John's Journal...

Trees and Bushes Bowhunters Can Plant to Increase Their Success

A look At Nut Trees and Bushes

Click to enlargeEditor’s note: Many have written about the advantage of planting food plots to manage wildlife. You can provide quality nutrition for your wildlife when you plant crops, but you’ll also have to invest time and money managing those food plots. You may find planting permanent food plots comprised of trees and shrubs instead of just small grains a more-economical alternative. Here are some tips for planting permanent food plots to attract wildlife.

The Sawtooth Oak, which produces a tremendous amount of acorns in a veryClick to enlarge-short time, has become one of the most-popular nut trees for planting. The acorns of the Sawtooth Oak begin to drop in September. Both the Sawtooth and the Gobbler Sawtooth Oak, which has smaller acorns more suited for turkeys, produce acorns much faster than any of the other oaks. The Sawtooth Oak produces as many as 1,000 pounds of acorns each year. Remember, the care you give the trees you buy determines how quickly they will yield food for your deer and turkeys. Allen Deese, a nursery manager for the Wildlife Group of Tuskegee, advises that, “The Chinese chestnut is another popular nut tree for several reasons. You can buy a five-year-old Chinese chestnut that immediately (within one to two years) begins to drop chestnuts. These trees will continue to grow and produce nuts that you can hunt over during blow seasoClick to enlargen for the next 50 years. Once you plant the Chinese chestnut, you’ll have a productive bowhunting site for your children and grandchildren as well as yourself.”

Strawberry Bush:
Deese considers the strawberry bush, also called Heart’s A Burstin’, one of the best-kept secrets in the world of wildlife management. This small green bush produces green berries throughout the summer, and in late summer, the berries turn red anClick to enlarged have red-orange seeds. “However, one of the problems with the strawberry bush is that deer will eat the whole plant if you let them,” Deese comments. “Described as ‘ice cream for whitetails,’ the strawberry bushes should be planted 2- to 3- feet apart and covered with 2X4 wire.” Deese recommends using the 2X4 wire to make an A-frame over the shrub and then boxing in both ends. Or, stand up the 2X4 wire to make a cage around the strawberry bush. To effectively attract the deer, you must protect the bushes until they become established and they prevent the deer from eating them all the way to the ground. Wire cages protect the bushes while they provide food for the deer and a hunting site for the bowhunter. As the bushes continue to produce limbs and leaves that grow outside the cages, the deer can feed on them. The deer will feed on strawberry bushes as long as the bushes grow outside the wire.

To learn more about the Wildlife Group, visit, email call 1-800-221-9703 or write the Wildlife Group at 2858 County Road 53, Tuskegee, Alabama 36083.

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Tomorrow: The Truth About Honeysuckle + Creating Sanctuaries

Check back each day this week for more about "Trees and Bushes Bowhunters Can Plant to Increase Their Success"

Day 1: Trees and Bushes for Bowhunters
Day 2: The Advantage of Planting Permanent Food Plots
Day 3: A look At Nut Trees and Bushes
Day 4: The Truth About Honeysuckle + Creating Sanctuaries
Day 5: The Best 1-Acre Bowhunting Plot and Honey Holes



Entry 402, Day 3