Better Fall Hunting, Part 1
Everybody would like to have better hunting on the property they lease or own. But most people believe it is too difficult a task to undertake themselves. I'm here to tell you it can be accomplished with some hard work and just a few pieces of machinery.
For starters, you have to make your property more inviting for the game animal you intend on hunting. There's several ways of accomplishing this. But prescribed burns will be the starting point to increase the attractiveness of the property you hunt.
Prescribed burns will clear the property of unwanted undergrowth and undesireables such as diseased trees, insect infected trees and trees toppled by wind damage. Another benefit of prescribed burns is to provide natural food plots. Depending on the size of the property and the area to be burned, the burns may be conducted by your hunt club. Bigger burn areas may require the help of a forester and crew. The next step is determining the area or areas to be burned. You don't want to burn the entire property at one time. It's best to segment the property with fire lanes to prevent the spread of the fire while the burning is taking place. A better option, if the landowner is willing, is to create shooting lanes to segnment the property. In most instances, landowners will agree to these lanes because the lanes can be used for greater access to the property. Timber consultants and logging crews can utilize this lanes for cruising and timber production in the future. A search in the local yellow pages should turn up individuals in your area engaged in this up and coming business. It can be as simple as one man and a bull dozer, providing the operator is an experienced land clearer. This is not a time for a friend to try out his grand dad's bull dozer on your property, as he could make a mess in a short period of time. Once the property is sectioned off, a burn itinerary can be established. You don't want to burn any adjacent section in subsequent years. Burn one section at a time and skip to another section some distance away. The purpose being, you want a "block" of woods to have a couple of years growth before another burn. So, the property will remain attractive to wildlife during this whole process. The wildlife will have food from first/second year growth while utilizing the third/fourth year growth for cover. If you continue to rotate your burns, you will continue to nurture the wildlife in your area, thus attracting more animals to your property.
Remember to check with your local forestry commission about securing a permit and notify your local fire department before starting any burns. Good luck and good hunting.