What is the "draw" factor of corn over planted food plots?
In the upstate and Western Piedmont of South Carolina there has been a change in law to allow the use of corn as bait for deer. Over the three season of the lawful use of corn in the upstate, I have noticed a marked DECREASE in the incidence of deer on the 318-acres of land I have hunted for 28-consecutive seasons that DOES NOT USE corn as bait. I question the Forum if there are any other similar occurrences or observations? I am a population of one in this non-scientific "statistical analysis". I am seeking other observations.
I use corn in feeders and I was going to plant a food crop but time weather and such it did not work out The thing about feeders in my area they do work however the deer seem to know when shooting time starts and ends as they always come 30 minutes after and leave 30 minutes before shooting time I don't think they would come on my place if it was not for the feeders and I can only hope that one comes by that cant tell time as I have killed about 8 on my place in the last few years I may leave the camera out after season closes to see if they still show up
If there is a large crop of mast in the woods (acorns), then you will find that the deer stay in the woods. Acorns are much preferred by deer over corn.
When this happens, you need tender young greens in the field to draw them out. Imperial White Clover is the best of all. But, if you don't have a crop of that, then even hand spreading annual rye in a wet field will do wonders. An eight of an acre near your stand will do. It will sprout in 5 to 10 days, even in early winter, and the deer will come out to eat it. (Three weeks ago, you could have lightly spread and tilled soybeans, and they would have sprouted to 3 inches by now, and the deer would have been out there eating them.)
Just my experience.
If I used corn, I would plant it rather than using feeders. Deer love standing corn for bedding in, and with mannyrocks white clover you would have a winning combo.
Then after deer season, bush hog the corn, and it'll feed deer and turkeys. and hogs.
I went up to my own 20-acres Saturday and Sunday, not only to hunt, but to work too. Sunday I wanted to bush hog before next Friday, which begins four days of antlerless season, one per day if so lucky. The splined universal link between the tractor power takeoff and the implement was missing its keeper pin and the implement won't stay attached to the power takeoff for long in that condition. I tried a threaded bolt, but it was too small. So I scraped the ground bare dragging the bush hog! at least and until I noticed the tractor's oil/water separator leaking diesel onto the hot exhaust pipe below and then I secured totally.
No corn, no wheat, no rye. Just the natural and random movement of the deer in my local Florida neighborhood, should they care to participate in daylight. It has gotten increasingly difficult for me to get on and off the tractor. Bad knees and no young strong legs to help. I hope this does not signal the sunset of a remarkable and near 30-year period of wildlife food plotting in a target rich environment.
Deer hunting is not an obsession with me...it is much more important than that. The 55-gallon drum and battery powered slinger corn feeder that used to grace my interior Florida property was taken out of service - permanently - when the majestic oak tree in which it was hung was toppled by hurricane Irma in 2017. There are at least 6 two-century oak trees that were felled by that storm and it is too much for me alone at present to dispose of their remnants. Tons of firewood lay ready for the harvest. Clearing the mess is going to take some time. All in good time though. Every day is a Holiday starts on January 17, 2019.
I have used corn as bait in Florida for nearly 25 years with tremendous success - on hogs. Once in a while the deer come out in daylight, but are mostly nocturnal. Perhaps it is the corn...I know they love iron and clay peas and soybean sprouts. They eat those to the dirt line before they reach 6 inches in height and the weekend before the start of hunting season. Timing is everything with those.
last year, we had plenty of rain and a bumper crop of acorns.
nobody saw any deer during legal hours during any of the legal
seasons. (in the region where i hunt)
if the deer don't have to walk long distances for food and water,
they don't. the neighbors here mostly fed the crows with their corn.
as far as the legality of feeding, i feel that if you want to, you should
be able to feed as much as you want to and can afford to. it's pretty
controversial here because of the "it's-my-deer-because-i-got-it-on-
my-game-camera-and-it-was-coming-to-my-feeder" mentality that
has become so prevalent in this region. just one of the many things
that i believe will eventually lead to the elimination of free hunting
on private land of small land owners in this area.
I have noted that seeing nocturnal deer on camera does not a favorable hunt make. They tend to stay nocturnal or move somewhere else in the daylight. You stick it or shoot it and anchor it on your property and it is certainly YOUR deer. They merely see its digital likeness on a game camera they put in the woods and they can forget "ownership" of that resource. Step up to the back of my truck and claim the deer lying therein is THEIRS? Let's see how that works out for them.
Deer crave fresh greens in late November, especially during the rut. Thus, their attraction to a food plot with new rye grass. I have seen 4 or 5 deer at a time standing in 8 inch high rye grass in mid-morning, feeding like cattle, just after Thanksgiving. It has to be fresh though, planted just two weeks or so before.
i'll second on the rye grass. most any fresh edible green something that
they don't/can't get anywhere else close by will draw the deer.
around here, any kind of peas/beans will draw (iron and clay peas here)
as will clovers (red clover here)
i used the "deer cocaine" here a couple of years, and it worked really well,
but i didn't like the deep holes they dug in the sand to get at it.
(note to self- well, of course they dig deep holes dummy! that's how it works!)
At first, I tried salt blocks. Three years and they didn't touch it. Then it dawned on me, the nearby body of water is called SALT LAKE and SALT CREEK for a reason! They didn't need any salt from me. They had their own lake full of it.
The wildlife do like molasses blocks and probably mineral blocks, but I have not tried those. Sweet horse feed might be OK in a controlled and weather resistant trough.
Iron and clay peas and soy beans get eaten to the dirt line as soon as they germinate. Rye GRAIN is welcomed. Rye GRASS is not touched, but makes the shooting lanes so inviting to hunt with their lush green and manicured look.
Grain Sorghum was once used. It grew to over 9-feet tall and was as thick as a blackberry tangle. We thought we might have to drive the truck through to make a few shooting lanes. Hogs helped us naturally though by sleeping in it the week before hunting season opened. Now Wildlife Game Food Sorghum is planted, which rarely exceeds 3-feet in height, and the turkeys jump up to kick the seed pods. Fun to watch them do that.
Winter peas don't germinate. Kale, beets, and brassicas don't germinate and if they did, there is no frost to stimulate sugar production in the plant, so it remains sour.
White ladino clover did OK, but was EXPENSIVE and not prevalent in the first year. It took a 2nd season to grow "thicker" then died in the heat of summer.
We've tried a lot of seeds. Throw and grow works to a degree. Well prepared food plots are consumed and the hogs have historically appreciated the soft earth to root through for earthworms and grubs, leaving anti-personnel and equipment crippling holes of destruction in their wake. When the incidence of hogs is high the deer are scarce.
Hogs have been our bane, which has softened a bit due to hunting pressure from the State on the hogs in the 4k-acres immediately adjacent to me. Trouble is, who watches those hunters? They have driven off the deer, the turkeys, the fur bearers, and killed the hogs by the hundreds. They have, imo, turned the State land into their own hunting lease. Hard to compete on a 20-acre parcel with 3-acres of food plots against 4k-acres and its hoard of hunters - if not killing, then scaring everything away.
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