Build it and they will come. This is true in hunting properties as well as baseball. Enhancement, enhancement, enhancement. Having successful and productive hunting properties is all about enhancement. Whether that means creating or expanding food plots, habitat, or wildlife populations. Improving these areas can turn good hunting properties into great hunting properties and build wildlife magnets.
Food Plots on Hunting Properties
One step to improve the overall quality of any hunting property is through the cultivation of food plots. Food plots provide several benefits to the wildlife populations on hunting properties. Many think that food plots are just a way to create massive bucks and increase the overall population, but there are so many other reasons to plant a food plot. Without a doubt, food plots help provide supplemental nutrition to deer and other animal populations. These supplemental crops help grow bigger bucks as well as provide does with the needed nutrients to raise healthy fawns. Food plots also provide a food source for wildlife through the winter. This helps improve overall population especially during hard winters and we do have those in Montana.
Although food plots provide all of these benefits for hunters, many Montana hunters don’t plant food plots for these reasons. Many hunters plant food plots for the pure satisfaction of giving back to the land. Not only do creators of food plots give back to the land, they also get to see their efforts in a tangible way. This article about the benefits of food plots beyond the practical helps describe this phenomenon. Food plots provide practical advantages to improve several different aspects of hunting properties, but it’s the connection derived from hard work that push hunters to constantly improve their property. For specific Montana hunting regulations see Fish, Wildlife, & Parks Website.
Hunting Property Habitat
Another way to turn good Montana hunting properties into great ones is through the improvement of wildlife habitat. This can be done in several different ways and depends greatly on what kinds of animals you wish to hunt and the habitat that they require. For example, if you want to increase the waterfowl population on your property, start by improving the waterfowl’s habitat. This could be creating a pond on your property or planting tall vegetation along the banks of a preexisting pond. This Mossy Oak article describing the dos and don’ts when creating a desirable duck pond http://www.mossyoak.com/our-obsession/blogs/waterfowl/2013/09/20/duck-accommodations, will help you immensely. By providing excellent habitat to the wildlife on your hunting property, you will not only attract larger populations and the health of these populations will also increase. This means bigger bucks, ducks, and other animals for which you have created additional habitat.
For owners looking to primarily increase overall population, consider the following dilemma you may encounter on your property. In order to increase the population of your wildlife on your property you are going to have to employ sustainable hunting practices. This may mean that you will have to refrain from hunting on your property from one year to many years. This will help population numbers rebound and start to grow.
Once the population is at a desired level, you will then be able to hunt your property. If you have a decent size population that you’re happy with you may want to now increase the overall quality of that population. This may mean that you will have to leave deer with desirable traits such as large body mass and large antler mass. It also means that you will have to harvest deer with unfavorable traits such as small body mass and small antlers. Why does this effect you? Well, this means you may have to pass on harvesting that trophy buck you’ve been trying to take for the past 3 seasons. Rule of thumb is if you like it and want more like it, let it go. Always keep in mind your end goal when trying to increase population and health. This will help give you self-control in making the right decisions for enhancing your hunting property and harvesting animals.
Hunting properties give hunters an avenue to experience what they love in life, the outdoors. For owners of hunting properties, the best way to increase this enjoyment is by enhancing your current property. This can be done through improving or creating food plots and habitat, as well as imposing sustainable hunting strategies. Turning good hunting properties into great hunting properties is no easy task, but through careful planning, patience, and hard work, having a great hunting property is possible for any owner. If none of these points are thoroughly persuading you to invest in a hunting property, consider looking at one of our other articles that gives 7 Reasons to Invest in Land Now.
If you are starting the journey of trying to find a Montana hunting property feel free to contact me to help you on this journey. I have done it for myself and multiple clients and it can be one of the best investments you ever make both financially and emotionally.
Buzz Tatom is a ranch owner and has built, run and sold numerous businesses in his career. This gives him a unique background in helping Montana farmers and ranchers navigate the life decisions that we all have to face. Whether it is passing the ranch on to the next generation or planning for eventual sale, his talents and contacts help save clients money and navigate complicated transactions.
He still owns the 5T Ranch in Texas but now calls Big Sky, MT home. His background in Texas included finding run down ranches and rehabilitating them into show place properties. From building lakes, stocking fish, to managing for wildlife he has a proven record of increasing values of properties that have given families great memories and returns.
His successful business background allows him to have good knowledge in contracts, dealing with people and has a wide variance of knowledge from his experience in dealing with oil and gas companies on his properties to manufacturing background to knowing who to call to get answers.
He has a BBA from Texas Tech University and got his MBA from Southern Methodist University. While at Texas Tech, he played football and was a 3 year starter as a Tight End. He bought into a Printing company at the age of 24 and grew it ten fold by the time it was sold in 2011.
Buzz teaches part time at Montana State University and loves mentoring students. He has been married to the love of his life, Kathy Tatom, for 25 years and has one son(Tate) and 2 daughters(Sayler and Emmy).
His hobbies include hunting, fly fishing, improving the 5T and following his son Tate in his golf career at the Air Force Academy. His life is divided between family, volunteering, teaching part time at MSU and Church.