10 Things to do Before Hunting Season

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by dogghr, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    As I walked out the door to hunt this past season, I picked up a book laying on the table to read while on stand. So anyway I picked up a book that no one knew from where it came, called "365 Things to do Before You Go to Heaven'. Pretty interesting and good suggestions and I was pleased that I had gone to many of the places and done many of the things it suggested.
    Anyways, I thot might be fun if I gave you a suggestion of a project to complete each month before deer seasons begin again. So...your mission should you decide to accept it, begins today with a new challenge given each month.
    You are welcome to post your experience and/or pics if anyone chooses to do this. If not I'll just enjoy the challenge with the one I love the most...myself.

    Challenge #1. Easier one for northern guys with their snow, but if you teach yourself to be a good tracker, it can be done anywhere especially in the winter muck. This month pick up a set of lone deer tracks and follow wherever they lead for the day. See what they teach. Have fun. See you in a month.
     
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  2. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully some of you were able to do some tracking last month to compensate for the winter blues.
    Challenge #2. Learn 5 new trees. Not shrubs ( even tho some trees can be a shrub and some shrubs are trees.) Learn how to recognize them by their bark ( like a dog ), leaves , and fruit and flowers. Find out what type of soils they prefer and light requirements. Do they prefer certain direction facing slopes or locations. Learn their wildlife benefits and timber harvest benefits. Study where they occur on your property and what conditions allow them to exist there. Determine if they are indigenous to your area and perhaps did they exist in the precolonial forests. Determine if their percentage makeup on your property is typical or for some reasons conditions allow them to dominate or be suppressed. Mark them before leaf out and then confirm if you made the correct ID as spring comes on. Enjoy your walk across your property.
     
  3. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Good challenge dogghr, and a good place to find a lot of that info about a particular tree is the US Forest Service. The link below is where I looked up the White Oak. We paid for most of this good info through our tax dollars, so we should take advantage of it..;) There is a lot of information found here that isn't readily available at other places - especially like associated forest ecosystems where the occurrence of a particular species is found....

    https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/quealb/all.html
     
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  4. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Yes that is an excellent link. Matter of fact it has much of the info I was going to use on the acorn thread concerning white oaks and fire, that I never finished.
    Two other sources that are smart phone apps is VTree which is worked by Virginia Tech and one I like even better is Leafsnap which has really great pics and descriptions. Only problem is I don't have cell phone service at my farm so that can be an issue relying on memory.
     
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  5. Baker

    Baker Well-Known Member

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    Very similar to the above is an app called plantsnap. Take a pic of a plant/shrub/weed etc and it will tell you what it is along with uses and other detail. Maybe thats for next month.

    Nice thread
     
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  6. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    Tracking a lone deer in the south for a day would be a real challenge. I dang sure couldnt do it and dont know anyone who could do it - in my area. It is definately a lost art in our country. I went to africa as a non-hunter when my son did one of his safari’s - and the most amazing thing I saw while in africa was the tracking ability of almost everyone we dealt with. Even the cook at the camp could track. The hunting truck had a seat mounted to the front bumper. The main tracker would sit in that seat, smoking a cigarette, the PH diving 20 mph on sandy roads. Literally 1000’s of tracks. We would head out, the tracker had his orders for the morning - kudu, waterbuck, zebra, buffalo, elephant, whatever. It didnt even look like he was paying attention and he would raise his hand, we would get out, there would be fresh tracks of a big male of the chosen species. Then, it would get amazing what he could do when we headed out on foot. I have been on several guided hunts in the US and never seen a US guide with anywhere near the skill of the hunters in africa.
     
  7. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    I'd prolly starve to death if I had to depend on tracking a single deer here in the south. Those trackers sitting on the front of the vehicles in Africa are something special. Did that in 2008 and to this day, the most amazing place I have ever visited. If you ever get the chance to do a S. Africa safari do it. Tracker cut a leopard track crossing the road and within a few minutes, we witnessed a leopard stalking impala in the bush. She failed in her attempt but it was an amazing thing to see. As for my expertise in tracking...I'm pretty good at it when a deer is walking down an interior road after a rain. After it leaves the road I'm clueless.

    This month's challenge is something I've tried to do every year. Always constantly trying to identify and commit to memory a tree species. What I really lack more than anything else is weed identification. I carry around my "Weeds" book in the summer and still have a hard time remembering what the weeds are. That will have to be on the challenges before next deer season.

    And by the way...dogghr - thx for starting a few thought provoking threads since the close of deer season. We all need a reason to visit this site regularly and your threads help!
     
  8. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Been hectic and I'm late. Maybe you had the chance to learn some new trees, if not, you can do thruout the year.

