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Hey everybody! I've been radio silent for months now it seems (thanks COVID) I have some extra help and things are becoming a bit more steady at my job. Been working a few 8 hour days lately instead of constant 12-13 hour days 6 days/week.

What little time I've had to myself I've been shooting bows, buying bows, selling bows. Been involved in a couple 3D shoots. I've gone full boar traditional archery tackle and set to sell my compound in a couple days. I'm still not a crack shot, but I can hold my own out to 25 yards just fine.

My buddy I hunted with last fall and I submitted our applications for first archery mule deer in Colorado this fall (assuming I get the time off). I'll likely be using my 7 Lakes Long Night, similar to a Hill bow but with some R&D. Stalking in the mountains with a stick and string really sounds like a challenge, but God willing we'll draw out and maybe get lucky enough to get close to some deer. We'll see.

Anyone else put in for any drawings in state or out of state? Anyone already got next deer season on the brain?
 

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We just got home today from 2.5 months at the Rio grande Valley in Tx in the RV.
I can't wait to get to the farm and see if my clover patch is still alive and if the new patch that was started last fall is getting a start.
I have the ladino clover in the yard at home. It survived the cold and is coming out of dormancy.
I know it would be better to wait a few weeks, but my curiosity is peaking.
 
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I’ve been invited by a couple buddies who working on a muzzleloader elk hunt in either CO or NM, and I’m converting my old Knight DISC rifle from a scoped gun to a truly “usable“ open sight gun and working on loads using full bore bullets. Even if the hunt doesn’t happen, it hasn’t costed much and has been fun.
 

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I’ve got my bear tag in hand. Can’t start baiting until April 8th (bow starts April 15th) provided the snows melted enough to get into the area.
The wife and I are booked for a free guided antelope hunt in eastern WY. It’s a landowner tag hunt for disabled vets. This will be her first ever hunt. I wanna try and film it. Will get my boys antelope tags as well. The 3 goats we got last fall all scored in the mid 60’s so we want bigger ones this year.
Put wife and I in for draw elk. If drawn we will have special access to private land that’s only able to be hunted by disabled vets through the same group are antelope hunt is with. Very tough draw odds so not holding my breath. Oldest boy will get a general elk tag for sure.
Put youngest boy and I in for special draw mule deer. If we don’t draw he will get a general tag and I’ll forgo mule deer.

It could be a long hunting packed fall for us but we have to wait until June to find out on the draw tags.
 

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No out of state hunts planned for me. Private land I hunted elk on the last 10 years is no longer available plus the costs are getting out of control. Purchased some property last year with a buddy so figure the $2K or so for a CO elk hunt will go into habitat improvements. Have a couple of really nice bucks on trail cameras so I'm shifting towards whitetail fever this year!!
 

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Checked the ladino clover patch this afternoon. The new crop is doing great. With this rain coming this weekend it should get enough water to get a good root system going to last the summer. Clover roots run pretty deep.
I've got an elk hunt in NM coming up possibly. Still have a ton of meat in the freezer from the last elk hunt.
 

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I spent 4 hours spreading pulverized lime by hand today. New food plot below the house is going to be 1.2 acres. Going to focus on a late fall/winter blend (oats/winter peas blend). The cows have access to it now, but don't frequent that patch often. I still get some free fertilizer out of the deal though. I'll till it and put up my hot wire after a late summer rain.

I also have a patch of hay meadow that doesn't get enough sun, and holds too much water. Thinking about trying a white clover and maybe some brassica in that area for early fall.

I'm pretty much a newbie at this food plot stuff, we will see how it goes. Going to do a soil sample in a few more weeks.

My main goal is to keep from spending a lot of money until I remove my head from my south region. So far I'm out $55 for the lime and about $80 for seed.

My biggest goal is to just increase the deer population on that part of the ranch. I really only have a half dozen does on that side, so if I can bring it up to 10-12 in a year or two, that's a win for me.

I did have 11 different bucks on camera on that side last season...and two of those filled my fridge.
 

