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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hunt in Michigan (middle of the mitten) and would really like some opinions on what to plant in a small secluded plot mostly for bowhunting. I've thought about wintergreens, but if something else may be better then I'd be open to any suggestions.

The area I want to plant is in the middle of a creek bottom and is going to be moist, dark soil. I'm not sure of the PH right now, but I can if it'll matter. It'll actually be kinda kidney bean shaped and one of my treestands sits in the middle of the bean. I'd say the bigger half of the plot is probably 40 yds long x 30 wide. The other side is probably around 15-20 yds. square.

About the only thing I can get in there for equipment would be a rototiller and rake.

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just don't want to put in all the work this is going to take and find out later that I planted the wrong stuff.
 

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Bryan: I planted Imperial Whitetail clover in a similar area/terrain/plot size that you're describing and had good luck with that. Took alot of blood, sweat, and beers using hand tools but it definitely made a good plot. I was able to get my seed, fertilizer, and lime close enough via ATV.

Makes a good turkey plot in the spring too.

Good Luck...."Another dad of two girls"
 

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...

Trying to make it easier for your brothers to shoot deer again uh?:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Trying to make it easier for your brothers to shoot deer again uh?:D
hahaha...... yeah I know. If only I could get them to help out or something.

NAH!!! What was I thinking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bryan: I planted Imperial Whitetail clover in a similar area/terrain/plot size that you're describing and had good luck with that. Took alot of blood, sweat, and beers using hand tools but it definitely made a good plot. I was able to get my seed, fertilizer, and lime close enough via ATV.

Makes a good turkey plot in the spring too.

Good Luck...."Another dad of two girls"
Thanks, I sent you a PM.
 

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Let me tell you a crop that is great to bow hunt over and the deer really eat even up into the winter TURNIPS! Would work great in the size place you are specifying and the deer really love them need to be planted in august and they will have time to mature.If the deer don't eat them up first!!
They only need to be right under surface. Can scatter them by hand and either rake or run a drag over them.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Let me tell you a crop that is great to bow hunt over and the deer really eat even up into the winter TURNIPS! Would work great in the size place you are specifying and the deer really love them need to be planted in august and they will have time to mature.If the deer don't eat them up first!!
They only need to be right under surface. Can scatter them by hand and either rake or run a drag over them.:wink:
I have heard good things about turnips so I'll look into that also. Thanks.
 

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Recommend you take a quick trip over to the QDMA site and look on their food plot forum. The chances are EXCELLENT that exactly the same question has been asked and already answered. Just shooting from the hip, considering the climate and sunlight that you seem to have, consider one of the white clovers that is bred especially for growing in low light or shade conditions. You won't get much the first year because the plant is using that for root growth, but from the second year on they should give you a good attractant. I'll echo the previous poster on the turnips, but be careful. Like any of the brassicas, there is a limit to how many years you can plant it before you have problems. Usually anything past the second year, you're asking for trouble. Before you spend any $$ other places on the food plot, I'd throw $30 in the pot and get QDMAs book on Quality Deer and Quality Food Plots. Written by some agronomy Ph Ds who do this for a living. Have fun........
 

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I have to agree that clover is probably the best way to go. We love our Imperial Clover plots, and they do well in the moist shady soil. The last few years we have had the deer pounding the clover during our bow season in NY, and they don't really hit the turnips and Winter Greens until late season (end of Nov/Dec). Just my opinion of course.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I planted clover on a smaller plot wouldn't they eat it down to nothing before season started?
 

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I live in Michigan also and have several plots planted. All my plots are hunting plots which are small and located in the middle of timber or thick areas that I have cleared. I am no farmer and have done most of the work by hand.

I have 1 Imperial Whitetail clover plot, and 1 Chicory plot ranging from 1/3 to 1/2 of an acre. My deer sightings have tripled since putting in these plots. I also plant another 1/2 acre of so with a fall annual planting every year. This is my late season kill plot. I have had good success with Biologic Maximum, and Wintergreens. The Maximum seemed easier to grow.

One suggestion I have is take your time and do it right, the results will truly reflect your work. Do a soil test, and add lime and fertilizer as required to maintain a good PH. The last test I did had my soil at 6.8, and my plots have really done well. It took me about 800lbs of lime to get my 3 plots to an acceptable level. Lime is fairly cheap also.
A did my soil tests through Biologic website for $7.
 

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If I planted clover on a smaller plot wouldn't they eat it down to nothing before season started?
It's a battle that's for sure.

Wintergreens, if I remember from WI, are brassicas mostly (kale, rape, turnips). You really won't get much attention to it before a good, long and hard frost - turning these plants into attractants for deer. I've also had the experience with brassicas that they will take a season or two before the local deer hit into it hard enough to be a great harvest plot.

Alice Clover might be a good option for you.

However, if going for bow season (not sure of the dates for you) I'd be banking on an annual plot for harvesting if October/early November.
 
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