The Ideal Deer Farming Rig
Dr. John Woods 12.21.19
In order to grow deer on a piece of land, you don’t actually have to be a full time agricultural farmer. It only takes a minimum of equipment to maintain a deer hunting property, trails, food plots, and other common areas. So, what is the best rig to consider purchasing for keeping up a deer hunting camp?
Recently I attended a huge outdoor show as a pre-season showcase for hunters, specifically deer hunters, landowners, game managers, habitat conservationists and the like. On display were numerous farm implement dealerships offering the various tractors, farming attachments, and other equipment for “gentleman farmers,” deer hunters, and deer clubs.
Surprisingly, the overall cost is not all that exorbitant if you consider the expense of a new showroom car or pickup truck. Heck there are UTVs, custom hunting golf carts, and other 4x4s that cost nearly as much as these deer farming combos.
So, what basic equipment would you need to start maintaining your own deer land? Naturally you would need a good, solid, reliable tractor of a minimum of 25 horse power to be able to do most tasks. Of course, more HP is better, and some of these smaller rigs have HP up to 50 or more.
The tractor is used for bush hogging roads, trails, and food plots. This tractor may or may not have a front boom or even a bucket. Booms are great for lifting things and buckets for scooping things like gravel, lime, or even fertilizer.
The main implements/attachments needed will be the mower or bush hog, a disk for breaking food plot ground, and a spreader for slinging fertilizer and seed. First you mow down a food plot, then disk the soil up, then comes the seeding. Some food plot experts say to apply fertilizer after the seed germinates. Others mix and spread both at the same time to save time and fuel.
After the seed and fertilizer is on the ground, then a harrow, chain drag or other attachment is used to cover the seed. Some buy cultipacker or firminator equipment for these tasks.
Then pray for rain.
Cost? I saw several combinations that included a quality tractor, disk, bush hog, front loader and a trailer for $20,000 with attractive finance rates. Be sure the dealer has a good reputation for warranty work, parts, and service. This basic equipment will get you into the deer farming business.