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new hunting property help

Old 02-08-2020, 08:35 PM
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Spike
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I recently purchased my first deer hunting parcel in Western Kentucky. Itís 58 acres. The property is 60% soft woods (some mature timber but not much), 30% in conifers, has a 2 acre food plot, a few creeks that run through it, and It also has a 2 acre low spot thats holds water. The property is bordered on the north, south, and west sides by large agriculture fields, the east side is bordered by 2 houses and a road and the east side has some horse pastures bordering the property. Also a road to the south.



My question is, is this enough acreage to hold mature deer if I am not connected to a larger tract of timber? There are large timber tracts within 1-2 miles of my property. I suppose the conifers provide good bedding area, but in the late winter the soft woods looks awful the deer can see right through it and there is no bottom growth. Would you recommend hinge cuts? What would you recommend in the food plot spring/fall? i thought about planting apple/pear trees in a corner of the plot. I am also concerned on stand access as the entrance to the property is on the west end of the property and all the conifer bedding is on the east. Any and all info and help is appreciated. I will try and attach pictures. Any recommendations to get some big bucks in here?



As for the last picture:



the blue is water (not including creeks that run through the property), the brown is conifers/grasses/bedding area, the white line is an incredibly steep drop off, the yellow is a food plot, and the red Xís are possible stand locations.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:36 AM
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If you are bordered by agriculture and houses it sounds like you have a 58 acre Island of cover and bedding areas and good feed in the fields around you. You don't say what the soft wood stands are so it is hard to say if you should more promote growth of them. I suggest you contact the Kentucky department of fish and wildlife and asked if a biologist could meet you on your property and give you recommendations of what you should do to promote better habitat on that parcel of land..
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:27 AM
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Spike
 
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To me it appears you need to make a bedding area ! Buy a chainsaw or hire a forester and make some money, You say agricultural fields nearby ? Whats the usual plantings ? This would tell me what not to plant in your food plots .
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:13 AM
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He has a bedding area. He can get free info from his game dept and or the cooperative extension of the dept of ag. He does not have to hire a forester. For us to sit behind our computers without putting boots on the ground and tell the man what he needs based on those arial photos is counter productive.
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Old 02-09-2020, 01:57 PM
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Put some deer cameras and see what's happening on your property.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:52 PM
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I agree with getting game cameras up in various locations and leaving them up...year round. Don't rush them as far as checking them. let them sit a month or two and get feet on the ground. I only have 10 acres surrounded by state and county forest with agricultural land about a mile away. Mature bucks in season show up. Attract the does, they attract the bucks.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:04 AM
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oldtimer are you having a bad day ? A little grouchy ? wsca37 stated houses on one side, agricultural fields three sides ! So to me food plots would not have great impact, possibly the one small plot if planted in something not available in area ! With all the agricultural fields it seems to me that deer will need bedding area,s more than anything else, He could have the area,s only sanctuary for the best deer !
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by grouch55 View Post
oldtimer are you having a bad day ? A little grouchy ? wsca37 stated houses on one side, agricultural fields three sides ! So to me food plots would not have great impact, possibly the one small plot if planted in something not available in area ! With all the agricultural fields it seems to me that deer will need bedding area,s more than anything else, He could have the area,s only sanctuary for the best deer !

Not at all, I read very clearly what he said! He said the deciduous tree area which is about 60 percent of the property is very open with few mature trees. I wish he would have said what those trees are, do they produce acorns or other mast? But he didn't. Deer have preferred foods which are not in the farm crop family and there are woody shrubs Witch Hazel being one , which can be planted to provide food and a sense of security for the deer by providing cover for them and he could also plant mast producing trees such as Oaks and Beechnut and fruit trees such as apples and Persimmons and he has the existing 2 acre food plot which I am sure can be enhanced with plantings like Brasica which will provide leafy food early on and turnips and radishes through the winter that the deer can dig up. That is why I told him to contact his game department for recommendations of what to plant. He can enhance that property substantially to be attractive to deer for other reasons other than a bedding area in the conifers. Relying on a bedding area only as you seem to think is best is short sighted when there is so much more he can do. Agriculture today provides very little in the way of food or shelter after the crops are harvested. With 58 acres there is much he can do to enhance his property. Perhaps you forgot, deer season comes pretty much after the soybeans and corn is harvested and those fields will be a biological desert for deer. He has an Oasis which can be improved upon which is pretty much why he posted asking for recommendations.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 02-14-2020 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:52 AM
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OK I wrote this then some how deleted it before posting it when he first posted and been lazy to re type it

BUT IMO
YES the size of the land you have CAN hold mature deer/bucks, but that doesn't mean it will.
and for many reasons
first off, it takes a LONG time for deer to really get MATURE, this is IMO 5+ yrs of age!
SO< for a deer to get that old they have top dodge hunters vehicles and other things, already not that easy!

your land isn;t what the home range is on MOST deer, BUT some do stay on small tracts, NOT all, but some do
BUT for a deer to WANT to stay ONLY on your land, the land has to be something that meets all there needs and NO grass greener on other lands near by
deer live by eating sleeping and staying safe
all the safety doesn't do deer any real good if they need to leave to get other things they desire!

the name of the game IMO< when you own smaller pieces of land, is to make them the most appealing to deer as possible and meet as many of there needs as possible
which comes down to food, cover/safety, water and mates!
GOOD food must be there 365 days a yr, NOT only at hunting season times to HOLD them yr round

safety/cover, has to be there yr round, and this might mean NOT going into parts of your land EVER, NOT in hunting season or other times, or very rarely going into them
as when you push deer out they will move on, yes they will come back, but if they find other places they like as much or BETTER< maybe they won't! or get killed while leaving or??

so having a sanctuary area is a BIG deal IMO on lands your hoping to HOLD deer all the time on!

BUT even when all the things are there, deer will still leave, mating season is a big time they wander off , but this works BOTH ways,
it can also bring them to your place, but again, this can be where getting bucks to that 5+ yr old mark can be hard

as no matter what you do to your land
if the bordering lands all have hunters or worse(poachers or trigger happy folks in general)
they will be killing off young bucks on you or your better bucks if they leave the land for love, and then if NO older bucks on there side, well, none be coming to your place looking for your doe!
its why many states that had huge hunter numbers din't have many BIG bucks, like PA, till the state started the antler restriction which some what MADE bucks live a tad longer to get a tad smarter to dodge hunters better, and then once larger deer became more sen, more hunters held off on killing small one's

BUT that isn;t always how it works!

but back to your land
if you desire to MAKE and BUILD your place to be the BEST it can be to deer
YES it is possible to have some older bucks on your land
as they say you build it they will come

but you also have to hold of on shooting smaller bucks to get them larger/older!
as deer get older they DO get smarter, so that means you have to get smarter in your actions as well!

make your lands better appealing than lands around you is a the first step IMO and keep them that way YR round!
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:09 PM
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Spike
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Thank you guys for the help. I realize my requests were pretty broad as you arenít on the property. i did have a chance to throw a camera up this past week and have been amazed that lots of bucks still have there antlers. Iíll try to attach a few pictures below. Sorry for the poor quality took pictures off the laptop.

Thinking of doing lots of hinge cutting to thicken up the property. Any pros and cons on hinging?
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