Last Working Day till Opener

Every year, around September first, I spend one last long weekend off from work to put the finishing touches on my hunting grounds.  This one last run at it is all about:

  1. Fall planted annual green food plots.  I plant another and last round of fall planted greens each year around the end of August.  This includes small food plots on edges of bigger fields, interior plots, and tilling in edges of bigger plots that got heavily browsed.  I plant a mixture of brassicas, winter rye, and this year I am also trying cold tolerant peas.  I hit the brassicas and rye with about 50 pounds per acre of nitrogen to give them a kick start.
  2. A couple last stands.  Every year it seems like a corner here or a draw there has more action than in past years and needs a stand.  Also, it’s not a bad idea to go to each stand one last time and clear away brush or sticks…maybe mow trails close to the ground with a brush mower…or even spray with glysophate to make a good clean and quiet path.  This is the last time you can safely intrude like this until after the season.
  3. Cameras.  I try to position my cameras in areas I feel could be a set up to take a good buck.  I don’t run cameras over corn or mineral because it is illegal to hunt over this stuff any how (In Iowa baiting is illegal).  I like putting cameras in spots where I can keep track of potential buck movement…interior plots, soybean plots, lanes leading out to exterior plots from interior plots, etc.  I do not put cameras in areas that would require me to intrude into the woods to check them.

In short, this is the last and final push…the last time you can go where you need to and get the required work done before opener.  Most work should already be done, this is just touching up on things to make it just right.  NOW…stay out and only do long range scouting.  Check cameras sparingly and only during mid day.

Overseeding soybeans with winter rye is a favorite of mine.

Over-seeding soybeans with winter rye is a favorite of mine.  This is the perfect stage to do this…right when the beans start to yellow.  Over-seeding like this requires moisture.  A good rain after over-seeding and the rye will germinate very quickly.  This past week I over-seeded right before a huge rain and 36 hours after seeding, the grain was already germinating and setting roots.  Don’t worry about the beans you run over…at this stage they will finish and still produce dried soybeans.  The rye will come up and grow just as the leaves fall off the beans making this plot last well into winter and next spring.

This is a small interior plot that was in soybeans.  The beans tilled under will supply nitrogen to the brassicas, winter rye, and peas going into this plot.  To plant, till the beans, spread seed and fertilizer, and lightly disc in.

This is a small interior plot that was in soybeans. The beans tilled under will supply nitrogen to the brassicas, winter rye, and peas going into this plot. To plant, till the beans, spread seed and fertilizer, and lightly disc in.  Don’t worry if there are still some beans standing…the deer will finish them off!

A first for me this year...I'm trying what I have read about as being a good additive to winter rye...peas.  We'll see what happens.  AS ALWAYS, I'm using seed bought bulk from farm supply.

A first for me this year…I’m trying what I have read about as being a good additive to winter rye…peas. We’ll see what happens. AS ALWAYS, I’m using seed bought bulk from farm supply.

A bachelor group of young bucks.  As has been my experience throughout my entire life...I usually don't get tons of picture of big adult deer during the summer months.  This plot in a few weeks or a month will start showing big mature deer...it always does.  Deer are still spread out and in summer ranges.  I usually don't start getting pictures consistently of big mature bucks until about a month from now when they break up their summer groups and disperse to their fall ranges.  Hang tight!

A bachelor group of young bucks. As has been my experience throughout my entire life…I usually don’t get tons of picture of big adult deer during the summer months. This plot in a few weeks or a month will start showing big mature deer…it always does. Deer are still spread out and in summer ranges. I usually don’t start getting pictures consistently of big mature bucks until about a month from now when they break up their summer groups and disperse to their fall ranges. Hang tight!  Oh look…there is a tree stand overlooking this plot, how did that get there?  (click on the picture for a closer view)

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Last Working Day till Opener

  1. Looks like you have everything about dialed in peppy! All of your advice and help has all of my plots doing great. I lost a 2 acre bean field to heavy rain early this summer but we tilled them in and planted a good brassica mix in the field and it looks great! Thanks again for all the advice and keep the articals coming! Talk to you soon.

    Matt

    • Matt,
      I have 3 or 4 more articles ready to be put in the articles section. I have to wait until they are published in the Iowa Sportsmen first, that’s the deal.

      This year has been great on the farm. The weather has been perfect for growing great plots. The cuttings I put in on year one are really starting to get thick and no doubt will start holding and feeding deer year round. Remember when I first bought this farm…I always say it takes me three years to get a new farm where I want it and it looks like this is holding true. I hope your farm is coming along too. It sure is a lot of fun managing your own farm isn’t it!!! Stay in touch.

      • Yes it is exiciting making the improvements and seeing how the deer react to them. We have put most of your ideas to good use and it is having the exact affect on the deer that you predicted! Thanks again for all the help and ideas! The effort is really showing already after only 2 years in the quality of bucks that are hanging around. Even after last years harsh winter we still have a pretty strong heard around and I am sure all the improvment ideas you gave is the reason for that. Im even started to get the neighbors to come around to the ideas because they can see the results after only 2 years. Thanks again!

  2. Good info and great detail on your site. As far as discing in the fertilizer and seed, what angle do you set the disc gangs for the covering pass after spreading? I’m always concerned about covering seed too deep. Do you also set the depth on the 3-pt a bit shallower or do you have it fully lowered? Thanks!

    • Frank, thank you for the question. My disc is a 3 point model and the angle is cumbersome to change. So, I leave the angle at its most aggressive cut that way it cuts better for tilling the ground. When I disc up for tilling purposes I put the disc all the way down (relieve hydraulic pressure for tractors without down pressure) so it cuts the best and deepest. When I disc in seed and fertilizer, I don’t change the angle but I just use the hydraulics on the tractor to raise the disc up a bit. For bigger seed like soybeans, corn, or radishes I can leave the disc all the way down or mostly down. For smaller seed like brassicas, clover, and alfalfa I raise the disc up so it is only scratching the surface or roughing it up a bit. Medium sized seed like rye (if I’m discing in and not over-seeding) I go slightly deeper than what I would do for the really small seed like clover. Good rule of thumb, the bigger the seed the deeper it can be planted in the ground. Hope this answers your question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *