"Put the Power of Television advertising to work for you"

post

Successful Food Plots By Gary Howey

  When it comes to food plots and mineral licks, some believe the best time to plant them is in the spring and there is no doubt that spring plantings are beneficial, as long as the wildlife does not eat or destroy it before the cold weather arrives.

  Any food plot, as well as mineral licks, no matter when they are established can be beneficial to wildlife, but it needs to be available throughout the year at those times, when wildlife most needs it.

  For me, I have tried both spring and fall food plots, but after several disappointing spring plantings that were devastated by deer, turkeys and other wildlife before winter, I decided that late summer or early fall planting, those put in late July and August worked the best for me.

  Just like any planting in order to do well, come up and used by wildlife when archery season opens, they need decent timely rains.  With good weather conditions, there is a good chance that at least some of it will be available after the rut on into the winter.

  There has been a lot said as far as the good and the bad when it comes to putting in food plots.

  On one side, there are those who believe there is no need for food plots, believing that there is plenty for wildlife to feed on and they do more harm than good, while on the other side, there are those who feel food plots are something important wildlife and needed, especially in our northern tier of states.

  To me there is no doubt that good food plots concentrates wildlife. Making it easier for predators to find the game, but their benefits, especially during our cold tough winters, after the rut when bucks are worn out and later when does are carrying their fawns, when other good food sources are gone, or unavailable, is when wildlife suffers. This is when wildlife needs a place to feed, when having established food plots outweigh the disadvantages.

  I feel that any food plot, whether it was planted in the spring or in the fall, if put in properly and established correctly serves its purpose, giving upland game, deer and other wildlife the help needed when other food sources are gone.

  The important thing is to establish your food plot in proper locations and that you put them in properly.

  Just like anything else from a business to food plots, the important thing is location, location, location. Food plot locations should be close by and easily accessed by wildlife, especially during the winter.

  They need to be in close proximity to the area where wildlife lives! During the winter, wildlife has very little energy to waste and if they leave cover and travel a long distance to get to a food plot they use up valuable energy, exposing themselves and more susceptible to attacks by predators.

  The closer a food source is to where wildlife beds down or roosts in winter cover, such as sloughs, CRP and wooded areas the better their chances of survival will be. [Read more…]

post

Pre-Season Scouting The Key to All Hunting Success By Gary Howey

  If you are in the process of planning a hunting trip, the first question you may ask yourself is where do I start my hunt?

  Even if you have hunted in the same area for years, things will change from one year to the next. The cropping system may have changed, high water may have altered the terrain, the ownership of the land changed or disease could have eliminated a better part of the wildlife.

  So, each year, prior to the season, I like to put myself one up on the game, no matter what I am after, I need to do some sort of scouting, to spend a little time in the field before the season..

  You do not have to be a rocket scientist to scout an area and figure out what the game is doing.

  One excellent way to see where the deer, turkey and other game are located is to use your eyes; scouting with your binoculars as it allows the hunter to check out the area without spooking any game.

  This can be accomplished no matter what species you are after, as all wildlife needs to feed and if you can locate their food source, you can be there before they leave their bedding area or roost.

  If it is waterfowl you are after, you will need to look for them in the field just before it gets dark as chances are unless they have cleaned out the field or been pressured hard by hunters, they will be back around sunup.

  All waterfowl have a tendency to feed in the early morning and later in the afternoon unless the weather is extremely warm.

  When it is warm, geese do not need much feed as they do when it is cold, so they may feed only once during the day.

  Scouting for spring turkey is done in much the same fashion except the terrain the turkeys live in is a lot rougher.

  In the spring, I try to make the most use of my time in the field, trying to accomplish several things with each trip.

  I am not just looking for turkey sign, but I am also on the lookout for last year’s deer sheds.

  Late winter, just before spring arrives is a perfect time to scout for turkeys as they bunched up, as all wildlife will bunch up into large flocks or herds when it is cold, close to their food source.

  A flock of turkeys leaves lot of sign, so locating areas that turkeys are using in late winter and early spring is simple!

