You have a hunting lease and maybe you’ve even hunted on it for years. But, if you are feeling like the deer population is low and hunting season isn’t as plentiful as you would like, there are plenty of ways to completely revamp your leases.
1. Taking Your Ideas to the Landowner
Before going through the other ideas for revamping your lease land, it is always smart to take major changes to the landowner. You don’t want to drastically alter the tree density or approach the neighbors without first getting a feel for what the landowner’s expectations and rules are.
2. Clearing Paths and Thinning
Rather than searching for where the deer naturally tend to go, create paths throughout your hunting lease and create the areas you want them to be. Thinning out the trees for ATV paths and a better balance of nut and fruit trees as well as a food plot is helpful for getting around the land quickly for maintenance and keeping the deer fed.
3. Setting Human Boundaries
About 20% of your land should be a refuge for the deer to invite them on when the pressure is high. This means absolutely no human presence in that part of the land – ever. Set clear boundaries and talk to your neighbors.
4. No Trespassing
For the general public you will want “No Trespassing” signs out by the major roads and entryways to the property. If you have understandings with your neighbors for retrieval or visitation, then simply let them know the signs are up, but not as a warning to them.
5. Working With the Neighbors
It is really important to know where you stand with your neighbors well before hunting season. Even if you’ve had problems in the past, now is the time to try and initiate a healthy relationship that acts as a partnership to get deer in the area and make the hunting season safe and productive.
6. Controlled Burns and Discing
These are both methods that can vastly improve the variety of vegetation, help food plants to thrive and control the brush. Mowing is another way to reduce brush and seed areas that foliage adjustments.
7. Hiding the Traffic
Quick growing pines can be planted along a road that borders your lease land, providing shelter to deer from the noise of the road.
8. Food and Water
The deer will need both food plots and water. They enjoy seed trees, especially oak trees with acorns, and plants like clover, chicory and brassica. If you have the space, at least 3 acres should be converted into the main food plot.
9. Relieve the Pressure
These changes will help relieve the pressure for deer during the height of hunting season, encouraging them to seek refuge on your lease. By controlling the number of hunters allowed on your land, actively providing for the deer needs and offering shelter, you will see an increase in the deer population.
10. Adjusting Your Stand
Rather than searching for where the deer go to place your stand, try placing your stand where you want to go, and then using the placement of food, water and shelter to get them to come to you.
Finally, don’t be afraid to seed and fertilize the land. You can actively cultivate the hunting lease to produce the plants and trees that are best suited for attracting deer to the area.