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Size Matters

Back To "Ask The Biologist?"You can manage deer on small acreage, but you’ll need some neighborly help.

QUESTION: Keep up the good work on these articles; I’ve found a lot of them to be helpful. I am considering buying a piece of property that consists of 48 acres, 22 of which are used for corn or beans, and the rest is woods with ravines and hills. Can you manage deer on a 48 acre parcel? — Robert from Ohio

Size Matters

ANSWER: In the strict sense, probably not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful hunting it.

You have to look at the big picture, and a lot depends on surrounding land use patterns, habitat types and hunting pressure. If adjacent or nearby parcels have a similar mix of woods, agriculture and topography, they’re likely to hold just as many deer. However, if your piece is surrounded by predominantly agricultural land, your woods and ravines will represent an important source of cover.

Next you have to look at the hunting habits of your neighbors. If they subscribe to the “if it’s brown, it’s down” philosophy, it will be nigh onto impossible to produce and protect quality bucks in your area. If they’re more selective in what they harvest, your odds become better.

And if you can get them to form a cooperative, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and everyone benefits.

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