What should I do to create the best habitat for deer and turkey hunting?

By GrowingDeer,

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I recently acquired 80 acres from my wife’s family.  We have a very high deer population and at least three packs of coyotes that are on or around our little piece of land.  The land was clear-cut about 5 years ago leaving some good hardwoods and some pines.  There are limited access routes at present but I will be changing that soon.  The property joins over 800 acres of land owned by family and it is only hunted by one family member.  Some of the 800 acres is also clear-cut.  I have 3 creeks that come together on my property then one creek runs into a big government lake situated on family land.  I need to try to groom my 80 acres to make it great deer and turkey hunting ground.  Where can I get the information I need to get started?  I grew up on a farm but I don’t have any equipment yet and I don’t know where to begin.  Please help.



Congratulations on owning land!  I would start by analyzing what critical elements of deer habitat (food, cover, and water) are the most limited in availability on the surrounding properties.  From your note, it sounds like there is plenty of cover (clear cuts) and water (creeks and lakes) in the surrounding area.  However, you didn’t mention any cultivated food?  If there is no food except native browse in the area, then I would start by establishing food plots with high quality forage.  Deer are very selective foragers and will readily use the best forage within their home range.  From what I know about your neighborhood, adding high quality forage may be the best way to make sure the local deer spend a disproportionate amount of time on your property.

Growing Deer together,