Since 2012 when I went all in professionally with CDM I have been on over 100 different properties, totaling over 10,000 acres. I've formally written 20 management plans and also implemented 15 of those plus 5 plans written by other consultants. Recently since the plans change so often, between the habitat and local deer herd, a full out written plan is just not practical. My plans are generalized, mapped and followed up together with myself and the client.
I've installed on average 40-50 acres of high quality food plots per year. Currently maintaining 25 acres of perennial food plots. In 2018 alone I had over 200 hours of chain saw time creating bedding, food and cover. I've planted over 30 acres of native warm season grass. Planted over 5000 seedling trees. I prune apple and pear trees in late winter, usually between 50-100 trees. I've manage countless acres of native natural vegetation. I've burned 15 acres of native warm season grass. In 2018 I had a hand in organizing 4 timber sales being the liaison between buyer and client. In 2018 I partnered up with Red Hook Properties to forestry mow and mulch many different properties from creating food plots, shooting lanes to just trail clean up. I built and installed 10 towers for gun blinds since 2012. I've set and installed numerous shadow hunter blinds with steps and numerous tree stands and ladder stands.
Just wanted to give you the update so far. I wish I could start with that classic picture I’m dying for of my Michigan 8 pointer but so far no such luck. That said, I have a lot to be thankful for and I think a lot of that is thanks to your help. The positives thus far:
In 8 hunts so far (3 mornings, 5 afternoons) I’ve seen deer from the stand all but once
I’m not bumping deer on the way out thanks to the new access trails
I’ve shot a 5 pointer (on video, no blood but hair), and a magical 8 pointer (no blood, no hair, no sign at all). The first one I have no idea how its not a dead deer other than I’m questioning my mechanical broadheads. The 2nd one I had my son in the blind with me and he couldn’t get the shot angle so I had to do it half standing while resting my elbow on his head w/ the bow turned at an angle…in short it was a messy shot but one that I’m confident would have had my ultimate goal come true had I been alone in the blind. The 5 was from a new stand I built on the new food trail by the swamp…the 8 was at money pit (the big tall box at the southern edge of the field plot.
After I shot at the 5, before I could even reload an arrow, a beautiful 7 came walking through. I’ve never seen 2 bucks in a sit before…let alone within minutes of each other.
Two of my buddies have seen deer from various stands including an 8 and a 4.
The deer seem to be very happy with the planting choice. In both spots I’ve seen deer grazing their way up and down them. And they seem a LOT less spooky…I’m guessing because we aren’t walking or using that trail for transport
Perhaps most encouragingly I am blown away by the quality and quantity of bucks on the trail cam. Some things for you to peek at when you have time attached.
The list of things to improve and consider for next year is already racing through my mind…and while I’m still a year or so behind where I want to be this is the first signs of really positive trending that has me optimistic to stick to and believe in the plan.paragraph here.