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MUDRUNNER

Describe your hunting ground

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The seasons over & this place is slow, so thought it might be fun for everyone to post a little bit about their hunting ground. I'll start

Size: 80 acres

Own, lease, or permission: Permission. I've been running around this place since I was a little shaver. My Grandpa hunted here, my Dad hunted here, and now my kids are hunting there. Close friends of the family own it. I always pitch on on work days, through money in for repairs or anything else, and they let me treat it like my own. These people are really more like family.

Topography: Creek bottom & ridges. A large creek runs right through the middle of the property. No tillable ground or row crops, but we do have a few clearings for food plots. We don't really have much to keep deer on the property. Most of my success has been during the rut.

Hunting pressure: Pretty high pressure I would say. Since I don't own it I have no control over who goes up or what they do. I know other people hunt my stands if I'm not there, or ride 4 wheelers on the trails if nobody is hunting. Most of the other hunters on the property pay no attention to wind direction. I have a decent place to hunt & take my kids, so no complaints though.

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In 1992 parents bought this farm, was 80+/- acres then.  I helped my parents with the place whenever I could.  Wife and I bought into the farm in 94, parents sold off the house and 18.34 acres surveyed out with the house.  We paid off the land and then took a loan and put a double wide on the property and have lived on our farm since January 95.  Took a new loan and built our log home in 2009, will have that paid off soon.  So we have been here on our property for a little while.  Some of the new folks that have bought land around us have TRIED to make claims and the lines are not definitive.  Not really sure at this point what we own in total land, should have been about 61 acres, but maps out about 7 or so acres less if looking at the lines the tax assessor has drawn out.  Lines and our deed don't exactly match either.   The deed for the farm beside us does not close on its lines, and he thinks he has more than what he bought.  With hopes of avoiding issues we tried to buy the farm next to us when our neighbor passed away a few years back but missed out on getting our offer in by less than 24 hours.  We had sole permission on that place until he passed but left it as a kind of sanctuary area.  That farm was timbered out, they took a lot of mature oaks off it, has become a mess.  

Our border on our longest side is about 3/4 of a mile and winds around with an old river channel.  The river dumps into the MS.  Along the channel we have some bottom ground that is currently submerged.  The other part along the channel is hills and gulleys.  Most the edges along the channel is wooded, a mix of hardwoods.  Have a LOT of mature oaks on the property.  Our house sits about half way back on the property and what is front of the house is pasture, don't hunt that.  Most of our hunting is done behind the house and to the west of the house over the bottom.  Have one stand that is along the channel that used to always produce or at least produced great opportunities that unfortunately the ground in front of has been put under water by sand that has washed into the channel.  Deer movement there has been dramatically altered, badly need to get a trackhoe in and clean out the channel and fill back in where water has cut a new channel deeper into our property.  

Put in food plots regularly and will be putting in beans this summer.  There are ag crops in around us varying in size from small to a hundred acres or more.  

Pressure here used to be crazy, but has not been as bad in recent years.  TN has made changes to the buck limits to help.  Still get a fair amount of pressure, but nothing near as bad as it was when the property behind us was leased out.      

With the current status of CWD and the unknowns as to how far it is in the state, not sure what kind of changes we will see for the upcoming season and how liberal the limits might get.  

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The home hunting turf in Mississippi.

It's a hunting club that's all leased land with a camphouse...1,320 acres.  We have a real good relationship with the owner.  Been hunting it for 5 years now.

Topography:  It's the most severe terrain I've hunted in this state.  The property mainly steep ridges before it drops down into the flood plan for the Mississippi River/Big Black River.  About 200 acres of it is bottom land adjacent to the Big Black River. 

Hunting Pressure...We have 12 members so pressure is average except during holiday periods when it can get a higher.  Pressure is high on the property adjacent to us on the N, S, and E sides.  To help reduce pressure on us, we have what we call quiet zones on our access roads.  Inside the quite zone we walk to stands.  Only drive in past them to recover game.  Members (or their guest) can hunt each others shoooting houses,  ladder stands and hang-on stands.  The only private stands are climbers.  I don't have a problem with that rule.

The Missouri turf.

It's all owned property totaling ~1,350 acres.  My buddy and I started acquiring land there in 2011.  The 1st tract was acquired in October, 2011...the last tract (4th) in December 2012.  It's all contiguous property.  Since it had been hunted hard in the past (pay hunts) we decided not to hunt it the 1st year.  Since then we've been hunting it and managing it for mature, trophy bucks.  My buddy bought the 1st tract on his own and built a house (really a lodge) on it.  There was a small pond by it.  We built a 5 ac. lake that included that old pond by the house.  We've done numerous things to improve the habitat for deer hunting...too many to list since the spring of 2012.

Topography:  It's mainly rolling hills or bottom land (flat compared to the MS club).  There's 1 main ridge running through the property that ends before our E line.  There are several creeks running through it, one large enough to have a name on all maps.  Most of the southern bordered is a river.  About 600 acres of tillable land is leased to a farmer.  Another 95 acres of a hill land field is in a quail habitat program.  Paid better than CRP but requires more annual maintenance.  We also took 2 smaller fields that total ~19 ac. that were tillable and we planted them in native grasses for cover.  There's maybe another 25 ac. of overgrown field type land scaterred around in several places that we left to grow up in brush for cover too.  The rest is timbered.  Besides the crop land we have 14 food plots that range from 2 ac. to 1/3 of an ac. in size.

