Are you looking to make some habitat improvements on the properties you hunt this year? There are a number of chores that’ll benefit the property you’re hunting, but below we’ll shine light on a handful of the top improvements to make this year according to habitat guru, Jeff Sturgis.
Cover Screening for Concealed Access
Are you getting busted on a regular basis on the walk in or out from the treestand? One of the best means of going undetected is to plant cover screening along access to your treestand or blind. Conifer screening and switch grass screening is a great way to make it happen. When these grow to potential, you’ll have a wall of concealment to help you go undetected from deer that may already be in a field or open woods.
One of the easiest, and least expensive, improvements you can make to your hunting property is to drop trees for bedding area improvements. Wide open woods are beautiful, but rarely do they provide the type of cover a deer prefers to hang out in and bed. Hinge cutting trees can provide the perfect solution to developing cover on your farm that will provide suitable cover, browse, and bedding for the local deer herd.
Build a Water Hole
If you’re hunting on property with limited access to water, the addition of a water hole can be a great off-season improvement to make. Use a 100-gallon (or larger) stock tank in known areas of deer travel to provide your herd one of the basic necessities of daily life in the deer woods. Tanks placed flush with the ground provide a more natural offering than an elevated tank sitting above ground. Yes, deer will eventually get use to using a raised tank, but they’ll more comfortably approach and use the tank that’s placed in a hole.
Add a Mock Scrape and Vine
As noted in the video above, the mock scrape is something a deer will use all year long. Few other tricks and tactics draw a deer over and over like a well-placed vine hanging for a deer to return to and leave his scent. This is a site where deer will leave scent from the pre-orbital gland as a means of communication across the herd. Hang a vine at a mock scrape with a camera mounted close by and watch the activity that it draws from the local herd.
Knock out the chores mentioned above and experience a dramatic change in the deer activity on the property you hunt. Aside from planting trees, most of the necessary improvements will cost nothing more than some sweat equity in the off-season. Make the investment now and watch the rewards come your way this fall.