Building my own Hunting Retreat

Hey everybody, so it’s been about over a year since I last posted on this blog and figured I should get an update here. We’ll really I’ve just gotten enough stuff done to warrant an update I guess.

2021 hunting season
I’ll start off with how last hunting season went, as my last update was right before it all kicked off. I did get out for bow season starting in September going right up until gun season for Wisconsin, which is the week of thanksgiving. September was pretty miserable, I didn't see too many deer and to top it off it was still fairly hot and the mosquitoes were eating me alive. But I didn’t let that get me down and powered on through to the October rut. October saw an increase in deer activity and I actually got a few great looks at some doe, but I chose not to shoot any of em for various reasons. There was some decent buck activity on my cams, mostly at night or during the day when I wasn’t at the property. I did manage to see a decent one across the stream but my shooting lanes were not finished yet and I spooked him off while trying to call him closer. After that the only other buck I saw was a tiny spike that walked right in front of the tower blind, but I held back to let him grow for a few more years. Gun season rolled around and, not all that surprising, all the deer disappeared and I didn’t see anything. Looking back at the trail cam pics there were a few decent sized bucks around the property.

Winter and early spring activity
My hunting pretty much ended after gun season as all I had was this new shed to camp in. While I may not have been at the property over the winter, my family and I definitely got some much needed planning and scheduling done during that time. The two biggest items were my family’s new cabin and clear cutting two food plots.

The New Cabin
At the start of this adventure we always had plans of building a cabin up here. It was meant to give my family kind of a staging point to explore the northern parts of the state, as trying to get to superior from my house is a good 6+ hour drive. It also gives me a nice warm place after freezing my butt off in a stand for a few hours.
The Two Food Plots
I believe I mentioned this in one of my other posts but this project was my #1 first project to get done. The primary reason for this is the lack of any AG around my property for close to 5 miles. This leads me to believe that getting a good two food plots year after year, along with my trees that I will be going into later, should draw in most of the deer in the surrounding areas. These two food plots I named the “Food Plot” and the “Solar Plot”. The Food Plot is named a little more obvious as it is my main food plot that I intend to do most of my hunting on until I can get more projects going throughout the property and create more opportunities for myself. It is located directly down the main trail where the old clearing with the treestand is pointed out on the map. The clear cut expanded that clearing quite a lot and got my own tower stand set up to overlook both the food plot and the ravine with the creek. The Solar Plot got its name as it was originally intended to have our solar panels for the house mounted on a ground mount on the corner of this plot, facing south, and the rest of the clearing was just coincidence to plant a food plot. Luckily for me, we didn't find out that this wasn't going to be possible until after we had already gotten the clear cut done. The plot is located on top of the central hill to the south of our main building site and is roughly half an acre.

The Food Plot
Food Plot.jpg

View From Tower.jpg

The Solar Plot
Solar Plot.jpg

Late Summer and 2022 Hunting Season
As the summer progressed and my food plots got clear cut, and the cabin got completed, I was able to make it up to the property a few times during the summer to get both of my food plots fertilized, limed, and planted. For this year's plantings, I had decided to go with whitetail institutes “Ravish Radish” blend for the Food Plot, and also their “Turkey Select Chufa” for the Solar Plot in hopes of attracting turkey. The Food Plot planting went VERY well and I got a great crop of the radishes with some very impressive tubers on them. Unfortunately I can't say the same about the Solar Plot. It may have been a combination of things, but the two most likely reasons for the chufa not doing well is that soil turned out to be a lot sandier than the Food Plot and I also did not have access to the right equipment to get it buried the 2 inches under the soil that they recommended. Either way, it came in very patchy, the tubers didn’t seem very well developed, and the turkey that did make their way up there a few times over the fall did not seem to take much interest in the plants at all. I also happened to find out that deer don’t care much for chufa either, or at least not the chufa that I managed to grow.

Failed Chufa
Chufa Fail.jpg

Later into the summer I started getting some really good trail cam pics of my doe herd and my number 1 and 2 shooter bucks. The doe herd was important in my mind as it not only showed that I had a good number of mature doe, but I also got a great number of fawns that survived their first year. My top two bucks once again remained elusive this year, I ended up only getting a couple unpredictable pictures of them during daylight when I was not around, and mostly getting some great nighttime pictures of both.

