Advise on planting a small dove field.

Thread starter #1
Hey there I was hoping some of yall. Could tell me how to prep, when to plant, what to plant, burn or cut? This will be my 1st go and just trying get my ducks in a row before it's to late. Thank yall
 

Geestring

Senior Member
I am going to do the same thing for the first time as well. There are a lot of people with a lot more knowledge about dove plots than me on this forum and I hope they chime in. I e planted many food plots for deer but never for dove. I am planning on Spraying the plot with glyphosate in early June and harrowing, fertilizing and planting millet in late June all at the same time. Then, about a week or so before dove season I am going to mow some strips through it. If I need to do anything differently I am open for suggestions.
 
I am going to do the same thing for the first time as well. There are a lot of people with a lot more knowledge about dove plots than me on this forum and I hope they chime in. I e planted many food plots for deer but never for dove. I am planning on Spraying the plot with glyphosate in early June and harrowing, fertilizing and planting millet in late June all at the same time. Then, about a week or so before dove season I am going to mow some strips through it. If I need to do anything differently I am open for suggestions.
Sounds like you are doing it just like I do! We been doing our fields like this for years!
 
Thread starter #4
I am going to do the same thing for the first time as well. There are a lot of people with a lot more knowledge about dove plots than me on this forum and I hope they chime in. I e planted many food plots for deer but never for dove. I am planning on Spraying the plot with glyphosate in early June and harrowing, fertilizing and planting millet in late June all at the same time. Then, about a week or so before dove season I am going to mow some strips through it. If I need to do anything differently I am open for suggestions.
Thank you sir!
 
I am going to do the same thing for the first time as well. There are a lot of people with a lot more knowledge about dove plots than me on this forum and I hope they chime in. I e planted many food plots for deer but never for dove. I am planning on Spraying the plot with glyphosate in early June and harrowing, fertilizing and planting millet in late June all at the same time. Then, about a week or so before dove season I am going to mow some strips through it. If I need to do anything differently I am open for suggestions.
The only thing I would add is that if it is new field, especially if it is small, I would start trying to get birds coming to it earlier than the week before the season. You can harrow a strip or two around the edge in the summer and throw millet out to get birds used to coming. Once the millet heads out you can bush hog it, silage chop some, or even hand scatter it onto the clean ground to keep the birds coming. Then you can cut a week or two before the season and should already have some used to using the field without have to try to attract a bunch in a week. Also, depending on the size and how many times you plan on hunting it, it helps to stagger two or three different planting so the millet matures at different times. Then you can cut throughout the season to keep birds coming. If you plant it all in June and cut it all late August, there won’t be much in the way to attract birds later in the season. If you stagger the plantings and the cutting, you can typically do better having multiple hunts because you have food the whole time.
 

Geestring

Senior Member
The only thing I would add is that if it is new field, especially if it is small, I would start trying to get birds coming to it earlier than the week before the season. You can harrow a strip or two around the edge in the summer and throw millet out to get birds used to coming. Once the millet heads out you can bush hog it, silage chop some, or even hand scatter it onto the clean ground to keep the birds coming. Then you can cut a week or two before the season and should already have some used to using the field without have to try to attract a bunch in a week. Also, depending on the size and how many times you plan on hunting it, it helps to stagger two or three different planting so the millet matures at different times. Then you can cut throughout the season to keep birds coming. If you plant it all in June and cut it all late August, there won’t be much in the way to attract birds later in the season. If you stagger the plantings and the cutting, you can typically do better having multiple hunts because you have food the whole time.
I am planning on planting 2 or 3 locations, maybe 1/2 acre to 3/4 acre each but all on the same property just different locations. My question is, if I mow some strips in each plot a week or so before the season comes in, how long will the millet that I don’t mow be an attractant or I guess my question is how late in the season can I continue to mow the remaining millet and it still be an attractant for the dove? There are always birds on this property but are usually kind of scattered and we are planting to hopefully draw them in to a particular spot
 
I am planning on planting 2 or 3 locations, maybe 1/2 acre to 3/4 acre each but all on the same property just different locations. My question is, if I mow some strips in each plot a week or so before the season comes in, how long will the millet that I don’t mow be an attractant or I guess my question is how late in the season can I continue to mow the remaining millet and it still be an attractant for the dove? There are always birds on this property but are usually kind of scattered and we are planting to hopefully draw them in to a particular spot

