Dove Hunting and Sunflower Fields - First Time Help

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Parks 788

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So, Had great success with my two deer food plots this last season. Used Buck Forage Oats and some winter wheat on both. They are still nice and green and have even got a little greener the last couple weeks with the rain and warm weather. I have one of my food plots (call it the small food plot) about 200 yards from the back deck of our house that seem to really attract the dove and even the dove that aren't migrating. See dove all the time and a ton of them in the mid to late Fall. The small plot is about half acre and has a feeder on it but used it really just to watch deer from the back deck.

Here is my plan. Let me know what you all think as this is my first go at putting something together for the Sept/Oct dove season. Take corn/deer feeder down. Going to take about half the existing area of the small food plot and then another half acre of pasture that hasn't been touched yet and rent a rototiller for my Kubota and till up the dirt. Will spread some similar fertilizer that I used on the deer plots just after I till the ground so I have better opportunity for growth. Ideally, will have about an acre of freshly tilled dirt for sunflowers.

Everything I've research tells me I need to have the sunflowers seeded by mid April. My plan is to use one of the little walk behind single row seeders I can get at Atwoods. THis will give me 4 months for the sunflowers to mature then early August I need to kill the sunflowers but still manage to do it keeping them standing. Lots of info I've read says to use a herbicide but I;m not sure how keen I am on this method to kill them off. Doing this I guess it give the plants enough time to die and dry out and drop their sunflower seed just in time for THe start of Dove season.

This is the basics I'm working with so if any of you have any advice or recommendations please chime in. Appreciate the help.
 

Parks 788

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Unless you can fence it to keep deer off it, they may devour the sunflower plants before they flower out.
It will depend on deer density and other food sources available.
Ahhhh, hell! I didn't even think of that. I have no desire to put up 500'-1000' of deer prrof fence. Is there a "best" fence to put up around a crop like this to keep deer out. Surely not putting up that much 8' wire hog panels. Solar electric fence hung off T-posts?

I do have up to a dozen deer still feeding on that food plot each evening so this may be more trouble than it's worth in the end.
 

Oklahomabassin

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There has been some success with a 3 wire hotwire, but its put up like 2 separate fences parallel to each other. I can't remember the measurements about placement right off the top of my head. It relies on trickery or illusion to the deer. With it being close to the house it would be easier to keep an eye on the fence for maintaining it.

@Deer Slayer will have some good info.
 

OHJEEZE

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Having grown sunflowers, there is absolutly no reason to spray sunflowers to kill them.

Sunflowers are annuals, and after seed production is done the plant dies (just like corn)! I can not imagine why someone would recomend spraying it for that reason!

The seeds naturally dry in the flower heads.
If you pick the flower heads leaving the seeds in them, they can mold if not throughly dry.

I never really saw much deer trouble with the variety I have grown, because it is quite hard for the deer to reach up 10 feet.

I do have a section of stalk in the barn I saved that was used as a buck rub though!

If you dont harvest the seeds the birds will!
Any birds!

You will not catch me intentionally feeding wildlife. (Unless it is lead!) Lol! Sunflower seeds make great chicken feed and people feed!

If you get a variety that is open pollenated, you can save seed and replant from your own stock.
7DC45F38-AA7E-4CDD-9A3E-C44332CB4E71.jpeg

Ps,
The two wire fence is because I have cows.
 

jackinok09

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Carefully check the regs you MAY have to actually harvest them (with a combine with holes in bin maybe) to make it legal. Otherwise the way I understand it they consider it baiting. You can hunt over standing crops but if you manipulate it some way it's baiting the way I understand it. There's a certain number of days you have to wait after harvesting also if they've not changed the regs.
 

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