But, right now I wanted to stop by and tell you about our herd. We've been managing this herd for 8 years now. The first couple years we didn't really know what we were doing. We tried, but our main objective was just to lower the hunting pressure and allow the herd to come back onto the land and get all cozy. The poaching that had gone on before us was intense and I'm pretty sure not even the squirrels came onto the property. Not to mention it was mostly barren with a few pockets of hardwoods. the second year we had the fields planted and all the trees planted and as they grew the herd slowly moved back in. At first only for foraging and the herd was very small. We didn't harvest animals for the first 3-4 years. Then we started noticing the deer were finally staying year round without fail. They visited the same places, and we saw the same deer time and again. But, the bucks - not so much. They are typically travelers anyway and wary. But, as the newer generation of deer matured those bucks tend to hang around more. Other bucks start coming in more because the herd size is growing so the does need mating...all good stuff. Last year the herd was finally large enough to not only meet the demands of our meat requirements, but my brothers and my uncles as well. This year?
The fawns are numerous and we even have a set of twins!
Last years fawns have sized up nicely (top photo all the way right) and this years are beginning to lose their spots and all are healthy and happy.
Along with these shots we had plenty of turkey (some with the turkey and deer at the same time) and other wildlife as well. It feels great to know that we've completely changed this land. The deer that used to be here were very thin and the fawn population by this time of the year was very low if any due to high predator pressure. Turkey were non existent on this property as well. This year? I fully plan on a true turkey Thanksgiving dinner.
And? I. Can't. Wait!
See you soon!