Looking for ideas on what to do.

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by Michael George, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Michael George

    Michael George Newb

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    I'll try and keep this short. About 15 years ago I bought 25 acres in Chenango County New York so that I have a place to chase Whitetails and eventually a summer home. The property consists of about 5 acres of old farm fields, a creek bottom covered in ash and alder, and a steep southern hillside with primarily beech and maple. Over the years I've taken several nice deer just above the creek. With retirement looming I have started planning for more aggressive improvements such as covering the open fields with sugar maple, oak, and walnut (figure my grandchildren can benefit from them).

    However a trip out to Utah, where I grew up, this summer completely changed all retirement plans. So, I have scrapped all major plans; but I am looking for suggestions on minor projects that will keep the deer interested and the property good for hunting. I figure it will now be 3-4 years before we head west (verses moving to the property next summer) so any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

    I will give more detailed information to help. Such as this past season a beaver family built a dam on the creek which has created a great deal of the nastiest swamp land I have ever seen. The deer don't seem to mind too much; but it is impossible for me to transit parts of the creek bottom without hip waders. This will make getting to tree stands or getting a deer out a big challenge starting this season.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I think you have o figure out how many acres the beaver have impacted and if you can work around them if not contact the DEC and discuss options with them.
    Your tree planting selection for timber harvest? If it were me I'd go with chestnut. Timber and way faster yearly food draw. Contact the nys chestnut restoration groups for blight resistance.
     
  3. Michael George

    Michael George Newb

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    The beaver dam itself is right on the property line with a neighbor, who is friendly but does not like anyone trespassing; so passing below the dam is really now an option (plus the beavers have created a series of mini dams below the main dam. Just the pond is on my property. I don't want to remove the beavers yet; because bass and blue gill have moved into the waters they created. Also hoping wood ducks show up soon.

    As for timber; yes that was the plan to include chestnuts in my planting. But I will only have the property for 4-5 more years maximum and chestnut seedlings are pretty expensive. Only trees I will be planting will come from seedlings I start myself (I collect acorns and black walnuts near my home in NJ). I'm not planning on spending anymore money on nursery seedlings if I will never see a return.
     
  4. Between2Bluffs

    Between2Bluffs Weekend Warrior

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    Get rid of the beavers asap.
     
  5. Michael George

    Michael George Newb

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    Oldnotdead: The beaver dam itself is right on the property line with a neighbor, who is friendly but does not like anyone trespassing; so passing below the dam is really not an option (plus the beavers have created a series of mini dams below the main dam. Just the pond is on my property. I don't want to remove the beavers yet; because bass and blue gill have moved into the waters they created. Also hoping wood ducks show up soon.

    As for timber; yes that was the plan to include chestnuts in my planting. But I will only have the property for 4-5 more years maximum and chestnut seedlings are pretty expensive. Only trees I will be planting will come from seedlings I start myself (I collect acorns and black walnuts near my home in NJ). I'm not planning on spending anymore money on nursery seedlings if I will never see a return.
     
  6. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Die Hard Bowhunter

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    You can order just chestnuts and start your own trees . They sprout in sterilized peat moistened with distilled water and stored in a frig a few months.
    My 3 gal purchased trees produced the following year.
     
  7. Fix

    Fix Grizzled Veteran

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    With that acreage I would attack it with two prong approach. 1 stand in the thick of it for rut only then when it's reg season I would not go in. Hunt it from the edges spots dictated by wind for each situation. Can you draw them out with a food plot? Any chance we can get a map? Old and I and a few others on here know NY hunting and it's challenges.
     
  8. Michael George

    Michael George Newb

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    Thanks for the replies. I will give more detailed information later this year after the season in over. Finally spent the weekend hunting and ended up with some disappointing surprises. In late August I set up a trail cam on a trail that has been used heavily in the past. Threw some deer attractant feed in front of it just to spice things up. Checked the pictures on Saturday to find only a doe and fawn visited the site and only until the attractant was all eaten. No other deer were using the trail. I also had set up a stand on an old logging trail. I had never hunted there before. Put out a little attractant feed. Didn't see any deer on Saturday. Checked the site yesterday afternoon and still no activity on the feed.

    My fault for not doing some thorough in depth scouting. I haven't been able to hunt the property for the last two seasons because of deployments and assumed everything had stayed the same. There are number of reasons for the changes that I will outline after the season ends. I moved the camera to another trail with some decent sign. When I go back at the end of the month I make a determination where to put a stand before the rut starts. Also, cleaned off my climber for quick changes. Problem is the really thick nasty stuff doesn't have any live trees big enough to support a tree stand so I can see having to call an audible late in the season. Plus, just found out Air Force will keep me busy almost all of gun season..... retirement is really starting to look good.

    More details when I get back up there the last week of the month.

    -Mike
     
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