   Turkeys are scratchers, so they turn over leaves, manure and sticks always looking for a tender shoot, small insect or waste corn to eat. By looking over their scratching, you should be able to tell in which direction they moved. [Read more…]

post

Food Plots Doing it Right by Gary Howey, Josh Anderson & Mitchell Sudbeck

  With the weather as cold as it is, you may not be thinking about food plots and minerals licks.       When in fact, this is the perfect time to think about them as this is the time of the year when it may be too cold to go ice fishing or calling predators, yet it is the perfect time to go on line and learn about how and when to put them in.

  My web site www.outdoorsmenadventures.com contains those from Mossy Oak Biologic, which have valuable information on foodplots, as do the numerous You Tube videos.

  I have hunted over food plots throughout the United States and Canada. I believe when temperatures start to drop and other food sources are buried under the winter snow that this is when foodplots are most important and needed.

  Food plots, if planted properly and there year round, spring, summer fall and winter, give wildlife-needed food especially after the crops are gone.

  As most of you know, the rut is hard on deer, especially the bucks as they are running all over the country, looking for receptive does and fighting any-and-all bucks they run into. This consumes much of their energy and body fat, that which is needed to survive the winter months.

  If food plots are available during the winter after the rut, they give all deer, especially the bucks; help to survive the long cold nights ahead.

  Winter is also hard on the does and fawns and any additional food they get will help the pregnant does to have healthy fawns and those fawns to make it to spring.

 No matter what mass merchandiser catalogs, web site, sporting goods store or sporting goods department you look at or are in, you are going to see tons of food plot seed.

  I have tried numerous brands and varieties, all which have worked, but some were better than others were.

  I let the deer, turkeys tell me what they liked best, With the game cameras we have out, it became apparent the deer and turkey in the area I hunt during the spring and summer like rye, clover, rape, chicory and oats. In the fall, I plant my fall and winter foodplots to wheat, beans, Brassica, corn or Milo as many of these are not covered up with snow and still available to wildlife above the snow cover.

  I am not saying others will not work; those I mentioned seemed to do the best job of feeding turkey, deer and other critters during different seasons.

  There are several things to consider before establishing a food plot including time of planting, rainfall, location and soil type.

  From what I’ve read and planted, there are two ideal times to plant a foodplot  depending on the Spring weather spring would March 1 through May 15 is a good time to put foodplots in the spring and in the fall it would be August 1 through September 1.

  Some folks believe that the area they is not large enough for a food plot, no true, as even the smaller food plots are beneficial to some wildlife. On the other hand, they might think the area they would like to put a food plot would be too hard to get into.

  If you have access to an ATV or UTV, like the Honda Pioneer I use, you have the biggest part of the problem solved as they can get into some very tight areas.  You do not have to look far to find here are a manufacture that makes the pull behind equipment needed to put in a food plot. If you do not have a four-wheeler, there are other options available.

  My smallest food plot, which was in close proximity to several other larger plots was one twenty yards wide and forty yards long, not really all that accessible to larger equipment, so we put in with a garden tiller and my Honda Pioneer and as small as it was, it was one of my most productive plots.

  Where you plant a food plot is important, as the location you choose is a very big factor when it comes to its success. If you want to establish one to hunt over, of course, you will want it within clear view and close proximity to your stand or deer house.

  If you are planting a plot to feed deer, increase body size, promote overall herd health and improve their antler mass, select a site that is isolated. A secluded, undisturbed area will draw more wildlife to the plot, allowing wildlife to travel to and from it without fear.  

  They work best if they are close to the animals travel route and close to cover, making it easier for them to get to the food plot without using up a lot of energy. Deer, especially the bucks can be in tough shape after the rut and the less distance they travel to get nourishment the better. The same goes for turkeys, if they need to come out into the open in order to get to food, they are more visible and easier for prey to find.

  Establishing a food plot does take some time, but if done correctly, the work you put into it is rewarding.

Below, you will find some of the things I did when I established my foodplots.

Soil Testing

  The first thing and perhaps the most important thing you will need to know is the fertility of the soil; to do this, take a soil test, as it  lets you know what nutrients and PH you need to add.  I picked up my soil test kits from our local Central Valley Ag in town and had them test the sample, that way I knew what I should incorporate into the soil in order to make it successful.

Seed Selection

  Seed selection is very important, as you want to make sure the seed you are planting is one that will grow well up north and tolerate our winter temperatures.

