There are more wildlife and land management resources for the whitetail deer hunter nowadays than ever before. Luckily, many hunters have realized the importance of managing their property. There are ample products such as trail cameras and food plot seed that can give the deer hunter an edge. With all of the resources floating around, it seems that one can simply do anything mentioned in a magazine or hunting video and experience great results. While this is somewhat true, each property is different and it is important to understand what your property is lacking before beginning the process.
When evaluating your property, the first thing many wildlife experts and biologists recommend doing is determining your limiting factors. A limiting factor can be defined as any major component of your property that is lacking or holding your property back. Many times, this limiting factor has a major impact on your management plan as a whole. In some instances, your deer hunting success hinges on your ability to recognize and correct these limiting factors. In order to experience success, you must be able to identify what wildlife are doing on your property year around. For example, you can establish a plethora of food plot varieties but if there is no security cover nearby, whitetails won’t spend nearly as much time on your property as you’d like. The same goes for turkey hunting. If your property lacks sufficient areas where a hen can nest or a gobbler can strut, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Many times a landowner will exert much time and effort implementing a project such as planting a marginal food plot or setting up feeders, when the same effort could be expended working towards something your property is lacking, such as creating better deer bedding cover. Other types of wildlife can also hinder your deer hunting. Predators such as coyotes, bobcats, and foxes can also have detrimental effects to your deer management. An example of this is a property lacking security for whitetail deer fawns or inadequate nesting areas for turkeys. In order to achieve desirable results, you must find what the weakest sector on your hunting land is and fix that first.
When accessing a property for management implementations, it is important to know what the neighboring landowners are doing. This is not nearly as important as understanding what’s happening on your property, but it should more than cross your mind. The truth is, your neighbor does have an impact on your property, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a negative one. Knowing what’s happening across your property line will only be advantageous to you. In some instances the neighboring landowner is on the same page as you, and you have the potential to work together to achieve satisfactory deer hunting goals. This is the most ideal scenario and results can be more quickly and easily reached this way. The design and implementations of cooperatives are beginning to gain a foothold and many deer hunting clubs, as well as individual landowners, are participating in them.
Not all limiting factors are due to your property lacking something. In some instances the limiting factor is manmade. The usual culprit is deer hunting pressure. No matter how well-managed your hunting land is, if you over pressure your stands, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Whether you are establishing a deer hunting management plan for the first time, or tweaking a pre-existing strategy, you should fully understand what your property’s limiting factors are and what your neighbors are doing. You will surely see the benefits when deer hunting this season.