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Old Apr 7th 2009, 03:26 PM   #1
 
  Apr 2009
  Central Illinois
Hello, This is for anyone that has any ideas and knowledge on what the most beneficial choice of plant would be to keep my deer herd as healthy as possible. Right now I have about 4 acres of lush ladino clover but it seems to get trampled pretty easy especially with all this rain in the spring. Would Alfalfa or something else with a different root system help the plants last longer and are they more beneficial than ladino? Can I broadcast alfalfa in with my clover or will one overtake the other? Im just looking for anything anyone wants to say because any information on this will help. Just looking for the best crop that will survive the longest. Thanks alot.
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Old Apr 7th 2009, 04:04 PM   #2
 
  Apr 2009
  northeast Ohio
Clover should hold up pretty well if you could keep the deer off of it in the spring when the ground is real wet. We try to keep our elk off the pastures until May if posible. I'm not sure anything could hold up during that time of year.
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Old Apr 7th 2009, 05:17 PM   #3
 
  Apr 2009
  Central Illinois
So the pens that they have been in all winter that are ran down to solid mud and deep puddles from the heavy rains, what would you do with them? We want the deer out of those pens and into the clover so they finnaly have something green to eat after the long winter. Then, till up the dirt pens and replant in something while the deer are demolishing the new clover pens. Maybe a better question is this. Is there something that will hold up to heavy traffic throughout the winter? Nothing we have grows and stays maintainable in the winter, everything turns to solid dirt and now the rains come and we have mud holes. Its mainly a procedure of put in this pen while that pen is growing then switch and let that pen recover then switch and so on. But if alfalfa or something would hold up better then I would rather plant that or mix it in with our clover that is in there now.
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Old Apr 8th 2009, 06:45 AM   #4
 
  Apr 2009
  Clarksville , Iowa
My experience in over 20 yrs in the same pens is too many deer will destroy about anything in the spring if it is real wet. I have confined mine until the grass is greening up well and that is the best way if possible. I have around 3 acres in pens and usually around 15-20 deer. More deer will make problems. A good lawn grass will green up as soon as anything and hold the soil but not much nutrition . I am now in the middle of re-seeding parts of my pens after wintering around 30 head (got stuck with my shooters last fall). I seeded a lawn mix ,red and ladino clover , and oats just to give them something to nibble on as it starts. I have a grass that is overtaking the pens that comes on later in the spring , gets knee deep and lush, deer love it , but dies with the first frost and the roots deteriorate and does not hold any soil over winter -spring. It fills in all dirt areas but doesn't hold the rest of the year....it is indestructable during the summer so who knows????? Some kind of foxtail or something....seeds are like sand in your shoes when you walk through it. Jim
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Old Apr 8th 2009, 02:50 PM   #5
 
  Apr 2009
  Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan
two words "quack grass" ,in the spring deer will walk by alfalfa to get to fresh grass, if you mow it produces through the whole growing season with out getting woody and unpaletlable.there are better kinds of browse at diffeerent times of the year, observe your deer and watch their grazing patterns.
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Old Apr 8th 2009, 04:55 PM   #6
 WillPenn Whitetails's Avatar
 
  Apr 2009
  Bedford, PA
Just did a quick search and most refer to quackgrass as an invasive weed... actually that's exactly what I need! Crude protein runs from 15.1 - 17%... that's not too bad actually.

Curtis - where do you get the seed?
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Old Apr 8th 2009, 05:15 PM   #7
 
  Apr 2009
  Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan
I will take a look and see if any is comercialy available, thhe border may be an issue with a "weed"
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Old Apr 10th 2009, 07:08 AM   #8
 
  Apr 2009
  Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan
I did a little research, quackgrass is available online fron different places I shouldn't be too difficult to get your hands on some in the lower 48. It shouldn't take too much as it is very hardy, it needs to grow 3-4 ft high to set seed but once established it will out live you, a friend wanted alfalfa in his pens ,he sprayed round-up and killed all vegetation seeded alfalfa and within three years no alfalfa left,just the quackgrass
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Old Apr 10th 2009, 07:22 AM   #9
 
  Apr 2009
  Carrollton, MO
This quack grass sounds pretty good but I also have white clover that gets pounded down to mud ever year and so far it comes back just about as good as the year before, entering now my 5th year. Clover roots carry on, even under the mud.
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Old Apr 10th 2009, 07:25 AM   #10
 WillPenn Whitetails's Avatar
 
  Apr 2009
  Bedford, PA
Thanks guys.
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Old Apr 10th 2009, 10:56 AM   #11
 
  Apr 2009
  Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan
here is a mowed pen in late July with quackgrass

23:hightower22
Attached Thumbnails
Most Healthy Vegetation Possible?-hightower22.jpg  
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Old Apr 10th 2009, 12:05 PM   #12
 
  Apr 2009
Curtis looks like hightower is pied buck. He has white markings. He is a nice buck.
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Old Apr 10th 2009, 06:16 PM   #13
 
  Apr 2009
  Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan
Yeah he's a fancy deer, Hightower2 ( should score around 180"), belongs to Dennis Lossel here in Sask. , his sire ...Hightower (AGE7) is still alive great deer 208typ frame 234+ gross,15 1/2" G2's, the only thing lacking is spread 19"
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