Look Before You Leap.

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Look Before You Leap.

Postby ranwin33 » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:54 am

Of all the people associated with deer management I probably respect Charles Alsheimer more than any.  He is the one person with whom I would most like to spend a day or two discussing the subject.
However, his article Look Before You Leap[/i] in the August issue of D&DH left me a little dismayed.  My first thought after reading it was "thank God" I didn't read this before we purchased our property or I might never had made the leap.  I suppose it does take a cold hard look at the facts, but with some of the twelve points perhaps he is being a bit too cold and a bit too hard with his views.
For example, How Much Land Can You Afford[/i] states I need 300-500 acres if I want any chance of shooting 3 ½ year old deer on a regular basis.  Well I do want that chance, who doesn't – but can't afford that size of acreage – so I shouldn't purchase something even if it's only 20-30 acres?  I realize Mr. Aslsheimer isn't saying I shouldn't purchase something, but why discourage my dreams.  Had he added a couple of sentences about the fact that the possibility will exist, no matter what size the property, that a B&C buck may someday cross my path, I think he would have done the topic more justice.
Regarding, Will You Live on the Land[/i] , trespassing can be a problem whether you live on the land or not.  Again, don't discourage me from my dream because I can't live on my property.  With good neighbors near by, trespassing may not be a problem at all, whether you live on the place or not.
[font=calibri]Time and Money[/i] and Can You Be a Farmer[/i], are the two points where I have the biggest problem.  $7000-$12000 for ATV with equipment could be some pretty top-of-the-line stuff.  We started out with a used $3500 ATV, a $400 ATV disk and a $100 sprayer and a $20 hand seed spreader and were pretty much able to put in any size food plot we wanted.  Sure, we had to work a lot harder at it and we used some of our household lawn tools, but we didn't need tractors and big farm implements.  And we've got two food plots over two acres and several smaller ones.   [/font]
As for needing to be on the farm every weekend, nothing could be further from the truth.  We were able to put in food plots AND convert an old pole barn into a living quarters spending every other weekend or every third weekend on our place.  We did work hard while we were there, but had plenty of time to fish and fool around.  Maybe it took a while longer, but the end result is still good.  Truthfully, if someone had said to me that I was going to need $10k in additional equipment before we even purchased the place I probably wouldn't have done it.
Seven years later, with a much smaller property spending far less money with not nearly the poaching problems that some experience I can say our weekends of heavy work are pretty much done, our hunting is great, and the time spent has been very worthwhile.  I realize Mr. Alsheimer was putting things in a very no-nonsense, unadorned perspective, but if we want people to continue to hunt and pursue dreams of owning their own property, we should also point out the good, and what can be done with minimal tools and money.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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Sam Menard
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RE: Look Before You Leap.

Postby Sam Menard » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:50 pm

I liked the article except that it's not necessarily a given that, once you buy a parcel of land, you have to put in food plots.  Our group jointly owns 160 acres.  When we bought it, it was mostly standing mixedwood forest. Since then, we logged about 100 acres and deer still use it.  Granted, food plots and other features may increase the carrying capacity, but the fact of the matter is that we only hunt one week of the year.  I wish that we could put more time into better managing the property, but the reality of the matter is that we've got other things to do with our time.
The important point about buying land is to be realistic.  How much do you need?  Do you expect to do all your hunting on it?  Will deer use it?  Will deer stay on it?  Can you justify the expense?  Plus the points that Alsheimer pointed out in the article.
Although we don't confine all of our hunting activities on our own property (we also hunt some other private lands as well as public land), having your own turf is nice.  No one can kick you off!
"The true hunter counts his achievements in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport."

Dr. Saxton Pope

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RE: Look Before You Leap.

Postby forddeerslayer » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:08 am

i see where you guys are coming from.  i respect charlie to ever since he came to a game supper at a church i used to attend 11 years ago i knew this guys was one i wanted to follow and read his articles as much as i could, and i have with his books and d&dh mag.  i took that article with a grain of salt as he was just letting people know what reality has a possibilty of being. ill be moving to 55 acre cabin close to lewis county ky soon and i knew that i have my work cut out for me before had and i knew that a buck can cover 4000 acres during the rut so my 55 is a drop in the bucket.  it did open my eyes.  but there are ways of getting around buying 10000 tractor and i am getting the same set up you have 4 wheeler with kopin set up.  it will be costly but i suppose there are people out there who have no clue they just see the lakosky and kiskys and think its that easy.  i suppose those were the people he was speaking to more.   

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RE: Look Before You Leap.

Postby 69Viking » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:59 am

I have to agree with Ranwin33. You can get by with less spent on tools and you don't need 300+ acres for the simple fact deer travel from property to property. As far as being a farmer anybody that takes care of their lawn can use books and magazines to learn how to create and manage food plots. I hunt 110 acres that a friend's father in-law owns and with right management we are finding that the key is to attract the does to your property and the bucks will follow. We might not get a shot at a big buck every year but the cameras show us they're in the area. We just need to do a better job of being in the right place to shoot them! Good points in this post and yes Charles Alsheimer is also one of my favorite writers. I just think he went a little overboard on this article.

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