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Author Topic: Wildlife Food Crops  (Read 2589 times)

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Online Magicman

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Wildlife Food Crops
« on: October 27, 2013, 07:17:07 PM »
We have no White Oak acorns this year probably due to our April rains.  Since this year's Red Oak acorns were set last year, it will be interesting to see what we have.  Hopefully it will not be a lean year because acorns are a major food source for our wildlife.

The wildlife is really whopping my planted food plots.  There were about a dozen deer and also a flock of turkeys in the plot visible from the Cabin yesterday evening.  One very nice mature 10 point.   ;D
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2013, 08:40:23 PM »
No question about it, no acorns means heavy field usage.  Our mast is very isolated as well, some spots covered in white oak acorns, and others, where other ridges and bottoms nothing.  The rains did help the browse, but as for mast, spotty,    david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 07:00:20 AM »
We have a lot of acorns w and r , but they're small in size this year.
We did have a very wet spring.
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Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 07:16:07 AM »
We've also had a pretty poor acorn crop this year.  Been seeing lots of deer in the bean fields and cut corn fields, but it's going to get hard on them when those food sources eventually go away
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Offline chain

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 07:50:34 AM »
Deer are absolutely eating our soybean crop up along the edges of fields. The bucks are fighting and leaving circles of trampled soybeans too. No one wants to kill the does, the hunters are after the 'super bucks'; they have their cameras, their feeders, their food plots and all [hunters] have four wheel drives ripping and rutting our roads to impassable for our grain tucks. We have had to cart out each and every bushel from up to a mile and a half to the levee.

This has been a hardship on us, tough on our equipment and added labor fatigue, you will not find a conservation officer near. This adjacent area is USDA privately held Wetlands...need I say more? Yes, I will. Now, according to a news release, in a Missouri publication, this so-called "wetland" is being returned to original swamp, fields of river cane are being planted and cultivated in hopes of making good swamp rabbit and cane-brake rattlesnake habitat. Honestly, if the tax paying public knew what the millions of tax dollars are being wasted for..... >:(

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Offline ET

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 10:06:20 AM »
Im still surrounded by standing cornfields. One of my new plots have been hit hard (chickory) but no stands near it, i could put in a ground blind but not my favorite way to hunt.

This morning there was a news bulletin on tv about lots of deer vehicle collisions so be careful when driving. The rut is on here in northern Ohio, i need to take time now to maybe get one.

Trail cams have spotted several bucks but nothing like what MM has down south.
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2013, 10:29:38 PM »
You guys in the south have it made , shooting deer over bate, up here you can't do that.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 10:48:28 PM »
Guess my garden counts for a food plot???  :D  They only go in when it's dark.
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 08:11:19 AM »
You guys in the south have it made , shooting deer over bate, up here you can't do that. 
Not in Mississippi.  Probably Texas is the only state that allows any hunting over bait.
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Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 08:43:30 AM »
Same here in VA, that's a big no no
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Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 08:57:20 AM »
Michigan you are allowed to hunt over bait if you want.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2013, 12:30:19 PM »
Well sitting in a tree stand in front of an apple  or acorn tree is ok  :D :D
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Offline orion388

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 02:33:55 PM »
Count Western part of Virginia in the "NO" mast crop this year also... The deer are already hungry, eating everything in site around the house.
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2013, 08:05:28 PM »
I started thinking about the acorn crop when I saw our dismal Pecan crop.   :-\
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Offline Bogue Chitto

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2013, 09:14:47 PM »
 

 
You guys in the south have it made , shooting deer over bate, up here you can't do that. 
Not in Mississippi.  Probably Texas is the only state that allows any hunting over bait.
We can in Louisiana. ::)

Offline terry f

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2013, 11:24:29 PM »
    We can't even hunt bears over bait, or use hounds, something I don't disagree with.

