Even though we are in a drought, it is still getting close to that time. We should all be thinking about what we need to do as far as our great management schemes. You know, the ones that our wives say we are obsessing about constantly. There are a few things we need to consider this time of year. If we are planting food plots, there is much to be done. Even though it is unbearably hot and dry right now. We need to plan our locations according to prevailing winds and stand locations. You have to select the type of plot (feeding or “kill”), and what you are going to plant specifically. I will be starting my first series in a couple days on plant selection for fall plots. All you penny-pinchers and those of us who are down on our luck need not worry. Do you own a leaf blower? Probably not, but I bet you know someone who does. You don’t have to have an ATV, tractor and three grand in implements to plant a couple of good backstrap harvesting zones. You can pick a good spot in the woods , possibly next to your favorite stand, and give the passing deer a reason to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Take your (father-in-law’s) leaf blower and clear a spot about one eighth of an acre. Just blow all the leaves to the edge of a thirty yard by twenty yard area. All you want to do is expose the topsoil and humus. Then pick a part-shade seed blend or mix one yourself. I have had good luck with the following:
20 pounds of wheat/rye pasture mix
10 pounds of Austrian winter peas
1 pound of purple-top turnips
1 pound of red clover
Those quantities are for an eighth of an acre. You can take out the turnips or clover and just use two pounds of whichever you favor. The turnips are a great food source late season. I’ve seen them chew them into the frozen ground in January. To plant your mix you don’t need a tiller or a disk. Just a rake. An ATV with a six foot cedar tree tied behind it also works well. Simply rake it or drag it in to make sure you have good seed to soil contact. DO NOT GET IT TOO DEEP!!! Just barely cover it with soil.
The main thing is the timing of the planting. Labor Day in central Oklahoma is a favorite time period of many farmers and food plotters in this region. Hopefully you can get rain at planting if you time it right. You can also plant a couple weeks before or after if you have a good rain chance. If all goes well you will have an excellent spot to ambush Ol’ Freak Nasty or his girlfriend. If you have a high deer density your honey hole might not last but a few weeks. The turnips will survive and attract once everything freezes a couple times though. Stay tuned to find out other late summer chores we all have waiting for us.
Til’ next time- Scott