A lot of hunters have that place they call home. For Casey, this is his grandpa’s farm where he got his start deer hunting with his brother, dad, and grandpa. Over the years, the hunting turned into managing by being more selective of their harvest, planting food plots and enhancing the habitat by planting Switchgrass. It was a family project and vision shared by the Shoopman family. The last time Casey saw his grandpa was the same day the first Switchgrass seed hit the soil just months before he passed away in 2010.
The story of Casey’s deer season began back in the summer months with a move and acquisition of a new property to hunt. After initially stepping foot on the property, he located a perfect area for a food plot and hung trail cameras in preparation for the season.
This year is different than many years past. After 12 years of spending time in a tree with someone else, either filming or being filmed, he was faced with having to hunt on his own. Combine the self filming with the run of bad luck of not being able to capture a mature buck getting shot on film and Casey had more than just a monkey on his back, he had a gorilla.
On just his second sit of the year on this new farm, he was faced with the decision of which deer to shoot as two mature bucks were within bow range. The younger deer with the larger rack or the more mature deer with the smaller rack. The teacher came out in Casey and he shot the more mature deer.
The season is here and we’re hitting the ground running by hunting deer, waterfowl, and making the final property assessments as we head into the winter. No matter where we are or who it is, our focus is always on the education of land management and the resources that surround us. It doesn’t matter if it’s clients, wives, girlfriends, or even our children, our focus is on passing knowledge onto others. This is done through a variety of different methods. Some as simple as a walk through the family farm with the kids naming different types of plants. While others, like the how and why of habitat manipulation on the farm, happen over the course of many months. The common goal that we all share at The Management Advantage is educating those around us to improve the resources God has given us to make it a better place for future generations.
Eight months of work, planning, and strategizing is about to be put to the test as deer hunting seasons begin. Land managers invest a huge amount of time and money into their properties to improve them. Now is the time for the final preparations before it’s time to put on the camouflage and hit the stand.
Wildlife managers come in all types. Walter Gilbert is no different. He is a loyal TMA viewer and has put what he has learned through our episodes into practice on his farm in South Carolina. Gilbert is the type that didn’t need told what to do, he just needed someone to confirm his plans and practices were the right moves to make which is why he invited us down to his property. His management practices on his farm have been spot on. He is not only benefiting his deer hunting and whitetails, but quail as well. He has introduced high protein food sources by taking advantage of harvests in his pine plantations. By taking what he has learned through viewing our episodes and combining it with his own small twists, he has been able to improve his property. Just like all of us, he has taken it upon himself to improve his land and use it as a an avenue to introduce others to the outdoors.