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April 2, 2008 Issue Number 030

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In this issue....

March 2008 Food Plot Update

Digital Trail Cameras - Picture Viewing

New Bucks

March Food Plot Journal

It is now spring but it has been hard to convince me that winter is over. Our temperatures have been below average and it has been very wet. I had hoped to get a lot done in March but the wet weather has limited my accomplishments. Getting to the oldhouse food plot with the John Deere hasn't been possible and the extension to the hayfield plot is like a quagmire.

The colder than normal temperatures have delayed the onset of spring green up but we did see some signs of spring on our last visit. The green briars are starting to get leaves and the ramps are up. I've also noticed that the grass is a little greener in my yard the last couple of days.

Oldhouse Food Plot

After the annuals I planted here died off this plot turned into a mud hole. This would have helped if I had been able to get the tractor to the plot. I would have been able to disk it up in no time, but it has been so wet that I've not been able to get to it.

On March 3rd I applied 200 pounds of lime, but I'm not sure exactly how much lime I was actually able to spread. I filled the spreader up at the house and towed it to the plot, but the spreader leaked on the trip so I arrived at the food plot with something less than the 200 pound that I put in it when I left. Since this occurred I applied an additional 80 pound on March 17th. Another lesson learned the hard way.

We also spent some time disking with the small disks but accomplished little so we decided it was wise to wait until it dries up enough to get the real disks out there.

Once it dries up the plot should disk up good and when this does happen I'll plant Durana clover here.

You can see in this picture that the plot is mostly mud. The deer in the foreground is visiting the mineral lick and those in the background are snacking on some young grass that is starting to pop up.

Corn Patch Plot

There isn't much going on in the cornpatch plot and we haven't touched this plot this spring.

I'm waiting to see if any clover pops back up here this spring but that may be a mistake. Since the wet weather has kept me out of a couple of our plots I may have missed my opportunity to disk and plant this plot. Its close proximity to the barn would have made it the easiest plot to disk.

There isn't much clover to be found in the plot but I did notice that there was a little starting to show up in the exclusion cage on the 29th so I'm still hopeful that the rest of the plot will come along when we get some warmer weather. If the clover doesn't come on stronger I'll go ahead and disk it up later in the spring. If I do this I'll likely plant an annual in it for the summer.

You can see from this picture that there isn't much going on in this food plot.

Old Garden Food Plot

We planted Provide Clover and Chicory mix in the old garden plot last fall. After planting we had very dry weather so the plot got off to a rough start.

On March 3rd I applied 40 pounds of lime to the small strip that I had planted in an annual last summer. On March 29th I disked, fertilized with 10-20-20 and planted more Provide Clover and Chicory mix in this strip. The ground was pretty wet so I just ran the ATV's over it both before and after sowing the seed.

On March 11th I over seeded the rest of the plot. After the rough start last fall there was a lot of bare ground.

Hopefully what survived last fall and the over seed will give us a nice plot of clover and chicory.

This plot is also very close to the house so it was easier to get our disks there to work the ground. Actually this plot is just on the other side of the outhouse, which gives us some interesting fertilization possibilities.....or maybe not.

The small strip we planted is on the left and there isn't much happening in the rest of the plot yet.

Middle Clearing Food Plot

The middle food plot doesn't look very good right now but there are some signs of life. On March 11th I over seeded with Monster Mix. I wasn't sure about over seeding this plot due to the number of leaves that were on the plot but it looked like there were enough bare spots to make the effort worthwhile.

Hopefully this plot will jump up as well when we get warmer weather.

We had a lot of fun hunting at this plot last fall. There were occasions when the deer walked right past our hunting blinds.

You can see that there isn't much green here and that there are a lot of leaves still on the plot.

Whippoorwill Food Plot

The whippoorwill plot has a little green popping up in it, especially within the exclusion cage.

On March 11th I over seeded this plot with some Monster Mix. I had planted it last spring with Tecomate Bucks and Bosses and a small strip of Durana.

