Becoming a Better Land Manager with Habitat Podcast Part 1

Show Notes

In this episode, Jon Teater (Whitetail Landscapes) and Brian Halbleib(Habitat Podcast) discuss his property ownership journey. Brian discusses his first property, the price of land in the early 2000s and the circumstances that created equity in order to level up to a larger property. Brian discusses the first habitat improvement he made on his larger property and areas of improvement that later lead to him selling this property.

Brian explains the difficulties in owning a long and narrow property and how access is crucial to layout and design. Jon and Brian identify areas of improvement that are related to small properties and having multiple access routes is essential. Brian discusses his decision to sell his property, life priorities and leasing new ground.

Brian explains his favorite food plot blends, why he utilizes Vitalize Seed, and what food plot mistakes he has made in the past.  Jon discusses his perspective on blends and plant nutrient density as it relates to soil health. Brian explains tree planting failures and how he recommends approaching trees nowadays. Brian identifies his favorite tree for planting and how that can lead to hunting success. Jon and Brian discuss waiting to commence habitat improvements and what Brian is doing now to make him more efficient when hunting deer. Brian discusses an essential when it comes to leasing ground and acquiring a large chunk without owning land.  

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to Maximize Your Hunt, the podcast dedicated to those who want the most out of their hunting property. This podcast explores land management habitat improvement and hunting strategies that will help you maximize your time in the field. Follow along as industry professionals that live and breathe Whitetailed deer.

Share their secrets to success. The founder of Whitetail Landscapes, your host, John Teeter.

Jon Teater: Hi, I'm John Teeter, Whitetail Landscapes. This is Maximizer Hunt. Welcome back everybody. Little Housekeeping. I'm hoping anybody who listens to podcast would be obliged going to give a five star review and comment. I really appreciate that. I've been doing this podcast for over a year now, and we haven't taken any sponsorship.

I've done that by design. I'm focusing on providing education and support to people that wanna improve their properties [00:01:00] that wanna connect with the right people. Over the past, I'll say three, four weeks, I've had a lot of reach outs and I just wanna be clear with every. I'm trying to get back to everybody.

I'm trying to get you in the schedule. I've connected a few of you with other consultants that I'm connected with, so I'm open to that and just keep reaching out. Some people are providing questions and I'm responding when I can and just busy. And I'm on the road a lot. I just got back from a client visit today and it's, I was working this weekend, so I'm really busy working with clients, trying to get them moving and shaking.

The other thing I wanna mention is we, you. Once you listen to this, we released a podcast on building grouse habitat, and I hope people listen to that because that was really detailed. Trying to specify layout, plants, distance, spatial distribution on the landscape. Todd Waldron and I thought did a nice job with that.

So I think that was a detailed, involved podcast that was really, I don't know educational and I'm excited. I've got a lot more stuff coming up with, some [00:02:00] gurus, but I'm really excited for this podcast today. And this has been a long time coming and I want to introduce the guest really quick.

Hey, Brian, are you on the line? Yes, sir, John. Okay. So if anybody's familiar with the Habitat podcast those guys have been around quite a while. And it's Jared and Brian and I'm happy to have, Brian how on today, and I'm excited for him because he's ha he's had a journey over the years and I've talked to him, I've been on their podcast.

Some of my guests and my podcasts have been on theirs, and I think they've got a wealth of knowledge. Brian himself has. Doing habitat design and layout for over 20 years, and he's got a lot of experience. So we're gonna get into his experience and pull out from the spiderweb some of the knowledge he has and dig deep into what he has and, he's failed at and find some of his successes in that failure.

And so I want to introduce you, Brian, and give you, kudos and I appreciate listening to your podcast. And I would ask anybody who listens to this podcast, please listen to the Hi Habitat podcast. There's a ton of good information. And a ton of good [00:03:00] guests on there. So that's my intro to you, how you.

Brian Halbleib: I'm doing great my friend. It's good to talk to you again. Good.

Jon Teater: And I had a great time on your podcast, so hopefully I can do the same. Let's get into your journey and where you started and where you're at today. Property, you had purchased property and then you upgraded.

