Well, it’s that time of year again…time to start thinking about the off-season planning and preparation. I’m excited to let you know exactly what I do, and how my clients tell me I have helped them the most during the past seven years.
Hands-on Whitetail Habitat Design
What I do is help you design and hunt your whitetail parcel. Some of my clients have hired multiple consultants and what they tell me is they while some specialize in a few areas—planting food plots, creating bedding areas, planting various trees, shrubs, or cover—no one they have hired actually looks at the entire parcel as a puzzle, piecing together all the components of a parcel plan. It’s important to consider the where, how, when and why of bedding areas, food sources, timber management, water, cover, stand locations, lines of movement, patterns of use, paralleling habitat features, and ACCESS, ACCESS, ACCESS! That is what they tell me I do best. I’ve even worked for clients that have had me design a plan for their parcel, and then have used my competitors to actually come back and cut-in their bedding areas and travel corridors based on the design I came up with. I won’t cut for you, or plant for you (as of yet), but what I will do for you is design not only the where, how, when and why, but advise if you should even cut or plant in the first place on your parcel.
In the last seven years it has been very enjoyable to work for clients in 11 states. What has been consistently emphasized to me is that although habitat types, topography, climates, and soil types change, a deer herd still reacts, lives, travels, and feeds the same. Doe family groups live in the same way from state to state, and so do mature bucks. Speaking of mature bucks, I design a parcel for you that will give you the best opportunity to attract, hold, and harvest mature bucks relative to your parcel’s individual constraints. It’s not only the design of your parcel, but also how you use and hunt the parcel that gives you your ultimate potential. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have dozens of opportunities, as well as to harvest mature bucks in multiple states, multiple regions, and multiple parcel types from private to public lands. Mature bucks are very reclusive, individual, and temperamental. However, it’s those traits that actually lead to their vulnerability. It’s been my experience that the older they get, the easier they are to kill. I use that experience within the design of your parcel and it is a critical component to your success.
I’d love for you to take a look at my blog/article writings. I’ve attempted to deliver to you exactly how I look at a parcel or hunt, and what goes into the overall plan. I’ve also attempted to define the concepts I’ve developed and used for many years whether it is in hunting whitetails or designing parcels for them. Patterns of use, multi-season food plots, no-till planting practices, paralleling habitat features, lines of movement, predatory access, the morning sneak, stand timing, strategic doe harvest, bedding area creation, bedding layers, and specifically defining why does or bucks bed in various areas on your parcel are all writings that you can use for free to assist you in the development of your own parcel. Currently I have over 80 articles online and many more will follow. However, if you would like me to visit you and your parcel to save you years of learning and expense…I’d be happy to set a date for your visit in the coming months.
This is a very personal service and over the years many of my clients have become not only great patrons, but also close friends. My plan is designed to fit your parcel only. No two parcels are alike, and every plan is completely different from the next. Does your parcel need more cover, more food, or both? I diagnose that balance for you and offer a plan of attack. To be honest, even two neighboring parcels could have a drastic difference in the balance needed to the point that I cringe when I hear the blanket prescriptions of the various “schooled” percentages needed for either food or cover. You can throw the need for xx% of food, or xx% of cover…out the window! Every parcel is so different, and it’s important that the components of design and hunting need are applied accurately. Some of the best parcels out there are five-acre chunks of habitat sandwiched in between neighborhoods, parks, and golf courses; and they haven’t had bedding areas, food plots, or habitat changes, planted, constructed or manipulated in any way. Instead, they are “human-free”. The trick isn’t to have the most beautiful looking food plot, bedding area, or field of native grasses, but instead, the components of parcel design and hunting need to be accurately applied to your parcel in a logical pattern relative to your parcel’s individual needs. This way, you can achieve the correct balance of human influence without the deer knowing you are involved in the process. If mature bucks can live and grow old on a five-acre neighborhood chunk…imagine the possibilities with 10 acres, 20 acres, and 40 or more when the components of parcel design and hunting practices are accurately applied to your parcel.
Depending on the size of your parcel, I may visit with you and the hunters that use your parcel. We’ll walk over your parcel, get to know it, and then design it during the day and by evening. Due to the varieties of habitat type and terrain, a parcel of 80-200 acres or more of forest will often require an additional day of which I do reduce my overall daily fee. Parcels within all of MI and WI require the basic daily fee, as do portions of northern OH, IN, IL, northeastern IA, and eastern MN*. I do fly to you if needed, at which a basic 3-day reduced fee is required, along with airfare. I’ve been able to avoid the cost of airfare when multiple parcels are available to visit within a reasonable driving loop, saving me time, and you money.
My 2012 prices are as follows:
$1100-Daily site visit fee and design, which includes a $300 deposit when a date is chosen.
(*Please contact me for areas or states that do not include the basic 1-day fee, and for larger parcels to discuss the fee.)
Whitetail Habitat Design Workshops
There are a lot of “Show and Tell” events out there that offer you the opportunity to witness incredible deer habitat improvements such as bedding areas, food plots, travel corridors, native vegetation management, waterholes and a host of other cool improvements that you can complete on your parcel. However, wouldn’t it be great to attend an event that left you with a good working structure not only how to build those improvements, but how they relate to the design and hunting of your parcel, and if they are even appropriate for your parcel in the first place?
Those that attend Whitetail Habitat Design Workshops will walk away with the confidence that the design of their parcel they developed throughout the workshop is site-specific and unique to their own needs. How will this happen?
- You will have several regions from which to choose your workshop that most accurately fit your specific habitat type.
- You will review classroom exercises individually, as well as through group and instructor discussion.
- You will receive the experience of instruction from Whitetail Habitat Solutions based on 55 total non-guided hunting seasons during the pursuit of mature bucks from a combination of WI, KY, OH, Upper and Lower MI, as well as PA…including 34 hunting seasons of public land experience in Upper and Lower MI, PA, and OH.
- You will receive instruction from Whitetail Habitat Solutions based on the service and inspection of client parcels in 11 different states from MN to IA to TN to NC to PA to NY and every portion of MI from the extreme southern areas to the Keweenaw Peninsula, throughout the past 7 management seasons.
- And finally, you will spend hours in the field not only witnessing improvements specific to your parcel, but by discussing those improvements and gaining an accurate understanding of implementation of those improvements on your own parcel.
- 2012 classes will begin in late March and will be $500.00
- Each class will be 2 days, covering both a Saturday and Sunday
- Each class will carry a specific theme that most closely reflects both the parcel and region it is being held, from the giant mature buck areas of SW WI to the cover-less ag regions of lower MI and OH to the large wooded and wilderness tracts of northern MI and WI.
- A workbook will be provided along with both snacks and drinks throughout the day, as well as lunch. Also, you are welcome to attend a Saturday night campfire in each location as well.
My goal is for you to walk away with not only some of the latest habitat improvement instruction, but for you to feel excited about developing an accurate and appropriate foundation for your own parcel’s Habitat and Hunting Design.
Speaking Events/Habitat Days
Habitat days, club meetings, hunter banquets and antler round-ups…I will deliver a high quality presentation built specifically for your event. During the event I am not afraid to use a chainsaw in the woods or a Powerpoint in your clubhouse. For the past 10 years I have been delivering a wide variety of custom presentations so I am happy to also play a part in the planning of your event as well. Let me share with you what in my experience works very well, and what doesn’t. I can also assist you in establishing an accurate timeline for your event from sticking to a 1/2 hour indoor Powerpoint, to large scale habitat day events complete with multiple speaking times, lunch, and whitetail parcel tours, including creating a deer bed or two with the chainsaw if desired. Call for my speaking rates—they vary greatly by location and time required.