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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I just bought a 22 acre farm and I am interested in managing it for deer and turkey. The deer are definitely already there but I would like to make the land even better for hunting. My wife doesn't really understand the whole hunting thing so whatever I do has to be relatively cheap so she'll let me do it! haha.

About 15 acres of my land is wooded in hard woods with plenty of green briars and berries for deer. My land is not so much used for bedding down as it is for a crossing between the land on either side of me. The trails are very defined and it's not uncommon to see six or eight deer in my yard in the evenings. However, I'm not one to shoot one that is standing in my yard! :)

I've been searching the internet and would like to get some good advice on what I can do to increase the appeal of my land for deer and turkey. I need things that are more labor intensive though instead of costly. I'm definitely willing to work at it with sweat equity. I'm going to cut ATV trails, keep portions of the woods mowed, etc. I have a corn feeder out and I will probably get another one. Are these good things to do? What else can I do? I've been reading about food plots and would love to be able to have a couple plots. Most of the feed looks really expensive though. Any recommendations on something that works pretty well and is cost effective? I have a great place for a couple of plots.

Thanks for any help. By the way, feel free to point me toward resources that I can read on my own. I don't expect anyone to pour out all of the answers in this forum. Thanks!
 

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Corn feeders keep deer coming around but do little to increase their nutritional intake. Try adding some soybeans or deer pellets in with the corn and keep the feeders going year round. A mineral lick is cheap and easy but sometimes takes a while for the deer to start getting used to using it. Probably the cheapest and easiest thing you can do to get started is to fertilize the native food species available to the deer on your land. Try a google search of Quality Deer Management for lots of tips.
 

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We need to know what surrounds your land. What is the character and make up of the lands? Forests? Agriculture? Is your land bedding area or a food source? Is there sufficient bedding area in your "neighborhood"? Where are you located (State)? You will need to test you soil for food plots to determine fertilizer and lime needs suitable to the crop you desire to plant.
 

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Best thing to do to manage your deer/property is to talk to your neighbors. If you are helping manage the deer herd, and your neighbors are blowing the deer out of the woods on opening morning....then what have you accomplished?

Cover: Some loose brush piles are loved by deer, as well as the thickets that are impossible to walk into.
Food: Something green will always beat out the corn feeder. Get a soil test kit and start there.
Water: Deer don't need much, as long as the food source is green....but corn and pellets require water nearby.
Pest control: Often overlooked, coyotes and such are hard on birthing does, and will run down adult deer in deep snow....whack them!

These are the things I highlighted when I first started.




Scott (Your results may vary) B
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the ideas so far. As far as the makeup of my land goes, it's not really used as a bedding area. It's used somewhat as a food source and mostly as a crossing point. To my right is probably 1,000 acres or more that is owned by a huge corporation in my area and is classified as a wildlife preserve so hunting is not allowed. However, it keeps the animals around and keeps them wondering onto my land. To my left is more private land...all hard woods. I live in Eastern Kentucky right on the Ohio and West Virginia state lines.

My property is pear shaped so it is really wide at the bottom and gets narrower as you go up the hill into the woods. Near the bottom of the land, there are plenty of berries and the deer are all over my yard in the evening but I don't consider it very sporting to shoot them out of my back yard. As soon as I draw them into the forest though, I don't mind a bit. :) The further up the hill you go the thicker the woods get. There are plenty of "thickets" and green briars everywhere that the deer love and have heavy trails through. There is a ridge with a valley going down one side and a plateau between. I would like to put a small food plot on this plateau and I've been keeping my feeder along the ridge. I don't have a tractor or anything so whatever I do as far as a food plot is going to have to be pretty small because I'll be doing it with a rototiller (however you spell that).

I'll continue to Google deer management topics and see what all I can come up with. I don't expect overnight results but I want to get started this year on a long term plan.
 

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Try QDMA, think they even have a forum(maybe?)

Scott (You'll get alot of info there!) B
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks...the QDMA web site is very helpful!
 

