Foodplotting In The Mountains...The Sequel

Random Clusters is an interesting and catchy name and I 100% agree with the clusters part of it; but however random it may look, how random a property layout is I might question. Early in the twenty-five plus years of apple tree releasing on this property it became evident that I would likely never save all of the apple trees from the next succession stage. So I decided to release and thus save them from the then developing closed canopies in groups, clusters actually although I didn't think of them as that. Besides being more efficient to release apple trees in "clusters" it became apparent that clusters spaced every so often along a parallel line to a field, or a drainage, or a ridge, side hill or any edge would be a lot more huntable as well as more friendly to deer use. So over the years apple trees were released in groups (clusters) related to habitat features versus every single apple tree all over the place.

To trespassers the apple tree groupings probably appear to be quite random but random they are not. Still though random Clusters is a very cool and even understandable concept. And yet maybe to the deer the apple tree groups (clusters) on this property are actually completely random. It may only be PLANNED in my way of thinking.
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Is anything we do really random? I mean we sit in a treestand thinking about what we can do as land managers to our land to manipulate the deer to travel where want them to and bed where we want them to most of the time and yes it will be a never ending game we play at least until we can not physically do it anymore.
Thanks guys for responses. Keep in mind analogy of groups of cars but not equal spacing between groups, yet all heading the same direction. The Random Clusters Theory ( and I laugh as I type that) is not that there is no method to the clusters, but that they follow no set pattern of spacing in location, other than how I tend to relate them to the topography much as Chainsaw alluded to.
If you read some experts, and I admire a couple of them, then they tend to almost roadmap pathway for deer. While I think that can be a good idea, I don't spend the time to build this road intact, but just rather just sections of road that I hope the deer will tend to follow mainly just because of the edge that is created. I typically don't have sidewalks within them, but am very dependent on their love of edge.
Nothing groundbreaking here. But what it will allow, is for one to maintain a mature state of timber management if they choose. Quite honestly, I never planned the pattern, but as the years progressed, I found that indeed I had developed this pathway that deer could and do hop across while scent checking for doe, yet feeling secure even in a mature forest. It is rare but not impossible in a state such as WV, that has one of the top two hunter per sq mile ratios in the country,to have mature bucks spend any daylight time in a field once hunting season commences. Don't mortgage the house on my idea, it just happens to be what works as my land lays.
Thanks Sat. I really like getting video of bear. It is amazing to me how smoothly and quickly they move even when not in a hurry. I have a video of a young bore getting sprayed by a skunk if I can learn to post it I shall. He got educated real quick.

Wonder how my brassica planting is coming? Had rain the first day and despite 50% chance all week, not a drop naturally. Won't be down for a least another week before I can see.

For you night owls, there is a meteor shower visible tonight in the NE sky. From the comet Perseid. Peaks are usually between 12 midnight and dawn. It's cool to watch while having a glass of milk?? Get in a dark area and watch not only for the meteors, but the colors of trails they can leave. This one is not the greatest but stands potential of 200/hr. Should be good thru the 14th. I start vacation tomorrow so fig I'll sit up and let someone else drive to the beach tomorrow.

Here is a pic I made in 2014 of meteor shower from Comet Camelopardalids. It was a slow night and I got lucky despite prediction of 1000/hour. Kinda like deer hunting, just never know unless you are there. By the way, I can smell deer season around the corner and more excited than a senior couple on prom night. IMG_0032C.jpg
Trying to get q little habitat work done but the ground is like concrete

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Vacations are nice...but apparently not for me...we took a day off back around the 4th of July to camp starting the Thursday night before (4th was on Monday) and Sunday morning I had had all the relaxing and fun in the sun I could stand and was up loading us up to leave before the wife and grand kids even woke up...not enough work going on so needed to get back to it!
I have to agree. I'm climbing the walls but paying my dues before hunting season kicks. Thank goodness for tapatalk or I'd already be more crazy than usual.

