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#7069376 - 02/07/18 09:45 AM For the Small Tract Hunters
DQ Kid Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/20/12
Posts: 4828
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Guys, how many of you all are hunting tracts under 200 acres? What kind of tricks of the trade are you all incorporating to draw in the "neighbors" deer for success besides hunting those "fencelines"? Please spill the secrets....


A bit of humor and fun at play....

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#7069461 - 02/07/18 10:53 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
Texas buckeye Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3942
Loc: Keller
I had two leases, one was 400 acres but only about 100 of it was huntable and was in the back along the fencelines...the other was 200 acres and the real draw was an approx. 80 acre wheat field which made up the north and west borders of the place and almost all the deer came from the north (at least the ones I shot).

My trick with the first was to set up a feeder along the creek-bottom where the trees were and sit and watch the deer come and eat all the double down feed I could provide them.

My trick with the second was really my neighbors trick. They put foldable chairs tied to the fence right along the heavily trafficked trails. I would hunt those chairs because I knew that was right where I could catch a lazy buck.... sleep

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#7069463 - 02/07/18 10:56 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
EddieWalker Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1594
Loc: Tyler, TX
I own 68 acres and I have two neighbors. One is about the same size and is a long term investment that has remained 100 jungle. No roads no improvements. The other neighbor has been clearing his 240 acres, planting pasture for hay, and thinning his timber. The deer and pig populations have increased dramatically with all his improvement. They really love the new hay fields!!! I'm in the middle of thick cover on one side, lots of food on the other side. At first, it was fun shooting hogs, now it's a pain in the butt and my future goal is to fence in my place to keep the hogs out!!! The deer hunting seems to be about the same. They come in at night and enjoy my corn and food plot. Neither neighbor hunts deer, and every year I have several decent 8 points showing up on camera that never come back the following year as bigger bucks. It's like I have the land of the little guys and the big guys move on to another place when they become trophy size. Across the highway from me, there is a 500 acre place with their own airport. He shot a mt lion at the end of his runway about five years ago, so I know for a fact that they are in the area. I've never seen one, or found tracks of one, but figure that they might be what's killing the bigger bucks. Poachers are unlikely, I'm the poorest guy in the area, and my neighbor spends all his time off roading on his trails.

As for drawing in the deer, all I've been successful at doing is giving them a place to pause for a little bit while heading to my neighbors land. They like corn,and they like the food plot, but they do not love it so much to stick around into daylight hours!!!

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#7069494 - 02/07/18 11:11 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: EddieWalker]
Texas buckeye Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3942
Loc: Keller
Originally Posted By: EddieWalker
I own 68 acres and I have two neighbors. One is about the same size and is a long term investment that has remained 100 jungle. No roads no improvements. The other neighbor has been clearing his 240 acres, planting pasture for hay, and thinning his timber. The deer and pig populations have increased dramatically with all his improvement. They really love the new hay fields!!! I'm in the middle of thick cover on one side, lots of food on the other side. At first, it was fun shooting hogs, now it's a pain in the butt and my future goal is to fence in my place to keep the hogs out!!! The deer hunting seems to be about the same. They come in at night and enjoy my corn and food plot. Neither neighbor hunts deer, and every year I have several decent 8 points showing up on camera that never come back the following year as bigger bucks. It's like I have the land of the little guys and the big guys move on to another place when they become trophy size. Across the highway from me, there is a 500 acre place with their own airport. He shot a mt lion at the end of his runway about five years ago, so I know for a fact that they are in the area. I've never seen one, or found tracks of one, but figure that they might be what's killing the bigger bucks. Poachers are unlikely, I'm the poorest guy in the area, and my neighbor spends all his time off roading on his trails.

As for drawing in the deer, all I've been successful at doing is giving them a place to pause for a little bit while heading to my neighbors land. They like corn,and they like the food plot, but they do not love it so much to stick around into daylight hours!!!



