The two-acre food plot was lush, green, full of forage and meticulously cared for by experienced and knowledgeable hands. Approximately 600’ long, the 150’ wide north/south planting was truly a focus of destination for the local deer herd. The improved bedding areas on both the east and west sides of the plot even further complimented the overall use and attraction for the entire area. The landowner hunted nearby, but avoided hunting the plot for fear of spooking deer, so you would think that the tables were set for a successful foundation for deer hunting on this portion of the property.

I guess if it was that easy, I wouldn’t be using this story within the introduction of this article. There was one glaring problem with the layout, and if you have followed some of my other writings maybe you know what I am about to discuss: the one aspect of parcel design that the landowner was missing involved his lack of defense for potential trespassing concerns.

Well, we are going to have a hard time predicting the whims of a hardened criminal type that carefully plans his attack on your parcel and deer herd, however the bulk of trespassing concerns take place when neighboring hunters encroach on the borders of your parcel to take advantage of deer movements that you have knowingly or unknowingly created. A pair of expensive sunglass sitting on the dash of your car in the supermarket parking lot isn’t too inviting to the vast majority of people when you have rolled up the windows and locked the doors. However, a much higher percentage will take advantage of the situation when you make it easy for them to do so and that is why you need an effective defense.

The landowner above missed the point of a solid trespassing defense and he is not alone, so I’m going to take you through the thought process of several principles of habitat design that will help you to understand my concerns. Movement arrows, paralleling habitat features, and bordering dead zones are three habit features that you can use to drastically reduce the chance of running into any border crossing hunting thief. And toward the end of this article, I’m hoping that I will have provided to you some pretty solid thoughts about why the situation I first described is a certain invitation for unwanted visitors.

To read the rest of this article, click here. Jeff Sturgis is a regular contributor for Michigan Sportsman, an Outdoor Hub Network member. You can visit his site at www.whitetailhabitatsolutions.com.

Photo: davef3138 on Flickr

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