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Old but new lease #8357118 08/20/21 11:38 AM
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Mike Mathena Offline OP
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We've been on this 115 acre pine stand for 4 years, it's been about 17 years since it was planted and left to grow, it was THICK . We have cut trails, cleared trails, opened up some areas that were kinda open but, this year the owner had the property thinned out, every 4th row of pines were harvested leaving 15-20 foot wide lanes and several cleared staging areas. We have never had accessible access to 75% of the property, it was just too thick.
They should have moved all their equipment off the land this week. It is literally going be a new piece of land to us this year.

We have been able to pattern deer movement over the years and figured out they use our lease to bed in and are gone before sunrise and come back after sunset. We've literally seen 4 deer during shooting light and only 1 was legal and he only got a video shoot, didn't get harvested.

We are hoping this changes everything. My lease partner was kinda bummed thinking it would run all the game animals off the property to which i replied it can't be worse than the last 4 years and it might be the change we needed for this lease .

Just wondering if anyone has been in this situation and what the outcome was, did it help that year or mess it up for a couple of years?


Go get in the woods
Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357139 08/20/21 12:03 PM
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They have not run the deer or hogs off. They will be back as soon as everything settles down.


Cabin rental in Pagosa Springs, Co.
Sleeps 10, If interested please PM me.
Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357148 08/20/21 12:18 PM
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I don't know much about east Texas, nor am I a biologist, but from our laissez-faire approach to some timber land we owned out of San Augustine (about the same size) , I think the deer are gonna love the brush and brambles that will come up in the opened up areas.

Good hunting to you and your buddy! up


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357161 08/20/21 12:30 PM
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With planting season quickly approaching, now is the time to get out there and locate the areas where you can plant some green strips. You might even find an area or two for a food plot. Even though the area has been thinned, I suspect there's still quite a bit of cover. Look for places to plant that's near the best bedding areas. Also, with the area being more open, you may need to rethink how to approach your stands to lessen the chance of being detected by bedded deer. You really have to combine all of these factors when making decisions on where to plant and where to relocate stands if necessary. The same goes with feeders if you use them. You basically want to have food sources near cover with a way to reach your stand without letting the deer know you've slipped in. Your lease is definitely small enough that I would never use and ATV during the season until meat is on the ground. The only exception would be when work needs to be done during the middle of the day.

Good luck.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 08/20/21 12:33 PM.

Dan

Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357164 08/20/21 12:33 PM
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I think you will be fine, sounds like you will actually see how many deer a bedding on your tract of land.

My buddy has a place in Arkansas that had selective harvesting done to it, I hunted while it was going on, deer were slim while it was happening. I am not sure when it ended prior to the next season but he said the deer numbers were back once all the machinery left for good.


It takes beer to make thirst worthwhile - J. Fred Schmidt
Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357201 08/20/21 01:23 PM
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I think you guys could be in for a great season up


Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357323 08/20/21 03:34 PM
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I agree with Dan. Now is the opportunity to get some fall plots in before the undergrowth reclaims the newly cleared dirt. This could be a serious positive for the property if handled correctly.


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction.

The end of the world began the day it was created, and life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease.


Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357345 08/20/21 04:00 PM
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If I’m reading this right and y’all have only seen 4 deer in 4yrs during legal shooting time...I would welcome any and all changes to that. I couldn’t stay enthusiastic about seeing 4 deer in four years....

Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357348 08/20/21 04:01 PM
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What you describe is textbook MS hunting and how it works there. There's alot of good articles on how to set up these properties to hunt based off the various stages of timber harvest and the size of the properties.

Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357610 08/20/21 09:08 PM
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This is also a good time to consider how deer will now choose to travel across the tract given that it's only 115 acres. Deer are going to prefer routes that have more cover so that predators are not as likely to see them. I've seen deer choose a route across an otherwise open pasture just because it had a few trees along it.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 08/20/21 09:09 PM.

Dan

Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357639 08/20/21 09:47 PM
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Vegetation in the understory of a pine stand goes vertical quickly with the most palatable portion of the understory plants above the deers reach. Once the pines achieve crown closure, the ground is shaded. Without sunlight, quality browse production is minimal. With the stand canopy opened up you will see a flush of new growth browse which will substantially increase the carrying capacity of a pine plantation. Identify the openings you want to keep open before Mother Nature takes them back. Your habitat has been improved and hunting should improve, provided you are in an area with a strong local deer population. Learn to identify the first, second, and third choice browse species that are present on the property and go from there. Deer are browsers. Depending on size they consume 4-8 pounds of browse/day. The logging equipment associated with a thinning operation bothers the hunters more than the deer. They grow up around logging equipment. Unlike a 4-wheeler, logging equipment poses no threat to the deer. It is the same on Ag land with farm equipment.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 08/20/21 10:01 PM.

