Country Minute: Managing your Hunting Land
James Cole, Vice President of Lending
GreenStone hunting land management


Regular firearm hunting season is just around the corner for both Michigan and Wisconsin hunters. As you’re out and about, you might use the quiet time to evaluate your property and consider these land improvement tactics to get your hunting land in tip-top shape for the future.


There are four things to keep in mind with hunting land management to harvest the perfect buck: a food source, water source, proper coverage and the ratio between does and bucks. 


1. Food Source
In order to maintain wildlife, like you and I, they must have something to eat. Some land doesn’t naturally have the right mix of options for the wildlife you want to attract and you will have to grow it yourself on a food plot.


Different foods may attract different types of animals. If you’re hunting for deer, consider growing things like barley or rye. 
These days, you don’t need any fancy tools or tractors – many manufacturers produce seeds that you can throw down and they’ll grow into a garden for your wildlife.


2. Water Source
Once your wildlife is fed, they will also need a drink.


If a pond or lake doesn’t already exist on your hunting property, you will need to create a source of water for wildlife to drink. 


Low-lying patches of land can be dug deeper so water fills up the space. You can also install a liner in these areas to make sure they remain puddles of water for the wildlife.

3. Coverage

Animals like a place to hide and sleep. For their own protection, deer will not typically settle down in an open field space. 


Evergreens and trees are good additions to provide more coverage on your land. If your land already has trees, you may even consider knocking some over so deer have a place to hide. 


Another option for open spaces to allow open fields to grow weeds and grass as coverage for the animals. 


4. Maintaining a Ratio
While the goal is to attract wildlife, having too many can be equally problematic. For deer, you’ll want to try to keep the ratio of does and bucks close to 50/50, if possible. Too many deer means the food supply will be slimmer and bucks won’t stay.


If one of your goals is be rewarded with a trophy buck, you may want to consider deer management practices, such as only harvesting deer of a certain size to allow younger bucks to mature.


When sharing your hunting land with other people, talk with them ahead of time about your expectations for the land, and what wildlife should and should not be harvested. 


Getting Started
All these tips should be considered early in the year, well before hunting season begins to make sure the property is ready and the animals are comfortable so you’re ready for a successful season. It is also important to reevaluate your practices before each season to determine what is best for the wildlife health and population on your land based on what you have and have not tried. 


There are plenty of perks to owning your own hunting land. If you haven’t made the purchase, you might consider these benefits for future ownership. Learn about a few of the benefits of recreational land ownership in this blog


GreenStone makes purchasing hunting land easy. Get started by checking out these frequently asked questions or connect with a local expert by calling 800-444-3276.



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