So, two weeks ago my plots were getting hit hard. This past week was pretty much catastrophic deer pressure. I really should have reapplied milorganite when each stalk still had half their leaves
As of now it's pretty much an acre strip of just stalks. They all have little tiny leaves trying to gro. Think it's worth putting more milorganite out to give plants a break, or are they toast at this stage even if browsing ceased?
"Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
Picture ICP stalks about knee high with no mature leaves, but little guys trying to pop out.
Putting out enough milorganite to keep the deer out is not exactly a cheap proposition. Think it would be worth it?
What is purpose of milo? It comes up quick and make some cover, or what? Will it take if it's just broadcast, or does it need be bedded somehow? How would I go about getting it covered with peas already established?
Haha... Not my brightest moment.
My mistake was thinkimg that one acre would be enough to withstand browsing from an average density deer herd. When the milorganite kept them out for the first 30 days and plants had leaves galore, I thought it might last a while. Guess not. Maybe next year I'll try and plant when neighbors do so I'm not the only show in town.
What I was shooting for. Didn't "pan" out.
And once again I'll "beat my drum and pound my tambourine" on a little trick that no one in the past has paid any attention to, but its a trick that WORKS!
Deer are by nature browsers like goats and not grazers like cattle. Grazing food plots like we're talking about will definitely attract them, but there are much better ways of getting nutrients into the deer's system than by food plots. On a rather rough scale deer need at least 12% or more of virtually all of the major and minor elements found in fertilizers. If you have a custom blend fertilizer source (farmer's feed-seed sources) get a custom blend of at least 15-15-15 or even a little higher, and make sure trace elements are included. (We used to think there were 8-9 trace elements needed, but now we know its more like 32!) Use this on food plots with about an equal amount of milogranet and apply it jointly. The sole purpose of the milogranet in the mix is the ODOR! This fertilizer, as I've said before, is the product of human sewage deposits from some of the major cities in the Upper Lake States where the heavy metals that require removal before use is much lower. The odor lingers for a while keeping the deer at bay. But a better method of getting nutrients into the deer is this:
If your lease will permit, take a chainsaw and cut down all small scrub hardwoods in about a half acre radius. Small scrub hardwoods like maybe 1 to 3-4 inches at the stump. Late winter, early spring is the best time, but any time will work ok, too. THEN---scatter some of the custom blend 15-15-15+ over the area at maybe a rate of 150-200 pounds per acre. The severed hardwood stumps will suck this fertilizer up like crazy and will re-sprout growth shoots that are loaded with what Whitetails really need. Its not all going to happen in one year, but in 2-4 years you'll have bigger bodied and more healthy deer, and--importantly--the bucks will be producing larger racks. Higher rates of the P205 element in fertilizer will put mass and size on antlers within a couple of years.
If you have bottomland hardwoods on your lease look these areas over and put some flagging tape on large White Oaks, especially Swamp White Oaks--and the larger Red Oak species too--and scatter the fertilizer blend around these trees out to just beyond the length of the limbs from the trunk at a rate of about a pound for every inch of diameter of the tree. Very early spring with a light (maybe half the above rate) scattering of fertilizer is best with a follow-up in late July thru August with the other half. This will promote forming acorns, and these acorns will be high in nutrient content. You will honestly see deer passing by other fallen acorns to get to those fertilized before consuming un-fertilized acorns. You can pull deer during the hunting season to specific areas by doing this.