What Improvements You Made This Year Had the Biggest Impact?


Active Member
While I was posting in the Plans For 2018 thread I realized two things, one that it probably should have been in general discussion not Native Habitat Management, and two: we should have. place to talk about what the best improvements we made this year were, and how they impacted wildlife.

I'll start by saying that hands down the best thing I did this year was dig two small ponds fed by a spring on the south end of my largest food plot. Everything loves coming to them to drink. The ponds have become a huge social center for everything from deer, to turkey, to coyotes, and small game; in addition to giving them a place to drink. I thought it would be nice for everything to have a watering hole that they might use from time to time, but I never imagined it would get as much use as it is!
The ponds sound like a good success story.

Not all great improvements have an immediate impact. I did a bunch of tree topworking this year that I'm very happy about. I expect it to be of great value down the road but not for a few years. I consider that work the best on my place for 2017.
I heavily cut several acres of Hemlock, trying to create security cover. It had an open understory and was devoid of deer activity in years past. We were not holding deer even though we treated most of our property as a sanctuary during most of the year. Planted several hundred Norway Spruce in the tops to hopefully create cover as the tops break down. Seems to be a huge success so far, deer piled in during deer season and seemed to stay. The deer sign the day after season in this cover was unbelievable and we have lots of deer on camera and a few god buck that made it through. Vastly different from years past.
Apple trees that I planted 10 years ago had TONS of apples this year and were a huge draw during deer season. The deer activity in these groups of apple trees was incredible. Wish I had planted more ten years ago. I have been back at it the last two years. This is an improvement that takes awhile but is worth it when the trees mature.
My biggest improvement was with the weapons. 0 mistakes shooting 3/4 year old bucks. 18 slickheads should also help trim the population a little
Caging pine trees and tubing oaks back in the spring. Those trees are still there!!!