Offline chain

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2013, 11:25:46 PM »
We had a heavy white oak acorn crop only on top the ridges. I was surprised as the acorns fell later than usual and a reason a big buck stayed over in the white oak grove and wouldn't come past my stand. Doe + acorns, what ever else would a buck want?

But this time of winter I begin watching the post oaks upon the higher south & west facing areas. The PO acorns seem variable as when they fall and to last much longer than white oak. Squirrels and turkey can tattle tale where the best acorns are and, with the recent heavy snow and ice, the critters have to be hungry...muzzle loader season should be a blast!


Offline coxy

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2013, 12:30:11 AM »
we had tons of apples and tons of beech nuts don't know about the rest don't have any oak with in 2miles of here

Offline SLawyer Dave

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2013, 04:37:05 AM »
The second Friday of every month, (today), I volunteer to sit as a temporary judge for the "Traffic Calendar" for those people cited for infractions, (they don't trust me to handle cases where I can send people to jail).  Probably a good thing.   ;)

A number of "Fish and Wildlife" tickets also get thrown in.  Today I had my first "deer ticket" of the season.  Reading this thread, I thought it was pretty coincidental.  The officer ticketed the hunter for "baiting" deer, which is no-no here in California.  According to the officer, he heard a shot and upon investigating, found the hunter dressing out a legal buck who had been eating apples that had been placed on the ground as bait.  The hunter's defense; he has been hunting there for years, as it is an old abandoned cabin/homestead that has a couple of apple trees.  The officer cited that while there are a couple of "half dead" old fruit trees, there were no apples on the trees, and that the apples he found on the ground were large and of a modern variety.  The officer admitted that he did not see the hunter place the apples in the area.  When I asked the officer if he found any stickers, stamps or other imprinted marks on the apples, he looked confused and said no.  He really didn't seem to understand when I tried to point out to him that without such identifying evidence proving that the apples had been purchased, that there was no way I could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the apples constituted an illegal bait.  He kept focusing on the idea that the apples he found could not have come from the trees, even though he could not identify the varietal of the apple tree, nor even the varietal of the apples on the ground.  He also didn't seem to like my sense of humor when I mentioned that while I am sure he deals with a lot of "fruitcakes", that I doubted he would meet the criteria for a state certified expert on "fruit". 

In the end, I found the defendant Not Guilty.  I doubt the matter is over however, as the officer also confiscated the deer as an "illegal take".  While apparently the head may still be frozen in an evidence locker, the officer believes the rest of the deer was disposed of.  Incredulous to me that an agency would dispose of any portion of such evidence, especially when the propriety of confiscating such is still at issue.  So I am not sure my order to release the carcass to the hunter is going to solve the situation.  I wonder what the fair market value is for a mature black tail deer?

Offline coxy

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2013, 06:18:19 AM »
I don't live in CA nor have I ever shot a black tail deer( but) how do you put a price on some thing like that    to the hunter it could be priceless  its all about the memories  jmop

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2013, 07:44:19 AM »
Being guilty and being proven guilty are two different things.  Hopefully the officer learned a lesson and will be more thorough with his evidence collecting in the future.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2013, 07:55:27 AM »
He might not have the deer, but he did not get a hefty fine for baiting, even though the evidence was not complete enough to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.  So, he came out OK. 
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Offline chain

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2013, 08:46:20 AM »
Being guilty and being proven guilty are two different things.  Hopefully the officer learned a lesson and will be more thorough with his evidence collecting in the future.

And you might say, "being accused and not being guilty". Many of our wildlife officers today and also Federal agents often accuse  individuals of violations, it's a mind game they play.

Once while pheasant -quail hunting a officer came up and said, "I know you have birds, let's see them." "No," I said,
I haven't even fired a shot" Well let's see your gun and check the mag". As I turned to set my gun down, he punched around in my game bag. Don't think that didn't fire me up.

