New Land In WI Advice


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Land Map.jpg I am new to the forum. Myself and my family have just purchased 50 acres on the MN WI border in the upper part of WI /middle of MN on a map. I hunted it last year and my daughter got her first deer on it. My friend ended up selling the land and cabin to me this year. I am looking for some advice on some improvements to do. I have a few plans, however would like some others input. I have attached a screen shot of the new land I purchased. The yellow trails have been mowed and cleared. The green trail was dozed years ago but is getting somewhat over grown now. I can drive the 4 wheeler back there but can't get back there with the tractor because of the pinch point you see is so wet. There is running/ trickling/ standing water all across the narrow point all year long. I may in the future try and add some dirt and a couple culverts. You can see the low areas. They are mainly swap grass with a couple islands with trees to the south of me (Public Hunting so I can shoot to them). There is about 150 acres of swap/ bog surrounding my land it goes for about another 40 acres to the south then gets higher again. Directly to the west there is some higher land where mine property line ends (West edge of pic). The red spots are elevated box stands, one I just built the other was there prior to me buying. There are also a couple tree stands scattered throughout the property. At the end of the trail that runs North &S I plan to put in a food plot in the spring. Thoughts on what to plant? There is another land owner to the NE of me that has about 100 acres planted (corn this year) Already cold enough this year that nothing will grow if I plant now.

Should I try and build some bedding areas? I am thinking a lot of them lay down in the swamp grass on a couple higher areas. Any other areas you think a food plot would be good. I have 3 trail cameras set up now and see a lot of the same deer on all three. Although one does get more action, by the south end of the north south trail. I have a decent amount of bucks (nothing to big Ive seen) a number of does, and was getting some bear when the cameras were first set up.

Last typicaly the weather / wind comes from the west or south west

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Hi Fireman. Welcome to the group. Looks like you have a great pinch point on your new property. My input is to hunt it this year and then figure out what is lacking that a deer would want. It is best to take your time and get a "feel" for the land before attempting to make any changes. As research I would want to check with someone that is qualified about whether adding drainage to the wet areas is workable. Note; might not do it anyhow but would want to now if it is feasible.
Be very careful about adding culverts, ditching, or adding dirt to the areas where the water is running (filling in a wetland). Could end up costing a lot more to have it removed once you put it in.
Bedding west and south, I like the lay. As Chainsaw already mentioned, don't be in a hurry, look and learn. Welcome.

Instead of developing access into the south west I would perhaps start thinking about making that your inviolate sanctuary.

In your north east food plot area get 2 acres of clover established.

^^^^^There you go, perfect idea and start to your management. Leave those swamps.
Yeah swamp areas typically provide plenty of cover/ bedding in spots when/ where they can feel safe that serve as natural bedding/ sanctuary. It’s my favorite type of habitat as they also tend to provide a vast array of native browse compared to other types.

From the layout described, you seem to be in a great situation. While it might not seem as fun, sometimes more is less when it comes to improvements. Focus more on the micro rather than the micro in my opinion- adding trees if you’d like a certain type of oak/ fruit, etc., as well as continuing to monitor and determine travel patterns as they pertain to stage/ time of year.

Ingress and egress is paramount to success, but it’s very difficult to improve enhance that aspect until you have a really good understanding of how they navigate both your property and surrounding area.

The great news for you is that, with some public surrounding you, you can use that to your advantage both from the standpoint of having the ability to walk that property as well as using that pressure/ predictable traffic to your advantage. And that advantage cannot be understated.

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I was in your position a few years ago. I would suggest spending a year hunting without improvements and study deer movements, times, dates, direction, etc. And create a log! Once that is well understood, its much easier to develop a plan that compliments existing deer movement. If you are trying to drastically change their movement, it will be an uphill battle. What town are you by? I live in Hudson. I am on year three of my log and I have a lot of data that shows clear patterns and optimum dates/times to hunt certain stands

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It looks like perimeter screened access would be a huge benefit, so you dont drive half your property with blowing scent, each time you acess down the center trails

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Also west wind is common in that area, but if you like to hunt after the passing of a cold front, you likely will need some setups for north wind. I find that is my most successful hunting tactic besides access.

