One thing I've learned is you can't know everything. I have less than 70 acres and have only shot 2 Bucks in 15 years. I just got lucky. Right place at the right time. I am going to have huge "Sanctuary" from now on, right in the middle of my property (about 65 acres). I had apple trees but they were in the middle of the property so I'm going to cut them down so the Deer will move to the Food Plots that I will have set up on the perimeter, fence lines or as far away from the center as possible. I do not want the Deer to stop and waste daylight when they should be moving to me. If you have a "Sanctuary" the Deer will stay on your farm more during the day, and if they leave at night...so what,they'll be back in the morning knowing it's a safe haven. Having a few apple trees here and there will not help you set up on them either, they need to be in clusters right by your Food Plots. I'm going to plant a variety of fruit trees,apple, pear, and persimmon. But they need to be protected from wildlife. I also believe they need to be planted in a month with an "R" in it. Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec., But I'm not positive where I heard this. In the past I've protected my trees with wire mesh. What a job, I planted 40 trees and it took some time. This year I plan on using "Tube Shelters" that I'm going to get from www.higginsoutdoors.com
. (217)752-6829. Don highly recommends his Persimmon trees. I've heard from quite a few people say the Deer really love 'em. The "Tube Shelters" will act like a mini greenhouse to promote growth and protect the trees from rodents, Deer and help the trees grow straight. The persimmons in his brochure are 5 years old, 12 feet tall and producing fruit. The best thing that you can do is create a "Sanctuary" and do not disturb it. Plant Red Cedar around your fence line and be very careful how you enter your stands. In the morning the Deer might be in the Food Plots, so see if you can get permission to walk on the neighbors property to gain access to your stands. Don has a book that is very informative. "Hunting Trophy White-Tails in the Real World". I've read it twice. Plant Native Grasses also for bedding. It will not take long for the Deer to realize that your property is a "Safe Zone" and stay they all day. Don't worry about the neighbors. If you do, you'd better go rob the bank in town before someone else does. Also, you may need to concentrate on the evening hunt, play the wind, and set up cameras to take inventory of the Bucks you have. Next year, I can guarantee that if you follow this advice, you see more deer and bigger Bucks. Let the little ones go so they can grow. Concentrate on the age of the Deer and become a more well rounded hunter. I think Dr. James Krol has a book out on how to age and score a Buck on his feet.For their age you look at how they are walking (stiff legged), pot belly, sway back, loose skin around the neck. To judge the rack look at the circumferance of the eye and compare it to the base of his antler, does the mass come out to the tip of his antler, does the tip of his antler come out to his nose, number of tines, length of tines compred to the ears. You only need to look at one antler and then double the number you come up with. Be smart and if you shoot a Buck get it mounted and never shoot a Buck smaller than what you have on your wall. Keep pressure to a minimum, only you and "MAYBE" your best friend should be on your land. By far the best Deer and Management book I've ever read was "Hunting Trophy White-Tails in the Real World" and I've read a lot of books.