Soybeans

Cabin Fever Bob

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
835
Reaction score
0
Do deer eat the plants themselves or just the beans that they produce? We have plants in our plot that are ~18" high but don't have any actual beans on them yet(unless they have been eaten off?). I haven't found any plants that appear to be browsed on, so I was just wondering if the deer only eat the beans themselves or also the plants?
 

Tinhorn

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
Messages
3,516
Reaction score
0
I don't know a whole bunch about farming and haven't planted any soybean foodplots in a few years now but the deer and rabbits ate all the soybean plants off to the ground in my small food plots when they were mere inches tall. They never lived long enough to grow the beans.

In the Soybean ag fields I've hunted around, they'll eat the plants too but there are too many to eat all of them I guess, ha ha. When there are actual beans, it seems like to me, only the turks eat them but the deer are still browsing on the plants.

I'm surprised you're not seeing much activity in your plots tho, Deer love those legumes!

Tinhorn
 

buckhunter24

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
75
Reaction score
0
I've planted bean patches for the last 3 years as food plots. The deer really like browsing on the plants through the summer and into fall. But then they leave them alone until later in december and january when they need a food source then they will begin eating the beans. Just my experince over the last 3 years. Hope this helps you out!!
 

cavey

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
1
I have planted soybeans a couple of times as food plots and I have a number of buddies that plant it every year.
If you have a smaller plot the deer will keep it pretty much mowed off like tinhorn is talking about. The plants never stand a chance... but hey... its a food plot right.
From what I know the deer browse the green leaves up until mid to late fall, then pretty much leave the fields till after november, just like buckhunter24 says they come back and hit them as a late winter food source. you will often see the deer in the fields browsing even after the leaves brown up. I just never have had much luck hunting near the fields during the rut.

I always figured the soybeans as a great late season, or here in wisconsin, a secound bow season food source. One benefit is that the does really seem to like hitting the plots early-on, the soy's keeps them in the area for the bucks.
In Feb and March I usually will put out my game cams on soybean fields as this is one area they tend to regularly hit.

CFB you'll start to see the beans developing soon, it takes awhile for the plant to mature at 18" and depending on when you planted you should be at that point soon.
 

Cabin Fever Bob

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
835
Reaction score
0
It amazes me hearing everyone rave about how deer love soybeans but our small plot gets practically ZIP for activity! We plant one plot that's about 30 yards by 80 yards and the beans come up every year nicely but yet we never see deer out in it feeding and we can't even see where they have been in them browsing on the plants at all!
This plot is behind our camp which is ~1 mile back into the woods from the road, so it's a nice undisturbed area. Granted we don't have a big population of deer around but we have a few. From what I've read, they should have been keeping such a small plot mowed down.?.? Our plot is the only soybeans around for at least a couple of miles also so it's not like ours is competing for any big agricultural fields or anything. I don't get it.....
 

cavey

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
1
CFB,

What about in the winter, are the deer hitting the plot? I'm suprised you are not seeing at least a little browsing going on. I cant rave about soybean plots I think there are better food sources than beans to hunt over.
What the beans do for you in my opinion is balance out your food sources- providing food out into the late winter months for the deer. If you can keep the deer on your property year round with a mix of food water and cover then you can manage that herd.
Maybe split the plot, and try something else... next year I'm going to seed flax down. We hunt an area out in N Dakota that is all grain crops - no corn or beans and not a lot of alfalfa. But the deer are thick in the fall in the flax fields. Not sure how well it will grow around here. I bet flax has not been grown in NW Wisconin in along time... I have never seen it planted.
 


Top Bottom