Plots for Deer or?
couldn’t agree more. You define your goals and the plan to achieve them becomes tremendously easier to lay out.
You also bring up a great point about some decisions being thrown out. The way I see it, every type of improvement listed in this thread (creating “sidewalks,” for example) is a tool in the habitat managers’ tool box, very much like all the tools in a carpenters’ tool box. It’d be silly to try to use all the tools when making a shed, just for the sake of using them. Instead, you lay out your plan for building the shed and use the tools you need to build that shed. In a weird way, it’s the same when building your habitat. I’m never going to plant in thermal cover, make a “sidewalk.” put in a kill plot, create a chase area or anything else for the sake of doing it. I’m going to only use the tools I need to to build the property to match the plan. Doing anything more is most often counter productive.
it’s also very important to remember that you don’t need to look at it as EITHER I’m going to dictate movement on this property OR I’m going to get deer to waste time here, to grow more and bigger deer. One can and often should do both. A common scenario is what I described in the Selective Thickening post. I’m going to get them to waste time “here,” but I can attempt to dictate/encourage how they enter and exit those locations. Frankly, outside of wasting time, what exactly they do/how they move inside is of no importance to me.
In both those locations, it’s possible that they can enter or exit using other routes. However, most often they are going to use one of the funnels I have on either side or they will use the transitional kill plot between the holding plot and the time wasting select thickening cut. So, you’re really getting the best of both worlds.
Based on the plans I’ve been sent for review &/or seen posted here many consultants seem to fall into either “dictate movements” or “time wasters.” Regardless of which camp they fall into, they seem to pump the same generic plan out over and over. That’s fine, I guess, and no doubt some of their clients are happy (which is ultimately all that really matters), but often I believe the best approach is doing both. Be flexible enough to see where each of these “tools” work best and when/where they will do the most good for at least one of your goals, while coming at a very minimal cost to any other goals you may have.
For example, do you really care that you don’t know exactly where Mr. Big was cruising for does in the center of our property, if you are confident that he’ll pass your stand when going to feed or checking the does on the food source a half hour before dark? Does it matter in the least, if you position two more general doe cruising areas on opposite sides of a low impact funnel stand that he is likely to pass when he is done checking the first general time wasting area and heading to the other? now, you have the kill plot for morning and evening sit, with the funnel being a slammer of a morning and midday spot.
It’s great to get bucks to run in circles around the edges of your property. That often makes for low impact stands. Unfortunately, I don’t care how good the circular movement corridor is, they aren’t running those circles 24/7…Just isn’t going to happen. Helping to encourage them to be on your ground when not on the Indy track is at least as important, for those trying to grow more and older deer. At the same time, trying to encourage movement for low impact/high odds stand sites is also extremely beneficial for most. Don’t look at it as an either or. Look at it as where does it fit my goals best to do either and how can I tie both together.
Way more ramblings than asked for or needed, but I do feel that’s an extremely important point.