They may like your place better if you cleared a little more and made some space for them to sun themselves. Make a good bedding area close to the food plot and you may find they stick around a little more. A nice open grassy area with some small shrubs for them to browse may be all it takes. Couple acres. That way they can eat you food plot, go rest, and then come back. something to think about. Habitat management is part of deer management up

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#7069501 - 02/07/18 11:17 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
GLC Offline


Registered: 02/25/09
Posts: 4964
Loc: BenBrook Texas
Keep corn out and don't over pressure the area. Keep a section that you don't even go into. Traffic will drive them out. There needs to be a sanctuary on the property even if it is small. You need an area that they can feel safe and bed down not just pass through. If you have that, add food and water and you are good to go.
_________________________


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#7069580 - 02/07/18 12:01 PM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: GLC]
Mr. T. Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 2582
Loc: Hunt in Cass County, live in T...
Originally Posted By: GLC
Keep corn out and don't over pressure the area. Keep a section that you don't even go into. Traffic will drive them out. There needs to be a sanctuary on the property even if it is small. You need an area that they can feel safe and bed down not just pass through. If you have that, add food and water and you are good to go.

So true, I have hunted 100 acres or less for years and my main draw is a food plot with a corn feeder that throws year round. Also the area behind the feeder, I never go into. As was said, a small sanctuary. Main thing said here is "don't push your deer to your neighbors,"
_________________________
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#7069592 - 02/07/18 12:13 PM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: GLC]
bronco71 Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 391
Loc: N. Dallas/Sulphur Bluff
Originally Posted By: GLC
Keep corn out and don't over pressure the area. Keep a section that you don't even go into. Traffic will drive them out. There needs to be a sanctuary on the property even if it is small. You need an area that they can feel safe and bed down not just pass through. If you have that, add food and water and you are good to go.

I have 160 acres, 80% wooded. 2 ponds hold water year round. I have thinned the timber and opened up small clearings to plant food plots and mostly stay out of those areas, this helps hold the deer in the area and was very effective in drawing more deer. 5 corn feeders well in from the fence line set to feed 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, this helps bring the deer in during the day. Neighbor is feeding protein so I just feed corn.

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#7069953 - 02/07/18 05:50 PM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
Old Rabbit Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/13/11
Posts: 3459
Loc: Lansing, TX
I used to have a small 28 acre place behind my house with 102 acres leased (north east Texas), like bronco71 had 2 spring fed ponds and a spring fed creek. Had summer and fall food plots, year round corn feeders with free choice mineral and salt in secluded areas. VERY limited hunting pressure and very selective limited harvest. Also had safe areas that did not get entered unless absolutely necessary. Never went out without seeing doe or two. The big lease behind me loved hunting the fences and pipe line, they said I had every doe in the area hiding out on my place.

A side note, i had a very good relationship with the land owners on every side of my place. We helped each other out with feeder filling, recovery of game and stuck vehicles. I had a tractor and dozer.

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#7070356 - 02/07/18 11:12 PM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 13399
Study satellite images of the area to identify funnels and pinch points created by variations in cover and pastures in the surrounding properties.

One of the tracts that I hunt includes about 20 acres of oak flat that deer use as a travel corridor through the area. With no food plots or feeders and cattle that stay mostly in the remaining pasture areas, I have stand sites where I have no problem seeing deer. This past season I was working a very nice eight point that I eventually pulled away from once I shot a 14-point on another small tract.

The earlier suggestion to limit pressure is pivotal to success. IMO, deer can pattern you far easier on smaller tracts.
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#7070357 - 02/07/18 11:23 PM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
billyhunt Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 3111
Loc: granger,tx
My pasture, only 23 acres( but connected to 650 acres of creek bottom land that is not hunted) I have tried a protein feeder, nothing, we are in a farming area and they have browse all year long. Going to try food plots this year just for the he77 of it!! We will see.

