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Lots of questions ......

Food Plot info/questions, Herd Management, QDMA ...

Lots of questions ......

Postby newlandowner » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:35 am

First, I want to thank you all for posting such great information. I am a new (small - 65 acres) landowner and trying to learn as much as I can about making a good habitat for deer on my place. This site has been a gold mine of information. Second, feel free to laugh and poke fun at what I am sure will be many dumb questions I post on this site. My dad taught me you if you want to learn something ask questions to people smarter than you. So you all bear with me.

My initial broad question is this: With just 65 acres, it appears that there will be a limit to how much effectie "game management" I can do on my property. I am fortunate that it is surrounded by seeral hundreds of acres of land 90% of which is not hunted. Of this land, probably 50% is farm land, eg beans, and 50% is wooded. My land itself is about 20 acres pasture, and about 45 acres wooded. Of the wooded, about 1/3 is pine. So here is my question: in order to attract and maintain as many deer on my property as possible, is it more important to maintain the dense woods or increase the amount of food plot area? Presently, in the 45 acres there is a road I created this summer that leads to a 2 acre lake in the back of the property in the middle of the wooded area, and then there is a deer lane I created that runs N and S through the middle of my property from line to line, about 500 yards. The lane is 12-20 feet wide. This year I sowed the lane in Durano, buck oats, crimson and white cloer, as well as some peas. I guess I made sort of micro-plots because I wanted to see what grew best and what the deer preferred so that next year I can concentrate on the "good stuff." So with that information, for my goal of attracting and maintaining deer, in general should I create more plot areas or maintain the wooded areas?

Thank you for your suggestions, and I will try to keep my posts/questions shorter next time!
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby jv » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:45 am

First off :welcome: Welcome to the site and hope you do enjoy it......sounds like you have a great place there. If you not using the pasture as a place for farm animals then you could plant a couple of small foodplots there along the wood line and have shooting houses to hunt out of. That lane you set up sounds like a great start and good place to hunt. On our club we even plant the trails, fire lanes, ect.. Now i'm no were close to a expect but try to improve the hunting spots we have too. But yes 65 acre's can be managed for hunting and be a great place to hunt. Like the idea of panting several food source's in the lane......Also remember, there are no dumb questions.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby deepwaterwolf » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:18 am

Welcome
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby Alan Chavers » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:23 am

The Buck Forage Oats website had some interesting videos about this topic. They discussed the minimum range that deer will stay around, what to plant in the spring, fruit trees, all kinds of information. You might check it out. I want to do the same thing but I only have about 20 acres.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby newlandowner » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:44 am

Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions from you all. I am trying to figure out how to post some pics of turkey and deer I got from 3 trail cams I put up on the property. Each time I try it says the file is too big to post. I will keep working on it. Another question: Been using 2 feeders for the deer to attract them to the cams but I feel it is a little unfair to use them during hunting season, despite the ability under the law (obeying the distance/line of sight rules.) What is the general opinion among you experts about this subject? I guess my thinking is that I should be willing to do enough from nature (food plots, etc.) rather than using artificial feed. On the other hand, since we humans hae depleted much of their "natural" habitat I wonder if adding additional protein is really bad after all. Any thoughts? PS. Any suggestions on how to post the pics will be much appreciated.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby glenn » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:52 am

First, welcome to the site. There are 4 things essential to atracting bucks. Food, water, cover and does. Of course the first 3 bring in the 4th.

On the pasture land, even if you have animals, planting additional food sources would benifit both them and the deer. A variety of fruit trees that bear fruit at different times through the late summer and fall are also a great attractant. It will take a few years for them to begin producing, but in the long run it would be well worth the effort.

In the woods, depending on the type you have, try to manage the timber to be balanced between food and cover. All open areas don't need to be planted if it's all big hardwoods. On the other hand, if it's new growth thick woods, the more openings you have to plant the better. As your pines mature choose loading areas when harvesting that you feel will be the most benificial to you as future food plots, or bedding areas. Also try to determine where some of your bedding areas are and stay out of them, unless you're trailing a wounded deer.

