Skip to main content
Topic: Planting Deer orchards  (Read 177 times) previous topic - next topic

Planting Deer orchards

Well I’m looking for a little more input we have a 640 acre tract of land in south east Kansas and I’m preparing to start planting deer orchards. I’ve read that it’s recommended to have about one acre  of orchard per 80 acres. I’ve already ordered 25 chinkapin oak trees from the state nursery. I have also ordered about 25 each of chinkapin oak acorns and swamp chestnut oak I intend to start from seed as soon as they arrive. I’ve picked up 50 3x3 tree mats and 50 60inch grow tubes. We have no white oaks and only a very few Pin red oaks on this property. We do have a very old persimmon grove in one location that the deer don’t really utilize much but I’m sure that has to do with its location in open ground far from any cover. I also ordered 6 Chinese chestnuts that are reported to drop their nuts in Oct and Nov three of each. We run cattle on all but one 65 acre hay meadow one 30acre hay meadow and it’s Immediately adjacent to 20acres of mixed timber mostly Red cedar, ash, locust and Osage orange a couple Pin oaks. I cleared an acre of it with my crawler for a food plot I may expand that to 2 acres.

Ok my idea is to plant the oaks on a 40’x40’ grid at around 25 trees per location that should give me about 1 acre of future deer orchard at each location. Next year I plan to add 50 Chinese chestnuts. I could  fence off a central location of about 4 acres and plant everything in that area or break the orchards into smaller 1 acre sections in different locations around the property. Anybody have any experience with a mature property similar to this that maybe able to share some insight. I kind of like the idea of a central located smorgasbord but I also see merit in smaller orchards around the property for different wind directions to get to stand locations. Also if I do the smaller orchards do mix species at each location or plant only one tree type in any given location to make predicting where the deer will be based on mast drop time of a given tree species. I fully understand that I may never hunt over the oaks myself but my kids and grandkids will. I plan to add some sawtooth oaks and English oaks to the lineup in time. I also planted somewhere between 1200-1800 black walnuts this year for the next generation to profit from along the properties creeks but they have really no deer value. A good deal of this property is open ground and most of the properties surrounding us are even more open than us we have 1 miles worth of creek bottom running thru the property that is heavily timbered but most ash, walnut and some hackberry. In my minds eye I need more deer friendly mast producing trees to hold the deer better.