A little lease work...


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We made a trip to the lease today to do some plot prep work and some needed repairs. Our old gate post broke and we have had to baby it when opening and closing the gate. We replaced the post today and the new post was actually in a better spot than the old post. We need to add gate hinge on the chain/lock side to support the weight when it's closed the next time we go up.



We also redid our canopy over the "living room" because one corner had fallen during the last bad storms in late June/early July and the rain cover over the gap had been ripped off. We had it mounted to trees on one side with boards and brackets and tied up on the other side with rope. It is now all held to trees via boards and brackets. We filled the gap with silicone and were going put a new cover over it, but felt the silicone looked like it would hold.




We sprayed all of our foodplots with glyphosate to start the burn down. Half had either been eaten down by the deer or failed and the other half had matured, died and weeds had started growing. We also sprayed our camp parking area, around the "cabin" and the ends of all roads that lead to the lease. We still need to spray the main lease road, but it isn't at the top of the list.

We will go back in 2 weeks and check on everything spray some more if needed and put a couple of tripod stands up getting ready for season. We will then go back around the first of September and plant.

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Here are a few pics of it at night. One of our members owns a sign company and bought some LED lights for us to use at night. They are brighter than the picture shows. You can see the stove I posted in another thread and the room we built to hold it along with firewood. You can also see the rain flaps that blew off during the last big storm. This was the night before we installed them the first time.


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Looks like you guys have a nice set-up Doc. On that gate, you might try adding a cable from the top of the hinge poste to the end of the gate for added support. I don't know what kind of weather you guys have been having, but my brother-in-law and I went to our lease last Thursday and Friday to check game cameras and do a little work in the campground and it was hot - really HOT! No fun at all. Can't wait `til Fall.
Looks like you guys have a nice set-up Doc. On that gate, you might try adding a cable from the top of the hinge poste to the end of the gate for added support. I don't know what kind of weather you guys have been having, but my brother-in-law and I went to our lease last Thursday and Friday to check game cameras and do a little work in the campground and it was hot - really HOT! No fun at all. Can't wait `til Fall.
The old post was a pine that blew down a couple of years ago during a wind storm. We had stripped most of the bark off of it to dry. It just didn't last in the heat and wet weather. We will be putting a wheel on the gate the next trip up to hold the weight when it is open. We had talked about a cable, so we may do that too. It has been HOT the past couple of weeks, but yesterday was in the mid 80's with low humidity and it was great.
Here is a pic that I forgot to add in the original post. We raised the roof of the living room a little higher. We are talking about/planning to add a tarp or other cover between the cabin and living room so we don't have to get wet walking back and forth between the two in the rain. It will also allow us to wrap it in the winter and use the heat from the stove to warm it, so we don't have to stand in the cold while cooking.

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What do you run the led lights on?
12v deep cycle boat/car battery with a solar panel attached to charge it. When used for signage and homes, LED lights are 120v, but have a ballast that changes them from 120vAC to 12vDC. We just cut the ballast off and run them directly to the battery via clips.
Pulled soil samples before we sprayed all of the plots. We started with 3 small plots(all 1/4 acre or less) when we got the lease and back in February, we payed a fella to come in and clear some trees for us(we got permission from the lease company) making another plot and expanding one(1/2 & 3/4 acre). The clearing left a bunch of wood chips on the surface that needed to be cleared off. We went back 2 weeks ago with a landscape rack and cleaned them up. I got the soil samples back and was a little surprised at one of the results. All of the plots are 3/4 acre or less, with most being in the 1/10th to 1/4 acre size. We put close to 200lb of lime on each of the small ones and more on the bigger ones back in the spring hoping to start raising the pH and not having to spend near as much after the soil test results came back. All of the soil samples pulled were very dark and had a nice texture to them except one. It was a mixture of red clay and sand.... more sand than clay. We could dig down 4-6" and hit white sand. I expected it to be the worst out of the bunch. Below is a description of each plot and then the pH. Photo of the soil below(hope you see it). I wish I would have gotten a pic of the soil out of the bag so you could really see them. The sand lot is appropriately named.

P & K were low in all the plots. CA, Mg, Zn, Fe,Mn were "sufficient" in all the plots. Boron was 0.3-0.5 in all plots. Sodium was 4-5 in all plots.

