My Outdoors Guy column for July is now available in the Pembroke Daily Observer:
Maintaining food plots for deer a growing trend
Maintaining food plots for white-tailed deer is a conservation technique gaining interest among the more ambitious hunters of our region.
At a time of year when many sportsmen are out on the water, Dave Smetana is out working his deer fields. He is not involved in the agricultural industry by profession; but more what you might call an agricultural conservationist. Smetana has been managing food plots for several years and has a variety of different feed options spread around his Carleton Place property. Nurturing crops for deer is a growing trend throughout North America and our region is no exception. Food plots offer supplemental nutrients throughout the summer and later in the season after farm crops are cut.
Deer farming 101
Smetana gets his sprayer during early season to kill off weeds and unwanted nasties like Milkweed. Then he returns with the ATV and a Plot Mule – a small set of discs hauled behind an ATV. A few small passes over the area is generally enough to prepare the seed bed. From there it’s a matter of spreading the seed evenly. He uses a broadcast spreader but has also used a walk behind spreader for smaller plots. According to this deer farmer, once the seed hits the ground, it needs to be covered with soil immediately. Some seed requires a quarter inch of coverage, while others need more. Managing your own deer food plots might be time consuming work, but for dedicated conservationists like Dave Smetana, it is a labour of love.
Summer in the Valley is not only great for fishing, it’s an ideal time for trying new products. The polarized sunglasses by Guideline Eyewear I field-tested earlier this summer were an eye-opening experience. My Cobden Lake boasts some of the clearest water I’ve seen in this region; making ‘spot and stalk’ fishing a possibility. Sneaking into a quiet backwater bay one evening, I drifted the electric motor to a crawl and slapped on a pair of Guideline Eyewear’s new Keel model. I observed the silhouette of a large northern pike as it skirted the drop-off and then sunk into deeper water. The new Keels offered superb clarity and the ultimate in glare-cutting ability. Each and every minuet underwater subtlety stood-out in solid bright 3D. With double brow and nose pads, and double injected temples, these puppies are built for comfort and durability. I also tested Guideline’s Alpine model which is constructed from Grilamid BTR a 51 per cent bio-based polymer; which I found to be form-fitting with great coverage. Both models come with a durable and lightweight protective case. One pair now rests in my trout bag while the other currently resides in my Ottawa Valley tackle box! For more information on Guideline Eyewear log onto: http://www.glpolarized.com/GEW/index.html.
Duck Junkies Contest!
All waterfowl aficionados out there take note of an exciting contest being held this fall by an organization called Duck Junkies. Thanks to a note from Arnprior’s David Kok – Regional Development for Duck Junkies Canada – I was notified of a neat little give-away with two great guided hunts to be won! The contest is open to Ontario East and Ontario West, put together by Pro Staff Alex Rigby and David Kok of Duck Junkies Canada. Take note that one entry per person is allowed and entrants are asked to indicated either “Ontario East” or “Ontario West”. For more information log onto:
Check out the next Outdoors Guy for an end-of-summer fishing rundown and an exciting field-test on the latest model trail-camera.