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Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4054262
01/05/24 05:17 PM
01/05/24 05:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 771
Alabama
chevydude2015 Offline
4 point
chevydude2015  Offline
4 point
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 771
Alabama
Originally Posted by RandanAL
Originally Posted by Gobble4me757
What’s the difference between mowing a field vs bushog? I have been told multiple occasions lately to not bushhog but people talk about mowing etc? I figured they were one and the same?
I'd say they're very similar in this case.

Bush hogging is cutting anything from larger brush to basically mowing grass, but you're using a tractor
Mowing is generally just grass, but you could be using either a mower or a bush hog

At least that's the context I've always understood it.


One of the biggest factors is timing from what I understand. Bushhogging during the summer consistently promotes the growth of non-native turf grasses which are not beneficial to deer. However, in the winter months it can be a useful tool to help set back woody growth in old field habitat etc.

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4054372
01/05/24 08:18 PM
01/05/24 08:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 35,349
Boxes Cove
2Dogs Offline
Freak of Nature
2Dogs  Offline
Freak of Nature
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 35,349
Boxes Cove
I've heard him speak , he's a hardwood wildlife management guru. I heard him say " y'all ever see a deer eat a pine cone?"



"Why do you ask"?

Always vote the slowest path to socialism.







Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4054570
01/06/24 07:33 AM
01/06/24 07:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,152
Colbert County
T
Teacher One Offline
14 point
Teacher One  Offline
14 point
T
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 9,152
Colbert County
I have raised livestock all my life and have watched them for over 60 years as they go about their daily routine. Their #1 requirement is safety almost year round. I have several different hayfields and I love watching deer use them. I have a 30-acre field that has small pockets of hardwoods in it. I let this place grow up 4 years ago and it was like a deer paradise when the weeds and saplings got over head high. Deer used this like a Wal-Mart on Black Friday. When I bush-hogged it all down and cleaned it up for hay production, the deer moved off me into the 3-year-old cutover bordering my South border. They stayed in the cutover all day and would use the hayfield early and late to browse all the different grasses that were growing on it.

The next year I took my disc and planted a green field that was 150 yards long along the border of the cutover. Deer wear it out! They also will leave the plot and feed on the fescue and other grasses growing in the hayfield. They nibble here for 30 seconds, raise their heads and look around, nibble another 30 seconds, raise their head, and look around again-repeat. They gradually work their way around to the hardwoods and browse on water oak, red oak, and white oak mast from the small pockets of hardwoods. They dont stay one place too long and they get a variety of browse as they go about their feeding routines.

Long story short, I can see no difference by using a bush hog and keeping the tracts from growing up. I leave a 10' strip between the hayfields and the food plot so my neighbors can't look out the back door and see deer in the plot. When they walk through this buffer they are wide open. I am just glad that "most" of my neighbors don't shoot them. These deer do the exact same thing cattle will do at the house. I am old school and will have to keep bush-hogging until I pass! I have no idea how many deer I have killed in my life, but this works for me.


I can't stand a thief.
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4054629
01/06/24 09:29 AM
01/06/24 09:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,817
Lower AL
K
k bush Offline
12 point
k bush  Offline
12 point
K
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,817
Lower AL
Deer may be feeding in the hayfields but I bet they’re not feeding on the fescue. More than likely it’s small forbs like Carolina geranium, dandelions etc


"Cull" is just another four letter word...
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: k bush] #4054882
01/06/24 06:00 PM
01/06/24 06:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 9,904
Northwest Bama
R
Ridge Life Offline
14 point
Ridge Life  Offline
14 point
R
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 9,904
Northwest Bama
Originally Posted by k bush
Deer may be feeding in the hayfields but I bet they’re not feeding on the fescue. More than likely it’s small forbs like Carolina geranium, dandelions etc


We drill ryegrass in ours and I can’t keep em out of it…

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: Ridge Life] #4055014
01/06/24 09:04 PM
01/06/24 09:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,817
Lower AL
K
k bush Offline
12 point
k bush  Offline
12 point
K
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,817
Lower AL
Originally Posted by Ridge Life
Originally Posted by k bush
Deer may be feeding in the hayfields but I bet they’re not feeding on the fescue. More than likely it’s small forbs like Carolina geranium, dandelions etc


We drill ryegrass in ours and I can’t keep em out of it…


Completely understand. A lot of deer get killed in pastures overseeded with ryegrass and crimson clover. Heck I got a couple of plots I'm glad I have volunteer ryegrass in this year, because the rest are pitiful. I hear a lot of people stating deer feed on fescue, bahia etc and I just don't see it. Especially if it's a "dirty" pasture that's not sprayed.


