small farm management

Discuss Quality Deer Management issues here!
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small farm management

Postby ghosthunter31193 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:24 pm

so i hunt a farm thats probably about 120 acres and i really think that it could produce good deer if provided with good management and i would like to be able to start to manage it for the deer but i also wouldn't want to put the money in an area where all the surrounding hunters aren't too worried about what they shoot. kinda confused on what to do here.! [&:]

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RE: small farm management

Postby gunther89 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:28 pm

If you are able to cut tree's down I would say cut some trees down and make a sanctuary.  Set aside a part of the property and make it as thick as you can.  Once gun season rolls around the deer will realize that your sanctuary is a safe place to be and will move in.   

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RE: small farm management

Postby msbadger » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:54 am

First if your worried about what the guys around you are going to shoot...well you've already lost the battle...I say this because I know it drives me crazy..that I pass on nice young deer...and I'm a meat hunter...and the guys around me have shot them opening day of gun...are shooting older doe that produce twins and triplets..ect.ect.ect...

first ..quietly try and find out what the ppl surrounding you are doing...then go in and quietly do what you want or need to do to make your self feel better about your hunting land...stay in the center of your land make sure there is water and as gunther said far as the money ...always start small and work best you'll see a nice rack or two if thats what your working toward and worse your see bigger bodied deer and hear about the bruiser that is "in the Area"

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RE: small farm management

Postby SHKYBoonie » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:33 am

I have practiced QDM on tracts of land as small as 100 acres with results. With a tract of land such as this you are playing a game of percentages. If you pass on small bucks in your area, then you have to think that a certain percentage will make it through at least one more year. If these bucks make it through that year they too will be wiser to hunting pressure. This in itself increases the percentage that this deer will survive. If you kill this buck then it never has that opportunity. It's hard sometimes when you don't have neighbors willing to join in. You just have to keep the mindset that you are making a difference by yourself. It may take years before you actually see the benefits from this, but you will in the long run. Always have a sanctuary on your property that is never infringed. On 120 acres, you may want to create at least 2 of these areas. This increases the chances that you will harbor more than one family group of deer as different family groups usually will not use the same bedding areas. Also, during certain times of year, bucks will not bed in the same areas that a family group of does have taken up as home. These areas do not have to be more than a few acres in size to be used by many deer.
The next percentage game is giving the deer what they need on your land. If your land has cover and water with some food, the deer may stay on your land 50% of the time. This means they are traveling to other areas to get something else that they need and it leaves them open to other hunters. If you plant different types of food, have a good number of oak trees that drop acorns, water and cover (sanctuaries), then you may increase the time spent on your land to say 80%. This means that the deer are only leaving your area 20% of the time. This decreases the chances of another hunter getting to tag one of these deer.
Give the deer what they need and do not pressure them so much on your land. Do this and I promise you will see a difference in time. This is the only way it will work with small tracts.
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RE: small farm management

Postby SwampLife » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:39 am

^^well put

I have an uncle in PA who has purchased two different tracts of land about 100 acres each.

Both of these farms did not get hunted for years prior to him buying them. These places were holding tons of deer and some brute bucks the first year or two we hunted. After that the deer started to catch on and deer sightings esp big buck sightings began to fall considerably.

Those years we were practicing no scent control, busting right into the thickets to hunt the deer in their bedding areas and not paying attention to wind direction for our setups. Within the last 3-4 years we have been paying much more attention to these details and have witnessed huge improvements in sightings and shot opportunities each year.

Moral of the story:

Make the deer feel safe on your property and they will stay there. This is especially true when the hunting pressure is all around them.

You have to take the approach that there IS a big old mature buck that uses your property and young bucks that will grow into big mature bucks. Everytime you hunt, scout, set stands, plant a food plot, create a sanctuary etc... any decision you make regarding what to harvest, where to wander or what to change on your property will result in either making your property more or less attractive to deer, in particular wise old bucks.
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RE: small farm management

Postby buckhunter21 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:27 am

Trust me, you're not in this boat alone.  I'd guess most of us are the same way.  We have two 80 acre properties that we hunt...All surrounded by properties that are mostly 'brown is down' mentality.  We do what we plots, cutting trees, planting trees, etc etc....Even knowing that you can't possibly hold deer to just your property.  BUT you can make it more enticing so they spend more time on it, and that's what's in the back of our minds.  You can't and you never will be able to control the other hunters, so just do the best you can and be happy doing it!  [:D]

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RE: small farm management

Postby GTOHunter » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:34 pm

Lots of great advice from Everyone here....! I have to agree about doing the best You can with Your own Property,maybe one day the others around You will realize that what Your doing to improve Your Land is working and they will ask You how to keep and raise nicer Deer.As long as You feel what your doing is best for You and how You Hunt at least you'll feel better knowing that your doing the right thing.Deer are mostly free ranging and all we can do is improve the land to make it better for them and hope we can get a nice deer during Hunting Season.We let the smaller Bucks walk on our 100 Acres and the neighbor behind us does the same thing and when we see that there are a larger amount of Doe's compared to Bucks we harvest the Doe's to make the ratio more even,we still have a few people around us that shoot anything within the limits of the Law...yet most don't have a nice Big Buck on the wall because they never practice patients or try to set limits on what they Hunt.The 7-Point Antler restrictions are within the Counties that border us now,I'm hoping that this year (2010 or 2011) we will finally have them in our County and past us into the Bootheel of Missouri,then Everyone will have to let the smaller Bucks walk and harvest Doe's or Bigger Bucks.

