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Author Topic: Blacktail food plot  (Read 2056 times)

Offline lokidog

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2018, 10:12:29 PM »
If I was planting plums specifically for deer attractant, I would plant the small cherry plum type as they produce more of them and it takes the deer longer to eat all of them. 

I've thought about trying to get some native oaks going as well for after the apples are eaten up.  We save a lot of the apples in a second fridge so we can toss them out under the trees to keep them coming and looking regularly.
The cherry plums drop fruit so early, though.  I guess some of them can hold off through part of early archery, but seems like they are pretty much done by September.  But the deer do love them.

This is my idea for using these plums, it gets the deer coming in earlier in their more reliable summer cycle, then the apples take over.  The Italian Plums will just be ripe the same time as many apples.

Offline Mallardmasher

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2018, 06:31:59 AM »
Like candy for kids, very little positive value, but effective
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2018, 11:19:12 AM »
Apples seem to be king in the NW.  Persimmons and chestnuts have been big on the lists of Mid-west and Eastern WT managers in the last few years.  Big time deer candy.  Persimmons seem to be an excellent choice for Western WA.  They grow fast, start producing fruit at an early age. The late drop variety should bring in deer during the general/MF season.

http://www.chestnuthilloutdoors.com/store/c/19-Deer-Candy-Persimmon-Tree-Collection.aspx

Oak trees generally take 20 plus years to produce mast, and 50 years till they reach peak production.  They may go several years between major crops, so a large plantation is required to keep deer coming in year after year.   Not a great choice in my mind.
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline lokidog

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2018, 05:44:46 PM »
Apples seem to be king in the NW.  Persimmons and chestnuts have been big on the lists of Mid-west and Eastern WT managers in the last few years.  Big time deer candy.  Persimmons seem to be an excellent choice for Western WA.  They grow fast, start producing fruit at an early age. The late drop variety should bring in deer during the general/MF season.

http://www.chestnuthilloutdoors.com/store/c/19-Deer-Candy-Persimmon-Tree-Collection.aspx

Oak trees generally take 20 plus years to produce mast, and 50 years till they reach peak production.  They may go several years between major crops, so a large plantation is required to keep deer coming in year after year.   Not a great choice in my mind.

Interesting, anyone here ever tried them?

Offline Seahawk12

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2018, 06:33:18 PM »
From what I've read the persimmon take years to become fruit bearing.
7-10 years. And it alternately produces fruit and blooms every other year.
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Offline lokidog

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2018, 08:15:22 PM »
From what I've read the persimmon take years to become fruit bearing.
7-10 years. And it alternately produces fruit and blooms every other year.

Hmmm, they have to bloom to produce fruit....

Apples are not a get deer rich quick scheme either.

Offline Mallardmasher

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2018, 08:53:59 PM »
When you can not control the menu, you create nocturnal deer. Now if your food source coincides with the rut, and you can draw in the ladies, the Bucks will follow, Problem is you need more then a few trees, or they will eat you out fast.
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2018, 12:26:33 AM »
When you can not control the menu, you create nocturnal deer. Now if your food source coincides with the rut, and you can draw in the ladies, the Bucks will follow, Problem is you need more then a few trees, or they will eat you out fast.

I tend to think the reverse is true.  When you control the timing of the (daily) feeding, you can train them to come out in daylight, otherwise they stick to their natural diurnal patterns or worse, nocturnal.  Whatever you're doing though Mallardmasher seems to work awfully well.

Apple trees have to rank up near blackberries as a BT's favorite food.  They're on mine from bud break until late in the season when the last leaves fall.  Browse lines are evident at the beginning of June.  Only does and young bucks seem to partake up until the rut.  Once fruit starts falling, the action increases but the big bucks don't come in till the does get hot, and stop coming at all around the 12th of November. (suburban setting)

Last note on Persimmons:  found this article on the QDMA website, which is only mildly interesting.  There are some links at the bottom of the article regarding other plantings for attracting deer, which may be worth a read.  https://www.qdma.com/sex-among-persimmons/
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline Mallardmasher

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2018, 08:01:42 AM »
Fishnfur, I think I did not state my position very well, it is same as yours basically. Any planted source, they eat when they choose, does frequent it more then big bucks, as rut approaches, big bucks show more during daylight hours. Looking for the concentrated ladies. When supplementing, I can get them to come in first hour of morning light and last hour of light pretty easy. Only natural planting I partake of is fertilizing the natural browse. To increase it’s value.

