Wilkes County Georgia

IMG_1498.JPG A couple weeks ago I took John down and we camped a night.
We got up early next morning to try out a public fishing area nearby.
On the way there a doe crossed the road with a newborn fawn! I was so suprized to see a fawn this early. The doe would have had to been bred in mid October, a month earlier than the "peak" of rut around here.
It was rainy and 43 degrees that night, I hope momma was able to keep that baby warm enough.
Some other habitat work done recently was my first attempt at "hack n squirt"
I experimented in four separate areas (stand locations).
Two areas I used 41% glyphosate undiluted. The other spots I mixed it to 50/50 water/glyphosate.
I targeted the many maple trees in my woods, most in the 2"-12" diameter range.
I also sprayed a little on the foliage of maples that I cut down over the winter that are stump sprouting back up.
It was a good way for me to 1. Kill some undesirable trees to improve the habitat and 2. Survey browsing on different species of tree leaves in different areas of the property.
I don't know all the species of small trees I took out in these areas other than know I took out every maple, sweet gum, poplar and non mast producing tree I could if they were under drip line of any big white oak.
The deer seem to prefer browsing on poplar leaves the most with nearly all of them I found had signs of browsing. About 1 in 5 maples had evidence of deer browseing. Some areas had more browsing than others but overall I feel like the place is not anywhere near overbrowsed. There is a lot of food for deer around the roads and openings. Briars, honey suckle and native grass is pretty abundant and So I don't feel the need to take out a bunch of does this season although I don't feel like it would hurt if we reduced the herd by a few.
I'll be curious to see the outcome of my hack n squirt work. Hopefully it will let more sunlight in, helping native browse and to give more nutrients and water to mast producing oaks.
Yes it really is amazing the history of this area.
The family who owned this land and still some of the surrounding land is the Andrews family. Garnett Andrews, was a very famous relative of theirs. Here is a link if anyone enjoys reading about history of the revolutionary and civil war era. http://m.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/garnett-andrews-1798-1873
I believe that our family may well be only the second family to ever own this land.
Wilkes county ga had a revolutionary war battle, its were Eli Whitney first invented the cotton gin and its were president of the confederacy Jefferson Davis dissolved his administration at end of the war. It's also were gold was stolen from the Confederacy and supposedly its still hidden somewhere in the county!
We've been looking for the gold ever since we bought the land.
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Gwinnett County, where I am, was once part of Wilkes County, so yep, there was A LOT that happened there over the decades.
8AC0456B-B865-4A18-9C2E-9D122AC28051.jpeg Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 8 months since I’ve updated.
I guess I’ll do a little catch up tonight!

The summer was hot and habitat work was put on hold for family vacations and fishing.

I did get down some over the summer. I tried fishing our little beaver pond and we caught a few small greed sunfish. I stocked our pond with a couple dozen various panfish in hopes they will populate the pond over a few years and maybe one day there might be some keepers in there.
244D0EAA-F08B-42AF-876D-0DDD6E818C10.jpeg I upgraded my tractor last summer to a 4wd 40hp Kubota. We planted about 2acres in winter wheat, oats, cereal rye and red clover.
The plots came up well and on Oct 15th the kids got their first shots a deer. I hunted with John and Anna hunted by herself. Opening morning me and John had a real nice 6 pointer come in right behind us but never came out. That evening Anna shot a big mature doe with her .308
D73617CF-48CF-42A2-9FCB-9FE8305D617E.png Just like the previous year, the mature bucks stayed away all spring/summer. We had lots of doe pictures and a couple small bucks.
But just like the year before, towards the end of October, the bucks poured in and we had regular pictures of about 10 different bucks. Three were mature bucks I hunted all deer season. The big 11 pointer from 2016 showed up on Oct 27th and I got almost nightly pictures of him. He was a little smaller this year and only 10 points. I only got one daytime picture of him all season.
FD0F9FE4-516E-4E75-A099-D10D0041252C.jpeg Peak of the rut was early November. I took a nice 3 1/2 yr old 10 point. I was by myself that weekend and I forgot to get a good picture of him until after I had skinned him out.
We had a very regular 4 1/2 yr old 9 pointer he had named Disco. I had about 10 daytime pictures of him between nov 1st-nov 14th.
Last picture of Disco was in early December so I believe someone around there got him. He was a good buck!
C191D43E-D56D-42D7-9331-E77B89F1E222.jpeg John hunted hard all season. He probably sat 50+ hours in the stand this season. In the end he didn’t get his first deer this season. But he has been practicing with his new .243 so I know he’ll be ready next season.
B57CA482-07BA-4AC1-BF23-1B9B9D952FDE.jpeg My wife Paige also did not get a deer this season. She got in a few hunts and did see some deer. For 2017 we took off our land two does, a nine pointer and a ten pointer. A great deer season!
0061F58D-0C10-45C5-A93A-395AF02E3A12.jpeg After deer season closed I was exited to see what deer made it. One deer in particular! And two days after season ended, the big 10 pointer showed up on camera. I’ve got several pictures of him since deer season ended and he looks to be in great health. I’ll be looking forward to seeing him again next October
88707E1A-3BBF-49D2-9ABF-F7B0CC316F6A.png Turkey season is now just about 2 months away and looks like this season will be a great one! I’ve got one flock I’ve seen several times that has 10 longbeards and another flock of about 20 hens and 7 jakes.
C461FC85-E543-4971-9863-410A7F479D1E.jpeg And as soon as deer season ended we started back trapping. Me and John have made a hobby of it. So far we have got a Coon, a opossum and a female coyote. We hope to take a few more coyotes up until fawn season.
Hope to update more often for a while. We have big habitat projects planned over next few months. I am expanding a couple food plots and will be doing some prescribed fire. Me and John are going to build a big wooden stand up in a big oak tree down in the hardwoods just like me and my dad did 20 years ago. My goal is to get John and Anna and my wife their first turkeys this spring.
Will update again soon!
03CE305E-DDF3-49D5-BE74-242FD47D931F.jpeg E1CDEE3A-A3CC-4B31-9455-383F0504FA34.jpeg 03CE305E-DDF3-49D5-BE74-242FD47D931F.jpeg E1CDEE3A-A3CC-4B31-9455-383F0504FA34.jpeg F3905A12-9EBF-4311-A426-08EF8A2D50C7.jpeg 57C1C528-E594-4DCE-97EE-EF8A75C3A49C.jpeg A couple weeks ago I built an old style wooden deer stand. It was tough by myself. I used a climbing stand to climb tree and lag bolt the rafters one at a time.
I used 6” lags with 1/2” rubber washers to allow for movement.
Me and John went back and put on some finishing touches last week.
John enjoyed using the machete to take out a few small trees in the way.
Its got a 40” bench seat with backrest that will accommodate one adult and one child.
We had an old aluminum ladder that we used and wrapped stand in camo netting.
It’s looking down a hardwood hillside into a big open creekbottom and lots of deer trails are above and below the stand.
Im really looking forward to hunting with the kids out of this stand in the seasons to come. Building this stand brought back memories of me and my dad building wooden tree stands 20 years ago.
Boy that brings back some memories. Nothing like building those stands when I was a kid and deer were magical creatures you only saw in magazines. You know, sometimes knowledge ruins a good thing!! Need to put some spikes (nut hangers) in that tree to climb up with. Real old school. LOLOL
Great updated Possum! Really enjoy following along with the family on your place. That's what it's all about! Keep posting!