non-food plot hunting area improvement

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Just like to hear what you guys do to make hunting there better besides planting food plots.

What I have done and/or are doing.

-planting shrubs the deer enjoy eating, red dogwood, willows, and will be trying green briar next year.  Also plant spruce trees to promote cover.

-I take care or my mast trees and browse.  Clearance the trees for light, lime and fertilize them, and I prune, cut out competition, and keep the browse deer like from getting too tall.

-I mow the brushy edges and bedding areas once every 3 years to keep them from turning to forest,  I mow with the brush hog on high.   I do strips of 2 passes each year, then leave the next 4 passes for next 2 years to mow.

Where the deer tend to go everywhere, I have made nicer paths for them to travel.  Cut down travel lanes, fertilizer the brose along it, and even made it easier for them to cross swampy areas a bit better.  Basically make your own funnel spot.  Hinge cutting the right stuff in the right place makes a huge difference. 


Another thing or two I have done is planting willows in really wet swampy areas.  I have also turned nature my way a bit by replanting fallow areas.  The areas where my club hunt have wide ATV trails.  We have planted hairy vetch and let it go to nature.  It's still motly hairy vetch.   Also, the vetch adds nitrogen to the soil and it is low pH tolerant and doesn't mind sandy soil.

Edited by sailinghudson25
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ive logged, girdled trees , removed aspen so the sucker from roots, planted orchard, trees, spruce for thermal cover, released natural apples, let fields go fallow. dug ponds, and i remove 10 doe a year to keep population in check. 

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I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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I maintain 6 food plots on 41 acres, which  i need to mow 2-3 times during the warmer months (gave the last cut last week).  In adittion,  i have close to 100 apples trees throughout my property which i try to prune a  standing  each year during the colder months. I also rotate fertilizing my soft mass trees. As many apples trees that I have i still like to plant and cage apple  trees and have also planted mulberry trees.  I  maintain several wide trails throughout so i can access most of my property with the tractor or utv, some areas are steep so im constantly clearing falling branches  and trees. Also like to  cut back trees to open the canopy for more disired soft mass trees. When i prune trees or open an area, i never just throw the branches anywhere ,i create massive  and many brushpiles so that the little critters like rabbits can hide in. I almost always try to do something to the property when im at camp, wether it be small or big. 

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I first start with basically zero pressured woods. Keep all pressure off as much as possible unless necessary each year.. Its the Number one thing that has helped me during hunting season. 

From there, this year I planted some Grafted Pear Trees I got from a member here. I released many Crowded crab apples on the property. I just found a few that recently just randomly died and dropped all leaves and fruit.. not sure what happened. So theyll need replacing, if i cant cut them back and save them..

I put in an order for The Arbor Foundation Of Oaks i hope to have Planted in November.  

I also want to get some shrubs in this fall to build permanent screens along the road side. and property line. 

This year has been the worst with trying to find extra time to get things done. Hoping next year gets better, I feel as though I say this every summer lately. 

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