Sanctuary Quality and Location

By GrowingDeer,

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Between my farm and two adjacent pieces of property we have close to 60 acres of woods that border a small river which is to the south of my 180 acre farm.  Eleven acres of this woodlot is mine and borders my marsh.  The only time this area is disturbed is during the deer season, when the neighbors are hunting their piece of woodlot.  Not the best scenario, but the best I have at the present time.  I do not hunt my 11 acres and consider it my sanctuary.  With all of the rain we have had this year the area has flooded several times but drains out within a couple of days.  Will the deer use this area as a sanctuary as it is secluded and does offer some browse and acorns in the fall?



Deer will use almost anywhere that provides cover and protection from being disturbed.  Woods that flood rarely have much vegetative cover at the ground to three foot tall level.  This is the critical cover zone for deer.  If your woods are open like a park, they are not providing high quality cover.  Deer may use it if it’s the best cover around.  However, better cover might reduce their stress and allow them to express more of their antler growth potential.

I typically like to create sanctuaries toward the middle of my property.  This allows deer to feel comfortable during daylight hours well within the borders of my property.  The benefit of this design is that it allows me an opportunity to hunt these deer before they venture to the neighbor’s property.  Deer departing from sanctuaries built on the edge of a property may only bed on my place but instantly venture onto neighboring properties.

Growing Deer together,