Starting from Scratch.


Well-Known Member
Long Post, so bear with me.

Raised in NW Pa and now living in Central Fl for 18 years, things hunting-wise have sure been a big change for me.

For starters I was raised on a small farm that was part of a larger farm that was split amongst the kids when my Grandparents passed. So I had about 500-600 acres to roam and hunt. Add to that the neighbors that we had shared agreements with add another 400 or so. So about 1000 Acres.

Here I have nothing but Public Land to hunt, which is great to have but can be a real nightmare to hunt.
About 4 years ago my SIL asked me to take him Deer Hunting (he had never hunted before) back in Pa, where my Brother now owns the Farm. I did and he was hooked. Bought some land without consulting me and it ended up being more of an ATV and Off-Road Truck Playground. We tried to make it work but after doing everything right only to have someone decide to ride their machine through the woods at 1/2 hour after daylight just wasn't cutting it.

I had enough. Add the fact that I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer I decided that I was not waiting another year like I had been for the last 5 to lease some land. Looked for and found 80 acres in the Florida Panhandle that was in the range I wanted to pay and my SIL went in with me and we leased it.

This was to me the Beginning of Passing Down my Hunting Heritage. So we called the place New Heritage Hunt Club and took over ownership July 1st of this year. The land has a lot of potential and tons of deer sign that we seen while looking it over prior to signing. Cypress Swamp Bottom and another Mid Parcel cut. Planted Pines in young growth mixed in with older pines and a scattering of Oaks and Persimmons.

Our first weekend I went to work cleaning out some old shooting lines that were growing over and looking for places to set up new ones. We ended up with 7-8 really good potential sites for Food Plots & Stands. Set Up where our Camp will be and put up the required Posted Signs.

I Then contacted the two neighbors (One has land on 3 sides and one across the dirt road) via mail and introduced myself and asked if they hunted and if so what Management Plan did they have in place. The One Owner that is one the 3 sides called me and we spoke for about an hour or more. Great Guy. He owns 300 acres and his brother another 80 acres from what is left from their Grandfather's place. He informed me that neither of them hunt, or have for the last 10 years, and we discussed some ideas that may just end up with me having access to his 300 acres as well. The other owner never contacted me.

Last trip up I started on the Food Plots by using a Ground Hog Max on my Polaris Sportsman 700 to disc in Lime Pellets. Inter Pine Runs is the only way I can put in Plots, no Fields. A major storm moved through the day I got there and made some areas to wet to disc correctly, but others worked up well. In any case the Lime got put down. Next trip I will be putting down the seed and fertilizer.

I plan to use a mix of 2-products per site (one on each lane) to hopefully have both early and late season attraction.
Sites will have either Whitetail Institute Clover and No Plow or Clover and Winter Greens, or Clover and Beets & Greens. The wetter sites will get the Clover and some light overseeding of whichever product the other lane is not getting (ie: clover overseeding with Winter Greens and the other lane be No-Plow) may be done as well.

Some Pics of the Sportsman Loaded Up and ready to go to work. Some before & after pics. Some finished plots pics.



After(this was to wet)



Another site after

Another site after. This has a great Oak Tree as its hub.



Another site. Just light discing here due to being wet.


3-Days after our first weekend where I trimmed back the lanes, deer were showing up. I had sprinkled some corn.




And a few of these.

Our first Campsite. Probably will keep this one.


These guys already want to go.

I will Update as work gets done and Cameras are checked. My Family's New Hunting Heritage begins now.
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Looks like you have a great start. I wish you well with your health problem.
Did you get soil test before starting? All those pine droppings maybe a problem.
Awesome post and pics. Just to be you lease it or own it?
I wish I owned it.

I lease it. Have a written contract for 3 years. I am planning to get back there next weekend to get the seeding started, check the cams (been a month), and set up two ladder stands. 1 Blind is already set and I have 1 other to set as well. I will probably not get it all done this first year, but at least we have a plan in place. We will have at least 6 sites set to choose from and so that we do not over hunt any.
Looks like you have a great start. I wish you well with your health problem.
Did you get soil test before starting? All those pine droppings maybe a problem.
I did not. know that I should, but went with the recommended amount on bags. I have a very limited time to work on it due to the time travel and the fact that I'm taking treatments M-F until mid October. BUT get done with those just in time for that Zone's Archery to start. (Florida is a very diverse eco system. There are Zones A,B,C,D all with different season dates due to that.
Good luck down there! It's a whole new experience for me. I have a ton of questions, but will let it go.

I am a prostate cancer survivor. It sounds like you are doing radiation? With a few exceptions prostate cancer is fairly east to control or cure. I'm rooting for you!
Good luck down there! It's a whole new experience for me. I have a ton of questions, but will let it go.

I am a prostate cancer survivor. It sounds like you are doing radiation? With a few exceptions prostate cancer is fairly east to control or cure. I'm rooting for you!

Yes Hormone Shots/Chemo and Radiation M-F for 9 Weeks. Hormone Shots are the worst, the Sweats- especially at night- are terrible to deal with. Then once they are over comes the Freezing Chills as your body reacts.

18 more Zaps to go.
I don't know exactly where you are at in NW Florida, but all your pictures look very familiar to the thick stuff in planted pines that we deal with. It's a different world than most deer hunters know....very challenging when you can't see more than 100yds.

