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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was fortunate enough to buy an 80 acre property in NWA in January 2020. Fortunately I was so busy with work this past year, I unfortunately wasn’t able to make any significant habitat improvements. I scrambled to hang a couple stands the weekend before bow season and ultimately didn’t see any of my “shooter” bucks captured on game cams during daylight hours while on the stand.

In 2021 this winter, spring and summer I am going to do my best to carry out my management plan to increase cover/security, browse and food on the property. Ultimately I’m looking to turn this relatively small property into the best habitat for deer in the area and grow/harvest some mature deer.

Yesterday I started by buying a tractor, I was able to find a 2016 Kubota MX5200 that I am going to pick up next week. I’m pretty excited to be able to put this thing to work for future improvements to the property.

My goals for January are:
  1. Mark trails and food plots around the property for a dozer operator to clear this winter/spring.
  2. Controlled burn on the 6.5 acre fescue field to convert to a spring, summer and fall food plot.
  3. Receive and plant fruit, nut, berry bushes and evergreen trees. The fruit and nut trees for a forever food plot and the evergreens for screening from the neighbors and road.
  4. Get a contract for TSI and future controlled burns with a habitat management company.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress and hopefully you guys can help point me in the right direction along the way. I’ve got a lot of work to do but can’t wait to get started.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not sure what kind of neighbors you have or the terrain but when Ive put plots close to a property line their stands would show uo on the line cutting off the plot
Yep, I’ve already got some neighbors stands on the line. I’m gonna plant a row of arborvitae green giants along the fence line and then along the road next year. Since those will take a couple years to grow I plan to plant a row of Egyptian wheat or sorghum right now for some decent screening all the way around the north side of the current field future food plot. Hopefully that along with some purple paint and no hunting signs will help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure what the yellow lines are but if they are roads I would avoid putting any roads in the middle of 80 acres. I would keep the center of the property as undisturbed as possible. I would hunt the edges of property and leave the middle for a sanctuary. JMO
Yep, yellow are going to be trails for a UTV. It’s hard to describe but the dark east west line that you can see is a solid rock bluff. I can’t get around it to the west only the east, so I more or less have to loop around.

The thought is only use the trails when I have the proper wind directions based off of what stand to hunt. I would much rather just have one big loop around the property, but with the east/west creek and east/west rock bluff cutting through the property, I thought this might be the best way.
 

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First problem I see is WITH 80 acres and that trail network you will never hold deer , I have been doing this for 25 years now and made a lot of mistakes and access trails was one of the major ones ,, trails thru your interior property only run deer out to the neighbors , if you travel the edges at least half the deer you bust may stay with in your line assuming you have cover in the middle .
 

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First problem I see is WTH 80 acres and that trail network you will never hold deer , I have been doing this for 25 years now and made a lot of mistakes and access trails was one of the major ones ,, trails thru your interior property only run deer out to the neighbors , if you travel the edges at least half the deer you bust may stay with in your line assuming you have cover in the middle .
Exactly...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would like to do some supplemental feeding till I can get the current fescue field converted to spring food plots. Currently I have been mixing corn and Purina Antler Max from tractor supply. Is there a better product out there that you all know about? Right now the deer are eating approximately 150lbs a week, if I continue till mid-April that would be a little over 2000 pounds, is that enough to get a bulk order or pricing anywhere for a good product?

Thanks guys,
 

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For bulk quantities you will need facility to store it. As when buying corn in big 2000lbs tote bags you will have to store it and then bag it yourself or use buckets to fill feeders. You might find bagged corn or pellets with special pallet deals.
 

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I would like to do some supplemental feeding till I can get the current fescue field converted to spring food plots. Currently I have been mixing corn and Purina Antler Max from tractor supply. Is there a better product out there that you all know about? Right now the deer are eating approximately 150lbs a week, if I continue till mid-April that would be a little over 2000 pounds, is that enough to get a bulk order or pricing anywhere for a good product?

