I hired Jeff Sturgis to help design my family’s 20 acre hunting property because we were not seeing deer during hunting season. Jeff’s whitetail knowledge and habitat experience was immediately apparent as he walked my property pointing out the existing travel, bedding and grazing routine of the deer. During his visit, he sketched pictures and detailed pages of information into a flexible plan with short and long term projects that made it possible to implement as time and resources became available. I was most impressed with how Jeff patiently explained the reasoning behind all of his suggestions. After elaborating on how to setup the property, Jeff went into great detail describing how to hunt the property, where to place stands and the all-important stealthy access. Jeff has done a great job of simplifying food plotting into a cookbook style approach that does not require a green thumb or expensive farm equipment. After following Jeff’s plan, we have doe family groups living in the bedding areas he suggested and trail cam pictures of older bucks routinely using the property. I am an avid student reading about deer, I have attended boot camps and habitat days but have gained the most knowledge and made the most significant improvements to our property with the help of Jeff Sturgis and Whitetail Habitat Solutions.
-Farmington Hills MI
I had been planting and hunting food plots for 10 years on my 120 acres with the results being one buck in the 120 class. A friend of mine attended a class on whitetail habit manipulation. After talking to him and seeing the results of his labor I was convinced I needed more to my land than just food plots. I started reading everything on whitetail habit and how a person could set up his land to for optimum whitetail habitat. The information was overwhelming. There are a lot of people with different ideas. Some of the ideas seemed great and some seemed out there to say the least. It was hard to sort thru what would best fit my land. The one thing that stuck in my mind the most was the wrong habitat plan could mess up your land for years to come. Needless to say I was starting to feel the best thing to do was hire someone that had experience.
The first time I met Jeff Sturgis was at a seminar where he was the key speaker. My friend and I made it a point to be on Jeff’s heels as much as possible and pick his brain for information. Jeff was very approachable and friendly even though my friend and I bombarded him with questions whenever we could throughout the seminar, and after it we still talked with him for about an hour. We were very impressed with how much info he shared with us.
Then I kicked around the idea for the next couple months on hiring Jeff to come and create a plan for my property. After another average season I decided to hire Jeff. Another friend of mine in the area decided to have Jeff come to his father in-laws land and this also saved us a little money on Jeff’s visit.
The weekend Jeff came we went to my friend’s father in-laws land on the first day. It was pretty cool seeing how he put together a plan for a piece of property that was mostly agricultural and totally different than my own land. While walking the land we stopped in one spot where Jeff and my friend started talking about approach and stand placement. Jeff made the statement that he felt it would be nothing to set up in this spot and harvest a 130 or 140 class buck. I guess I was impressed in his confidence in his decision making that he felt this spot would be that good.
The next day we started on my land. Jeff and I along with two friends walked my property. We first started in a spot that I told him I would someday like a house or cabin. Jeff took this into consideration and asked other questions as far as how much logging would I be willing to do or moving some permanent stands. Jeff even took the time to explain and demonstrate building a deer bed for me. He explained where he wanted me to put in travel corridors, food plots, and approach and stand placement throughout the property along with many other changes. We walked the whole 120 acres that day. Which in a foot of wet snow isn’t very much fun. Afterwards Jeff drew up a whitetail habitat plan for my property specifically and explained to me everything about it. It is simply amazing how Jeff can look at a piece of land and understand how to set it up for the best results.
What is amazing is the support you get after Jeff leaves. You can text him or call him with questions and he is always willing to help and guide you through the process of developing your property into the ultimate whitetail habitat. After just one summer of doing habitat work that fall I could start to see the deer starting to use the land to Jeff’s plan. Amazing!
When it comes to Whitetail Habitat Jeff is the real deal and as a person in general he is a great guy and someone I consider a friend. I just hope my neighbors don’t hire him because my property will be that much better in years to come.
I decided to change the way I hunted whitetail deer after years of harvesting 1.5 year old bucks on my property in Macomb County. I did not have a clear direction or plan to get the ball rolling so I began to research ‘those in the know’. After talking with some of Jeff’s past customers and to Jeff himself it became glaringly clear that he was the right ‘fit’ for this endeavor. The amount of knowledge Jeff possess about all things whitetail is really nothing short of amazing. The workbook (as he calls it) that was prepared complete with aerial photos, information regarding deer behavior, bedding, feeding, staging, property layout, and hunter access really opened my eyes to all the mistakes I’d been making that severely reduced my chances of having mature deer on my property, much less harvesting one. Since Jeff’s visit in 2008 I’ve been implementing the plan he devised and enjoying the results immensely. Not only do I hold more mature deer on the property, I’ve been able to harvest a few as well. It has been a very fulfilling experience to say the least. If you are considering making improvements to your hunting property I strongly suggest that you talk with Jeff first. You will not find a nicer guy to work with that has the knowledge to improve both your property and hunting experience exponentially! Thank you very much for all the help before, during, and long after your visit, Jeff. I look forward to having you out to my property again in the future.
