In the latest podcast episode, George Blitch hosts Mark Haslam, a seasoned outdoorsman and deer management sage, as they delve into the nuances of managing a 1,900-acre property and wildlife management, in general.

Haslam's journey is a testament to the dedication and passion required to sustain and enhance the natural habitats of the South. This dialogue opens up a treasure trove of knowledge, revealing the complexities of deer management, from habitat enhancement to the timing of doe breeding seasons.

Haslam shares his background, growing up in a hunting club and eventually taking on the management of his family's farm. He speaks of his transition into land stewardship, influenced by the principles of Quality Deer Management (QDM) and the National Deer Association. As the episode unfolds, listeners gain an understanding of the gradual learning process involved in land management. Mark recounts his first forestry practices, which involved the clearing and thinning of pine trees to improve the habitat for wildlife.

The conversation also explores the importance of collecting data for deer management. Haslam discusses the social and entertainment value of having a skinning shed, the science behind tracking breeding dates for does, and the impact of such data on hunting strategies. Listeners are offered a glimpse into the meticulous record-keeping that serves as a powerful tool in wildlife management. Moreover, Haslam addresses the challenges of deer overpopulation in the Southeast, emphasizing the necessity of QDM practices to maintain healthy wildlife populations.

In an enlightening chapter, Haslam recounts his experience launching Southeast Whitetail during the pandemic. His desire to fill a content gap for Southern hunters and land managers led to the creation of a platform tailored to the Southern hunting experience. His involvement in conservation and mentor hunts is a thread that runs through the episode, illustrating his commitment to the heritage of the hunt.

The episode also introduces the new direction of The Southern Way podcast, with Haslam at the helm. He outlines the show's focus on hunting tips, tactics, and interviews with a range of hunters, promising a rich blend of content centered around Southern hunting culture. The upcoming content is set to cover a wide array of topics, from land management and predator control to food plots and the sharing of wild game meals.

Conservation efforts and the cooking of wild turkey also make their way into the discussion, highlighting the challenges of managing these birds across Georgia and South Carolina. Haslam shares cooking techniques for turkey and reflects on memorable moments from past hunting seasons. This chapter underscores the significance of land management in supporting healthy turkey populations and the joys of preparing wild game.

As the episode draws to a close, we hear heartfelt tales of family hunting traditions and land sharing. The importance of introducing youth to hunting and the communal aspect of the sport is celebrated. The focus remains on responsible and ethical hunting, with an emphasis on stewarding the land for future generations.

In summary, the podcast episode with Mark Haslam offers a deep dive into the world of deer management and Southern hunting traditions. It's a story of stewardship, strategy, and respect for the land, resonating with both seasoned hunters and those new to the outdoors. The episode stands as a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their understanding of wildlife management and embrace the conservation ethos that is so integral to the hunting heritage of the South.

George Blitch
"Keep your aim as true as your word" - GB