All stands we have been supplementing since Oct, the bucks have dropped their horns and started new growth, the two new properties we just started at Christmas, all bucks still have their horns, but body weight is increasing. Every day/year is a learning process. To much fun. 
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Offline lokidog

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2018, 08:37:08 AM »
Fishnfur, I think I did not state my position very well, it is same as yours basically. Any planted source, they eat when they choose, does frequent it more then big bucks, as rut approaches, big bucks show more during daylight hours. Looking for the concentrated ladies. When supplementing, I can get them to come in first hour of morning light and last hour of light pretty easy. Only natural planting I partake of is fertilizing the natural browse. To increase it’s value.

All stands we have been supplementing since Oct, the bucks have dropped their horns and started new growth, the two new properties we just started at Christmas, all bucks still have their horns, but body weight is increasing. Every day/year is a learning process. To much fun.

What do you use for fertilizing and how?

When I am putting apples out, I try to only put them out in the morning and afternoon to try to get them looking in daylight.  I've started hanging a few apples up out of reach so there is a scent attractant there all the time.

Offline Mallardmasher

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2018, 08:56:35 AM »
We do a soil PH test, and 90% of time we use a mixture that roses and rhodendruns like, walk with broadcast spreaders. But we also use Apples, only in morning, and a mixture of supp, season specific, but starting in Oct timer deserved 11/2 bucket in morning at first light and 1/2 bucket 1hr before dark, broadcast spinner, with a shroud and drop tube. Like a dinner bell.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 11:25:10 AM by Mallardmasher »
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Offline lokidog

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2018, 09:01:01 AM »
 :tup:  I'm not buying any feeders though.   ;) 

I definitely prefer archery season when they are still green and more predictable.

Offline Thehowler

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2018, 09:04:15 AM »
Great thread, given me some ideas for this year!

Offline The scout

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2018, 09:37:06 AM »
There was a company called blacktail specialties here in Washington. They made bags of seeds that grew here and attracted blacktail, I think he moved to Montana. There stuff worked well might be worth trying to track them down. The only company that made that sort of thing for blacktail that I know of

Offline lokidog

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2018, 10:20:06 AM »
http://diybowhunter.com/users/blacktail-specialties

But nothing very recent pops up, unfortunately.

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2018, 10:42:57 AM »
I think hazelnuts are good for food plots and the herd.  I think they drop around the right part of the season too.  The big pluses to hazels are they can be somewhat fast growing and produce nuts in maybe five years (apples and pears are around five years, walnuts can be 7-10, black walnuts maybe 25, red oaks 15 and white oaks can be 25-30).  They usually have a consistent annual crop.  They are more protein than apples or pears.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2018, 07:03:44 PM »
Good thought on the Hazelnuts.  The leaves are heavily browsed as well.  Deer love 'em.  Round here, the squirrels seem to pick them all up every year and plant two or three in every flower bed around my house.  I've never seen deer feeding around them, but I'd bet they love 'em. 

Mallardmasher - sounds like a good setup you've got going.  Perhaps I should stop by and inspect it more closely!  :chuckle:
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline Mallardmasher

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2018, 07:49:34 PM »
FishnFur.... Not to far from the cabin, actually
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2018, 11:43:55 PM »
Whaaaat??  I thought you had something going up near McCormic Woods.  I've heard some rumors...     So, which cabin are we talking about.  Yours, or mine farther south?

I was just thinking some more about fertilization of woodlands.  It makes good sense on the Peninsula, where the soils are composed primarily of glacial tills (gravel) and have a relatively small organic component to them.  Down here on the Columbia, the deep soils have so much nitrogen in them, adding fertilizer would certainly have a less obvious effect.  The amount of sunlight reaching the forest floor is the limiting factor in what can grow.   

