Land Management

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by IAMIKE, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. MGH_PA

    MGH_PA Moderator

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    This. My parents own 90, but our neighbor to the east owns 147 and hasn't allowed hunters in over half a century. She lets me run cameras on her property, and most of my bucks I've shot over the last few years were frequenting my mineral stations on her property far more than our own. We draw them over with a balanced doe herd during the rut, and our food plots during early fall and late season.

    As for the management side, if I ever get to purchase my own land, I think I will be contacting my state forestry department to get in touch with a few local consultants to talk about my management plans. I have a solid working knowledge of management, but I've been following a few land threads over on QDMA, and the advice they received from their state agencies about all of the cost share programs, resources for trees, shrubs, assistance with controlled burns, etc., and just developing a plan based around YOUR goals is invaluable.
     
  2. PSEREVENGEMAN

    PSEREVENGEMAN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    There are many factors involved in managing/manipulating a parcel for mature bucks. Google Jeff Sturgis, look at his website and buy his books. He is a professional whitetail land consultant. Food plots, waterholes, sanctuarys,visual screens, thermal bedding,soft/hard mass plantings,hinge/tsi cuts. Then You get into how to treat/hunt a property for mature bucks. Hunting mature bucks is not the same as hunting extreme bucks. You will find this becomes a TDM vs.QDM equation. No family activities, low pressure except the rut, ect.Friends and family enjoying the property does not equate with mature buck harvest.Most big buck hunters are really lonely guys by choice.
     
  3. MGH_PA

    MGH_PA Moderator

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    Sounds like a great life.

    I always struggled with the idea of the extreme low pressure approach to land owning. I understand everyone is different, and if you bought a piece of ground strictly for hunting, sure. However, for me (and this is what Covey and Ty were getting at), I want my land to be enjoyed year round. Yes, I want to improve the quality of the deer and provide them with better habitat, but I want my family (future) to enjoy it like I was able to enjoy growing up on our 90 acres.
     
  4. bluecollaroutdoors

    bluecollaroutdoors Weekend Warrior

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    40 acres is what im working worth. Nice mix of swamp, cedar and hardwoods in pretty segmented chunks.

    No pressure to whoever recommended the Lakosky book but I just picked it up on amazon for 10 bucks ;)
    Im sure I will get something worthwhile out of it besides buying 500 acres and planting a 5 acre bean field.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  5. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Finding that beautiful balance is huge. Consistency of use of the land is something deer can become used to as well to a degree. Like quad running or snowmobiles...have trails going everywhere, let the kids ride them....just tell them in certain spots to not stop unless emergency. By driving through deer can become conditioned like Pavlov's dog to not flee, but may always come to attention however not stopping is the key as that is what predators do is stop moving by. And in all honesty teaching kids that want to squirrel hunt a few times either with you or by themselves, or say the kids just want to go explore the woods in August or over the summer...teach them to make their approaching presence known....again let the deer use their escape routes and see they work and they'll return.
     
  6. frenchbritt123

    frenchbritt123 Grizzled Veteran

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    "No family activities, low pressure except the rut, ect.Friends and family enjoying the property does not equate with mature buck harvest." - Pressure is the biggest key. A lot of people do not see this. I feel the way around it is marking off part of the property and not all of it.
     
  7. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Yup, if possible size wise blocking off a portion as untouched completely unless for hunting reasons would be great....just not always possible size wise.
     
  8. MGH_PA

    MGH_PA Moderator

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    Yeah, we do that now on the 90. There's a block of new growth from a selective harvest 12+ years back that we stay out of only to get firewood this time of year. It's where I've shot bucks out of the past two years. It's only about 6 acres worth of timber, but it's a great spot come early November. The rest of the property is used with regularity (tractors, light ATV use, firewood cutting, walking, etc.). It's worked so far, and we're getting 365/7 use out of it. However, 90 is a far cry from 10 or 15. Ty is correct, size plays a large role in how it's going to be able to be used.
     
  9. scoot12

    scoot12 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Jeff Sturgis is who came to my property and couldn't agree more Pope, he designed a plan and I still talk to Jeff quite a bit on different aspects of land management, a small piece of property can be overhunted very easily and to harvest them mature bucks gets really tough if they know they are being hunted. I think they pattern a hunter better then we pattern them. Scoot
     
  10. PSEREVENGEMAN

    PSEREVENGEMAN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Jeff Sturgis books are well worth the coin. He is the real deal.It's walking a tightrope with family enjoyment, true QDM herd reduction and mature buck hunting. From 9/1 till 1/1 no utv, daylight walking, nothing except deer hunting. 1/1 till 9/1=utv's, maple syrup tapping, mushrooms, berries, shed hunting, coyotes,ect. Our doe are taken from 9/15 till 10/15 then 12/10 on. It's worked fine for 37 years. We take about 6 mature bucks and 35 doe each year. The big bucks are taken the first week of bow or rut only. Beyond that they are nocturnal anyway. You just can't have an extended family with multiple enjoyments on a property. Most mega bucks hunters are selfish, self centered ego maniacs who will have very few at their funerals. Life is full of choices.
     
