The Massey


Well-Known Member
I figured out how to post pics to this forum finally, so I figured I'd begin a thread here. I did this once upon a time on the outreachoutdoors forum, and when photobucket went paid-only I lost a lot of content. I swore off doing something similar ever again, but since I can post from my computer without an intermediary, we'll give it another shot. Rather than going back in time over a decade, I think I'll just begin in the here and now. Unfortunately, I haven't been photo documenting much lately; I'll have to get back in the groove of doing that again. I've very much enjoyed perusing some of the property journals on here, and I hope I can give some others some entertainment.
We live in SE Kansas, an hour and half drive from Missouri, and a five minute drive from Oklahoma. We have 11 acres behind our house we've been trying to establish deer cover on. It was basically a hay meadow when we bought the place 5 years ago. We also have 80 acres we've owned since 2013. It's made up of 34 acres of tillable ground and the rest in a creek bottom. It too had 3 small hay meadows on the other side of the creek that we've been establishing cover in. We have tried hard to come up with a name for the place; but for now we still call it the Massey, named for a longtime gone owner. In our country that's how most "farms" are named.:D I hope to build a place on it after we retire one day. The Mrs. is still not convinced of that plan. If we do build it will be near the old metal barn. The 80 is the backside of a 160, we have an easement through the front 80 and the farmer who owns it cash rents our crop ground. Here's a couple ariels of the places, of course these are a little outdated.

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Here's a few pics of the crew, Dawna (the Mrs), Addison (orange bibs), Audrey (pink):

Addison's last year's buck

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Audrey's last year's buck

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Dawna's last year's buck:

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My last year's buck:

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Unfortunately, I played the role of guide last year, not that I didn't hunt, I just didn't shoot anything but a nice young doe. It tastes a lot better than anything the Mrs and the girls shot though!!:D
Here's a few recent pics:

A look at the guy I was after last year. He's a buck we've been after for 5 years on a property we have permission to hunt. This was a pic I took, 5 minutes after I got him on video 70 yards out with a doe.

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We've been doing quite a bit of this lately:

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This spring, Audrey found the left side of a buck we know well on the Massey:

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One of the cooler photos we've gotten on trail cam lately:

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That's enough of a photo dump for now...
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I came here expecting to see pictures of a Massey Ferguson tractor. But these pictures are much better as they tell stories of good days in the field. Keep on!
Thanks fellas, got a few pics around the home place this evening I’ll share tomorrow.
I bet you are as attached to your farm land as we are to ours. Your deer are a lot bigger than those on our farm.
He's sent me enough pics over the yrs to know it's an outstanding place that he's very attached to. It would be hard not to love that chunk of land.

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I bet you are as attached to your farm land as we are to ours. Your deer are a lot bigger than those on our farm.
Though I love our little chunk of real estate, I have to be honest, only one of those bucks pictured above came off our farm. We still have a few friends who let us hunt on their places. As all of you know I'm sure, that's becoming more and more uncommon throughout the country. We have now shot 3 bucks off our farm since 2013. We went through a rough stretch the first few years we owned it; the droughts of 2011 and '12 took their toll and ehd hit our area hard. It wasn't until 2018 that we truly began to see the numbers like were around in 2010.
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Here's a few pics I took last night around our house, it's located 13 miles away from the Massey.

We've had trouble the past year or so with water getting over our drive (we basically live in a ditch:rolleyes:). I hired a buddy to bring his mini-excavator over and dig the ditch out. He dumped the dirt/mud over on the other side of the drive, so I got the job of hauling back behind the old barn.
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For you tractor guys. It's not a Massey, MennoniteMan:D

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Thanks to you guys, I now know what a female persimmon tree bloom looks like, this was good timing because this is the first year for blooms on our place. We have lot of native persimmons popping up all over the last few years.

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These are the only 2 bearing females I've found, but more are popping up around them. I might try pulling off of these next spring to graft on to some of the male trees around.