And let's go through your story a little. Sure.

Brian Halbleib: Starts back even before I had some property, I met a friend of mine through traditional archery shoot and he had mentioned that he had some property in Ohio and he was thinking about planting some food plots. And this is probably right around 2000, 2001.

And he was green at it, and I was green and I said, sure I'll give you a hand. Started trying to learn as much as I could Back then, the internet was in its infancy and weren't as many chat groups and things quite about habitat like there are now and different resources.

So just learned a lot from books and magazines and trial and [00:04:00] error and started helping my friend on his property and just planting some simple food plots and. , that's how it all started.

Jon Teater: So where you're at today is quite evolved from those days. But you've purchased property and let's go through your evolution of buying land and then let's go to where you're at today and why you've done what you've done over the years.

Brian Halbleib: Sure. Yeah. My goal was, I think I was in my late twenties. I grew up in the suburbs, so I never really had my. Piece of property. And my family's kind of suburban heights and grew up in the cities working in factories and things. And nobody really had any land. But my dad was a big outdoors man.

He always made time for me and my brother, and took us fishing and hunting, and I always thought, boy, it'd be really nice to have my own place someday. So I started saving for that and I guess it was about 2007, I bought my first piece of property. I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but Ohio's only maybe 20 minutes from [00:05:00] my driveway.

This, the archery seasons are longer, the soil's better, the deer bigger, and so I figured that's a good place to start with land ownership. So I found a 25 acre piece that I could afford and was lucky enough to save up enough money to, to and got a good deal on it. Worked out for probably, I guess about six years.

And the market caught up and I was fortunate enough to sell that and turn that into a 40 acre piece which I ended up moving probably about an hour north of where that one was. But yeah, just the whole way learning how to get better at habitat work and learning what works and what didn't and just trying to improve every.

Jon Teater: So in that journey, you kinda leveled up. You went from a 25 acre piece to a 40 acre piece. I'm guessing the value of the property may have increased during that timeframe or not. What, can you explain a little bit about that?

Brian Halbleib: Yeah, so there was a couple of factors. The real estate agent had bought it.[00:06:00]

and for an investment. So he wasn't really heavily invested into it. I think he got it off of an estate or a some kind of I don't know if it was a tax sale or an estate sale, but from talking to him, it sounded like he got a really good deal on it. And he had it listed I think it was 35,000 at the.

and I said I said, I'd like to be around a thousand an acre. I know that probably sounds crazy to the listeners to hear that today, but back in 2007 you could get some decent properties for still around a thousand, 1500 an acre, in Aurora, Ohio. So I made him an offer of the 25,000 and he took it.

and yeah, it was probably valued a little bit higher, but, that was a fair deal for him, for what he had into it, and I had instant equity in it. So just being able to hold onto it for a few years after that it increased quite

Jon Teater: a bit. That's good. And then obviously that increased that appreciation and value you added to it.

Gave you this 40 acre property, some distance away. So that's a, another commitment, right? It's a little further away, but,[00:07:00] tell us a little bit about, what you did on that 40 acre piece. And I know a little bit about that journey myself.

Brian Halbleib: Sure. Yeah. It was about the same distance from home.

It was just, instead of heading straight west from my house, I had to go northwest a little bit and. That was an old, I think it was a 250 acre farm that was split up. The original investor bought the farm and split it up. So it was a good mix of I'd say it was probably 60% wooded and 40% fillable.

So it had a couple of fields that were, Fallow that had been planted corn and bean rotation before I bought it. Saved me a lot of time with, not having to clear any trees or anything like that. So I was able to jump right in and get some food plots in and start working on the timber stand improvement.

Jon Teater: Okay. Having diversity is obviously important and we talk a lot about that on both podcasts, on that layout and setup of that 40 acre property. What didn't you like about it? [00:08:00] Because eventually you sold it. Maybe it played into, your distaste or maybe you wanted to move on.

So let's talk about what you didn't like about the 40 acre property that you had.