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As evening brings on the night, I stare on to the horizon, imagining the oceans endless borders, it's fathomless depths, the wonderful.....yea who am I kidding, I was simply wondering if my brassicas got any rain this past week. Find out tomorrow.

" And God saw it was good. And there was evening , and there was morning-- the fourth day. " --- Genesis 1: 18-19 NIV

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sometimes it is good to get away, the curse of being addicted to habitat is that our minds are always on deer!!

Looks like a nice place dogghr! Hope you enjoyed the vaca, now get back to the hills where you belong! hahaha
sometimes it is good to get away, the curse of being addicted to habitat is that our minds are always on deer!!Looks like a nice place dogghr! Hope you enjoyed the vaca, now get back to the hills where you belong! hahaha

Yea its funny how your mind stays on what is going on back home. Good vacation and great time, but as you said, I'm not a flatlander and I'm glad to be back tonight in my hills.
And He made a lot of good. Wow, so much for us to enjoy, and conserve.

Well said Lakn.
Went to the beach myself this year and never stepped foot in the ocean other than fishing excursions! Definitely fun to visit once in a while.
Always appreciate your thoughts dogghr. Gonna be a fun fall.
Thanks Fish. I do like the beach in our mid winter to go play golf. But not much on the sand. Not sure how those guys plant on that soil.

Couple quick pics of Brassica plantings. These were put in almost 2 weeks ago. Sprayed gly, spread seed and fert, and mowed for a light thatch. Got a couple showers that day, then stayed dry till yesterday. You have to be patient with this type of planting, the green doesn't jump out at you right off. You can see some leaf stress from dry conditions but should bounce back quickly. Another 2 wks and I'll hit with Urea again.

If you look close, you can see excellent germination in the thatch. This plot is on a ridge top facing heat of the sun and its drying affects nearly all day long.

Here is my Ravine plot. Lower, less sun, more moisture. Had turkeys in here as I checked the plot..

This is why I overseed brassica late in Nov or March with WR and RC, depending on amount of browse. Great plot of especially clovers. What if you can't plant this year, you are sick, or obligations prevent such? What does it matter because you have a great plot for the hunt season ready for you? Or if you want to plant rotation, you can. Why would I want to till this under??? just overseed with my LC WR/oats/pea mix , maybe mow, maybe spread fert, and your plot is done for the fall. Feeds most of winter and early greenup of WR and clovers and maybe oats and peas the next spring. Leave WR to mature to provide weed and moisture control and fawning cover for your deer. Out smart most of the coyote predation. Easy, cheap, quick, effective.
Want to see how nature does it? No tillage here. Just an old pile of bear Poop growing who knows what from their ingestion. You can't stop weeds per se as a plotter in your plantings. Every animal from birds to deer to bear to dogs are reseeding that crap as fast as you can spray. Accept some grasses and weeds are just part of the equation and don't lose sleep about it. I was a little edgy since I was doing this check of my plots close to dark and I knew momma and her cubs usually made their rounds at this time. Just wasn't in the mood to bump into a grouchy momma this night.

I loves my Goldenrod. Thick screening and bedding for deer. Never seen them browse it any. Just spray Gly on the fescue and you will have patches of it along with other plants the deer do browse. If you don't want it, mow late Aug /early Sept and you will set it back almost completely the next year. Bees were working it so hard you could hardly hear anything else. Seven feet tall and still some growth to do.

A few other fall blooms beginning. Had to root beneath a bunch of crap to find these tiny things blooming.
And last, had to show just one more. Hard to beat a good sunrise anywhere. I enjoy traveling different parts of the country, the plants are so diverse, yet so similar in a lot of ways. I always pay close attention to how and when the farmers are planting/harvesting their crops. Amazing how they know the best times for each it seems, and you would think they all get the same memo as to when to do it. The south and their thick mass of growth in their woods is almost inconcievable to me. How you guys get thru that stuff to hunt, much less get a shot off, is beyond me. Love the variety across this country.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.-----The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Coleridge

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