GameKeepers Emag

Gamekeepers Winter 2015

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92 Creating Visual Screens continued Deer love to stage in tall native grass before entering a food plot. Timing is Everything Make sure to get these blends planted with enough time to grow to full maturity. These sorghum, millet, and Egyptian wheat seeds need a good 80-90 days of growth to reach full height and maturity. If you wait until a month before the deer season starts to think about planting, you'll be too late. Late spring through early summer is a great time to get these blends started. Fertilizer recom- mendations without a soil test would be 200-300 lbs per acre of 17-17-17. Planting depth should be about ½ inch up to 1 inch deep. Blind Spot or Whistle Back do really well planted with a drill or planter using a "sorghum setting" on the planting rate. These blends can also be broadcasted onto a well prepared seedbed and lightly covered with a drag or cultipacker. Planting rate for Whistle Back is 30 to 40 lbs per acre. Blind Spot should be planted around 16 lbs per acre. A major bonus from using these blends to cre- ate screens and cover is the amount of seed pro- duced that is highly preferred by turkeys, quail, and other birds. Another ancillary benefit of using these blends is the escape cover and habitat it cre- ates for small game and other critters as well as adding to the overall diversity of a property. Wrapping up As mentioned, you can also utilize native warm season grasses as a more long term, perennial option for your screening and partitioning fields. These also require some management and atten- tion to ensure a good stand that meets your goals. Nativ Nurseries' Barrier Blend was designed with this purpose in mind. It contains varieties such as Big Bluestem, Alamo Switchgrass, Iron Weed, Maximillian Sunflower, and White Wingstem that will average 7-10 ft in height. There has been a significant decrease of CRP ground especially in the Midwest during the last decade, the native grasses and plants that inhabit- ed these areas were heavily used by wildlife. Whether you use annuals or perennials to create your screens or travel corridors, food plot archi- tecture can be a lot of fun.X When planting a screen along a roadway it is best to stagger plantings, keeping in mind some trees/shrubs will branch off vertically and others horizontally. This amazing screen was designed by Plots Plus, out of Tennessee. © Kenny Thompson

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