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Growing Camo
Last year my spots for scavenging camo got cut right before we were ready to prep the sneakboats for the season. That put us in somewhat of a bind. We did end up finding some camo but I decided to start growing my own. This spring I dug up all the ornamental grass on the back slope of my yard and planted Sericea Lespedeza.

The ornamental grass worked pretty good for camo but Lespedeza is tougher and blends in better where we hunt. Below are a few pictures of the camo plot as of this week and how it looks on a boat during duck season. It is a perennial and will get taller next year but I think it will probably be tall enough to be my camo source for the upcoming season. I did lose a month when the first batch of seeds I bought did not germinate. I think that supplier shipped decade old seeds. That cost me a month of the growing season but the second supplier sent me some very good seed that germinated at a high rate and has thrived all summer long.

Right now the plant has supple stems and is bright green. When falls hits the plant turns the perfect shade of brown that matches woody vegetation found everywhere along our rivers. The stems toughen up and resemble small tree limbs more than that of a grass or broadleaf plant. Plainly put, the stuff is tough and takes the abuse of trailering and hunting wear and tear quite well.

On to the pictures. Oh, before I forget, Thomas brought a new hunting companion home from Auburn. Meet Rye the Boykin Spaniel. He's got a lot of personality and loves to retreive. I think he might just make a really good hunting companion. His small stature will work really well hunting from the sneakboats.

Eric






















Last edited by:

Eric Patterson: Aug 28, 2021, 8:07 PM
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Makes sense to me Eric on growing your own camo. Saves time and money searching for what you need.

Rye is a handsome little devil. How old is he?
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Nice,,,,,,,,, on both accounts.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Good camo, nice pup and a couple of limits of ringers. Not sure it gets better than that


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Dani wrote:
Makes sense to me Eric on growing your own camo. Saves time and money searching for what you need.

Rye is a handsome little devil. How old is he?


He's about 3 1/2 months old and FULL of energy. Thanks.

Eric
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
 
I've always had a soft spot for Boykin Spaniels. Mighty fine gun dogs and best friends. The eyes show the intensity, drive, and willingness to do a good job.

God Willing, may you and Rye make some wonderful memories in the days and years ahead. Here's to the new season!


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
I've always thought your grass patch was a neat idea and like the improvement. I don't know anything about the Lespedeza, but it must be good stuff. I like that it will give a little fluffier look.

Rye is a cutie, I love the idea of a smaller dog. I've been getting smaller every time and I think Beaver will top out at around 75. I'd consider an even smaller dog if I didn't have the late season extreme cold to deal with.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
tod osier wrote:
I've been getting smaller every time .


Obviously NOT to be taken out of context. Ninja

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Cute pup. I,ve always loved the little Boykins & Water Spaniels. I,ve done the same as you with growing your own camo. Started a switch grass patch about 2 years ago from transplants in a section of garden that wasn,t producing much. For now I don,t have to utilize it much as I have an area to cut trailer loads easily. Do cut it when I need a bit without traveling but I,m just hedging my bets for when my normal collection place gets sold.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Eric, did you buy hulled or unhulled seeds?




12' Higbee, 14' South Bay, 17' Polarkraft
South Jersey
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Rossja wrote:
Eric, did you buy hulled or unhulled seeds?


Hulled. The bag of seed I got from Hancock was no good. None germinated. I bought seeds from an outfit in TX, can't remember who, that were fresh seeds. I could tell the minute I opened the bag they were good seed. Greenish hue and moist. The Hancock seed were pure tan and dry, must have been several years old. I also put down 0-13-13 fertilizer. Lespedeza is a legume and doesn't need nitrogen. A benefit of them is they put down deep roots so soil erosion on my slope will be greatly reduced. Around here DOT seeds overpasses and other steep grades with them.

Eric
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Huntindave McCann wrote:
tod osier wrote:
I've been getting smaller every time .



Obviously NOT to be taken out of context. Ninja


Take it nearly any way you like ;), I'm in inch shorter than my younger days and nearly 50 pounds lighter.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
tod osier wrote:
Huntindave McCann wrote:
tod osier wrote:
I've been getting smaller every time .



Obviously NOT to be taken out of context. Ninja



Take it nearly any way you like ;), I'm in inch shorter than my younger days and nearly 50 pounds lighter.


Good for you! I am shorter too, haven't actually measured but I know I can't reach things as much. Definitely heavier, not bad, but would be better if I lost about 20 lbs.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Eric, I thought your idea sounded great so I looked up the plant thinking it would be great for the blinds in our marsh. However when I looked up it is an invasive species. So my question to the experts here is: Can using this plant as camo introduce this invasive plant into the marsh? We have phragmites and flowering rush to deal with and could this be a concern?
Thanks,
Robin
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
rfberan wrote:
Eric, I thought your idea sounded great so I looked up the plant thinking it would be great for the blinds in our marsh. However when I looked up it is an invasive species. So my question to the experts here is: Can using this plant as camo introduce this invasive plant into the marsh? We have phragmites and flowering rush to deal with and could this be a concern?
Thanks,
Robin


I don't know if it does well in wet/poorly drained soil, but it does well in pretty much any disturbed upland area. I sometimes see it on construction sites, once it gets established it's tough to remove.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Thank you for the assistance.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
rfberan wrote:
Eric, I thought your idea sounded great so I looked up the plant thinking it would be great for the blinds in our marsh. However when I looked up it is an invasive species. So my question to the experts here is: Can using this plant as camo introduce this invasive plant into the marsh? We have phragmites and flowering rush to deal with and could this be a concern?
Thanks,
Robin