   Numerous companies including Mossy Oak Biologic, Hunter’s Specialties, Whitetail Institute, Tecomate,  Evolved Habitats and others all offer the seed type that grows best in your area.        

Weed Control

 Weeds could be your biggest problem and killing them first, will be an important step towards getting your food plot off to a good start.

  On all my plots, the first thing I did was to spray them with Roundup using a hand, backpack or a sprayer mounted on my Pioneer.

Site Preparation

  Next, you will need to prepare the site using a tiller on the smaller plots or a disk and harrow on the larger plots and then to drag it, creating a smooth seedbed.

  Once you have a smooth seedbed, it is not a bad idea to let things settle down for ten to fourteen days to see if new weeds l appear and then reapply your  herbicide as needed. Once you re-spray, hold off for a week to ten days before planting your seed.

  Fertilizer Application

When you establish foodplots properly in areas where deer’s travel, they will visit and feed there. If there are several trails that intersect, that the deer use to get to and from your foodplot, it is an ideal place to hang a deer stand. (Josh Anderson Photo)

  Once the ground is prepared, is the time to apply fertilizer spreading it, depending on the size of the foodplot with a hand spreader or one mounted on your four-wheeler? You will want to make sure you get all of the clods broken up, making for a smooth seedbed.                                                                           

 Planting

Next, you will want to spread your seed using a hand or four-wheeler spreader. When seeding, be sure to plant in two directions as it helps to make sure you to cover the entire plot.

  Then, work the seeds into the soil, do not make the mistake many hunters and that I have made, burying the seed too deep, as smaller seeds such as clover, Brassica or chicory only need to be planted a ¼” deep. Smaller seeds have less packed into them and need to germinate and get to the surface to grow, unlike the larger seed, which you can bury up to 1/2″ deep

  Then it is time to pack the soil for a firm seedbed, done by using a log, wood pallet, heavy drag, or cultipacker.

  As the plot grows, depending on what you planted there could be some maintenance involved, as crops such as of clover or alfalfa in order to make them more palatable to the deer needs to be clipped to promote the fresh growth

               Mineral Supplements

  If you are going to all the trouble to put in a foodplots, why not put in a mineral lick. If you think putting out a salt block that you have given deer all the minerals they need, think again. Sure salt will attract deer, but does not contain what the bucks and does need to prosper.  When a buck’s antler hardens, it is made up of 30 to 35% calcium and phosphorus, so why not put out a supplement that contains these two nutrients. The does will also in need of a higher amount of minerals for milk production to feed their fawns. I have used RAKS minerals for years and have seen the overall size of the bucks’ increase as well as the herd looking better.

  You do not want to pitch the mineral on the ground, cut away the grass and weeds and mix it into the dirt as the deer are used to digging for it. 

  I have had some mineral licks that are tore up shortly after I put them in and others look as if the deer had paid very little attention to them.  If the deer in your area do not need the minerals they will leave it alone and when they need them dig deep to get at it.  At different times of the year, deer will require more minerals, and because of this, your mineral licks may show very little sign of use in some months and a lot in others. It is a good Idea to redo and freshen up your mineral licks from time to time, having it out there when the deer decide they need it.

  Things may not happen as quickly as you would wish with your foodplot and mineral lick, do not panic, give it time and it will take off and be there when you and wildlife need it.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                               

 

 

post

Advantages Of Supplemental Feeding Deer

Nutrition For Your Deer Herd

Providing a year-round source of nutrition for your whitetail herd is very important. Inadequate nutrition leads to weight loss, poor conception rates, lower fawn survival, increased susceptibility to disease…and where it counts to some gamekeepers most – poor antler development and increased mortality rates. Food plots can be vital to a nutrition program, there’s no way a gamekeeper can supply the amount or quality of food than by planting food plots. However, many managers have a difficult time supplying a year-round food source, especially during the winter in the north or in areas where you simply cannot supply enough acreage for the amount of mouths you have to feed.

