In this issue....

September 2008 Food Plot Update

A Favorite Picture

Close Encounter Coyotes

September Food Plot Journal

We only planted one plot in the beginning of September and we did little in the rest of our food plots. We needed rain and good weather to get the plots that we had planted earlier growing.

How did it go? Well, we did get some rain but I don’t think it was enough to let our plots thrive.

Oldhouse Food Plot

The Durana in the oldhouse food plot is doing okay. The grass that we had sprayed is dead for the most part, but there is still a little grass along with a weed here and there. I think this plot will do well if we have a good wet spring.

Next spring I’ll try to concentrate on ridding the plot of any grass that pops up.

This plot doesn’t look that great but most of the green you can see is a pretty nice carpet of clover.

Corn Patch Plot

I planted Durana and Lablab in this plot in late August and by the end of September the plot is very sparse.

A good bit of Lablab popped up and the deer made quick work of it, while the clover has been slow to grow. I saw it start early in the month but the dry weather has hampered further growth.

I need a burst of growth this fall and a good spring for this plot to survive.

It's easy to see that there isn't much going on in this plot.

Old Garden Food Plot

I planted Durana and Lablab in this plot in early August and the earlier planting has done better than in the cornpatch plot. The plot isn’t filled with lush tall clover but there is a decent blanket of clover and you can see that the clover inside the exclusion cage is much higher than outside so the deer are eating the young clover.

The Lablab also popped up and was soon eaten by the deer.

This plot looks like it has a good start and should do well next year. Maybe the early August planting has taught me something.

You can see the nice clover and two lablab plants inside the exclusion cage. The lablab outside the cage has been eaten and the clover outside has been mowed lower by the deer.

Middle Clearing Food Plot

The Monster Mix in this plot is doing surprisingly well. It isn’t a plot full of clover and chicory but there is still a good bit of clover. That isn’t bad for two rough weather years in a small plot.

This plot may still be on the re-planting list next spring, but it isn’t at the top of the list. A mower and more grass herbicide may just do the trick next year.

You can see the clover and chicory inside the cage and the clover outside the cage.

Whippoorwill Food Plot

This food plot is still hanging in there surprisingly well. The clover is still thick but there has been some weed competition that came on strong in late summer. This plot was originally sown in Bucks and Bosses along with a small amount of Durana. This past spring I overseeded with Monster Mix.

Our favorite purple flower weed has finally showed up but very late as compared to last year.

I’ll keep watching this plot but I expect it to do well next year as well with a little care.

You can see a lot of green here but some of it is now weeds and grass.

Hayfield Food Plot

The hayfield plot has grown in size again. I guess I could chop this plot up into separate plots, maybe in next year’s journals.

Our previously planted Durana and AlfarRack are hanging in there and are still providing food for the deer. We are still getting plenty of deer pictures in this plot and the exclusion cages are showing us that the clover and alfalfa are still growing.

Our latest exploits in the hayfield were early in the month. I started disking another strip in early August but the dry conditions made it hard to work the ground up good enough to plant. I had disked on August 8, 15 and 31st.

On September 4th I disked, fertilized, limed and planted Ultimate Forage Oats and Winter Greens. I had hoped to plant a long strip about 400 yards long by 36 yards wide, but the hard ground forced me to reduce it to 400 by 15 yards. I split the plot up halfway between the oats and wintergreens.

As of the end of the month the oats had grown about six inches tall and you could see that the deer had been eating them. The Wintergreens were less than two inches tall and I’m concerned that there isn’t enough growing season left for them to grow much more.

The oats have made a nice, colorful strip out the middle of the field.

What I have seen with these plantings makes me believe that I may need to plant earlier in the fall to get enough growing season. We’ll see how it goes.

This is our strip of oats. The rest of the hayfield plot is in the background left behind the trees. The bare dirt in the background right is the cornpatch food plot.

Right Of Way Food Plot

Since I planted Durana and Lablab in this plot in late July I have seen clover, lablab and chicory growing here. As of late September it is now sparse clover.

How this plot will do I have no idea. This small patch of dirt has been a tough one for a couple of years now so I’ll just wait and see what happens in the spring.

There has been enough seed put into this plot over that past year that something should grow.

Here you can see the chicory, lablab and clover inside the cage. Outside the cage is a different story.

The weather conditions the last two late summer/early fall seasons have been rough on our food plots. This year I planted in late July, early August, late August and early September and none of these plots have thrived. It sure proves we are very dependant on the weather.

In two and a half weeks our bow season opens and I have no idea if our plots will aid us in our hunting, but I do believe that the plots we had established helped the bucks. It is my unscientific opinion that we have seen some decent antler growth this year, or at least better than in most of the past years. I would like to give some credit to our food plots and the larger hayfield plot in particular. I’m also thinking that shutting off the corn feeders in the antler growing time period may also help. This would be hard to prove but the evidence I have seen is leading me in this direction.

If I have learned anything this year it is that if the weather is good then food plotting is easy, if the weather is bad food plotting can be nearly impossible.

I’m not sure if I’ll bother you with an October Food Plot Journal. If there is information to give I’ll not keep it a secret, but I don’t want to send out mailbox filler. If I don’t talk to you in October, have a great season.

Our Favorite Pictures

We get thousands of pictures each month with our digital trail cameras but we narrow down each set of pictures to our favorite six or seven and these are usually buck pictures. As you can imagine there are always several more that are very good but don't make the cut.

Below is one of our favorite pictures from September that did not make the cut. This is the first owl picture that we have captured with our cameras. I’ve been near this feeder in the dark and heard them in the woods, but I’ve never seen them. I’ve seen a lot of chipmunks hanging around the feeders so it shouldn’t surprise me to see an owl.

You can take a look at our favorite deer pictures from September 29th here.

Close Encounter Coyote

On September 13th we traveled to our property to gather our pictures. As I was riding a four wheeler out I noticed something running towards me so I stopped. I expected it to be a deer, but was surprised to see that it was a coyote. It saw me and stopped and looked at me about 80 yards out.

It started to trot off in the opposite direction so I started in the same direction when it stopped and started coming back towards me. It stopped at about 40 yards and just looked at me.

Once again it turned and trotted off so I followed it again when it once again stopped and came back towards me. This time it came to about 10 yards and just stood there looking at me.

After a short time it moved into the woods and came alongside me for another look. It then turned and trotted off over the hill.

I have no explanation for this. The coyote did not act in a threatening manner in any way and when it finally left it did not do so in a hurry.

About two weeks later on September 29th I coyote came to eat apples at 11:30 AM and I was able to get two chances at it and kill it. You can read about this thrilling hunt and see two pictures here.

One thing these encounters have made me think about is whether or not our coyote population is increasing. It would seem that the increased coyote encounters may be a sign of a larger population.

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