It depends, but I will say this, once it matures and the seeds dry out, the breakdown begins. If the year is really dry, there are no storms or wind to knock it down, it will last a while. If you cut it, it rains a ton and the heads stay wet a lot or get knocked to the ground, it degrades to the point they won’t eat it fairly quick. If you have ever had a bird feeder, the seed last forever dry but turns into a mess if you get water in the bag/feeder and they won’t eat it. The ground and moisture take a toll on it pretty quick. If you want to hunt through the season, you are better staggering the planting so the stuff matures later. Like I said, once the seed dries out it starts, so if you push that back by planting some in late June, some in July, some in August, it will mature late August, September, and October, so you have “fresh” seed later in the year.
 
Thanks for your input, much appreciated...
The other option is to plant a different millet with a longer maturing date at the same time. As far as size, in my experience the bigger the better in most cases, but I’ve had good shoots on small fields. The problem you are going to have with 3/4 acre fields is if you cut it all it is gone quickly, but if you cut strips throughout the year, there just won’t be that much food for them to eat compared to likely other options, so you won’t have much in the way of numbers. How many people are you planning on hunting, and are you looking to hunt all season?
 

Geestring

Senior Member
The other option is to plant a different millet with a longer maturing date at the same time. As far as size, in my experience the bigger the better in most cases, but I’ve had good shoots on small fields. The problem you are going to have with 3/4 acre fields is if you cut it all it is gone quickly, but if you cut strips throughout the year, there just won’t be that much food for them to eat compared to likely other options, so you won’t have much in the way of numbers. How many people are you planning on hunting, and are you looking to hunt all season?
We just started last season and only invited about 12 people, we shot at the beginning of the season on a weekend and had another the last weekend of the season. Mostly used it as a small fund raiser for food plots and supplemental feeding for the deer. The farmer usually plants corn as well so there are lots of birds but just scattered and I want to try to concentrate them a little better. He picked the corn a little later than normal last year and he didn’t pick it til about 3 days before we hunted and I dont think the doves had really had a chance to start hammering the leftover corn in the fields
 
It’s harder in my experience to draw late season birds to a small field than it is early season birds because they migrate in. If you feed them all summer, you are shooting birds in September that for have the most part been there the whole time. If you have something drawing them in around you, then obviously that helps late in the year when they fly down from up north. I’ve also planted a small food plot field before with millet, feed them through the summer, and then shot it the first couple of weekends, then planted the same spot in winter wheat and shot it again after that as well. I think it has to be planted by Dec. 1 or earlier
in most of the state to be legal, but if you don’t want to shoot until after deer season, that probably isn’t an option.
 
Millet is easy and cheap but its hard to beat sunflowers. we plant around 50 acres of corn and sunflowers every year. round up ready sunflowers can get expensive for large fields but if you are planting only an acre you can do it fairly cheap. i would recommend spraying some form of pre-emergent on whatever you plant (prowl) for sunflowers or (atrazine) for millet to help with the weeds.
 
Millet is easy and cheap but its hard to beat sunflowers. we plant around 50 acres of corn and sunflowers every year. round up ready sunflowers can get expensive for large fields but if you are planting only an acre you can do it fairly cheap. i would recommend spraying some form of pre-emergent on whatever you plant (prowl) for sunflowers or (atrazine) for millet to help with the weeds.
Unless you can fence them, small sunflower fields are a waste of time.
 
True deer can be a problem but spreading millorganite will help keep the deer off off them

I've had some success with it around the hostas and such in the year, but I have never had any real success with it in a food plot. Even in the yard the effect seems to wain pretty quickly, and you have to keep applying it. If you deer density is high, fencing them out is about the only option you've got.
 
I've had some success with it around the hostas and such in the year, but I have never had any real success with it in a food plot. Even in the yard the effect seems to wain pretty quickly, and you have to keep applying it. If you deer density is high, fencing them out is about the only option you've got.
yep it will go away especially after a good rain, and when they figure out how to jump the fence there is nothing you can do.
 
yep it will go away especially after a good rain, and when they figure out how to jump the fence there is nothing you can do.
An electric fences work the best by far, especially if the area is you are protected is decent sized, but I've had good success with the 8 foot poly fencing as well, especially on a fairly small plot or garden. It just depends on how much money you want to spend on it. Millet would be the easiest and cheapest all around, just watch out for army worms.
 
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