But the Feds are really pro at that scheme, "circumstantial evidence", they often try to prove.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2013, 09:35:32 AM »
I asked my step son about food plots. If I grow it in the woods,fields I can hunt over it. But I can not carry something in, like apples,and put them under a pine tree and have a pine apple tree.  ;D   I can grow carrots and beets in the woods and put a tree stand by it and hunt over it and be legal. I know the deer like carrots and beets and string beans too. But the string beans would not live because of the frost. I do not hunt and he does not do this. The game warden had  2 people in cuffs on the tar road below me,about 2 weeks ago. Night hunting,or really early morning hunting.
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Online Claybraker

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2013, 04:42:22 PM »
In Georgia, you can hunt deer over bait in the southern zone.

Also, it's a common practice for the DNR to donate illegally harvested game to a local food bank. I would suspect Cali does the same.

Apples, if purchased by the bushel, typically won't have bar code stickers on them. The officer may not have been able to articulate his case to your satisfaction, but it's sorta like a rock sitting on a fence post. It's pretty obvious somebody put it there.

Offline Sonofman

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2013, 09:04:27 PM »
South Carolina, at least in the upstate, started allowing deer hunting over baited fields this season. Our acorn production seems to be fairly good, there were almost no pecans due to May rains washing the pollen out of the air.
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2013, 09:25:47 PM »
No pecans here this year, either. 
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2013, 09:46:27 PM »
The Bee keepers this year were complaining about the rains washing out all the pollen. Not a good year for Honey.
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Offline chain

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2013, 11:48:19 PM »
We had a near bumper crop of pecans and many are still on the trees! No crows to knock 'em out. We didn't have near as much rain as you folks down south and SE.

Offline justallan1

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2013, 09:20:35 AM »

Also, it's a common practice for the DNR to donate illegally harvested game to a local food bank. I would suspect Cali does the same.

I was born and raised pretty close to where the OP is in California and in the late '60's and '70's the confiscated game was given out to the needy. Then someone decided that everything had to be USDA approved or something like that.
In the foster home I lived for a few years we couldn't even eat the eggs from our own chickens nor any game we shot and I'm sure it's the same for anyone on assistance. Believe me, that little rule got ignored! ;D
Where I now live in Montana the game warden and police are pretty good guys and know everyone and may miss a truck with a doe in the back. 8)

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2013, 08:11:50 PM »
We're limited to two gallons of bait here in Michigan.  The apple tree baiting scenario is near and dear to me  ;) ;D :)  Unless I'm actually seen scattering apples under the tree about the only way to prove baiting is a comparison of DNA on the apples and the tree  ;) ;D
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2013, 06:51:07 PM »
We had an old fellow that peddled apples by the bushel. I had mentioned baiting with apples, he pointed out the variety[washington I think] I should buy as the apple fragrance was extra strong. The deer ate them all up before the hunt!

During and after this last ice-storm the deer seem to have herded-up  and moved out, possibly to corn feeding fields planted by conservation folks. Not one track did I see in the pecan grove yet, pecans were on the ice.. Don't think deer like that hard ice very much.

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2013, 06:01:18 AM »
Corn fields and corn feed piles, when it's winter time, makes the ducks and black birds go crazy. Crazy because they should be well south of here by now. I drove by an unharvested corn field, probably 50 acres separated by a country road, and 100 ducks circling like vultures, -5 F. Then I drive out along a side road (we call cross roads) and see grackles. Hmmm
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2013, 07:28:31 AM »
Is there a reason that a 50 acre corn field would be unharvested?  Poor crop, uneconomical ??
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2013, 10:47:16 AM »
MM
Around here, we have some farmers that just don't get around to picking, and some will just leave for wildlife. Then some are running behind and then get an early snow which slows or stops the picking.

So any that you mention could be it.

