If they want to go over the hill another 100 yards to where I'm thinking of putting the plot, I would think there isn't much stopping them??? Unless u think different?
First, with you owning that timber around there, and the lay out of the place, I'm honestly envious. For whatever it's worth, I think you're on to something with what you're aiming at. You give them even better cover yet and focus feeding in a way that helps snake them by a stand site or two and I could really see you dragging a good one out of there....not going to make any ridiculous claims like 180s on a routine basis, but I honest don't see why you couldn't take a mature buck out of there considerably more years than not (always going to have a down year every now and then, for any assortment of reasons) and 2 on good numbers of years.
what are the yellow dots? I'm assuming the purple dots are stands.
I don't think you have to have food on the east side. I was sincerely just trying to put what I saw as likely natural movement on steroids and create a funnel. According to your response, you already have both the natural movement and funnel there (with the drop/shelf)
With the natural segregation you are describing, that new food plot location to the east sounds like a slam dunk idea. Take that with a grain of salt, since I can't see it and it's always possible there's something truly messed up with the spot. however, since you were already considering doing so, I'm sure the spot is fine. At the same time, you'd be providing decreased social stress for both the bucks and the does, through the segregation, allowing you to comfortably hold more, but not divide things up to the point of making the action so diluted as to make guessing where Mr. big will be too much of a roll of the dice, if all that makes sense.
I personally wouldn't yank those 2 stand locations you have on the W and S sides, taking advantage of the shelf funnel. I can understand and completely agree that they should be hunted very sparingly, but I'd want to have them as options. That way, when you're sitting in the stand on the NW side, you should be able to spot a good buck if he comes from that area. You see that a couple times and you can move in for the kill. I just wouldn't hunt them unless a buck I wanted to kill was telling me to. If he was, I wouldn't hesitate to move in and take him out ASAP.
Between your two lowest impact purple dots, you appear to be great for any wind out of the S. looks like you could use a low impact stand or 2 for winds out of the N. I don't know what the new, off pic food plot area looks like, but I'd try hard to make myself 1 or 2 there.
Seeing that the does are bedding right in the staging area I originally wanted you to create, I'm even more on board with scraping the food on the E I was trying to get you to add. I'd just run with your original sprayed area and add that "yellow brick road" to help funnel them past your existing setup on the N. Doing so will also funnel them even more naturally into the lower spot in the field you have drawn in that you also have a stand on. Looks like most will go there naturally anyway, but if a little extra nudge gets Mr. Big to do it once when he otherwise wouldn't have, and you happen to be sitting up there that day, added bonus time.
I'm gonna say it again Steve I can tell you have an eye for this. Being able to identify locations on my property that are already favored tells me a lot. Especially since I've been one of your biggest critics. Haha
I'm starting to understand how you can help a lot of people optimize what land they have. I'm not gonna say that about some of your peers though
Gotta admit, you've rendered me a bit speechless with that, and you have to know by now, that ain't easy to do. So, I'll just say thanks. That's high praise from you. Oh, and I don't blame you on at least some of the "peers" thing.
P.S. Again, take this with a grain of salt, as I can't see it. However, I'd put my $ on that main plot we've been discussing as your slam dunk honey hole. Just with the way the swamp lays, terrain flow, the overall food layout and all that NG/evergreen cover you have and will be adding, that area is a natural magnet. The plot you add to the East most likely won't be as good, but I'm as sure as I can be without seeing it that it will be worth the effort, PARTICULARLY with the natural segregation effect you already describe.