Results of Habitat Improvements in 2014 Season

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2014 Habitat Improvement Results

We were anxious to see how much use the new bedding and feeding areas would be this fall. Having just finished up the season in NY, I would have to say that the work we did was a success. During archery season, I shot a big buck chasing a doe around the thicket we created. We say and passed on a few smaller bucks, one of which was a 6-pt youngster that was just crazy about working scrapes and licking branches. All together, my brother and I shot 6 deer – two bucks, two does and two fawns.

The big draw was the bean field and we will proceed to make that field larger nest year as there is almost nothing of it left. Adding the brassicas worked out well – they are still feeding on it. The deer had lots of visceral fat and back fat (oligatory fat) on them and were big and taste great.

I would have liked to see more deer on our hunts but as I mentioned in the videos, there is a club next to us that massacres deer every year, keeping the populations low. The bucks we shot and saw were all 3 years or less so we have high hopes for keeping deer on our property and available to observe and hunt. For right now, 3-yr-olds are the goal but I hope we can eventually increase that to age 5 before shooting. We will work on expanding food plots and probably cut some more acreage to create thick areas. The deer definitly gravitate to those areas and move around them in daylight, making them more huntable. Multiple prime bedding sites will attract more doe groups. In turn, this will keep bucks from the surrounding properties coming in to check on the does. Hopefully, some bucks will call this area home and use it as their core area, but, according to our camera survey, this is not happening yet. That young six point and a couple of other small bucks will hopefully stick around and grow into exciting deer to see and hunt.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXV55rEOe68&list=UUrEp5PvnlZqLz7Kgb4M-5LA

About the Author:

Wildlife habitat manager and consulting forester from Central PA. Studied environmental Agriculture specializing in wildlife management and Forestry. B.S. Agriculture, Masters degree in Forestry. 30 years experience in land investment, forestry and wildlife habitat improvement. Currently working as a Farm Bill Forester for Pheasants Forever on Game Commission and Golden Winged Warbler Initiative.