There is definitely a limit to the number of hunts that your deer parcel can take, before the potential quality of your herd and hunting success levels begin to drastically decline. While there is no exact sit limit per acre that can be applied to every parcel your potential is limited, if you over hunt your land.
*The season is a marathon, not a sprint. By chipping away at your land while never really intruding on it's core ability to attract, hold and create a quality deer herd, you land should last all season long.
Overall Hunt Limit Factors For Your Land
There are several factors that allow you to sit more or less, when it comes to making sure that you aren't burning out your small parcel, herd and hunting opportunities this season:
1. What state are you in?
Your land can take a whole lot less hunting pressure if you live in a state with a high number of hunters. For example, what you can get away with in terms of access, noise, flashlights, ATVs, poor located blinds and ultimately the overall number of times you can hunt, is drastically different in general, between the states of Iowa and MI. Always keep in mind that what looks like a great idea on TV, may not be the best idea, for your land.
2. Defined Deer Movement
The less you know exactly where the deer are bedding, traveling, feeding and cruising, the less likely you are to be able to plan your sits without spooking deer. Random food sources, bedding areas and over-improved parcels can drastically decrease the number of hunts that your land can take.
3. Multiple Access Routes
When you build a hunt to include multiple access routes on your parcel, then your ability to apply lite and barely recognizable pressure to your land when you hunt, is optimized. Being able to access in certain routes in the darkness vs daylight are just two of the different types of access routes that you should plan for, as well as for a variety of winds, morning vs evening and entrance vs exit.
4. An Adequate Treestand Collection
To adequately hunt a parcel the maximum number of sits per acre, you have to have enough treestand locations. For a rough guide, plan on 8-10 for a 40 acre parcel, 12-16 for an 80 acre chunk of cover and 18-20+ for 100-300 acres or more. Last year I shot a 5 year old buck named Diego that I was after, during the 8th sit in 7 weeks, in the 7th stand location, on 52 acres of woods and fields.
*How many hunts your land can take, is directly proportional to the number of times that you can hunt, without spooking deer.
Overall Number of Hunts Your Land Can Take
In my experience, a 40 acre parcel that has been designed correctly, has the ability to produce 8-10 quality sits over the course of the first 2 months of the season, in high pressured regions. That number can jump to more than double the number of hunts in extremely low pressure areas, but even low pressure deer herds have their limit. On the two parcels that I hunt in SW WI, I average sligthly over a sit per week, on each parcel. On an adjacent 200 acre parcel I sat 30 times in 17 stands using 4 completely different access routes, in 7 weeks. I connected on the 30th sit, but I felt because of the extreme variety of access routes and hill country habitat I was hunting in, those 30 sits were definitely the max.
The number of hunts that your land can take will vary greatly, but it is important to keep in mind that there is definitely a limit, before you begin to lose the majority of your lands ability to create a great hunt and herd. Ultimately, how many deer you spook each time you hunt, determines the number of overall sits that you can safely apply to your parcel. By learning to hunt spook free you can keep your deer potential high and the number of sits to the max, all season long.