My 35 acre private land

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by Daniel D'Aquin, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Daniel D'Aquin

    Daniel D'Aquin Newb

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    My dad and I have owned a 35 acres of land in the hilly terrain of Mississippi for three years now. We bought this land back in early 2017 and got it ready for white tail hunting season that fall. Our first year I would call a success; we saw deer almost every hunt and bagged a buck right at the end of rut. The last two seasons have been the opposite with last season only having two hunts where we even saw deer at all. I am looking for some advice on hunting strategy, land management, and habitat improvement. This is our property. We have 2 small ponds, 3 food plots with a stand on each, we have mixed hardwoods (oaks, beech, sweet gum, magnolia) and pine. We're surrounded by other private land owners. 2 of the three land owners don't hunt very much but in the top right corner we have land owners that own about 3 acres that are pretty noisy during hunting season and they hunt their 3 acres. We do have 2 big rectangular patches of clear cut from timber companies near us as you can see in the second picture. We also have the homochitto national forest that borders us from the right. Thanks for your help.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  2. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Do you have any cameras out?
     
  3. Daniel D'Aquin

    Daniel D'Aquin Newb

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    Yes, we have 3 cameras. one on each field.
     
  4. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Are food plots on the surrounding land? Have the pics on trail cameras gone down? Do you hunt the same stand location every season? Do you have bedding cover?
     
  5. Daniel D'Aquin

    Daniel D'Aquin Newb

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    Food plots are on our property. We still have a lot of pics on our cameras, a couple good bucks, but at night. We hunt our box stands every year but we have a tree stand we move around. We do not have bedding cover.


    Sent from my iPhone using Bowhunting.com Forums
     
  6. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Grizzled Veteran

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    Wind direction going in, fall plots that no one else has, if you have a bunch of summer doe /fawn ,not good, drop the # this season. Succession field (bushes, tall grasses, goldenrod...) are great. Too many preditors? Drop those #'s
     
  7. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    How far do you live from the land? Can you feed deer in MS?
     
  8. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Grizzled Veteran

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    Do you have any apples? Late dropping apples in our area are king plant a combo of semi and standards. Semi dwarf fruit faster, standards more years to fruiting but last longer in harsh conditions..
     
  9. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Okay...I cannot see the images mentioned in the original post but I'll condense what could be a book worth or a full day discussion into some bullet points:

    • Security is KING...and the fact you said you have no bedding cover is by far and above your #1 issue. Mature hardwoods are my enemy for high quality deer habitat. They provide NOTHING to the deer, unless nut bearing varieties...but even then they do NOTHING for the deer still 75-85% of the year. If you have loggable timber, getting ANY loggable tree out that isn't going to cost you money would personally be my first step. This alone will assist in getting light to the floor and FINALLY encourage some herbacious early successional growth which will provide immense food and eventually cover. Follow up in successional years some TSI to the non desirable trees (hinge, cut, hack and squirt) to continue to build understory and structure throughout the woods.
    • Not able to see photos...this may not apply. Many times WAY too much focus for land owners goes to food plots and they do not provide a property that deer would have any reason to be on during daylight hours. For example on my 23 acres, I presently have what you could call 3 main plots of any sizable nature...all still quite small (.27, .34 & .20 acres) - the rest of my food is merely winding trails of clover rarely wider than 5 foot or so...with one spot being about 15 feet wide of clover and such but still a winding nature. I'd estimate of the 23 acres....I have well under 5% of the property in some type of food (including the trails in clover). About 90% of the remaining acreage I solely focus on providing cover conducive to bedding or security that a deer could choose to spend their days in (especially now with serious logging being done)....if I don't do this, it would be incorrect of me to think deer should be there during daylight hours. To be honest...any deer on my property is NEVER more than one or two leaps from some kind of cover they could hide in.
    • Hunting tactics...you can have an INCREDIBLE amount of well structure security cover, INCREDIBLE food sources by design, BUT ruin it all with poorly planned and executed hunting approaches. This isn't just paying attention to what the wind or thermals are doing at the stand/blind locations...but how is your entrance and exit routes educating deer as well? Are you taking precautions in scent control, NOT hunting certain areas too soon or too often...are you analyzing your choices?
     
  10. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Grizzled Veteran

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    I couldn't agree more what TM said.
    Security cover trumps all.
     

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