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Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357705 08/20/21 11:10 PM
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I have a similar place in East texas. It was thinned before last season and had no effect on the deer. Actually, we saw many more deer after it was done, however, I also have another 100 acre property next to it that is thick and untouched, so I suspect they just hopped over there for a while.

Re: Old but new lease [Re: Catperch] #8357714 08/20/21 11:21 PM
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Also, I just mowed all over the lease best I could and while on the tractor, saw three deer, one a nice buck. They never moved and just watched me forever. From my 4 wheeler, if I ever see a deer, it's just a white flag running into the brush. We walk everywhere unless it is just a necessity to take a vehicle.

Re: Old but new lease [Re: majekman] #8357818 08/21/21 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by majekman
If I’m reading this right and y’all have only seen 4 deer in 4yrs during legal shooting time...I would welcome any and all changes to that. I couldn’t stay enthusiastic about seeing 4 deer in four years....


No joke. That's a level of patience I was not blessed with for a single year, much less 4.

Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357824 08/21/21 01:05 AM
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I appreciate the positive responses, we always walk around the property unless filling feeders, from oct-jan its only once, always the last thing we do on that trip.
We are planning on getting some food plots going now and plant some of the east to west rows that get good sun. We have a lot of scouting to do this weekend for sure


Go get in the woods
Re: Old but new lease [Re: soonersorlaters] #8357922 08/21/21 02:02 AM
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It's been tough, almost gave it up a couple times but, the price is REALLY good. if nothing else, it's worth having a place to go with no crazy restrictions, it's ours to do what we want as long as we don't take down planted pines. We're in the process of providing the labor building a small cabin for the owner in exchange for payment for a few years.


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Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8357966 08/21/21 02:51 AM
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You will like it,they did the same thing to our lease a couple years ago.If you have some high spot in those lanes they make a great place for stands being able to look down both ways.We had a new member get on our lease when they cut those lanes and he and his son had multiple opportunities at legal bucks.we knew the bucks were in there but it was just to thick before to see them.Keep them mowed if you can because it doesn't take long for Mother Nature to take back over.

Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8361425 08/24/21 02:46 AM
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As said plant some food plots dont over think it if you dont have equipment scratch some oats or such in. if you can use a tailgate feeder if you dont have that do the Hansel and Gretel routine with a bucket of corn as you walk or drive along dribble and throw some corn out.
I would be excited.

Re: Old but new lease [Re: Creekrunner] #8361443 08/24/21 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Creekrunner
I don't know much about east Texas, nor am I a biologist, but from our laissez-faire approach to some timber land we owned out of San Augustine (about the same size) , I think the deer are gonna love the brush and brambles that will come up in the opened up areas.

Good hunting to you and your buddy! up


This is exactly right. 'Planted Pine' stands the age the OP describes create great bedding areas for deer. They will also retreat to them during bad weather. BUT if you look under the overstory.....they are basically a biological desert. Nothing more than a pine straw bedded floor. Occasionally some bastard oak growing around the edges and a mushroom might pop up once in awhile.

Good shelter from wind, rain and cold temperatures. The stand literally helps hold in heat and the deer like that, but an impossible place to hunt. So opening it up (even a little) will help.

I was happy when our planted pines finally matured enough to cut. Gained back about 40 acres of land that is attractive to deer (for a different reason) and hunt-able. For about 25 years all I could do was walk through it on my way to my favorite stand or hunt the edges of it prior to bad weather.

Last edited by flintknapper; 08/24/21 03:19 AM.

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Re: Old but new lease [Re: Mike Mathena] #8361588 08/24/21 12:03 PM
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It is completely different, couldn't hardly recognize any of it and they are not done yet. 4 years of hard work on trails and access/funnel points are gone. There is a big hill that is now exposed with oaks at the bottom along a dry creek, 2 long lanes intersect on it but the intersecting lanes they cut are covered by all the scrub that was cut off the trees, it's about a foot deep all 4 directions that are VERY difficult to walk.
It's crazy now. Definitely a brand new piece of land to us and the animals.

There are several sunny east to west rows that will be planted, the lay down/staging areas the loggers made are around a ½ acre with tree debris spread in all directions so that's gonna take a year or so to decompose before we can do much with them. We talked about using the front end loader to move it but, it's just too much.


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