Land management is worth the effort if you want to tag a buck.
There's virtually a never-ending list of projects you could start on any given property. Something can always be done, regardless of how big the project is. Unfortunately, with so many options, it's easy to let the ineffective ones distract you.
To help with the dilemma, we've compiled a list of effective property projects that'll actually help you tag a mature buck in the future.
Carving out new food plots
Obviously, this list is dependent on the piece of deer hunting property you have in mind. However, if possible, adding food plots could be one of the most effective ways to harvest a big buck. Food plots give deer a reason to spend more time on your property. It could help keep younger bucks safe on your property for another year, too, which means there could be a chance to hunt them the following season. If you're not sure what to plant, we touched on some of the best seeds last month.
This initiative is highly dependent on the landscape of the property and what equipment is available. Depending on your budget, it could be worthwhile to rent a skid-steer to clear our an area.
Creating more cover
Creating more deer bedding cover could be a whole topic in itself, but for this piece, we'll hit on the most important aspects. Hinge-cutting is the easiest and one of the most effective ways for a deer hunter to give great cover. When hinge-cutting, the top of the tree stays connected to the base, which will be enough to keep leaves growing for a few more years. This will provide more forage and solid cover.
Planting switchgrass and other screening-type plants also makes adequate cover. Pines and spruces make for ideal deer cover and windbreaks. Call your state extension office, as they might be able to sell these plants at a discount if you're a landowner.
Before executing this tip, be sure to put thought into where you want to add the cover. Locating it near food, water or the back of your property would be best. The less disturbed this area is, the more effective it'll be.
Build a comfortable blind
This might come as a surprise, but building a nice blind could be a nice addition to any property. It could allow you to introduce others to hunting in a more comfortable setting. Also, when the temperatures drop, it'll be easier to stay longer out there longer.
Putting in a watering hole
Watering holes, in my opinion, are one of the most overlooked projects when it comes to deer management. This initiative would be a quick, one-day project that would make a major difference for any property.
Putting waterholes next to food sources helps the deer digest their food and provides hydration.
By implementing these land management projects, you'll see tangible results that'll continue to compound every year. There's still time to get spring food plots in the ground, plant additional cover and build stands.
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