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Old 04-21-2016, 07:49 PM   #1
robert13t
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Default 38 acre land management advice/help

I recently purchased 38 acres and want to be a good steward of it and manage it the best I can. I have been doing research but still have a lot to learn. I thought posting it here might be a good place to get some tips and thoughts. The place is located in East Texas in the Post Oak Savannah region. It has a seasonal creek/run off. Has hard and soft woods, pines, oaks, elm, and sweet gums to name a few. I have tons of hogs that I am currently trying to trap and kill (if anyone is interested in assisting pm me) I will upload a picture soon of where things are.

The main goals are not to grow big deer per se but to just improve the land I own and draw in wildlife, hunt recreationally, and just enjoy the outdoor with the family.

The land to the 400 acres or woods north and north west is all rarely used woods with a few trails that folks ride atvs through on occasion. The rectangle 6 acres of woods west across the street are dense and completely untouched. The field to the East and South East have long horns in it. Not sure about the field to the South, south west. I haven't seen any live stock and I still need to meet the neighbors.

I am currently finding all the large oaks and clearing around them to open up the forest floor to promote forbe growth and take away competing trees for water. Clearing a good deal of cedars so they don't steal water from the good trees. Creating a few clearings about 1/4 acre in size. Clearing 1.5 acres on the North West corner to make a field. It has a small loop trail in the center of the tract. The next picture I load will show what I have gathered and drawn on my gps.

Any suggestion would be great. Thank you I will try to post pictures as this journey progresses.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:06 PM   #2
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Default Its pic heavy and will only get worse

Yellow and dark yellow- trails
cyan- the seasonal creek
black- powerlines
every other color is pretty much run off

The dam looking symbol is where I was thinking of putting a dam in a valley to make a small pond.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:22 PM   #3
Treeshark
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Check out the book Extreem Deer Habitat by Jim Brauker. He shows how to make a small property into a deer haven. He is from up North, however much of the info will work here as well. I am purchasing 45 acres also in NE Texas and I'm wanting to make improvements for deer hunting as well. I'm thinking laying out food plots, selecting sanctuary areas and making deer beds, and using some of his info on Extreem scent control will all be key to making my property a success. Thanks for sharing. I'll be following!
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:45 PM   #4
J&M Hamilton10
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Your doing great so far, my suggestions for attracting deer is an orchard. Pears, (I like kiefer) Persimmons, and jujube as well, and all of these trees will drop fruit in the fall. Plant these maybe in one big orchard or two small ones and keep them protected with tubes or a fence and in 5+ years when they produce they will be the top attractant in the area.

Fast growing oaks like sawtooth or gobbler oaks will help along with nuttall (best version of a red oak) and if you have 40 years plant white oaks. But you may have some already.

Good luck!!! Wish I had my own place to do this just be doing this on my dads land. My pears are in year 4, persimmons are native and jujube in year 1.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:01 PM   #5
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I have a place similar in size...37 acres. Here is what I've done....all by trial and error. I made one good sized plot where I know I can get in and out of undetected. Fooling with multiple plots on that small of a place seemed silly to me. It can cause entry/exit/wind issues....as well as second guessing where to hunt.

Having one plot where the deer know they can go eat every day will make them feel secure and they will eventually flock to it. On my place I have one main plot of 2.5 - 3 acres. I've had it in that location for 6 seasons now and the deer use it every day. The first year they didn't eat alot in it. Year two was really good and now after many years in the same place I routinely see double digit deer on most sits. They rarely get bothered there and know there is food there pretty much year round. It really doesn't matter what I plant there....they eat it. I also have a corn feeder on the edge of that plot.
Also if you put stands on it for different winds....tuck them back into the trees off the edge of the plot and plant tall screening plants like egyptian wheat so you can climb down and get out undetected.

I also have about 10-12 acres that I rarely go in to except to track a deer or hinge cut trees for bedding. I generally know that the deer will come from either of two directions every time so I have my stands hung accordingly.

Small acreage hunting is enjoyable if you have good neighbors. I don't have big deer but I have taken 3 older bucks in the last 6 seasons. Good luck to you!

Last edited by unclefish; 04-21-2016 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:31 PM   #6
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Congrats on your land. Looks good.