Remember it takes time to develope a property. Be patient and do what you can, when you can. It takes work and planning for the future. take care of what you have first and then add to it as time and money permit. Good luck.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby glenn » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:02 am

newlandowner wrote:Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions from you all. I am trying to figure out how to post some pics of turkey and deer I got from 3 trail cams I put up on the property. Each time I try it says the file is too big to post. I will keep working on it. Another question: Been using 2 feeders for the deer to attract them to the cams but I feel it is a little unfair to use them during hunting season, despite the ability under the law (obeying the distance/line of sight rules.) What is the general opinion among you experts about this subject? I guess my thinking is that I should be willing to do enough from nature (food plots, etc.) rather than using artificial feed. On the other hand, since we humans hae depleted much of their "natural" habitat I wonder if adding additional protein is really bad after all. Any thoughts? PS. Any suggestions on how to post the pics will be much appreciated.


Pictures: download onto photobucket and post them from there. That's the only way I am smart enough to do it and if I can anyone can.

Feeders: As long as it's legal and you want to do it, do it. This is not a site full of holier than thou jerks that wil be critical of any legal, ethical hunter. Many people on here legally feed and shoot legal bucks that would be " good'uns next year". I have never seen anyone given a hard time for either on here and don't expect to in the future.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby LadyHunter » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:43 am

Welcome to the site!! Lots of knowledge here and we all are constantly learning.

I manage right at 100 acres for farm use and deer, and it can be done. I find the deer use the pastures for the horses as much as anything I do just for them. They also visit the ponds on a regular basis. I set aside an area or two to hunt that the horses have no access to so that I can hunt without fear of them interrupting my hunt... though they do occasionally come to the fence and stand and stare in my direction.. like.. what are you doing?? Why are you in the tree... get down and come on it's feeding time...


i save my pictures to a folder on my computer and load them straight from there, though you will need to resize them, if they are large they will not load.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby jv » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:03 pm

There are several sites for resizing pictures ...i use photobucket some but most of the time i use a site call IrFanView that i like better them most. You have to download it then it's simple to use.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby jbullard1 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:06 pm

Welcome to the site.
I am not as smart and long winded as some here but I know a little.
Your place is almost 20 acres bigger than here.
The surrounding area here is heavily hunted with dogs on 2 sides and still hunters on 1 side. I plant to attract the doe, and this year ducks.
On this 48 acres I have almost 2 miles of shooting lanes in 12 year old cutover timberland with about 10 acres under water in winter. I have stands place for the grand kids to hunt out of and then I have MY STAND. My advice is plant food plots to attract the doe in the fall and the bucks will be drawn in to them. As for seeds I plant feed oats yep feed oats. and some mixed greens like mustard turnip kale rape and I also plant some Austrian winter peas but the oats get hit the hardest and turkey love oats in the spirng . This place is so wet in the winter spring and early summer I can do nothing for spring plots.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby huntall » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:19 pm

Welcome to the site!
Are you needing to keep all your pasture?
If not...I would put a plot on the edge of the field and let a few acres grow up and get real thick around the outside area of the new plot. Then come spring I would plant a small fruit tree orchard next to the plot and thicket with pear trees and Japanese persimmon on a 25 ft x25 ft spacing and maybe a few sawtooth trees.
If you can't do that...you can make a small opening in the woods to make a small plot.
Wood plots are some of the best plots I have ever hunted. I think it would be great to have a large plot in the edge of the field, and a small plot back in around the pond your talking about!
Like the others have said...even if you have livestock you can still plant the edge of the field.
I have several topics on trees and tree planting in the wildlife habitat section that you may be interested in.
Good luck!
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby FireCloud » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:13 am

:welcome: Welcome to MSDeer.

