A Walk Through Sam's Place

Sam's Place gets zero gun pressure except for the younger guys. Here is my middle son, Caleb, with his officially last youth season deer, as he has now turned 16.
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Here is my youngest, Gabe, with his buck. It was killed with his late great-grandfather's 25-06 rifle. The buck came in to the first rattling sequence I made. Minutes after Gabe shot this deer, I rattled again to pass the time while we waited to search for his deer. A much larger 8 point came charging in to within 5 yards of our position on the ground. We got to watch him for over 5 minutes before he caught our wind and exited the scene.
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You're growing some fine young men, who are a chip off the old block! Wow on the truncheons, even though we're still in a drought!
Doctorbrady...Glad you are here! The inspiration behind my thread on the other site was "A Walk Through Sam's Place". Hope you're a regular here.
Your pics brought back some memories of when you started it on the other forum. Very touching and like others have stated very inspirational.

thanks for sharing your family with us
Great pictures of your land, you guys are making me too embarrassed to post my little 5 acres :-/
Here is a jujube tree covered in flowers (from June). If you look closely you can see the beetles that pollinate these trees. Last year this tree produced it first tasty fruits! Jujubes are very drought tolerant and low maintenance trees. Mine never require spraying. They are supposed to fruit early, though mine took several years due to tough drought conditions. They are slow growers, though mine have put on 3-4' of rapid growth this year with the little rains they got.View attachment 113
Tell me more about your jujube. What variety is it and how long did you have it before it fruited? I have a Tigertooth that I planted this spring. It bloomed most of the summer but I would he suprised if it fruited.
My initial jujubes were planted in the Spring of the driest summer in my lifetime. 4 went into the ground, 2 survived with pretty much zero care or water for months, while every other fruit tree on my place either died or got watered in desperation. All four were from England's Nursery, but I never put aluminum tags on them, as I do my trees now. I think one is Sweety Meaty, or something of that nature. The larger of the survivors flowered the following year, but did not have a pollinator. It took until last season (5th leaf, I think) before it produced a few fruit, and that was because the other survivor finally had some flowers. I have since grafted several onto rootstock, but lost most of the grafts to poor growing conditions and hot, dry weather. The rootstock has survived. Some of my rootstock flowered the year after planting, though. Jujubes planted in good conditions and cared for, should produce fruit in the 2nd or 3rd leaf. They are slow vertical growers, though and take a while to get decent height on them. Still, I find them to be an attractive choice for drier climates, like mine seems to have become.
I got the tigertooth because of the heat, drought, pest resistance things. But I also liked that it was the only non grafted variety I could find. When it suckers out they will stay true to form from the parent tree. Your review of the jujube has me excited about mine!
Well, as promised, I have a few photos of Sam's Place to share. I made it out today to do some catching up. This year has been a real challenge trying to get out to the property, and accomplish my goals. It has also been an odd growing seas on...seems they all are the past several years. We started with an early warm up which drove many of my fruit trees to flower early. This was followed by a couple of hard frosts that then destroyed about 70% of the blooms on many of the trees. April and May were unusually dry. Then came June, typically our wettest month. Average rainfall should be around 6", but Sam's place received just over an inch all month, and all in tenths of an inch which didn't even penetrate the rock hard ground. Then when trees began to die, and things looked desperate, we had a fairly wet July and a decent start to August. The type of weather we have been experiencing has been tough on trees, but has made my grasses and woody shrubs EXPLODE. Sam's Place is all about cover, and this year it looks like a jungle. 2016-07-18 2016-07-18 001 002 (480x640).jpg
This area was once a cattle farm, and was rotationally grazed. Much of my effort over the past 8 years has been eradicating fescue, and replacing it with more wildlife friendly and diverse flora. This field has been planted with NWSG on 2 occasions, but has always been overtaken by all types of broadleaves and woody plants. Some NWSG exists, but it is far from a pure seeding as you can see. What I have learned, though is that having fallow areas like this in addition to my purer NWSG plantings and switchgrass plantings adds a nice diversity for deer and other wildlife. Here is a photo snapped on my phone of one of a number of yearling quail that I flushed from various areas around the property. This one was along the edge of a stand of switchgrass.
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Look closely just left of the center and you will see one of four that I flushed while mowing an overgrown Durana clover field.
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In addition to a number of quail, I also got to see a dozen or so rabbits, a single fawn, and a lot of other smaller wildlife as I worked the ground. Diversity of habitat, and different stages of cover and succession add a lot to a property in my opinion. Here's another picture of an accidental mess that didn't turn out quite as I had planned, but has served my property's wildlife well.
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