Food Plots How big of a corn plot is needed for a hunting plot

double browtine

double browtine

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I live on 46 acres. All woods except for the powerline( which runs north to south, so not much sunlight except for middle of the day) to my house, and a couple small woods plots I have created.
Everything around me is not hunted real hard, but there is not any agriculture farming around me. Closest corn/ soybean rotation is 1.25 miles. Everything closer is used for tobacco and pasture, either for cattle or cut for hay. Deer density is fairly low. Another issue is coyotes, which I away going to start hunting in the next couple weeks.
What would be good to plant to hold deer the most during the season, or even year round. Not many white oaks as the timber was cut on my property a couple years before I bought it. :( I am getting ready to clear some more woods out, on a east west direction to get more sunlight.
Main question is, how much corn would I have to plant (acres) if I was going to leave it standing. Would one acre be enough? Then I would just plant the border with clover, and annuals.
 
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MickThompson

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I’ve seen 2-3 acres plots wiped out by the end of August year after year, so my answer would be it depends on how many deer are around and how hungry they are.


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Hunter 257W

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I have a 3 acre food plot surrounded by a small (55 acre) woodlot that I've put in Whitetail Institute "Power Plant" (with corn mixed in) in past years and the corn lasted well beyond deer season. But I have agriculture galore on and around my land plus the cover is very little for holding deer once the crops are gathered. Maybe 20% of the land around there has any cover after crop harvest. Most years the deer that use my land can easily access 1,000 acres of soybeans and many many acres of corn so feed is everywhere Spring & Summer. However this means a lot of bare ground in the Fall - especially in the corn fields that were just a month earlier good deer cover. Deer numbers are moderate for a Unit L county because of the lack of cover.

It sounds like your area is a complete opposite and although deer numbers may not be real high, they would tend to concentrate on any corn you plant because of a lack of alternatives. If it were me, I'd plant what you already have easily available in corn or mix the corn with something else such as Power Plant and adjust accordingly once you see what the deer do with it.
 
double browtine

double browtine

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Thanks for the responses guys. The past two years, my two oldest sons have planted a 4H food plot. The ingredients are real similar to powerplant I think. They are going to participate in the program again this year too. I am going to ask the agent if we can add some corn into the plot too. Just going to plant some corn and try it. And some Imperial Whitetail Clover.
 
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TheLBLman

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MickThompson":21owgy0f said:
I’ve seen 2-3 acres plots wiped out by the end of August year after year, so my answer would be it depends on how many deer are around and how hungry they are.
Mostly deer or raccoons wiping it out that early?
 
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MickThompson

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Deer. Stalks were all still upright, just acres of empty shucks. That’s what it was planted for, but they jumped the gun!


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TheLBLman

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MickThompson":3mlbd603 said:
Deer. Stalks were all still upright, just acres of empty shucks.
Usually, the problem I've had on standing corn was from raccoons & squirrels eating it.
Usually, the deer wouldn't eat it until it was knocked down.
 
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MickThompson

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I thought it was unusual too but they’ve wiped it out at least 2 years in a row.


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poorhunter

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I’ve only done one plot, but in a similar situation as yours it sounds like...low population in the middle of the woods with no ag within miles. I put out 1/4 acre of no-till shot plot seed mix that had rye winter peas etc. the deer hammered it so hard it was gone before gun season.
 
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TheLBLman

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poorhunter":28m00wgd said:
. . . . the deer hammered it so hard it was gone before gun season.
That is not uncommon with many things you can plant, especially with plots less than an acre.
Just seems unusual for standing corn.
 
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DavidW

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sounds like you may need to start a trapping program and see what type of raccoon and opossum population you have on your property.
 
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Grnwing

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Small corn plots under 5 acres are really susceptible to coons and deer over the summer. Not uncommon to lose a small plot with a healthy coon population. By what you described, I would recommend against planting corn. It is very intensive crop to get to produce full ears requiring a lot of ground preparation and weed control and sun-light. Creating thicker old field habitat may actually serve you better than a 1 acre food plot. If you have a high deer density, you probably wont be able to plant enough to handle the browse pressure. Open up some of that canopy and let some sun light get to the ground and that will help establish better deer habitat and give those pressured deer a place to go.
 
double browtine

double browtine

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Grnwing":1nxs8nrh said:
Small corn plots under 5 acres are really susceptible to coons and deer over the summer. Not uncommon to lose a small plot with a healthy coon population. By what you described, I would recommend against planting corn. It is very intensive crop to get to produce full ears requiring a lot of ground preparation and weed control and sun-light. Creating thicker old field habitat may actually serve you better than a 1 acre food plot. If you have a high deer density, you probably wont be able to plant enough to handle the browse pressure. Open up some of that canopy and let some sun light get to the ground and that will help establish better deer habitat and give those pressured deer a place to go.

I have plenty of thick areas already. The area I am going to clear is a old native pine tree thicket. Alot of the trees were damaged from ice storms, and high winds. The tops of several trees are broken out. There are no oaks in the area. I think I will probably just try a plot with both annuals and perennials. Clover around the edges, and then maybe Powerplant in the middle, then in the fall I will a disk under some of the power plant and put out a fall mix. I guess it would be cheaper to probably keep a corn feeder full of corn on a timer, than to plant corn. Cause by the time I add enough fertilizer to get the corn to grow right, plus the corn cost, it will probably be cheaper to just keep my 225 lb feeder full all summer. I am just looking to grow the deer sightings on my land. Thanks for everyone's great input.
 
spoon

spoon

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Grnwing":1z4jxy3y said:
It is very intensive crop to get to produce full ears requiring a lot of ground preparation and weed control and sun-light. Creating thicker old field habitat may actually serve you better than a 1 acre food plot. If you have a high deer density, you probably wont be able to plant enough to handle the browse pressure.

I disagree. I plant 4 acres every year with great success with coons hitting them early Sept. as far as planting, it very easy. Bush hog then spray Halex (Roundup, Atrazine and Duel mix) wait until everything is dead then plant with no till planter. When corn is 8-10” tall spray Halex. Also at this time put down 100 lbs per acre of 34-0-0 fertilizer and enjoy your summer
 
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Grnwing

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Having that no till is the ticket and costly, it's not hard to plant corn but getting full ears and a stand that last till December requires time effort, right equipment and preparation that isn't usually expected for small plots.

How many bushels are you getting per acre?
 
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diamond hunter

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I gotta say planting corn this year has produced more deer for me than anything Ive ever done.I think I planted 3.5 acres about.Question for Spoon,do u just spread the 34 0 0 without a test?Will a regular seed spreader on a tractor spread it? Also,where is the best place to buy that herbicide you mentioned? Thanks!
 
spoon

spoon

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Diamond Hunter, haven’t tested my property in 3 years and yes, I use the tractor spreader.

You will need to get a private applicator license to purchase Halex. Highly recommend getting one. Check with your local UT Extension office. The class and test takes about 4 hours and 75.00 for 3 year license. After that it’s 25.00 and hour to get Recertified.
 
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diamond hunter

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Thank you spoon Ill get that license.Do you know if Halex will kill saplings that are 4 years old and older?I use a boom sprayer but was wondering about residual.The regular roundup I spray doesn't affect them. The tip about the fertilizer was a great tip thanks so much.Last year I rented that buggy spreader and my farm is quite a distance from the fertilizer plant and it was a total pain .Thanks again.!
 
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diamond hunter

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OK,I got my private applicator license in the mail today.It was fairly easy to get.Does anyone know if local coops have that Halex?Have to order or what?
 

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