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I usually do quite a bit of bow hunting on Conservation Areas in central Missouri but havent this year yet, but have done some scouting at them.

Has anyone else noticed they seem to have cut back on the number of food plots put in this year or is it just in my head?

Just wondering.
 

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Around Warsaw there is a lot less. Some of it was flooded around Truman. My friend that is a corp ranger said they are going to try to get the contracts done this year if it don't flood again.
 

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There were some periods of rain this year less than friendly to planting schedules.... and harvesting times too. Darn standing corn..
 

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I hunt the national forest grounds in the Mark Twain and there are never food plots on that ground.
 

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Looks like alot of them are cutting cost by Thinning and Burning.

oneshot
:D The Big Grin will help with the Burning.
 

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up here, I'm seeing a progression towards more and more sunflower fields, cause that's their glory season. Lost the best rabbit area for another damn batch of sunflowers this year.
 

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[rquote=1536386&tid=107040&author=MOGC]I hunt the national forest grounds in the Mark Twain and there are never food plots on that ground.[/rquote]

That is because the forest plan does not include food plots. They used to plant some on the ava district and had mdc plant some in some places but they stopped because they werent allowed in the forest plan.
 

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That begs the question... why not? I'm sure the answer is money and resources. All the Forest Service does is take timber and leave clear cuts. A little less cutting, some prescribed burns, and a few scattered food plots would really perk the place up.
 

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The thing is it isn't the people around here that are making the decisions. I'm sure some of them would love to plant food plots, but it's the people writing the plans in Washington D.C. making the decisions, they just have to work according to them. They seem to do quite a bit of burning down around bradleyville.

The problem also is that they can't just do something they want to do, they have to get archeological approval, and environmental approval, and go through a review process for everything.

One thing you mention though is that they take timber and leave clearcuts. You dont think that is good for the deer? That is more of a food plot than the wheat patches everybody plants and calls food plots. I'm pretty sure the forest service cant cut timber on a certain percentage of slope anyway so there is always gonna be big mature timber also. I
 

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I know the two close to me didn`t put the plots in that they normally do. Fortunately I found a few new private properties to hunt, and didn`t have to use them. I do know that they still took a lot of deer from the two areas I`m talking about though.
 

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limbhanger,
I do think some scattered select cutting is beneficial to the wildlife in the large tracts of forest ground. I know what that does to the forest and overall when done properly it is a healthy thing. However, the Forest Service in recent years has approving cutting way beyond anything I have seen ever before in much of my hunting grounds in the Potosi/Salem District. Nearly every other ridge has a cut on it. Drive down 32 hwy in Iron County west toward Salem and see how much cutting has been done in there. Seems every ridge and pull in now has a logging road down it with a fresh clear-cut at the end. This isn’t the first time this area has been cut either, it has been cut in prior to this recent onslaught. This was strictly a money driven plan implemented by Washington DC.

Then Mother Nature complicated things with an ice storm a few years ago that toppled the large oaks and snapped the tops out of the pines. Then… a series of wind storms/tornado activity last summer did even more damage. The once beautiful Mark Twain in this area is a jungle now. To walk forward a mile means crawling over and under criss crossed logs, brush tops, and zig sagging along side hills, ect double the distance. Visibility is about half what it used to be. Hopefully now they are only doing a recovery operation on the downed timber and not cutting new timber.

This area is prime for some controlled burns and some real management efforts. This area has some of the lowest population densities of game animals in the state and with some of the highest hunter densities. The area could really benefit from some boots on the ground management with some burns and scattered food plots. Money talks and bulls$it walks and there is money in timber and cost in wildlife management.
 

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I went to school with the feller that plants the plots in the Atlanta wildlife area. The excessive rains this spring were giving him as much trouble as they were giving the rest of us that put in big plots.
 

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The biggest problem is a lot of decisions are made by people who have never stepped foot on the land. They probably sit in the office all day and decide what they think is best. There is a lot of bottomland down here they are letting grow up in locust because they dont want anything going on in riparian zones, so whole fields are no worthless. The glades are all grown up in cedar because they can't go in and slash them before they burn.
 

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Very true limbhanger. I called the regional office for the Potosi/Salem district to ask a question about the Council Bluffs Lake area and actually had to explain where the 450 acre lake was located in their district. I’m pretty sure that is the largest lake the U.S. Forest Service has in Missouri and certainly the largest in that particular region, you would think they would know where it was located within their own area!
 
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