Food Plot/ Habitat improvement suggestions?

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by dfal, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. dfal

    dfal Newb

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    Hey guys. Was wondering if you guys had any ideas of some habitat improvement/ food plots. Maybe even stand placements before or after your suggestions..

    Background info: We own 320 acres in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There is one farm about a mile away (North East) and the next farm is probably 5+ miles away. There is mostly public land around us. The East and Southwest of us is easy land for the public to access. The rest would be somewhat difficult but could be done on foot. The west is 120 acres of private land which isn't usually hunted.


    Black: Property Boundary
    Purple: Cabins on our property
    Green: Cedar swamp (a few small high knolls in there as you can see)
    Yellow: Existing food plots (all 1/2 acre or less)
    Red: Proposed food plots?

    The rest is a mixture of big woods- pine, maple, etc.. you should be able to tell from the differences in the aerial

    I read in an area of not much farm land, 5-10% of your land should be food plot. Right now we are about less than 1%. The red proposed food plots would probably put us at about 14 acres or so. I placed them towards the middle of our land so maybe the other food plots would maybe act as kill plots since they are much smaller and somewhat secluded. The deer will maybe hit those up right before dark I'd be hoping?. The genetics aren't the best in the area and if a buck wanders on public land it will be shot pretty much. That is also a reason for trying to keep the main attraction in the middle of our property.

    Those are my thoughts. I am wondering what you guys would do just looking from an aerial, and if you have any suggestions on habitat improvement to try to keep more deer. I am also wondering if you guys see any good spots to place some stands?

    Please any suggestions welcome! Deer hunting hasn't been good the last 5 years. Some is due to predators and hard winters but I know a lot can be helped with habitat improvement and trying to keep them away from public land.

    The other 2 pictures are zoomed in sections of the North and South half of the property

    Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks in advance!
     

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  2. dfal

    dfal Newb

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    Any idea how to make the pictures bigger if needed let me know?
     
  3. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    Its hard to tell because the pictures are small on my computer but here are some basic things for any property to hold giant buck;

    1. Year round food
    2. Fresh supply of water
    3. Good Cover from both predators and mother nature.

    You can't do anything with the genetics and there isn't much you can do regarding public land so I generally don't worry about those.

    For your specific situation, I would suggest a few things;

    1. I would try putting a large foodplot of some type of perennial annual mix to reduce the work load where ever you have high enough ground to do so. On that picture it looks like there may be a high spot between the north most cabin and that yellow foodplot on the fence line? The reason I like it there is if that is the private land boarder that isn't hunted, that would be the farthest away from the public land with no hunting pressure on the other side of the fence.

    2. I would think about designating a sanctuary somewhere on the property, 10-50 acres, that NEVER gets hunted. The two thoughts I have on this is A) Keep it on the opposite side of the property from the public to pull deer away, or B) put it next to the public so as soon as the public land deer feel some pressure they easily move to your sanctuary. Maybe more experienced people can weigh in on this.

    To make the sanctuary I would try some well though out hinge cutting to make this area as thick as possible. Use natural barriers and landscapes to your advantage, as well as south facing slopes.

    3. I would assume that if you have low land a good water source is already available but if not you could try to round up some old stock tanks and spread them out.

    4. I don't hunt the north woods but I have heard that clear cutting can work wonders, and can almost rival a good food plot. Fitz would be able to shed light on this, but there may be an opportunity to have a foodplot without planting anything for you:)

    As far as stand locations go, any route between two Food/Water/Shelter areas is never a bad plan. Try to find where the does are bedding and set up on travel routes into and out of those areas as that is where the bucks will be heading to during the rut.

    If you aren't already doing so I would try to start a few mineral sites on the property. I think most people suggest one for every 50 acres of land. These are a great way for me to see how the herd is doing and what type of bucks are regularly on the property.

    Feel free to ask follow up questions!
     

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