"Cull" is just another four letter word...
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4055070
01/06/24 09:59 PM
01/06/24 09:59 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 771
Alabama
chevydude2015 Offline
4 point
chevydude2015  Offline
4 point
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 771
Alabama
Deer grazing on grass in the winter months vs on grass the rest of the year are two completely different things. This is why deer abandon winter food plots (depending on what is planted) when spring green up occurs in the woods. Grass is not a preferred forage but deer will do what they need to survive in the winter when food options are limited

Last edited by chevydude2015; 01/06/24 10:02 PM.
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4055124
01/06/24 11:32 PM
01/06/24 11:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 2,174
West Tennessee
Y
YellaLineHunter Offline
8 point
YellaLineHunter  Offline
8 point
Y
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 2,174
West Tennessee
I’ve heard or read somewhere that a deer can starve to death with a belly full of Bermuda grass. They just can’t digest it effectively.

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: YellaLineHunter] #4055391
01/07/24 12:47 PM
01/07/24 12:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 771
Alabama
chevydude2015 Offline
4 point
chevydude2015  Offline
4 point
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 771
Alabama
Originally Posted by YellaLineHunter
I’ve heard or read somewhere that a deer can starve to death with a belly full of Bermuda grass. They just can’t digest it effectively.


This may be true or close to the truth. I know grasses like rye grass provide very little nutritional value to deer

Last edited by chevydude2015; 01/07/24 12:47 PM.
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: Lockjaw] #4055741
01/07/24 10:09 PM
01/07/24 10:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Mbrock Offline
Fancy
Mbrock  Offline
Fancy
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Originally Posted by Lockjaw
If you are going to do that, why even bother having a green field at all, just let the whole place grow up.

I would rather have a green field that I knew the soil PH was good, and that I could plant specific species of forage in it. There is a reason deer mow down soybeans. And why they grow big giant bucks in the heart of american farmland.


It ain’t the soybeans. It’s the soil fertility. The reason stuff is bigger in the Midwest is soil.

What Craig focuses on is not new information. Heck I’ve been doing this for years. Craig just has the info out there available. He’s a great guy and very good habitat manager. Focusing on early successional habitat and understory management does WAY more than any supplemental planting ever will. Start with quality habitat. Food plots are only a secondary priority.

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4055775
01/07/24 11:07 PM
01/07/24 11:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 22,510
Awbarn, AL
CNC Offline
Dances With Weeds
CNC  Offline
Dances With Weeds
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 22,510
Awbarn, AL
I’d say its both…..The soil fertility is why there’s a bunch of soybeans there……which is high quality forage in mass amounts. Its not just the soil…..Its the great soil’s potential forage output


We dont rent pigs
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: CNC] #4055812
01/08/24 05:41 AM
01/08/24 05:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Mbrock Offline
Fancy
Mbrock  Offline
Fancy
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Originally Posted by CNC
I’d say its both…..The soil fertility is why there’s a bunch of soybeans there……which is high quality forage in mass amounts. Its not just the soil…..Its the great soil’s potential forage output

Right, but it all falls back on the productivity of the soil. The reason ppl grow crops there is because of soil fertility. I’ve seen just just as high of quality of deer in areas of the Midwest with no agriculture where they’re eating native vegetation. Healthy fertile soil allows them to reach their full biological potential.

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: Mbrock] #4055861
01/08/24 08:50 AM
01/08/24 08:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,817
Lower AL
K
k bush Offline
12 point
k bush  Offline
12 point
K
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,817
Lower AL
Originally Posted by Mbrock
Originally Posted by Lockjaw
If you are going to do that, why even bother having a green field at all, just let the whole place grow up.

I would rather have a green field that I knew the soil PH was good, and that I could plant specific species of forage in it. There is a reason deer mow down soybeans. And why they grow big giant bucks in the heart of american farmland.


It ain’t the soybeans. It’s the soil fertility. The reason stuff is bigger in the Midwest is soil.

