Creating a Huntable Farm

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on scouting your hunting grounds with aerial photos.  To view the article, click here.  Shortly thereafter, a friend of mine wanted me to look at a new farm he had bought recently.  I have so much fun when looking at new pieces of ground and what I can do to manipulate it to make for better habitat and hunting.  So I thought I would share with you what I came up for this farm.

This 40 acre farm is in an area of a lot of big timber and not much farm ground. The farm does not offer a lot of terrain breaks or natural edges for hunting…my first thought is how to create food sources and how to set this up for hunting.


When zooming in, the next thing I see are three areas that can be exploited to create food plots. The two plots on the east side of the dry creek bottom are accessible from the road, the plot to the left would be an interior plot. Obviously, trees and such would have to be removed to make these plots possible. The clear potential can be seen though in making this 40 acre piece a draw with food plots. Now, if you are going to add food plots don’t just add the plots…think and plan out if you do add food plots to your farm how can they be done in a way that makes for good hunting.

Here, you can see the proposed plots drawn out. I prefer plots that have distinguished edges to hunt. You can see here by creating plots that are rectangular I have not only put in food plots, but I have created inside corners and created a funnel between the interior plot on the west and the two plots on the east. This is where it gets fun. I have one more step to do to make this a killer 40 acre piece to hunt.

Ok, so this is it. Let me explain what can be done here. By adding cattle fence on two sides of each food plot on the east, I make some pretty awesome inside corners. Making a fence crossing by either leaving the fence down or pulling down some wire creates two more very huntable sets. We have now taken this farm from an average farm in mostly big timber to a hunting hot spot. Just look at the funnel created between the plots on the east and the interior plot on the west! Personally, I don’t think I would even hunt the interior plot choosing instead to use that plot as a staging and rutting area for the local deer—choosing instead to ambush the deer on the east side of the farm or the funnel which are easier to get in and out undetected.

Remember, when looking at buying a piece of land or when gaining access to some ground, there are sometimes pretty profound ways of improving the habitat and huntability of the farm.  I can’t count how many times I have used sweat equity on a farm to take it from ok to awesome.  I guess I would say two things in closing.  First, you don’t have to do everything all at once; sometimes it takes a few years to make a farm its best.  Second, most land owners and hunters will never take the time and effort to create a hunting paradise for their hunting grounds.  If you do, you will probably have a very good piece of ground to hunt in your area and will make your neighbors wonder what you are doing that makes you so successful.

6 thoughts on “Creating a Huntable Farm

    • Tom:
      There is no doubt in my mind that your plan is off and running! That thought and knowledge and hard work pays off. There are so many minerals on the market today. My question would be what do you find out would be a great or right joice, with your experience. And i just love your funnels you made with the fence.
      Rog Cat Mancl

      • Roger, I don’t typically use supplemental minerals. Personally, I think the whole marketing of minerals is designed to get hunters to think minerals will make the racks of their deer bigger and better…when in reality it is age that has the biggest effect. People that can hunt and harvest big deer year in and year out have access to ground that has older age class bucks. I would put my time and money into better ground, habitat, and food plots before spending a dime on minerals.

  1. Tom: Hope your hard work pays off for you on your new farm in Iowa. Or should I say hard work pays off. Anyway hope things are off and doing good for you!
    Roger Cat Mancl

  2. GREAT article! I have been struggling with an 80 acre plot that is very similar to this 40 acre one. I have water , cover, and a LOT of standing timber…what to do….I guess I just found out! Thank you!

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