Right now, we have snow and there are also bean fields that were not picked. They for sure are lost. Corn will stand for awhile and a poorer yield as the wildlife enjoys a smorgasbord treat.
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2013, 11:22:42 AM »
Farmers in this area have been waiting for the corn to dry.  It's a balancing act.  Pick it wet and spend more money on propane to dry it or wait and expect a reduced yield.  The decision is made with an eye on the price.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2013, 02:03:47 PM »
In my area that is silage or fodder corn. It gets put in piles about 10-12 feet deep and packed down and covered with a tarp. Than fed to the cattle.
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2013, 03:21:07 PM »
Most of the corn in this area is harvested as silage and stored in one type of silo or another.  That corn has long since been harvested and the silos are full--or were.  The corn that is standing was planted with the intention of combining it, either for ground feed or for the production of ethanol.
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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2013, 04:19:09 PM »
Ahhh, the joys of farming. A local (new) farmer here grew some corn one time, probably a couple hundred acres all on rented ground. Was on dad's old farm he sold actually. They never started cutting until about Christmas and piled it on the floor of a shed. It heated (from respiration) and must have been on the wet side, so it all went moldy. Hauled it all out to dump in January. $100,000 of corn they said. They gave up on the hog farm business a couple years ago and are long gone. All the bigger farmers are getting dryers now. Years ago when dad still farmed, there was no money left after propane drying, and that was before he retired, probably a good 20 years back. So with propane going up and up all the time I can't see those outfits getting enough value added to even break even with them dryers. Propane is way higher in NB than in Iowa.

Like Cfarm said, it's mostly fodder corn. Ethonal ain't even happening on farms here, no subsidies. I think the dryer guys have a market out of province for the corn they dry, it's not for feed if you got to dry it.  I know with regular grain, if it was feed than that meant it wasn't good enough for much else. I can tell ya though, that around here no one is growing crops for wildlife. They sure help themselves, but you'd have to post guard 24 hrs. No one is getting money to let their crops rot or be destroyed by wildlife.
Move'n on.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2013, 04:21:46 PM »
My understanding is:
In the shorter growing seasons to the North corn doesn't have time to mature, so often it is grown for silage where the crop is cut and chopped green for winter use. Usually needs to be stored where air cannot get to it, such as a silo, a pit, or in bags.
When it cannot be cut at the right green stage and gets too dry to ferment properly, then it is left standing in hopes it can mature and dry for dry storage. Some shelled corn is stored green like in the airtight Harvestor type silos. If this window of harvesting is missed, then the crop stands over the winter in hopes of very little snow for winter picking or later.

And SD, the farmers pay much less for propane to dry crops than those of us that buy it to heat our homes. And I understand that moldy corn can kill hogs if fed to them. Farming isn't for the weak at heart.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2013, 06:00:51 PM »
I've seen pictures of Broccoli fields with multiple Moose having a green field day.
They was using it as their own.  Wash yer Broccoli Boyz. :D
Lane Circle Mill
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Online SwampDonkey

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2013, 08:08:13 PM »
Homely things are more trouble than their worth. :D :D
Move'n on.

Offline chain

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2013, 09:49:07 PM »
Just got back from a little TSI, snow is still on, beautiful as always. Apparently, adjoining neighbors feeders and food plots are unavailable. I've never in thirty years of forest management have seen so many deer trails and tracks cris-crossing, meandering, and searching each oak tree for acorns.

I had reserved several large white oak wolf trees along the ridge trails, that's where the acorns were...deer..and turkeys..and a possibly feral hog had a feast!

Offline chain

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Re: Wildlife Food Crops
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2013, 04:04:29 PM »
A little follow up from previous post. I've searched some 'animal track' web sites and wound up on 'Bear-tracker.com' searched for cougar tracks in snow. Have used this site previously, very in-depth and multiple photos of many, many, critters' tracks.

The tracks I saw were about a week old, snow still about 4", melted down form about 12". The curious part was I thought they appeared like  a pony sized track, fairly large.  I probably would have passed but one of my neighbors told me they saw a cougar last summer. A cougar was trapped last year about 30 miles west. If it was indeed a cat, he was probably a very lonesome cat but should be well fed, what with all the deer and turkey sign. :o


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