What should I do to attract deer to my 12 acres of timbered land in Tennessee?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
Hello Grant, I live in northern Tennessee. Recently I have purchased 12 acres of wooded land that has been unattended too for quite awhile. The land is in the middle of 220 acres of managed land for whitetail. We have plenty of water from three ponds and a creek. One side of my property is more open woods with the other side about 20 acres being grown up with small and medium size ceadars. I see my land as being in the middle of their bedding and feeding area. They travel threw the area constantly but its mostly grown up with small trees and thickets. So much so it’s hard to find a good stand location. What should I do to improve my land as good hunting ground?


I always start such projects by evaluating the sources of food, cover, and water on the property and neighboring properties.  You mentioned several sources of water and it sounds like there is ample quality cover throughout the area.  

There was no mention of food sources in the property description.  There are probably oaks on or near your property given it’s in northern Tennessee.  So when acorns are available it will likely be tough to pattern deer given a preferred food source will be present throughout the area, even in areas with good cover.  

However, it sounds as if food would be a major attraction for deer during times when acorns aren’t present.  I recommend you start developing some food plots in locations that allow you to approach without alerting deer in the area.  Consider all the access points to your property and areas where the least amount of trees, etc., will need to be removed.  

Small hidey hole plots created with hand tools in areas where at least four hours of sun reaches the soil could be used to attract deer to multiple areas of your property. This would allow you to have stand/blind sites for all possible wind directions.  

Enjoy creation,