Mathews Inc.

2022 Food plot results and seed reviews


I'm Loving Ohio

Our 2022 report reflects the results of our 2021 planting results and subsequent deer hunting season. 2021 was our second year owning this Ohio ground and after making a bunch of mistakes in 2020, we shifted our plot design by adding corn, using Egyptian Wheat for screening instead of hemp, fencing our kill plot, and creatively using a design to funnel deer.

Seed Choices

For the 2021 growing season I used a mix of seed types including mostly 'brown bag' varieties, Ag seeds, and some retail 'deer head' seeds as well. The goal of our annual seed review is to demonstrate how a little effort, and moderate expense can dramatically improve the deer hunting on any property.

Food Plot Choices and reviews for the 2021-22 season

Plot Locations

Map of the Ohio DeerBuilder Property with Food Plot Locations

Planting Conditions last season

For our second planting season in Ohio we experienced very good moisture, good temps, and excellent planting windows.

Overall I rate growing conditions as 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being best. Pretty decent conditions.

Soil Tests and Amendments

I had amended our soil significantly in 2020, so last year I didn't need any lime, and only starter fertilizer for corn, and 700lbs of 19-19-19 for my brassicas and 200lbs on my Egypt Wheat. Nothing on my soybeans, clover, or chicory.

Equipment Used

I used, 100HP New Holland Powerstar 100 tractor, a four row 7000 Deere Planter, a 12' White travel disk, a 12' Deere Cultimulcher, a 20' boom sprayer, and a 3-pt mounted spreader from Rural King. I planted all the plots myself.

Trail Camera Survey

We had 40 cameras running year' round. We diligently maintained batteries and SD Card collections and finished out the Trail Cam Survey season with 149,178 individual photos of deer. These were sorted and maintained for establishing accurate deer utilization trends in each plot. We utilized 12 cameras running Moultrie Mobile in several key locations. This allowed us to have Real-time photos.

Hunting Season

I spent 18 days hunting this property both during the regular season and then again in the late February season for does. We identified 4 mature shooter bucks that were all above PY minimums. We also identified 49 additional bucks that were 2.5 or older within our borders. All those bucks survived into the late season. These results were, once again, phenomenal.

I took my first buck, a 140" gross eight point that netted 136 2/8 PY in November. My first buck made PY! It was also my #6 buck that I passed in 2020 and was my resident bully.

I also shot 2 does in the late February season on the last two days.

 

How we choose our seeds

You will notice that a lot of our crops come from fresh, 'brown bag' type seeds. I prefer to buy seeds from high volume distributors - rather than per-packaged varieties sold by big name hunting companies. On occasion, we will use 'deer head' branded seeds. Please remember, I have been doing this for over 25 years and most people will never want (or need) to go to the lengths I do to plant food plots.

Our Plot strategy

My plot strategy was fairly simple in 2020. Beans, beans and more beans. In 2021 I centered on beans but with far more diversity. I planted 12 rows on the entire perimeter, and also up the middlel of the big plot. I also put a 30 row cornfield along my neighbors border followed by 20' of egyptian wheat. The deer were much more relaxed than they were in the beans, the prior year. For my kill plot, I planted beans up the middle, and corn as a funnel. This brought the deer within bow shot of a redneck blind I relocated to this particular location. This worked OK but it was still hard to enter and exit the blind.

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