A Management Plan designed to foster the deer's full potential
Western Kentucky has truly remarkable genetics for trophy whitetail. Our sound plan of management and commitment to employ it enhances our deer ability to grow to their full genetic potential. Let's take a look at some key points we strive to attain as we work to provide you the hunt of a lifetime.
Habitat - The place where they eat, travel, rest, evade, rear offspring, reproduce, etc. Each of these components plays a role in a bucks ability to grow to his full potential. Lets break down each one, and see what advantage western Kentucky has, and what we do to maximize the effect of it.
Food - A mature buck needs 5-7 pounds of food each day. For some areas, that is simply unattainable. Our large agriculture base and growing season is a major contributor to the overall diet of our deer. But, you also know that deer are ruminants, forbs and browse are the most important factor in the diet. Bellwort and hyacinth are just a couple of plants common and native to our area that are very palatable and in abundance. Persimmons, acorns and beech nuts, also very common are good nutrient sources, preferred by our deer. The ability to select cut young trees in spring is a great way to provide browse . All these are in abundance in our area, giving our herd a selection of nutrient rich foods, that exceed the ratio of animal to daily intake requirements.
We believe a buck or doe conserving energy is a stress free animal that is healthy, and able to reach maximum genetic potential. Therefore we are constantly adding travel passages, by dozer and by hand.
Travel - Every moment a whitetail is either storing or burning energy. We help ease the energy burden by providing easy passage from known bedding areas to food sources and natural water. When a deer can travel free from stress, that animal is conserving energy. Stress comes in the form of outside influences, pressure and the simple ability to navigate through woods or crp or fields. By limiting pressure and providing easy passages we help our deer conserve energy, which promotes healthy growth and overall physical stability.
Rearing offspring - This is an essential component. Our area has a fantastic climate for growing what we call double-crops. Simply, it means planting wheat in the fall and harvesting the wheat in early summer and following the wheat with beans. This is important because standing, mature wheat that is near harvest provides one of the safest places for a doe to safely hide young fawns. The thick wheat aids in scent detection from predators and hides deer incredibly, giving the fawns the edge they need to grow to the point they can evade. The cab of a combine gives us a pretty accurate count of the years birthing numbers, and the overall health of does and fawns. Our fawn survivability rate is off the charts.
Evade - Our area is rural. The lack of everyday human pressure is a significant factor. Our hardwood stands are vast, to go along with long ridges and fertile river and creek bottoms, all of which our properties posses. Our area is agriculture driven, with the primary crops being soybeans, corn and wheat. We have a great number of CRP areas. CRP stands for Crop Reduction Program. The CRP program was initiated by the USDA to encourage farmers to let their smaller fields grow naturally, and not be tilled or farmed, to replenish the soil and prevent erosion. In our opinion, this program is one of the key contributors to the resurgence of our trophy bucks. These fields are typically only cut twice a year, and the natural growth is a magnet for mature whitetail bucks. Bucks can bed and roam in these areas relatively pressure free. CRP stands annually produce some of the biggest bucks taken in our state.
Our Management Philosophy
- We believe a buck or doe conserving energy is a stress-free animal that is healthy, and able to reach maximum genetic potential. Therefore we are constantly adding travel passages, by dozer and by hand.
- Our plots are selected and seeded with nutrient rich alfalfa and clover. Alfalfa is a hardy plant that holds its palatability and nutrients well into winter, when other green plants are dormant. It is a preferred food of our deer, but is a plot that requires diligent maintenance. We believe our guests and our deer are worth it.
- Many of our properties have natural mineral seepages. We believe in enhancing our bucks' nutrient intake with supplemental mineral sites. These are best replenished by the same individual (due in part to scent acceptance) and should be routinely replenished during antler growth and lactating periods.
- Each year we are granted nuisance tags, which affords us to keep our ratio in check. These tags are requested by the farmers who suffer crop damage from the deer. We typically pass these along to our guests, who can then add a little more meat to the freezer.
-The primary reason for our vast amount of acreage is to keep hunting pressure minimal. This practice takes true commitment, but is necessary to continue to produce Boone and Crockett caliber bucks. Limited hunting pressure is key in producing trophy whitetails.
-Our goal is to harvest mature, 140"+ bucks. Many of our guests have never had the opportunity to take a buck of that size. Aging a buck on the hoof accurately is anything but proven science. Our method is continually monitoring our trail cameras, and constantly glassing our fields.
-If you take a look at our harvest log, you'll see we are on the right track. We are constantly striving to be better stewards and conservationists, and improve our herd as best we can. We do this because our mission is not just to satisfy you, but to ensure your interest in your heritage is stimulated to the point you desire to share it with those that will continue it.