Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cold Weather Corn Block

January, February, and March.   These are inventory and post season scouting months for me.   As far as inventory, what I mean is getting a grasp on who is still around and who made it to this point.

Numbers of does and fawns and perhaps a buck you've been following all summer, and perhaps a few newbies.   I set up stations generally in my or near food plots by my mineral stations.   They are secluded and the deer feel comfortable being here.   Location is important, always.

After everything is done in January is when I begin these stations.   I dump roughly 25 pounds of whole kernel corn approximately every 5 days from here on out.   The key is, you're not trying to provide feed for the deer as so they become dependent.   What you're trying to do is give them a candy bar so they get their pictures taken.   Just enough so they stick their heads out for a mug shot.   They usually don't stick around long, and that is what you should aim for.   An appetizer before they head out to feed.

25 pounds at an active sight wont last long, but that's alright.   Even when everything is gone they will still come in briefly to check just on scent alone.   Perfect, just enough to get another pic.   What I've found to be extremely helpful is a homemade corn block.   The scent is always there and there is always some corn for them.   This will really make everything last longer and more effective.

This is how you make them.   They are obviously only effective during these cold months.   Okay, take a 5 gallon pail and fill it with corn up to about 4 inches from the top.   Then, simply fill the pail with water clear to the very top of the pail.   If its cold enough set it outside or in a large chest freezer.   After about an hour you'll have to check on it because some of the water will have been absorbed.   Put more water in the pail until the water is up to the very top.   You want a bit of clear water on top to seal it up and to make sure it will hold together nicely.   Even at cold temps it will take some time to freeze and make sure its frozen through and through or this will not work.

Once it's frozen solid and I'm ready to take it to the plots I bring it in the house.   Place the pail in the sink and run some hot water all over the pail or you will never get the frozen block out.   Always remove the pail before you leave or the pail will never come off.   After you've ran hot water over it for a few minutes take it outside and tip it over.   It should slide out and be ready for the field.   

The cool thing is they are almost time released.   As animals chew on it and as it warms during daytime the corn is slowly expelled form the block.   It's almost as if it were a feeder on a timer.   You can get creative as well.   You can add scents and other ingredients as well, So make a few blocks spread some corn and hang a camera over it.   You'll be surprised at and educated as to what will be waiting for you come next fall.   Enjoy!