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#7070437 - 02/08/18 06:39 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
Stub Online   happy
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 20336
Loc: The Outer Limits
I had 80 acres to hunt but only hunted the 40 east acres. This year it will go down to 40 acres for the family that owns the 40 to the west is building a Barndominium on their 40. There are two hunters on the 80 west of them.

What I do to entice deer where I am at is:

1. Feed corn year round with a water trough in the pen.
2. Plant a winter food plot.
3. Put Alfalfa out if vegetation is sparse.
4. Put sweet blocks, salt licks and occasional other goodies in the feed pen.
5. I stay out of my hunting area as much as possible.
6. Every other year I Bush Hog travel lanes for the deer and keep natural open areas cleared!
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#7070519 - 02/08/18 08:11 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 16595
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
300 acres. 7 stands and feeders, along with protein feeders. Water troughs at every setup. We doze scrub cedar and plant food plots. We don't drive around except when absolutely necessary. We have numerous cedar breaks with seismic lanes scattered in a grid pattern. Sure has helped the Game travel. The majority of our land is not hunted. We hunt the edges and do not venture forth through the 'sanctuaries'.


Edited by Erathkid (02/08/18 12:59 PM)
_________________________
Life is too short, as is. Don't chance it.
Don't text and drive.

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#7070531 - 02/08/18 08:19 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
redchevy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 28032
Loc: Texas
To me best way to approach it is give them all the food they can eat all the water they can drink and treat the whole dang place as a sanctuary. Blind/hunting area needs to be accessible without chasing every deer off the property.
_________________________
It's hell eatin em live

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#7070652 - 02/08/18 09:35 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: redchevy]
Dalroo Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/03/16
Posts: 766
Loc: The Heart of Texas
Originally Posted By: redchevy
To me best way to approach it is give them all the food they can eat all the water they can drink and treat the whole dang place as a sanctuary. Blind/hunting area needs to be accessible without chasing every deer off the property.


Exactly - I have feeders going year round and leave the bedding areas alone. One section of my place is about 40 acres of growth with great cover and I leave it completely unmolested and have placed feeders on the edges so I can access without walking through bedding area. Food plots, water, and minerals help me keep deer close.

I also have very good relations with neighbors and we all work together to maximize draw from the larger places to our west that have much more pressure. Combined we have about 400 acres that we almost manage as one place. Between 3 of our properties, I think we maybe take 5 deer a year. At some point we may need to take more to keep the herd healthy, but we are really just starting to see full recovery from the drought years prior to 2015. Also in an AR county, so lots of young bucks that will be trophy sized in next few years.
_________________________
Dalroo
Deep in the Heart of Texas
Moslah Shrine Temple - 2B1 ASK1

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#7070659 - 02/08/18 09:38 AM Re: For the Small Tract Hunters [Re: DQ Kid]
Rustler Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 3794
Loc: Carrollton/ Young, Blanco coun...
Depends on what area you're in / talking about & deer density.

200 acres in an overpopulated area of the hill country & 200 acres in the Panhandle or ETx or W / NW of the metromess will take completely different approaches.
One dump 25lbs of corn on the ground in a line a half hour before sunrise & 7 hunters kill all the deer you have tags for by noon, the other 200 acres may not be enough for even 1 hunter or habitat enough for 3 deer.

Shelter, food & water.

I see more deer in a usual week of ranch / livestock work than most hunters do in a season of sitting in a box watching a feeder.
Doesn't matter if running a chainsaw, tractor & shredder, disc, chisel, drill, chain harrow, grading rock roads, walking or driving around checking cows, feeding or putting out round bales, pounding T posts / whatever.

On 200 acres, by the time you drive up to the front gate, get out open & close the gate then drive 50 - 100 more yards about half the deer on the place already know you're there.
After you unload your pickup open & close doors & tailgate, start your atv/utv pull it off the trailer or out of storage another 25% know you're there.
Start a campfire and the rest know as does every deer within 400 acres down wind.

Good thing deer are very curious animals, always checking out whats going on in their area.

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