Once you’ve purchased your dream piece of hunting land you’ll need to become a steward of the land in order to maintain and improve it, bringing more wildlife in and keeping them happy and growing. The first step is really getting to know the property. Next you’ll want to consult with experts to develop a land management plan. Then you’ll want to implement that plan and continue to maintain and improve your land.
You’ll want to know every bit of the land. Use careful observation and cameras to map out the plant and animal life and movement patterns. Keeping records is hugely helpful long term. Get to know all of the various ecosystems that coexist on your land.
Regular soil testing will help you decide where to place food plots and what treatments to use. Checking the water quality on your land is crucial as well, and monitoring shifts can give you a lot of insight into how best to apply your land management strategy.
When it comes to developing a plan for managing your land, nothing beats the experience and wisdom of those who have done this successfully before you. Talk to your neighbors, they may have insights into your land that you didn’t grasp at first. Check with local hunters and hunt clubs to better understand regional trends. Reach out to the Department of Wildlife Resources to make use of all the information and expertise they can offer. Consider consulting with biologists and conservationist societies or hiring a land management company to help develop a road map for improving your land.
Implementation and Maintenance
This is the nitty gritty. Cutting the access trails and thinning unwanted trees. Clearing, plowing and seeding food plots. Building stands and blinds. The right equipment can make all of this easier but in the end you’re going to get out only as much as you put into it in terms of time and effort. Taking pride and stewardship in caring for your land will result in a flourishing habitat that not only brings in the game you’re looking to hunt, but supports the health of the region as well.
Check on the current state and federal wildlife programs. There may be incentives for landowners to improve wildlife habitat that you could qualify for.
Non-profit organizations like the National Deer Association and National Wild Turkey Federation also have resources available to help landowners.