The Land of Milk and Honey


Well-Known Member
Well, after watching many of your threads from the old forum to here, I think it may be time to start my own. I always feared I would start one of these and it would get boring because I always forget to take pictures of what I do. We'll see what happens. :)

I live on 5 acres in North Central Kansas (Zone 5a). Out my back gate my family has about 220 acres of ground where I do most of my hunting. The challenge I have is about 180 acres of that is great native grass pasture which is devoid of any trees and brush. At this point, I am powerless to do anything about that. The balance of the property consists of three bottom fields, two of which are in brome, the third is fallow and where my father winters our cattle. There is a spring-fed creek which is our southern border and runs year round. There is a 5 or so acre block of timber in our bottom as well. I have been girdling unwanted species and trying to release desired trees. Our timber is predominately bur oak with a mix of walnut, hackberry and elm making up most of the rest. It is heavily canopied and makes for a ton of visibility through the understory. Where I could I created a tornado effect to try and reduce visibility, create browse, and just generally set back succession. The neighbors to the South are great stewards. They own around 400 acres and solely promote wildlife there. It is the hub of our deer activity. The neighbors to the East lease their ground to an outfitter who has absolutely no standards at all. (That really sucks.) The neighbor to the West owns around 600 acres. He is a "decent" neighbor. He and 2 of his kids hunt that property. They have shot plenty of mature deer through the years, so they generally hold out for something that is grown. They practice some hunting techniques that I am not thrilled about, (radios, driving deer with 4 wheelers, etc...) but they will not hunt at night or out of season. Their pressure moves deer to the Southern neighbor where they are safe. Our property is almost exclusively a travel corridor from one neighbor's to the next. But I am working with what I have.

Besides the TSI, my main project has been a food plot. I have one acre of flat ground to work with. I am allowed to use it because it is very poor... I planted 25 persimmons there in the spring of 2014. Only 7 remain, but they look pretty good. That fall I tried throw-n-mow on about half an acre. The results were okay, but not great. I tried to expand it to the full acre last fall and was overrun with grass and weeds. That brings us to my current status...
We tilled my plot and have been coming up with a plan. That fallow field where we winter cattle was loaded with composted manure piles.

They were too good to pass on. Hopefully it works in nicely. We took 30 trailer loads of compost out of that field. We let it dry for a day and disced it in as best we could.

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We’ll see how this resolution looks. Our property is in red. My house is the blue box. Dad lives in the green area. The road headed South from his house (our West line) is a dead end road. It gets very little traffic as it only provides access to our place and our Western neighbor. My efforts are focused on the Southern third of our property.

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Zooming in. The blue line is the pasture fence. Dad is nice and keeps the cattle North of the fence until after my rut hunting vacation. :)

The fields as described previously and the red is my food plot. Not ideal, but I am playing the cards I was dealt.


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Zooming in again on my regular hunting area. The blue line shows the creek as it is obscured by the trees. The yellow are deer trails. I have a hard time accessing this as we have a lot of Northerly winds in the winter and my only access is from the North. :/. The north tree stand is next to the creek crossing between the fields. The banks are steep, so this crossing gets a lot of traffic. I only hunt this stand with a South of Southwest wind.


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Love your method of "enriching " the food plot. Good luck. With a sweet plot the travel deer will stop awhile. Sorry about the redneck hunting next door. What type cattle?
Looks very similar to alot of places I hunt. Tough to make the biggest changes you know would increase your hunting success, but as you stated you have to play with the cards you are dealt. Hopefully sometime down the road you will get the opportunity to play with more cards.
Love your method of "enriching " the food plot. Good luck. With a sweet plot the travel deer will stop awhile. Sorry about the redneck hunting next door. What type cattle?

Angus cross. Our cows are a mix of breeds all bred to an angus bull. Not sure of the market everywhere, but black cattle are the ticket around here.

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Nice start on a land tour. I can see that travel corridor being a hot spot during the rut.

There is plenty of activity near my stands during the rut. Most of it is nocturnal though. If I had it my way, my food plot would be where all of those trails converge. It is kind of out of the way where it is. It has been in clover so far which has fed them well in the offseason.

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Great thread you have started. Kansas is a beautiful state especially in June. You near Salina?
Here’s the reason I am redoing my foodplot. This guy visited twice last fall. Both times were at night. I’d like to give him more of a reason to stick around. He really hit my pea patch.


We know he lived because I found his left side on the neighbors.


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Unfortunately dad also found a nice buck dead in the creek this spring. I’ve been running trail cameras pretty hard for the last 4 years and never saw him.


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Got my soil test results back. pH looks good. Now question time. This was before I spread all of my compost. Do I need to lime the composted soil? Does all that fresh manure and OM mess with the pH?


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