3 Essentials for Great Hunting Land!
Deer like most wildlife species spend most of their time in what we call Edge areas.
These Edge areas are basically the place where the Three Essentials of all Wildlife Habitat exist, Food, Water, and Cover.
If you understand these essentials and how they apply to Whitetail Deer, and have them on your land then the deer will stay here.
In this part of the country, water is seldom a problem with plentiful wetlands, ponds, streams, lakes and puddles just about everywhere.
In the event that you do not have any water nearby, it won’t take much for us to create a pond for you.
This is an important consideration to understand and understand well, and consider that deer have certain foods that they can eat during the summer and others that they can eat in the winter.
If their populations get too high, it is easy for them to deplete these foods and spend the winter starving.
During the summer months they do well with forbes and grasses along with lots of agricultural crops.
During the winter, their diet changes and grasses are no longer going to keep them going; this is the time when they start out with acorns and other nuts along with twigs and buds.
In the Northern counties the snow and lack of oak trees means that their diet is especially dependent on young growth (they love clearcuts).
Often times we will find deer starving if there numbers exhaust the supply of these young twigs and mercy drops of hay will not help as their digestive enzymes cannot properly digest this in the winter.
Cover serves two purposes, both as a place to hide and as a place of protection from the elements.
During the summer, fawn predation is a big problem so good dense hardwoods are great places to stash the fawns while mom goes off to eat.
And during the winter thermal cover, such as a Pine, Spruce or Hemlock forest are welcome sites for deer as these places will generally be at least 10 degrees warmer and the wind-chill is cut down here too.
Now that we have lightly covered the big three, let’s talk about a few highly desired combos.
During the winter, travel is difficult and uses up many calories so deer would prefer to have a nice aspen clearcut right next to a dense conifer stand. Of course this is not always possible, but the closer we can get to this the better.
During the summer, we can create openings and plant all kinds of goodies for them to munch on or we can buy a forested parcel right next to a farmer who is already growing tasty treats.
The key is to have the cover as close to the food as possible.
So to maximize this habitat we not only need to make sure we are covering all of their needs, but we need to have good travel lanes or trails going between Food, Water and Cover, and if you do your trails right, they can also be a great place to plant additional food (we generally plant our trails down with clover).
If you would like any help in finding the perfect wildlife haven or in creating one, give me a call, I can help.