As a landowner, you want MORE deer, MORE turkeys, and MORE action during hunting season. I will help you make that happen. You won’t just have more deer, you will kill more deer.
I take a holistic approach to habitat work that will take into consideration what the animals have now, what is missing from the property, how to incorporate timber management with food plots and bedding areas. Then we plan on how to go about hunting the property in such a way as to maximize game sitings. The end goal is, obviously, to get a high number of deer within kill range.
There are people who would have you think there is some big secret to attracting deer. The fact is, hunters have been manipulating habitats for eons to get animals to travel where they can be killed. I have included some of this work in all of my timber sales over the years when the landowner is interested in hunting. The demand for habitat improvement has increased so much lately, I am offering it as a separate service.
Our Consulting Services Include:
Comprehensive Wildlife Habitat Planning
Often called “deerscaping or “habitat design” I will create a map of your property with a no B.S. plan and strategy to improve the carrying capacity and huntability of the property. Even small tracts can be made to produce more deer sightings and to attract the deer or other game you are after. One we have a workable plan, we can implement it at your pace.
A deer management plan will include:
- A good map showing the placement of habitat work.
- An estimate of the deer population in the area and its composition.
- Observations of limiting factors and suggestions on how to eliminate them.
- A comprehensive plan of changes that can create a landscape that will attract and hold deer as well as setting up the property to improve the huntability and increase your success rate and enjoyment.
Improving Habitat for Deer and Other Game
Deer habitat and forestry practices go hand in hand. There is no greater deer attractant than a timber harvest. Often, a harvest and timber sale can pay for the other practices recommended in your plan.
I oversee the installation of food plots, plant them and maintain them for you. You may choose to do your own planting and maintenance. If your are a busy professional you may not have the time to dedicate to this or the expertice.
Some of the techniques used:
- hinge cutting
- creating sneak trails for both bucks and for hunter approach to stand sites
- stand location strategies for undetected access and using tactics to force deer into position
- Land clearing with mechanized harvesting for food plots and regeneration
- Prescribed fire to create bedding and feeding areas
- Use of selective herbicides to adjust vegetation growth
- Creating ‘core areas’ for older aged bucks
- Warm season grass for bedding and screening to encourage daytime movement
- Strategies to keep deer moving while feeding and to keep them on your property
- Total scent control and low-impact hunting
- Build buck beds and enhance areas where bucks naturally bed
- Using prevailing wind direction, terrain features and soil type to locate bedding, feeding and travel corridors as well as hunter approaches and stands
- Planting forage that will create a setup where a deer does not have to leave your property anytime during hunting season.
Creating Deer Bedding and Turkey Nesting Areas
Often, all we need to do is some serious chainsaw work. This is hard, dangerous work and I strongly suggest leaving it up to people with experience. I have thousands of acres of TSI cutting, herbicide applications and food plot planting under my belt. Myself and my crew and contractors can get a lot of work done. I can either act as general contractor in some cases where heavy equipment operation is needed or grab a saw or backpack sprayer or haul my tractor to your property and get to work on your land.
Utilizing my equipment and experience will save you a lot of time and money. If you are a DIY type and you just would like to consult with me to benefit from my experience, we can can meet for a day on your property.
It cost nothing to call me on the phone or send me an email with any questions you may have. Advice is freely given.
Plan writing is about $15 per acre, depending on the size and complexity of the property. I like to charge an initial meeting fee of $150 plus mileage to cover my time and travel expense, to be deducted from future charges if you go ahead with the plan and/or other services.
Chainsaw work can be charged by the acre for large TSI projects – $300/acre average or by the day for creating bedding areas and secure travel corridors. $500/day. I bring a good helper or two and can get a lot done in a couple days.
Tractor time is charged at $90/hr plus the cost of hauling the machine.
Herbicide work costs anywhere from $125 to $500 per acre depending on the job.
I like to use timber sales and can use Farm Bill cost share funds for some projects which can reduce or eliminate your out-of-pocket costs of habitat work.