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I’ve been meaning to sit down and write this out for a while…so here it goes…the story of our camp property, located in the central U.P.
This year we have put in a lot of hours trying to make this property into something. After a couple of years of very limited mature buck activity/sightings we decided to try some habitat improvements. It has been a learning experience already…but mostly it is becoming a new addiction J

History:
We purchased the camp property in the summer of 2010. It consists of 80 acres, two 40’s in an east west orientation. It naturally has quite a bit of diversity; starting with semi-open brushy fields, interjected with evergreens on the majority of the east 40. The west 40 transitions into a cut over stand of regenerating poplar, spruce and a few maples. At the west boundary, there is a ridge that drops into a large swampy area, full of beaver ponds, grasses and small islands of trees. A creek flows from here along the south border of the property. This area is full of mature cedar, as well as stands of tag alder. The north border is mostly a mixture of overly mature softwoods, many of which have blown over and created a mess on the property north of ours. There is also a large 30 to 40 acre tag alder swamp barely off the north property line. The east side of the property is open and tilled, and used as our destination food plot. This area buts up to a large stand of mature hard maple. I should probably mention that the property is at the end of a dead end road, and there is no road frontage, just a half-mile easement to get to the property. Because access is difficult to the area, the hunting pressure is non existent during bow season, and tolerable during rifle.

The first two seasons we hunted this property, we utilized the one existing food plot, and we baited in two locations. Deer movement was good, and there was lots of very early daytime movement, but overall the buck sightings, even on camera, were low. I had one good encounter with a 120 class eight point, but couldn’t close the deal. My dad also encountered that same buck, but was unable to get a shot as well. Moving on to the 2011 season we encountered some issues with wolves in the area. Again there was plenty of doe movement early for most of the season, but buck sign and sightings were lacking.

After the season ended we decided to put a new plan of attack together. We did not want to have to use any bait to keep deer on the property, and we considered baiting as one of the main reasons mature bucks were not comfortable coming on to the property. That being said, we knew food was the key ingredient to success. The deer already have multiple areas to bed within the property (and around the property where no one else can get to). They have easy access to water as well, but they lacked food sources. Following that was going to be access to stand locations and getting in and out of the property clean. With those things in mind, we went to work this spring. We began clearing 5 new food plot areas, all of which were tucked into thick spots between the known bedding areas and the destination food plot. After initially clearing the plots, two of them were planted into clover early this spring.
 

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We also began cutting and enhancing already existing travel lanes for the deer to use. These lanes connect all of the plots and bedding areas on the property. Overall, I’m sure we opened more that a mile worth of travel lanes on the property this spring.
 

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Besides the two clover plots we also opened areas for three others. The largest is ½ acre, the second largest is ¼ and the smallest is approx. 40ft X 80ft. these plots have been limed heavily and tilled/disked several times since spring.
 

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The destination plot used to consist of approximately 3.5 acres, which has been continuously put into Rye for several years. This year we transplanted several spruce trees along the East border to begin a screen area. This is the only property line that we have issues with other hunters getting near. Obviously the spruce screen will take years to be affective, and we will continue to add more trees to the property line each spring to build a nice staggered screen. For immediate effect, we put in Egyptian Wheat in an “L” shaped planting to help the deer feel secure in the destination plot. The “L” shape also allows us to access the property without being detected.
 

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Most recently we were able to get the Destination plot planted, as well as the ½ acre plot. We used a mixture of Rape, Turnip and Sugar beets on these two plots. We fertilized heavily with Triple 19 at planting. For the final two plots we were planning on using a mix suggested by “DblTree” that includes Rye, winter peas, radish and clover. This will not be planted until later in august.
We spent a lot of time moving our stand locations and making them easier to access without being detected. I just don’t have any pictures to prove it!

Well, there. I guess that’s all for now. It has been a lot of fun so far, and I thought I would share with you guys what we’ve been doing. I plan on keeping this post up to date as much as possible throughout this summer, and fall.
Thanks for reading! And on a side note…the brassica plots were seeded two days ago, and it’s raining! Cant wait to see some germination.
 

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It looks like you have a nice beginning of a whitetail paradise. Congrats and good luck.
 

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A good plan and lots of hard work...it looks like you now have all the elements in place to start seeing some great results.

The only thing I can think of that I might do is go into those small clover plots around the middle of August, cut 'em back a bit and then broadcast some rye. This will mean there is still something green for deer to nibble on after the first frost puts that clover to sleep.

Good luck this fall! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. Broom Jm, thats a good idea for the clover plots...thanks! I will already have the rye available since ill be planting the last two plots using it in the mix.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys. Broom Jm, thats a good idea for the clover plots...thanks! I will already have the rye available since ill be planting the last two plots using it in the mix.
Just remember to go in and clip the heads on the rye in the spring, so the clover will get plenty of light in those smaller plots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Checked on the plots today and germination is great on the brassica plots! Also, the egyptian wheat its growing much taller. Im hoping the seeding rate is good on the brassicas...? Ill post a couple pics.

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Congrats on all of your hard work!!! Love to read posts like this!! Sounds like you have your act together.....hope you see tons of deer....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Congrats on all of your hard work!!! Love to read posts like this!! Sounds like you have your act together.....hope you see tons of deer....
Thanks! it had been quite a bit of work...hopefully it pays off. Time will tell.

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Checked on the plots today and germination is great on the brassica plots! Also, the egyptian wheat its growing much taller. Im hoping the seeding rate is good on the brassicas...? Ill post a couple pics.

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Awesome thread!
If you have bare spots in your brassicas you can over seed with rye as well, just adjust your seeding rate according to your germination rate on the brassicas. Variety, variety, variety!
Where in the Central UP are you located? We hunt in the Hulbert area.

T
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Awesome thread!
If you have bare spots in your brassicas you can over seed with rye as well, just adjust your seeding rate according to your germination rate on the brassicas. Variety, variety, variety!
Where in the Central UP are you located? We hunt in the Hulbert area.

T
Thanks qdmaman. We are near trenary, south west alger county.

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Grabbed a quick photo of one of our clover plots while hanging a camera. Looking better everytime I check it.

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