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I have a couple of farms that are in excess of 300 acres of thickets, small trees, briars, etc. that's in a wildlife program and cannot be disturbed (i.e. no food plots). I have noticed over the last 3-years that my bucks congregate on these properties starting in late October. According to my cameras, I have more bucks than does. The only food source is browse. I have mapped a lot of the honeysuckle areas. The deer don't seem to touch/focus on the honeysuckle until December. When they do, they hammer it. By the end of December, it's all but stripped down to just vines and the deer numbers start falling off. Does anyone here fertilize their honeysuckle? I've read some articles about type and timing, but it's mainly referring to blooms and not so much on foliage. Mainly, they suggest low to zero Nitrogen. I would think foliage would be better in the long winter months. Thoughts???
 

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I have not fertilized any honey suckle. However, my uncle was a biologist for Alabama and he always told me that deer will walk through green fields and go to fertilized honey suckle. If I had a patch on my property it would be getting fertilized.
 

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Bettering the last.....
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Have a similar deal here and think it has more to do with the Honeysuckle being the only good green food source theft to work in conjunction with all of the browse. So if you needed more food due to more people coming over for a thanksgiving dinner and you just bumped 1lb of stuffing to 20lb .... you’d have more food by the balance would be awry.

What’s your soil pH and soil test say?

Do you have any winter grains planted?


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Be careful. In 15 years the farm I hunt went from no honeysuckle to out of control. That stuff will spread like wildfire and you won’t even be able to see them it will be so thick.
 

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It’s the plague! It’s the kudzu of the Midwest. Here in sw Ohio it choked out the understory in the woods everywhere. You can’t see through the woods like a normal forest. Honeysuckle is the last thing I’d want around besides wild hogs. 20% roundup would be my fertilizer.
 

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I tried to plant this past spring on my land, didn't take at all surprisingly. I've had many warn me not to, it's invasive, deer don't actively brows as a preferred or secondary. Interesting to hear your observations, I've seen similar behavior. But, I've seen it browsed heavily in late September into October in Ohio and Maryland. There is normally a two to three week period where it seems to get hit just hard, just as or right after velvet is shed. I ordered seeds online and planted in spring, will be doing more research and trying aging this spring. Tagged to learn
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I tried to plant this past spring on my land, didn't take at all surprisingly. I've had many warn me not to, it's invasive, deer don't actively brows as a preferred or secondary. Interesting to hear your observations, I've seen similar behavior. But, I've seen it browsed heavily in late September into October in Ohio and Maryland. There is normally a two to three week period where it seems to get hit just hard, just as or right after velvet is shed. I ordered seeds online and planted in spring, will be doing more research and trying aging this spring. Tagged to learn
I guess the reason they seem to hit it late in my situation,may be that they've been on the surrounding ag crops and most leftovers have been cleaned up plus trying to hide from the pressure.
 

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For those wanting to kill it Remedy will nuke it. Be careful though as it can translocate through the roots and affect nearby trees.
 

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As I understand it we have Japanese or bush variety, may both be the same?

Only thing it's good for is cutting down and using for screens or creating pinch points.
 

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Yes Japanese honeysuckle. It greens up in March and is the last thing green in December. It’s great for cover, you’re not going to shoot into it or through it though. It burns great after it’s seasoned.
 

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As I understand it we have Japanese or bush variety, may both be the same?

Only thing it's good for is cutting down and using for screens or creating pinch points.
To be clear, I was referring to Japanese honeysuckle. Its a flowering vine, flowers are white and yellow. Grows thick on sun exposed fencerows and field edges. I see it as a significant preferred browse. I don't know anything about the quality of the honeysuckle as forage or protein contents, etc. But I know deer in Pa, Ohio and Md consistently use it. My leased farm, they actually prefer it over anything for about a short 3ish week period. Have not figured out why that is, the honeysuckle does not appear to have changed during that time nor the surrounding food sources change. The beans can be green before and after they all seem to gorge on the honeysuckle. Its great for summer bedding as well, provides shade and blocks view. I've noticed a lot of my mature bucks will summer bed in my honeysuckle thickets.
Bush honeysuckle is completely different, its a smaller bush / shrub type with green leaves summer, fall and early winter in north east. The bark is kinda smooth on younger bushes with grayish brown, pale brown color. Bigger bushes seem to have darker ridges and grooves in bark. It has some value as cover, it creates low-level visual barriers, bedding, etc. But I think its a long term net-negative for a property, it takes over and smothers out all natural regeneration. I pull out bush honeysuckle with my tractor, if I cant get tractor in, I cut and spray it.
 
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