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Best land management for deer

11/14/19 @ 6:15 PM
USER SINCE 1/14/13

I’m in the process of buying 120 acres of land strictly for deer hunting. The land is basically a 1/4 mile x 3/4 mile rectangle and it was logged recently so it consists of mostly new 6-8’ tall popple thickets, dogwood brush thickets, and a few areas of mature hardwoods and mature white pine.

The parcel I’m buying has AG land on 2 sides but I think it’s mostly just hay fields right now... 

 The only thing that I know for sure is the fact that I’m leaving about half of the property alone and never or very rarely setting foot on that piece. 

I’m looking for suggestions on how to best improve the other 60 acres. I’m thinking lots of apple trees in different varieties that drop at different times. I’ve also experimented with food plots in the past but I really don’t want all that activity on the property every year. Would it be worth it to dig a small pond? The closest water source on a dry year is about a mile away. I have a skid steer so the pond could be done relatively cheap but would it be beneficial? I’m just looking for some ideas and thoughts. Thanks!!


6/6/21 @ 7:55 PM
USER SINCE 1/14/13

Nice catch! I went back and checked the soil reports and I should’ve cut those numbers in half. That makes things a little cheaper! Lol

6/6/21 @ 7:25 PM

How much land are you planting to need that much fertilizer? Thats enough for 10 acres of farmland corn.

6/6/21 @ 4:28 PM
USER SINCE 12/19/10

A co-op/feed mill would be your best bet.  But yeah fertilizer isn’t cheap either way!

6/6/21 @ 7:07 AM
USER SINCE 1/14/13

Where can I get bulk fertilizer for less than an arm and a leg? I need 1200lbs of triple 19 or similar. 350lbs of 0-46-0 and about 300lbs each of 34-0-0 and 0-0-60. If I get it through a big box store I’m looking at a grand. Gotta be a different approach...

5/21/21 @ 9:44 PM
USER SINCE 1/14/13

Apple trees and fencing will be next years project. Definitely bear country. Lots of wolves also. Took all of a couple days this year to get my 1st wolf pictures on cell camera. Several wolf pics per week is common. 

Just got my soil test results back and was pleasantly surprised. Only 4500 lbs of lime needed between 2 new plots and the  1 acre plot I established  last year is at 6.3 so nothing needed for now. Spreading lime and discing  /dragging tomorrow. Then I’ll let them green up for a month before I start herbicide treatments in preparation for a mid-July planting of fall forages. 

5/21/21 @ 8:23 PM
USER SINCE 8/12/20

Outfishin, haven't read thru all the posts, but if you plant apple trees and your in bear country, they will destroy the trees once the fruit ripens.

5/21/21 @ 8:22 PM
Rattle em up
USER SINCE 4/19/21

If you want to consistently harvest the large mature bucks of your area you have to prep the land with good bedding areas, water, and the best fall food. If you are a meat hunter or 2 1/2 old bucks or less are your targets you shouldn't have to do much mostly in the southern half of the state. Like others of said, access to your stands, watching your scent, and only hunting or being out on your land during the fall must be limited. Mature bucks are not going to be hanging around if your ripping around your woods on your four wheeler. But anything can happen during the rut as long as you get off the couch. For the mature buck hunters, Jeff Sturgis has good information at Whitetails habitat Solutions. Good luck to all.

5/20/21 @ 2:09 PM
Sedge Fox33
USER SINCE 6/20/14

Speaking from an agricultural background, think twice about food plots. Once you disturb soil you open it to weeds and invasives. 

It's all fun and games starting out, but what is your plan for years from now? When it gets to be too much time and money? Letting it go into canary grass and thistles is far worse than leaving it alone. 

The promoters of food plots are in the business of you spending money. 

5/11/21 @ 10:51 AM
.Long Barrels
USER SINCE 12/9/14

  if you are surrounded by AG,  once their beans or hay or whatever are yellow and gone you have new green the deer will flood in the start of Oct.  I personally would keep some of that clear cut and let those popples grow back.  they will be 5-6 ft by Sept.  They will be in there destroying that new growth.  I have done this,  leaving some of that clear cut will be more beneficial that putting all food.  just my opinion though.

Apples are fine,  but they are not a plant and forget thing.  you'll need proper fencing,  water the hell out of them at least the first year.  mulch and fertilizer and keep the weeds out of the fences.  make the fences big enough as well or you'll lose all the new growth.  they will get to em.  leave at least 3 feet around and you'll have to readjust each or every other year for growth.  if you don't,  any gains will be eaten.

As far as activity on property and food plots,  you'll do no damage in the summer months.  those deer couldn't give a crap.  Doe especially and 9 times out of 10 those bucks you see on cam may not be there anyway come fall.  you can get away with murder until the velvet comes off, then you have a different animal all together.  they go from food,  to living and breeding midset in a couple weeks time.  even if you have a mature buck,  you go in to spray twice over a summer,  then a day to plant,  you won't run him off ...contrary to popular belief.  if you don't go rolling around in the bedding areas you are fine.  summer deer are a totally different.  I plant the last week in august,  I have deer on cam walking across brown dirt hours later.  I had cams go off on other plots while i'm out planting.  

I believe many people think you'll scare off deer in the summer because the hot shots on the video's want to make you think that.  They don't tell you that they are in there loading up corn piles every week for 3 months also.  In Ohio it's a common practice....but they don't tell you that on the video's.  90% (and that may be low) of the time you see  a video from Ohio,  it's a food pile influenced kill.  it's legal there,  everyone does it.  they just don't tell you cause they want to sell video's and act like they are legends.  that was a vent,  but true.

4/20/21 @ 12:20 PM
Analog man
Analog man
USER SINCE 12/10/18

All you really need is a chainsaw and a number of antlerless permits.That's just me I could be wrong. 

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