Is property management on smaller properties

S.T.Fanatic

5 year old buck +
I have 2 nice 10 pointers on camera this year that I swear are 3 year old twins.
 

tcook8296

A good 3 year old buck
Living in NJ, corn piles are pretty much on every property and with a 150 ft bow safety zone in a lot of residential back yards. Most properties are on the smaller side of 50 scres or less with farmers with a few hundred. I myself have a little over 50 acres.
Ive owned my property for over 5 years now and when I first got it, there were very few deer on it.
I started my improvements with establishing a sanctuary. If you want to compete with neighbors especially with smaller parcels, you must have a sanctuary. 2nd I installed 2 small water holes in the sanctuary. I have also done 2 ‐1/8 acre clover plots out of sight in the sanctuary that were installed with entry and exit in mind. I have 1 -4 acre destination plot that I try to draw the deer out into the evenings that I usually have beans in the summer, turnips and radishes wheat and rye in the fall. Its also ringed with a 15 ft strip of clover around the perimeter. A quad trail was carved with the tractor around the entire perimeter and one straight thru the middle of the sanctuary for maintainging
I also put corn out to help offset the neighboring corn piles.
As far as the sanctuary, it encompasses a majority of the property and once hunting season starts I stay out as much as I possibly can. I do have a cam on each interior clover plot that I will go in on a quad and check at night every 2 weeks or so.
I have a stand on each clover plot in the hingecut sanctuary that will only get hunted last week of October into the 2nd week of November. Again these plots and stand sites were chosen to be out of view from roads and neighbors and for ease of access in and out.
I dont shoot does. The farmers around me shoot them on depridation permits and my neighbors get some of them too.
Our hunting season starts in early September.
I usually do not climb into a stand until the end of October and even that will depend on what my cameras are telling me and what Im seeing in my bigger plot in the evenings.
I live on the property so Im kind of lucky in that aspect.
Usually I dont have any bucks consistently in the summer and into the early fall. But with keeping those does close , happy and unpressured all of that changes every year around the week before Halloween.
I start seeing the bigger bucks moving in. And it stays that way pretty much for the rest of the season.
Let your neighbors constant baiting, intrusions to check cams and sloppy hunting habits work to your advantage. Keep your property as quiet as possible. If you can get a stand that you can get in and out of on the edge of the sanctuary, the chase phase is a great time to hunt that stand but other than that hunt the outside edges in the afternoons.
Thats what works for me with corn piles all around.
You are going to lose bucks to the neighbors corn piles. No way around it.
But you can also have the best property in the neighborhood that will attract and possibly hold the better bucks in an area hopefully where you can get on them quick and close the deal.
Also, when you have a sanctuary and deer that have little or no pressure, they move around a lot more during legal shooting bours.
I did have my best season this year, usually Im lucky if I can tag one of the better bucks in the neighborhood but I got the 3 biggest I saw this year.
For NJ, these are good deer
20201028_111152.jpg20201108_183248.jpgDVpQ7dcd-47911176.jpeg
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
Every deer in an area don't eat corn at the same time even if they are going to a feeder.My neighbor and I both have some type of feeder but we just have a camera on them and neither of us hunt them.We still kill deer on normal travel routes and in food plots.You are missing something, either cover or food or lack of intrusion.
 

Natty Bumppo

5 year old buck +
Usually I dont have any bucks consistently in the summer and into the early fall. But with keeping those does close , happy and unpressured all of that changes every year around the week before Halloween.
I start seeing the bigger bucks moving in. And it stays that way pretty much for the rest of the season.

This is my exact experience on my small 30 acre property in NW Mass. I do not hold mature bucks all summer. Then around the 4th week of October into late November the big boys show up like clock-work. November 12th seems to be THE DAY to be in the woods based on 20 years of trail cam data.
 