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WI Hunting.jpg Thanks for all the advise. I set up trail cameras in a few areas back when I first post this. Sorry for the delay in getting back. I set one up by east stand, one by the west stand one over on the pinch area and one on the trail that runs threw the middle of the property E to W. The south east stand had a lot of action on the cameras. A lot of doe and fawn pics with an occasional bear and a few bucks. The Camera by the west stand had decent movement and the most pics of bucks, just not as much activity. The other 2 cameras had some activity but not a lot. As for the bucks. All the bucks I got pictures of showed up on all the trail cameras here and there except for the camera in the middle of the property that only had a couple buck pics.

Prior to season starting I was able to walk the whole property. I have marked a few more un-mowed trails and some water/ small ponds. I am thinking I will put in a row of pines behind the house Green line. There is a pretty good group of pines by the swamp area west of the cabin, and another group on the east side in the clearing area. I labeled a few more thing on the photo. Thinking about starting with some easy stuff like the beans and new pines this year and adding in a couple new stands(gray)

On to Opener last weekend. I didn't see anything out of east stand until late afternoon then they started showing up. I had 8 deer all does and fawns with in 30 yards of the stand. Most hung out for about an hour. heard another blowing pretty hard all I ever seen was a tail flash though. At The same time my wife text me and said there were 8 doe/fawn in my back yard behind the cabin. My daughter hunted west stand from 2pm on on opener till last light (Volly ball tryouts). She didn't see anything but a doe she shot but missed. We could not find a drop of blood anywhere. We then sat on Sunday. She scared one up going in and could hear them all around her once in the stand but didn't see anything to shoot at. When walking out for lunch she shot a button buck as it jumped the trail. I had 3 show up, one picked me and took off. Then 3 more showed up about 30 min later. I got the large doe (110lbs). My daughter seen a couple does sun night and a small spike. She heard a lot of movement just never saw them. All I seen was more does/ fawns Sunday night. Heard a few walking around the outskirts of the stand but never saw them. I need to cut more shooting lanes now that I spent some time in the stand. The public on the west side of me gets hunted pretty hard. I found out. Heard 5-6 gun shots from the west opening morning. A few from the south as well.

Any other thoughts for the property? What other things to plant? Im debating on trying to make some bedding.
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I haven't posted in a while. I went up on June 14 and tilled the red areas then planted beans a few days later. I didn't get a tree order in so I got some Egyptian Wheat and planted it all along the end of the bean field on the north edge behind the cabin. And along the west edge of the smaller east bean plot. I put in a mineral site and am getting a lot of activity on the trail camera. I am thinking early fall I will over seed the beans with come clover or ?. The south plot is sprayed, I need to drag it and probably spray one more time. Then thinking I will do winter wheat or some brassicas. Any suggestions on what to plant there it is a rocky/ sandy soil. That stays fairly wet in areas.

I have found most of my movement is east and west movement. The only ag besides my new stuff is about 2 miles to the north east. No other ag in the area for miles. During season last year I didnt see any larger bucks only a small spike. However before season I had some nice ones on the trail cameras. Got pics of one after season as well. I seem to have an abundance of does, thinking I need to thin them out a bit so I get more Buck movement.

Any one have any other thoughts or ideas for me.


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First thing I would be doing in screening borders. In my neck of the woods cover is the limiting factor with food everywhere. It sounds like your situation is the opposite. I would still hold of on major projects until I've hunted it several seasons but that's me. I would be looking into some fruit trees and possibly small plots. For plots I would research the LC rotation from Paul Knox. You can find some of his teachings on this sight, also on Iowa Whitetail forums and Outreach Outdoors forums. Please keep updating I'm tuned in.

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You have the right ideas, plant it and they will come, food plots are almost always a good thing. You learn as much about your own property from trial and error as what other people can tell you off of an aerial photograph, so the idea is to not make big expensive irreversible changes too quickly, but to learn more about your property as you hunt it each year. The lower left "maybe plot" seems to be pretty close to the corner of your property, and the landowner to the west might get more benefit from it than you do. With plots the primary idea is to draw deer towards the middle of your property, the secondary is for shooting plots. Depending upon all the peripheral factors sometimes it does make sense to do a plot on the edge of a property, you just want to carefully think it thorough before you put in the time and money. Good hunting!