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Dooman
07-24-2010, 11:57 AM
I was wondering what is your opinion of planting and maintaining food plots in an area where there is known to be TB? ie. northeast lower peninsula of Michigan

sandbur
07-24-2010, 12:06 PM
The level of disease exposure would vary with the size of the foodplot. A tiny, tiny plot could concentrate the disease and lead to some exposure. A larger plot that is the approximate size of ag. fields in the area would have no appreciable more risk than the ag fields.

kansas-andres
07-24-2010, 12:29 PM
I was wondering what is your opinion of planting and maintaining food plots in an area where there is known to be TB? ie. northeast lower peninsula of Michigan


I thought we talked about this subject 15,000 times on Michigan Sportsman?

Munsterlndr
07-24-2010, 12:30 PM
The idea that the size of the food plot will diminish the concentration of deer is predicated on the idea that the deer will spread out and utilize all of the available space to avoid contact with other deer.

Through my observations of feeding deer and in looking at the herd behavior of most species of herbivores, I have not found that to be the case. When feeding out in the open, deer, like other prey species, tend to cluster together defensively. It's an innate behavior. So even if the food plot is 20,000 sq. ft. in size, the deer are still probably going to be concentrated in a relatively small area, which will increase the potential for both nose to nose, nose to saliva or nose to soil contact, which in turn can serve as a vector for communicable disease. It's not always true but a lot of the time that I see deer feeding in food plots or agricultural fields, they exhibit that clustered behavior.

smsmith
07-24-2010, 12:34 PM
I thought we had talked about this subject 15,000 times on Michigan sportsman? :mad:

Probably closer to 20K :D

Pretty interesting post for being #2 - pot stirring?

kansas-andres
07-24-2010, 01:15 PM
Probably closer to 20K :D

Pretty interesting post for being #2 - pot stirring?

Pot stirring 100% IMO. Dooman ALREADY KNOWS what answers this thread will bring, He is a regular poster on the MSF.........


Attention: All NEW Michigan QDMA forum members, This is not Michigan Sportsman. We dont want to talk about baiting, Mars or the other nonsense that gets posted on the MSF. Please dont post controversial threads that have already been beat to death on other sites :mad:


Dooman not trying to pick on you, But this is a respectable site, Lets keep It that way

food plot 4 life
07-24-2010, 01:32 PM
Pot stirring 100% IMO. Dooman ALREADY KNOWS what answers this thread will bring, He is a regular poster on the MSF.........


Attention: All NEW Michigan QDMA forum members, This is not Michigan Sportsman. We dont want to talk about baiting, Mars or the other nonsense that gets posted on the MSF. Please dont post controversial threads that have already been beat to death on other sites :mad:


Dooman not trying to pick on you, But this is a respectable site, Lets keep It that way

you go brother man ! thats y im not on there much some old some old !

smsmith
07-24-2010, 02:44 PM
Pot stirring 100% IMO. Dooman ALREADY KNOWS what answers this thread will bring, He is a regular poster on the MSF.........


Attention: All NEW Michigan QDMA forum members, This is not Michigan Sportsman. We dont want to talk about baiting, Mars or the other nonsense that gets posted on the MSF. Please dont post controversial threads that have already been beat to death on other sites :mad:


Dooman not trying to pick on you, But this is a respectable site, Lets keep It that way

Yep, let's keep it that way is right. This place turns into MSF and I'll be sick to my stomach:mad:

Dooman
07-24-2010, 04:26 PM
Not trying to start anything. I was wondering if I would get less emotional opinions here. When I searched the subject on this forum I didn't see much. My apologies.

Thump1
07-24-2010, 05:19 PM
Not trying to start anything. I was wondering if I would get less emotional opinions here. When I searched the subject on this forum I didn't see much. My apologies.

to the forum Doo. Hope you enjoy the content and the 99% respectful exchanges we enjoy here (I admit I've fallen off the wagon once or twice). Lot's of good facts & opinions not much ego... IMHO.

kansas-andres
07-24-2010, 05:33 PM
[QUOTE=Dooman;309668]Not trying to start anything. I was wondering if I would get less emotional opinions here. When I searched the subject on this forum I didn't see much. My apologies.[/QUO



Dooman welcome to the forum :) I enjoy reading your post on the other site. If I offended you, I appologize :)

Swamp_Ghost
07-24-2010, 08:03 PM
I was wondering what is your opinion of planting and maintaining food plots in an area where there is known to be TB? ie. northeast lower peninsula of Michigan

What does my or any other forum members opinion matter? The FACT is that you CAN plant plots in MI's TB zone and you CANNOT bait within that same zone. This law was established by MI DNR biologist recommendations and orders, not opinions.