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Louie loves riding around in the cart behind the house. We have an underground fence, even when he's not collared, the only time he'll leave the yard is in the truck or the cart.

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This is the bee plot on the backside of our place. On the left is established alice, ladino, and red clover. I broadcast some rye and wheat into it last fall just for kicks. After some reading on here, I'll be doing more of that kind of thing in the future. On the right is clover, wheat, oats, and rye, planted last fall. Catscratch turned me on to awnless wheat and all I can say is I'm a fan!

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A few deer hit this plot this time of year, mainly after dark. They hit it very hard all winter. The main reason we have it back there though is for our other pets. We raise a few bees; the hive is small right now because I lost them this early spring, and had to order a new package of bees. I believe they absconded because of varroa mites; we're still beginners at bees and have only harvested honey one year. I'm having to learn a lot more after the hive took their honey and ran; the learning curve is intimidating. We should be adding another deep hive body in about a month; I'm prepping it now.

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Here's a look at our place from the bee plot. This was all pretty much hay meadow when we bought the place. We've planted a variety of fruit trees, dcos, sawtooth oaks, American plums, chestnut trees, and some other shrubs for pollen production. It's a work in progress, I'd like very much to be able to deer hunt on the backside of our place one day, but that's still a ways off. We do have one deer story I'll share sometime that took place basically in our back yard the first year we lived here; but it seems it was a fluke.

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Lastly, here's the biggest persimmon we have on the place, it too just bloomed this year; unfortunately, it's a male tree. Since it's in the yard and the Mrs likes it, it probably won't be one chosen for grafting. It's about 16' tall.

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You have a beautiful family and a very nice place KS, and I really like the gnarly buck your youngun got last year. A wife that bowhunts ? Y’all got it going on !
I don't have hives but plant for the bees. Most of our farm is in planted Loblolly pines. We had a drought that killed a few. I don't think the deer suffered much as the creek never dries up and I plant stuff for them. My wife does not hunt but enjoys running the tractor. I guess you can't have everything. I feel pretty lucky these days.
I spent some time mowing a little over on the Massey yesterday evening; I hope you don't mind another photo dump. I'll get caught up some soon and won't post so much....until we get cameras up anyway.;)

