March Madness

Mar 21

March Madness

March Madness

I’m a sports junkie but fortunately, never cared much for basketball.  Now that many of my friends, clients and relatives are glued to the TV for many, many hours I’m thankful that the sport never interested me.  Although the work of a private wildlife consultant is never complete, the month of March is when things really get cranked up.  Truthfully, if you’re not busy with management activities in March don’t plan on being busy with tracking and butchering activities in November.  I’ve been visiting clients and the information that follows is the same information I’ve been sharing with them.

One of the most popular requests from clients is for a year-round management calendar; a reminder of the key activities they should be doing throughout the year. Since managing deer in different parts of their range makes that difficult I’ve decided to simplify it by simply covering a few of the management activities that are consuming the majority of my time on my personal properties in PA and NY, with PA being the focus.  These management activities, however, can be applied throughout the whitetail’s range.  If you have any questions on their timing and application where you manage whitetails don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

In a nutshell I’m still hunting hard in January.  February is still too early (think energy conservation) for my favorite activity: shed hunting.  Therefore, February typically finds me running trail cameras, freshening my Trophy Rock sites, renewing and establishing relationships with the vendors I work with to keep my clients informed (i.e. Gallagher, Trophy Rock, Tecomate, Outfitter’s Choice), toting the chainsaw to specific areas for browse/cover cuts and beginning to outline some of my food plot plans for the coming warm and cool seasons.

March gets crazy…and if you stop and think about it for a minute it really makes sense.  We’re fast approaching the antler growing and fawning seasons.  You can have a tremendous impact on antler growth and fawn recruitment by acting now.  Following is a list of a FEW of the management activities that are going on at Drop-Tine Farms.

  • New Trophy Rocks are delivered to freshen each established mineral site (an entire crate sits in the barn)
  • At least 50% of the trail cameras that operate in the fall are running to document herd health and collect early scouting information for spring turkey season
  • Hinge and browse cuts are carried over from February in select locations
  • Food plot plans in the form of maps and detailed notes are finalized and seed has been ordered for all plots excluding any fall plots planned
  • Shed hunting begins once temperatures warm up and after things start to green up (wait until April if necessary—pushing deer is energetically expensive for rut and winter stressed bucks.)
  • Equipment is drug out of the barn and prepped for the upcoming season.  I personally started working with a new company testing ATV sprayers since clients commonly inquire about them.
  • Frost seed perennials in existing plots – clover, chicory and alfalfa
  • Posted signs that were shot, tore down or run over by snow plows (really happened to me this year) are replaced to show poachers/trespassers that you are active on your property.

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