Brian Halbleib: Yeah, the biggest challenge unfortunately was one of the neighbors to the west. Without getting into too many details and badmouthing the guy that can't defend himself, it just, he was there. He bought the first piece that was split up, so it, I think he owned a 60 acre piece and those other lots have had sat for a long time, so he had the run.

250 acre piece that hadn't been sold off for a couple of years. So he tried to continue that once I moved in and, he, him and some of his relatives would walk through, I'd catch him on camera and I'm like, you guys can't be over here anymore. I bought this property and, you got your 60 over there.

And just it just got tough being an hour and a half away. And trying to it seemed every time I would go up there to hunt. Either his cows would get out or, he'd have some [00:09:00] relatives running around and it's just it got to be to a point where it wasn't that much fun anymore.

Trying to manage that all the time.

Jon Teater: Yeah. And u understandably, and obviously you made that investment and course's investment at time as, as much as it is money and having to travel up and then obviously not being local, that can certainly make things a little more difficult. Sure. What are things come to mind when you think about that property and things that just really didn't sit well with you?

Yeah, so


Brian Halbleib: was a rectangle shape. I'm trying to remember how much road frontage I had, but it was deeper than it was wide, so that was a challenge also. So you're, I was struggling to try to keep the deer movement on a linear basis, if that makes sense. Yep. North and south. North and south.

It went long ways and then it, it was just maybe. a couple, couple hundred yards wide. So that, that made it a challenge. Also, trying to get Deere to stay there and, move through there.

Jon Teater: Yeah. I think one people, one thing that people [00:10:00] and this is, we're gonna do a podcast on buying property, but long neural properties, and I'm not, I'm work with clients all the time that have that scenario.

It takes a, it takes a. Oh, it takes a lot of work to make those properties function and flow correctly. I feel your pain for sure. And sometimes we get into these properties and we say, it's as good as I think it can be, but that limits you at some capacity. So that kind of linear movement, especially you have a north-south movement and trying to get in access and not hurting yourself in the meantime is really difficult, so that's a, that's an important topic. Now, did you have south access or North Access? West. East.

Brian Halbleib: How did that. . So I had south access and there was also an old railroad bed that ran south to north on the east border. Okay. So that worked well with a west wind, which we normally got a west southwest wind.

So I was able to sneak along that railroad access and slide in anywhere I need to be without the wind, betraying

Jon Teater: me. Yeah. And so two points of access obviously is critical and [00:11:00] certainly helped you in that scenario. All right, so let's talk a little bit about the layout. That property, I know you eventually built, place that you could stay up there from time to time, a, I guess we'll call it a shed home or something along those lines.

But then, I want you to talk a little bit about that, cuz that was a bit of a journey for you and that was a time commitment effort. And I know you had, I think you had purchased a tractor, I had followed your story and then, I think when you started doing the layout, you know what kind of.

Did work well for you in that scenario and what did you do to work to your advantages on the

Brian Halbleib: property? Yeah, so fortunately most of the tillable was closer to the south, to the road frontage and moving back to the north, we had a swamp kind of swampy area. on the neighbor's 40 cuz I had my 40 and then there was a 40 to my west.

And then the fellow with the 60 acres the 40 acre between us the guy that I used to rent my tillable out to, he ended up buying that. And the only thing he did was farm it which was nice cuz that gave me [00:12:00] less pressure around it. But, Also created more problems because that other neighbor kept using it like it was his own.

So it was a catch 22, but the back half of the property butted up against a couple of bigger chunks to the north. And like I said, there was some clear cuts done probably. 10 years ago and some swamps. So that kind of helped that, that, that helped the property to hunt a little bit bigger cuz there were some places that people couldn't get into, but the deer would and they would stay.

So that had it going for it. .

Jon Teater: Yeah, that's great. It gives you a chance to kinda, bounce off or leverage, other people's, lack of opportunity. So the opportunity that you gain as a result of those, those different examples there, played into your hand.

All right. So let's go to the next layer of this. So eventually you sold this property, and then what'd you do next?

Brian Halbleib: Yeah, so like I said, my goal was always to try to own a hundred acres of property. , I'm a blue collar guy. I'm a policeman. I've been a police officer for 30 [00:13:00] years. My wife's a teacher.