Loaded up and ready to head out...
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Here's the easement heading into our 80; we're not in a drought, the farmer sprayed when he put the corn in the ground. It's a new operator this year, he's planning to no-till most everything in the future.
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If you look close, you can see why I'm mowing; this is last fall's brassica plot -- flowering turnips. I didn't want the turnips to go to seed, so I did a throw and mow with oats and berseem clover a month and a half ago, I thought that would be the end of the turnips, but I was wrong. Unfortunately, cool season grass took over and the oats and clover are non-existent. Next year, I'll probably spray the cool season grass early then the throw in mow. I don't mind working ground, but it's tough in the spring between rains.
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We have about 2.5 acres of what used to be ag ground that we converted to food plot space when we bought the farm. Each fall I try to plant around a third of an acre of cereal grain/clover mix. We'll also plant a third of an acre of brassicas late summer; which will be the new cereal grain spot the following year. The rest of the area is clover in various stages of age. I'm going to begin broadcasting in the clover each fall and maybe spring to get some more soil building properties out of it -- per your guy's advice.
This is last fall's cereal grain/clover. As you can see it's coming along okay, but not as good as normal. This year I refrained from spraying clethodim in the spring; wanting the awnless wheat to fully mature. As a result, the cool season grasses are much more prevalent and completely outcompeted everything in some places (second pic), and they will be going to seed soon. So the dilemma I'm facing for next year is to spray in spring, or let the wheat mature. If the deer don't hit the mature wheat heads this summer, I'll go back to spraying for sure.
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Here's some of the older established clovers. As you can see, the deer are staying after it.Screen Shot 2020-06-05 at 10.16.22 AM.png
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The farmer, actually it's a partnership, the guy who cash rents our ground has a full-time job outside of farming. He sharecrops his ground. I believe his plan is to get all of the land paid off, then he'll retire early and farm full-time. So, for now he has operators, some aren't good, as you'll soon see.:mad: He has a new operator this year and they put corn in for the first time since 2012, before we owned the place. On the plus side, that means there will be wheat here next winter. On the minus side, there will be no soybeans on our farm for the first time since we've owned it too. Also, we very much enjoy deer watching out of our old barn in the summer; that will be a no-go this year after the corn reaches mature height. You can see the corn peeking up in the distance out of the sprayed mess of Italian rye (not sure if that's what it really is, farmers around here call it that, it's invasive and moved into our country from the south about 5 years ago, and it's really hurt wheat production). Rains kept the farmer and corn out of the ground too long and the Italian rye was too mature when sprayed to really nail it. Also, it rained 2 inches HARD on pretty saturated ground right after planting, so some of the corn never had a chance to get out going.
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Mowing finished, this will be next fall's cereal grain/clover spot.
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A few other random pictures from the Massey:
Ecos pear from Oikos, I'm hoping this isn't simply a callery pear, if it is, we'll have some strong trees to graft to one day. We planted 9 of them after growing them in pots one year.
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One of this spring's dcos we planted from wildlife group. I'm a big fan of these shrubs, they're tough as nails so far for us.
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You can see why we have to protect everything; one of the many beds on the hillside below the barnyard.
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Our old deer watching quansit (sp?) barn. We can enter/exit the barn because of topography while deer are already in the plots and fields without them having a clue. I'm REALLY going to miss deer watching from it this summer.:(
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A look inside the barn. I push the platform back further into the barn to keep it out of the weather after an evening of deer watching.
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One of the little Allegheny chinquapins we got from Wildlife group this spring. We planted 30 of these in various places on the Massey, I have big hopes for them and hope they are at least half as tough as the dcos.
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The waterway running north from the barn. We planted some cedars in it 4 years ago. We more recently planted some dcos and American plums too, but didn't have the gear to protect them, so not sure how they will do.
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If you've noticed some dead looking trees along the field edges in the some of the pictures, you have a good eye. The old, now FIRED, operator used airplane spraying, even when instructed not to by the farmer. The results just about make me sick...
Here's a stunted burr English oak in the barnyard. It's counterparts in other parts of the farm untouched by spray are over twice this size. You can also see a dead cottonless cottonwood we planted in the background years ago.
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This one makes me want to throw up. We hope to build on the place in 15-20 years and there were two old giant pecan trees in what will on day be part of the yard. They have endured 2 years since the plane spraying, but I believe this year will do them in.:mad::(
At least we have a good number of years to continue to plant trees in what will be the yard. The farmer promised me there would never be any plane spraying again.
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Speaking of building one day, if it happens, the house will be right about where the tractor is sitting.
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Here's some of the Northern Whitetail crabs we put in the ground a little over a month ago.
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I guess I hit the photo limit, that's embarrassing...:oops:
Only two more...:D
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Here's a question for the trees guys. Do I need to do something about the shoots on the top of this tree next spring or late summer? The growth doesn't look right to me...
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Thanks for the patience fellas, I'll try to not dump so many pics at one time in the future.
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I bet with a ladder and lawn chairs you could easily watch deer from the roof of your barn (I like that thing).

Bummer about the cropduster. Our neighbors use them every yr on their pastures. This has been a busy week for them. I photo and document every time they are spraying (while I'm home to see it). Scares the crap out of me to think of the day they hit the wrong place by accident.

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I bet with a ladder and lawn chairs you could easily watch deer from the roof of your barn (I like that thing).

Bummer about the cropduster. Our neighbors use them every yr on their pastures. This has been a busy week for them. I photo and document every time they are spraying (while I'm home to see it). Scares the crap out of me to think of the day they hit the wrong place by accident.

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Trust me, I understand your trepidation!