How much of a presence can you place on your hunting farm before it adversely affects the deer? To me, that is a tough question, but I have answered it on the farms I use.

Early season velvet buck

Buck eating on sprouting soybeans.

It all depends on the farm. I frequent three farms and over the years I have learned that I can be fairly active on two farms, but need to stay away from the third farm.  So, what makes two farms okay to visit and the other a “no trespassing” zone?  Bedding Area! Basically, the closer I get to the bedding areas, the more I bump deer. The more I bump deer, the less and less that I see them.

 

On the farms I utilize a lot, the bedding areas are a good distance from where I’m utilizing the farm.  The deer can watch me from woods as I’m bush-hogging the fields or checking trail cameras and don’t feel threatened.  I get the best of both worlds, a farm I can use and hunt when season is in.

On the farm that I can’t utilize as much, the bedding area is right smack-dab in the middle of the property.  To compound matters, it is a small property. The more I ride my golf cart on this property or the more I check trail cameras, the less big buck I see.  In the beginning the big bucks frequent the farm a lot, but as my presence increased the big buck sightings go way down.

Dale Mowing

Dale mowing the food plot he and Benji are establishing from scratch.

Some advocate staying off your hunting properties and let them be a sanctuary all the time.  I see there point and heed to their advice on my third property.  But, on properties that aren’t setup like this, I say use it.  The reason, what happens when hunting season rolls around and you have not been there all year long.  All of a sudden you are there and the deer are on high alert.  If they are used to seeing you, they may not run to the next county.  They may be conditioned to seeing you and not feel as threatened.

So, your presence on your farm all depends on how the farm lays out.  If bedding areas are in the right location, you can utilize your farms without compromising deer activity.  Plus, it will condition the deer to your presence.  If the property lays out where the bedding area is close to where you frequent, deer sighting could drop.  Next, time you are at your farms, take a look and see if your presence is adversely affecting the deer.

The Season Never Ends!