Land Cooperatives: Solution to Small-Property Limitations

One of the most common questions I hear is, “Can I really manage like you say on my small property?”

buckeatingMost of the time, that’s uttered by someone who owns less than 200 acres, and the simple answer is, “Yes.” But it’s also based on having realistic expectations.

Can you truly affect a herd’s adult-buck-to-doe ratio if you own 100 acres? Not necessarily. You can contribute to balancing the ratio by killing an adequate number of does and protecting young bucks, but you can’t do it all by yourself.

Many landowners might not realize that their neighbors share similar goals for their deer hunting and management. If that’s the case, a land cooperative might help everyone.

You don’t have to hold monthly meeting to be considered a land cooperative. Rather, you must communicate effectively. If the hunters that own 175 acres to your west reveal they shot five adult does during a youth hunt, that’s important to your management strategy. You might also ask if you can join up and do a trail camera survey to capture as many unique bucks on camera as possible between your properties.

By communicating with your neighbors, you can effectively track rut activity without giving away your honey hole or the 160-class deer that popped up on camera last week. Working together to manage for a healthier deer herd will reap rewards for all involved.
  — Jeremy Flinn