Looking for reading material.

Post topo’s and Aerial photos for free advice. Food plotting, land manipulation, water holes, ect.
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Kane0928
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Looking for reading material.

Postby Kane0928 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:05 pm

Okay guys, so my dad and I were able to purchase the farm we've hunted for years in south east Ohio about 250 acres a month ago. We've always been rut style hunters on this particular property and it holds impressive year to year. It's set up with two north south running ridges hay fields in the middle with drainage ditch transitions inbetween the fields running north south also. To the east it has 70 acres of soybeans we lease to the local farmer so basically a food plot were paid to have. The ridges are full of oaks and was just timbered on the East ridge select cut first time in over a 100 years. The ridge to the west of the hay fields is super thick and holds bedding. Its a wonderful property I've always had luck on and enjoyed hunting on with my family.

So with a little knowledge about the property being told here is where I need the advice. I've always been a hunter that moves properties and enjoys new places. I still intend to do this and practice the beast teaching, because I find public land hunting fun for the release of not holding to a standard of deer. My dad on the other hand is set in his ways of hunt one property till it works. I'm looking for reading material since I'm new to land management and how to improve/manipulate the farm we purchased to give my dad and brother better odds at at tagging out from limited time to hunt. I'm completely new to the idea of land management and wanted to know where to focus my time on reliable authors and veterans of the game. I have all the equipment tractor wise to do what needs done for just about any project. With reading and participating in the beast forum for the past several months I just wanted some of your guy's opinions on where to focus in on. Some of you all might disagree but I see all of you all as experts and able to lead me in the right direction on land management. So any authors of video series, food plot articles on where and why, bedding improvement,water holes and links to previous post in the land management tab. I've been reading for the past couple weeks in land management and starting to get the concepts I'm just looking to broaden my knowledge of the topics thanks in advance! I can post a aerial and topo of the property if anyone's interested in seeing it for curiousity purposes.


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Zona1
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Zona1 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:53 am

Sounds like you have a great piece of land! I am no expert, but I do have a horticultural background. I started by doing internet searches on anything related to food plots and habitat management. Jim Hart, Jake Ehlinger, Jeff Sturgis have good content. Don Mealey has some good, but long winded at times, videos on establishing food plots. The QDMA website has some useful information also. The key is to match your plan to your parcel of land, there is no one size fits all. I tend to lean more to Sturgis's techniques because they make more sense to me. Last but not least is the information here on the Beast. There is no better site when it comes to understanding deer and their behaviors, which is the most important part of any plan. Good luck and I look forward to your updates.
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby ODH » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:51 am

purely as a foundation of knowledge Neil and Craig Dougherty’s two books are good. Read Grow Em Right first if you only want to get one.

Honestly from there everything else you need to know can be found in posts on HB or from Dan directly. Biggest challenge with private and food plots is overhunting (but doesn't sound like you have that problem).
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby ODH » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:55 am

and Dr. Craig Harper has alot of smart articles too
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Scentblocker » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:55 am

I have not read this yet but have heard tons of good things about it. White-Tailed Deer Management and Habitat Improvement by Steve Bartylla. You can also follow him on Facebook he posts tons of Info on there.
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Boogieman1 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:51 pm

No knowledge on land management but do know it doesn't take much to burn out a 250 acre parcel atleast for mature deer. Think repeatedly hunting it is never the best choice. Would try to explain to your dad how pressure has a negative effect, and convince him to hunt elsewhere except on sparingly occasions when conditions are prime. Just my .02 But man what a place congratulations
There's more fun in hunting with the handicap of the bow than there is in hunting with the sureness of pulling the trigger.
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Cjsbuck » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:59 am

I would have Jeff Sturgis over for a land site consultation. It will be money well spent. IMO
I consider myself as well read as anyone on land management but sometimes It’s good to confirm your ideas before making big changes to your land. And yes I agree you can burn 250 acres out with over Hunting! Cover is key and it sounds like you are on the right path! Congrats! Nothing better than working on your own piece of earth!
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Jeff G » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:20 am

A lot of companies are going to push there food plot product and have a very general description of where to put it and how to prep. they are concerned with moving product and not the kill.

Same goes for a lot of the "land managers" out there. They shoot some bucks, know how to hinge cut, make some areas thicker, funnel, etc.

What both of these groups do not understand is bedding. If you have bedding areas, or make bedding areas, that doesn't mean you are in the game. Some of this bedding can be out of season, wrong wind for hunting bedding, and not buck bedding.

I have scouted a lot of properties with Dan over the years. Public and private.

If I needed someone to come in and tell me what to manipulate on the ground, it would be dan. He understands bedding. I've gone along to client properties and listened first hand to them tell us that they brought in so and so, made changes, and the client is upset because he is not killing deer. After walking through and seeing what changes were made and explaining why it is not working the client makes changes suggested by dan about the bedding.

Thats the difference, someone who through years of disecting a bucks bedroom can tell you how to recreate what that mature animal needs and seeks out.
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Kane0928 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:29 am

Thanks everyone for the replies I'll read into the book suggestions and dissect my property over the next couple months. Everyone is correct and im a firm believer on pressure, but my family is only a couple sits a year types so I'm not too concerned about them wearing it out. I have multiple properties I hunt and usually stay out till end of October. I'll post some Aerials and topo's so you all can see it. Probably in the next couple months as I make a plan I'll ask for some input.
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Kane0928 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:38 am

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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Kane0928 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:41 am

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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby dan » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:23 am

Thats a good looking property. Its set up perfectly for a N/W wind which is predominant in most areas. The only hard issue is it appears to have bottom access only, which means getting past the bucks watching and smelling access (thermals). Well placed food plots, water holes and thickening can result in great results. Many of the guys ive scouted and suggested changes for 1st had big name guys in there who helped, but the results were not the greatest cause they seem to just deem certain ridges "bedding" and have little experience with exactly what bucks are looking for. For that reason, its important to get it right the 1st time. Its very difficult to undo these changes once there in the wrong spot. Like an opening for a food plot, thickening, or a water hole.

