Bow Hunting | Don’t Rule Out Small Acreages for Big Bucks
We all probably dream of owning and bow hunting a huge spread someday, with mature oak ridges, a river or creek running through it, a massive groomed trail network, and all the groceries a deer could want. Simply, it would be a whitetail paradise, and large enough to fully manage a deer herd to your own liking instead of worrying about passing up a buck just to have him shot on the property next door. For the vast majority of us, though, that idea will always stay a dream.
Fortunately, however, you can have great success with bow hunting on small properties as well. It does take more planning and strategy, of course. But you can consistently harvest mature bucks from even a few acres if managed intensively. Let’s look at some of the principles of small parcel bow hunting.
To consistently see deer on small properties, you need to be invisible to the deer; more so than usual. They should never see, hear, or smell you, and you should be very careful about leaving any evidence behind. Entry and exit routes are critical, as you need to get to a stand without crossing any prime deer areas, and be able to sneak back out again undetected. Educate even one deer, and you could blow your chances for several days or even weeks.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Obviously you should practice regardless of where or what you are hunting, but it’s especially critical on small properties where you need to make a shot count. Ideally, you’ll be able to put a deer down within the boundaries of your land so you don’t have to ask permission from others to track your deer. To do this consistently, your bow needs to be dialed in and you should have high quality archery equipment. A G5 Havoc 2-blade expandable broadhead is a great choice for this situation. It has a 2 inch cutting diameter for large wound channels, faster bleed out, and excellent tracking.
Set the Buffet Table
Having a diversity of food plot options on a small parcel can attract deer to it. Include a variety of perennials such as clover and annual species like brassicas, beans, or small grains to ensure there will be nutrition throughout the year. Offer different plant species than what your neighbors have and you should be able to attract does and bucks alike to dine at your property. After that, the key is holding them within your small boundaries, which brings us to the last principle.
One of the best ways to effectively bow hunt small properties is a little contradictory to what most people think. Maintain the center of your property as a sanctuary. An area you never disturb unless retrieving a deer or maintaining the habitat. When hunting pressure increases on neighboring properties, deer will be sure to find a safe place to rest on your side of the fence. Even if you only set aside a few acres, it could be what your herd needs to feel secure. Plant your food plots within a few hundred yards of your sanctuaries and they shouldn’t have much reason to leave your property.
You don’t need to own or lease giant parcels of land to have a successful deer season. Using these tips, you can create exceptional bow hunting on some very small properties.