Well...first I wouldn't give up on the piece of property. If there are deer, and a deer you want to try for, then go for it. The hard part is going to be making changes with out pushing the deer out in the process. As any hunter knows, too much human intervention in an area will push the deer to change routes.
I have no idea how to thicken the woods with live plants. If it's not growing already, it might never grow? I have the same issue with open woods and the deer not moving through till after dark. They hang in the bedding area till I can't see and then I hear them walk right past me in the dark.
I have one possible suggestion, but it might have helped you more about a month ago vs now. Go around collecting Christmas trees....they don't even have to be green, they just have to serve as cover. Pound posts and anchor them so they stand upright. Lay a few down. It's the cheapest way I know of to make things appear thicker at eye level and maybe get the deer to bed down or feel like they have a safer route in and out thus giving you a chance.