July Is Great to Set Trail Cameras & Plant Food Plots For Michigan Deer
The July 4th break is a great time for hunters to set up their trail cameras and plant their food plots for the Michigan deer hunting season to kick off in the fall.
Michigan Hunters Set Your Trail Cameras Up in July
For many years I have set my trail camera's sometime between late June and the 4th of July weekend. This time of year is when the male deer are in groups and it's when their horns grow the fastest while in velvet.
The reason I like to do this is that you get to see the horn growth plus learn what deer made it from last season and what is crossing your hunting land so I can better prepare for the next hunting season.
I get all my camera's out when I know I'm going to be working in the yard all day. Between me and my dog running by, I get a good idea of what cameras work better than others and if there are any problems before I set them up. I did this yesterday and noticed several cameras needed new batteries, one camera was dead, there were a few bad memory cards and one camera is on its last leg. Now I know what cameras I want in the more important spots on the land I hunt. I will be hanging these up on the 4th of July and won't check them until Labor Day weekend.
July is Great For Planting Food Plots for Deer in Michigan
I have actually been working on my food plots a little at a time since the beginning of June (I picked my food plot locations last year after hunting this property for 4 years).
When you put in a food plot make sure you do your homework because it's a lot of work to be wrong. The past two plot photos is an area deer travel through all year long and as you see it goes back into the woods where the deer stage before entering the field plus there is water not far behind the plot which is a plus.
Back in June I went out to my three food plot locations and cleared all the logs, sticks, and rocks from the area and any other debris that might mess with my brush hog. After clearing the debris I spread some weed killer to kill off anything and everything so later when I would till and plant I would have a clear canvas.
All three locations were picked because they are the highest-traveled areas for deer and turkeys on the property. I waited three weeks before tilling and knowing there would be some rain. Since these plots had never been tilled before it took a whole day to turn the soil in all three locations twice but well worth the effort. I rented a tiller from a local hardware store since I don't own one but it worked pretty well.
I chose three different types of seeds to find out what the deer will like as well as what will grow the best with the type of soil that I have. Believe it or not, the soil is different in all three locations and the position of the sun is different also. I'm not endorsing any of these products but wanted to show you what I used. They were all picked up at a Family Farm and Home store that I frequent. I spoke with friends who do this as well as did a lot of reading and watching videos on the internet to get me in these directions. For these size plots and what I'm looking to accomplish these bags are perfect and each offer something a little different in each location.
I found an inexpensive hand spreader that is battery-powered to help me spread the seeds. The directions that came with the unit were helpful in deciding what setting to put the spreader on.
This particular spreader has a dial setting on it that really made it worth the purchase and it did such a great job spreading the seeds for my food plots that when I got done, I used it to re-seed some grass seed behind my barn that I just recently cleared out.
This is my first year doing the food plots for deer but it has been something I've wanted to do for years. Once the crops start coming in I will have to come back and put a little weed and feed on them and depending on the rain I may have to get some water out there occasionally. Lucky for me there is a high water table on this property with a spring near each of the plot locations. No matter what happens this year with these plots, my hunting will become better because of it, and the knowledge I will get for knowing what seeds to plant in what locations will be very valuable for future plots to come.
Note: there are different plots you can plant for different times of the year depending on how much time you have, your equipment, and your budget.