Preparations for the Property Walk & Field Day on March 14th have us doing a lot of habitat work. This year, more than most, I am excited to hit the woods and make these improvements. This is because of the unknown buck beyond my 63 acre property line that could pass through and just might like what we are doing.
With the harvest of the Iron Buck, I learned something that I had always read about, but never truly realized. Big mature bucks have a decent range or home radius. I've always worked on improvements in hopes of getting a mature buck to use my property as his core area. Give him food, water, shelter, low hunting pressure, and the opposite sex and he has no reason to stray beyond my property boundaries. That is a great concept and a good practice, but is this a reality? After chasing the Iron Buck approximately three miles as a result of a poor shot, I now realize that the impacts of habitat improvements reach out much further than my slice of heaven. That is becoming my focus instead of trying to simply hold bucks on a small property. If I can attract bucks from afar, then holding them is less of a focus. Would it be logical that if I can attract bucks, then most likely I am holding them anyway?
Andy Hayes is a devoted husband and father of 4 kids living in West Central Indiana. Outside of his family, his passion is hunting whitetails. He does not claim to be a professional hunter, but simply wants to share what he learns during his quest to improve whitetail habitat and hunt mature bucks.