Thanks guys,
Not sure where in NWA you are but feeding deer year round isn’t exactly street legal in the CWD zone.
Buy corn bulk straight from the farmers will save quiet a bit. I gave $4/bushel(56#) in September and paid $8 for a 50# bag the other day at the Co-op.
 

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Yup ! they on ta money ! cover - edge / quiet in middle. Check on Tn. Forestry / seedlings. State forestry has cheaper deals on trees . They have fruit / nut / cover trees . I like the Virginia Pine Christmas trees . They will grow thick & bushy - close together / shaped like Christmas trees. I gotta get a order form myself / spring 2022 planting. So far , I've gotten Virginia pine / crabapples / sawtooths / Shumard oaks . Plan on more / Virginia / second type - crabapple - they have. Got a spot , (logging / landing) , plan on doing the same way . Cover on edge / next line in nut / next line in fruit . With small opening in middle for plot . Already try to provide sanctuary on my dirt . This will be like a "core" sanctuary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not sure where in NWA you are but feeding deer year round isn’t exactly street legal in the CWD zone.
Buy corn bulk straight from the farmers will save quiet a bit. I gave $4/bushel(56#) in September and paid $8 for a 50# bag the other day at the Co-op.
I appreciate that, not dealing with the CWD zones before I should have checked there first. It says that baiting is prohibited after 12-31 so I guess supplemental feeding would be considered baiting. Scratch that idea then, thanks for the info.

Next year though, how did you go about getting it from farmers directly?
 

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I appreciate that, not dealing with the CWD zones before I should have checked there first. It says that baiting is prohibited after 12-31 so I guess supplemental feeding would be considered baiting. Scratch that idea then, thanks for the info.

Next year though, how did you go about getting it from farmers directly?
I have property in the CWD zone myself and make sure I have plenty of food plots if I want to help the deer between 1/1-8/31.
You can feed the deer 9/1-12/31. I’m not sure about the legality of mineral blocks left out if they are placed before the first of the year.
I know one of the farmers in the area and find out when they are cutting their fields and show up with barrels or tote sacks to have filled straight from their bins. Find your local co-op or county extension agent and they should know what direction to point you in. Where are you located and some one on here might have a lead?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have property in the CWD zone myself and make sure I have plenty of food plots if I want to help the deer between 1/1-8/31.
You can feed the deer 9/1-12/31. I’m not sure about the legality of mineral blocks left out if they are placed before the first of the year.
I know one of the farmers in the area and find out when they are cutting their fields and show up with barrels or tote sacks to have filled straight from their bins. Find your local co-op or county extension agent and they should know what direction to point you in. Where are you located and some one on here might have a lead?
Yep, I guess I am out of luck this year and will have to plan accordingly on my fall food plots to pick some variety that will make it as far through the winter as possible, or overseed something later in the year. Thanks for your input and help.
 

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I was fortunate enough to buy an 80 acre property in NWA in January 2020. Fortunately I was so busy with work this past year, I unfortunately wasn’t able to make any significant habitat improvements. I scrambled to hang a couple stands the weekend before bow season and ultimately didn’t see any of my “shooter” bucks captured on game cams during daylight hours while on the stand.

In 2021 this winter, spring and summer I am going to do my best to carry out my management plan to increase cover/security, browse and food on the property. Ultimately I’m looking to turn this relatively small property into the best habitat for deer in the area and grow/harvest some mature deer.

Yesterday I started by buying a tractor, I was able to find a 2016 Kubota MX5200 that I am going to pick up next week. I’m pretty excited to be able to put this thing to work for future improvements to the property.

My goals for January are:
  1. Mark trails and food plots around the property for a dozer operator to clear this winter/spring.
  2. Controlled burn on the 6.5 acre fescue field to convert to a spring, summer and fall food plot.
  3. Receive and plant fruit, nut, berry bushes and evergreen trees. The fruit and nut trees for a forever food plot and the evergreens for screening from the neighbors and road.
  4. Get a contract for TSI and future controlled burns with a habitat management company.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress and hopefully you guys can help point me in the right direction along the way. I’ve got a lot of work to do but can’t wait to get started.

