Hay fields as food plots.

Discussion in 'Deer Management, Habitat & Conservation' started by HEAVY, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. HEAVY

    HEAVY Active Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    I have a question for some of the guys that have hay fields. Do you see much activity in them in the fall? I planted about 10 acres of timothy, orchard grass, and clover and plan to bale it this year for hay but was also wondering about the food plot benefit of it also.
  2. hesseu

    hesseu Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2009
    We're getting ready to spray around 20-25 acres of hay fields and let them go back natural :) Of course, we don't need any hay off of them.

  3. Meller

    Meller Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2008
    If you can do some high mowing in the early fall to expose the clover a bit more they will come out and eat in it. Just depends on how thick the clover stand is. But in my experience, if there's good clover that they can get to, they'll use it.

    If you're planning on hunting an edge or a corner that you think they'll come out, I'd nuke the grasses in that 1/4 - 1/2 acre area around your stand and put it in straight clover. Deer will prefer that to picking through grasses for clover, plus you can still bale it and it won't affect your hay yield that much
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    nontypical likes this.
  4. fishshooter

    fishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Shot a lot of them out of hay fields, I believe they were mostly there for the clover. I've also started over seeding some white clover around the edges with hopes of drawing more, results are still pending.
  5. HEAVY

    HEAVY Active Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    I do that on all of our paths and areas around our food plots. Seems to work great.
    CRE10 likes this.
  6. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    Mow a second cutting and the clover will bounce back faster than the grass and provide some attraction .
  7. farmnhunt

    farmnhunt Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    My wife has killed a deer out of her doll house that sets in the fence row between 2 hay fields every year for the last 15 years. Keeping clover is the key.
    nontypical likes this.
  8. flatlander_

    flatlander_ Really? Show me. .

    The deer hammer the red clover in my hay field in late summer/early fall. There is usually beds all over in it from them hanging out and eating during the night.
    nontypical likes this.
  9. Woods

    Woods Cooyon, Back from NOLA

    Mow strips in the hay field, every other year cut the tall stuff. Deer eat natural forage long before food plots.