We do pretty well. The good Lord has blessed us. But we've got two girls that are college age now. I got one in college, she's in her junior year, and my youngest is gonna be starting college in the fall. So just priorities. I just knew that, I wasn't gonna have that. Suppose when come to try to keep flipping, especially in this market the, as and mo most of your listeners probably know the real estate prices have really skyrocketed.

So I discovered some leasing opportunities in Ohio and I was able to, Pulled my money with some good friends and that are really good hunters and real careful hunters. And we just started gathering up some leases and, I think this latest one I'm on now is pushing 400 acres and I could never afford to purchase that and maintain that, but that's the direction I'm heading

Jon Teater: now.

Yeah. So you sold the property, you've scaled up. Now obviously it's 4,400 acres for any of us is a stretch. Some people are fortunate to have those opportunities. I am not. So I'm in the same boat. Sure. [00:14:00] But that gives you, a bigger landscape setting to do some of the work that you've probably learned over the years.

And I think the focus of this podcast is now gonna transition and it's gonna transition to what hasn't worked. And what have you learned over the years that you're gonna apply now to this? Or land clients, because you guys do land clients as well. So I want to focus on the failures and then the learned opportunities as a result of those failures.

So let's go maybe into some of those examples and let's think about your current lease and what you can do better on it.

Brian Halbleib: Yeah, for sure. Thinking back, starting out, food plotting was in its infancy, so some of the companies that were out there Whitetail Institute was one of the main ones.

and they were pushing monocultures. They didn't have a whole lot of blends. I think the only blend they might have had at the time was a clover and alfalfa mix. And then their power plant came along a few years later, which still to this day is a really good blend. I think a lot of companies have copied off of that, but yeah just plant monocultures.

If you'd plant. Clovers [00:15:00] back then, or straight turnips or something like that. And if you had a crop failure or a drought or if something didn't work out and something happened to that plot, that was it, you were stuck with, trying to scramble for something some other way to, to attract the deer that fall.

Jon Teater: So what do you do now as a result of that? You've and the power plants, I think is a, is really a nice option. Something that Todd Chippy, who's on this podcast has talked about, what do you do now as a result of kind of understanding monocultures don't work, but then these diverse blends, what does work or what have you seen work?

I know there's some seasonality to it, but, what are you doing now either on your lease or other properties that. Yeah,

Brian Halbleib: so we're definitely scaling more towards blends and that comes from getting into more no-till. So we I went through that whole progression. I was planting food plots with my lawn tractor and some tow behind stuff early on.

And then I progressed into a big tractor with every I implement you could think of and tilling the ground. And [00:16:00] now we're moving back to no-till cuz we're discovering. The health benefits to the soil. And we've been working with a company called Vitalize for the last couple of years, and they've got a super diverse blend.

It's a two-part blend that you plant one program in the spring, you come back and terminate it in the fall and plant the second program and it just feeds off of each other and feeds the soil. and it keeps you from having to keep tilling that soil up and the bacteria, the good bacteria stay and just all that's transferred into the deer and makes the deer healthier.

Jon Teater: So out of that vitalized blend, and it's a kind of two part punch. and they're not a sponsor of this podcast or anything like that, but I'm interested in, maybe some of the plants that are in there in that two-part punch that people need to maybe consider when they're doing their own blends.

Cuz honestly, people can make their own blends. I make my own blends and I provide recommendations and, there's all sorts of things to consider carbon and nitrogen ratios. We gotta look at the soil content, how to build organic material. [00:17:00] What again, I worked with client today, I was on a client property today and we're talking.

Simple, easy blends for folks. So I want your opinion on stuff and may be totally in line with vitalized seed or may not, so I want your opinion.

Brian Halbleib: Yeah. So the owner of Vitalize Al Temeco I'm sure you've probably talked with him before. Sure. He's super into the science behind all of this and I'm thankful to have him on speed dial.

and he really has educated me a lot on the blends that are the best for the soil. So I can't speak as an expert to that, but I think if people are considering blends, they should try to incorporate, some plants that'll fix some nitrogen to the soil. Like you're legumes, your clovers, things like that.

