"When one principle is overemphasized at the expense of others it will ultimately lead to error" is my favorite philosophical saying. I find that a lot of these habitat gurus have a hobby horse that they like to ride, such as "deer beds" "hinge cutting" and "doe factory" I believe that all of these can be important keys to certain settings, however, one man's hinge cutting miracle is the next man's wasted cutting effort with no noticeable results, one person's perception of a "doe factory" is the next person's local "family group" of does needed to maintain status quo. One person hunts from the middle of destination fields in an enclosed stand, the next hunts only in the woods on the downwind perimeter of small shooting plots out of climber or ladder stands. I once had a habitat expert in giving advice on my land that suggested hinge cutting acorn producing oak trees to gain sunlight, in a place where brush and thick cover wasn't in any shortage, which seemed like a very questionable idea to me. The important part of interpreting all the deer habitat management literature and info available out there is to glean large amounts of knowledge, determine which fits best to your property, budget, skills and time that you have available, then experiment on a small scale to see if what you plans seem to agree with your deer herd.
In summarizing, I'd be surprised if there's any landowner that only follows one expert's advice for all of their management work, for most of us it's a combination of multiple ideas that need to be reformulated on a regular basis.
I'm one of the few guys apparently who thinks Jeff Sturgis' writing style is terrible. I have no doubt he's knowledgeable, helpful and his on-site evaluations are valuable, but I can hardly stand to read his books, articles, blogs, etc. Is it just me?
What more is there than supplying the basics of food,cover, water? Hunting smart, access, pressure, hunting funneled stands, etc? If you aren’t seeing deer, one of these factors is an issue. There’s a little more to it but it’s not much more complicated, at least imo.I have a parcel of ground eight miles from my home ground. It is adjacent to a NWR on one side and 600 acres of ag on another. All bottomland gumbo soil. My home ground, in the same river basin, is adjacent to public land with no special hunting restrictions, and big cattle ranches on the other side. Mostly blackland prairie type soil. Those two properties manage nothing alike, grow food plots nothing alike, predation is nothing alike, hog pooulations are nothing alike, and hunt nothing alike. I try new things every year just to see how they will do on my properties. People I know living 30 miles away have success doing something which may be a total failure on my place. Listen to everyone, try anything, and make your own conclusions.