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Help with Whitetail Management
This is my Grandfathers property, I have just recently been getting into deer hunting and am looking for advice. I would like to manage the property for deer. I was thinking of putting in some foodplots and maybe hinge cutting for bedding. I am looking for advice on what to do and where to do it. H= hay, W= wheat, G=grass, C= Corn. Any input is greatly appreciated, and I know the property very well if you have any questions. -Thanks!
I'll be right there! Seriously, study the hinge cutting idea. Was "hot" concept several years ago. You lose the tree. May want to thin mature trees to allow undergrowth. Are you able to leave some corn standing? Having several food plots checkered in different locations would encourage movement. There are more expertise here than mine. Best wishes!!!
I might be able to leave a couple rows of standing corn, it's silage corn so if not it will be off early in the year.
as TJS said, there's a bunch of expert management types on here, hopefully they weigh in
all i see is a bunch of great stand locations!!
Hinge cut? No, I'd just fell some trees and that will encourage new growth and give the deer bedding areas. As for as your corn placement, I'd move those fields closer to the center of your property next to the woods, and not near roads. Maybe put in a field or two of clover and beans. Looks like a nice property to manage, have fun.
1) If you are just started to deer hunt, good for you!! I suggest shooting the 1st legal deer you can. You need experience so don't wait for a big buck. 2) I wouldn't worry about food. It appears you have plenty on your place & the neighboring land. Food usually isn't a limiting factor for deer in agricultural areas. Hopefully, the hay has a good legume component in it, (clover or alfalfa). The wheat will provide something green during the months the other plants are dormant, and the corn will provide a carbohydrate during the winter. I assume the fields are rotated periodically. If it's economically possible, leave some corn stand at harvest time. 2) Without doing a walk through the woods, it's tough to say what is needed. If you have a good diversity of mast producing trees you will have additional food. If there are thick, nasty areas that are hard to walk through, you already have additional browse & bedding habitat. The "greener" patches in the big woodlot appear to be a pine tree? If so. there could be a lot of open space under them. A selective harvest might do some good. 3) What really stand out are the wonderful woody fence rows!! This place has bobwhite quail written all over it! Protect & manage them at all costs. By manage, I mean cut larger trees and build loose brush piles. 4) With landowners permission, get in contact with you local state wildlife biologist & forester. Their services should be free. They would be able to provide technical advice to get you pointed in the right direction. Another option is a Pheasant's Forever Biologist. 5) Learn to hunt smart by playing the wind & sneaking it and out out your spots. Hope this helps. Good luck
I have been hunting for a while, but have just recently been getting serious. I normally just shoot the first deer I see, now I am trying to shoot a nice buck if possible. The greener patches are thick cedars. Really hard to walk through, and they have a lot of snowshoe and grouse. The darker patches are swampy and wet. The light brown is open hardwoods, maples, beeches and poplars. As far as the bobwhites, This is southwestern Ontario, (Bruce Peninsula) and we don't have them. The deer population is not amazing, but there are a few around.
How man total acres? All these little patches look like Japan.
I would think with all that food why waste time energy and money on a food plot as it is all there now?
its 200 total acres, most of the fields are pretty small, the biggest is that wheat field its 20 acres. Most fields are 5-10 acres. My grandpa is a real old time farmer so a lot of these hay fields are old hay and the deer don't really use them. He has never had soybeans and a lot of the neighbors do. All the corn is silage so it will be off late September/ early October.
Thanks everyone for input! If you have any specific questions I would love to answer them! I know the property very well. However have no idea where to start for managing the property, so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
If the hay field are mostly grass you can hold a lot more deer if you replace at least some of the with a mixture that has alfalfa, birds foot trefoil or clover. It maybe hard to establish but birds foot trefoil reseeds itself well so it will last a long time in a stand unlike alfalfa and deer love it. If the fields are not being limed and fertilized that will help a lot. Other than that put out some cameras and learn how the deer bed and move before you do anything else. You may have all you need.
Would it be beneficial to thin out the cedar thickets in some spots? most places are so thick you can't walk through it. If that would help, how would you decide where to thin out?
If it's that thick maybe you should just leave it for bedding, sanctuary.
200 acres and you're newer to deer hunting? First thing you do is NOTHING. Stop worrying about what all the TV shows are into. Cancel your cable and just spend time hunting. Hunt it for a year or two. Read the Wensels books about deer. Learn deer, Learn how deer use the piece. Then, and only then, once you understand both those variables would I start sinking time and money into permanent changes. Unless you've got tons of time and money to burn. But seriously; I'd spend any extra time I had scouting it. In the offseason on the ground, and in-season from low impact locations. Watch and learn, watch and learn.
How sucky would it be to go in with little knowledge, and hinge cut some trees only to realize a few years in that you wish you had not cut those trees down? A cut tree can not be replaced in a lifetime. It looks like a nice piece as is, and proper small changes could accentuate it, but anything can be screwed up. Good luck, and don't forget to have a ton of fun!!!
I think i let on that I am completely green to hunting. I am 21 and have been hunting since I was 12 and I have shot 7 deer. I just don't hunt this farm a lot because it is far from my house. I am just new to managing a property, on my permission pieces I can't do anything to the land. I think you're right I should put some time in hunting this property before I do anything major.