And you don't want to just put stuff that's just gonna keep pulling everything out. You gotta. , you gotta read up on your plant species and make sure you got a balance of everything that, what you're putting in and taking out. You're not completely clearing it. If you do a mono car, monoculture [00:18:00] of corn, and you just keep on coming back and doing that.

It's not helping the soil, especially if you're tilling it up all the time. Yeah,

Jon Teater: that's a great point. And we talked previously on the podcast where we talked about having these blends of beans and corn in concert with another and not one maximizes the other, but they work in some synergy.

And soybeans aren't really known as more of a nitrogen fixer, but they aren't a nitrogen consumer, at least in some capacity. They do utilize nitrogen, but not in the capacity as a lot of other plants like corn does. And it's thinking a little bit more in depth about kind of the synergies of plants.

And I think. The old, old adage about, corn, beans, squash, that combination, that, native Americans had propagated years and years ago, really sits well with me. It's something that I've leveraged and said, there's gotta be some synergies between plants.

So we're not always just, taking from the landscapes. The other thing is, we're not doing heavy crop yields, so you're not necessarily in. Property owners that I work with are, but in this case, yield isn't necessarily the primary focus. [00:19:00] Sometimes in case we're looking at nutrient density, so we're looking at from, I guess we'll say, some of the basics.

The the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium those type of macros. And we're looking at some of the nitrogen A across the landscape the additional value that you get for the surpluses because of the plants that are available. And then we're looking at the micronutrients and their availability to the plants and.

In your case, you explain, obviously the animals self consume these plants and obviously digest them, et cetera. The diversity aspect of this, creating a deer, ponderosa, that's what I like to call it, gives opportunity for animals to be more attractive seasonally and they.

Received kind of the nutritional benefit. So check out that vitalized seed. I think that's cool and I'm happy you shared that because I think it is different and it's an opportunity for people to try different blends, but you can also make your own blends as well. All right, let's get into another topic, something you know, beyond food plots.

Something that you feel like, it's a must and something that you didn't really focus in on maybe initially or even up to this point that you can do better on.[00:20:00]

Brian Halbleib: There's several ways you can go with that. It depends on, planting trees. I could go into some of the mistakes I've made over the years.

Being young and full of energy. You wanna buy as many trees as you can and get as many in the ground. So I would buy, some of the. Game commissions like State of Pennsylvania has their own nursery, so you can buy trees from them, but they might only be a foot tall. But I thought I'm gonna plant a thousand of these things and I'd run around and plant them and , the survival rate and the time that you would see to have them growing.

You're not gonna see much of a benefit outta that, especially if you have a high deer population. They're gonna crush a lot of them for sure. Plus other critters in the forest. So I just learned over the years to scale back. Be reasonable. Maybe. Maybe buy a dozen trees at a time. Take your time, spend a little extra money, get some 4, 5, 6 footers in the ground.

Cage them properly. Mulch them properly, [00:21:00] and you'll have them bearing fruit or nuts or whatever it is that you're planting within a handful of years. So you're gonna benefit from that and all the work that you're doing instead of just burning yourself out, spinning your wheels in the mud.

Jon Teater: All right. So let me let me take a playbook outta your podcast. What's your favorite tree to plant?

Brian Halbleib: I'm gonna have to say, A pear tree.

Jon Teater: Okay. Big fan of pear trees. Any specific variety that you prefer? I

Brian Halbleib: like the keifers. They are easy to care for. They grow fast. They put out a lot of fruit.

Jon Teater: Do you find like the keifer varieties that you're using are late dropping? Some aren't. It


Brian Halbleib: on the root stock and where you're getting them from.

Jon Teater: Can I ask you personally where you get yours? . Yeah.

Brian Halbleib: So we work with Morse Nursery. Okay. We get a lot of trees from them. I've also had good luck in the past, believe it or not, from the Arbor Day Foundation.

They have really nice key repairs. They're cheap. They seem to never sell out of 'em. Like I've messed [00:22:00] around and forgot to order them in years past, and I've jumped on their website and they always seem to have 'em late too.

