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Thanks for posting, ive read that in his books and watched the video.. I still dont know my answer
I can see that this is exactly what is happening here. We have 16 acres (10% of the property) in high quality summer forage and more and more deer (esp does & fawns) keep moving in. It seems like when we take one out, 2 more move in. The more acreage of food plots I plant, the more deer seem to want to take advantage of it.

Two things really hit home with me from Jeff's comments:

1. In our northern range, deer already have 5 times more summer food than they need - before we ever plant a food plot.

2. The more does and fawns you have, the less room you have for bucks.

This will change up what I will be planting here this year to move towards more fall and winter - late season forage. I think I will even E-Fence more of that to discourage its use in summer. I am also converting some of my food plot acreage to more cover with switchgrass and conifer/shrub plantings.
 

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What looks different?
Him. As in normal aging. He posted here a lot in the early 2000's. This was before he got into his current business. He would share hunting success, ideas, suggestions and would also be asking questions as he was putting all the pieces together.

L & O
 
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When ag fields are over 3/4 mile away.
L.o.l....
Your post jarred a lite on. Not sure how ,but the 3/ 4 figure triggered it.
Looking at a run crossing my site the other day.....It has ag. about 3/ 4 one way. I recall dwelling on that as being the only reason it went the one direction , and about a half to 3/ 4 the other way to another ag. field.
When all expressway type runs and rubs are combined they have the same orientation. Suggesting bucks are checking both areas when prowling.
And.....now I get why they end up loitering where they do. During the pre rut and rut anyways.
 

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My intentions were on making a general buck/doe deer oasis, but I did not plant any bait plots other than some apple/crab apple trees in a few clumps. I concentrated on cover cover cover in an area of huge monolithic ag fields. I see more bucks than does pretty much every year, even in the surrounding fields that I can see from my high rises/house.(I can see a very long way in three of the four directions) I simply have zero control over what the farmers with rifles do almost all year long. Them farmers with rifles concentrate on taking out the uterus bearing animals pretty much exclusively, so much so that I do not even have to think about "need" when it comes to shooting a doe. About the only time a farmer around here kills a buck is when a big prime specimen is available to shoot from the combine, they pretty ignore the rest of the bucks. They know where more deer come from and genocide them does hard core, they would make deer extinct if they could I think. They do all that for me without a simple consult or asking my opinion on the matter unfortunately. Isn't that nice of them. ;)

I shoot an occasional doe, but it is normally when I have handcrafted a new archaic/primitive toy and it is always a very special event/hunt for me. Taking a doe is just not something I have to do, or should do much of as it is done for me to the point I feel a bit guilty about shooting a doe unless it is a special occasion or a young/inexperienced guest is doing the shooting. That's why I giggle as well as cry a little bit at the whole we need to kill more does chorus when it is in full volume mode........in some areas that is pure bull excrement. Just because you are flush with does, that does not mean everyone else is. I could kill a dozen bucks a year and not begin to equal/balance the herd. I am but one with a little bit of help, them doe slayers simply waaaay outnumber my available buck tags/toolset/guests to even begin to equal things out.

I hunt the herd a lot of glossy magazine reading folks dream about, if they saw the reality of that herd they might not want it so much. By the middle of November it gets hard to find a buck that still has all it's all it's headgear attached. The bucks simply tear themselves up and break each other apart fighting for the available does. It is the likely reason I find an occasional dead buck with no visible wounds or just neck wounds on it on and around my place, many will call me a fool for saying this, but they can indeed run/fight themselves to death. Good thing MaNature wastes nothing, and good thing our winters are not too bad here........at least the bugs get to eat very well. :sad:
 

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ok.. Potentially dumb question coming from a guy trying to develop his property that probably already has a "Doe Factory". I watched the video..... Is Jeff making the connection that food plots = summer food and should be avoided? My goal is to not make my property worse than it is when speaking of doe/fawn numbers. I already have enough doe and fawn that spend the entire summer/fall on my property.

So... as for the dumb question...what is considered a winter food source and what is considered a summer food source? He doesn't mention it in the video. I have hunted for most of my adult life but just now have started playing the habitat game.

Edit: I have no AG fields within one mile in any direction.
 
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Him. As in normal aging. He posted here a lot in the early 2000's. This was before he got into his current business. He would share hunting success, ideas, suggestions and would also be asking questions as he was putting all the pieces together.

L & O
Hell, we all look different 20 years later haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I guess I see summer foods as things like soybeans, clovers, alfalfa, (I guess almost any of the legumes) and buckwheat. Fall/winter forage typically planted for food plots would include corn, brassicas, sugar beets and cereal grains - assuming you can keep the deer from hammering them before they mature (except the grains).

I have had success getting soybeans, corn and even sugar beets to maturity here when the deer numbers were down but now that they have rebounded, I almost need to E-Fence these to get them past the deer.

I know the reality of it is either plant more food, eliminate more of the mouths that eat it or a combination of the two. As Jeff Sturgis says, you can either increase or decrease your deer numbers by either planting or not planting summer foods. When antlerless permits are limited as they have been in recent years, my options are more favorable if I reduce summer food.

Oh how I wish we had the same problem as Maxi.
 

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I guess I see summer foods as things like soybeans, clovers, alfalfa, (I guess almost any of the legumes) and buckwheat. Fall/winter forage typically planted for food plots would include corn, brassicas, sugar beets and cereal grains - assuming you can keep the deer from hammering them before they mature (except the grains).

I have had success getting soybeans, corn and even sugar beets to maturity here when the deer numbers were down but now that they have rebounded, I almost need to E-Fence these to get them past the deer.

I know the reality of it is either plant more food, eliminate more of the mouths that eat it or a combination of the two. As Jeff Sturgis says, you can either increase or decrease your deer numbers by either planting or not planting summer foods. When antlerless permits are limited as they have been in recent years, my options are more favorable if I reduce summer food.

Oh how I wish we had the same problem as Maxi.


Careful what you wish for, you just might get it, and then find it ain't all it is made out to be. I get the shakes when I see more than two adult does at the same time now. :sad:
 
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