Habitat Consultants

Habitat Consultants

No 2 pieces of property are the same, and every property has multiple opportunities to increase the quality of it’s habitat, deer herd, and most importantly, it’s hunt ability.   Size, pressure, latitude, composite, terrain features and on and on make a template style approach unusable.  Steve has designed and manipulated properties all over the Midwest and he knows what makes each area different and alters the plan accordingly.  The swamp island bedding habits of northern MN have no similarity to the ridge related bedding of Illinois.  Steve knows what will work in both places, and his aerial photo evaluation can unlock the hidden potential of properties as small as 20 acres.

Photo Based Evaluations and Plans

1)    The client will fill out our questionnaire to provide us with a better picture of their goals, abilities and limitations.

2)    The client returns the questionnaire along with three photos of the property, a topo map and a check for the agreed upon amount ($360 for you), made out to Steve Bartylla.

3)    After review of the questionnaire, photos and topo map, I may choose to conduct a phone interview to follow up with any questions and concerns any of us have.

4)    A photo based plan addressing both habitat improvements and hunting strategies is formed and emailed to the client.

5)    A follow up interview is conducted to address any questions and comments the client may have.

 

Please answer the following questions as accurately and in as much detail as practical. There are no wrong answers and almost always more than one way to accomplish goals. The answers you provide will merely help ensure your satisfaction and that our plan will more accurately fit your goals, desires and limitations.

 

What are your primary goals for your property?

 

What deer seasons will be hunted on this property, how many hunters for each and what is the maximum number of hunters at any one time for each season?

 

How often is this property hunted and by an average of how many (i.e. Generally 3 bowhunters per weekend and a single hunt or two during the week, up until gun season. If I haven’t filled my tag, I may bow hunt a few times late season, but generally no one else. For gun season, five hunters opening weekend, no one until 3 on Thanksgiving and generally two the last weekend. No one muzzleloader hunts, but I’m considering it in the future)?

 

Are there any special considerations for any of these hunters (i.e. afraid of heights, physically handicapped, require easy access and so on)?

 

What activities occur on this property, outside of deer hunting?

 

How much does each of the neighboring properties get hunted, referring to each by last name?

 

What is a realistic budget you can spend on making improvements to the property each year, over the next 5 years?

 

What is a realistic amount of time you can spend on making improvements to the property each year, over the next 5 years?

 

How big of bucks typically come from the area each year compared to the general size taken from your ground?

 

As it applies to your own hunting satisfaction, do you feel your deer numbers are high, about right or low on your property?

 

Which is more important, having the ability to shoot the largest bucks or seeing the most deer? Place your answer on a 1-10 scale. Choose 5 for the best balance between the two, with one or ten rendering the other nearly irrelevant.

Deer Numbers                                                                 Biggest Bucks

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

 

 

Do you run trail cameras on the property? If yes, how many and during what portions of the year?

 

What government programs is your land enrolled in, and what limitations do they place on your grounds and the improvements that can be made to them?

 

Are the aesthetics of your woods an important consideration in what can and can’t be addressed in an improvement plan?

 

Are you comfortable using a chainsaw or in a position to be able to hire out the work?

 

Which is more important to you, future timber values on the ground or maximizing deer hunting opportunities?

 

If your property is already being actively crop farmed, how many acres of currently farmed grounds would you be willing to dedicate to either deer food or habitat creation?

 

Are any future plans already made for the ground that must be taken into consideration (i.e. a building location for a future home, large fishing pond planed and so on).

 

Do you foresee any future events that should be accounted for (i.e. would like an area set aside for the growing children or grandchildren to be able to small game hunt, build forts and generally be kids in)?

 

What balance are you most comfortable with between recreational activities not related to deer hunting and practices that benefit deer, such as staying out of the woods, not driving ATVs, small game hunting after deer season and so on.

Focus on Deer                                               Focus on all Outdoors Rec

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

 

Are there any other considerations that you feel we need to be aware of to provide you with a plan that best fits your needs, abilities, limitations and goals?

 

What do you hope to achieve from my services?

 

 

Habitat consultant

Habitat consultant

 

 

Habitat Consultants

Large concentrations of rubs and historically consistent scraping areas

 

Any funnel features (deer crossings on low spots in otherwise high banked creeks, rivers & ditches, brush lines your deer commonly use as connecting features, peninsulas of drier land jutting into swamps, erosion cuts deer wrap around, benches, saddles, anything deer commonly use on your property that encourages concentrated movement)

 

Outline areas of woody cover as Thick (generally can see 30 yards or less at ground level when leaves are present), Intermediate (generally can see between 31-99 yards when leaves are present) and Open (generally can see 100 yards or more)

 

Habitat Consultants

Please us with 3 high resolution images of the property, including a quarter to half mile buffer of neighboring lands. If you do not already use a source for the aerial photography of your property, Google Earth is acceptable (www.earth.google.com). The first photo should be left blank, for our use. If the property is too large to see in detail from one photo, serveral may be used, assuming they are all the same scale.

 

A topo map of the property will also be required, and can be gotten from free of charge from USGS’s site (www.store.usgs.gov). If you have difficulty with this step, we can get it ourselves, after getting the property location and photos.

 

On the second photo, please mark the following as accurately as possible. If you don’t feel you can accurately document something, just skip it. Please do so on the neighboring properties as much as possible, as well. You may either color code these features, providing a key for what each color represents or simply label them:

Food sources, including food plots, ag fields, areas of heavily used natural browse, meadows, concentrated feeding on mast crops (acorns & apples), bait piles and so on.

 

Water sources, such as ponds, water holes or locations on flowing water that deer tend to drink most often.

 

Bedding areas, differentiating between doe and buck bedding areas, when possible

 

Heavily used deer trails

 

Large concentrations of rubs and historically consistent scraping areas

 

Any funnel features (deer crossings on low spots in otherwise high banked creeks, rivers & ditches, brush lines your deer commonly use as connecting features, peninsulas of drier land jutting into swamps, erosion cuts deer wrap around, benches, saddles, anything deer commonly use on your property that encourages concentrated movement)

 

Outline areas of woody cover as Thick (generally can see 30 yards or less at ground level when leaves are present), Intermediate (generally can see between 31-99 yards when leaves are present) and Open (generally can see 100 yards or more)

 

 

Habitat Consultants

Areas void of deer activity (i.e. a bog deer refuse to cross)

 

Property boundary lines for your and your neighbor’s properties, labeling each with a last name

 

On the third photo, please mark the following as accurately as possible. If you don’t feel you can accurately document something, just skip it. Please do so on the neighboring properties as much as possible, as well. Again, you may either color code these features, providing a key for what each color represents or simply label them:

Existing stand locations, noting the general success or lack thereof for each


Jun 30, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: none

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