What Craig focuses on is not new information. Heck I’ve been doing this for years. Craig just has the info out there available. He’s a great guy and very good habitat manager. Focusing on early successional habitat and understory management does WAY more than any supplemental planting ever will. Start with quality habitat. Food plots are only a secondary priority.


thumbup thumbup thumbup


"Cull" is just another four letter word...
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4055874
01/08/24 09:20 AM
01/08/24 09:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 8,407
Alabama
Shaneomac2 Offline
14 point
Shaneomac2  Offline
14 point
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 8,407
Alabama
good stuff guys keep that info coming!


Georgia Football..Acts like Bama but has a trophy case like South Carolina.
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4055944
01/08/24 11:54 AM
01/08/24 11:54 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 14,692
Tuscaloosa Co.
N
N2TRKYS Offline
Booner
N2TRKYS  Offline
Booner
N
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 14,692
Tuscaloosa Co.
Soil fertility don’t mean crap without the genetics of the animals to take advantage of it.


83% of all statistics are made up.

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: RandanAL] #4055956
01/08/24 12:22 PM
01/08/24 12:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 22,510
Awbarn, AL
CNC Offline
Dances With Weeds
CNC  Offline
Dances With Weeds
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 22,510
Awbarn, AL
The studies show that there is no difference in the nutrient content of an individual plant grown in high quality soil versus low quality soil…..The difference is the high quality soil’s ability to produce more of an abundance of the better plant species. Chitloads of soybeans for them to eat makes a difference......especially when its being consumed by multiple generations over the course of decades

Last edited by CNC; 01/08/24 12:26 PM.

We dont rent pigs
Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: N2TRKYS] #4055964
01/08/24 12:37 PM
01/08/24 12:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Mbrock Offline
Fancy
Mbrock  Offline
Fancy
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Originally Posted by N2TRKYS
Soil fertility don’t mean crap without the genetics of the animals to take advantage of it.

MSU studies concluded there’s no difference in genetic potential between populations. Only difference is soil fertility. Fed the same diet they have the same genetic potential.

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: CNC] #4055968
01/08/24 12:38 PM
01/08/24 12:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Mbrock Offline
Fancy
Mbrock  Offline
Fancy
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Originally Posted by CNC
The studies show that there is no difference in the nutrient content of an individual plant grown in high quality soil versus low quality soil…..The difference is the high quality soil’s ability to produce more of an abundance of the better plant species. Chitloads of soybeans for them to eat makes a difference......especially when its being consumed by multiple generations over the course of decades

Yes generational nutrition is key.

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: Mbrock] #4055979
01/08/24 12:49 PM
01/08/24 12:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 14,692
Tuscaloosa Co.
N
N2TRKYS Offline
Booner
N2TRKYS  Offline
Booner
N
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 14,692
Tuscaloosa Co.
Originally Posted by Mbrock
Originally Posted by N2TRKYS
Soil fertility don’t mean crap without the genetics of the animals to take advantage of it.

MSU studies concluded there’s no difference in genetic potential between populations. Only difference is soil fertility. Fed the same diet they have the same genetic potential.


So if Key deer were on the same soil fertility landscape that they would have the same rack size that mid West deer do? I highly doubt it.


83% of all statistics are made up.

Re: Craig Harper Approach [Re: N2TRKYS] #4056001
01/08/24 01:36 PM
01/08/24 01:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Mbrock Offline
Fancy
Mbrock  Offline
Fancy
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 8,444
Right behind you
Originally Posted by N2TRKYS
Originally Posted by Mbrock
Originally Posted by N2TRKYS
Soil fertility don’t mean crap without the genetics of the animals to take advantage of it.

MSU studies concluded there’s no difference in genetic potential between populations. Only difference is soil fertility. Fed the same diet they have the same genetic potential.


So if Key deer were on the same soil fertility landscape that they would have the same rack size that mid West deer do? I highly doubt it.


At this point I’m certain there’s a line in which the generational differences in soil fertility have influenced genetics, not just in their expression only, but also in their potential. They are two distinct subspecies of deer adapted to entirely different environments. The populations in MS have drastically different average body weights and antler scores, until provided the same nutrition over 3 or more generations. At that point they were not statistically different. I’m not here to argue. Just stating what has been shown.

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