I can appreciate you trying to make things better.
Same I try to do on mine.
FWIW:
I would definitely designate a sanctuary of at least 5 acres of the thickest area. No human entrance whatsoever. I agree with one larger plot. Get soil tested and start lime and fertilizer. From my experience the past two years, I would fence the hogs out of about 2-3 acres. I missed your exact location, but in leon co hogs love to eat/root in my unfenced plot. Too much effort and money in seed to let them do that. I put a feeder in there also. I would eliminate the sweet gums and cedars. No forage and little cover. I would plant as many good oak trees as soon as possible. (This fall). Even live oaks. Deer love the fertilized acorns from these nonnative trees in only a few years. Be sure and put big cages on them. I would not put out any corn feeders without pens because they will attract pigs. I would try to start some honysuckle and blackberry vines in some cages to protect from overgrazing.


Send me a pm if you have any questions. I am a avid lifetime deer hunter, but for past 30 years I have enjoyed improving the herd more than killing the bucks on my own land. I am ruthless on the pigs however.

BP
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:53 PM   #7
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Jm10 what kind of soil do those trees like? I didn't even think about an orchard. What am I protecting them from with the tubes and fence? Like most this all will take time and money, both which come every other week around Friday.

Keep it coming
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert13t View Post
Jm10 what kind of soil do those trees like? I didn't even think about an orchard. What am I protecting them from with the tubes and fence? Like most this all will take time and money, both which come every other week around Friday.

Keep it coming


Deer will eat the saplings and kill them if you don't put a cage around each tree. The tubes help protect the trees from weather extremes kinda like a little greenhouse.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:10 PM   #9
J&M Hamilton10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert13t View Post
Jm10 what kind of soil do those trees like? I didn't even think about an orchard. What am I protecting them from with the tubes and fence? Like most this all will take time and money, both which come every other week around Friday.

Keep it coming
Mine is sandy and they are doing great. I mixed in a little chicken manure and my dad throws dead fish every once and awhile on top of root ball. You can go bare root and get those cheap. I got 3 gallon trees which were around $12 or so.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:20 PM   #10
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Fun thread
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:33 AM   #11
Big pig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert13t View Post
Jm10 what kind of soil do those trees like? I didn't even think about an orchard. What am I protecting them from with the tubes and fence? Like most this all will take time and money, both which come every other week around Friday.

Keep it coming
I put large cages around most of my large trees. Otherwise, the Bucks will rubb them in the fall and kill them. Plus the deer eat the new growth that sticks out of smaller cages.
From your topo map it appears you have some water
I put a water container with a gravity fed dish in my food plot to keep them from traveling.
My soil is sandy for a couple feet then I hit clay.
Trees are cheap. I planted acorns from red oak, burr oaks, white oaks and live oak in small pots at the house. Then transfer them after a year. I also bought bare root saplings.
I would invest in a chainsaw ASAP and eliminate trees that wildlife don't utilize.
Plus you can use the firewood.

BP
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:58 AM   #12
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learn of T cutting some of your trees. Sweetgums make a great T cut tree and this will put food at the deers level (they love sweetgum leafs) and they also like the new growth shoots that will grow at or near the cut. T Cutting sweetgums will also provide some dense cover and overhangs, all of this the deer like. There are several types trees when T cut provide browse and remember, the number one choice of a deer for eating is browse.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:01 PM   #13
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deer farmer: when you say T cut, you mean hinge cut I am guessing?

Big Pig: I got a stihl 361 chainsaw and went to work. Look at all the big trees I found once I started cutting back the large ones
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:10 PM   #14
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A few big oaks and a pine. The creek has good water in it from the rain.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:27 PM   #15
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Having trouble uploading so here is the pine and the creek
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:34 PM   #16
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Last but not least, a mystery....

I have posted the pictures in the order in which I was given the clues and I still don't know.

The fruit is still very green and is cherry like size with a pit in the middle but soft and white.

