The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Add some hard and soft mast trees. Fruit trees. Hybrid oaks and chestnuts. Now is a good time to order for spring plantings. Maybe consider a few acres of switch grass and use it and trees to divide the property into different zones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I would say some native grasses would create a nice bedding area. Zoom out on the map and see what the other properties have and don't have and try to create a place that has what others don't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,617 Posts
what type of grasses or hay is on the fields? come spring id get it mowed and baled. could possibly get someone that would take the hay for cutting it. then you have a place to start. as RrrrGriz said plant some fruit trees. turnip, beets, grasses that deer will eat. you might also talk to a biologist to see what are the best types to plant in your area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,754 Posts
I would not turn it all into a hay field if you want to have good hunting as you said in your own words. Deer spend much more time in cover during daylight than they do in hay fields, just a thought. In my experience, overgrown pastures serve as great bedding and would be best to let continue as such, however I would mow some spots down to turn into hunting plots based on prevailing winds and best stand locations for them, consider your entry and exit routes too, 14 acres is not big, but if you are careful not to spook them coming and going it will hold a few deer.


I also like mowed paths thru such cover a lot for influencing deer movement past you stands, you can improve an existing trail this way, and also create deer movement from bed to feed as well. Given the choice the deer will walk a mowed path more times than not, past your stands perhaps, on the way to feed or bedding.



Just consider your end game carefully, do you want hunting, or a field full of deer you need a spot light to watch? If you maintain it as 14 acres full of food, the majority of the time the deer will be bedding on someone else's property during shooting hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
894 Posts
Just consider your end game carefully, do you want hunting, or a field full of deer you need a spot light to watch? If you maintain it as 14 acres full of food, the majority of the time the deer will be bedding on someone else's property during shooting hours.

Exactly this. First step to this entire process is building a screen along the roadways. Mature bucks don't just hang out in view of the road too often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Lots of great comments here so far. One thing to think about early on is, correct the soil pH across as much of the 14 acres if possible, even if going to let some of it go to fallow. The more beneficial plants and TREES are pH sensitive. It'll be much easier when there's nothing grown up. Looks like it would be easy to hire someone with a buggy to get in there and take care of it for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,866 Posts
I would not turn it all into a hay field if you want to have good hunting as you said in your own words. Deer spend much more time in cover during daylight than they do in hay fields, just a thought. In my experience, overgrown pastures serve as great bedding and would be best to let continue as such, however I would mow some spots down to turn into hunting plots based on prevailing winds and best stand locations for them, consider your entry and exit routes too, 14 acres is not big, but if you are careful not to spook them coming and going it will hold a few deer.

I also like mowed paths thru such cover a lot for influencing deer movement past you stands, you can improve an existing trail this way, and also create deer movement from bed to feed as well. Given the choice the deer will walk a mowed path more times than not, past your stands perhaps, on the way to feed or bedding.

Just consider your end game carefully, do you want hunting, or a field full of deer you need a spot light to watch? If you maintain it as 14 acres full of food, the majority of the time the deer will be bedding on someone else's property during shooting hours.
Good stuff. I'd consider planting some evergreens as a visual barrier with the neighbors property on the west side.

Most of the rest of the land you could manage as "old field succession", letting it grow up, but controlling things, mostly with a brush hog.

Warm season grasses do make nice cover, but establishing them can be tricky, and there is a fair bit of time and expense required.

If you let a hay field like that go for a few seasons, you will probably get a mix of grasses and goldenrod and other forbs.

The goldenrod grows tall and thick and can provide cover much like the warm season grasses. And it usually comes in on its own. No need to till and plant etc.

You will also probably have invasive shrubs such as autumn olive and multi-flora rose, which are very common. And maybe also honeysuckle, and barberry. My advice is to control these invasive shrubs, with the brush hog and/or weed wacker with a brush cutting head, loppers, herbicides...whatever weapons you got. Don't let them take over your land. And if you get tree of heaven (ailanthus) kill them. Don't tolerate even one on your land.

You may also get native trees coming in. Walnuts often come in. Sometimes locusts. Sometimes white pines and oaks. Depending on what's in the neighboring woods.

You'll have to decide how many trees you want or don't want. When they are small, you can just brush hog them down.