Mojostick
07-24-2010, 11:31 PM
In my opinion, to err on the side of utmost caution, I'd suggest not planting food plots in any area with known TB or CWD until more is learned about disease spread. Food plots can always be cleared and planted in the future in said area's.

That's not to say I wouldn't improve the native habitat/vegatation in these area's. Creating more and better native browse will likely spread deer out, especially doe groups, from prime food in area's lacking much prime food. I'd suggest timbering and creating bedding cover for more "QDM" management of your property in such area's.

Disease aside, I also suggest that folks don't necessarily get sucked into the idea that food plots are "all that". If your land happens to be in an area where hunting pressure is heavy to very heavy, my experience is that you'll get better overall results from creating native thick bedding cover/sanctuary than from creating a food plot. Especially if you're in an area with poor soils, which in truth, makes up a lot of hunting ground across the nation.

Just another perspective.

sandbur
07-26-2010, 04:24 PM
The idea that the size of the food plot will diminish the concentration of deer is predicated on the idea that the deer will spread out and utilize all of the available space to avoid contact with other deer.

Through my observations of feeding deer and in looking at the herd behavior of most species of herbivores, I have not found that to be the case. When feeding out in the open, deer, like other prey species, tend to cluster together defensively. It's an innate behavior. So even if the food plot is 20,000 sq. ft. in size, the deer are still probably going to be concentrated in a relatively small area, which will increase the potential for both nose to nose, nose to saliva or nose to soil contact, which in turn can serve as a vector for communicable disease. It's not always true but a lot of the time that I see deer feeding in food plots or agricultural fields, they exhibit that clustered behavior.

Munster- Do you see any variation in this behavior with a lower population density? Does this clustering happen to a larger extent at certain times of the year?

In my experiences from tiny foodplots to larger fields, the deer are usualyy in family groups. One doe/fawn(s) group in one small foodplot and if on a larger field, the does and fawns usually each have their own corners of a larger ag field.


With severe winter and a standing cornfield or spring migration out of a wintering area, they do tend to cluster more. The territorial behavior of the old doe seems to break down.

Also bachelor groups of bucks or unbred yearling does do tend to cluster, but not with an old doe who claims her area.

To give you an idea of our deer density, the largest group I have seen on my farm is 7 deer and that was at spring dispersal out of the wintering areas. With higher deer densities, they may not be so territorial.

Munsterlndr
07-26-2010, 05:14 PM
There is no question that social behavior impacts the degree of concentration that you will see, both when feeding in food plots or at bait piles. I've seen matriarchal does run off non-family group deer in both scenarios. The presence of other deer also impacts the feeding consumption rate, there was a study done in the Czech Republic that showed that white tailed deer ate significantly less when supplemental fed, in the presence of both other whitetails or in the presence of fallow deer. (Jacobson et al, 1994)

Density is also going to impact the amount of concentration, as is the relative amount of available natural browse vs. the degree that the deer rely on agricultural product. I've read that in some agricultural areas that as much of 85% of the deers food can come from agricultural sources during some times of the year. In non-ag areas, introducing planted high quality food sources will most likely increase the degree of concentration. As Kip Adams has said, "If you plant it, they will come".

The clustered behavior that I referred to in the previous post is called aggregation and it's a well documented trait found among most large herbivores. It's that innate tendency to cluster for defensive purposes that contradicts the premise that that the substantially increased size of food plots or farm fields has some sort of an automatic prophylactic impact in limiting the potential spread of communicable diseases that is increased through close contact.

Here is a graphic that shows the two conflicting theories. The first shows maximum dispersal. If that was the behavior that deer exhibited, then the idea that increasing the size of the plot would have a direct impact on decreasing the degree of contact would certainly hold merit. The second picture shows typical herbivore aggregation behavior. The size of the group might increase slightly as the size of the plot or field increases but essentially the cluster remains fairly small and certainly small enough that there is a fairly high frequency of interanimal contact or contact with soil that has been contacted either by other animals or their bodily fluids. Ask yourself, which of these two graphics most closely resembles the deer that you see feeding in the fields?

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc112/Munsterlndr/food%20plots/Herbivoreaggregation.jpg

At the end of the day, controlling population density and keeping it well under carrying capacity is by far the strongest tool that we have in containing the spread of communicable disease. Leopold told us that 75 years ago and nothing has changed. Responsible food plotters should take steps to insure that they are not concentrating deer in areas where disease is known to be present and that they are not sustaining population densities at levels that could contribute to the spread of disease, should an outbreak occur.