Providing The Best Nutrients For Antler Growth

Antler growth begins in February and runs through September, but during peak months, mineral deposition exceeds mineral intake so bucks must build up reserves prior to summer. Having a supplemental feed that provides these nutrients is crucial if you wish for your herd to reach its potential.  Even if you have ample acreage in food plots, many choose to supplement their herd all year to ensure they receive everything they need to flourish. It’s very important, however, that you stay committed to your feeding program if you wish to see noticeable results. [Read more…]

post

Herd Status Reveals Best Late Season Hunting Tactics

To know which tactics will serve you best during late season, you need to know the “status” of the herd. Everything will hinge upon temperatures, if you have snow, and whether or not there are does left that have yet to be successfully bred. Frequently there are does that aren’t bred or didn’t effectively conceive during the main rut. If they haven’t been bred successfully, they will come into heat 28 days later. And if it doesn’t happen that time they’ll come into estrus again 28 days after that. And under thriving conditions, it is also possible for first-year doe fawns to come into heat their first time. This may happen anytime from December through February and occurs most often in areas where conditions are good and they have ample nutrition. [Read more…]

post

Creating Funnels

Whitetails are lazy animals and will almost always take the path of least resistance. An example would be a creek crossing. Both bucks and does would much rather cross the creek in a spot where the bank is gently sloping rather than at a spot that is almost vertical. The problem with existing natural funnels is that they are not always in an area suitable for hunting. This is an easy fix. Get out and make your own funnels in an area that suits your hunting needs.

I learned how much deer like to take the easy route several years ago — by accident. Wanting to make a shortcut to get my four-wheeler from my house to an abandoned railroad track, I cut a lane with my chainsaw through a narrow strip of timber for a distance of about 50 yards. It did not take long for the deer to find this “road” and begin to use it religiously to get from their bedding area to a harvested agricultural field and back to bed. I did not cut the trail with the intention of funneling deer movement, but the deer took to it. After noticing all the deer sign, I hung a stand along the man-made funnel. A few days later I killed a nice 8-pointer. Fifteen years later I am still able to kill a deer on this trail.

Here are three surefire man-made funnels that will get the deer moving where you want them to.

Creating Trails

Whitetails are creatures of habit, especially when traveling from food sources to bedding areas. They do not like to deviate much from their routine, but they like to travel along the path of least resistance. The problem with their routine is that it does not always take them by a suitable location for a stand. Hunters can either create trails that deer will eventually use, or they can make existing travel corridors less desirable.

One of the best ways to create a trail is by taking weed whips or a machete to create a path through the underbrush near your stand. Another good choice is mowing or using a weed whip to knock down trails along the edge of overgrown CRP fields. This is best accomplished during the summer months to allow deer time to find the man-made travel corridors and get comfortable using them.

Hunters can up the odds of deer using their preferred trail by making other trails less inviting. Once I have a stand placed within range of the trail I made, I begin to place obstacles on other trails. Logs, branches, limbs and any other obstruction that makes the trail less appealing than the one you made will work. Over time, deer will start to leave the original trail alone and use yours exclusively.

Sometimes all that needs to be done is to bring the deer 10 yards closer for an archery shot. An example of why this might be necessary is if the only good tree for a stand is to the north of the trail in an area with predominant north winds. Rather than risk hunting out of a stand when the wind is not right, block off the main trail. Create a new trail that loops around and brings the deer closer to your stand before the new trail meets back up with the existing trail.

After you have created trails and blocked other trails off, stay out of the area. Resist the temptation to go in and check if your creation, as well as your manipulation of other trails, has taken hold. A few weeks before season begins, go into the area once to check things out and to hang stands or set up ground blinds.

If you find yourself needing to close a trail or open another between hunts, use caution. Always wear knee-high rubber boots and rubber gloves to reduce human scent. Pick a time of day when deer won’t be using the area, and try to keep all noise to a minimum, which means using a handsaw instead of a chainsaw. Do the work as quickly and quietly as possible, and cause as little disturbance as possible. Leave everything looking as natural as possible, and you will have deer walking down the trails you want in no time.

Fences And Gates

Fences can make great man-made funnels. One of my favorite stand sites on my family farm is near a fence funnel. Over the years we have gotten away from raising cattle, but many of the fences are still standing. One fence line in particular on my property separates a bedding area and nearby agriculture field that has either soybeans or corn. In order for deer to get from one spot to the other, they have to cross a small portion of the abandoned cattle pasture and cross the old fence. The deer have one of two options: They can either jump the 5-foot fence, or they can walk about 50 yards and cross through a low spot in the fence that is wide-open. They almost always choose to travel a few extra yards and enter the field through the low spot in the fence without any obstacles.

