Last year’s drought was tough on deer herds across much of the country. It was no different in Central Illinois at the Fogle Farm. Numerous mature bucks that Ross and Derek had on their hit list either went missing or were found dead. They believed the outbreak of EHD to be the main cause. Luckily, a new mature buck frequented the property during the deer hunting season and Ross was able to connect in late November.
While there is nothing we can do as land managers to prevent EHD, property improvements will do nothing but enhance a deer’s desire to call your farm home. With many of the mature bucks now gone or missing from the farm, Ross and Derek’s best bet is to pull deer that call neighboring properties home. The Fogle Farm is getting a makeover this year in the form of large stands of warm season grasses. If there was anything this farm was missing, it was the security cover that Switchgrass can provide. Combining these warm season grass plantings with fire breaks consisting of Pennington’s Durana Clover and Chicory will provide excellent control when it comes time for controlled burning of the grasses, and also extra high protein forages. The versatility of The Firminator allowed for planting a variety of different seed sizes and species in a perfectly prepared seed bed. While these property improvements won’t necessarily be quickly establishing habitats, it will definitely improve the property for deer hunting in the years to come.
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