Anyone know what kind of tree this is and weather or not it is of any value?
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:51 PM   #17
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Is that a persimmon?
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:21 PM   #18
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I hunted a 3 acre plot of oats this weekend. We saw everything the hill country has to offer. Good luck......
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:14 PM   #19
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congrats and props to you! Keep up the good work
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:43 PM   #20
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That looks like a Mexican plum. Deer absolutely love them. Don't get rid of it!
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:07 PM   #21
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I looked it up in my tree book and I think it is Mexican plum. We find 3or4 of them. This place is full of surprises.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
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That looks like a Mexican plum. Deer absolutely love them. Don't get rid of it!
X2. I have watched deer sitting and waiting on single plums to drop. We have a bunch of Flatwoods plums which is very similar to the Mexican plum on a property I hunt. One of my favorite early season stands is watching over 2 big plum trees. All the plums are usually gone after the first week of October on our place but the trees are a hotspot when they are dropping.
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:31 PM   #23
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Anyone know a company that will harvest pines in small quantity, say 7 acres worth? Mainly pulp wood is my guess.
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:05 AM   #24
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T cutting and hinge are the same, and here in Harrison Co I have wild black cherry fruit. Seed has cyanide, but great fruit or so I hear, I will not try it lol

T cutting can not only put food at the deer level but cutting it a little higher will provide overhead protection and u can then add a log under canopy and it may be used as a buck bed if in the right area. Food and Cover works
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:05 AM   #25
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Update- met with the Texas forest service and walked the place and they suggested a thinning as the pines are crowding each other and the light to the ground would increase browse. Hopefully by the end of the week the front 1.5 acres will be cleared by a dozier. The guy I used has been great and surgical in making sure to not take out the mexican plum trees I marked. I will post pictures soon.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:52 AM   #26
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The plum trees and the oaks. There is enough room for a good food plot too.
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Old 07-01-2016, 05:31 PM   #27
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Now I just need to burn the piles. May have to wait a while. Maybe one more big rain will come
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:19 PM   #28
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Looking good
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:21 PM   #29
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You need no help, you have it going your direction.
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Old 07-01-2016, 06:45 PM   #30
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I like what you are doing. Time for a feeder.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:20 PM   #31
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I know the exact place that you bought. I looked at it last fall. During the time it took to get the land assessed by the NRCS for building a lake, I got distracted out of state with my daughter's drama and it was sold (I guess to you) when I got back to it.
The land to the north of you is part of the APH hunting system, but there are some weird seasons in it, like it is closed during November, which will be good for you.
It has a lot of marketable timber on it and a lot of good white and red oaks.
My plan was to do a selective thinning of the timber and open it up a lot. Then use the proceeds from the timber cutting to build a lake parallel to the north fence line and develop the rest of the property to attract and support a variety of small game, which will also pull animals from the conservation land to the north of you.
The NRCS did a soil test and said that the soil was as good as it gets in Anderson County for building a lake.
You would have to build the dam wide enough to drive across because that NE corner would be cut off when the lake filled up.
I have a consulting forester in Palestine that I use for my places. He personally selects the logging crews according to what you need done and then supervises them to make sure it is like you want it.
I have a place about 10 miles SW of Elkhart. I told him that my primary objective for that place was for recreation and to support a variety of wildlife, with timber production secondary. He got the right crew in and did a thinning about 5 years ago and it did wonders for that place. It would do the same for yours.
I have another place near Weches that is almost surrounded by DCNF that I am developing much the same way except that the soil won't hold water, so building a lake is out.
Who are you using for dozer work?
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:16 PM   #32
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bump
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:26 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Paisano View Post
I know the exact place that you bought. I looked at it last fall. During the time it took to get the land assessed by the NRCS for building a lake, I got distracted out of state with my daughter's drama and it was sold (I guess to you) when I got back to it.
The land to the north of you is part of the APH hunting system, but there are some weird seasons in it, like it is closed during November, which will be good for you.
It has a lot of marketable timber on it and a lot of good white and red oaks.
My plan was to do a selective thinning of the timber and open it up a lot. Then use the proceeds from the timber cutting to build a lake parallel to the north fence line and develop the rest of the property to attract and support a variety of small game, which will also pull animals from the conservation land to the north of you.
The NRCS did a soil test and said that the soil was as good as it gets in Anderson Chounty for building a lake.
You would have to build the dam wide enough to drive across because that NE corner would be cut off when the lake filled up.
I have a consulting forester in Palestine that I use for my places. He personally selects the logging crews according to what you need done and then supervises them to make sure it is like you want it.
I have a place about 10 miles SW of Elkhart. I told him that my primary objective for that place was for recreation and to support a variety of wildlife, with timber production secondary. He got the right crew in and did a thinning
about 5 years ago and it did wonders for that place. It would do the same for yours.
I have another place near Weches that is almost surrounded by DCNF that I am developing much the same way except that the soil won't hold water, so building a lake is out.
Who are you using for dozer work?
our place is bout 10 minutes south of there. actually leaving there right now there are definitely some bruisers in that area
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:07 PM   #34
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El Paisano did the NRCS draw up anything for you? I was thinking about having them come out but if you happen to have any of the data still, could you pass it on? I will give your forester a call. Hopefully I can have it thinned out just after deer season this year.
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:52 PM   #35
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When you get the chance, here is a great write-up. There's a lot of info, so take your time.

http://texnat.tamu.edu/library/sympo...e-tailed-deer/

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Old 07-04-2016, 10:29 AM   #36
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Place is looking good, Travis! Lots of potential!