#1 Buck
#1 Buck.JPG

#2 Buck
#2 Buck.jpg

The hunting season turned out great for me this year. I sat over the Food Plot for opening day of bow season in September, and I saw great doe movement throughout the day. They actually moved through the property like clockwork, it was super easy to predict the exact time they would walk out into the Food Plot. After a couple of clean misses earlier in the morning, I was able to bag a mature doe that evening. With this early success I was able to more comfortably and confidently pass on more doe and my young bucks that have been hanging around too. My success continued when I was able to bag my first ever buck hitting the Food Plot the weekend before gun season. It wasn’t my best shot by any means but he died within 30 yards. He ended up being a 7 point, 2 1/2 year old. I probably should have let him walk but gotta start somewhere and I am still proud of the accomplishment.

2023 Plans
With the 2022 season wrapped up for me it's time to start looking ahead. I already do have quite a few plans for next year. I will be starting a new crop rotation on both food plots. For the Food Plot, I have decided to use a new product I have found from Vitalize Seed Co. I’m impressed by the material they have available about their product and I am really excited to try it. In the spring I will be trying their “Nitro Boost”, it is a diverse seed blend that they claim does a great job of releasing the non-readably available nitrogen in the soil for any fall plants to be able to use. I will then terminate that blend in late summer and plant over it with Killer Food Plot’s “Carnage Brassicas”. The deer loved the radish tops this past year and I hope with KFP’s more diverse brassica blend that they will come back even stronger onto the Food Plot. I have also ordered 2 hybrid chestnut trees and 2 persimmon trees that will be going on the northern edge of the food plot. I am extremely excited about those in particular as deer are said to go nuts over them. For the Solar Plot, I will be doing a full rotation of Vitalize’s Nitro Boost and Carbon Load in the fall, their rotation is supposed to be very good at building back the soil. I will also be planting 6 varieties of apple trees up there as well.

Well thank you for everyone who reads through my updates, I’ll try to get another one posted after the spring work day on the property.


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Thanks for the input. I do actually have slight experience with solar installation from a short time working for a residential solar installing company. But i cant really be bothered to do that again so currently just talking with a couple of solar companies and a backup generator company as well to get it all installed as cost for that isn't much more than it was gonna be to get the power ran from my neighbors property even if i got permission from them.

So that is part of what I need to get an estimate from the solar company so that IS already being worked on so that we aren't getting too much of an array
If you have the knowledge buy the equipment yourself and have a solo electrician/jack leg hook it up. That’s what I did. They know how to run line and install fuses. I just showed them what to hook up and how based on about an hour of internet research. It’s been great for me.

So cool btw. That all looks awesome.
If you have the knowledge buy the equipment yourself and have a solo electrician/jack leg hook it up. That’s what I did. They know how to run line and install fuses. I just showed them what to hook up and how based on about an hour of internet research. It’s been great for me.

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The thought was there, but I now have a fresh hatred of roofs. so we just hired it out, and got it done. Plus side of that is that we will be getting 80% of the cost reimbursed on taxes next year
My cabin is 17x36 with a loft upstairs. I’m off the grid and run it with a Honda 3000 generator. I priced solar and quickly realized I can buy a whole bunch of generators for the solar investment. I have it wired like a regular house with an breaker box and the generator sits in the shop. I bought an aftermarket remote kit from pinellas powersports and it’s awesome. I can turn it on and off and kick on eco mode from the remote. Only downside is I don’t run a fridge but I guess I could. I just spend a lot of time during the day with the power off so I’d have to run it continuously. But that unit runs a tv with satellite, obviously several lights, microwave and ac all at the same time. I think I’ve only overloaded one time and that’s cause I turned a shop vac on with eco mode and it couldn’t ramp up fast enough. It’s a workhorse, and super quiet.
just a thought.
here’s my place
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Great minds think alike. I built a small hunting cabin on my property, run it with a Honda EU2000i, and my shop vac is my heaviest load along with microwave, but it does it, ramps up quickly.
Run it always in eco mode and its as quiet as a mouse. Sad part, haven't gotten a hunting license since I built it, spend all my vacation playing there, improvements (log shelter, storage container, campgrounds) and grounds maintenance.
But the deer after a while are not bothered by the cabin or our presence. I have watched them walk close by in the evenings during dinner time, one time, we were all under the log shelter and a whole gaggle of turkeys was 40 feet away, my little french bulldog was curious, but didnt bother them as they was bigger than he was. I have mostly whitetail there, but mule deer also, turkeys, bear, moose wolves, grouse, cougar, bobcats...


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Do you have any issues having your solar equipment outside?My fan runs on my controller in the summer and runs battery down sometimes