SJ is correct. It thrives in poor soils and will not tolerate poorly drained soils. Therefore I don't believe it poses a threat to marshes. However it is problematic in some states. I've read reports from MO Dept of Conservation and had a member here from VA contact me to say it is bad news in his area. In my location we've not had problems, at least none that have been publicized. After the PM I received I did some googling and found it interesting that many state land grant universities, and the USDA, publish reports touting it's benefits and how to grow it. While other organizations warn against it. So I think this must be a situation where it can get out of control and pose problems in some areas, while still having benefits in other places. I do know that it drops its seed before I grass my boats so I am not too concerned about spreading it in unwanted areas. Further I grow it in a well contained fenced in area where livestock won't feed and disperse seeds. So I'll just say do your homework before planting. I've seen firsthand what invasive aquatic plants can do and wouldn't want to propagate like issues.

Eric

Last edited by:

Eric Patterson: Aug 31, 2021, 1:44 PM
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Thanks for info.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
rfberan wrote:
Eric, I thought your idea sounded great so I looked up the plant thinking it would be great for the blinds in our marsh. However when I looked up it is an invasive species. So my question to the experts here is: Can using this plant as camo introduce this invasive plant into the marsh? We have phragmites and flowering rush to deal with and could this be a concern?
Thanks,
Robin


I have no idea if Eric's plant may be invasive in some contexts, but your referent to phragmites reminds me of an incident a few years back when Maine Audubon, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and DU--probably other partners, too--all collaborated on a big Phragmites eradication effort when Phrag was first getting established in the marsh. (That battle is now lost, at least in the parts of the marsh that have altered tidal flow/salinity.)

Some poor guy had gone out the night before opening day, pulled his boat up on the roadside next to a big patch of Phragmites, and done a DHBP-style job of grassing of a nice old Seacoast Gunning Skiff. Probably half the people at the launch that morning had been part of the phragmites control brigade over the summer, and I am told he was well educated by fellow hunters, the Audubon staff, the town marine warden, and a game warden that he should not launch the boat.



















d

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Jeff Reardon wrote:
rfberan wrote:
Eric, I thought your idea sounded great so I looked up the plant thinking it would be great for the blinds in our marsh. However when I looked up it is an invasive species. So my question to the experts here is: Can using this plant as camo introduce this invasive plant into the marsh? We have phragmites and flowering rush to deal with and could this be a concern?
Thanks,
Robin



I have no idea if Eric's plant may be invasive in some contexts, but your referent to phragmites reminds me of an incident a few years back when Maine Audubon, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and DU--probably other partners, too--all collaborated on a big Phragmites eradication effort when Phrag was first getting established in the marsh. (That battle is now lost, at least in the parts of the marsh that have altered tidal flow/salinity.)

Some poor guy had gone out the night before opening day, pulled his boat up on the roadside next to a big patch of Phragmites, and done a DHBP-style job of grassing of a nice old Seacoast Gunning Skiff. Probably half the people at the launch that morning had been part of the phragmites control brigade over the summer, and I am told he was well educated by fellow hunters, the Audubon staff, the town marine warden, and a game warden that he should not launch the boat.

d



I hate phrag! I wish I knew a time when the marsh I hunt was grass, but that time has long since passed. I would take Eric's invasive species over phrag any day.




12' Higbee, 14' South Bay, 17' Polarkraft
South Jersey

Last edited by:

Rossja: Sep 1, 2021, 4:04 AM
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Lespedeza virginica Is a native variety to the US.

My dad use to have a field of it for cows before I was born and said they would mow it in the late spring and have quail everywhere in it. Apparently it's great cover and a food source for them.



Teach someone to love something, and they will protect it. -Will Primos
Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
benp wrote:
Lespedeza virginica Is a native variety to the US.

My dad use to have a field of it for cows before I was born and said they would mow it in the late spring and have quail everywhere in it. Apparently it's great cover and a food source for them.



Ummmm.... Quail. YUM - YUM.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Yeah Vince, I've been wanting to plant some around the farm and house to make some habitat for them but it's been a struggle to convince my mom to let me do it and to find a supplier of that specific variety of lespedeza



Teach someone to love something, and they will protect it. -Will Primos
Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
 
I hear thee Ben.

Everything we hold near and dear to us is not easy, especially these days.


Hemp & Reefer seem to be THE legal Crops of the future. Who da thunk?!

They attract "wildlife" of all kinds. Wink

Gives "grassin' up yer boat & blind" a whole new meaning.




WILD WILD LIFE - David Byrne - Talking Heads 8/15/86











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
  

Gives "grassin' up yer boat & blind" a whole new meaning.



Now that is funny right there Vince. And your ants will be on the way soon.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Vince, it's been awhile since I looked for seeds and I found a place that has some and another variety that is native that specifically says it's great for wildlife such as deer, rabbits, bobwhites and songbirds.

https://www.prairiemoon.com/...;Category_Code=seeds



Teach someone to love something, and they will protect it. -Will Primos
Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Growing Camo In reply to
Ben


The description states "with rigid stems that remain well into the next growing season." That makes me think it would work well for camo too. Seed is pricey but would be worry free in terms of invasive status.


Eric