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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8177757 02/20/21 01:54 PM
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Hunt smarter than your neighbors. Provide more than they do and keep the thicker part of your land as a bedding area...do not set foot in it. I also recommend using a road feeder year round so the deer/game is associating your movement with a feeding routine. That will keep them from leaving your property and instead will be moving to your property each time you are out on it.


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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8177816 02/20/21 02:28 PM
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I forgot to mention something else. Treat it like public duck hunting. Be the first one in, last one out. And walk. I walk everywhere on my place. And as boring as it sounds, I normally beat the sun to the blind by a good 90 minutes most times. This way if you bump deer on the way out you give them time to settle down.

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: stxranchman] #8177835 02/20/21 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
Hunt smarter than your neighbors. Provide more than they do and keep the thicker part of your land as a bedding area...do not set foot in it. I also recommend using a road feeder year round so the deer/game is associating your movement with a feeding routine. That will keep them from leaving your property and instead moving to your property each time you are out on it.

Good stuff right here....

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: Capt.JVH] #8177836 02/20/21 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Capt.JVH
I forgot to mention something else. Treat it like public duck hunting. Be the first one in, last one out. And walk. I walk everywhere on my place. And as boring as it sounds, I normally beat the sun to the blind by a good 90 minutes most times. This way if you bump deer on the way out you give them time to settle down.

Agree, makes a lot of sense.

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8177857 02/20/21 02:52 PM
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Feed 'em and shoot does on at least a 3:1 ratio.

I've also been on leases when other lease members would drive ATV's all over the place and wonder where all the critters went. I didn't have an ATV, so I had to walk and I never has a problem seeing critters.

Last edited by Whammer7; 02/20/21 02:54 PM. Reason: added content

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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: psycho0819] #8178931 02/21/21 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by psycho0819
I hunt a 100acre property. I have found a few very important things.

1. Provide enough feed, and diversity in feed, that the deer do not need to leave the property. They will always roam much more than 100acres, but the less they need to leave the property, the better.

2. Minimize your footprint from labor day throughout the season.

3. any major changes to the property, new stands, tree cutting, etc, should be done as early in the year as possible so the animals have time to become used to their new surroundings.

4. control of competition for food. Pigs, etc... and predators.



That's pretty much the same approach that I've followed with my 80-acre lease, minus feeders which the landowner doesn't allow due to issues with feral hogs. Locate the existing travel routes and minimize your time on the property throughout the year so the deer keep using them. It took me two seasons to learn the routes on may lease and it has paid off with stand sites where I know I'm going to see deer without having to use a feeder. I park near the gate and always walk to my stand sites. The only time the ATV gets used is when there is meat on the ground. Simply put, make it deer safe zone with minimal human activity and you'll be surprised at the results.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 02/21/21 02:52 PM.

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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: psycho0819] #8178992 02/21/21 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by psycho0819
I hunt a 100acre property. I have found a few very important things.


3. any major changes to the property, new stands, tree cutting, etc, should be done as early in the year as possible so the animals have time to become used to their new surroundings.




I used to worry about this but don’t anymore. I had an old junky tripod feeder and a ground blind setup that had been there for years. One day I took them down, cleared a ton of brush with a bulldozer for the feeder, blind and shooting lane and set up a new ground load feeder and a 8’ tall box blind. Finished up the work and three hours later had deer at the feeder (notification from cellular game camera). The biggest buck we saw all season was at this feeder two days after the setup.

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8179041 02/21/21 04:02 PM
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I hunt on a small property of 165 acres, and 3/4 of it is heavy brush with a creek running down the middle.
It's a game funnel if there ever was one, but lot of pressure on one adjoining ranch.
We don't hunt the middle of the property and seldom walk into it unless retrieving a deer.
Most people on small acreage make the mistake of hunting the entire property and thus leaving their scent everywhere and chasing the deer out where they feel much safer away from human contact, and preferably they end up on our place.
We let the neighbors do all the feeding since they do quite vigorously, and it doesn't make any difference how much you feed on your place to try and keep them there, they will still venture over to the neighbors since you are basically feeding and hunting the same deer anyway.
I road feed, and have plenty of deer show up every hunt.
You can call me cheap, but I've probably fed only 300# of corn all season, both archery and gun, and the majority of that was hand feeding the roads. (coffee can out the window of my truck)

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8179330 02/21/21 08:20 PM
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Keep feed out year round, I did this with food plots (summer and winter), feeders and mineral/salt licks. I limited my foot traffic during season to going to the stands and back out, any scouting was done from the tractor as they were used to it. As for getting along with the neighbors, do your best to know all of them and have their phone numbers and them yours. Being I was an onsite land owner and the biggest property around me was lease hunters. I let them know I had a tractor to help them when they got stuck, needed a culvert or road fixed or moving a downed tree off of their roads. It worked very well for many years till be moved to be closer to our jobs.

