A Guide to Maximizing the Potential of Your Hunting Land
One important thing to understand when it comes to maximizing your land’s potential is that it’s done one step at a time. It’s almost impossible to do it all at once. Well, you can, but then you sacrifice the level of quality at which you’ve done it.
Indeed, if you want to bring your hunting land to its full potential, you have to value quality over quantity. For example, if this season you can afford to or have time to do one or two things to level up your land, do them solely, but do them right.
This method will bring results over time, and before you know it, your hunting land’s potential is increased to the max. Divide your plan into smaller parts and accomplish one single goal at a time. You need to realize that not all goals require the same amount of money or time. Some take a few hours, some a few days. Then there are the ones that need constant care and attention, so they never really end.
To amplify your land’s potential, you need to take into account different aspects. For instance, your hunting and location plays a huge role in its potential. So do many other things.
Adhere to this guide to maximizing the potential of your hunting land, and you’ll achieve your goals in no time.
Plant Food Plots
Food plots can be a great source of food for the deer traveling on your land. Planting them will significantly increase the potential of your hunting land. That being said, you have to bear in mind that food plots fall into the never-ending goal category. It’s true; they require continuous management and a lot of attention.
If your land doesn’t yet have food plots, don’t waste another second - make a plan for planting them. This entails collecting a soil sample and testing it to see if it’s suitable for planting. If not, you’ll need to treat the soil before you can start to plant anything.
Once the land is ready, it’s time to decide which seeds you want to plant. Luckily, there’s a wide range of options available, from oats, wheat, and alfalfa, to turnips, sugar beets, and sunflowers (and many, many more).
For your plots to attract deer, you need to plant them carefully and strategically. It pays to know that deer are attracted to food plots in daylight if they are smaller in size. For this reason, it’s incredibly beneficial to plant a bunch of smaller plots instead of one large plot.
Be careful, though; you don’t want to exaggerate the number of plots. Only 2-5% of your hunting land should be covered in food plots.
Why are food plots so important?
Namely, food plots are an economical source of food for all wildlife on your land, and if you take care of them properly, they can really pay off in the long run.
Create A Watering Hole
To fully maximize the potential of your hunting land, you have to make it a haven for all the wildlife traveling through it. Many animals, deer, in particular, will keep coming back to the source of water on your land. If there aren’t any, make sure to dig some watering holes. How can you do that?
Dig a hole approximately the size of a farm stock tank or a kid’s pool and pile up some rocks and logs. This way, you can dam up the streams that would typically go dry. Naturally, large ponds would be a better option than these mini ponds, but they require a lot more time and money. Creating a vast watering hole is a serious project that you shouldn’t begin unless you have the means to finish it.
Whether you create a new watering hole or there’s already one on your land, don’t forget to upgrade it. Many plants, including conifers, shrubs, or low growing trees, will do the job.
By thickening the cover near a watering hole, you’re ensuring the visitations from the deer traveling through your land. They will even feel safe to drink from it in the early morning when there’s enough light for a perfect shot.
Create Strategical Travel Paths
Before getting to the strategic part, make sure to clear all the travel paths on your hunting land. This includes getting rid of all the rubbish, the overgrown bushes, briers, fallen branches, and so on.
Doing this will allow you to move quietly during your hunt. Not only that, but it will also mean you have a backup plan in case worse comes to worst. Say something unexpected happens, and you have to switch your planned route. This way, not a lot can catch you off guard.
But this is not the only advantage of clearing and creating travel paths. If you think strategically, they come with many benefits.
It’s a well-known thing that deer like to take the path of least resistance and make it their own. Practically speaking, there’s a considerable chance deer will take over the cleared up travel paths. This also increases your chances of intercepting a large buck early in the deer hunting season.
Furthermore, you can plant a few shrubs or pines along travel paths to flesh out a potential whitetail route that lacks a cover. This way, you ensure that, besides small bucks, mature bucks will also feel secure enough to use a well-covered path.
Make A Sanctuary For the Deer On Your Land
This one perhaps sounds a bit unconventional, but it’s worth a shot. By planting a few clusters of pines and cutting down some low-value trees, you create a sanctuary for the animals on your land. They can use it as a bedding area - a place they feel safe to rest their head. Make this zone off-limits for travel, so the deer consider it a human-free sanctuary. What’s more, the coziness of the area will provide deer with much-needed warmth during cold winter months. As for the size of the so-called sanctuary - the larger you can make it, the better.
All of these are steps you can take to maximize the potential of your hunting land. Of course, there are countless more small things you can do, but they all come hand in hand with the ones listed above.
Arm yourself with patience, bring your hunting land to its full potential, and get ready for the most triumphant hunting season so far!