What can I do to keep deer on my property with our cattle?

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CurtisJackson
 
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What can I do to keep deer on my property with our cattle?

Postby CurtisJackson » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:48 am

We have about a 170 - 180 acre farm in south eastern Ky. There are about 2 to 3 fields that are around4 to 5 acres a piece and the rest is timber. There are around 20 to 25 cows on the property. I was curious if there was anything that I could plant that the cows wouldnt pick to death that would attract and hold deer to our land? We used to grow soy beans and alfalfa and winter wheat and we used to produce good size bucks but when we turned cattle loose in there we stopped planting. So is there anything at all that I can do to bring deer back to our property and still help them produce good sized racks and body weight?

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shaman
 
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Re: What can I do to keep deer on my property with our cattl

Postby shaman » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:47 am

First off, I would recommend a visit from the state wildlife biologist. It's free. He will come out and survey your property and give you a plan, based on your priorities and budget. Here is the contact list:

http://fw.ky.gov/kfwis/viewable/private ... ogists.pdf

Second, before he comes out, you can familiarize yourself with his playbook:

http://fw.ky.gov/howto.asp

Those how-to guides, in general, are the sort of things your biologist will be suggesting.

In general, I can suggest a few things that will help. I had my biologist come out. He did a very good job, and everything that he suggested (and I tried) contributed to my success: Things like edge feathering, strip disking, etc. are no-cost or low-cost solutions that REALLY work. Food plots work very well, but they also cost a lot. Selective cutting of the cedar trees (especially hing cutting) in my woods has worked.

Cows will compete with deer to some degree. Cows are grazers-- they eat grass. Deer are browsers, they eat very little grass, and mostly rely on the forbs (weeds). Wherever you can encourage forb growth where the cows can't get to it, you will be improving the habitat for deer.

You are already set up for making a food plot, so you may benefit from this: Make small strips and patches-- run the cultivator to tear up a 1/4 acre here and there and plant it in cover wheat and clover. It's cheap and it works. More small plots work better than big plots.

The best for last: Limit access to your property. That was the single biggest step for me. Once I had restricted hunting on the property to just the persons I chose, deer numbers and quality increased. Deer see you place as a sanctuary. They come and they stay.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer
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luvhuntin
 
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Location: Iowa

Re: What can I do to keep deer on my property with our cattl

Postby luvhuntin » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:05 pm

Limit access to your property. That was the single biggest step for me. Once I had restricted hunting on the property to just the persons I chose


Shaman
could you explain the numbers on this more. did you have 12 hunting then drop to 6 or even less maybe? just curious about land management and would like to learn before I ever have the chance to actually drive up to the gate on my own property. saves some of the expensive mistake making. not all, just some.

thanks

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shaman
 
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Re: What can I do to keep deer on my property with our cattl

Postby shaman » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:27 am

There were a large unknown number of hunters on my place before I got it. The land had not been occupied since 1982. I got it in 2001. I've met people from down close to the TN line that knew about it. All my neighbors hunted it. The first night I got on the place, I had to help a SUV full of bowhunters who were "lost." It turned out they were from next door. I met probably 2 dozen individuals that first year. I don't know how many were turned back by the signs.

I can't say I am 100% poacher-free. I occasionally see signs someone has been in. Who is on the land now is just myself, two sons, and one of my old bosses. That's 4 on 200 acres. The next door neighbor has 8 on 100 acres, and he seems to do okay.

The first year, I managed to take a doe and a small buck. The next year I got another doe. The next year, I managed to take a fairly nice buck, and I have had good luck since. Once my place became one of the least hunted areas in the neighborhood, the deer came over to my place to spend the season.

As it turned out, a few of the neighboring land owners did about the same thing right about the same time, so the overall effect was to drop the hunting pressure in our end of the county.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer
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