Turkey and morel season are in full swing! As you are out walking your property scouting for turkeys and looking for mushrooms you can’t help but think of fall and dream of where you might get a shot on that buck of a lifetime. Then you think, well the neighbors may have shot the deer I let go, or you harvest a buck in fear that a neighbor won’t let him go another year, that’s a whole other topic, but why not change these attitudes and help work to make your dreams of harvesting a big buck more realistic.
Many times I hear that people don’t even know what their neighbors hunting goals and aspirations are. In reality your neighbor may have many of the same goals as you but may hunt differently due to the way they may perceive that you hunt. Take the time to go visit with your neighbors about the past hunting season, compare notes and compare goals. Show trail camera pictures. You might be surprised how much you have in common with each other. Forming a cooperative can be one of the best ways for landowners with less than say 200 acres to have experiences and possibilities of hunting thousands of managed acres by combining efforts and communicating with neighbors. Get all the neighbors together for a barbecue or meet at a local establishment to discuss everyone ambitions. Share photos of past seasons, talk about habitat and herd size. Does everyone think there are too many deer? Maybe not enough deer for everyone likes.
Once this is done you could have a wildlife manager come in and discuss how to meet the goals of the cooperative. Maybe trail camera surveys need to be done or habitat projects implemented and new food plot strategies. Combining more acres with neighbors you can utilize the most potential for the area not just one property.
One may be surprised how much they have in common with a neighbor for specific hunting strategies and dreams. So get out there and visit with each other to form better hunting for everyone involved. Maybe some won’t want to partake at first, but after a few years of even 2 neighbors working together and showing results maybe more neighbors that are seeing those results will start to join in. Even if they don’t want to join initially try to involve them with what is going on. Maybe not just show pictures of deer that have been harvested from the efforts but a better impact may be the deer you are letting walk to grow another year or two.
Remember to plan and manage today for a better tomorrow!