If the fence on your property is woven, you could cut a 3-foot section out to give the deer an opening to cross through.

Even if the fence is in good shape throughout the property you’re hunting, it’s still possible to make a funnel. If the fence is no longer serving a purpose, as is the case on my farm, it probably will not hurt a thing to doctor it up a bit. If you are not the property owner, make sure you have permission before doing anything drastic. If the fence is made up of several single barbed strands, it takes nothing more than tying the top two or three strands together to make a low spot in the fence. If it is a woven fence, cutting out a 3-foot section should do the trick. Again, always get permission.

Another option hunters have with using fences as funnels is to build a fence. If deer seem to be swinging around the area you are hunting, build a fence to help the deer go where you would like. Keep in mind it does not take a lot of fence to accomplish this. Usually less than 75 yards of a 4- to 5-foot fence will do the trick.

How about a fence row that does not usually have a fence? You know what I am talking about: the boundary lines of two fields that have become overgrown with thick brush, small saplings and thorny bushes. Go in with a machete or a handsaw and make a clearing about 3 feet wide. Now deer will have easy access from one field to the next. These are best made in the corners of fields. If there are no trees in the area that can accommodate a stand, place a natural or commercial ground blind downwind of the funnel.

Open gates also have the potential of being a good funnel. An almost certainty with fences is that they will have a gate somewhere. Here, where I do most of my hunting in the Midwest, fences are usually not too long before they are interrupted with a gate. Gates are needed to allow landowners access to their fields, as well as livestock. If a fence row does not provide an opening for deer to cross through, you can bet they know where a gate has been left open. This a great place for hunters to set an ambush.

If there are gates on the property that you hunt that are always closed, seek permission to open them up. As long as livestock are not living on the property and unwanted people (trespassers) are not an issue, you will probably be granted the go-ahead to open a gate. In order to funnel deer through the gate of your choice and past your ambush, you might need to close other gates on the property.

M2E6L0-0R350B362

Food Plots

Food plots are planted for a couple of different reasons. One reason is to offer nutritional food that is off-limits to hunting — a sort of sanctuary. This type of food plot cannot be used as a funnel. Other food plots are used to draw deer in for a shot, along with providing a food source. Food plots planted for this purpose can be used as a funnel. When hunters or landowners plant food plots that are meant to be hunted over, they should take into consideration where the plot is planted and the size of the plot.

When I plant plots that I will hunt near, I try to make them as close to cover as I can. Deer seem to visit my food plots under the cover of darkness. For that reason, I hang my stands on the trails leading to the food, rather than right on the edge. Hopefully I am able to ambush a buck as he is heading to or from the plot. This might not sound like a funnel, but you are dictating their movement with the food plot. Therefore, a food plot is a man-made funnel.

Another way food plots can be used as effective funnels is by planting a road with food that deer love. A few years ago I logged off several trees out of a tract of timber on the farm. After the logging crews made roads for their equipment through the timber, deer quickly began to use them as their own trails. Thinking I could coax even more deer to use the “trails,” I planted white clover on the road. Before I knew it, deer were not only walking down the road, but also spending a lot of time eating the lush plants that now grew in the road. Since the food plot was surrounded by vegetation, deer would come out earlier and stay later to eat.

The awesome thing about hunting such a plot is that deer are never out of archery range. Set up your stand 10 to 15 yards downwind of the trail so you are not so close that the deer will bust you. Even if you are 15 yards off the trail, the furthest shot will only be about 25 yards.

If you have not had a logging company on your property recently, all you need is a chainsaw, a brush hog, and permission to build your own road — not to mention one heck of a funnel.

Funnels are easy to make where you want them. Take a close look at what you can do to make a path that offers little resistance to deer in the area you’re hunting. It might be as quick as tying a barbed-wire fence together, or as much as planting a food plot on an old logging road. Whatever you do, once you begin to see the results, you will know it was time well spent.

 

 

post

Now you see it Now you don’t By Gary Howey

As legal shooting time begun to fade, the Mule deer buck came out about three hundred yards down in the draw.

