Deer Hunting Advice, Improve Habitat and Harvest

Question: “I have yet to see a whitetail buck on my game camera in a month, and have not seen a doe in a while on our deer hunting lease. I brought my friend out to my land the other day, and I apparently did not do a good job of showing him the property boundaries. Anyway, he end going off of the property. The interesting thing was that he said there were 14 deer feeding in an area just 150 yards from our fence line, both bucks and does.

I called the neighbor to find out what’s going on over there. He said they had planted some winter food plots for the deer. The guy said he planted about $3,500.00 worth of clover. This plot is just a stones throw from our place, and it really is holding the deer over there. Can you give me some deer hunting advice on how I can compete with his plot?

Deer Hunting Advice - Deer Hunting Tips

In addition, the neighbor has plenty of woods for security, a pond, in addition to his awesome clover plot. All I have is corn and a water source and my current deer hunting situation, well, it sucks. I would appreciate any deer hunting tips you could offer that might be able to help me out. Thank you.”

Response: You appear to be focusing only on the deer you might be able to shoot at your feeder, and ignoring what you have to hunt. It’s called deer hunting, not deer shooting. You have to do things to attract deer to your property or suffer the consequences. It sounds like the neighboring landowner is doing a lot more than you for whitetail deer in the area.

Timed corn feeders do zero for deer. They area only used as bait to attract deer to shoot. In areas that need a bunch of deer shot off each year they are an important part of a deer hunting program, but they are not THE go-to option for shooting deer. Deer are quite smart. Your corn feeder offers no competition to the clover food plot across the fence, and it sounds like you have zero habitat on your side. My recommendation would be to take a much more broad approach and view how deer move on your property, as well as all those around you. Deer always move for a reason. You need to give them one.

If whitetail deer are not hungry, thirsty, being chased or pressured, or feel the need to breed during the rut, they do not move. It’s as simple as that. You may find deer trails between your property and your neighbors that would make for a great stand site, but do not throw up a feeder. This only tells the deer in your area that they need to change their travel patterns, now to avoid your new feeder.

It sounds like your deer hunting will suffer as long as your neighbors property offers more than yours. It’s all about habitat and food. He is doing more, so he has more. It sounds fair. You are only trying to shoot deer from the edges, which is not an uncommon tactic. It’s also not the most effective. The deer hunting advice that I offer is, stealing a line from a movie, to build it and they will come. Change the management techniques on your land and establish more cover. It takes work. It will pay off. Look at planting food plots also or at least offer supplemental protein pellets or even whole cottonseed. These will help the deer in in your area out and create the better deer hunting that you desire.

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