Editor’s Note: Travis Sumner from Edgefield, South Carolina, is the Hunting Heritage and Habitat Manager for the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NTWF) and is a member of the Mossy Oak GameKeepers (https://www.mossyoak.com/brands/gamekeepers).
We are also preparing green fields for deer at this time of the year in the early summer. We’re planting some Mossy Oak BioLogic BioMass (http://wildlifeseeds.com/biologic/bio-mass.html). This blend has a mixture of soybeans, iron clay peas, cowpeas, and Lablab. This very-nutritious blend can be planted in the spring and summer in the Deep South. These seeds produce a high protein-type food that helps bucks build stronger and bigger antlers, and it’s really good for the does that are nursing fawns. This crop matures in about 60 to 65 days and produces an abundance of food for deer for the bowhunter as well as the early-season gun hunter.
In the middle or the end of July, I’ll plant a blend of grain sorghum, buckwheat, cow peas and iron clay peas, so that crop will come in after the first planting we do of Mossy Oak Biologic BioMass. The buckwheat will come in first and then the peas. I like to plant some type of viney pea that will wrap around the sorghum. The grain sorghum will come in later just about bow season, and the deer will begin to eat the heads of that sorghum, while the heads still have moisture in them. I use Mossy Oak BioLogic Grain Sorghum, and I add those other components to the grain sorghum. One thing that a lot of people don’t understand about planting these mixtures of seeds in the Mossy Oak multi-seed mixtures is these seed mixtures also improve the soil.
To know exactly when you need to plant these different crops, you can go to http://www.plantbiologic.com/t-soil.aspx. Here you will find a list of when to plant and what to plant, according to the region where you live. You also can talk to your county-extension agent, and he can help you with all your green-field plantings to know what works best for the soil type you have, and the area of the country or state where you live.
Another product we plant in mid-July is Mossy Oak BioLogic Turkey Gold Chufa. Most turkey hunters know that chufa is a great crop for turkeys. Chufa, a nut grass that comes from Spain, has tiny tubers on its roots similar to peanuts. We’ll go into a field in late June and break-up the ground really deep. Then we use a turn plow and turn the field over. We let that field sit for about a week or two. Then we use a big disc harrow to disc up the ground. Prior to planting, we use a pre-emergence herbicide like Treflan – about a quart per acre. We spray that pre-emergence herbicide on the ground, come back with our disc harrow and incorporate the Treflan into the soil. You can broadcast the chufa seed and then row plant it or drill it into the soil with certain types of drills. We plant about 35 pounds of chufas to the acre with a spin spreader. Then we come back over that chufa seed with a disc harrow to cover the seed to 1 to 1-1/2-inches in the ground. I have one caution for you. If you plant chufas in an area where a lot of feral hogs live, the hogs will eat the chufas before the turkeys can get to them. So, don’t plan to plant chufas there.
Another place we plant chufas is in our dewatering areas that we use to attract ducks. We plant the chufas right on the edges of the shallowest water where when flooded the water only will be about 6-inches deep. Ducks love chufas. The ducks come into the chufas in that shallow water and use their bills to get the chufas out of the mud. I’ve seen ducks feed on chufas where the water is only 2-3 inches deep. They’ll just stick their beaks in the mud and eat those chufas. They’ll eat the tubers just like the turkeys do. If you’re trying to attract ducks and planting food for ducks, you really may want to consider planting chufas before you flood your duck ponds, so the chufas will be in the shallowest water.
We also plant Mossy Oak BioLogic Guides Choice http://www.plantbiologic.com/p-244-guides-choice.aspx for ducks. Where the water is waist-deep you may want to plant grain sorghum and corn. When the water is knee-deep to thigh-deep, you may want to plant Japanese millet.
Food Plot Selection:
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