Have you had a chance to set out a camera?
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:20 PM   #37
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Looking Good!


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Old 07-05-2016, 09:02 AM   #38
robert13t
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Haven't set out any cameras or feeders yet.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:34 PM   #39
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Spoke with a few foresters and should have a few ideas on what I can get on harvesting lumber. This brings me to my next question about ponds. I know I need more than a hole in the ground. I need a proper dam with a good angle bank and a piped overflow for the pond. The question is who would you recommend? Obviously I can't bring a best pond maker from Canada for example so preferably guys you have used or know.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:43 PM   #40
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Go talk to your local nrcs office.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:46 PM   #41
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Contacted the guy that did my watershed and soil survey to see if he suggested anyone.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:25 PM   #42
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I'm working with 27 ac and 18 ac that are 4wheeler ride apart near Apple Springs. Luckily already water on both. Both are pine tree farm and have had 1 thinning. Both border national forest. Good luck.
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:14 PM   #43
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Finally an update. Between the heat and the passing of my dad I haven't been out there much so no pictures. I had a few foresters come check out the place and after much prayer and thought my wife and I decided to leave the trees be for now. The current landscape is better than a couple of extra bucks in our pockets for now, or the mess they may leave.

Second, we had some quotes for Pond given and they were out of our current price range so that is getting put off for a few years.

Third, we are acquiring almost another 6acres from the neighbor to the south. This will ensure that there is a buffer between the rental homes and our initial 38acres. We were very blessed and surprised to find out the owners wanted to sell.

Finally, my 45 foot container is being delivered next Wednesday. I'll have pictures of it when it gets there, plus updates as we build our cabin in it. Till next time.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:01 PM   #44
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Cool. Thanks for the update
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:56 AM   #45
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One thing I have figured out over the past several years on my small place (currently 54ac) is to figure out where the deer want to be BEFORE placing feeders or food plots.

Pigs will come find a feeder, but around my place the deer will not go out of their way to get corn and basically did not touch a plot of peas last year.
Based on where I saw deer or sign I put several cameras out and then checked to see how many deer were frequenting those locations and at what interval.
Moved a feeder and planted a new plot and now see way more deer than in the past.
I know I can't grow big deer or even attempt to manage them on my small place, so I try to attract them or slow them down as they are passing through
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:30 AM   #46
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Great thread. I've got 21 acres near centerville. More ideas than money! When you get time can you send me a PM about your pond quotes and the size you were looking at
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:54 AM   #47
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Sorry to hear about your dad. RIP.
I suggest that you not get in a hurry. Spend some time out there just standing and looking and visualize what you want it to look like.
Once you start cutting you can't undo that.
Timber prices are kind of soft right now anyway.
Good deal on the extra acreage. My wife wasn't too impressed with some of the places that you have to drive by to get there.
My plan was to use the money from the timber cutting to put into building the lake.
I have a 32HP tractor with a grapple for the front, along with a bucket, mower, etc. After a thinning, with that grapple you can move the tops and stuff around to put them where you want them and create some good small game habitat while they decompose.
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:15 PM   #48
robert13t
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We are making progress! The shipping container has been delivered and i got my tractor out there. I moved last week and will begin finishing out our cabin next week. Slowly but surely
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Old 09-16-2016, 08:16 PM   #49
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pics.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:53 AM   #50
Bumpy
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Question....when you had the dozer guy out you told him what to push over or he kind of knew what needed to be done? I have some acreage I would like to have some underbrush cleared to manage the wildlife. I have one spot on the land that is a natural funnel where the deer travel from one side of the road to the other. Would you guys leave this travel route alone or what? It's the only piece they can travel across for a long ways the rest is cleared pasture. Has some thick stuff in there but you can manuever around.
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