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Habitat Improvements

Discussion in 'Indiana Whitetail Hunting' started by Scott Werstler, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Give me some of your successes and failures for wildlife habitat improvements, doesn't have to be just for deer.

    I'll start:

    Successes for quick cover: Black locust

    Failures: Teaching deer that forage turnips and rape are actually food.
  2. wheat

    mix in wheat when ever you plant grass seed! It germinates quicker and you will be supprised what will show up and feed on the wheat

  3. try to trim some of the small trees around the smaller oaks. Those small trees can sap sunlight when they grow over the tops of the growing oaks. Youll see a huge improvement in acorn production in a couple of years if you give them the sunlight to grow. Another tip for deer, is to leave a sanctuary in your hunting area. DO NOT ever go there. Leave a bedding area alone, and only go there if its an emergency. Youll be amazed at how many deer will find that in a about two weeks of gun season and start to call it their home, Permanently!!!
  4. We grew some mighty big turnips, don't think the deer cared for them too much.
  5. Weimer's Habitat Impovement, Inc.

    Scott, I know a great way to improve your habitat there in Larwill. Let me hunt there....I've been known to improve any situatioin......:coolgleam . The buck harvest would improve dramatically;) .
  6. I think that if we would stop taking out the fence rows and cleaning all the ditches, instead of taking out lets put in trees and bushes for all wildlife.
  7. Hey guys share with us some of the secret mixes that you plant in your plots.
    like Imperial Whitetail Clover or Imperial No-Plow.
  8. Need Suggestions

    I Am In The Middle Of Cleaning Out A Half Acre Spot In The Middle Of My Woods To Put In A Food Plot. This Is An Area That Has Always Been Covered In Trees, Needless To Say It Has Been A Chore To Clean Out.

    My Question Is- Does Anybody Have Any Suggestions About What To Plant In This Area, That Will Attract Deer ,that Would Grow Well In Soil That Has Been Home To Trees For So Long.
  9. Brich, Sounds like a great spot. Once you clear it, do a soil test. This is step one to any quality food plot. I can't stress this enough. Pull soil from all over the site, not just one spot. After you send in the sample, wait for spring, when the new plant life will no doubt start to grow. Zap anything in site with Roundup, or equivalent.

    Now you need to ask yourself a question. How much moisture does this site have? Is it a low area that well remain damp, or is it high ground, etc.?? This will determine what types of plants you should put there.

    Now, when you get your soil test back, it will tell you what the pH is in that site. If the soil sample says that that soil is 7.0 or lower (acidic), your next move will be to put enough lime on it to raise the pH to about 7.5-7.8. This is a good range for most of the seed blends out there. I think I just saw on T.V. the other night that it will take 2 tons of lime/acre to raise a pH one whole point on the scale. (i.e. from 5.6 to 6.6). This sounds incredible, but bulk lime is fairly cheap.

    I'm assuming you don't know all of the above things, that's why I started with this. If you already know all of this, don't take it the wrong way.....

    Let me know the answers to some above questions and then get back with me.
  10. Brich60,

    Dean is right in everything he just told you!!! One thing you might want to consider is going to the biologic website. You can get all the info and more that you are looking for there. Also the location of the food plot is key. You may know this already but try and put it in a location that has 1 or 2 natural funnels leading to the food plots. If this is not ideal for the area you have then create your funnels by planting bryer rows and patches (which grow rather quickly) along major deer trails that will basically lead them to a staging site on the edge of the food plot. You would be amazed at how you can change a landscape with a little creative thinking. Also you can strategically cut large trash trees and lay them down in a fashion to create small funnels in order to put the deer in the right place for a shot. You want to start off slow and gradually change certain key areas. You know........Baby steps!! Also one other suggestion is keep everyone off the food plot (including yourself) for a period of 3yrs. Then let me go in and do some pre-hunting to see how things are shaping into place.....:corkysm55 :corkysm55 :corkysm55
  11. Quail dancer,

    Roger that on the turnips, either Whitley County deer don't like them or we have too much other stuff to eat. A co-worker of mine shared the turnips we bought. We each planted 1/2 acre. Mine were never touched, his were totally ate off. He lives near Albion and there is about 300-400 acres of woods around him. Also a lot of CRP ground and a golf course. I think he just doesn't have the row crops the rest of us do and that is why his turnips were ate.
  12. I've been told that small burnett is a good deer food source. It is an evergreen forbe and drought tolerant. Haven't tried it yet.

    For shrubs, I've had good success with highbush cranberry and red osier dogwood.

    Flowering dogwoods and flowering crabapples have been a disappointment.
  13. Scott, I plant Dwarf Essex Rape every september in bare spots in the food plots thru the farm. As soon as if frost a couple of times the deer tear them up. The first year I planted them I shot a decent buck thats stomach was full of it. He had just came from the front big plot about 300 yards away evidently. I could not see the plot from my stand, but when I examined his stomach contents I was amazed at how much of the kale family plant he had ingested.

    My sucess: Keeping paths open thru the horseweed (giant ragweed) which enables the deer to move better and be more visible. Also the food plot.

    Failure, two small satelite plots that got overgrown from my ignorning them. It was a very wet year and I coudln't believe how big the ragweed grew in just 3 weeks. They will be remowed and planted this year.

    I have a lot in store for this year, one part is removing about 5 acres of giant ragweed and multi floral rose in order to pinch/push the deer into the woods instead of their hiding places. This will still leave over 15 acres or more of the great cover. I will be planting Kentucky blue grass mixed with clover and various seed plants and sunflowers. This out to make a great habitat for the pheasant, quail and doves that are abundant at this farm.
  14. Leave a good bit of cover on the edges of your plots. Deer especially big deer just wont go into a field or even go close to it if they feel like they are being seen out in the open. Most big bucks will survey a field and watch other animals in the field to make sure it is safe. If you go straight from wooded timber to open bare food plot you might only see does and yearlings in that baby. Leave some undergrowth. Something a mature deer can stand in and scan the plot to feel safe. It sounds like it might be defeating the purpose but a mature buck will come into a field before dark if he feels safe. If he has been pressured or feels like he is in the open too much he will time his bedding to feeding to coincide with arrival at the field well after dark. Food plots are great but mature deer need to be made to feel safe while around them...
  15. Interesting Bowaddict,

    I planted a couple small areas with 50% Rape, 30% clover and 20% chicory last August. I never seen anything touch it, maybe they hadn't found it yet. I must admit I had beans in the cash rent fields this year and most food was gone before the rut. Not much traffic on my place this last fall. I am adding about 3 acres of Imperial Whitetail clover mixed with Alfa-Rack this coming August. There will be a 1 acre plot, (2) 1/2 acre plots and then 3 mowed paths about 100 yards long each that I am planting. Along with that I'll have corn in the cash rent fields and another 1/2 acre plot of corn that will stay standing.