In my opinion the exact location in a lot of cases is key in getting mature bucks to move to these places in daylight, and have the wind right for both the hunter to hunt and the buck to bed there. There is often a lot of smoke and mirrors going on with creating rope toys, beds and such trying to entertain the land owner rather than actual sound improvements that will net results on your wall.

The main thing on a property is the amount of mature buck bedding. Its not about creating the actual bed, but more about enhancing the type of terrain they already want to bed in. Your land can only hold the number of mature bucks it has bedding for. So understanding where, why, and when they bed certain areas is key before you do anything. Some managers I find only enhance one ridge and deem it as the bedding area. If we know mature bucks bed on leeward sides, don't plan on holding bucks on your property if they can only bed there on one wind.

For an example, one property I visited last spring the guy was after a very large buck he was getting pic's of. After looking at a map of the property I was pretty sure I new right where the buck was coming from based on elevation, a point, and dominant winds. When we looked, it was exactly where that buck was coming from, and the client killed a nice buck there after a neighbor killed his target, and before that passed a 150 class coming out of there. The big dollar guy he hired before me never even recognized that spot, he hinge cut an entire west facing ridge and deemed it bedding despite west winds being primary, and east rare, and had him cut a "travel" corridor right thru where the beds would of been on the east ridge.

If your taking advice, I would take it from multiple sources, and not fully buy into any of it. Sometimes hunting the land for a season or 2 before making big changes will show you things you did not see just walking or staring at a map, so take your time about big changes and make sure they are the right ones.
Kane0928
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Kane0928 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:24 pm

dan wrote:Thats a good looking property. Its set up perfectly for a N/W wind which is predominant in most areas. The only hard issue is it appears to have bottom access only, which means getting past the bucks watching and smelling access (thermals). Well placed food plots, water holes and thickening can result in great results. Many of the guys ive scouted and suggested changes for 1st had big name guys in there who helped, but the results were not the greatest cause they seem to just deem certain ridges "bedding" and have little experience with exactly what bucks are looking for. For that reason, its important to get it right the 1st time. Its very difficult to undo these changes once there in the wrong spot. Like an opening for a food plot, thickening, or a water hole.

In my opinion the exact location in a lot of cases is key in getting mature bucks to move to these places in daylight, and have the wind right for both the hunter to hunt and the buck to bed there. There is often a lot of smoke and mirrors going on with creating rope toys, beds and such trying to entertain the land owner rather than actual sound improvements that will net results on your wall.

The main thing on a property is the amount of mature buck bedding. Its not about creating the actual bed, but more about enhancing the type of terrain they already want to bed in. Your land can only hold the number of mature bucks it has bedding for. So understanding where, why, and when they bed certain areas is key before you do anything. Some managers I find only enhance one ridge and deem it as the bedding area. If we know mature bucks bed on leeward sides, don't plan on holding bucks on your property if they can only bed there on one wind.

For an example, one property I visited last spring the guy was after a very large buck he was getting pic's of. After looking at a map of the property I was pretty sure I new right where the buck was coming from based on elevation, a point, and dominant winds. When we looked, it was exactly where that buck was coming from, and the client killed a nice buck there after a neighbor killed his target, and before that passed a 150 class coming out of there. The big dollar guy he hired before me never even recognized that spot, he hinge cut an entire west facing ridge and deemed it bedding despite west winds being primary, and east rare, and had him cut a "travel" corridor right thru where the beds would of been on the east ridge.

If your taking advice, I would take it from multiple sources, and not fully buy into any of it. Sometimes hunting the land for a season or 2 before making big changes will show you things you did not see just walking or staring at a map, so take your time about big changes and make sure they are the right ones.


Thank you Dan for the write up, I agree completely and is why asked for sources to read and look at. With my goals for the property I'm not being hasty I'm wanting to take my time and really research the topics before any plans are made. The property needs a couple years to recover from the logging to see how the new undergrowth goes. The timber was 150 years old on the Eastern ridge so you can imagine the canopy that is opened up now. The western ridge is super thick and holds the bedding. The food sources are hard to narrow down on the major use from corn, soybeans, oak flats, persimmons and apple trees to wear they're using each part of the year since the producing factor varies.

You're correct on nw being the best, but in the past year the SW has been the predominant wind. Which makes access hard on it. In proving the property is the long term goal and I want to go about it right. So access is my main thing for this year to go about hunting it. I also really liked the idea idea how you and Mario on a public parcel worked your way in hunting to not burn out spot.

I have to wait for growth to come back for hope of notth bedding my scouting so far has shown more use in south bedding and the neighbors have held deer in the north winds (the neighbor on the north side of the farm).

I'll be honest I'm pretty scattered with all the ideas having a property this size takes while to break down well and learn how all the winds work. I've been playing with milkweed to adjust all all my mobile spots to get in those killer spots. I'll post the bed sites I've found for everyone to see.

Thanks for all the help everyone!
Kane0928
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Re: Looking for reading material.

Postby Kane0928 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:27 pm

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Still more to find, scouting has been slowed from starting my new job.

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