  11. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I own and live on 40 acres. Basically, it's the only land I hunt on. I have been managing it for QDM for the last 7 years. Potentially, this 40 acres could be awesome, but years and years of cattle grazing really hampered it's potential. I have been working on it little by little each season. 80% of the timber is either hedge or locust, neither of which are desirable. The remainder is mostly maple. There are only 3 or 4 mature oak trees on the entire property and no fruit bearing trees. The front 15 acres is a hay field and there's about a 3.5 acre field towards the back of the property. The hay field has remained the same, but I converted the enter 3.5 field from an overgrown trash pile to a great food plot. I converted a smaller 3/4 acre area into a clover plot by clearing all the small brush, and girdling and used Tordon on a bunch of locust trees in the plot to open up the canopy. Eventually, after the thorns rot off, I'll come back and cut down those trees. I've added a couple other smaller mico plots. I've left the thick nasty areas alone. I've planted screens to help make the deer feel secure and I've added mineral sites to help supplement. There are tons of things on my to-do list, but it's going to take years to accomplish them. I'd like to plant fruit bearing trees and also some cedar trees to add some cover. I'd like to plant some quality nut bearing trees, and slowly eliminate as many of the hedge and locust as I can. So much to do.

    My 40 acres hunts much bigger than it really is. The last Couple season, I've had over 20 mature bucks on trail camera each year. With lots and lots of younger bucks and does. I've kill bucks on the property 4 out of the last 5 season. Ranging from 118" to 148". I see deer on nearly every sit. That wasn't the case the first couple years I owned this property. I have to attribute that change, at least some of it, to the improvements I have made to the property.
     
  12. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Sky...locust trees are awesome for hinging or clean cutting and letting the shoots bush back up...instant browse and future cover. We have a couple we've clean cut at a bout a foot tall stump that are bush like things now...dense shoots = sight cover = safer feeling deer :)!

    Sawtooth oaks are fast producing and good quick oak choices if you ever look into planting some, mix in some of the white and reds though because Sawtooths live only 20-30 years.

    You must be doing something right brother, you've got some awesome bucks off that 40!
     
  13. austin97

    austin97 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    check out the qdma forums tons of info!!!
     
  14. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Sturgis, Eberhart and Vale are the three authors of books I would choose if I could only buy from three guys...so much can be learned from them and so many others! Even some of the $1.99 books I've bought through our kindle on plotting or hunting have been worth it for a few things here and there...the key is to stay hungry and keep learning.
     
  15. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I've done that with a couple hedge. If you cut a hedge clean off, by the next season, you will have a bush that's 10' wide and 8' tall. In certain areas, that's a good think. Not so much in others. Finding shooting lanes in my timber is an exercise in futility. I hunt the edges almost exclusively because the timber is so dense, and has such a low canopy. My only real issue with the locust is the thorns. If they were the thornless style, i wouldn't mind, but those thorns scare the crap out of me. I'm always worried I'm going to ruin one of my tractor tires.
     
  16. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Are your locust the thorny ones with the bean pods that drop late season? Our deer love those freaking things!
     
  17. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    Oh yeah they are. I know the deer eat them, but they also make it damn near impossible to slip in undetected once their on the ground. Plus, they are everywhere on our property, so theirs no way to pattern where the deer are going to be feeding on them.
     
  18. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Oh my word I understand this full heartedly! We started treating them like mass crop trees and while we've removed some we leave them in clusters...minimize the mass sprawl of them everywhere like you said. They can be annoying though for sure!
     
  19. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    Ouch....lol.
     
  20. MnHunterr

    MnHunterr Legendary Woodsman

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    Great information from everyone...

    Finding the right mix of cover for bedding, food, and water are the biggest things to look for. I've got 40 acres to work with... it has the water, last years storms/high winds knocked down/uprooted a good portion of the timber creating natural bedding, and almost half of the property is corn/bean field.

    I just need to limit my exposure to the property more. I pressured the deer like crazy last year - Checked the cams every week. Live and learn!
     

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