Steve Bartylla talks Making good Great
Trying and failing at scheduling a post for this weekend. Not sure why you’d want to schedule a post for the past, but that’s all I can figure out to do (I have to be missing something). So, since I won’t be posting this weekend and I’ve already got this prepped, here’s a bonus TOD.
One of the things that’s a HUGE advantage for those that control their own ground is the ability to manipulate the habitat to our own hunting advantage. We truly have the power to construct high odds funnels in low impact locations. The advantages to doing so effectively are incredible.
Deer are jumping the fence/crossing the creek 50 yards out of range of the fence or creek crossing you’re cover? Make the crossing you’re covering easier for the deer (cinch the fence to make it easier to crawl under/jump over….Take a shovel out there and make the high bank creek crossing easier/more gently sloped), while making those out of range more of a pain (throw some brush in those other crossings to block them). Does that mean every deer will now use our crossing? Nope, but when the buck you want to tag does you’re still very happy.
A quick and easy method of creating a killer funnel crossing corn fields is merely to drive an ATV across the field, leading the deer from one side to the other, past low impact, high odds stands. Ever try to cross a cornfield against the rows with a stand on your back? It’s a pain. If it’s a pain for you it’s a pretty safe assumption that it’s a pain for that buck with a decent rack, as well. He’s fighting to cross every row. Give him an easy path across that field, connecting where he’s coming from to where he’s going and it’s almost unfair.
One has to be careful to be sure that this isn’t considered illegal baiting in the state you live. If yes, be sure to do this BEFORE the cobs have filled in. To my knowledge, that’s perfectly legal anywhere (assuming you own the crops…try it on random farmers’ cornfields and it’s very likely to end very, very badly). If not illegal, you can wait until the cobs have formed and the deer will feed heavily on that trail, as well. For whatever reason, deer are drawn to corn on the ground MUCH more so than corn on the stalks…If legal, try Bush Hogging a quarter-half acre of corn sometime…THAT is certainly borderline cheating. They flock to it like crazy, but that’s another topic.
This won’t be for everyone, as corn is the most expensive food for deer that I’m aware of and one is leaving $ lay on the ground doing this. However, if you’re willing to absorb that costs, it’s truly a killer tactic.
Also, remember that variations of this can be used nearly anywhere it’s thick enough to be a pain to walk through….create a 32ish” wide trail going through, connection 2 points the deer want to travel between and you just likely created a deer hwy. ALWAYS be creative and NEVER be willing to settle for decent-good when you can build great!