Interesting ideas for sure though.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and practices.
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline Mallardmasher

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2018, 01:22:25 AM »
Rumors are correct, but the pics are closer to HC cabin



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Offline jamesfromseattle

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2018, 08:38:38 AM »
I’m a little late to the conversation here, but am glad I found this thread—lots of good info.

I’m up near Marblemount in a relatively dark river bottom. Found some critters up in the hills above us, but haven’t seen a single deer on the property yet. Dumped some apples, various commercial deer supplements, and mineral blocks in a few spots just to see what’s out there. So far, nothing but a coyotes on the apples.

I’m thinking that I’ll need a pretty radical change to make a difference because there is just not much naturally on my property that deer seem to like. Thinking about doing a couple cherry trees, a couple plum trees. and then a couple each of two types of apple trees (an early and late fruiting variety). The theory is that if one of these things are fruiting at all times between late June and October, they will have something to munch on the whole time and stick around.

Major problem with this plan is that my place is pretty dark. Pretty certain it doesn’t get enough sun for the fruit to taste good to humans. Any insight on whether deer will still be interested in fruit that never really gets ripe?

Offline lokidog

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2018, 11:08:10 AM »
Cherries are pointless unless you want to feed birds.

If there are no natural travel routes through your property, especially with little natural feed, it will be take longer to get anything coming in even after your food sources are established.   :twocents:

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2018, 02:01:07 PM »
JamesfromSeattle - Loki is right on the mark with his comments.  You'll need cover to hide deer movement and provide escape routes back to safety if you want them to linger in there during dawn and dusk hours.  Close conifer plantings provide thermal cover once they get some size to them, but you can never bet that they will hold deer with any regularity.  Western Hemlock or possibly Pacific Silver Fir are the best bets in very low light areas

Dark river/creek bottoms are perfect for growing shade tolerant species that deer love, such as Salmonberry and Elderberry.  Those plants need at least medium amounts of light.  Alder bottoms areas like this allow enough light to the forest floor to keep those edibles growing, and deer will hit them hard in the fall after many other plants have flowered and withered.   If it is really dark, you're probably stuck making a clearing first and then replanting, or just finding a better spot that gets more light.  If it is a noisy watercourse, then the deer may avoid it because they'll have problems hearing potential predators. 

My guess on fruit trees in a shaded site is that you'd be lucky to get much if any fruit production at all.  Most (possibly all) require full sun.  Probably something like six hours of full sun per day is minimum.  Mr. Google probably knows for sure.

In my experience, winter is a tough time to attract animals with salt and bait.  They are in energy conservation mode and feeding close to home.  They're not travelling to find food.  Once the buds start breaking in March/April, the deer will be out looking for higher quality forage and will find your apples and salt.  Down here, salt licks are not very effective past mid-spring.  The deer stop hitting it and let the other critters go at it. 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 02:29:10 PM by fishnfur »
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Offline jamesfromseattle

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2018, 02:27:32 PM »
Thanks for the info, guys.  That all makes a ton of sense and fishnfur, you correctly identified a number of issues we have.  The river is probably a Class III rapid around our property and is quite loud, so that makes a ton of sense as to why a deer wouldn't be comfortable there.  All the deer I've seen in the general area have been a ways away from the river.  We also lack any close conifer cover on our property or anywhere near it.  For about half a mile around our place the forest is very old second growth, so the trees are very large with a low bushy understory (lots of huckleberries and some devils club).  The back side of our property, though, is all Alders.  I cleared some big dead trees out of there this fall, so it gets some sun and sounds like a good place to give some salmon berries a shot.

When I bought the place I fully understood that we may not have many deer right on it (fortunately we have Sierra Pacific land nearby), but once we had it I couldn't resist the urge to try to attract some deer.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail food plot
« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2018, 02:34:18 PM »
That second growth is probably where the deer are wintering.  Often, Huckleberry and Vine Maple twigs are prime winter forage for BT.  Any efforts to attract deer might best be near that area in the winter, and perhaps the Alder later on - depending on the amount of sign your finding.
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

 

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