I bought a farm in northwestern Illinois in early 2011. I hired Jeff because I wanted the benefit of his expertise and to avoid years of trial and error by planning everything myself. In fact, I hired him for more days than he recommended because I knew that the more time he spent on my land with me, the better the results I would enjoy. Jeff came up with many ideas for stand locations, food plots and habitat improvements that I never would have thought of myself. It was a great learning experience and I implemented all of his recommendations. I shot a nice 12-pointer with my bow this first fall hunting season, so I’m off to a good start! Thanks Jeff!
I first read about Jeff on the Michigan Sportsman forum. I heard nothing but good things and what interested me about Jeff was that he was willing to educate hunters thru his blogs and posts on these forums. Most consultants are so guarded with their information and I liked how Jeff was willing to freely help others out. So I hired Jeff and the proof has been in the pudding. The largest buck I had ever taken was in the mid 150’s before meeting Jeff. Well, since Jeff has been to my properties, I’ve been fortunate to take 4 Boone and Crockets and many more over 160. The key was Jeff helping me develop a plan and a roadmap for my property on food plots, deer bedding areas, in and out trails for getting to and from my stand, and the list goes on and on. If you truly have a passion for whitetails and want to learn all you can about them, you have to pick Jeff’s brain.
I hired Jeff last year to look at 120 acres of family land. The property has always been successful in the past at producing some 2.5 year olds and an occasional 3.5. After spending a lot of time holding out for an older buck, I began to realize that they just may not exist on the property or area. I started doing some research on habitat and came across Jeff. After talking to him on the phone I realized we had a few things in common. We were the same age, both of us shot competitive archery in the past, loved hunting whitetail’s and both went through the dreaded target panic. If you don’t know what target panic is, good….don’t research it. I have been bow hunting since I was a teenager and have been very blessed with the skills and dedication to the sport. While I believe my woodsmanship is pretty good, my understanding of deer behavior was way behind. Jeff totally opened up my eyes on a whole bunch of avenues or is that travel corridors.
Jeff’s visit was at the end of a long stretch of traveling and I could tell he was pretty wiped out by the time he arrived. I just can’t believe how much he travels. Anyways, my son who just started hunting joined us to walk the property. As we scoured the property, Jeff’s pace suddenly picked up and I knew he liked something about the area we were in. He was really excited about the potential that he saw and explained. We later grabbed a bite to eat and talk about what the property needed. He left me with a plan start to finish and put some priorities in order. I started implementing the plan last summer year, so honestly I have no results to report as of yet, however I have no doubt this is going to turn everything around and just maybe hold a few older bucks.
Jeff is a great guy that spills his guts trying to educate folks with his strategies and implementation. I strongly urge folks to read his articles before and after you hire him. You can tell this guy is into it, he loves to ramble on and on, you just have to listen to what he is saying, let it soak in, especially the “access articles”. Another thing worth mentioning is that this habitat work takes time and cannot be conquered in a day or two. Initially, depending on the property, it takes a tremendous amount of effort and work and not necessarily money so take your time. Once his plan is implemented, the property is yours to enjoy with a little maintenance. Heck, you will save the money back from hiring him knowing you can get your honey-do list done and the deer are sitting ducks when the time is right.
-Upstate New York
I was a year into getting acquainted with and hunting our farm and knew that 2012 was going to be the year I set my long term plans and started making all of the changes necessary to enjoy long term hunting success. Over that previous year, I had researched everything I could on whitetail management and planned to use that info along with my past experiences to accomplish my goals. As I started making plans in December, it occurred to me that although I have had a good amount of success hunting over the years, I was finding some particular problems with our land that I couldn’t quite figure out. Not wanting to get things wrong and have an eternity of frustration, I started looking for just the right resource to help me accomplish my goals and save me time and money. That’s when I found Jeff.
Although I was very skeptical as I searched over potential consultants, I found Jeff and his website to be very genuine. It wasn’t packed full of trophy harvest photos and marketing tactics pushing you to “call for more info”. He was just offering up a lot of great information that made a ton of sense. Based on the info I got off of numerous sites, I made the decision to contact Jeff. When he responded to my request, he was very friendly and sharing and never once pushed hard for my business. He answered all of my questions and simply made me feel comfortable. An hour after our first phone conversation, I called him back and asked to set a date. Best decision I’ve made since I bought my farm.
