River Ranch Project

Congrats!! Headed to Hays Friday to meet my buddy, tag still unpunched. I’m hunting tomorrow morning, but it would have to take a really nice deer to get me to fill my tag just 2 days before the trip.
Been a nice winter in KS on the river. The lack of winter irrigation and lower winter water usage from Hays has allowed the river to fill up again. Have few beavers getting some dams established. Hoping it doesn't flood them away later this year. Kind of a pain losing some trees but the prospect of more water has me forgiving them.

I now figure I'll try to plant willow cuttings heavily up and down both sides. Perhaps that will allow them to use those more. Plus I think the deer could benefit from more winter browse. I was trying to order cuttings but noticed some heavy growths along a local creek so doing a bit of cutting there.

Once spring arrives, hoping that a few of the oaks from last year pulled through. Scaled back my oak planting this year to 4 English oaks. Going to plant a 50 cedar privacy/wind break in April. Perhaps a few acres of burning to help the quail a bit. And a new fence along the east side. Planted a test plot of switchgrass this winter and hoping for some moisture vs what happened last year. Spring and fresh hopes lol. Few recent pics. Tried to get rid of a few nest robbers in January as well.

Glad the site is fixed up. I love seeing what everyone is working on and it appears this is more user friendly.

In my experience, beavers hit willows hard, but if you can get them established, the beavers will keep them at browse level for you, willows are pretty tough. I'd have no problem with beavers at all, if they'd just leave our oaks alone!:mad: They took out two producing burr oaks along the creek just this winter.
Pretty dry but needed to get out and work on something. Hauled out the mower and cut in possible burn lanes if conditions improve. Planted over 100 willow shoots. I did have the feeling while doing that that I may just be feeding my dam building buddy. But he is doing so well. Had 10 ducks and 4 geese on the river.

Then decided to mow out an acre "strut" zone where the turkeys seem to like to hang out. Hung a camera there and it took a day for them to show up.

I bought some nice loppers last year and decided to walk the river. Must have cut over 100 cedar trees under 1" diameter. I figure easier now than later. Passed a bunch of locusts that I could have lopped off but wanted to wait till I had spray with me. Did get 6 more gallons of yucca spray down. That'll help a lot.

I've got about an acre of ground that the game seems to love to travel on that is just 2" tall brome sod. Seriously considering doing a late fall spray on that to try and set the brome back and see what comes up from the seed bank. Course rain would be nice but trying to plan around the lack of that.

Had winds well north of 30 mph but my little camp tucked in the cedars held up well. Good couple of days.


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Good work weekend. I wanted to plant a cedar screening along my north fence so figured I'd start with 28 to see how drought resistant they are. If you hunt the north side of the place, there will be a dozen or more deer in the ag fields to the north. So if I can get these to grow, we can use them for a good screening to access on morning hunts. Planted some more along the bluff trying to get some spots to sit where the deer won't spot your head up there. This section is very dry and its going to take some rain. We'll see.

Found this turkey nest with 11 eggs in it. Saw several hens in the 35 acre pasture that we haven't grazed in 2 years. Hoping the coons don't locate it. It would just take a couple of successful nestings to really help the flock with this many eggs.

Daughter and I worked hard at clearing some cedars and cedar branches along the river. Still a lot left for bedding cover but now they can easy travel the river which I am hoping may also help with fawn survival if coyotes are chasing them.

Planted 8 oaks in a failed river bottom plot. That dirt was actually a little moist. I used weed barriers and cages on all 8. I think these have a chance at surviving. I'll be able to water if rain disappears again. My mowed turkey spot showing 0 green up so far.