Hunting Pressure...is light since we can control it.  We've never had more than 5 hunters there at the same time.  It's usually less than that.  It's also light on the lands adjacent to us.  The guy that owns the most property adjacent to us doesn't bowhunt so it's only hunted during the 11 day gun season....then only by him and his oldest son.  He has ~600 acres.  Another landowner that's adjacent to us on the eastern side doesn't bowhunt either.  Heck...in the 6 years I've been bowhunting there, I could count the number of bowhunters I've seen going to/from the adjoining properties on 1 hand.

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Interesting thread.

I have two parcels in central MN near Aitkin.

The one I hunt on is 18 acres - just large enough for two guys.

Lots of bigger woods around me. To the north about 200 acres that is rarely hunted. West - across the highway is a bigger piece, owned by a trust. About 400 acres. Never hunted. East and South are misc homesteads and smaller parcels that rarely get hunted except there is a 40 SE of me that sometimes gets hunted opening weekend.

About 50 years ago they mined out the fill dirt on about 5 acres of my property. It left real high banks and not very good top soil there. One area does have some good top soil so I keep a deer plot there.

My blind sits about 13' above the floor of the pit  but it is only one step up for me to get in.

The land around there is all heavily wooded with small rolling hills and valleys left by the glacier eons ago.

No farming in that area any more so the deer have to forage.

We don't get big deer up there. Between wolves, winter kill and getting massacred on the highway they rarely get real big.

Plus, most years it's bucks only - does by lottery only so not much chance of practicing QDM.

There is a rental house on my property but the tennants dont hunt and I reserve that right anyway.

My other property is also about 18 acres but it's on the lake and lots of cabins and homes there. I've been letting a young guy bow hunt there as I rarely hunt that piece.

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My brother and I lease a 160 Acre section. About 70 of it is agriculture the rest is heavy Timber with a small maybe 10 acre alfalfa field. There's several ridges and a natural spring that runs through it. In the early-season we have to walk from the farm yard to the timber as there is no road going around or through the crops. That is about 600 yards. Usually around late October to early November the crops come out depending on what is planted and weather conditions. At that point we are able to drive up to the Timber and Park.  this definitely cuts down on the amount of time required when arriving early in the mornings to be able to hike to any stand sets that might be on the furthest point on the property.  as far as hunting pressure goes the neighbors around us do hunt but they don't bother or interfere with us and we do not bother them. there is also one section that is a church camp where no hunting is allowed, and it seems to act as a sanctuary for the deer. My brother likes to run a lot of trail cams, and we do get a lot of pictures of nice bucks. Sometimes we get lucky and are able to kill  one of those  bucks but more often than not they disappear. We've had a lot of success at that place over the years and feel very fortunate that we have been able to hunt there as long as we have.

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I'll be the odd man out here.

Size: Somewhere in excess of a whole bunch of acres.

Ownership: Public.  US Forest Service mostly with some BLM and state lands thrown in.  In regards to size, the three national forests I hunt the most total over 6 million acres.  They would be the Kootenai, Flathead, and Lolo National Forests.  Occasionally I will hunt in Idaho in the St. Joe National Forest, which is another 1.3 million acres.  Personally, I own just over 6 acres that borders forest service, but I do not hunt it.  That would be too easy.

Topography: Mostly mountainsides, preferably with intermittent benches.  Creek and river bottoms, although most larger valley areas are private property due to old homestead claims.  Basically, from this

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to this

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Some of the best hunting is around old clear-cuts and burns, but with the exception of the rut most of the big mature bucks and bulls are in the nasty blow-down jungles of willow or yew brush.

Hunting pressure: That is nonexistent if you get away from the forest service roads.  In the past four decades that I have lived here in the Rocky Mountains I can count on one hand the number of hunters I have met while hunting.  One can hunt the Benoit way or still hunt all day and if you get lucky you just have to be prepared to work a little to get your prize out of the mountains.

Edited by elkoholic
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Great Thread that I'm just now getting to.  Thank for sharing everyone.

Up until my Dream to reality thread (you all likely saw in the Lounge) I was hunting public ground and one cattle farm I had permission to hunt a 25 acre section of. However, the owners family member decided to hunt on that 25 acres. He left me a 5 acre section to hunt this past season and I took a decent buck from it. It is basically a fence line that bordered a pay to hunt area. The fence line has some trees I could place a couple stands in but not much hope for hunting the wind. Still, it was peaceful (when the cows were in a different area) and I'm thankful to have had it for the past 12 years.

My new property is 32.49 aces of rolling hills and a small creek that runs through the middle. I am in LOVE with the place and have been hard at work this spring putting trails in. Below is a trail I worked on earlier today. No hunting pressure for a couple years but I have seen a couple stands near my borders. One neighbor has his stand a good 50 yards inside my border. Going to have to deal with this issue soon.

Trail.jpg

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