I moved from Pennsylvania, to Mississippi roughly a year or so ago.
We have a decent sized property.
And my father put a salt block out.
We've noticed deer - two or three, which seem to frequent the area. It's mostly goldenrods, passionfruit and some other things in that area.
There was a good bit of cover before that was taken out.
There are some hickory and pecan nuts, that I've been chucking over in that area.
I believe that those could eventually come up, and make trees over there.
I threw them in large numbers, because deer will likely browse them to death.
In Pennsylvania, baiting and food plots, were more or less illegal.
They were seeminly illegal in Mississippi for a time as well.
You can shoot deer near these or attract them to your plot.
I've read that people plant apples, Brassicas and other things.
I've been thinking of American Plum, American Persimmon, Pawpaw, Osage Orange and maybe even a hardy citrus or two.
I've read that the peels are sometimes eaten by deer, to help with digestion.
Plus, maybe some local oaks, hickory and things.
Some Beauty berries also seem to grow wild here.
So, I'll probably encourage some to grow there as well.
I've found berries from plants, just straight up eaten off the plant, along with the stems and leaves which were around them.
There's some Sabal minor plants growing here, to some extent as well.
They're fenced in, as ornamentals.
But, I've read that deer may eat their bundles of "berries."
With Pawpaws, Sabal minor and some other things - deer won't touch the leaves, but they'll gobble up the fruit.
Other trees like oaks and the like, they'll probably still browse the leaves.
Beauty Berry leaves don't seem to be preferred forage, but they'll eat them if they see berries.
They may eat immature plants.
I'm not too interested in purely grassy or oat, sort of mixes.
Unless they can be encorporated into the mentioned mix.
The area goes upwards to a hill, somewhat swampy / muddy here.
There are some trees up the hill, and forests nearby.
So there's some brief shade.
I'm also aware that some forage and things can influence a deers taste.
And, deer that eat persimmons and things, will likely poop them out all around the area.
There's also a Sumac of some sort, starting to form a colony near the mentioned area. I've read that deer enjoy those.
Am I missing anything here, to plant?
These also don't necessarily have to feed the deer while hunting.
There's a much longer hunting season than back in PA.
So, we aren't worried about not getting any deer.
But, I'm pretty sure that the food availability and frequency of seeing deer, will increase with a food plot.
I've seen some studies saying that deer don't like food plots as much as some things.
But those seemed biased towards singular, oat, corn and monoculture or single feeding types of areas.
Or ones which get tilled and disturbed often.
I'm also not against letting wild Sunflower relatives and the like grow.
To me, a food plot should have some shaded areas - or constant cover. And it shouldn't be disturbed once the plot begins to establish.
Pawpaws would probably do fine, closer into the shaded parts.
American Persimmons, American Plum and some other things, may do well in the sunnier spots.
Sabal minor, the ones here. They don't get huge trunks, and they bush outwards.
That should leave cover for some trees to grow around them, and deer would have issues getting close enough to eat seedlings of trees.
I've read that deer, will nibble on Osage Orange fruits - stomp them into oblivion to get at the seeds, if they're hungry.
Larger buck may actually enjoy the fruits and consume them.
I believe that Buck with larger necks, are able to eat them.
Cattle and small necked horses reportedly choke on them.
That could be why Buck seem to eat them, while does nibble.
I've also noticed that people plant them far away from where anything local, has eaten them.
Deer could have troubles digesting them, but I believe it's an issue with chewing them and whatnot.
I believe that if they know that American persimmons drop to the ground here, along with Pawpaws and American plums, that they'll also nibble at or eat other things lying around.
Honey Locust, might be OK in a bit of shade here.
It's a bit out of its comfort zone here.
I've heard that deer eat the pods and all.
Either way. I've heard that Persimmons are on a list of things that deer love. Notably, American Persimmons.
They drop from the trees. Asian types, tend to stay on the trees, and deer need to reach for them. Deer don't like to do that.
I'm assuming that letting established passion fruits just seed themselves into the area, also wouldn't hurt.
I feel like squirrels and other animals just help keep a food plot tidy, and deer might feel more at home or feel less like there's something off about the area.
Does this sound like a good setup?
I imagine that I'll need tubing and things for young trees / seedlings.
I'm not bothering with the hickory and pecan seedlings. I'll just overseed them, until there's a bunch of survivors.
Do I need to add anything else here?