In the Field: Field Day

By: Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator
These deer are all from the Carpenter Farm. They have been an active cooperative for several years. These deer are all from the Carpenter Farm. They have been an active cooperative for several years.
Well, I had another busy week in the office last week. I proceeded to wrap the week up at two QDMA Branch events, where I presented about cooperatives, and was able to hear some other great speakers. I cannot lie, spending Saturday outside at a habitat workshop made for a great weekend! The weather was perfect for an outdoor event.
South Central Michigan QDMA Branch had a great event where they hosted Don Higgins and Levesque Outdoors at the Carpenter Farm near Bronson, MI. Bob Ducharme also spoke about deer management. I wasn’t able to stick around for the predator demonstration by the Levesques, nor Don’s habitat tour, but I was able to hear Don talk about habitat. I even picked up a few tips.
Don Higgins sharing his knowledge about habitat management at the South Central Michigan QDMA Field Day. Don Higgins sharing his knowledge about habitat management at the South Central Michigan QDMA Field Day.
Habitat Tips:
-When you are looking to manage habitat on your property, you want to manage it in a way that reduces the human intrusion as much as possible. The more work you have to do to maintain your property over the year, the more you are back there disturbing the deer.
-If you want grasses, but do not plan on burning grasses then, find something different to plant. Best management results come from burning grasses.
-Whether planting grasses, trees, etc., it is important to verify where the seed is coming from. You want seed within 200 miles north or south of where you are planting, to increase the likelihood of it being successful.
-When planting small trees, use tree tubes, and be sure to spray the grass around the shoot. The grassroots will compete with the tree roots if left to grow, taking away from the trees ability to grow in the critical first couple years.
After I listened to Don’s presentation, I packed up and headed over to Dowagiac, MI where Michiana QDMA Branch was hosting a two day Whitetail Workshop. Prior to my arrival, Jeff Steinkraus presented on forest management, and Congressman Fred Upton shared on hunter impact. Community Mills also provided some information on weeds and herbicides. On Sunday, they had the privilege of hosting Charles Alsheimer. I made it to the last half hour of Jim Brauker’s presentation on Game Theory and scent control. I jotted down a few tips that will help you control scent better.
Jim Brauker talking about scent control at the Michiana Whitetail Workshop. Jim Brauker talking about scent control at the Michiana Whitetail Workshop.
Scent control tips:
-Deer communicate through scent, and they can pick up your scent very easily. We wear camo to make ourselves less visible, we control our scent to make ourselves less odorous.
-Your body creates an exponentially increasing about of bacteria throughout the day. Start a hunt day off by thoroughly washing and scrubbing your body to start that bacterial level off as low as possible.
-It is critical that you reduce odor as much as possible on your boots. The path you walk will leave your scent every step of the way if you are not intentional to eliminate the odor.
-Tuck your pants into your boots to avoid skin cells from wafting up your pant leg and down on to the ground.
-Most scent busts you won’t know about, the deer sniff you out before you see them. If you take extreme measures to conceal/reduce your scent, and find yourself busted, it is because you are getting closer to deer before they notice you.
Overall, both events were great, and had a great set of speakers. I hope you enjoyed your tips! I would like to thank Matt DuCharme and Mike Seigel for the invitations to speak! If you have an event coming up, please feel free to reach out. I would love to come and support your group, and promote cooperatives.

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