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8179346 02/21/21 08:40 PM
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I have always hunted very large properties so I have no first hand experience to offer. However I will offer some insight. I friend of mine is a biologist and manages a very large and very well run Ranch. They keep detailed records of protein consumption on a weekly basis. He told me that anytime they are disturbing an area for whatever reason, like bulldozing or chainsawing etc that the protein consumption would go way down. I am certain that whether or not disturbing an area will alter deer patterns or not could be debated all day but I just thought I would offer that insight.


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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8179865 02/22/21 05:08 AM
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Ours is get out of the heated box blinds and go mobile. Get the climbing stand out of the barn and move around.


THE ROAD GOES ON FOREVER AND THE PARTY NEVER ENDS.
Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8179910 02/22/21 11:54 AM
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I own 133 acres South of Bowie. Bought it 40 years ago. I don’t shoot unless it’s a trophy buck or an off season hog. I stop using my shooting range in September. Trap all the hogs you can. I don’t shoot does.

Some years hunting is good, others we seldom see a deer.

Acorn drops are trade offs. Lots of acorns, I see very few deer. No acorns, you can be selective. But I like healthy deer more than I do easy hunting.


Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8180036 02/22/21 02:02 PM
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We hunt 120 acres with 4 different properties join it on the perimeters. At least 2 different hunters on each of those properties. Lots of deer and hunting pressure . From what I have seen the 3 years we have hunted it is that it only take one of those properties to hurt the age structure around you. I retired this year and sat in a blind 2-3 times more than any other season I have ever hunted and never shot a buck or saw a mature buck. I saw a couple of 3 year old 8 points that never saw Thanksgiving.

My plan of attack next season is to get the jump on all of the other properties surrounding us next year and get back to bow hunting. I will have more hunting time and a better opportunity at a mature buck while they are still in a bachelor group.

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8181202 02/23/21 02:57 PM
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Food plots work nicely (as expected) to draw in deer from other properties. Also great way to feed your local deer with something more nutritious than corn.

My father and I acquired a small hunting property several years ago and have been putting in food plots since then. Pretty sure the neighbors have noticed a change in deer traffic - between the feeders and 10 acres of food plots - I imagine the neighbors are seeing much less deer than before.

The first season, we heard a number of shots from their property. Second season not so much. This season we didn't hear anything. Could be a coincidence or simply timing - though we often see 10+ deer each time we sit out that are traveling between feeders and food plots on our property during regular hunting hours. Can't imagine those deer would be in the area as much if there wasn't anything to munch on.

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8181245 02/23/21 03:27 PM
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Be careful with scent control, especially when walking to and from the stand. Shifting stand locations and ingress routes so we almost never crossed deer trails improved the hunting considerably. Leaving too much scent made the deer nocturnal.

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8182236 02/24/21 01:14 PM
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DQ, that actually sounds like a pretty dang nice little place to set up and hunt.

My advice would be:

set up your stand/stands so that you have the wind advantage both while in the stand and going to and from if possible and if you cannot set it up that way don't booger it up if the wind is not right to hunt....especially if you know you have a smart old mature deer you are hunting.

Keep it quiet, especially close to and during the season with minimal pasture traffic with vehicles. Also, keep it quiet with minimal shooting. Hell, nobody HATES hogs worse than I do but if I'm hunting a specific buck I will not shoot a hog, coyote, bobcat, etc unless it is well after prime time in the morning or well before prime time in the evening. I usually will not shoot it at all unless I have my .22lr to keep it as quiet as I can.
I sneak in and out as quietly as I can and will not leave the stand until it is pitch dark when I have deer out. I'm talking an hour or more after sundown.

Try and pattern a big deer with game cams. If you have a decent idea of when he is coming and going you can plan accordingly a little better and set up on him. If he only shows up right at dark or super early in the morning and only stays until it is barely legal shooting light, get in that stand an hour before daybreak (1.5 hour before sunup)!

Last...............….Feed, feed, feed, and then feed some more.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8182323 02/24/21 02:24 PM
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Some great secrets and strategies shared so far, let's keep them coming even those really unusual and archaic ones such as creating rubs and scrapes with own urine, etc....Worked with a guy that swore by keeping a gallon urine jug of his own piss...Said it kept the big boyz coming in all season...

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8182636 02/24/21 06:27 PM
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We limit foot traffic to the 1 acre campsite. When we drive we use a tailgate feeder. We have an off limits, no fly zone free choice protein feeder. Corn feeders are kept full year round. My old neighbors are gone and my new neighbors are great. I only mow the shooting lanes and trails to the blinds, Will plant food plots if conditions are right. Talk to your neighbors and educate them. Let them know what you are seeing and explain the class of deer that can be expected. I have been in the area the longest so when I heard my neighbors saying they haven't seen a mature deer I tell them they haven't set long enough. The rut changes everything in my woods. Post rut is often best and all year things are changing but you have to watch for the changes. Time your animals watch the conditions you see the most activity on your game cams and hope you are blessed to see the one you want when you get out to hunt.