My camera operator who zoomed in on the deer earlier indicated it was a good buck, pulling my 25:06 up to my shoulder; I put the cross-hairs near the top of the buck and fired. The buck did not flinch; I jacked another round into the chamber adjusted my scope, fired and when the round hit, the deer hunched up, but refused to go down.

I slid another round into the chamber, adjusted my aim a bit and fired. The buck jumped up into the air, crashed on his right side, kicked a few times, and was down for the count.

We celebrated for just a moment as I headed to the truck to grab my knife, and cleaning gear parked among a group of cedars not far away from the blind.   Before I could get what I needed my videographer hollered, “The deer is gone”. What, it just couldn’t be as I was sure I had hit him twice and put him down for good.

I arrived in Lynch Thursday around noon where I met with my videographer at Ponca Creek Outfitters. It was the end of the week of our Nebraska rifle deer season and there were only three and a half days before the 2017 season closed.

My videographer had been in the area for four or five days rifle hunting and took a nice older whitetail 4 X 4 and after tagging, his buck was scouting the area while looking to fill his archery tag. He had seen numerous deer, both Whitetail and Mule deer bucks, but did not want to shoot a young deer, so he passed on them as his archery tag was good through the end of the year.

While he was hunting, he scouted the area thoroughly, so he knew where the blinds where and had a good idea as to where the deer where bedded.

The first afternoon found us perched on a hill in a blind overlooking an area where several Cedar and Buck brush lined draws came together.

As the sun started to slip away under the horizon, several does with fawns came out and started grazing in the Buck brush.  We were still in the first Rut and I thought because all the does we were seeing, that a buck would be hanging around close by, but as the last half hour after sunset came to a close, nothing appeared; we headed back to the cabin.

The following morning are plan was to set up on a ridge overlooking the Ponca Creek, hoping to catch a buck running around looking for a receptive doe. My videographer had sat there one morning and spotted several deer including a nice buck. He circled the area, getting downwind from the deer trying to get close enough for a shot with his bow. Unfortunately, one of the does the buck was pursuing may have spotted him and they spooked.

We had a great vantage point as we had a large open area below us, with the creek meandering down through the bottom with a huge expanse of open pasture behind it.

On this set, we were unable to see any deer, which was not a good sign as this was during the Rut and if the bucks were not out chasing, it could mean that the first Rut was winding down, which would make hunting tougher.

Later that afternoon, we worked from pasture to pasture using our binoculars to try to locate a buck in an area where we might have the opportunity to do a spot and stalk. We saw but one buck, a good one, but he spotted us coming up the hill and charged out of the pasture up over several hills, never to be seen again.

On my final day, the heavy winds returned, and if it would be, anything like our last windy day would keep deer movement to a minimum. That morning, we went to the north side of the property, setting up in a blind on wide plateau where several deer trails converged up from the draws, all crossing well within rifle range of our blind. Once again, there was no deer movement and for our evening hunt, we would have to find a location where the deer would have the ability to get out of the wind.

Once again, we would be in the hilltop blind above the heavily wooded Cedar draw where we had seen a good number of does the day before. [Read more…]

post

Scent Trail Techniques: Fooling Mature Bucks

When leaving a scent trail in a straight line you’ve only got a fifty-fifty chance the buck will follow the trail in your direction. Half of the time they follow it in the wrong direction, even with a real doe’s trail. They’re searching for the “goodies” at the end of the trail so even if they do follow it in the wrong direction, when they get to where you started the trail and don’t find what they’re looking for, sometimes they’ll follow it back in your direction. It might not happen immediately; a buck may come back several hours later and follow the trail back the opposite way. In fact, some bucks will go back and forth several times on a scent trail, so if a buck crosses your trail and heads the wrong way, don’t give up hope

Figure 8 Scent Trail

A cure-all for this problem is a figure-8 scent trail. Create your scent trail in a large figure 8 and place yourself downwind of the intersection of the 8. This way regardless of where the buck cuts the trail or which way he follows it, eventually he’ll wind up in front of you. You have to use your judgment; this may or may not be the best way for you to leave a trail.  Maybe you’ll make too much of a commotion or contaminate the area too much with human scent to make this tactic work properly, but this method has fooled mature bucks time and time again. [Read more…]

post

Signs, Signs Everywhere is Signs By Gary Howey

  It was opening day of the Nebraska rifle deer season that found me setting on a terrace in a pasture, armed, not with my rifle, even though I had permit, but with my camera.

