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Advice on new property

Old 06-01-2015, 04:31 PM
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Spike
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Default Advice on new property

Hey guys, I purchased 90 acres back in the late winter. This property is located in West Virginia and is mostly hillside and mature hard woods. Have lots of oak, some walnuts, etc. Also has multiple creeks running through it, as well as at least 2 natural springs.

This property had not been touched in literally 20 years. I have so far reclaimed 3 fields, that are probably a total of 2 acres. So far there has already been an increase of deer activity in the fields, as I have been mowing the fields with a lawnmower. Each time I mow it, I see more and more signs of the deer utilizing the fields. I also have a few flats in the woods to make some small 1/3-1/2 acre food plots.

Seeing as how I am completely surrounded by hard woods, does anyone have suggestions on what I should plant. I was thinking of going with a mix of chicory and clover. I plan to also plant some fruit trees in the future. I already found a few papaw trees on the property.

I can't get over how much the deer are using these reclaimed fields right now though. I haven't planted anything. Only thing I have done is cleared it out and mowed it down. Guess there are some natural things in there that they are eating.

Also one other question. Is there any particular mineral blocks that are good for the deer over the summer months? Specifically looking at antler development and for nursing fawns.
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Old 06-02-2015, 05:40 AM
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Deer are creatures of the edge, when you made a change and created more edge, you attracted the deer.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:03 AM
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Like Oldtimr said, the open areas near mast is a deer magnet. I'd plant a few tree stands and call it good. You may get a few bears, and turkeys as well.

ATB
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:17 AM
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Hinge cut some trees. That is a quick and easy way to improve deer habitat.
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:26 PM
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Yeah. Went back today after just mowing, and found 3 different spots of buck poop. One was in the upper field just shy of half acre. The other 2 were in one of the lower fields just below it, the biggest of the 3 fields.

I was able to hunt the property this last deer season. It was a few days late into gun season, but still.

I have about 15 acres that is full of pine trees. Saw deer coming from there a few times. I am going to leave that as my sanctuary. Its not necessarily the middle of my property, but I have yet to go there. I have walked the rest of the property already.

Do you guys think its ok to hike through that area once or twice during this time of year? It kind of sucks having 15 acres of property you have never even seen or set foot on. At the same time, I don't want to ruin what is already a good sanctuary.

Thanks for the advice so far guys!
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Old 06-02-2015, 03:04 PM
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Pines are good cover and especially thermal cover. On the property I hunt late in the season if someone still needs a deer we will put on silent drives through the pines and there are always deer in there and you can actually feel the tempreature difference in the pines from outside the pines. This time of the year if you want to check out your property, it will not affect what happens next hunting season. It is good to know the property you hunt.
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Old 06-02-2015, 03:30 PM
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Spike
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Very glad to hear. I knew they were supposed to be good for thermal purposes, but never got the experience myself.

Like I said, I am going to leave that area as my sanctuary, but I have been DYING to go check it out lol. Guess I will try to do that sometime in the next week or so.

I plan to set up a stand somewhere between this pine sanctuary and the fields I have reclaimed, as well as the food plots I am going to make this summer.

Very excited as I have never been able to prepare for deer season like this before.
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Old 06-02-2015, 03:52 PM
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What you want to do is find a funnel. A place where deer come from several different directions and funnel into one path. That is the area where a stand will pay off.
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Old 06-02-2015, 05:23 PM
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Fresh cut always attracts deer. It lets them get to the low fresh stuff easier. If I were you, I would throw out some Ladino clover into one or both those fields. It will add more protein to their diet and it has a tendency to last 4 to 5 years. Has a great mineral base to it as well.

As far as mineral blocks go, it's sort of a touch and go subject as far as antler growth. Some studies have shown that it doesn't aid in antler growth in deer over 1.5 and others differ from that. What HAS been proven is that phosphorus rich soils produce heavier bodied deer as well as other minerals that aid in the digestive process. It's also been shown to make deer take in more food. So pick a salt block that's high in phosphorus and calcium as well. Don't get a pure mineral lick. Deer will pretty much ignore them. They need salt so get a block that has at LEAST those 2 minerals in them.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:01 PM
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Spike
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr
What you want to do is find a funnel. A place where deer come from several different directions and funnel into one path. That is the area where a stand will pay off.
I have found a few potential places, but none that just really stick out I guess.

I do need to get in there and follow some of the deer trails though. I will try to find a spot where multiple trails come together.
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