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John's Journal... Entry 237, Day 1


Purchase Gas

Editor's Note: Neil Dougherty, the BioLogic Northeastern Territory Manager and Operations Manager for the NorthCountry Whitetails Habitat Development & BioLogic Research Center in New York, has been involved with habitat development and food plot research for the past 12 years. He's worked closely with whitetail industry leaders such as Dr. Grant Woods, Charles J. Alsheimer, Bob Foulkrod, and others. The 500-acre demo center developed by Dougherty has given him numerous opportunities for magazine and newspaper articles as well as appearing on National Public Radio and TV. When he gets the chance, Dougherty can be found chasing whitetails on the NorthCountry property with his bow.

As hunters know, you can spend plenty of money on deer management by clearing land, plowing, planting and manipulating the habitat. Some hunting clubs can't afford the type of deer management that they really want. I posed this problem to Dougherty, "Suppose I've just gotten 1000 acres of land to hunt. My wife doesn't like for me to be gone every weekend. She says I can't spend more than $30 on wildlife management. How can I manage a deer herd for $30 on 1000 acres and get the most for my money, improve the habitat and grow more and bigger deer?" Dougherty laughed when he heard my proposal. But then he scratched his head and answered, "You can do a pretty good job of deer management with just $30 if you identify what needs to be done."

Purchase Gas:
Dougherty first recommended I buy gasoline for my limited-budget deer-management plan. He said, "For less then $10, you can buy enough gasoline and oil to run a chainsaw for two or three weeks. Since almost everyone in a hunting club has a chainsaw, my first suggestion is that you buy gas for the chainsaws and clear brushy places and areas with non-commercial timber growing on them." When leasing land, make sure you have the permission of the landowner before you cut any trees or brush. However, if some trashy, grown-up areas not in timber production have grown up with non-commercial timber or brush, then after you get the permission of the landowner, take your chainsaw in, cut that brush down to the ground, and clear out a spot where sunlight can reach the forest floor. Your consulting forester needs to play a major role in helping to determine areas that you can clear.

"Any time you can open up the forest floor so that sunlight can get to it, native grasses and shrubs will begin to grow and produce a tremendous amount of natural food for deer. Remember that although deer like young, tender plants, they only can feed on vegetation that grows up to about 6 feet off the ground. So by opening up the forest floor, creating wildlife openings and stimulating new growth, you'll drastically increase the amount of food and cover that the deer have on the property that you hunt and begin to better manage your deer herd."

To learn more about Mossy Oak BioLogic or the NorthCountry Whitetails Habitat Development Center, contact Neil Dougherty at (866) 677-9625 or visit www.mossyoakbiologic.com or www.northcountrywhitetails.com.




Check back each day this week for more about THE $30 MANAGEMENT PLAN ...

Day 1 - Purchase Gas
Day 2 - Fertilize Next, Then Buy Bullets
Day 3 - Set Up Sanctuaries
Day 4 - Let Them Grow
Day 5 - Get Your Neighbor's Buck

John's Journal