Much of the management can be done with a brush hog, to decide how low and grassy you want various spots, or how tall and thick. A patchwork is good.

You want thick areas for cover, but more recently cut areas will be good for shooting lanes, and lanes for both you and the deer to walk, and will have forbs and maybe clover that deer love to eat.

Starting out, think about where your stands will be and your shooting lanes. You don't want to shoot towards the house and road.

Then think about where the cover will be. If there is cover, the deer will stay there during the day. They will bed down in tall thick goldenrod.

As others have said, if it's all open, just short grasses and food plots, the deer will feed there at night, then go somewhere else to find cover during the day.

Liming might be a good idea, but do a soil test first. Penn State only charges about $9 for a soil test. If it's a fertile soil you may not need to add lime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,754 Posts
Exactly this. First step to this entire process is building a screen along the roadways. Mature bucks don't just hang out in view of the road too often.

You got that right. The only portion of my land viewable from the road is my yard, huge difference in how many bigger deer spend day light time on their feet on my land compared to when I bought it and it was more big ag fields. Cover is key in daylight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all your input guys!
Rgrizz - I have a few quads and a utv. I’ve been researching a pull behind brush hog for the utv to manage that. That would lead to buying some type of pull behind tiller to plant some plots.
There’s an apple tree down towards the house, and what looks like peach trees?? That need pruned. The neighboring fields are of same overall state at the moment, over grown. 45 acres that connects to an additional 48 acres. I’m sure the estate will be selling this eventually. I’m considering planting maybe pine trees along that boarder for a visual effect of what’s mine but still up in the air on if that’s what would look best.

In my head I would like to keep the majority of the land up top towards woods thick with some land clearing for paths and plots. That little patch of woods in the picture I figured would be a great place for a stand watching the woods line.

I’ve thought about Dunstan chestnut trees, crab apples right away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I’ve never hunted strictly field edge before. We have a camp with 26 acres near confluence that’s all woods and mountain. It’s been ---- trying to do true scouting and patterning up there with similar food sources and water everywhere you look. I’m hoping to be able to know that at 4:30 pm I’ll see doe and a few small bucks go to my plot or something Of that nature haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Thanks for all your input guys!
Rgrizz - I have a few quads and a utv. I’ve been researching a pull behind brush hog for the utv to manage that. That would lead to buying some type of pull behind tiller to plant some plots.

I’ve thought about Dunstan chestnut trees, crab apples right away.
My 2 cents says the first things to invest in would be a sprayer and a spreader. You can plan a fair number of different food plots without tilling/plowing.
https://www.qdma.com/easy-no-till-food-plots-watch-our-whitetail-weekend-seminar/

If you're going to plant chestnuts, don't feel obligated like you have to get Dunstans. They're the most accessible to buy, but there are plenty of other hybrids that are just as good. Don't be afraid to start chestnuts from nuts too. You'll usually need to order nuts in the fall though. Most places sell out quick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,754 Posts
Good advice from the RGrizzzz there, If you search no till food plots on youtube you can get some ideas too about how to do it with only a small sprayer and some good planning/timing. I have plans to do something similar next year in a cornfield on a pretty big scale.



As far as pine trees I have had the best luck with Norway spruce, the deer tend to not eat them. White pine will be browsed heavily for the soft tender needles. Your mast trees will need protective shelters to keep from getting browsed and rubbed on, even then you will lose some.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OAWC

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,022 Posts
You really don’t need to buy a disc or tiller. I have used a backpack sprayer and then got an ATV sprayer to spray generic roundup. I also use a pull behind craftsman spreader to spread pelletized lime and fertilizer. You can find these cheap on Craigslist for @$50. Than I would drag a spring mattress frame around to scratch up the ground before planting small seeds like clover or brassica and also works very well with winter rye seed. Seed right before rain in the forecast and you would be good to go.

Most important get a soil test done
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,856 Posts
you can also go to a farm auction or farm equipment dealer and get a spring tooth harrow , small in size to pull behind atv and use a box spring mattress as a drag. that is what dad and I use at camp for our small plot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,856 Posts
one other thing , before you harrow it under , spray it with weed killer and wait a few days before you harrow it under , to make sure it is dead
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top