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I spent 4 hours spreading pulverized lime by hand today. New food plot below the house is going to be 1.2 acres. Going to focus on a late fall/winter blend (oats/winter peas blend). The cows have access to it now, but don't frequent that patch often. I still get some free fertilizer out of the deal though. I'll till it and put up my hot wire after a late summer rain.

I also have a patch of hay meadow that doesn't get enough sun, and holds too much water. Thinking about trying a white clover and maybe some brassica in that area for early fall.

I'm pretty much a newbie at this food plot stuff, we will see how it goes. Going to do a soil sample in a few more weeks.

My main goal is to keep from spending a lot of money until I remove my head from my south region. So far I'm out $55 for the lime and about $80 for seed.

My biggest goal is to just increase the deer population on that part of the ranch. I really only have a half dozen does on that side, so if I can bring it up to 10-12 in a year or two, that's a win for me.

I did have 11 different bucks on camera on that side last season...and two of those filled my fridge.
A soil test should give you the info needed for the type of fertilizer needed as well as the soil PH. Most areas do need lime though. Brassica's need a freeze to make them palatable for deer. Most of the time, we haven't had a freeze going into gun season in NC Ok. They don't work during archery or Mz season unless there is an early frost.
Don't overlook plain old wheat for a food plot. Deer can nip off the plants and they keep growing most of the winter. Buck forage oats work well too. They have been developed to take cold weather that would kill normal oats.
If you do plant clover, its a fall crop to plant in October or November. It will germinate and start a root, sending up leaves in early March. Once clover gets established, you only need to spray it with clethodim that kills narrow leaf plants like grasses and mow it once during the summer. Ladino clover will reseed itself so it's a great food plot that requires little maintenance after getting it established.
 

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Diggler, join the newbie crowd! It can be addicting just like the hunt. Here's a pic of one small 2 ac plot with a 4x4 mix from the fall. Going to be fertilizing it next weekend then have to plan on another arduous trip hauling bagged lime. Our property is too steep/rough to get a lime truck in for ag lime so having to use pelletized. My back is already starting to hurt!
6403
 

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Oops on the double pic. I can't see where to delete the second one so if a moderator would like to remove please do so. Mostly clover coming up that I could identify.
 

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Oops on the double pic. I can't see where to delete the second one so if a moderator would like to remove please do so. Mostly clover coming up that I could identify.
Done. Nice looking plot.
 

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Good looking plot Wishbone!
How many stands do you have set up around it?
I
 

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Looking good there Wishbone! Your hard work is paying off.
 

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Sorry can't be more help on the out of state hunt Archer22, but you can tell we totally got deer hunting on the brain!!

Dennis, none. This is one of our larger plots so don't hunt directly on it like we do some of the smaller 1/2 acre plots. I have a ladder stand about 200 yards from this plot on a mowed transition path and that's the closest. 99% all bowhunt(saving that 1% for me to take a doe with rifle when I get skunked with my bow)! Developing the land and working on getting the existing 8 acres or so of plots ready for the fall then look to expand another 10-12 acres on top of that next year.

Very rewarding, time consuming and can be an expensive hobby but all worth it in the end.
 

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Checked my clover plot today. All the rain really has it growing. Probably 3” high and lush growth.
It’s 1/4 acre in size. Last fall I prepared an additional 1/8 acre and put out more of the Ladino Clover. It took off as well but will be a year or two before it fills in as nicely as the established patch by reseeding itself.




While there, walked down to the pond that’s full. Spotted several really nice bullfrogs big enough to supply some legs later this summer.

 

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Bring them sucker for a 4th of July BBQ.
 

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Bring them sucker for a 4th of July BBQ.
HAHA! might do that!
I got 14 out of that pond last summer. Had a Ruger 10-22 in the truck with a 10 round mag. 10 with the rifle, and then had to switch over to the 9mm S&W sidearm. Put ball ammo in the mag so it didn't blow them up like a HP.
Pond was pretty dry with lots of exposed banks so the bullfrogs were pretty easy to spot vs now when it's full and lots of weeds for them to hide in.
 
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