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  • Late start, slow going

    I haven’t been on the hill for a couple weeks, things sure took off since turkey season. The Kid and I took care of some lawn work yesterday morning before going fishing out of the kayak for a couple hours around noontime. When we got back he needed to get ready for prom, I jumped back on the tractor and headed up to mow the clover around the apple trees. I was having issues with the finish mower, it wasn’t liking being overworked. Managed to get what I wanted done and headed back to the house to see the Kid off then did some work on the mower.

    This afternoon we both went up to start on the upper meadow.

    Holy crap.

    Last year I’d tilled about 2 acres for food plots and was making a couple extra passes working lime in when I caught something and snapped the output shaft off the tractor’s hydro pump. That turned into a whole other ordeal but we managed to finish up the plots. Problem was I used several older seed mixes I’d picked up on clearance a couple years earlier. The stuff didn’t germinate well and by the end of summer the plots were almost all weeds. The dealer still had my tractor so we couldn’t start over but I ended up spraying weed killer on almost everything. When I finally got the tractor back I mowed off the dead stuff and managed to salvage clover that was protected from the spray by the taller weeds. Turned out we had a great season anyway.

    Fast forward to today. Three years of lime and fertilizer and a heavy dose of Gly late last summer, combined with a cool wet May and a sunny June with just enough rain made for perfect conditions for grass to come back with a vengeance. The lower half acre actually had a good amount of clover left in it. I mowed it down twice and we picked a couple bucket loads of stone out.

    I have a couple selective herbicides that will kill off grass and weeds without harming the clover, the plan is to give it a couple days to stand back up then hit it with the sprayer. After a few days I’ll mow it again, pick some stone out, then over seed with more clover. Just keeping it mowed will be good but I think if we get the right timing and amount of rain I’ll have that section back in great 😌 shape.

    The dilemma is rototilling the top section again. The first couple times there was enough sod to keep the tiller mostly off the rocks but after working it over they made it to the surface. I may just hit it with Gly first and then trying to turn up some smaller areas where the stone isn’t as bad. I’ll seed that with a mix of clover, oats and turnips and let it ride. There’s also one section in the middle of the meadow that has decent soil but it’s not in a good spot for the early season. It still might be worth planting brassicas there.


    The Kid pulled three ladder stands down, trees had started growing around two of them and the third had a strap hook snapped off. There’s two more stands still up, those will come down as well, we’ll check everything over and if things are ok we’ll hit them up with a coat of paint. We’re going to rethink a couple locations and will replace the straps with new ones when they go back up.

    Looks like we’ll also move the first shack up top and build a second one a bit bigger to replace it with. More than likely the new one will get set in a slightly different location where we can cover more of the meadow. I want to get it a bit higher up off the ground without actually having it elevated as well.


    The clock is ticking, days start getting shorter mid week.

  • #2
    Man, that sure is a lot of work just to have some fun hunting! But at least you have good help.

    You've inspired me to take some excess bags of lime to the hunting lease for small food plots just cleared this Spring. I was going to use the lime at home but the yard is looking great. This weekend I'm going to do another work day at the property.

    I've got a tripod that needs some TLC and will start on that too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Got a spot I want to put a food plot. I haven't been there in 2 years. Ought to look like a bloodweed jungle!
      Not heading to S. Texas until after the first of Dec so that will give me the OK season to take a deer. Still no Texas DL, so no Texas resident license. Maybe next year.

      Comment


      • #4
        PH, it’s only work when things start fighting you. I enjoy doing something constructive with the place, same as some like woodworking. When I have to fix things to accomplish what I’m trying to do it takes the fun out of it but that’s expected to some degree.

        The tractor malfunction last year was a big expense and caused some lost time over the summer getting other projects done. I'm seriously rethinking the beating the equipment takes due to the amount of rock up there. It’s not worth the risk of breaking stuff. I honestly don’t know how they farmed this place by hand and with horses years ago. The stone piles up in the woods amaze me. It’s obvious they were stacked up when the land was originally cleared in the 1800’s. Stonewalls are everywhere but they had more material than they needed.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
          Got a spot I want to put a food plot. I haven't been there in 2 years. Ought to look like a bloodweed jungle!
          Not heading to S. Texas until after the first of Dec so that will give me the OK season to take a deer. Still no Texas DL, so no Texas resident license. Maybe next year.
          If you can get a mower on it there’s possibilities.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
            PH, it’s only work when things start fighting you. I enjoy doing something constructive with the place, same as some like woodworking. When I have to fix things to accomplish what I’m trying to do it takes the fun out of it but that’s expected to some degree.

