Sunday, January 16, 2011

Deer Management with Dr. Grant Woods

I spent Friday driving around a large property in Fulton County with Dr. Grant Woods, Ryan Pudik, Jared Plattner, and the land owner. Our mission was to put together a land renovation plan that would turn the old strip mine spoils into a wildlife paradise! Currently the deer population on this 600 acre farm is about 30-40 whitetail deer and the quail and turkey sightings are seasonal at best.

The goal of the plan Grant is putting together for us will increase that number to 150-200 resident whitetails while greatly enhancing the small game habitat! This particular property has 8 large strip mined bodies of water, a creek, 80 acres of timber, 200 acres of tillable with the balance reclaimed pasture land consisting mainly of brome grass. Basically it is already a world class fishing and goose hunting property with good deer hunting and limited small game hunting. This year however we are going to transform this property into the sportsmans gem of the midwest!

While we covered lots of issues like predator trapping, surveillance monitoring, tresspasser prosecuting, scent control, and various other items, the main sermon Grant kept preaching was food, cover, and water. That combination of the big three is the most important aspect to growing and holding whitetail deer. Let me just say that Grant is very innovative when it comes to creating whitetail habitat. I couldn't believe it when he was saying how much deer don't need or desire timber! It will be two weeks before we get the exact plan back, but we definitely have a good idea of everything we talked about.

He told many parables with the main point being you need to have better food, cover, and water than all of your neighbors in order to grow and keep the deer on your property. One of the stories trying to stress his point was when you go grizzly bear hunting with a buddy, you don't need to be faster than the grizzly, just faster than your buddy.... With one square mile, that is enough land to grow deer as long as we don't give them a reason to leave.

The plan he is making will be pretty long with lots of words, but will also include a very detailed blueprint of the property map that accounts for every single acre of the property. Not only habitat improvement, but also hunting strategies like stand placement and wind direction for entering each stand will be addressed. This is going to be rather intensive, but the final results will simply be unbelievable!

Grant is perhaps the most famous deer biologist in the nation, his website is

His clients are many of the TV deer hunters, professional athletes, and famous celebrities across the nation. I have actually worked on several properties that Grant has also worked on, but never before have I actually met or worked with him on a project! I learned more about land and deer in the first hour with Grant than I learned my whole life up to that point.

I am excited to get started on this project along with several other land renovation projects this spring! We have teamed up with Ryan Pudik of and Jared Plattner of to be able to tackle any lake or land renovation project no matter how big or small. Together we will be burning lots of native grass this spring, planting lots of food plots, taking down fences, clearing timber, making roads, trapping nuisance critters and traveling around consulting for several projects.

Let me just say that our consultation prices aren't quite to the same degree as Grant's just yet, so now is the time to get ahold of any of us if you want to talk about improving habitat or to have some land work of any kind done!

Here is an aerial pic of a property we renovated and finished last year:

We also spent some time fishing and eating over the weekend, those pics and stories will be for another time I guess. I have to be up at 5 am for ice fishing tomorrow morning!


  1. Listen to you. "I have to be up at 5am for ice fishing tomorrow morning!"

    I hope that isn't a complaint :)

  2. Not a complaint per say. Just unusually early for an ice fishing trip!