Deer & Deer Hunting

SMALL PARCEL PLANNER

Does size really matter? This particular question seems to be raised in a myriad of conversations and in all kinds of facets. But before you think that I am heading down a road that contains subject matter inappropriate for this article, I pose the question as it pertains to property size and its effect on deer management. With more and more people purchasing and/or leasing hunting properties, land prices have soared, causing most hunters with a modest income (myself included) to buy smaller properties as larger land parcels are simply out of reach. Haggling with your banker about the wisdom of purchasing “overpriced” land for the sole purpose of hunting and entertainment is hard enough when you’re talking about 80 acres, let alone 500 acres (believe me, I speak from experience). Over the past few years, I have talked with many hunters and property managers who are excited about implementing aggressive management strategies on their newly purchased piece of paradise. While they are almost giddy with the prospect of managing their property, their optimism for success often wanes as they fear their property is not large enough to produce the results they are seeking.

Educating oneself on property management for deer isn’t difficult, as there are thousands of pieces of literature, hundreds of books and scores of consultants that can supply valuable information. Unfortunately, most of what you will find references management practices used on medium or large properties. In most cases, even the “experts” have limited their recommendations to medium or large properties. The lack of information regarding smaller properties gives the inference that smaller properties cannot be managed effectively or, at the very most, will produce only limited results. This leaves the owner of a small property asking himself whether or not it is even worth the effort

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