I hope you’re all out and about upland, waterfowl, or small game hunting–heck, some of you may still be pursuing big game. While we’re finished with big game here in Colorado, we do have small game to pursue and are making plans for the fields come springtime.
Today I have a guest post for you. Chris from Hunting Locator, “one of America’s most reputable sources of info on hunting opportunities, be it for hunting deer or other game” reached out and asked if I’d like to share one of his articles. Since we’re praying for snow, rain, or some kind of moisture to come, and we’re planning our crops, we wanted to learn what Chris had to say about “Creating a Management Plan for your Hunting Property.”
Creating a Management Plan for your Hunting Property
Presented by Chris at Hunting Locator
When it comes to creating a management plan for your hunting property, there are a few things you have to consider. The first thing you need to be aware of is that management plans are like fingerprints – no two hunting properties have identical plans. They will inevitably differ in usually more than one aspect.
Be that as it may, you need to adhere to a handful of general steps when making a
management plan for each and every hunting property. Mind you, a triumphant management plan takes into account all aspects of hunting land. That includes everything from animal population and food plots to camping locations. Basically, if something has a negative or a positive impact on your hunting experience, you needn’t forget it.
Whether you’re planning to hunt or lease your hunting land, as long as you stick to these few essential steps, making a management plan for your hunting property will be a piece of cake.
- List the existing property features
To make a concise management plan, take a little tour of your old or newly acquired hunting land. Make an abridgment of all the features it has so you can, later on, create an inch-perfect plan. Don’t forget to include all the different habitats, deer that travel on your land (how many, which size, etc.), primary and invasive plant species, watering holes, food plots, roads, trails, and so forth.
- Plan a property layout
Once you have a full list of all the property features, it’s time to create a property layout. The easiest thing to do would be to print out an image of an aerial view of your hunting land. That way, you can mark the property lines, label all the food plots, stands, watering holes, and all trails and paths.
Get a better idea of animals on your property – learn how and when they move, which trails they use, where do they sleep? How many are there? Are there any natural food sources, and when do the animals frequent them?
Mark all the things that will be beneficial for your future hunts. Not just those, make sure also to include all the obstacles that may come your way. By doing so, you’re prepared for anything unexpected.
- Plan your game management
Sometimes, no matter how well you do everything, you can still have an unsuccessful hunt. That’s because you probably failed to set up a plan for your game. That’s right, creating a plan for harvesting deer is just as important as all the other steps.
Ask yourself the following question – What ratio of does-to-bucks do you need to take to balance it all out?
Furthermore, if you have trail cameras and you’ve targeted a deer with poor genetics that needs to be taken out, make sure to put him on your hit list.
- Manage the food plots
When making a property layout, you should figure out where the food plots are or where you want to plant them if there aren’t any. You may or may not know this, but food plots actually require a lot of attention and proper management.
Firstly, you need to test the soil and see if it’s suitable for planting the plots. If not, it needs to be treated to make it suitable. Figure out which seeds you want to grow. There’s a myriad of options: alfalfa, wheat, oats, sunflower, and many more.
Calculate how much of your land will be covered in food plots. Also, make sure to know the exact size of the plots you’ll plant. You don’t want them to be too big since the deer are more likely to come to food plots during daylight if they are smaller in size.
- Make an annual plan
Some things take time, and you can’t expect your property to have all you’ve planned for it in a month or two. Still, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dream big as every hunter does. Create annual plans for your hunting property and divide it into smaller chunks that are doable for a reasonable amount of money and time.
You might only be able to plant one or two food plots this year, but don’t give up. Make plans for future plots – where might they go? Which seed do you want to plant next?
Adopt this mindset for everything regarding your hunting property, create a successful management plan, and have the most bountiful season ever!
Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and a range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to outdoors, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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