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A lot of this isn't new for most of us but I liked the idea of creating pinch points when laying out the new food plots.

In this episode: managing native grasslands, TSI, prescribed fire, selecting new food plot locations, selecting strategic hunting stand locations, pinch points, mock scrapes, erosion control, conservation tillage, creating cover and more!

Click HERE to Watch Now - Episode #531 (21 minutes)
 

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I found it interesting that Dr. Woods said he doesn't like heavy brush-piles around the edges of food plots because they provide good ambush cover for predators. Do you guys think this has any merit? I don't, but what do I know? Maybe I misunderstood him. I thought deer liked edges with heavy cover. If they felt threatened near the edges they would avoid them, no?
 

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I found it interesting that Dr. Woods said he doesn't like heavy brush-piles around the edges of food plots because they provide good ambush cover for predators. Do you guys think this has any merit? I don't, but what do I know? Maybe I misunderstood him. I thought deer liked edges with heavy cover. If they felt threatened near the edges they would avoid them, no?
I think there's a difference between heavy cover and an impassable pile of stumps. Deer don't like to feel trapped and need escape routes that edge feathering allow.
 

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I think there's a difference between heavy cover and an impassable pile of stumps. Deer don't like to feel trapped and need escape routes that edge feathering allow.
I get that, but I still don't buy the predator angle. If predators ambushed from the impassable pile of stumps, deer would run away from the stumps, not be trapped by them. Couldn't coyotes and bobcats also hide in edge-feathered cover?
 
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I found it interesting that Dr. Woods said he doesn't like heavy brush-piles around the edges of food plots because they provide good ambush cover for predators. Do you guys think this has any merit? I don't, but what do I know? Maybe I misunderstood him. I thought deer liked edges with heavy cover. If they felt threatened near the edges they would avoid them, no?
I'm debating about what to do with root raking debris.
Having short piles a bedded deer could see over has been the predominant thought.

A shorter specie of growth as a transition between timber(or taller cover) on edges has some merit. More solid barriers though favor predators. Fence running effect...

Then too, a friend left standing/growing brush along hay fields.
Coyotes ambushed fawns following doe... from the brush.
Friend got mad and waged war on the brush.

One coyote left the heavy cover/sanctuary on my site ,entered the field and went to a small pine to bed.
Raising it's head would allow seeing any deer in the open.
Shouldn't credit it with tactics , but there were fallow areas it could get into for cover while working most of the field.
Multiple coyotes would pose a bigger threat if they knew the cover escape routes.
Thick enough that a panicked deer would struggle if off a run.
I spooked one in summer that hit the swamp (vs dense cover) and it really had to struggle through the muck. It almost got stuck , and paused in it's struggles repeatedly....A coyote would have had that one...

Following coyote tracks , they seem to know the vantage routes well enough.
Adding brush piles would harbor rabbits. (I'm surprised to see them hang in there on my site ,but they do.)
Rabbit concentrations would draw steady checks by predators. Right along the edges if placed there.
Placing brush structure(s) in the open would increase (in theory) hawk and owl success.

Alder roots and muck won't burn well.
Some might go around trees I try to save from rubbing. Limbs placed around one a couple feet deep have helped. Rough footing I guess.
 
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Personally I don't prefer hunting food plots... I think it's a bad idea to make a food plot pinch point. I think you're setting yourself up for disaster... You would scare the deer off going in, in the morning and you would scare the deer off at night probably getting out of your stand. I say hunt Trails between bedding and food And make pinch points there.
 

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Personally I don't prefer hunting food plots... I think it's a bad idea to make a food plot pinch point. I think you're setting yourself up for disaster... You would scare the deer off going in, in the morning and you would scare the deer off at night probably getting out of your stand. I say hunt Trails between bedding and food And make pinch points there.
My plot is a pinch point.
Deer choose open areas ,or cover. Or cover edges.
If they choose cover to avoid plot , they pass through a window. Or follow mowed trail on another edge. Or are in fallow field. All visible from my vantage.
Most bed near enough ,any trail to plot would be a short one ,and violate sanctuary to go sit out of sight of the plot.
There are longer passing through trails. They involve security cover too.

From Disabled hunt through end of regular firearm I sat the same 48" square within range of the plot.
(Well , the planted plot , areas connected by mowing and future potential plot area oblong that is more distant but watchable could be considered plots for feeding/browsing purposes).

I was skunked twice last season watching the plot and site area.
Wouldn't call that disaster.
Everywhere I would have to go over to get to trails out of sight of plot would mean scent ,sound , or visual sighting of me, or all three by deer.
Guess you'd need to see it. And how deer use it.
I did run deer off one night. Didn't want to wait and tried coyote howling them off.
But I'd had them in my sights so....Isn't that the goal?

Leaving a run out of sight of the plot (hunting a stand there rather than near plot) would not ensure deer did not note my being or having been there. I'm not that sneaky good.
 

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I'm working with brush piles along a 1/4 acre "plot" aka apples n crabs. It has one easy in and out on either end. Deer jump it without trouble, which surprised me, but generally cruise right through as hoped. It's a small acreage backyard planning ahead. The brush piles started out at roughly 4-6 feet high by 3-5 feet wide. Deer were already moving through this area but now utalize the pinch points.

Disclaimer. I figured after this winter the brush piles would be broken down and done, but they aren't looking that bad. I'm trying to establish plum, serviceberry, nannyberry, nine ninebark and a few others to replace it.
 
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