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Old 07-02-2020, 08:07 AM   #451
DZM
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Looking good sir ! Love all the progress
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:53 PM   #452
Booner Sooner
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In my work to remove loads of junk over the last several months I found a small stainless steel sink and faucet that was a dirt dobber colony and looked like it had been abused.

At our lease in Push County we致e been making due with a make shift cleaning station on uneven ground with little light, little water, and zero place to put knives, shears, drinks, etc. so I made a resolution when we bought the place that our setup at the Hilltop would be much different!


I took left over cedar from a porch addition and fence project and framed it up.





I used left over cedar fencing for the top. This is not a cleaning station but rather a convenient surface for knives, shears, drinks, etc. while we are processing deer.

A few new rubber O-rings, replacement handles, a faucet aerator later and she runs good as new.

I will eventually run hot and cold PEX underground to the shed but for this year I capped the hot water side and installed an adaptor for the water hose.

Cut legs from some leftover square tubing from another project.


I will secure the back to the barn wall and have these two legs support the front. If all goes as intended it will get installed this weekend.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:13 PM   #453
Booner Sooner
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Back up to the Hilltop and it痴 time for the install. The cross brace for the barn wall was at the perfect height.

A couple of self tapping screws later and she is secure.

I had some 2x6 cedar left over so I decided to put a back wall and shelf in.


And the shelf.


A couple of well placed gear hangers for holding a hand towel or two and this part is done. I値l bring some pvc to pipe the drain water out and away on the next trip.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:14 PM   #454
Booner Sooner
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Default Darton & Stan R Were Right!!!!! Pic Heavy

We spent a few days down in Push county this week, getting stands set and doing some fishing. The big boys are strictly catch and release!

Hung some nice ones late in the week.


Mr. Hunt is learning to clean the catch.


The blackberries are starting to really pop as well.

Just have to navigate the thorns, snakes, and chiggers!


Ended our time at the lease in Push county with an evening trail ride.
覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧

Molly and I broke off from the rest of the family yesterday and headed back to the Hilltop at Quinton to prep for prescribed fire school in Ames on Saturday.

We needed to do some maintenance on the solar charger for one of the feeders. We just started up the feeders earlier in the week but I decided to pull the game camera cards to see who found them already.



Found that we have an uninvited guest at Molly痴 set.

If this little guy hangs around then it痴 likely that Daddy will also invite himself. If that happens we will have to start hanging the feeders on cables between trees, well out of reach. My experience from Push county is that they will do nothing but wreck feeders. Hoping that the bears push on out of the area but I don稚 expect it.


Our first twin fawns of the season showed up on camera. Been seeing them one at a time but this is the first appearance together with Mom.

Won稚 be long before their spots are gone.

Got some time on the tractor Friday evening to push up some of the felled trees and old logs that litter the area I知 thinning. It痴 refreshing to see some progress.







Molly at field day today during the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association training. We got to visit with and get advice from two professors that teach fire ecology at OSU. That was an eye opening conversation!

Had a manufacturer痴 rep on hand to demonstrate the effectiveness of drones in prescribed burns.


They manufacture the delivery and control system for the dragon eggs (pic and video below), retrofit the thermal imaging camera, and support the App. This drone mounted system takes potassium permanganate powder in a plastic sphere smaller than a ping pong ball and injects it with glycol before dropping to start or augment the traditional prescribed burn. The drone being demo壇 was a Matrice 600 Pro.


Here is a quick clip of the ignition from chemical reaction.

https://youtu.be/cJMxwj21AUk

The 25 guys at the class were jazzed about this tool until they heard the $40K price tag. We will stick with diesel and a lighter on the Hilltop for the time being.

Fire is a useful tool in our habitat management arsenal. Learning to use it safely and for maximum effect are the goals!
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:25 PM   #455
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The journey continues Looks like everyone had a great time!
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:30 PM   #456
Booner Sooner
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Spent several days this past week on the Hilltop continuing my work on thinning the ridge. Brought my best friend along to help. As a two man crew working for several hours in the evenings over three days we put a heck of a dent in it! I ran the chainsaw while Jon used the hatchet to hack and squirt a deadly cocktail of Tryclopyr, Imazapyr, and water. The method was simple: fell the smaller and medium diameter hickory and oaks. Treat the stumps so there isn稚 any resprouting/regrowth. For the larger oak and hickories we girdled and applied the liquid death. The winged elm are a preferred species for whitetail so we left the smaller (those at browse height) saplings and felled the medium sized trees but did not treat them. We don稚 want to kill those as the regrowth is highly nutritious and preferred by the deer.

I spent some time visiting with Dr. Dwayne Elmore from OSU at the fire school. He is the one that suggested the chainsaw and hatchet two man team. It turned out to be a great suggestion!

With these two items you can do some good work!

I know it痴 hard to put context to the pic but about half of the trees in the pic have been girdled and all the smaller trees have been cut and pushed into a pile for burning.

On Saturday morning I met with a state forester out of Wilburton who walked part of the property with me and confirmed that we don稚 have sufficient timber value to warrant any different path. That was the final green light to 徹peration Girdle Down!

Our visit was interesting because the forester痴 assessment and suggestions to maximize our property to achieve my management goals were in line with and almost word for word with what the QDMA inspectors, Tim and Jay recommended. I like confirmation!

Saturday evening we lit the burn piles from a few weeks ago. There were ready to go and burned down great.

My partner cooling off:


A few of the bucks on camera.










Yogi continues to check our feeder at Molly痴 set. So far he痴 not tried to adjust the thrower but I figure that痴 not too far off.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:49 AM   #457
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Booner, the bucks are coming along nicely!!
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:32 PM   #458
Booner Sooner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut View Post
Booner, the bucks are coming along nicely!!