Jon Teater: That's good. That's good information for everybody. Let's let's jump over to another topic.

So I like the food plot trees. Let's get into some other hacks or secrets or things that you feel like really help clients find success. Something that you've worked on with a land client or somebody personally or, on your own property that you felt, excelled that made you get to the next level where you either achieve something, and it could be from a habitat or hunting stand.

Brian Halbleib: Yeah. Re reminds me of the story when I started Turkey hunting when I was younger. And the old timers would say, don't try to call turkeys where they don't want to go. Just go and set up where they want to be. It's like that with making habitat for deer. Don't try to make it, bend it to your will.

Spend a little bit of time learning where those deer like to travel, where they like to. , the corridors that they like to use during the rut, whatever. Don't try to, [00:23:00] landscape your property so much that you're trying to like, steer them down a road. Like we'd get in the car and go, because they're just you.

You're never gonna make 'em want to go somewhere. They don't. So I think that's huge to remember when you're laying out a plan.

Jon Teater: Oh, I love that. And I'm gonna add my 2 cents into that. Here's one topic that I don't feel should be amis in this conversation. I get a lot of people that contact me and they just bought a piece of property and they're anxious.

They want me out there instantaneously. Could you get here tomorrow? Now anybody follows us? I'm booking out quite a ways and I apologize for that, but I can only take on so many clients. And here's the one thing that's the benefit you have time. Time isn't on everybody's side, but it takes time after you buy a property to observe.

And when I bought my property, the first thing I did was I took a year to observe and I didn't rush into something. A lot of times we're in this anxious, attachment with our property. And what we realize is we may not know everything we need. Like when is it used seasonally? How do collect data [00:24:00] on it?

What are you using, on the landscape? How are they naturally flowing to Brian's point, and it's sitting back and taking time. I know as time isn't on our side in life, but at some point if you don't take the time to observe and mark things out, take your own property and start drawing it out.

Everybody who calls me, I give them a homework assignment, whether you hire me or not, you have homework and it gives you this strategy. And in my case, a list of things to do before I show up. And I want you to collect data. I want you to analyze things. I want you to look at the landscape like Brian just talked about.

Brian, thanks for bringing up that point, cuz to me, I feel like it's advantageous to take the time to actually look at what you're working with and breathe a little bit. Everybody's in such a rush. They want instantaneous gratification. And with my own property, I sat on it a year and I observed.

And I do this professionally, and I took my time to think through it. Guess what, guys? I made a mistake. I made many mistakes on my property. I'm certainly not, absolved to perfection. I wanna be as perfect as I can, but that's almost impossible. So take the time to learn things. [00:25:00] All right.

I'm gonna go one more little direction with you. . And I feel you've done a ton of, different podcasts over the years and you've had a lot to listen to with guests. One, I wanna know who your favorite guest was on your podcast. And then from that, maybe that discussion or other discussions.

What have you learned, like one thing you've learned that you've felt like, boy, that is extremely interesting and shapes the way I wanna do this going forward?

Brian Halbleib: Yeah, that's tough. We've had some good ones. Steve Barilla. Bill Winky, mark jury. I'd probably have to say Mark jury if I'm forced to pick one.

Okay. Just the meticulous process he goes through, not just setting up his farms, but just every detail about hunting and access. And one thing that I, that's always stuck with me. He doesn't put any unnecessary pressure on his farm and it doesn't matter. And John, and most of your listeners know you could have the greatest farm in the world, [00:26:00] but if you're not managing your access and putting as little pressure on him as possible, it doesn't matter what habitat improvements that you're gonna do on him.

Jon Teater: Yeah, I think that's a great topic. And I think the juries are obsessed with intrusion and how to manage that and they have steps that they go. That I've been impressed with listening to them and I agree. I think that was a great podcast. I had listened to as many podcasts as I could.

You guys have had, a large number of podcasts. It's hard to follow them all, but man, it's great content. All right, I wanna end with one last little bit. Out of this podcast we're getting to some of your failures and successes, but I think a lot of times, people wanna learn from you and what you're doing.

what do you think your next steps are and how are you taking your game to the next level when it comes to a hunting standpoint? What are you doing different going forward that you think you missed out on maybe in the past couple years and maybe that aligns with your goals and expectations, shooting larger bucks, being more patient.

