It’s that time of the year. Hunting leases are being paid for and clubs are scraping to fill memberships. Hunt club members are showing prospects around leased properties. What’s being seen this year is a little “out of the norm” across much of Louisiana.
We’ve had a lot of rain, severe storms with wind and hail, and an unseasonable ice storm accompanied by extreme cold weather in the past few months. It’s wreaked havoc on large portions of hunting land.
Work days are typically in September before archery season. If clubs wait until the traditional time to take care of their leases, it could be overwhelming this fall.
There is no time like the present to get started. Consider these tips and get your hunting land in order.
Access and right-of-ways
ATV trails, logging roads and any accesses on hunting clubs are sure to have trees across them. In some areas of Louisiana, there are more than plenty. High winds and storms have caused a lot of timber damage, and it’s not only pines. Monster oaks trees are being found blown down, blocking rights-of-way. It could take a crew of men a day to clear out one big oak.
Water runoff has taken its toll on travel routes, too. If you’ve had trouble with certain spots in the past, they’re likely going to be washed out again. Scout your land and drive down your trails; make notes of problem areas you find.
Food plot TLC
Check food plots for blown-down trees and fallen limbs. In pine country where there was ice, hunters are finding big piles of limbs under larger pine trees. Many food-plot edges have bunches of limbs on the ground 15 to 20 yards out into the plot. A tractor with a bucket will make easy work of it.
Bush-hogging plots is a good idea but should be put off until turkeys have hatched their broods in early June. Spraying is a better choice now, and it will make clipping grass easier in a month.
Killer fall food plots
Spray stands of clover now. Use a spray like Hi-Yield Grass Killer, a post-emergent grass herbicide. It’s safe to use on clover and kills grasses and weeds; your fall clover field will flourish. If you have used a fall food-plot mix, inspect it. Some have reasonable amounts of clover. If you notice some growth of clover, spray it like a clover field. Give it a try; nothing attracts whitetails to fall food plots like clover.
Lime, lime and lime. It’s time to do it. To get the full effect of lime, especially pelletized lime, it takes six months. If you keep plots mowed, pelletized lime can be broadcast on untilled ground or can be broadcast and disked. Lime now, and your fall plots will be more attractive than your neighbor’s.
Last but not least
Get the jump on work days and hunting club tasks. Check box blinds and tripods; some may have been toppled over by high winds. Inspect ladder stands in secret honey holes too; they are not immune from the same kinds of damages. Do anything you can think of, and spread out the work. This will keep the traditional hunting club experience fun and not like a second job.