Looking back, it always amazes me how many mistakes we made in our habitat journey. I wasn't into computers back then and didn't have the old QDMA forum to help. After 400 or so man-hours cleaning up the place (miles of barbed wire, tractors tires, car hoods, sawmills, countless bottles and cans), we did what most people do; buy a tractor and start on FOOD PLOTS!! That was our first of many mistakes.
The place was just a habitat desert. The fescue fields were a monoculture of worthless grass, leading right up to mature stands of hardwood and pine. You could see a few hundred yards into the timber from the fields. It was as if there were only two types of terrain, field and trees. We hunted the place for two years prior to buying it, and saw a grand total of 4 deer.
One of the things we got right was the mass tree planting effort. In the first two years we planted sawtooth oak, chestnut, silky dogwoods,
crabapples, plums,apples, cherry, white pine, among others. That and the tree removals, both select cut and clearcuts in small sections have proven to be the two most important factors in making it the deer paradise it is today.