Here’s a breakdown of a recent parcel we checked out:
This particular field is approximately 8 acres. The red line is strictly just the outline of the field, it doesn’t represent a particular planting. Deer bedding is on both the east and west side making the entry to this plot strictly from the north and south. The lightly shaded area between the red outline and the yellow, purple, and black will represent tall grasses. This is currently a fallow field with all overgrown grasses. We’ve suggested leaving those fallow grasses in these areas or adding Native Bedding or Defender depending on entry/exit. Mowing a few lanes and planting some perennial clover in particular areas we know deer use heavily to enter the field is another added feature. The orange strip you see between the 2 plots on the south is a tall growing mix such as Upland Game or Pods and Blooms.
Here’s our reasoning:
1. If you plant this entire field with no structure a buck can simply approach the field and scan this entire plot never even entering the field. You may never even know he was there. This forces him to come out of the woods to see what’s in the field.
2. You’ve all seen photos or witnessed does fighting. They belong to separate doe family groups. Old stubborn does do not like to share food with other doe families. Adding structure makes does feel like they have their only food source. Rather than running to the neighbors after being kicked off a food source, they can simply move on to the next area within your plot.
Every open field plot should have some structure whether it’s trees, tall grasses or forages. Also, any plot larger than an acre should contain structure to help deer feel secure and keep those bucks on their feet during the rut.
***the black spot is to keep the parcel owners identity secure