            The tractor malfunction last year was a big expense and caused some lost time over the summer getting other projects done. I'm seriously rethinking the beating the equipment takes due to the amount of rock up there. It’s not worth the risk of breaking stuff. I honestly don’t know how they farmed this place by hand and with horses years ago. The stone piles up in the woods amaze me. It’s obvious they were stacked up when the land was originally cleared in the 1800’s. Stonewalls are everywhere but they had more material than they needed.
            I'll bring a truck and trailer. Bet my wife can haul off half what's on your place! LOL!
            Woman loves stacking rocks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post

              I'll bring a truck and trailer. Bet my wife can haul off half what's on your place! LOL!
              Woman loves stacking rocks!
              Better bring a couple rail cars!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fitch270 View Post

                Better bring a couple rail cars!
                No. Truck and trailer will suffice.
                There is a limit to what "I" want to deal with! LOL!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Last week I did end up spraying the clover spots with both types of herbicide, we went up tonight to check out how things were looking and to swap memory cards in the two cameras. Lots of hits on the cameras but the Kid is going to go through them later.

                  All in all it isn’t looking bad considering the heat and lack of rain the past two weeks. The clover itself stood back up pretty well without much in the way of weeds and grass mixed in. I expect it will thicken up if we get the afternoon thunder showers that are being predicted for most of this week. I took a chance over seeding the bare spots with more clover hoping for enough precipitation the next few weeks to get it to establish. It may germinate and burn off but it’s worth a shot at this point. If it takes I still have more than enough seed to use on the other spots that grassed up. I’ve pretty much decided those areas are going to get nuked with gly then turned over easy a couple times just deep enough to bust up the roots without digging down into the rocks as much. It may mean the seed bed isn’t as well prepared but will save some abuse on the equipment. I’ll hold off on planting those sections until August.


                  The Kid made me laugh yesterday, typically my daughter doesn’t get involved in much of our food plot preparation but he told her that every day in the shack would cost her a loader bucket full of stone. Seemed like a fair deal to me.

                  We did pass by a small buck right behind the house on our way up and back tonight. The Kid has also come in to show me a couple decent bucks from the cameras while I’ve been pecking this out. Most of the apple trees up there are loaded, if the oaks produce decent it should be another good year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Fitch: I can sense the anticipation building within you already! Since I have squirrels & doves first it's more of a slide for me, also because hunting for me is becoming more and more solo all the time. My anticipation is more like rumbling anxiety too as I never know what my physical condition is going to be later down the road.
                    Last edited by dewman; 06-29-2021, 09:41 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah no doubt Dewman, especially with the kids involved. The whole hunting deal is just a microcosm of life in general, you do your best in preparation for what lies ahead not knowing how it’s going to turn out. A positive outlook and realistic expectations are key.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fitch270 View Post

                        If you can get a mower on it there’s possibilities.
                        The only machine I have with that much horse power doesn't have a brush hog.

                        "... Most of the apple trees up there are loaded, if the oaks produce decent it should be another good year. ..."

                        The "Deep Freeze" we had last winter was devastating.
                        Sub zero isn't THAT rare in southern OK. What IS rare is a two week period of sub freezing temps.

                        It didn't kill my blackberries, but it bit them back.
                        My pear trees didn't set fruit this spring.
                        My pecan (small) trees bloomed but didn't set nuts.
                        The burford hollys along the south end of the house have dead limbs sticking out of them.
                        Didn't hurt the grapes.

                        Neighbor said that during the cold spell he found a lot of dead starlings and grackles. Birds frozen to death. Turkeys must hav erd been affected too. Didn't see many of them either.

                        I'm wondering what our fall mast crop will be?
                        Last edited by FirstBubba; 06-29-2021, 12:12 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I envy all you guys who are making hunting plans and expectations ! My bowhunting for elk in Colorado are now at 82, all in the past with the exception of wonderful memories. Oh, how I would dearly love to be in the dark timber with the forest smells talking with the elk, the utter fascination of a responding bugle or cow chirp ! Weeks before the trips to wonderland, it was difficult to keep my shorts dry.......! Good luck to all of you, and don’t let these times go by without their true importance in time !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post
                            I envy all you guys who are making hunting plans and expectations ! My bowhunting for elk in Colorado are now at 82, all in the past with the exception of wonderful memories. Oh, how I would dearly love to be in the dark timber with the forest smells talking with the elk, the utter fascination of a responding bugle or cow chirp ! Weeks before the trips to wonderland, it was difficult to keep my shorts dry.......! Good luck to all of you, and don’t let these times go by without their true importance in time !
                            At 70, I'm not that far behind you.
                            No elk or mulies for me.
                            I'm a whitetail/turkey hunter now.
                            No more stalk or "
                            Set up a blind and wait.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Kid talked me into going up again last Thursday to pick stone again. Temps had cooled off so it was a good idea, we pulled a couple more bucket loads out and it’s really making that half acre look promising. A couple days of rain helped as well.

                              Have a little adventure planned for this weekend that will require some prep first so won’t be doing much field work until next week. The over seeding might start showing up by then which will give me an idea of what to do next.

                              Comment

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