We'll see how well things go this year with our saga with the purple flowered weeds that seem to grow well here.

I cropped this picture close to show you the clover inside the exclusion cage.

Hayfield Food Plot

The Durana in the hayfield plot that we planted last spring held up better than any of our other plots. The Durana had impressed me last summer and how well it held up during the winter was nice to see. Now, I want to be clear that the clover did not continue to grow through the winter but it did survive and could be seen close to the ground throughout the winter. The deer have also started to use this plot again this year earlier than the other plots.

On March 11th I over seeded the areas planted last spring in Durana and Alfa Rack with Durana.

I also over seeded the areas that I had planted last fall in Durana and Monster Mix. There was a lot of bare ground here.

I also plan on extending this plot about another quarter acre, which should extend the plot to almost a full acre. On March 3rd I applied 480 pounds of lime to the extension and tried to disk but it was too muddy. Through the rest of March the extension area did not dry up, but in fact the conditions worsened. I had hoped to get this ground worked up before the hay started to grow but it's not looking good. When I get the chance to plant I'm going to us Durana here.

Here are two deer in the food plot. You can see the green clover they are feeding on.

Right Of Way Food Plot

The right of way food plot turned to grass last summer so I sprayed grass herbicide on it early last fall. This spring it was mostly bare ground and dead grass.

On March 3rd I applied 80 pounds of lime and lightly disked on March 17th. On March 21st we disked the plot with the small disks, dragged with bedsprings, applied about 20 pound of 10-20-20 fertilizer and sowed some Tecomate Monster Mix. After sowing the seed we did not drag or run over it with our ATV's. The ground was so wet that I was afraid that we would push the seed down too far. I think the following rain and snow should have done a good job of getting the seed in contact with the mud.

Although the Durana wintered the best it still didn't draw deer during the season. This is something that I've been thinking about and may even try some different things later this summer to try to give the deer something that may be a draw during the season and hopefully also provide some nutrition into the winter. Right now I'm still trying to get a good base of perennials before I experiment much.

The wet cold weather so far this year hasn't allowed me to do what I had hoped. Once the grass starts to grow it always gets hard to get to the food plots but here we are again with a wet start to spring. I'll need at least a couple of real nice dry and warm days before I can get the tractor and disks into the hayfield extension and old house food plot. Hopefully early April will provide these days for me.

Digital Trail Cameras - Locking Devices

Last year I started discussions on the categories in our digital trail camera reviews. This year I'll continue and start with the picture viewing category.

The picture viewing grade is determined by how easy or hard it is to view the pictures that your digital trail camera has taken.

The quickest way to view your picture is via an LCD screen on the camera. I feel that it's a big plus to have this capability but not all LCD screens are created equal so this fact is considered when reviewing each camera. I have a couple of cameras that have LCD screens but the quality is so poor that I do not use them.

Also taken into consideration is whether or not cables are provided to download pictures to your computer or give you the capability to view pictures on a television.

For some reason there are some trail cameras that do not have an LCD screen or any cables included with the camera. For those of us who have more trail cameras than good sense that isn't a problem, but if it is your first trail camera purchase and you are not up to date in the digital camera world this is a problem.

Although the picture viewing category isn't one of the major categories I still feel that it is important. It sure is nice to have the capability of viewing the pictures on a good quality LCD screen right in the woods.

You can take a look at our digital trail camera reviews here.

New Bucks

Each year we see a turnover of bucks in our pictures. Some of the bucks that we watched through the summer and fall are no longer around while other bucks show up and take their place.

This year we have an eight point buck that started showing up in our pictures at one of the feeders that we had put on a five gallon bucket. He wasn't a regular for the first couple of months but after the season he has become a common sight in our pictures. In fact, he seems to be hanging out with the sticker point buck that we have been watching for the last two years.

Form our experiences it seems that once some of the older bucks are no longer around, other bucks move in.

This is a picture of this eight point buck. We look forward to see how much bigger he'll get over the next year.

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