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Old 06-03-2012, 01:06 PM
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Default Suggestion for deer attracting wetland planting?

I have about 2 acres of ground that stays very wet and soft about 95% of the year...not quite marshy, but close. There is only thick fescue grass there now...no value. Occassionally (like during our mini-drought right now) it is possible for me to get in there and either mow, spray, and or run a disk lightly....I am looking to plant (obviously a perrenial or permanent planting) that might have some either bedding or food benefit for deer? Any suggestions? I have a bunch of switchgrass seed left over from some WSG plantings. I have 11 foodplots out on my ground and doing well...so, since those of us that are addicted to this habit know, i am looking for SOMETHING to do with this last piece of flat (albeit very wet) ground.
Thank you very much for any suggestions.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:37 PM
sandbur sandbur is offline
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Alsike can handle fairly wet ground. That might be an option.

Or if you need the cover, willow shrubs and spruce.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:34 PM
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I'd opt for cover plantings. If the area is wet most of the year, you really don't want to be in there with machinery.
I have a damp area that needs cover and I've been thinking of planting buttonbush and willow but there are a lot of options. I'd like to hear about some options from brushpile.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:45 PM
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Look up Japanese Millet
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:32 AM
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Back hoe some holes, create some berms, lime and plant the berms.

Just dont let MR DNR catch ya!!
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:50 PM
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Have you considered ridding the area of fescue now and then waiting to see what native plants emerge next season? Wet areas/bottoms generally contain the best of deer habitat inclusive of plants which are well suited to the site and growing conditions and are of high forage quality.

Establishing crops or improved forages in such an area can be problematic. In the end, often no better habitat is created by a plot compared to that which mother nature can provide after an initial disturbance.

If you don't like the natural setting after a few years, then a plot planting can be undertaken.

Just a few thoughts!
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgallow View Post
Have you considered ridding the area of fescue now and then waiting to see what native plants emerge next season? Wet areas/bottoms generally contain the best of deer habitat inclusive of plants which are well suited to the site and growing conditions and are of high forage quality.

Establishing crops or improved forages in such an area can be problematic. In the end, often no better habitat is created by a plot compared to that which mother nature can provide after an initial disturbance.

If you don't like the natural setting after a few years, then a plot planting can be undertaken.

Just a few thoughts!

Great advice!
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:05 AM
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I'll jump on the cover bandwagon as well. Take advantage of the natural moisture and create yourself a 2 acre thicket. Lots of choices too......ROD, grey gogwood, nanny berry, winterberry, elderberry, and chokeberry.....to name a few. Anything that suckers wil thrive here. In 2-3 years you'll have a real nice thicket........food and cover.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:03 AM
broom_jm broom_jm is offline
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Habitat management is all about filling in the gaps. In central Indiana, food is rarely a problem for deer, during the spring/summer/fall months. If you've got 11 food plots, hopefully most of them are targeted at the winter months, when deer have little left to eat. Purdue University has done studies detailing how little benefit warm season food plots are on the health of deer or the antler mass of bucks in most of Indiana. They concluded that cool season plots, from late fall through early winter, are much more important to deer in the Hoosier state.

Like the majority of the corn belt, much of Indiana lacks good cover. Take a critical look at your land, and those around you, to determine what is in abundance and what is missing. For attracting and holding mature deer, food is almost never the answer, in the lower Midwest...it's almost always cover!
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:41 PM
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Default wetland beds

While the area is dry and you have no brush in there yet, it might be a good time to get the tractor in there and create some small mounds (by digging small water holes) to insure there will be dry spots for the deer to bed in during wetter times and possibly standing water during drier times. The mounds of course will also give you more options as to what bushes you can grow there.

I have such a spot and it is filling in with willows quite nicely both on it's own and from hinge cutting the four huge willow trees that were already there. One of the hinge cut trees which was cut quite a few years ago has produced many, many sprouts that are themselves now ready to hinge cut. Not knowing any better, I hinge cut the willows closer to the ground than usually done for deer and think as a result it worked out better as far as growing more brush from sprouts goes.
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