    Your new challenge, still staying with trees..... This month cut down a tree, or section one that has already fallen. Hopefully you can do one that is at least your age. You can even just take home a slice to do this. Now take a marker and not only count the rings but analyze why some years seem to produce better growth than others and try to remember the possible causes of good or bad growth. Mark growth rings of years of major events in your life and/or the worlds events. Remember each light and dark ring is one year and no growth occurs typically in the winter.
    I would highly suggest to read the section of Leopolds Sand County Almanac where he talks of sawing the fallen tree and how each stroke of the crosscut saw reveals another year in time. If you never have used a crosscut saw with a friend , try to do that before you die. It is amazing.
    And as you analyse the rings of the dead tree in this Easter time, reflect on life and death and your imput that would left upon this world. Enjoy.

    Here is a link to very simplyfied description you might want to use with reading a tree.
    https://www.theforestacademy.com/tree-knowledge/annual-growth-rings/#.WrD4fLj91zY
     
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  9. lakngulf

    lakngulf Well-Known Member

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    You making us think dogghr. I'm too busy keeping my maters warm this crazy spring. But working a limber crosscut is a art with no pushing. I saw one yesterday hanging in shed at my Mom's house. I thought "how many times it has been bent the wrong way"
     
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  10. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff dogghr. Now two old guys like us might not be able to go all day long with a crosscut saw. So, I have the perfect solution, IF you can get the darn thing to run again. It's a two man chainsaw (McCulloch Model 99). My only rule is that I get the end with the handlebars - and I think you know what I'm talking about. My father said he hoped he never saw it run again, because he had to be the one on the other end when he was a kid.
     
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  11. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Yep a lot of team work on one of those, the old saying give and take. You certainly cannot be a slacker with one. Now everything can be mostly accomplished alone including land management and hunting. No wonder younger ones have lost interest in hunting, its the companionship that makes it fun.
    I do know Native. And no I wont. Those things are a beast just to lift in place to saw.
     
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  12. farmhunter

    farmhunter Active Member

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    I like this idea -

    January - had cameras on last standing corn to see what made it through -
    February - moved camera to fall planted Rye Field to see how much spring thaw use - looking forward to that!!
    March - you have me thinking. Still buried in snow from last three Storms. Storm #4 missed us - happy about that. maybe this weekend I can hike in on snowmobile trail and get some late winter updates at the farm? Probably too much snow for habitat work - then next three months will be crazy - especially MAY.
     
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  13. Tap

    Tap Well-Known Member

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    Only 10 things?? It seems that there's 1,000 things to do before the season:D
     
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  14. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    These are for extra credit and journey toward life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.:)
     
  15. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    dogghr...March project is a winner! A cross section of a tree at least one's own age or older to count back the rings and place the dates of significant events, particularly events within one's own family timeline. Not sure when I'll get that done but it's gonna happen. Thx for keeping the forum interesting with thought provoking material.
     
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  16. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    I actually cut a 20" dbh white oak down this last weekend. Well kinda, it hung up but luckily was on the ground after our 20" inches of snow Sat. While I've done the ring count before on a 130 yo stump on my land, with this one I'm going to make a table centerpiece for my parents and kids from it. I'm going to mark important dates on the centerpiece before I seal it. They may just laugh, and turn it over, but so be it. LOL. I've cut them from red oak before but it is not recommended for food placement as it is too porous. Biggest problem with such a project is the trees are so diseased you have to cut several before getting a pure wood.
    BTW, for those that might try to preserve their slices or make a centerpiece, soak them in 40-50% sugar water for a day as soon as you cut it to help prevent cracking of the slice. If you want to remove bark, best to do so as soon as tree is cut as is much easier. Coat with boiled linseed oil when finished. Enjoy.
     
  17. lakngulf

    lakngulf Well-Known Member

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    Man, I hope the April challenge has something to do with WARM weather and planting a garden!

    And on the tree cutting. I have had a couple of oaks near my house to fall over the years. Same thing with both, Hollow as a "well log". Cut in three foot sections and makes a great planter, for a few years.
     
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  18. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for my negligence. I have been swamped with crap this year. Between the weather and my schedule, my farm looks like crap. But anyways, this activity needs to be done soon as May's challenge will be somewhat related. Yea I know you Northern guys still have to wait for snow thaw, I understand.

    Challenge #4. Go to the most secluded, most peaceful, quietest place on your property, preferably in the early morn. I don't care if you have 5 ac or 6000. You know the spot. Don't take a weapon, I know its turkey season here. Find a log or stump and sit your ass down. Take a few deep breaths. Take 5 minutes to think about all the issues in your life then let your mind go blank for the next hour. Let yourself absorb your surroundings. Hear the rustling of the animals. Notice the new sprouts popping thru the leaves. Take note of the macro and micro flora around you and comtemplate each and their possible purpose. How does nature use the living and dead? Does she micro manage like man likes to? Relate how natures planting rotations can apply to your own plantings. Enjoy your moments before you have to re enter the real world.
    Edit..I forgot one of the most important things...turn off the damn phone. I mean turn it completely off. The world will still exist.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  19. Laker

    Laker New Member

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    @doggr, you remind me of a modern day Aldo Leopold.
     
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  20. Tap

    Tap Well-Known Member

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    Great post, but I would say that when you are in the woods, you already ARE in the real world.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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