Contributors to this thread:
We bought land!!
I posted earlier that my wife and I were looking at land. After looking at different spots for sale online, we found one we liked and scouted it 4-5 times before putting in an offer. We closed on Friday and were able to get out and walk it and put 4 cameras out Saturday. We didn't see any deer, but found a few more trails in the snow and beds throughout the land. I got my first cell cam picture the following morning, so there are at least 3 deer there. I would like to add a water source and a few mock scrapes this spring. I think I will wait a year before taking on the food plot challenge. I want to learn the habits of the neighbors and deer first.
I'm adding a map with deer trails marked in white, the main atv trail in red and potential stands in yellow.
If you don't mind taking a second and putting your thoughts and ideas as to where I should put a water source and other habitat improvements, that would be great. My first step is to trap the beaver on the northeast corner and try stopping them from cutting down the trees in the area.
Thanks for the help as my wife and I attempt to make this a better hunting spot for future years.
No input on the habitat improvements but congratulations!
Personally I would centralize the water and add some minerals to draw them to it initially. Once its an established point in their minds you can stop the minerals if you choose. You can also create "trails" to it. Remember, by and large, animals follow the path of least resistance.
Posting the size of the property would probably be helpful.
Congrats! Once you start down the rabbit hole of planting trees, plots, and modifying the land there is no returning. It's an absolute blast!
I think it's a good idea to wait on food plots. Like you said get an idea of what the deer are doing first and then cater to that with your food plots later on. Draw a map up with potential areas to keep an eye on. Take a look at the soil conditions in these potential areas to see which ones have better soils. Think about where you want to develop trails.
Maintain a To Do List on excel so that you can sort it by priority, time of year, etc. Treat it as a long term wish list. I've kept one for almost 30 years and never had a blank list but have accomplished tons!
Keep notes as to what you see while hunting so that you develop an quicker understanding of which stands are good during which conditions. You'll also enjoy referring back to these notes after you've improved your land and your hunting improves.
I’d consider moving bottom stand little closer to the corner in the left. Looks like a small patch of woods beaten the fields in adjoining property that the deer could squeeze thru coming or going from you.
Congratulations! My bet is the neighbors to the West have several stands set up in that continuance of timber coming off of your place. I’d bet they rely on the deer to funnel out of your place and on to theirs.
How big is this property? Personally the first thing I would do is find the thickest, nastiest part of it and never step foot in that part of the property again. Sanctuary areas are critical to holding deer on your property long term.
Looks to be 15- 20 acres? Congrats and have fun!
Just a guess but I think it's an 80. See the 500' bar, well an acre is 202' on a side. Of course the marker across the scale may make my guess off.
Almost sure that is 80 acres.
An acre is 208.71' per side, 43560 sq ft. Sorry LKH, it's the the Land Surveyor in me... :-)
Well, it's the age in me!!! Wish that was all I was losing.
Sorry it is an 80. There is one guy that rifle hunts the SW corner. There are not hunters on the field edge at this time. The guy who owns the south and west fields does not bowhunt. He said he only shoots one buck and is done. He said that we can walk his field to access the land. He said he sees 15-20 deer opening weekend of gun season sitting in that corner. There is very little pressure to the east. Most of the trees are 13 year old aspen. There is an oak ridge on the NW corner. The NE is mostly swamp with an old road bed that runs out into it that has a deer trail on it. For the most part, it is thick and everywhere I have walked has deer beds.
Thanks for all kind words. My wife and I are pumped.
Congratulations bud! I don’t know if I would spend the time and money on a water source since you already have a creek. Definitely a good call holding off on the food plots until next year. Might do good to put some minerals near the center and see what stops by.
Just an FYI Wv hillbilly, not sure where in Wisconsin his land is located but it's illegal to bait or feed in much of Wisconsin and that includes placing minerals.
Congrats on your purchase, Matthew. Not many things more enjoyable than getting dirt under your fingernails, especially when it’s your dirt! I’ve had really good luck with getting a lot of trailcam videos over mock scrapes the past several years, especially with using grape vines suspended over them with paracord or similar rope, so that they swing freely. One suggestion on those would be to make a bunch of them, and weed out the less productive ones over time. Some of them just seem to be more attractive to the deer than in other spots.
I would respectfully disagree with Wv hillbilly on the water source. I have spring fed creeks on my farms, and the deer use them, however, for some reason the deer prefer and seek out stagnant standing pools, ponds, etc. The nastier the better, it seems. If you put a water hole in with a plastic/rubber tank, be sure to put some kind of log or heavy stick in it, so other critters can crawl out of the water, should they fall in. A dead grinner decomposing in the bottom of your tank doesn’t smell too good!
Congratulations and best of luck.
Nice! Congrats on your land.
Congratulations Matt and Mrs. Plan out adding soft mast trees!
Thats awesome. Good for you guys! ENJOY
I hope you have access except across that field.
Congratulations!!! Do you need a new best friend?
Congratulations on becoming a landowner. The biggest benefits I see with adding water sources is to have a good hunting location. I would look for a spot which is first of all easy to get in and out of w/o spooking deer and that is huntable with the prevailing wind. Then I would look for heavy cover so that mature bucks are comfortable with the location. There has to be a good tree for a stand or a blind within shooting distance. I would consider selecting the tree and putting up a stand first so that you can put the water in a location where deer are less likely to see you when they are coming or going. Being able to shoot to the water while sitting may save you if one just appears. If one water source works out and you want or need a second for a different wind that would be great.
CONGRATS!! That is awesome, sounds like you have a good idea of what you are doing already!! I agree, take a couple years and learn the property and the neighbors. Than you can make some informed decisions!! Again good for you two!! Shawn
yesssssssss. nice job, enjoy.
Congrats! Why wait on any habitat improvements? Get at it now, you have plenty of time between now and the opening of bow season. This weather is awesome, perfect time of year to hit the woods. There are plenty of good books and youtube videos to help you along your journey. First things first, start with a plan and go from there. BC
Congrats Owning land is a lot of fun and work
Congratulations on the land! We had managed our land for trophy bucks for many years, and one if the things that we did that had the greatest impact was to shoot and trap coyotes. We had trapped over 70 coyotes per year most years, and within three years saw a huge increase in fawn survivability. Good luck to ya, and have fun with your new place!