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Well I came late for this one,everybody else pretty much answered your questions and gave great ideas,I will add one thing though.POST IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,everybody hates a tresspasser/poacher.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I plan on buying several signs and posting them around the perimeter of the property. I just purchased the land before deer season this year so I didn't have time to do anything before hunting except put my stand up and a feeder out. While I was hunting last weekend, I saw some orange coming down the hill on my property. I wanted to speak to him but I didn't want to give up my spot either so I didn't get a chance to talk to him. I'll have everything taken care of by next season. I'm going to try and do some things before turkey season as well because there are lots of turkeys around too.

I went fall turkey hunting on a different piece of land because I wasn't familiar yet with the land I bought. I went "turkeyless" for the week long season...I hated it. However, I went up to my deer stand to hunt last weekend and there was a turkey at the base of my stand...haha. Too bad I wasn't carrying a shotgun! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Man I REALLY thought about it! I guess ethics won out...haha. Illegal here in Kentucky.
 

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whats ethics got to do with it ? killing is killing ! i shot my first turkey with a rifle and my last was with a shotgun the sizable number in between were taken with which ever i had with me . They were all tasty !
Some of the first designated turkey guns were combo guns !
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's illegal in Kentucky to take a turkey with a rifle...and it's not turkey season...ethics...
 

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no that's law ! and ethics is what you do when you are alone !
In Virginia it is legal to hunt and shoot turkey with a rifle and having done both rifle and shotgun hunts , find both a challenge and rewarding !
If a law made things ethical then abortion would be ethical ! which i feel it ain't !
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Don't quite agree with your method of reasoning...but I do agree that abortion is wrong. I don't think that's what this topic was started about though...
 

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land mang. take on many roles , the planting of bait , the use of feeders as bait , the way the land is groomed for wildlife , type hunting allowed and game to be harvested selection .
I have had good luck with clover , we are not allowed to bait or feed deer ( i guess we hunt turkey with a rifle and ya'll hunt over placed bait ) .
my reasoning is simple , if its not against the law , then you or I then must decide if we can sleep at night if we do it !
My home is on 10 acres and i plant to attract as i don't have enough land to hold a lot of deer ! i plant about 2 acres of clover in 3 plots and the cow lots in pasture starter and orchard grass ! i leave 3 acres wild ! the thing i have going for me is the 4000 acres of timber land that is next to mine . In all i hunt about 40 acres around the house , shooting is restricted to a few areas but bow is unlimited . The key is to offer the critters something they want to visit every day ! and always leave an area that they won't be disturbed in !
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do you use the BioLogic clover or some other kind? I was looking at all of the BioLogic offerings at Wallys World over the weekend. They have a big variety so I guess I'll have to find what works best in my soil and my layout. Do you ever use any of the stuff that says it doesn't require fertilizer? I saw a few offerings that basically said spread it and sit back and wait for it to grow. Does that stuff work? I'm sure it doesn't work as well as the other but it might be worth it if it works at all.
 

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I get regular old clover seed from a local feed and seed supply SOUTHERN STATES . I the past i tried 5 different types of deer food - lab-lab , biologic , etc planted in a field , etc had little luck for the $$$$$$$ spent . Tried old white clover and it came up good and last great ! A Little 10-10-10 helps it along as will lime if it is planted where pine have been .
If i were to try anything eles it would be from a local seed supplier as they should know what works in your area , how does a guy on the other side of the world know ? check where some of the big name stuff comes from . down under !
if you have a place to plant turnips plant some they stay green , and deer love them ! plus peel one add a bit of salt and eat like an apple while in the stand !
 

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I applaud your patience to hunt and not confront the trespasser. Use your camera phone or a Trail Camera to assist in the identification of individuals in whom you come in contact. Folks in the woods may knowingly provide false information, which a photo can often unravel with the help of local law enforcement.

Determining whether your land is bedding area, food source, or just passing through territory is of great importance in the way that you approach Land Management. I have been won over by rape and turnips. They come up bitter and the deer leave them along initially. After a good frost, (so I am told as it does not frost here in E. Central FL), the sugar rises into the green vegetation and the deer can not get enough of them The reason I like rape and turnips is the evidence that I am still seeing green in the fields when ALL of the iron and clay peas and the soy beans are gone; for the 2nd time this Fall; all 4 acres of them.
 
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