I'm in Gulf County (Wewahitchka) with a 1200 acre lease and Washington County (Bonifay) with 20 acres we bought. The properties are 1 hour apart but a world of difference in soil quality and "wetness".

My experience with planted pines and sandy soil is that the pH comes in around 4. I hope yours is much better, but nothing will really grown in 4 or 5 pH literally need tons of lime.

Your does look healthy given what looks like a very poor nutritive environment. Not sure if you have bears in your area, but if you do, keeping feeders up is a challenge....I won't hunt a ground blind in bear country.
We are in Washington County, a little NW of Veron.

So far haven't seen Bears or Bear sign. Kind of funny that in some areas the native grasses grow like crazy, then in others not much. I tried to pick areas that look "healthy" with a decent grass base to start with.

This is kind of thick, but so much better than the areas around me in Central Florida. There it is truly a Jungle for the most part.
You are a little SW of me. We got one bear on camera in April at the feeder and that surprised the locals when I told them. Haven't seen one since.

I've got 3' tall Iron Clays I planted in July on land that was just fertilizer. Amazed me.

2018 Sep 15 (2) reduced.jpg
Having hunted deer in Florida , North Carolina, Virginia, and Illinois, FL was by far the toughest (at least while I was there). Love the Gator plate!! Keep up the good work...
Back from a weekend of work. Was able to fertilize, disc, drag, and Seed 6 Plots. 2 each at 3 Stand/Blind areas.

Each got a mixture of WTI Clover mixed with Beets n Greens, Winter Greens or No Plow and the other plot got one of whichever one I didn’t use in the mix.

What I was trying to accomplish was a base of Clover with some feed for late fall and winter at each location.

Some pics.









Some other finished plots.



My home made drag.


I was lucky enough to be packed up and ready to leave as the rain hit. Came down as a good soaker but not sure for how long.

Will update with his they turn out.
Man you have put a ton of work into those plots with the equipment you have ! To me, that's part of the hunt. I get great satisfaction, as I imagine we all do, just knowing that I'm improving the forage for the deer, and actually improving the property too.

Good luck with your medical issues. You will kick cancer's ass, and enjoy many more years of doing what you're doing now.
Thanks DC.

Yeah if I had a real choice in life I would of been a Farmer. Love working in the dirt.

Today starts the last 8 Radiation Treatments. 4 this week and then 4 next week.

If these annoying heat flashes would go away that’d be great.
Was up to check on the Property last weekend. We were very Blessed to get a Pass from the Hurricane. Not a complete miss but not to bad.
The Food Plots I looked at were not as good as I hoped, until I checked some of the pics. There I saw the that the plants had grown better but the Deer were munching them down to the base.

This weekend is a Work Weekend to clear the road and trails from downed trees and tops. And I am also going to put down the 2nd feeding of Fertilizer per the Seeding Instructions.

I used one of these plants last year on the SIL's Property in Central Fl. I had to plant 1 month earlier than it said in order to try and get a plot when Archery came in. By the end of Archery it wasn't looking to good and I gave up on it and hunted elsewhere. The SIL checked on it later in the season after the cooler temps hit and he said it was doing great. In fact he said he was jealous of just how well it was doing compared to his. I hope with the more northern climate it will be taking off just in Prime Time for our Gun Season.

I'll try to remember to get some pics of it this weekend.
Sounds good Deadeye, glad it wasn't too bad. Good luck on your CA tx. My hunting buddy going thru same thing now. He did shoot a 7 pt out his house window with his crossbow. He spent 3 hours getting it gutted and back to house. Such an idiot for not calling me. Which. is what I told him when visiting him in hospital today. He agreed.
I forgot to do an UPDATE.
We cut off all the downed trees off of the Trails and Food Plots. The Deer were hitting the Plots pretty hard with most of the new growth chomped off. One site I was getting Daily Pics of a group of Does, then a tree fell right in front of the Cam. Still got some pis but not very clear.

Tore down that small Ground Blind that made my Back hurt and put a new Tripod Stand in it's place. Wrapped with Blind Material. Looks good and feels great to sit in.

That Plot has been called Big Buck Lane, as I have lots of pics of Bucks using it on their way to the Acorn Crop of trees just at the Property Line. That plot at first I thought wasn't doing well, but I can see in the Cam Pics they are feeding in it hard.

Next year I'll do some baskets to really be able to see.

We go up this weekend for a rifle hunt, both Buck and Doe are in.
Good luck Deadeye with the plots and your health issues too.

Your hard work will payoff on the lease - just be patient and stay at it.

Thank you Wayne.
We hunted Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday but did no good. The deer have gone Nocturnal for some reason according to the Cam pics we got.
SIL left late Sunday night, but I stayed to put down 120 lbs more of Lime on the Plot that looked sad compared to the rest and 40 lbs of fertilizer on each run of all the sites.

Hopefully by the time we go back up either in late December for Doe Days or in January once the Rut kicks in they will be growing and doing what they are supposed to do.

I have plans for next year on how to expand a couple sites to both be able to see better and provide more food. I think not enough area planted is part of the problem for them eating it down to the ground. We also got areas that we have never even stepped foot on yet, so who knows what the future holds.

I will say that on Monday as I loaded the Wheeler up and was heading out, a feeling of Happiness flowed over me and I realised that I actually may enjoy doing the work of Improvements even more than the actual Hunting. That was a First for me.