Thanks Bryan! Hope all is going well for you guys on the new place.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:02 PM   #459
Booner Sooner
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Default Darton & Stan R Were Right!!!!! Pic Heavy

Last season Will and I sat in a couple of spots while the target bucks were hitting the feeder out in front of the house. We have a mound of dirt and rocks pushed up from many years ago that would be perfect for a blind but the ground is very uneven. I set about to build a base for his popup.

We hit Fulton痴 supply here in Denton for the angle iron and went to work.









Opted for painted OSB to give plenty of opportunity to secure the popup blind. Can be replaced easily in a few years as needed. Also made each leg adjustable so we can get her level no matter where she is set up.





28 yards to the feeder. Should be just right for the kid痴 crossbow. We will have a permanent blind here eventually but this should work out well until then!

Last edited by Booner Sooner; 09-10-2020 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:35 PM   #460
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Looking forward to how the new stand works out!
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:04 PM   #461
Booner Sooner
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Default Darton & Stan R Were Right!!!!! Pic Heavy

Was able to get up and put in the turkey foot food plot. Better late than never. We致e had a lot of rain recently but the ground was nearly perfect for discing. The Kubota did yeoman痴 work.

Planted a mix of winter wheat, oats, barley, Austrian winter peas, and ladino clover.




Down the right lane there is a pond with a lot of sign.



I put in an exclusion cage just before the pond to help gauge the browsing pressure later in the season.

Gracie weighs ~60lbs and would get lost in the chest high grass surrounding the lanes. Should make for a safe place to graze.

On the next trip I plan on putting yardage markers to help gauge distance.
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:16 PM   #462
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Your hard work is paying off. Looks awesome!
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Old 09-26-2020, 08:15 AM   #463
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Never to late to get the plots in the ground! Looking good!
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Old 09-27-2020, 04:52 PM   #464
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut View Post
Never to late to get the plots in the ground! Looking good!
Agree with this.

Place is looking great.


Rwc
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Old 09-29-2020, 06:50 PM   #465
Booner Sooner
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Thanks, Gents! Got some timely rain as well! Things are looking up.


Good luck to all those that are itching to get into the tree this weekend!
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:16 PM   #466
Booner Sooner
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The boy and I finally made it back up to the Hilltop to do some hunting this past weekend. This was our first sit of the year on our place. Been hunting on the Nashoba lease and getting on good deer so far this year!

We hadn稚 been up since we put in the Turkey foot plot that last week of September. I was very concerned that I had waited too long to get the plot in for it to get established ahead of heavy grazing pressure. It turns out that my fears were unfounded as the plot is looking great, especially for the first year. It is getting utilized but is holding up well.


The exclusion cage shows the grazing pressure. It may not seem like much but you can see a stark difference as they are already keeping it trimmed.


Overall, I am really pleased and believe that this will be a late season honey hole as the acorns and preferred browse otherwise completely dry up. The surrounding 30 acres is all old field with lots of tall grass to help the big boys feel nice and secure. We致e got two in the freezer thus far this year so the last one has to be a good弾n. This will require much trigger discipline from the boy. So far his new hobby is napping in the blind.

The excitement of sitting two new spots for the first time was dampened by 20+mph winds gusting to 38 (I think the Oklahoma Mesonet missed a couple of gusts that had to be close to 50!) Suffice it to say conditions were not optimal on the Hilltop but this time of year one has to be out hunting because anything could show up!



Movement was super slow with only one doe making an appearance. Despite this the trip was a success as the boy and I got to spend time in the woods hunting our own ground and enjoying spending time doing things like cooking (he痴 in charge of breakfast, I知 on duty for dinner with everything else being every man for himself), playing cards, and enjoying the culturing that comes from 田lassic cinema (Tombstone, Top Gun, Black Hawk Down, Dances With Wolves, etc.).

Walking back to the house on Saturday talking with your son about where to sit next is priceless time. God is good.


The bows go on the rack for a while now as we extend our effective range a bit with the rifles. We will be back at it for Thanksgiving.
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Old 03-09-2021, 11:40 PM   #467
Booner Sooner
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This past summer the Oklahoma Forestry Service wrote a forest stewardship plan for our place which included, among other activities, opening of the canopy and conducting controlled burns to clear what appears to be at least 30 years of leaf litter and debris from the ground to promote browse and cover for our deer as well as other species.

Recently the crew arrived, dozers in tow, to cut in the fire breaks, necessary to perform the burn safely.


Some areas on the North side were so thick that if fire got going, without those breaks it would be incredibly difficult to control.

This past week the burn crew arrived to conduct the burn.




Got up to the place this past weekend to walk the fire breaks and see how effective the burn was. I was very impressed with the quality of both. We are back to a clean slate and we致e got plenty of time for the new vegetation to grow for fawning cover!






The fine folks at the Oklahoma Forestry Service did a great job. They致e put us in a position to now perform a prescribed burn on rotation so that each unit gets burned every three years.

Looking forward to finishing the thinning on the ridge and starting to hinge cut the first sanctuary this summer. The fun continues!
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Old 03-10-2021, 06:59 AM   #468
Roger
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That burn looks great. Fun following along on this journey with you. Wife and I were looking at OK land offerings this weekend. It's tempting.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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Old 03-11-2021, 07:14 PM   #469
Booner Sooner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
That burn looks great. Fun following along on this journey with you. Wife and I were looking at OK land offerings this weekend. It's tempting.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Thank you, sir. It痴 been quite a ride so far. Enjoying the journey.

Good luck on your search!
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Old 03-11-2021, 08:39 PM   #470
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Turned out great! Can稚 wait to see how it bounces back
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:26 PM   #471
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Some pics from the last trip up. The burned areas are springing forth with green stuff!
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