Feb 2nd, 2012 The Land:
This week I’d like to tell you a little about my place and what’s been going on there recently and why I see potential with this place.
The 56 acres is pretty diverse for its size; it contains a mixture of prairie grasses, red osier dogwood, sumac, oak, maple, birch, cedar, ash, poplar, white pine and three varieties of apple trees. For years much of the land was utilized as a horse pasture so it’s only recent where the open areas have started to thicken up. Making my property more diverse is the major ridge line that runs West to East with fingers branching off to the North and then to the South. Zooming out past my property lines to the West and South lies Ag land that is primarily corn and hay fields with larger blocks of hardwood timber. Then to the North and East we have a mixture of swampy creek bottom land and Agriculture.
I’ve accompanied a few photos to give you a good idea with what describing (see below) from the zoomed out view to a zoomed in terrain view. Figure (T6) shows all of the current bedding areas for the core group of deer that live and pass through my property. So far the vast majority of them are coming from of the creek bottom to the East. Challenge one will be to improve the existing bedding areas on my property and to provide an adequate year round food source.
Rather than tackle this project all on my own, Lee provided me with a contact to a professional land manager that happens to lives close by so he will be assisting me. He was just out to my property last week to do thorough inspection so I will be making a post detailing what we come up with for 2012 after we meet again. At that time I will go into more detail about my property and what will be changed. I’m happy to report that his first impression was very positive and he thinks that we can really do some good things here so I’m excited!
His initial statement is that we need to make my place the central food resource for the deer in my area and remove the junk trees. So obviously food plots, maple thinning, hinge cuts and tree plantings are all on deck for this year.
Since October, I’ve already started doing what I can to promote 2012 growth. Because my winter herd is small and I can legally feed the deer two gallons at a time (legal because I live on the property and can feed within 50yds of the house), I have started to provide them with a year round supplement of protein pellets mixed with a little bit of corn. As winter has progressed, I’ve moved from providing mostly corn to mostly pellets. By the end of this month, the supplement will be all pellets and a trophy rock to replace some of the trace minerals the deer need going into the spring. I’ll continue this supplement until the spring green up arrives where I’ll replace the pellets with mineral. Hopefully we’ll have some clover growing by early May to provide a greater nutrition resource.
The next post will be a review of the deer I had hanging around in 2011 and who I think is still around for 2012.