View attachment 293340 View attachment 293342
You’ve got a neat property here but seriously I would not look to hunt that south line. I wouldn’t put plots or stands near your line unless you care to have your neighbors set up beside you. It may not happen in one or two years but trust me eventually they will let you do the work while they set up beside you and cut you off. So if I were you I’d scratch it.
Plus just getting to those stands will bump good deer off you onto your neighbors. You might could hunt windy days in the evenings but no morning hunting.
I would love to show you a plan if I had a blank picture to draw on. I’m assuming the picture is oriented north and south ? But the big food plot where you have showing evergreens along the field edge. From that corner back west I would switch grass that whole area for bedding. Move your stand over to the Far East and food plot that end. Your deer are going to travel across that area because you have trees to north and south. Place your bedding to far west . Quick access can be gain from that location . It’s all about access. Less you intrude the percentages go way up. Bring the deer to you. Don’t try to go to the deer and force things. I may have stretches of a week or two that a spot won’t be any good but I know eventually my food will pull and when it does my stands are full proof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You’ve got a neat property here but seriously I would not look to hunt that south line. I wouldn’t put plots or stands near your line unless you care to have your neighbors set up beside you. It may not happen in one or two years but trust me eventually they will let you do the work while they set up beside you and cut you off. So if I were you I’d scratch it.
Plus just getting to those stands will bump good deer off you onto your neighbors. You might could hunt windy days in the evenings but no morning hunting.
I would love to show you a plan if I had a blank picture to draw on. I’m assuming the picture is oriented north and south ? But the big food plot where you have showing evergreens along the field edge. From that corner back west I would switch grass that whole area for bedding. Move your stand over to the Far East and food plot that end. Your deer are going to travel across that area because you have trees to north and south. Place your bedding to far west . Quick access can be gain from that location . It’s all about access. Less you intrude the percentages go way up. Bring the deer to you. Don’t try to go to the deer and force things. I may have stretches of a week or two that a spot won’t be any good but I know eventually my food will pull and when it does my stands are full proof.
Let me know what you think..

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So the red dots are stands. I’m assuming the valleys that dump down to the creek would be accessible. I would hang stands on either sides of those valleys for early rut movement bow hunting. The bottom far west stand you would have to have a straight north or south wind. That’s a tricky area to hunt right by your potential bedding but it should be a decent evening hunt area because I like that bottle neck up against the bluff. The deer should travel down those valleys if you say that bluff is steep. The Far East area where the creek zig zags deer should travel that in the rut to cross the road but would need a good south wind. The stand in between I like on a true south wind down that would blow along the fence edge. The stand to the East of the plot I like for gun hunting and a northeast wind which is usually the dominate wind. If you didn’t hunt but those two stands and never went up in the woods you could kill all the deer you wanted. They would most like bed on the ridges especially late season and come down to feed. That whole creek bottom will most likely be hard to hunt with a north wind because I’m guessing it will hit that bluff and swirl back. Then you got 50 ft area of saturated scent. I didn’t place them but if I had to hunt the woods above the bluff I’d place them right on the bluff side on top of the ridge coming down if I could see the bottom of the valleys on both sides for gun hunting only. If not I’d probably doze a line down on both sides and only hunt them on a south wind sparely. Blow your scent back north out over the creek if deer came down those ridges.

It’s hard to get the full picture without walking it out, but you have a few glaring things I can see from the map. For one if you plot that, where I pointed out you will have deer come from both north and south and though it’s not a true funnel it will be somewhat a funnel. I would surely put some bedding thick grass to the west. Deer will feel real secure coming out of that. You might even put some all the way around the edge of the plot. If you don’t have enough plot the first year cut some bedding out the next year. You’ll just have to see how much deer you pull and adjust each year. Also offer full season plot food. You might put brassica right up around your stand for late season and the rest in your cereal grain. And maybe establish some year round clover. You want deer year round hitting your plots.

A buck may only hit it in the spring at first but he’ll remember that food in the fall or late winter. Keep your does happy on it year round because that’s your true bait come rut.
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