Winter scouting and CWD
Over the weekend I was able to do a little scouting on the farm here in Michigan. After a week of sub zero temperatures, the arctic air finally lifted leaving us with temps near 50 degrees, and I figured what better of a time than now to check out some uncharted areas of the property. When first arriving at the farm I was amazed by the amount of recent sign, and digging in the foodplots by the deer.
Even though it may be a little early for shed hunting, this time of the year I am always on the lookout for a fresh drop, however in seasons past my property has never produced much post season action because of a lack of late season food and bedding.
This past week Michigan's new deer baiting and feeding ban was put into effect to battle CWD, and will surely have some effect on our management practices. I have never been big on hunting over bait, but I do like using bait and minerals through the year to supplement the herds diet and hopefully aid in getting them through the winter stronger and more disease tolerant. But, as a law abiding hunter I will no longer be able to use these practices, and will need to turn to larger and more diverse foodplots that will help fill this void 365 days a year.
This poses an unusual new challenge for us Michigan whitetail hunters and more specifically land managers, bringing to the table the question of how will I grow and hold deer in close proximity to my small acreage farm. Regardless, I am oddly excited for the new challenge as I will test my skills as a land manager, and further my education in building and providing for a healthy deer herd. As we progress into spring I will be further evaluating my property with hopes of adding native grasses for bedding cover, and a wide variety of food plot blends that will cater to the deer's needs throughout the entire year.
Do you have a new plan or strategy heading into this season? We would love to hear about it! Drop us a message, or send a picture of your most recent land projects.
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