Rye Variety Makes a Difference

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Habitat' started by Luv2hunteup, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    I’ve never been a huge fan of cereal rye, deer browse it but sparingly. Typically speaking our feed mill stocks Canadian rye or no variety stated. A year ago I tried a bag of Aroostook rye. It showed promise but winter came early and so did the migration. I have lots of plot location options so I really could not say it was a game changer since I did not hunt that plot often.

    This year I purchased 400# and broadcast it in 3 different plots during mid August on my interior soybean plots. The beans were decimated by the deer long before the beginning of the season so I had nothing to lose plus knew that it would give me a good feel of browse preference.

    It took awhile to get growing and established since it was just surface broadcast. It got thick and about 6-8” high. So far this season it’s hard for me to get into my blinds midday day without bumping deer.

    Do yourself a favor a pick some up during your late summer travels. It’s worth an experiment. Soybeans in my interior 1+ acre plots are a waste of time now that deer have learned to key in on them. It took a few seasons for deer to figure out that the like them. I will still plant them in a big plot situation. In 2021 I will work they soil to keep the weeds and grasses in check and properly plant Aroostook in some of my plots and broadcast them into my standing brassica plots.

    Next years observation will be the true confirmation year for me. The average visit this firearms season is about 45 minutes of browsing but some deer spend a couple of hours feeding in 1 acre plots.

    Seed price per acre is inline with a brassica blend. Fertilizer savings will be huge over time if this years observation were a true test of this seeds attractiveness.
     
  2. tony_1

    tony_1

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    I’ve been following your praise of this seed. I am very interested. Where did you get from? Locally I don’t have source of seed variety but willing to make a drive for something that is a difference maker. Like you, for me Regular Winter Rye doesn’t keep them in the field to long.
     

  3. jfishbones

    jfishbones

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    Not sure what rye the local mil sold me but it was a savior for my brassica plots that sat in the sun for 30 days with no rain in august. I have sat in my stands all day and deer come and go all day. It was a savior overseeding the brassicas.
     
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  4. JPWARD

    JPWARD

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    I would agree that around me regular cereal rye has been a flop other than it is easy to grow and a good soil builder but they generally could care less about eating it. Will try some Aroostook rye next year if I can get my hands on it and see if they will take to it.
     
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  5. bigbucks160

    bigbucks160

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    I too will also look into this variety next year because of what you have observed. Like fish ones said my brassicas were horrible this year and I over seeded several times with rye and deer have been all over it the last couple weeks.
     
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  6. Dish7

    Dish7

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    So what in your opinion do you think is the difference of this variety? Is it awnless like some types of winter wheat?
     
  7. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    I have no idea on why the attractiveness is much greater over Canadian or no variety stated. It could simply be a result of this years environmental conditions. I feel this was the experimental year. Next year will either confirm what I’m observing or not. Food plotting is always an experiment for me. I try something different to some extent every year. Where the fun in assuming you have a hobby figured out completely?
     
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  8. Liver and Onions

    Liver and Onions

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    I did a Google search to see if I could locate an article where a hunter had done a side by side comparison of rye varieties in their foodplots. Did not come up with anything. Would be interested in such an article if any can be located.
    What I have done and no doubt many others have done ever since Ed Spin's recomendation many years ago is to broadcast extra nitrogen onto your rye plot during the bow season to make the plot a better draw for deer. I have noticed some extra traffic and holding power in the part of the rye plots that I broadcast the nitrogen. I do not hit the whole rye plot with nitrogen.
    Also for a few years now all of my rye plots are in combination with a couple of clover varieties. Having both rye and mature clover in a plot has made a difference. I broadcast triple 19 when introducing rye in the late summer. The clover likes the P & the K.

    L & O
     
  9. jacksonmideerhunter

    jacksonmideerhunter

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    Do you plan to plant some plain rye grain side by side with this variety next year, or have you already, as a test of which one gets hit more? I might do that myself next season actually. Cant remember ever planting a plot of bin run rye that did not get hit hard, but if this ones potentially more attractive then its definitely worth a try.
    I think you said in the past that you get it somewhere in Cheboygan??? If so thats not too far north of where Im at.
     
  10. smith34

    smith34

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    your process is similar to mine. I’ll play with the varieties of clovers trying to maximize the growth I can get for organic material for the soil. Jake Ehilinger loves the aoorstok rye also, which is where I assume LUV picked up the tip, I’ll have to talk to Jake to pick his brain and do some testing next year also.
     
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  11. brewster

    brewster Premium Member

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  12. Chessieman

    Chessieman

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    There is a Iowa (?) compony that specializes in Rye favored by deer. I have always in the past put in Rye fields for a cover crop for the PF clover mix in the spring. The Rye would come from local farms that probably use generational Rye. I bought seed this fall from the same commercial source at different times and do not know but assume they are the same seed run. I spread Rye early in the fall in bare ground that was weed free behind two dikes just to have something there. I spread another bag on bare worked ground for next year mid October since it was in range of my blind, for $15 what the hell! I have been watching the deer flock to the Rye in the dike areas and not so much the most resent Rye planting. The only thing I cane reason for the abrupt use is the height. I have two one acre plots of clover next to each other. One is Imperial Big Buck Clover the other sweet yellow Clover. I have seen one deer eat a small amount of the IBBC while they stay right in the sweet Clover. Always had excellent results with feeding on the IBBC but man, I could have saved a lot of money not planting it.
     
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  13. Scout 2

    Scout 2 Premium Member

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    Something about nitrogen and rye that they like. Make a strip thru the center of your rye and spread nitrogen and see what happens. Here they will eat the rye down to the ground in that strip
     
  14. smith34

    smith34

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    it’s not ALL about variety of the type of rye....maturity of the plant, healthiness of the plant, etc...there is no one plant that will be the best choice to a whitetail over the 3 months of season that we have...somehow, deer know when to eat what plant that will give them maximum nutritional value in their feeding. That is why one week they eat this, the next week they eat that. Fertilization or soil amendments can change that timeframe or length of attractiveness. I never thought deer hit my rye at first because I didn’t see them on it...until I walked across the field and saw that every blade had been nipped. Along with the above, it also varies with how much more desirable food is available. Deer will eat the best thing that is there for them at that time, if there isn’t much, they take the next best thing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  15. fairfax1

    fairfax1 Premium Member

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    First, ditto that.

    Second, I too have been watching Luv2's Aroostock posts.
    I do mostly wheat --cause I can get it really cheap, but too, on my ground deer seem to prefer wheat over rye. But not by much. If they graze down the wheat first....they quite happily switch to any rye I have planted.

    But, as Luv2 states.....we experiment. We do different stuff with different things at different times to see if there are different preferences.

    That's cool enough for me.

    I will next August ask around for local vendors who may have some Aroostock.

    Thanks for the postings, L2.
     
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