3 Ways to Reduce Hunting Pressure
There are many ways to minimize the pressure on your hunting land. Let’s look at three distinct categories: offseason tasks, habitat work, and hunting applications.
Depending on where you live, riding a four wheeler or Textron side-by-side can be a great option to reduce the hunting pressure when you’re checking trail cameras, refilling feeders, or simply looking around your property. It seems counterintuitive, but since deer may be used to this activity in your area, they won’t view it as a threat (categorized as non-predator) – as long as the machine keeps running. When the engine dies and you get off or out, you’re suddenly a human predator again. An even better option is to ride in your Chevy truck, since deer are very used to vehicles and don’t pay them much notice. Obviously, this one is more feasible for agricultural areas or places you can easily access with a vehicle.
“I feel like steady normal pressure of feeding deer at stations helps deer associate humans and equipment with potentially the smell and normality of having easy access to tasty food. Keeping these offseason tasks steady until bow season can really help when it is time to drop the hammer. Couple these stations with trail cameras to get an inventory and what bucks are coming in regularly to the stations can be deadly! In areas where feeding is not legal to hunt over, feed in areas that is or will be food in the future. These areas could be a fruit tree, persimmon tree, oak flat, or a food plot.” – Michael Waddell
A very popular method that keeps deer on your property year-round is to designate a whitetail sanctuary. Unless you need to access it for some habitat maintenance in the offseason or retrieve a deer during the season, this sanctuary is strictly off-limits to humans. Deer feel safe in this zone since they never encounter people there, and it serves as a home base for them to branch out to the rest of your land. Locate it in the middle of your property for the best chance of seeing deer during daylight in a Hawk® tree stand location elsewhere. The Cruzr™ Bone Collector™ hang-on stand is a solid and dependable option to hang in a few key travel corridors on your land. This will also allow deer to travel from the inside of your property, staying as far away from the hunting property boundaries as possible.
During the offseason months, it’s also good to tackle some habitat projects. If your property consists of 95% agricultural fields or 95% open woods, it might as well be a deer desert. Sure, they will use it at certain times of the year, but it doesn’t have the right diversity and edge habitat that whitetails need throughout the year. Deer require mature forests for mast, young regeneration for browse and cover, and conifers for winter thermal cover. Enlist the help of a professional forester/biologist who can advise you on timber cuts or tree plantings. You can tackle as large or small of a project as you want, and even cutting a few select trees to open up the canopy or feathering the field edges a bit helps.
“Always stay out of bedding or sanctuary areas, figure out where deer move to and from these areas for feeding and keep the wind in your favor. Don’t hunt just to be in the woods. Make smart decisions on where and when to go based on wind, food sources, and the deer activity during daylight hours. If you’re only getting night pictures on your trail cameras, then wait until the daylight or hunt the edges of the best cover so you can get in and out of the stand undetected.” – Click Here…