bueller's blotter


20 years ago my Pops invited me up to north to go deer hunting with him and his buddies. About 5 years later Pops purchased a 40 acre parcel, the same 40 which I had harvested my first deer on prior to the purchase. I wish I had taken more photos of the property before we began making habitat improvements. All of the pictures I'm about to post were taken this past weekend. As time passes I'll be updating this thread with more on our food plots, tree and shrub plantings, trail cam photos and videos, hunting reports, and whatever the heck else is on my mind at the time :).
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Jack Pine, Black Oak, and Pennsylvania Sedge dominate our sandy land. White Pine, Red Pine, Hazelnut, and Chokecherry are also common.

This is a view from one of my ground blinds. A majority of our woods is younger and hunting from the ground is really the only option. And the rush of being face to face with a deer close enough that you could shoot it with a water gun is unbeatable!

This is our "highest" ridge. I doubt it is even ten feet higher in elevation than the rest of the property. It is where our largest oaks call home and it is one of the few wooded areas where a tree stand can be utilized.

I have several tree stands where I only use two ladder sections. In these woods I can see farther from the ground than I can when 15 feet up in the air.

View while seated in the stand shown above

View while standing on the seat of the stand shown above. It is even more noticeable during hunting season when everything is holding leaves.
We do have a couple open meadows, although they have been filling in over the years. When they were wide open the deer tended to wait until right before dark to cross them. Now they will "sneak" across anytime of day. Pops has an OLD wooden tree stand overlooking this particular one. It is and has been the most productive spot on the property for 20 years plus.

Pops started planting stuff on the property years before I had any interest in doing so. Some of it failed and some of it was a success. One of the top priorities of mine is taking care of the stuff he planted and "forgot" about.

Crabapples with purple and white flowers that I sprayed gly around last fall.


A beautiful crabapple in full bloom that needs a little TLC

A couple mount royal plums that I also sprayed some gly around last fall

Great looking place!!!
Spring of 2012 and 2013 I planted some pear trees from St. Lawrence Nurseries.

2013 Patten

2012 Summercrisp

2013 Waterville

2013 Savignac
This is a 2013 Summercrisp that did not wake up this spring. I'm hoping it's just late but I don't feel very good about it. I peeled back a bud and it seems to have a little life in there but I don't know. Might have gotten some of the lower leaves with gly when spraying last fall.




Oak wilt is present and seems to have claimed a couple more large trees this past year. Each year a couple in this spot don't leaf out. I will likely live to see the day where all the remaining tall oaks in the background of this photo are nothing more than woodpecker houses and firewood.

Invasive bush honeysuckle is present and grows in shrub form here but I've yet to see it "taking" over any given area. One of these days I will begin an eradication process, maybe.

Loblolly x Pitch is not hardy up here. This one fought for a couple years but eventually died like all the rest that I planted, thankfully only 25 of them.

Waterhole #1

Waterhole #2

Waterhole #3, fills after a heavy rain :). Numbers 4, 5, and 6 are just like it.
Winter rye planted last fall is shin high, less than half the height it normally is by now.

Medium Red Clover planted with winter rye in August of 2012 looks great!


Last year I let the rye stand and go to seed. I firmly believe that the tall rye last summer helped to shelter and protect the clover underneath from mother nature and the deer allowing the clover to flourish. Sometime during the winter the deer or turkeys or whoever came through and consumed the rye seed heads. Volunteer rye is sparse in the clover this spring, and so are the weeds :). You can see in the photo below the tracks where I ran down a path of the mature rye with my atv last summer. The volunteer rye in this spot is fairly thick due to the seed to soil contact and the fact that the seed heads were not consumed over the winter. However the weeds are also more of an issue in this path and the clover is nowhere near as thick as the surrounding areas. In future clover plantings I will be letting the rye mature and remain standing.

Thanks for sharing. looking forward to more. our habitats are just about identical from the sedge to the oak wilt.
Nice pics and tour.
Great looking place!!!
Thanks. We try our best with our limited time, small acreage, poor quality soil, and the fact that in addition to habitat improvements and deer hunting we use our place year round for all sorts of activities.
That is a fine looking stand of red clover for the central sands :)
Thanks, the original plan after planting it in 2012 was to rotate it into brassicas during summer of 2013. But it looked so good last year I just left it alone and I'm very glad I did because a brassica plot surely would've failed with the dry months we had last year. Depending on how it looks later this year I may go to brassicas but more than likely if it continues to thrive I will just let it do its thing.
That was a nice tour. Always interesting to see habitat in different parts of the country. Looking forward to seeing more.

Thanks for sharing. looking forward to more. our habitats are just about identical from the sedge to the oak wilt.
I've come to terms with the sedge but the oak wilt make me sad. Last fall while seated in the tree stand shown in the second picture I posted, I noticed several more large oaks on the downward spiral. I hoped it was just stress from yet another drought but I knew better. Each of them failed to leaf out this spring, including the large one just to the left of the small pine in the photo with the tree stand. In another year or two the tree in which that stands leans on will probably take that journey also :(.