Humble Beginnings in Nebraska


Active Member
My property is quite different from most on here but I am 30 years old and just getting started. Got this place a couple years ago and spent much of the time redoing the house inside/out and now have begun my land improvements. Its 10 acres total, with 3.5 acres currently in lawn/trees. The rest is crop land. Family also owns 93 acres directly behind it and 80 acres to the side that are both cropland rotation betw corn and beans. Hopefully this post will show even small properties have potential for land management and decent deer. We farm about 700 acres and I have a few small creek areas I am trying to plant along as well.

Red line is 80acres of corn currently, green is 93 acres of beans, blue is current area im working with and black is the actual property line I am working towards expanding to

This is the house before

House after

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I started out growing trees in random pots in a backroom a couple years ago and have since switched to rootmakers, but still a very simple backroom setup with an old fish tank flourescent and a fan. I've learned a lot the last few winters as far as growing trees goes. These are lanky I realize but I had to start somewhere lol

I have right around 30 trees currently in 5ft tubes, several in cages and many older mulberries. The property was overrun with trumpet vines and boxelders when I moved in, cleared many many trees the last few winters.

Along the north side of the property I have a strip of brassicas between the grass and beans.

moved a bunch of big blue spruce from my parents house only for them to blow over the first summer but I stood them back up and most have survived

kieffer pear

Beadles oak coming out

Bur oak

schuettes oak I moved from parents

column oaks im trying out

Some of my blackhills spruce
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I plan to expand farther out with trees but putting trees on family farm land isnt easy always. I do have a protein feeder for the deer traveling through and for my camera site. Heres a few examples of what comes in, mostly at night unfortunately do to the cover but hopefully that will change. I hope to get a good windbreak of cedars or norways around the property with time and then some taller grasses and continue with my oaks.
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You got the genetics. Once you get some security it should be a really nice hunting spot.
Yes nice make over on the house. Did you tear the barn down? I love old barns, hoping to turn the hay loft in the barn on our families farm into my new taxidermy shop in a couple of years.
I graduated from HS in Iowa, back when Iowa had no deer. Now windbreaks around farmhouses hold deer, and you're place reminds me of Iowa. Your deer are sure to love the trees you're planting.
First reaction - I wish more people protected their trees as well as you do. Anyone that wants to plant trees should imitate your way of protecting. I doubt many 30 years old have a place comparable to yours - be proud of it. I suggest you read the Brushpile thread for the shrubs that will fit in your plan.

I expect to get deer to stay on your ground - the cover has to increase tremendously but I have never been in Nebraska except in the city or speeding down the interstate. It is about giving them what they are missing in many instances.

That is a good deer you have in your hands. Your trail videos are worthy watching too. :rolleyes:

I look forward to your updates.
Thanks, the house has been a major undertaking, especially inside but I am pretty proud of it at this point. The barn remains, I really really want to turn it into a giant mancave/game room but thats way beyond my budget at this point. Cover is the main thing needed for sure. Just havnt figured out the exact route I need to go about it. I found out the hardway what no tree protection does around here, in one night half my trees got ate up. Now if I could just make the japanese beetles go away! lol
Looks really nice. What part of Nebraska are you in? I know in the northwest corner where I hunt, windbreaks of cedars/cottonwoods with tall grasses in with them as well as drainage ditches allowed to grow up in grasses hold a CRAP TON of deer. It's amazing to watch them just materialize out of thin air.
I'm not far from omaha, so east central nebraska. I hunt areas in central nebraska like you are talking about, way more deer in a tiny ditch area than one would ever imagine.
Not much of an update, cleaned out some of my tree tubes and many of my oaks are finally pushing 4ft after three years, i clean them every spring but the mulberries were as tall as the oaks this spring. Havnt found a good way to kill those in the tubes, to big to pull without wrecking oak and to close to oak to put anything on them! Cut some of the larger trees on the property this winter to open up more sunlight. In the process of gettin more black hills spruce and another pear tree.

Last week i planted 3 regal prince oaks that I overpaid for and were severely root bound when i got them home, cut the root ball up pretty good so hopefully they come out ok, they are 9ft tall.
I would think about planting some shrubs,Maybe something such as your conifers,fragrant sumac and then a shorter one.Whatever grows in your area.How much room do you have from conifers to edge of crop field?Give them the feeling of security from you and they may even bed in shrub plots
Ive bee trying to keep the trees 15-20ft in from the field edges so far but i'm out of space so time to start expanding ;)

I was kinda sad today though, planted a bur oak 5 or 6 yrs ago when I got this place and it grew into a nice 20ft tall tree that produced great but I wasnt smart when I planted it and didnt know the septic tank and laterals were only a few feet away. No one would touch it with a spade cause of the location, tried to dig by hand but finally gave up and cut it down today.