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RE: small farm management

Postby jsjandro » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:35 pm

gto - whats been said is all great.

try this though, leave the entire property outside of two stategically placed stands to cover two different winds each alone. think it out and apply it to your land. think about direction you head off into the woods and try to go in as little as possible with the wind in your face to just short of where the deer is supposed to be when you shoot him.

usually you can say go from a south access point to a north stand and then pick another direction to spot 2 that needs say a east wind. make funnels to these spots so theyre high odds and leave the hingecut hideouts alone. the deer will never know whats up and like boonie elaborated time will reward you.

i summed it up fast so think it thru..... design it so they dont ever have a reason to be within 20 yards of where you are or cross your path and keep it unintrusive.

it will work.
only if we had antler point restrictions...:(

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RE: small farm management

Postby shaman » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:24 am

I really wish this guy would take his pig farming and. . .  oh, nevermind.  He'll be gone in a little bit anyway.

ghosthunter31:  The standard limit I've heard for effective QDM is 300 acres.  That doesn't mean you can't do squat.  It just means you will be limited in how much effect you can have on your herd.  It also doesn't mean you should not try to improve your habitat.  If you're not the landowner, you may have even more limitations.  That does not mean you should not try to do what you can.

I have 200 acres, and I am amazed at how much I was able to accomplish, and most of it was at little or no cost.  When I started out, I was in the same quandary.  I  chose to do the easy, free things and started seeing results in a couple of seasons. As things have progressed, I've added a few food plots, and these really helped.

The advice you have gotten so far is good.  Let me just add to it by offering some priorities:

1)  Limit access to the land.  The fewer hunters on the property the better.
2)  Promote edge habitat.  Deer do not live in deep forest or open pasture. They live on the margin between the two.  I was able to do this by simply getting lazy with the mowing.  Technically this is called "edge-feathering."  I don't know your property. For you it might mean getting jiggy with the chain saw or bringing in a bulldozer to open things up.  The point is if you have edge, you'll have deer.
3)  Encourage natural forbes.  Before you sink money into food plots, look at plowing, discing, or spraying a few patches and letting the natural weeds take over. This provides a lot of food and a lot of cover for almost no cost.

There has been several mentions of sanctuaries here.  I agree with this, at least up to a point.  On a small plot, it is hard to get the idea across to the deer that this spot or that is just for them.  As a for-instance, we had a monster buck take up residence on our place a few years ago.  He stayed for 2 years.  However, it seemed he liked a particular bunch of cedars right by our major N/S access road.    He had a "sanctuary" area about 400 yards away, but NO!  He liked to come out to the road and count cars. 

My point is that you should try and make the whole place as much of a sanctuary as possible. Limiting hunting access is the first and foremost part of this.  I have 200 acres and have no more than a few hunters on it at any given time.  The next guy over has 100 acres and has 8 hunters hunting the Opener.  Guess where the deer go. 

My advice so far is from the standpoint of a landowner/hunter.  If you're not the landowner, this may be a huge limiting factor. However, what I've said can be adapted.   Go  to this site and read the documents therein:

This will give you some good ideas.  If the landowner is actively farming the place, the last thing he may want is the land being improved for deer.  In fact the only reason he may be giving you permission to hunt is to keep down the deer population.  However, there may be some ideas in that site that can be used anyway.

For instance:  If the farmer would chisel-plow a half-acre for you and just let it go, you'll get years of use out of that field as a deer magnet.  It might concentrate the deer into a small area and make them easier to hunt.  Another idea might be using clover and wheat as a cover crop for a fallow field.    If you bought him the seed, why not? 

Another idea I can give you is to do research into programs the farmer might want to try.  I know of one program in my state that pays the owner money to plant trees along creek bottoms.  They'll even help with the planting. There is another program to help re-establish native grasses.  Your state will probably have similar programs.  See if you can get the landowner to agree to have the state wildlife biologist come by for a  visit. It'll be free.  The result won't necessarily be a full-fledged QDM program, but possibly you'll both get something satisfying out of the experience. 
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RE: small farm management

Postby prohunter » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:32 am

I have this same problem,maybe you can get the neighbors to join in on your misson. If not just keep doing what your doing thier bound to miss sometime! Just try to hold them to your place,if your place has more to offer they will be there.
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