|Food Plot Results and Seed blend ratings from our 2014 season of the DeerBuilder Property|
IMPORTANT - these results are based on our experiences with commercial seed blends. A bad or good result does not mean the blend will have similar results on your property. There are many variables when planting food plots such as moisture, soil condition, planting techniques, invasive weeds and insects. We are only rating our results based on the conditions we experienced on this Northern New York property. Your experiences will surely vary. Full disclosure - we have no seed blend sponsors. All seed blends were bought over the counter and paid for by us. We had no contact, advice, or communication with any seed blend provider.
About our Annual Food Plot Review
We have been managing hunting lands since 1992 when we brought you the Bowsite Food Plot. In 2010 we bought a 310 acre farm on the southwest edge of New York's Adirondack Mountains. Our goal was to demonstrate to the average hunter with sub-par lands how they can improve nourishment, attract and hold whitetail deer, and transform even the worst properties into the local hot-spot. Unlike the celebrities that hunt the best farms, in the best states, we decided to show you how land management can transform even a "crappy" parcel of land. That was, and still is the mission of Bowsite's DeerBuilder.com website.
Unlike past year reviews, for 2014 we used mostly Brown Bag Seed varieties on all NEW plantings to compare the results against the Commercial "Deer Head" brands. The only exception to this was Real World Soybeans which we purchased from a dealer in New York. We also are displaying the results from Year 3 of our Perrenial Plots. We followed all directions and soil test recommendations and brought this feature to you with fairness to the manufacturers, accuracy and honesty.
We have been adding, expanding, and altering plot locations for three years. All fields except food plot 6 and our new Dozer Plot existed at the time that we purchased the property. In 2015 we are adding another 5 acres by clearing two successional timber areas.
Map of the DeerBuilder Property with Food Plot Locations
Planting Conditions in 2014
This area of New York is east of Lake Ontario and is part of the Lake Effect moisture band. It has never seen a drought. Average rainfall totals nearly 90" of rain and up to 240" of snow. For 2014 we had exceptional growing conditions in the Spring, with good moisture followed by sunny drying periods. The late summer turned dry and that did stunt our brassica plot. We also installed drain tile in Food Plot 2 to solve standing water issues in a low spot.
Soil Tests and Amendments
We are very careful to test our soil in each plot with some larger fields getting multiple soil tests per year. Our soil is a rich, sandy dark loam with good drainage in our higher locations.
We utilized all of our own equipment for these tests, nobody other than me, and my 16 year old son Matt, installed these food plots. We do have some great equipment including a 55 hp diesel tractor, and attachments by Woods Equipment. We also added a 4-row JD 71 corn planter in 2014.
Trail Camera Survey
We had 35 cameras in use from June until January. We diligently maintained batteries and SD Card collections and finished out the season with 28,434 individual photos of big game. These were sorted and maintained for establishing accurate deer utilization trends in each plot.
We spent 22 total man-days hunting this property. We identified 2 mature bucks. Our #1 has been on the property for two years. Our #2 showed up this season. Both our #1 and #2 survived and was photographed in the post season.