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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8188333 03/01/21 09:36 PM
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I have a question. I hunt a 30 acre property in NE Texas. I am very small limited budget, I do not have any food plots, I do not feed protein but I do try to keep 2 feeders full of regular corn year round. Do you think just regular ol corn will help hold some deer?

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: LanceH] #8188346 03/01/21 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by LanceH
I have a question. I hunt a 30 acre property in NE Texas. I am very small limited budget, I do not have any food plots, I do not feed protein but I do try to keep 2 feeders full of regular corn year round. Do you think just regular ol corn will help hold some deer?

Yes and No...........you are not going to "hold" deer on 30 acres, but you can get them in a habit of eating at your feeder.
Also, I would throw out a block of plain old white salt. Some say the deer in east texas do use them. Mine do and at about
$5 at tractor supply, why not try one.
If you want more deer, pen your feeders so that hogs cannot run them away and eat all the corn themselves. But, you said you
were on a budget, so next best thing in my opinion is to feed more in the morning than evening. Example 8 seconds in morning
4 seconds in evening. Morning feeding will be mostly deer, afternoon into the night is mostly coons, hogs then deer.

Last edited by Mr. T.; 03/01/21 09:56 PM.

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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8188384 03/01/21 10:08 PM
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agree with Mr. T but I would use the yellow sulfur salt blocks. I have one at each feeder location and certain times of the year, the deer just wear those out. Might be an old wives tail, but also cut back on ticks on the animals that use them (old rancher told me that probably 50 years ago).


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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: PMK] #8189016 03/02/21 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. T.
Originally Posted by LanceH
I have a question. I hunt a 30 acre property in NE Texas. I am very small limited budget, I do not have any food plots, I do not feed protein but I do try to keep 2 feeders full of regular corn year round. Do you think just regular ol corn will help hold some deer?

Yes and No...........you are not going to "hold" deer on 30 acres, but you can get them in a habit of eating at your feeder.
Also, I would throw out a block of plain old white salt. Some say the deer in east texas do use them. Mine do and at about
$5 at tractor supply, why not try one.
If you want more deer, pen your feeders so that hogs cannot run them away and eat all the corn themselves. But, you said you
were on a budget, so next best thing in my opinion is to feed more in the morning than evening. Example 8 seconds in morning
4 seconds in evening. Morning feeding will be mostly deer, afternoon into the night is mostly coons, hogs then deer.

Originally Posted by PMK
agree with Mr. T but I would use the yellow sulfur salt blocks. I have one at each feeder location and certain times of the year, the deer just wear those out. Might be an old wives tail, but also cut back on ticks on the animals that use them (old rancher told me that probably 50 years ago).



Thank you. I will get a couple of those salt blocks (either color) and put one at each feeder.

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8189020 03/02/21 01:32 PM
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Great secrets so far, keep them coming......

Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: Sewer rat] #8291373 06/11/21 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewer rat
Originally Posted by psycho0819
I hunt a 100acre property. I have found a few very important things.


3. any major changes to the property, new stands, tree cutting, etc, should be done as early in the year as possible so the animals have time to become used to their new surroundings.




I used to worry about this but don’t anymore. I had an old junky tripod feeder and a ground blind setup that had been there for years. One day I took them down, cleared a ton of brush with a bulldozer for the feeder, blind and shooting lane and set up a new ground load feeder and a 8’ tall box blind. Finished up the work and three hours later had deer at the feeder (notification from cellular game camera). The biggest buck we saw all season was at this feeder two days after the setup.



No doubt, there are exceptions to everything. I just cleared a bunch of cedar from under oak trees in my hunting area a few weeks ago.Headed down to do more this weekend. Spent all day and cleared out under 5 oaks.It made a major difference in a small area. Deer came in that evening to eat at the food plot and walked right thru the cleared out stuff to get to the protein feeders just up the hill, but I could tell they were much more nervous than the previous evening. In my experience, their weariness to changes in their landscape become more acute once those horns loose velvet.


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Re: Trade Secrets for Successful Hunting on Small Properties [Re: DQ Kid] #8292256 06/12/21 03:29 AM
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have your feeders and blinds close to the center of the property. If you live close enough spend more time at the place starting late summer, a sack of corn thrown out along the road while walking gets them used to people, like at the state parks, If you have to have 4 wheelers during hunting season, you need them to be used year around so the deer are used to people riding around the place. A change in the pickup will spook them, go from a gasser to a diesel and the sound change will alert them.

If you are going to have a fire every time you are out there during the season, you need to also have a fire in the off season. Change will alert them to be on the watch. Same with BBQing, if the smell is new, they are on the watch.


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