Monday, September 13, 2010

Losing Their Spots

The twins are becoming "Spotless"

We have been blessed by another visit , it is fun to see  what has been lurking just off the beaten path. There have been brief moments of exposure when the  babies became anxious due to thunderstorms or home invasion by the humankind. They would come sprinting pell-mell out from cover only to dart back to hide again. So, when the twins came meandering out in front of their mother it was time to take notice and digitally record the event for future reference.

The far fawn appears to have some antler buds and his color brings back memories of previous generations. Forefront fawn was on the move having a nibble of grass-the camera caught a candid moment with it's tongue sticking out.
Mom is getting her Fall color

Little fawn went to nudge his mother; mom moved so what appeared to be an attempt to nurse didn't happen.

I am truly impressed at the physical rebound the deer have made with the plentiful Summer grazing. Our winters have been brutal and nutritionally challenging the last couple of years. I will have to keep my eyes open for  smaller fawns too.  In the last couple years that there has been at least one extremely little fawn seen going into Fall and Winter. Certainly a wonder that it would be able to survive ,but I have watched them toddle along with the group, and found their hoof prints while out prowling around myself.

Sadie Sioux wasn't being hospitable, not wanting to share her space so she put that deer family on alert from her window post inside the house. It didn't take long for them to get the hint even though they weren't threatened directly.

In the evening I took my faithful shotgun rider to do some scouting and found a mature doe enjoying the bean field smorgasbord along a fence/treeline. You might be able to vaguely see the whitetail on alert headed in the opposite direction. ;)
My four pawed friend gets really excited when she sees Mom grabbing the camera - heading out the door in a hurry.She charges out in front alerting everything in our path.I can see right now that I will need to sneak off on my own to get any discreet deer sleuthing accomplished and teach Sadie to lower her voice in the presence of wildlife.

Good luck to all on your pre-season deer scouting...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Deer Food Plots

Last Summer I planted some sample Deer Plot seeds from the Whitetail Institute of North America.

I prepared my little 10'x10' plots by tilling, adding fertilizer and some quick acting lime since I had already waited one season to get the work done. Talk about anxious to see what they would bring...

The rain had been sparse so the weed populations I wanted to eliminate didn't sprout before planting.They waited until this year 2010, after all the snow and almost non-stop rain to make their appearance. I will have some work to do getting things back in shape, but even with everything not being pristine I have seen the aftermath of grazing. Daytime activity has been limited to mature Does and their fawns; the cover of nighttime allows for a buck or two to visit. The only evidence I've seen of the buck activity is the hoof /dew claw imprints left in the mud.

The pictures posted here were taken September 24th,2009, unless otherwise noted - plants were two months old. A healthy growth after getting some moisture.

 Imperial"Double Cross"

Imperial"Chickory Plus"
Imperial"Clover"  August 31,2009 a month old
Imperial "Chic Magnet"
During the planting stage I placed a 5' tomato cage with 6" openings in the center of my plots monitoring growth compared to feeding activity. In the late Fall the cage in the Chic Magnet plot ended up pulled out and smashed. I can only imagine that it caught a buck's antlers who was after the tender growth in the middle. It didn't really dawn on me until I was taking a walk into the timber via the food plots last winter and saw it laying on the ground covered by snow.
Imperial "Extreme"
Imperial"Alpha Rack Plus"
Imperial "Winter Greens"
Imperial"No Plow"

The No Plow wasn't planted until September 24th, 2009, it didn't have a chance to sprout. I didn't pursue another planting, instead I am grooming the space for a mineral lick using The Original Deer Cane Liquid Ready-To-Use. It has been down for at least a month and no evidence of use has been seen. It has received a lot of rain. Timing may certainly be a consideration in the need for supplementation according to information I located at the Quality Deer Management Association. I am going to wait until next Spring to add anymore supplements, but with the traffic patterns changing due to the  the seasons, they might find it and come back in the future.

I must apologize to Ben G., one year since his comment postings. I was having some pretty long days at the time , my cognitive reasoning was impaired and I removed them from my post. In an attempt to make things right I have kept his second comment to re-post with my update.

Ben G. has left a new comment on your post "My Deer Food Plots are Growing":

This sounds like quite the experiment. I would be curious to see how a plain old alfalfa plot would compare to one of your packets. Any way I look forward to the results.
I'm trying to convince a buddy of mine to do a food plot on his land.
Maybe your results will sway him to plant a plot or two.

So, Ben, were you able to get your buddy to put a food plot on his land?

In summary I would like to increase the areas for food plots. At this point I can see the advantages of having all these that I have planted. However, when I groom my first larger area I believe I will be going with Alpha Rack Plus not far from the mineral lick location...

This is a consumer review of the Whitetail Institute and Deer Cane Products. I will not be receiving any monetary reward for expressing my opinions.