Jeff showed up at our place on a Friday morning. We spent the first hour getting to know Jeff better and planning out how the day would go. From there, we headed out the door and started walking. It didn’t take even five minutes to realize Jeff already knew where he wanted to go first and see his excitement about the property. From the first site evaluation in prime bedding area to the future set aside to food plots to travel corridors, Jeff kept the entire day exciting by creating visions of whitetail paradise. From start to finish, hardly a single detail went unturned. When we got in to the house more than six hours later, Jeff quickly switched from imagination and dreaming to setting a plan to make those dreams a reality by laying it all out on paper. When he got done, he explained every last detail of the plan and made sure all of our questions were answered. As he walked out the door, he reminded us that we would come up with many more questions and that he was always available by email and phone and to reach out to him for any help we want.
So here’s what we got and I know you will too. An absolute expert who is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet for a value many times over what we paid him for it. Jeff never once changed his mind about what to do. He started his plan and followed it through without wavering. He addressed all of our access concerns and helped us better understand how to use the neighboring parcels to our advantage. He also saved us a great deal of work we had planned to do. I’m sure Jeff will make you feel just as good about your experience as he did ours.
In short, hiring Jeff was by far the best thing we have ever done toward improving our property for deer hunting.
Although we own only 63 acres, Jeff spent 11 hours with us on a Friday in the spring of 2008. He was with us from 9 AM to 8 PM, and by noon I realized that we had already gotten our money’s worth. He scoured nearly every inch of the property, he patiently answered every one of our (occasionally naive) questions, and I never once got the impression that he was in any hurry to leave. Jeff is a very patient teacher.
It became very apparent that Jeff’s real strength is in his ability to objectively analyze a property and quickly develop a comprehensive plan in which all components (food plots, hunting stand locations, access trails, deer beds, travel corridors, etc) work together to maximize your property’s potential. Jeff provided us with a very detailed written plan of work (which may take us a few years to fully execute), and also identified the high priority tasks so that we know where to focus our immediate efforts.
In addition to his wealth of knowledge and experience, I can’t speak highly enough about his character. He’s a great guy…very friendly, easy to talk to, courteous, patient, kind…you get the picture. In fact, he phoned me less than 10 minutes after leaving at the end of the day because he had forgotten to say thank you for dinner. When was the last time you had someone do that? Jeff’s just that kind of person.
If you’re serious about deer hunting (which, if you’re reading this, you are) and maximizing your property’s potential, then you owe it to yourself to at least consider hiring Jeff. I fully expect that the demand for his services is going to only increase, so my suggestion would be to hire him before he raises his prices.
-Alpena County, Michigan
I had my nine year old son (Davis) with me during our visit. He has been working on the land and hunting deer and turkey with us for two years. Jeff was incredibly patient and went out of his way to involve my son, pointing different things out not just to us, but specifically to him. I feel very fortunate to have been on this trip, and when I see my son taking all of this information in, I feel like it potentially has given my nine year old a 20 year jumpstart on understanding deer and their habits.
I can’t imagine there are a lot of people in this field like Jeff. His laid back demeanor and insightful knowledge are the perfect blend for those of you out there who are working to establish the perfect deer environment.
There were times that Jeff explained stuff to us where my hunting partner Mike and I just looked at each other with stupid grins. We were both thinking the same thing “Wow, why didn’t we ever think of that?” I want to make sure I qualify this. Mike and I are not greenhorns when it comes to deer hunting. We have both been hunting deer around 25 years each, and often shoot 3 or 4 deer each in a year (yes, we practice QDM – those are mostly does!). There were times where he would walk into the thickest areas of the property; frankly, places where we have never bothered to go unless we were tracking a deer, and because of his efforts, he was able to put the total picture of this property together. Jeff pointed things out with great explanation that Mike and I have debated literally for 20 years!! He connected the dots for us!!
Jeff’s approach to making your deer herd feel secure in their surroundings and keeping them on your property with the appropriate structure and food is rock solid. His approach to how you hunt them and stay unnoticed is brilliant. We are implementing everything that he has suggested over the course of the next year or two.
I have a feeling we could’ve sat and talked about our strategies until midnight and he would not have budged from his seat. He truly cared that we got everything possible out of our visit with him, and he wasn’t going to be done until every last question we had was answered.
If there is ever a time that Jeff is in my neck of the woods, he has an open invite for dinner. Great guy, great experience, and an invaluable experience for my son and me. Thanks Jeff!!