  I was hoping to get some footage of deer moving through the pasture after being pushed by hunters from an adjacent CRP field and the creek.

   In the three hours I was there, I did not hear a shot and did not see any deer moving. I did have time to read the Yankton P &D, eat several Little Debbie snacks and down a large bottle of Coke, so all was not lost.

  I decided to take a different route home and to see if the tenant who leasing the pasture I had came from and as I made my way in that direction was surprised by all the No Trespassing and NO Hunting signs that started to appear. In fact, a two-mile strip had these signs on every three or four poles and fences.

  As I headed south, the signs continued to appear in fields of picked corn and beans and several over grazed pastures.

  There must have been one heck of a sale on signs somewhere as I counted over fifty NO Hunting and No Trespassing signs in my short drive to town.

  I hope the reason so much ground was posted because of the standing corn still in many of the fields, areas that would have combines and crews working in the fields during the rifle deer season.

  There were two Management Access Program (MAP) fields in the quarter I was hunting, areas where landowners enrolled their Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) into the Nebraska Game & Parks Management Access Program. Landowners enrolled in this program were paid additional dollars for allowing hunters to hunt in these fields.

   The small MAP field where my deer house was located had several others and me hunting there.

  One of the fields was where the tenant had given me permission to hunt and I had built my deer house on the property long before it was enrolled into the MAP. 

  However, after finding several hunters using my deer house hunting over the food plots I had planted, I decided this season, it was time to relocate the deer house to a less crowded area as I wasn’t comfortable having several rifle hunters hunting in around me in such a small area.

  Land to hunt on has became very scarce as when the commodity prices of corn and beans rose there  were thousands of acres of grass; pasture and CRP plowed and planted to row crops, eliminating thousands of acres of habitat.

  Now that the corn and bean prices are low and CRP rental prices higher, we are seeing more acres of CRP and habitat going in, not enough yet to make a big difference in the habitat, but acres that will give wildlife a fighting chance.

  Those limited acres in the CRP and MAP program are going to receive a lot of hunting pressure, but every acre will help.

  A friend of mine has a beautiful tract of CRP along a creek with several wooded areas, this year; the adjourning fields were in beans, so there would be no reason for the deer to be there. However, surrounding his CRP are several deer houses placed right along his fence line.

  He planted food plots, trees and grasses so his boys and a daughter in law would have a place to hunt and on the adorning landowners land there are  deer houses along the fence line facing into the land his sons are  hunting, which would certainly cause me some concern if I were hunting there.

  Areas where there is good habitat may be surrounded by  hunters and even though road hunting is illegal in states such as Nebraska, if there is some habitat where deer might be, it is not uncommon to see vehicles continually driving around these areas.

  When the first CRP went in years ago, we had several thousand acres of CRP with twenty-five miles of town, now I would be surprised if we have three to four hundred acres. [Read more…]

post

TOP 4 TIPS FOR TREE STAND PLACEMENT

Many hunters have questions about tree stand placement. Every situation is different and there aren’t any rules where there aren’t exceptions. However, there are some general practices that will help in most situations when placing a tree stand.

  1. Play The Wind And Thermal

Once you have your general area selected, pay heed to the wind and thermal current in the area. You want to remain downwind or cross-wind of where you think the deer will be. This is the most important of the four.

  1. Use The Available cover

This kind of goes hand in hand with tree stand height – in a bald tree you’re more likely to go higher than in a tree with good cover. Look for trees that lose their foliage late, clusters of trees, or trees with a “Y” in the trunk for concealment.

  1. Pick a Tree That Is Easy To Climb

If you have a great spot, but you alert every deer within 400 yards by making a commotion while climbing your stand, your great spot will go for naught. Use enough tree steps or climbing sticks so you can scale the tree easily, safely and quietly.

  1. Prepare The Site To Make The shot

So you have a good spot, and you have a stand in the perfect ambush tree. What happens if a deer walks through and there’s no way you can take a bow shot? Take the time to trim some shooting lanes or “windows” so you can sneak an arrow through when the “moment of truth” arrives. [Read more…]