An objective journey into the creation, maintenance and productivity of a whitetail food/kill plot
|June 15, 2005||May 25th 2008|
Before we go into our 2008 results, let's evaluate our Long Term History of the Bowsite.com Food Plot
|1998||Good||New planting of Imperial Whitetail, did fairly well despite heavy grazing in summer and fall. No noticeable weed or grass intrusion.|
|1999||Excellent||Unbelievable second year results. The plot was as good as it could ever get. Deer really browsed it down in fall but held up well.|
|2000||Fair-Poor||Weed and grass growth took over plot. Imperial Clover all but gone.|
|2001||Poor||Had to plow under, installed Imperial whitetail again, but the weeds and grass took over quickly. Had to plow under in late summer and installed buck forage oats. Had marginal success with growth.|
|2002||No Plot||We decided to spend the entire spring/summer spraying roundup and killing existing vegetation. We planted peas in the fall but the deer over-browsed and killed it.|
|2003||Poor||We planted Imperial No-Plow. The Rape came up in abundance, but the deer never touched it during archery season. Our plot was a failure despite a successful growth of rape.|
|2004||Good||So far, plot is looking good. Heavy spring rains in the NE along with a new planting are showing positive results. Still some bare spots to overall progress is good.|
|2005||Good||Due to lack of utilization, we planted Tecomate Monster Mix in the Big Plot and Imperial Clover from Whitetail Institute on Small Plot|
|2006||Good||Big Plot (Monster Mix) came up great, moderate to low utilization, Imperial Plot highly utilized and healthy|
|2007||Fair||Big Plot (Monster Mix) still healthy and thick, still moderate to low utilization, Imperial Plot all but vanished, completely overtaken by weeds and grass|
|2008||Fair||Big Plot (Monster Mix) remarkably healthy and thick. We need to plow and plant clover again.|
Long Term Remarks - I am extremely impressed with the longevity and healthy growth of the Tecomate Monster Mix. The downside is the deer will choose the small plot (Imperial Clover) 3/1 over the Tecomate plot. However after 10 years of planting these plots, the Imperial product longevity is rarely more than 2 seasons and not well suited for smaller plots.
Results chart by Product*
Product Used Longevity Results Deer Utilization Results Imperial Whitetail 2-Poor (1st year fair, 2nd year good, then vanished) 4.5 - Very High Generic Field Peas 1-Extremely Poor hammered before hunting season 5-Extremely High Imperial No-Plow NA - Annual Product however it did reappear the 2nd year 2 - Poor during archery season Buck Forage Oats NA - Annual Product, hammered 4.5 - Extremely High Imperial Alfa-Rack 1-Poor barely came up and was overtaken by weeds NA - Did not come up Tecomate Monster Mix 5-Outstanding, 4 years of thick lush growth 3 - Fair
*Your results may vary based on the size of your plot, annual rainfall, planting times, fertilizer choices, etc. This chart represents the results of the Bowsite.com Food Plot only as a reference to our experience. No Seed companies are Bowsite.com sponsors and all products were chosen and paid for by us.
With the consistent growth of the Tecomate plot since we planted it in 2004 we have not run our Food Plot feature in a few years. We decided to give all of you and update on where it stands in 2008 (still going strong) and our long term results on deer usage after hunting here for the last few years. We will be tracking the results throughout 2008 leading to a deer hunt in October.
Our first check up of 2008 shows great results still, quite amazing really, no bare spots, very few weeds, and thick - lush growth. What is even more remarkable is that we totally neglected the plot in 06 and 07. No lime or fertilizer was applied since 2005.
Big Plot - because of the lush, healthy growth now 4 years in a row, we simply mowed, limed and fertilized it. Nothing more.
|Big Plot Close Up, this is Tecomate Monster Mix|
The Imperial Whitetail Clover Plot is gone, we got 2 years out of it before it was choked out by weeds and grasses. It was heavily utilized by deer.
|We plowed the small plot under then disked it. This plot is small, about an acre.|
We planted Imperial Whitetail Clover Again mixed with Annual Ryegrass for cover.
|Both plots were limed and fertilized with 5-20-20. We did not do a soil test, but our experience has shown good results with 1000 lbs per acre of lime and 200lbs per acre of fertilizer.|