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Hunting A Small Tract #7465476 03/22/19 08:51 PM
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TXFishHunter Online Content OP
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I am young and decided that from a financial standpoint I would end up better off buying land instead of leasing. I have leased in the past and had nothing but trouble doing so. So, I am in the process of closing on about 20 acres in Oklahoma (10-15 miles north of Antlers). I am extremely excited about owning property, especially this particular tract. But, I am trying not to be naive about it... I'm already prepping to have the property very secured and should have some help from neighbors on keeping an eye on the place.

I am immediately surrounded by roughly 500 acres, which is split among 2-3 land owners, of land that, from my understanding, is only hunted by 3-4 people who mostly hunt for the purpose of filling the freezer (not accounting for poachers and whether or not they have been an issue). I know the property and land around it is pretty densely populated with deer. I will be the only one ever hunting my land and my ultimate question is would it be responsible for me to plan on trying to take one deer each season. I know it's a small piece of land and people have different perspectives about the idea of reaping the benefits of owning a small piece surrounded by larger tracts.

I'm probably leaving out some key info but just wanted to get a general idea.

Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7465578 03/22/19 10:56 PM
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I don’t see a problem taking a deer or two a season especially if there is a good population.


Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7465654 03/23/19 12:09 AM
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Nothing wrong with taking mature deer on a small tract.

Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7466010 03/23/19 12:53 PM
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The deer don't know its just 20 acres. With the surrounding land not getting over hunted, taking a couple per year should be fine! Don't let others dictate your fun! Enjoy and congrats!!!

Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7466037 03/23/19 01:25 PM
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helomech Offline
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I only own 64 acres, hoping to add another 20 to it soon. Me and my wife both hunt it. We each take one doe a year, and will kill any good buck we see. We try to take out any injured or older animal. I truly believe if you are not shooting any deer younger than 3 years old, there is no way you are going to over kill the land. Just don't kill the young ones, and don't kill every deer you see. Taking out a old or injured deer will not hurt your population.



Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7466123 03/23/19 02:47 PM
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A Matriarch doe has a very small home range. She may likely live right on your property. With that in mind I would discourage shooting a fully mature doe. A yearling or young doe is going to wander and will not establish a small home range until at least 3-years old. As far a bucks, use trail cameras. You need to sort of inventory what uses the property regularly. There are 2 ways to use this info. First, if you have some regular bucks you can leave them alone as they will get into a routine of travel in the early season. Ultimately you are leaving them alone in hopes of one or more establishing a scrape line/rub line. Then when the pre-rut starts you hope a dominant buck that has finally left his home turf will aggressively pursue your buck(s) that made the rub/scrapes. The second tactic is to let the frequent does and bucks keep coming. Know the bucks based off of surveillance on camera and in person. Artificially enhance the doe/buck presence around the rut by using mock scrapes with lure and doe-in-heat with EverCalm. Between the doe and buck scents you are likely to incite a dominant buck to visit your area. When you see a big one that you do not recognize that is probably a clue to shoot! If the end of the season is nearing, with any luck one of your regular bucks is still frequent and you can decide to take the biggest or best one you've already picked out. I don't know if you can "bait" where your property is but that is another factor to consider. In order to get a big buck to visit I would not put a big feeder in an open spot. Ideally use a T point where there is a virtual wall behind your food and the deer have to approach either from the right or left. Your shooting lane is the other part of the T. Make the spot so that the lane is 10 ft wide or less. This will allow you the greatest advantage to be concealed from the deer on their way in. When they are in the "spot" you know the exact range. Also, they are right at the food so they have begun to relax as they step into your little opening. When you don't see what you want just let them eat and leave. Your exit should be to your side or rear so you never have to walk past the feeder and only go to it for maintenance. I hunt just one acre right smack in the middle of the City and this approach has worked fantastic. I sometimes take more than one deer because I know the deer is a wanderer and not one of the regular visitors. Except for a few does and maybe a buck none of these deer "live" on my little property, they all come to the food and artificial scenarios I've set up. I have permission on another similar 3.5 acre spot just on the City limits and this works there too. My "big" property is 45 minutes away and is 22.8 acres. Similar to you I have 500 acre neighbors that meat hunt. With these tactics I am able to take a doe and a buck every year at that place. One year we took 3 bucks there, none of which had been there all spring and summer. We took a doe that was one of 5 regulars and the second from smallest. You will be fine with your property by using good tactics and management and should have no problem taking a good deer or more every year. One thing I discourage on a real small place is planting food plots. In my experience that leads to deer feeding after dark and before daylight and less travel and activity when I am hunting. Good luck!

Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7466208 03/23/19 04:54 PM
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Get out some cameras and see what you have.

Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7466273 03/23/19 05:51 PM
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I’d set up a protein feeder (with feeder pen) & a corn slinger. Get cameras goin.

I wouldn’t shoot any WT does, as previously mentioned. They will bring in a big buck during rut.

I’d shoot mature cull bucks & mature big bucks only.

What people object to, with small tract owners, is when they shoot every deer or they open up an “Outfitter” operation & shoot everything they can.

Last edited by maximus_flavius; 03/23/19 05:52 PM.
Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7466360 03/23/19 07:31 PM
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I hope your purchase works out for you. If you have not closed on this transaction, I suggest checking out with the neighbors to see if poaching is a problem. I have a friend that purchased 70 acres of hardwoods, near Atoka. He bought it just for hunting. There is no cattle, and it is not fenced. He clearly posted the land. He has had major trouble with poachers, and said that the local law enforcement officials will not take action unless it is fenced, which he has started to do, at a major expense. This is just my friends experience, and I am not saying it will be yours. I hope it works out, please keep us posted.

Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: Brother Phil] #7466377 03/23/19 07:47 PM
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You don't need a fence to be trespassing, I would be chatting with the sheriff, and explain to him what his deputies said. If you need to mark it, purple paint serves the same purpose.



Re: Hunting A Small Tract [Re: TXFishHunter] #7466567 03/24/19 12:15 AM
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Poaching is a national pastime in that part of OK.

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