A perk of majoring in wildlife biology in college is the plethora of hunting knowledge that you collect throughout your course load. One of the most important factors in whether an area can hold large quantities of animals or produce large antlers is forage.
Most universities, state schools and even community colleges offer basic botany courses and plant ID courses. Although it might not be feasable for the average middle age hunter to pay tuition and go back to college to learn hunting knowledge (good luck explaining that one to your wife!) it might just be possible to sit in on a few classes here and there. At least visiting one of these courses first, meeting and picking up the syllabus in order to find out what textbooks and field guides are being used would be worth it. Many of the books used in these courses are easy enough to teach yourself.
You will be amazed at the differences you will see in habitat and landscape once you are informed of what to look for.