What do you think makes you different going forward?

Brian Halbleib: That's the key. Trying to learn from past mistakes [00:27:00] and I have a bad habit of letting my. Override my experience in telling me, okay, this looks like a great spot. And I just I'm getting better at it every year. But I gotta let go of that, what I think looks great and where I think the deer should be and just taking a few minutes and scouting a little bit more.

Getting out there in, in the early spring and, learning the property without having to put any pressure on it during hunting season and just fine tuning those locations instead of just settling for. What you think is just okay.

Jon Teater: Do you think that one thing you may have, gained and here's something that I think I've focused on.

I'll take the client property today. These clients I'm sure are gonna listen to this podcast. We took, basically raw property and turned it into something special Just in the conversation today. We meta emphasized it and turned it into this excellent property. I know that it's not perfect for my design and layout, but I feel like I got 'em a good way of the percentage there and we created great spots.

Do you feel like now [00:28:00] you're able to create great spots and suck those deer to those locations where previously you were hunting the sign and it's maybe one of these things that you might struggle with cuz you, you're on a lease and I don't know how much work you can do on the lease, but setting up great spots.

You think that's an evolution that you've achieved and taking it from, this looks good to making this great. Have you kinda experienced that in any capacity?

Brian Halbleib: Yeah, absolutely. I'm very fortunate and I really won't get involved with the lease until, unless I know that I can make some improvements on it.

So I've been fortunate. The four leases that I have in Ohio, the landowners been very generous and allowed us to make a lot of changes to, to help us, but absolutely, yeah, you look at this stuff long enough pushing 20 years in my case. , some things you start to see repeatable and the mature buck behavior.

When we go out west, we got clients all the way out. I think Jared was down in Mississippi or out west towards Nebraska, deer or deer. They're going to mature bucks. They have the same [00:29:00] mentality. No matter where you're at now, you're gonna have to apply that differe.

everywhere you go, depending on the landscape and the terrain and everything. But those big bucks all have the same kind of mentality when you boil it down. They want to be safe and they want cover, and they want a piece of property. That's why when you kill a big buck in an area, another one moves in pretty quickly, and I've seen that over and over again on these properties that I've helped manage.

We just had one, my lease partner, Dave, just shot a beautiful Ohio. It wasn't, maybe a week later, this other mature buck moved in and he's been on that camera ever since That other one's been gone. It's pretty impressive to watch and once you pay attention to what those mature bucks like and what they need, that starts to become second nature

Jon Teater: to you.

Yeah, and you can see it, you can envision it on the landscape and then pick and choose your battles and where to go and how to hone 'em. So that's really interesting. All right, I wanna end there. I want to give you opportunity to talk about anything you got going on your podcast.[00:30:00] Anything that's important to you right now.


Brian Halbleib: I appreciate you having me on, John. Always good to catch up. And anything that we got going on, it's easy to find. It's Habitat Podcasts. We're on YouTube Facebook. Instagram audio podcast. Anywhere you can get your podcast, just Google Habitat podcast. You can find everything on our website. I think we've got 200 videos on our YouTube channel now, from everything from how to plant food plots to how to cook your deer.

So check that out. We'd appreciate it. And drop me a line if you have any

Jon Teater: questions or comment. Thanks, Brian, man, I appreciate you being on and taking time with me today and look forward to, to catch up with you again. Maybe I'll be back on your podcast and vice versa. And thanks for filling us in.

I like, at the end we're ending with that lease and having the opportunity to mold it into something special rather than just having a lease where you've gotta you can't be offensive, you're de defensive and you can't make the changes. I think that's an important takeaway I got with the last part of the conversation.

So I appreciate you. [00:31:00] Appreciate it, John. Thanks again. All right. Talk again soon. Thanks Brian. See ya.

Brian Halbleib: Maximize your hunt is a production of whitetail landscapes. For more information on how John Teeter and his team of experts can help you maximize your hunt, check out whitetail