Harvesting a mature whitetail is perhaps the most gratifying feat many of us will experience in our outdoor pursuits. The gratification is well-earned because it is not an easy task.  At Graff Habitat, we have the experience to turn the odds in your favor by thoroughly evaluating your property and installing strategic management plans for development. Some components of a property such as location, access,and topography cannot be changed, Other components such as security cover, sanctuary, food sources, water and pressure management can and should be for extraordinary hunting opportunities.

So what are some of the key components to a management plan to help you hold, grow and kill more mature bucks on your property?


Designating a sanctuary

This is the core area where you are inviting bucks to call home.  It should be an area that is easily avoided while accessing the property and must have strict guidelines for when someone enters it.  Providing dense security cover is very important to establishing a sanctuary. Timber stand improvement projects, timber harvest, clear cuts, edge feathering, native grass plantings and old field management are all ways we can build an area that will attract deer, the pressure management will keep them there.

Providing high-quality food sources

Food plots play a vital role in keeping deer on your property and making their patterns more predictable.  Corn, beans, milo, cereal grains, legumes and other fall food plot varieties are common choices as hunting and recruitment plots.  Based on your hunting style, we customize the kind of seed, shape, size, and location to best match when you will be spending the most time in the stand.  Location near a designated bedding area or sanctuary will ensure that your herd have easy access and establishing a food source that will yield enough food throughout the winter and in to spring will ensure that they don't need to leave.  Especially in the late season, deer become a slave to their stomach and mature bucks will get on their feet earlier in the day to eat, creating an exceptional opportunity to take a late-season giant.

Stand placement and access

Figuring out how to hunt a farm without pushing your deer out is perhaps the most important ingredient in the recipe of success.  Choosing a place that you can slip in and out easily without disturbing your herd is key. The sanctuary and food source locations can be determined after we figure out how to quietly enter and exit the property.

Security and bedding cover

Native warm-season grasses such as Big Bluestem, Indiangrass and Switchgrass provide high quality bedding areas and travel corridors for whitetail. Creating transitional warm season stands between big timber and food plots will encourage deer to come out into the food plots earlier in the day due to the heightened sense of security.  Properties with cool season grasses, left over from grazing or haying operations can easily be converted to native warm season grasses and increase the use of the areas in short order.