I am writing an article to be posted in the Member Articles section discussing several things that a landowner can, and probably should do, to attract deer to their land. No single thing will insure that you get all the deer in your area coming to your land but collectively they will most certainly make your land much more attractive to deer. I should have the article ready soon.

Personally, I own only 20 acres of land but it is situated so it is a funnel between two much larger undeveloped and largely unhunted land of about 200 and 350 acres respectively. How many deer actually live on my 20 acres? Likely none. That size tract is way too small to be a "home" to even just one deer.

But do deer pass through my land. Oh yeah. In the five seasons I have hunted my land prior to this year I have seen deer on my land at least 50 or more times per season during my hunts. Bucks, does, fawns...they all visit my land. My land is bow hunted only all season long with limited pressure. That is one of the key ways to attract deer. Simply create a safe haven sanctuary where the deer don't feel pressured by hunters.

On my 20 acres last year I killed two does and a 16 1/2 inch inside spread buck. In the five seasons I have owned my land prior to this season, I have killed several more deer. In five years I have harvested about 10 deer off my land. The ONLY way I would have killed even one deer in those five years is by making my land a place the deer are attracted to and don't avoid.

There are a lot of small land owners on MSDeer. The advice you get will work because every one of us has done a lot of hard work improving our lands to make them attractive to deer. So, don't let the size of your property be a hindrance. You can attract plenty of deer to it and kill deer off your property every year if you do even a few of the basic things to improve the habitat and make your land a deer magnet.

Start with the tips many have already given you. When my article is posted, there will be some others that have not yet been mentioned. I'll post to let the forum know when it is ready to read.

Good luck!
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby newlandowner » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:29 am

I want to thank you all for your suggestions and comments. I plan to implement as many as possible and hopefully next year I will be posting about the successes you helped create on my property. FireCloud, I look forward to reading your article that will be coming out soon. I will be posting new questions under a different topic line. Thanks again.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby johndavid78 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:11 pm

http://www.deerhunt.tv/Show/REALITYDEERMANAGEMENT

http://www.deerhunt.tv/Show/MANAGEMENTADVANTAGE

These are online, free hunting shows. These two shows revolve around deer and property management for whitetails.

There are several episodes regarding just the information you seek from a QDMA expert.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby johndavid78 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:52 pm

One more geared toward small tracts
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby newlandowner » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:25 pm

These are not the big boys that I see on this site, but I gotta tell you it makes my heart pound a little seeing these creatures using my land. Hopefully the Big Boys will be on there soon.
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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby johndavid78 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:50 pm

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Re: Lots of questions ......

Postby AvidHunter11 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:52 pm

Welcome. First, you have all the land you need to attract and potentially harvest nice bucks. Next, you need to ask yourself these 3 questions(about your land), do I have food(acorns, food plots etc.), does my land provide cover for deer, many hunters think that since they have found a nice opening, in the woods, where they can see for 100+ yards, in some of the prettiest woods, that they will see a lot of deer, well that is false. Deer are smart and won't use those open areas much during daylight hours which is why you need to have cover. I saw your other thread about tree thinning, yes tree thinning is an excellent way to provide cover for deer. How? Because when trees are thinned it allows sunlight to hit the forest floor which allows other vegetation to grow which will provide food and cover for deer. I would wait until after season to thin though. If you aren't using that pasture land for any reason, then you really should look into contacting one of the crop farmers that has land near you and work out a lease that lets him plant corn or preferably soybeans. On my family land I have 78 acres of pasture that, before this year, was used for hay and cattle. Yes my 92 year old great grandad just sold his cows in January, and after talking with him and explaining to him what I believe we need to do to improve the deer hunting on our property, he agreed to lease out 76/78 acres (the other 2 he left for me to plant fall food plots) and I check the soybeans just about every afternoon and you would not believe the deer that are in there eating. I can't stress enough how big of an impact the beans have made on my hunting property! Good luck!
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