Garrett S

5 year old buck +
Resurrecting a great thread from the dead. Awesome read this far


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omicron1792

5 year old buck +
I think what he is saying is a little bit tongue-in-cheek, at least I hope, but yeah I will hunt the rest of my life on my place and not shoot a deer before I shoot one inside of a fence. I don’t care if it was 50 acres or 10,000 acres. It’s not my definition of fair chase. Same reason I don’t hunt over bait. Heaven forbid it doesn’t come easy.
I do everything my biologist says except the bait thing. He is looking at wildlife health and habitat. I love the work more than I love hunting. But….if baiting is legal in your state and hunting is important to you, you have to bait. Just my opinion.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
Maybe. I don’t either. I should have clarified I don’t move cameras during the season. Occasionally I have to change batteries but usually only on a sunday on the way out or whatever day I’m leaving. I walk or ride a bike to my stand, no habitat work during the season, just me on the property hunting. Pretty low impact all things considered.

You may want to consider moving cameras as season progress' as does have typical patterns & bedding areas. Buck travel patterns change as season evolves. Bucks will have stable early season bedding and regular travel areas to and from food/bedding. As they move into early rut these travels corridors begin to shift as the buck groups break up and begin the search for active does. Through observation, the mature bucks will be the earliest to begin active searching scent checking travel areas. Into the rut. They will also scent check doe bedding in the early am. Tight cover areas off of food sources are good spots for mature bucks pushing does out of food into cover.
 
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Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
You may want to consider moving cameras as season progress' as does have typical patterners & bedding areas. Buck travel patterns change as season evolves. Bucks will have stable early season bedding and regular travel areas to and from food/bedding. As they move into early rut these travels corridors begin to shift as the buck groups break up and begin the search for active does. Through observation, the mature bucks will be the earliest to begin active searching scent checking travel areas. Into the rut. They will also scent check doe bedding in the early am. Tight cover areas off of food sources are good spots for mature bucks pushing does out of food into cover.
I’ve since sold this property. I learned a good bit since I bought that place and somewhat changed my tune. I think some stuff is pie in the sky but I do think you can definitely make an impact at a small level.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I’ve since sold this property. I learned a good bit since I bought that place and somewhat changed my tune. I think some stuff is pie in the sky but I do think you can definitely make an impact at a small level.

Is your new property with the neighbors doing corn piles and outfitter hunts?
 

Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
Is your new property with the neighbors doing corn piles and outfitter hunts?
Well it’s ky, people don’t go out in the woods without corn so that was both properties. But yeah I have the outfitter behind me at the new place. I still don’t think you can grow high end deer on small properties without some things going for you, like good neighbors or an area with a lot of cover…and luck. I had a couple decent deer using my place religiously from July/august to now but obviously I know they are using my neighbors places too and they would have shot everyone of them, twice but through luck they just didn’t walk by during the season while they were hunting.
I don’t know the ultimate answer. Keep moving till you find the best neighborhood? Improve your property to make it the best around and hope? Keep saving and flipping till you can buy 600 plus acres?
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
I think if a guy was serious enough he'd locate the best pieces of ground adjacent to the best non-hunted sanctuaries and then start writing letters or cold calling, and keep watching the listings. Not far from here a nice farm listing just went under contract and one of the selling points was having an off-limits refuge across the fence. Another spot about 10 miles away a wealthy family owns hundreds of acres and no hunting is allowed. Over the years some pretty big bucks get taken on the surrounding farms.

The price of corn has about doubled since this thread began. Wouldn't ya think that alone would keep some of the baiting competition down?
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I think if a guy was serious enough he'd locate the best pieces of ground adjacent to the best non-hunted sanctuaries and then start writing letters or cold calling, and keep watching the listings. Not far from here a nice farm listing just went under contract and one of the selling points was having an off-limits refuge across the fence. Another spot about 10 miles away a wealthy family owns hundreds of acres and no hunting is allowed. Over the years some pretty big bucks get taken on the surrounding farms.

The price of corn has about doubled since this thread began. Wouldn't ya think that alone would keep some of the baiting competition down?

When I see people buying corn from Tractor Supply and Cabelas, I don't think the price is much of and issue. What's funny about corn prices is that most baiting here in Wisconsin mostly occurs in low ag areas. For my bear hunt in northern Wisconsin, I brought up 4 bags of corn at $15/bag as the outfitter was paying $28/bag.
 

Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
I think if a guy was serious enough he'd locate the best pieces of ground adjacent to the best non-hunted sanctuaries and then start writing letters or cold calling, and keep watching the listings. Not far from here a nice farm listing just went under contract and one of the selling points was having an off-limits refuge across the fence. Another spot about 10 miles away a wealthy family owns hundreds of acres and no hunting is allowed. Over the years some pretty big bucks get taken on the surrounding farms.

The price of corn has about doubled since this thread began. Wouldn't ya think that alone would keep some of the baiting competition down?
You nailed on those refuges. I kick myself, a couple years ago a piece of property came up that literally bordered mammoth cave state park. It was a little smaller than the one I was buying so I passed. According to their listings they killed giants. Same as some guys I know that hunt bordering a state park near where I live. Giants.

Baiting is like nicotine. You can’t raise the price high enough to get people to stop.
 

Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
When I see people buying corn from Tractor Supply and Cabelas, I don't think the price is much of and issue. What's funny about corn prices is that most baiting here in Wisconsin mostly occurs in low ag areas. For my bear hunt in northern Wisconsin, I brought up 4 bags of corn at $15/bag as the outfitter was paying $28/bag.
I bought 11,200 lbs this year. I didn’t hunt anywhere near it but I’ll be damned if I was going to be out corned! C820661A-737B-4A6E-8E94-977D1D878A29.jpeg
 

GregFred

Buck Fawn
Resurrecting a great thread from the dead. Awesome read this far


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I agree. I am new to the habitat game. I have basically 35 huntable acres on my 59 acre property. I am surrounded by property owners who each own hundreds of acres. I am learning how the surrounding hunting affects my hunting (and habitat work decisions). And I am also learning a lot from this forum. Thank you for everyone’s input. It really helps out new guys like me.

This thread (and others) is allowing me to consider things that I never would have thought of on my own. And I fell like it is going to help my learning curve on both habitat work AND hunting expectations/hunting techniques.

I also continue to appreciate the maturity and professionalism on this site. There are so many variables to habitat management and hunting. It is refreshing to read great content without all the bantering back and forth between immature folks who think their way is the “right way” or “only way” to do things.

I am too new to this to share any real knowledge with the group, but thank you to those who do have knowledge to share and are willing to. You are helping, and it is appreciated.
 

omicron1792

5 year old buck +
I bought 11,200 lbs this year. I didn’t hunt anywhere near it but I’ll be damned if I was going to be out corned! View attachment 49134
Hang in there man. Takes years imo to change dynamics. My farm now I’ve had since 2019, and is now turning the corner with all the habitat work.

I’m with you on corn. Just have to play the game, but play it as ethically as we can.

Also big bucks are only killed around corn during the rut, only because that’s where the does are.
 

Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
Hang in there man. Takes years imo to change dynamics. My farm now I’ve had since 2019, and is now turning the corner with all the habitat work.

I’m with you on corn. Just have to play the game, but play it as ethically as we can.

Also big bucks are only killed around corn during the rut, only because that’s where the does are.
I’m with you except on the corn during the rut. They will hit it all year. I’ve had mature bucks hit my feeders in daylight multiple days a week every week of the season. It’s stupid easy to put out a site just before the season and kill him first week of the season. Bucks are stupid about 2 things. Does and corn.
 
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Wind Gypsy

5 year old buck +
Some funny stuff going on in ND about bait right now.. Hunters are so angry about the possibility of losing baiting there are calls to disband the G&F. Sad state of affairs.
 

omicron1792

5 year old buck +
I’m with you except on the corn during the rut. They will hit it all year. I’ve had mature bucks hit my feeders in daylight multiple days a week every week of the season. It’s stupid easy to put out a site just before the season and kill him first week of the season. Bucks are stupid about 2 things. Does and corn.
Man there is so much hunting pressure for me in alabama I never see mature bucks in fields or feeders in daylight outside of rut. I see lots of young bucks do it.

Where I have to catch good bucks outside rut is pathway too fields, they usually start walking 30 minutes before dark but don’t step into open until dark.
 
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