Having recorded over 31 trophy whitetails at my age of 58 seems like quite an accomplishment being that most hunters only get one or some times two in a lifetime. I would like to say that the reason for my success is due to some extraordinary skill as a hunter, possibly I’m an excellent stalker, could be my far superior shooting ability or just plain determination. But I can’t say that. Except possibly the first few years when I started hunting and where I happened by luck to be in the right geographical area. I am not talking about some particular location because of its food source holds superior, quality bucks. If that were the case, we would have good years and bad years, depending on its food source. But it is truly geographical. As a young pilot, I was able to study from the air the surrounding areas of our hunting range. I noticed that there was definitely smaller systems of runways that were being used by residential groups of deer for feeding and bedding. What caught my eye were these larger runways that seem to connect one geographical area to another by, say, a small system of scattered islands or rock out-croppings that would lead across a bog swamp area or other obstruction that would geographically disconnect one area from another. What I came to understand is the larger breeding bucks once done accomplishing their seasonal tasks in their home range area would venture out into another dominant bucks area in hopes of finding an unbred doe. Some areas for one reason or another and much to the delight of the visiting buck from the nearby neighborhood had no dominant bucks. Now, you may ask how, “how did you go about finding all these geographical pinch points without finding other hunters in those areas or being able to have your choice of area?” It certainly helps if you own the land and you’re in the land and timber business and you are already harvesting your lands or constantly looking to purchase new timber lands. This was the case at the inception of my land and timber business in the mid 1980’s. Having the use of my aircraft seemed like an unfair advantage like having an aerial photo at your disposal constantly. I could tell which areas contained more timber and what species, where the wet lands were, where the high ground and access points would be and see the entire topography of how all the animals would maneuver through the terrain. After the harvest, it was like bringing up the curtain at a theatrical production. All the topography was exposed and you could see the increased use of various trails year after year. Hunting these choke points was an obvious no-brainer if:
1. You were looking for a dominant buck
2. You had plenty of patience and really enjoyed sitting and listening to mother nature while putting in several days of stand time.
The good news is that you were in the best location to try and kill a dominant buck. The bad news is you’ve seen very few other deer as these runways were not leading to feeding or bedding grounds. They are only transitional trails from one geographical area to another. So, as long as you enjoy sitting out in the woods without seeing a lot of deer activity, your chances of seeing and killing a dominant buck was very good. The hunting lands we have for sale are the lands that I have kept for myself. At the age of 58, although I still really enjoy hunting, its more about enjoying the camaraderie of the hunt with friends than it is doing the diehard 8 or 9 hours on the stand for the big one.
So I am keeping one place for myself and selling the rest. All of the hunting properties we have for sale, with the exception of the 10 acre parcel, have at least one and some have two of these major transitional runways tying two and sometimes three major deer and feeding and bedding areas together. You have the best of both worlds, you can hunt the bedding and feeding areas if you are just looking to bag any deer or you can hunt the big transitional runway for the trophy.
There is a certain piece of mind knowing that you own a parcel of hunting land that you control and can manage to your desires. There is also a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that you can have your hunt experience and not have to worry about interference or outside distractions from other hunters. This is what I have come to appreciate and I assume why most people invest in hunting properties.