First Look: Deer Hunting Property Management through the Eyes of a Landowner

First Look: Deer Hunting Property Management through the Eyes of a Landowner
A photo of the author's recent land purchase in Pennsylvania. (Jeremy Flinn photo)

Land management practices that work one property doesn't necessarily mean it will work on another; initial plans for new ground will need to be fine-tuned and altered to fit the area and deer herd needs

There’s just something about calling a piece of land your own. It may not be fertile river bottoms of the Midwest or oak hardwoods flats of the Northeast, but when you own a piece of property the limitations seem to fade.

If you have followed my column, you know I’m deep rooted in my Pennsylvania hunting traditions. Born and raised in a hunting family, it was somewhere around 20-straight years of deer camps I experienced.

But education and career led me to see new things, new states, and over time, miss some of those long-running traditions. But, as luck (or fate) would have it, my wife and I just purchased a new home in Pennsylvania. With it, 27 acres of mountain land.

So the story, and journey begins. For many, 27 acres would not even be enough to consider managing for deer or potentially even hunting seriously. For me, it’s a place to have my two sons develop and hone their skills as outdoorsmen. A place for them to have the potential to escape a bad day at school, and enjoy the feeling of the outdoors.


This is not a gloat piece. I’m not here to say I own land and you do not, or my land is better than yours. This is an introduction to a journey I want to take you through over the next 10 months. From the beginnings of literally learning the property, to improving the habitat and hunting, to actually hunting the property.


As with any new piece of ground, there will be a lot of unknowns, and likely a lot of disappointments and challenges from trespassing to lack of deer sightings. But the entire journey is what makes it so great.


For me, this is an opportunity I’ve always dreamed of, and one I will enjoy sharing with my friends, family, and of course the Outdoor Channel online community.

About the Land

This property is nestled in the Laurel Highland Mountains of Southwest Pennsylvania. Primarily all timber, there are very few existing openings. The rocky terrain and lack of openings will make food plots tough, but I will do my best to establish some.


The property was logged in early 2000s, but there are quite a few large oaks left for acorn production. On my first walk, I also located several large American Beech, which if you didn’t know, is a great mast food in the fall for deer, turkey and black bear, which are in the area.

The property borders large chunks of privately-held and public hunting areas, it will be interested to see if this is a benefit or problem-producer in the fall. With the timber cuts, there is an abundance of native browse including greenbriar, which we will continue to promote for high-quality deer food.

I already have the first trail camera out to see what shows. Along the way, I will share tips and strategies for what has worked and what hasn’t.


Recommended for You

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide. Coolers

Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think? Bass

MLF Pros: What's With the Moon?

G&F Online Staff

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think?

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Pure Fishing's Andrew Wheeler tells Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead all about the brand new Abu Garcia Virtual rod that integrates Bluetooth technology through a free ANGLR smartphone app.

Simms

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

 A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest.

Although the art Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

See More Stories

More Whitetail

Looking for the scent-control edge you need to stay one more step ahead of wary whitetails? Check these out. Other Hunting

The Ozone Factor: Take Control of Your Scent

T.A. Harrison

Looking for the scent-control edge you need to stay one more step ahead of wary whitetails?...

Deer hunters rave about rut hunting, but patterning big bucks while they're still hanging out with their buddies can be easier—and more effective. Whitetail

Patterning Bachelor Bucks

Jace Bauserman - September 17, 2019

Deer hunters rave about rut hunting, but patterning big bucks while they're still hanging out...

Whitetails prefer a variety of food sources on the land you manage. Other Hunting

Ranew's Firminator Accu-Seed System

September 03, 2019

Whitetails prefer a variety of food sources on the land you manage.

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×