed most. But when push comes to shove, the deer may need that extra winter forage more than they need extra spring/summer protein.

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#533715 - 12/19/07 09:43 AM Re: how much (habitat management) [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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Wes,

And that's why I plant primarily fall/winter annuals in my plots. The weeds I produce in my clear-cuts in summer are better (both volume and nutrition-wise) than anything I could grow in my thin-soil food plots in summer.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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