Land ownership patterns throughout many areas of the whitetail’s range are composed of smaller acreages. These small properties can be effectively and strategically managed and improved for deer hunting.
The first step is to identify if food, water, cover or security is the most limiting factor in the neighborhood. I do this by combining information gathered from using Google Earth and driving around the neighborhood.
If one of these critical habitat elements is limited in availability, I begin by establishing that resource on the property I have permission to hunt. I also attempt to determine the amount of hunting pressure locally, and how that might impact deer activity in the neighborhood.
I also ensure that when I hunt the property, my approach to the stand doesn’t alert deer to my presence. That often means approaching using a non-direct route, such as walking the border halfway around the property so I can approach with the wind in my face.
Don’t forget that the smaller the property, the more critical sanctuaries may be, too. Deer need an area where they always feel secure – especially during daylight. By providing a sanctuary or security area on the property where you hunt, deer are more likely to spend the daylight hours there. Creating habitat that attracts deer during daylight is a huge improvement to any property.
Editor’s note: Be sure to check out Dr. Grant Woods and his popular on-demand web series that shares current information about deer hunting and deer management. The free videos focus on what the Growing Deer team of experienced hunters and deer managers are doing in the field week to week, including action-packed hunts, proven hunting strategies, habitat management, food plots, trail camera techniques and the gear it takes to get it all done.
Image by Dr. Grant Woods