Feeder Plot- 1/10 acre, clay/loam/light sand, dark brown in color, has grown some clover, oats and ww, has a free choice feeder at the back. Fertilizer added at planting of clover, 120lb lime added back in the spring. pH- 5.7

100yds from Feeder Plot, everything iooks the same as feed1 from plantings to soil type, no feeder. pH- 5.3

Pin Plot
- expanded plot to 3/4 acre, cleared mostly pine from it, dark brown loamy/clay, 300lb lime added in spring, has grown peas, cowpeas, ww, oats(before expansion), fertilizer added at planting, has free choice feeder on middle edge of the plot. pH- 5.33

Logging Road
(just off the logging road)- 1/2 acre new plot, cleared mostly hardwoods, dark brown clay/loamy, 200lb lime added in spring, didn't grow milo/millet, ww, sunflowers, no fertilizer added. pH- 5.61

Sand Lot
- almost 1/4 acre, sandy red clay(more sand than clay- similar to CnC's soil), nothing growing when we acquired the lease in '14 or the next spring..NOTHING, applied fertilizer last spring(2016), 120lb lime applied this spring(2017), planted cowpeas in 2016(they grew exceptionally well), has grown BOB clover/ww/oats mix(grew ok), soybean/cowpea mix this spring(not good with lots of deer), trying to improve OM. pH- 6.75 Most surprising plot!!!!

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Stayed at the lease last night(Saturday) after work and got up this morning to do some work. Three members, a members girlfriend and a members co-worker went up Saturday and did as much as they could. We got 5 food plots limed, fertilized, planted and rolled, moved a tree stand or 2, added a hinge pin to hold the weight of the camp gate when closed, replaced the small i-bolts on the gate with larger ones, trimmed camp road of over hanging branches, put exclusion cages in all the plots and filled all the feeders one last time. I almost forgot to add, we shot rifles and pistol for breakfast at 7AM this morning :D:D.

Here is one of the plots before rolling:

During rolling:

After rolling:
Here are some pics of a few of the plots taken on Oct 1. They are all coming along great. We have a had a few small rain showers since planting, but it has been a couple of weeks since the last one. They are predicting some rain for Sunday and Monday. Getting trail cam pics of deer eating the new growth. Looking forward to what the exclusion cages tell us. The first two pictures are growing a locally made seed blend with WR, WW, WO, AWP, PTT, Rape, and CC. The last picture is Eagle Seeds Broadside Blend. The Broadside Blend is $45/ 1/4 acre, the local blend is $75/acre. We bought 2 bags of the local blend to do all but one plot. We went slightly heavy on the bigger plots because we had a 1/4 acre that was getting the Eagle seed.



One of the members hunted today and took some pics of the plots. We had rain a week ago and the plots have exploded. The deer are keeping a couple of them in check pretty well and we might have to adjust our plant choices or seed rates. We will see how well it holds up throughout the winter months and into spring. I think the size of them and the browse pressure they are getting is the main factor in whether they provided enough food or not. Some of the smaller plots are getting hit well, but for some reason, the bigger plots are taking most of the heat. All plots, but one, were planted with WW, WO, WR, AWP, Clover, PTT.

"Logging Road Plot" 1/2 acre-


"Pin Plot" 3/4 acre-

"Jackson's Plot" 1/10-1/8 acre-

"Feeder Plot" 1/10 acre-

"Sandlot" 1/4 acre Planted in Eagle Seed Broadside Blend-
Had a lease member hunt yesterday evening. He had to wait on 2 young bucks to leave, so he could leave. This is one that was the closest to him. I am pretty sure they are eating well right now. How he will look in a month may differ.

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The deer have figured out how good the plots taste. We will try and plant 3 weeks earlier next year. Most of the plots were as tall as the exclusion cages, not so much now.

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The latest pics from the lease show heavy usage of the plots. Hopefully the rutting action has given them a much needed break, so that they may recover a little. Lots of red oak acorns on the ground also. Let's hope they start keying in on them soon too.

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Went to the lease Saturday evening after work to do some hunting on Sunday. Woke up this morning to rain and 25mph winds. Don't mind the rain, but the wind slinging the rain in sideways is terrible. Decided to stay at camp and play farkle and possibly get an afternoon hunt in. Wind stayed steady at 25 and swirling. Cleaned up around the cabin and came home. We ate good though. Here are a few pics that I took. One of the guys on the lease used to be the Middle Tennessee YETI rep. We took a styrofoam cooler and made him a YOTI cooler.







I forgot to talk about the plots. I added a couple of screen shots of trail cam pictures using Tapatalk from the card we pulled this weekend.

All of them have green in them, it's just that the majority of it is clover that is under 1/2" tall. There is a minimal amount of WW, WR, WO left and a plot or 2 has some very small and short brassica leaves(starting to wilt with cold weather). The deer have absolutely hammered the plots. The exclusion cages all have over a foot of growth in them. There are still some red oak acorns left on the ground, which will probably start disappearing now that we have been having some colder weather. Our season will be over January 7, with juvenile the following weekend. We will start putting supplemental feed back out for them after the juvenile weekend. The trail cam pictures we have been getting are showing healthy looking deer, and that should help us start off 2018 with some promise. We looked at all of the plots to prepare for spring and all of the plots need some overseeding of clover in varying amounts and I am thinking that some chicory may benefit us. If yall have another suggestion, let me know.