So You Want To Shoot A Big Fat Deer
Then Your going To Have To Feed It First
- You’ll need to start in early autumn before hunt season begins and then again after hunt season is over and the reason is because it is during fall weather that the soil is the easiest to turn because it has typically been saturated by fall rains and has a new layer of fresh foliage which can be tilled into the soil to help preserve it’s nutrients through spring planting .
- By spring if the foliage is not tilled into the topsoil it will have lost all it’s nutrients and you will have lost an opportunity to gain a substantial portion of the nutritional requirements for your food plot that is supplied by decomposition of organic matter in the forest floor and soil sub surface.
- Somehow acquire as much organic material as you can to till into your food plot , On your way to camp look out for farms , and stop by to talk to the farmers as they may be willing to part with some cow manure at a low price or possibly free , also ask about old hay bales they may have from the previous year as this is great for tilling into the soil and also for using as plant bedding after your food plot has begun to grow.
- The deer also like to bed down in these piles of hay as if it were a dog bed so when you have the farmer drop these off try to push them up under a tree bough or secluded area were the deer will feel nice and cozy and safe ,for a while at least.
- If they are close enough they may be willing to drive their tractor down and not only bring you manure but also bring old hay bales and since their already there why not ask them how much to plow the food plot with the tractor .
- The organic layer is divided into three layers: on the surface is the leaf litter formed by un-decomposed vegetable matter; underneath is humus which is the product of decomposed vegetable matter. Between litter and humus is a partially decomposed layer of organic matter which you are trying to recreate by way of tilling the upper layers of soil along with leaf litter and vegetable matter into the soil.
- Add further nutrients to the soil if they are available and if you have a stream close by dig out the soil from it and add it in as well, Another great spot is along the road ways in your camp you will find where diversion ditches may have been dug to redirect runoff , At the tail end of these there is usually an area of freshly ground up gravel that is mineral rich and will add these minerals to the soil.
- Basaltic parent material tends to generate very fertile soils because it also provides phosphorus, along with significant amounts of iron, magnesium, and calcium. Some unconsolidated materials, such as river-flood deposits, make for especially good soils because they tend to be rich in clay minerals.
- Over 100 years ago Julius Hensel wrote a book called Bread from Stones, which explained how crushed rock could improve soil fertility. His cause was taken up some nine decades later in the early 1980s by the late John Hamaker and Don Weaver.
- Here is a link to Eco – Farming Daily with helpful tips on needed nutrients and minerals for your food plots .
Worm Fishing - or Fishing For Worms Late At Night
- Now you need worms , not many as they’ll reproduce in mass before spring planting , The easiest quickest method is Wallmart unless you want to do it the old fashioned way and go out to your local golf course in the middle of the night with 2 long steel rods , a car battery ,some wire and a light bulb.
- I did this as a kid up in Canada with my Grandfather and it was great fun -At first, but then it kind of got really gross after the first 3 hours. Back then no one had thought of farming worms in mass production style so people would typically go out to golf courses and farm for worms by zapping them with electricity to drive them to the surface where some poor unfortunate curious kid would be delegated to pick them by the handful -All night Long ” .
- The steel rods were hooked up to the batteries – one to the positive terminal , the other to one contact of a light bulb then then to the negative terminal of the battery with the rods then being pushed down into the soil about 2 feet , a few minutes later and up came the worms in droves trying to escape the electric current .
- Another way of doing this with the same results is to drive a 2 inch diameter stake down into the ground a few feet and then rub a plank or board across the top of it.
- It produces a dull vibration that the worms mistake for a mole digging for them and they come to the surface trying to escape what they believe to be a predator
You Second Tilling Of Your Hunting Camps Food Plot
- You’ll need to do a second tilling of soil but nothing fancy , This is just to break up any soil that has begun to form a conglomerate and to help allow nitrogen down into the subsoil and because of the timing of the season this will allow enzymes into the soil to help break down and loosen up the soil making it softer ,richer and more loamy.
- This second tilling will also help to kill of any remaining weeds that may have started to re-sprout after the first tilling .
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Big Strong Bones Do an Antler Good
Your going to want to add the main ingredient and that’s bone meal if you want a Record Class Buck but the bone meal alone isn’t going to do the job unless it has the binding agents provided by the added minerals to help insure that the calcium is absorbed into the Deers bone structure.
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