Deer Data, Hunting Prep, and Summer Food

Show Notes

In this episode, Jon Teater (Whitetail Landscapes) and Eric Lance (Hunt Science Podcast) discuss the upcoming next several months and how they both approach their hunting properties. Jon and Eric discuss the top activity you can do this time of year to prepare yourself for hunting season. Eric explains the activity levels on his property and how he establishes routine happenings that do not dissuade his deer.

Eric discusses the methods of collecting data on deer to include GPS collaring and related information that can benefit our hunting. Eric and Jon discuss thermal drone imagery and how important using tools like this can be to enhancing our knowledge of deer’s whereabouts. Eric discusses fawn recruitment and techniques to evaluate survival at birth and otherwise.

Jon explains how to shrink deer movement on your property. Eric explains why not to focus on deer home ranges, but focusing solely on habitat is one of the more important facets that you as a land manager can control. Eric discusses things that GPS or telemetry studies do not tell us, such as how our deer behave in  social groups. Jon explains a theory that will enhance your understanding of deer movement and why summer and winter food is critical to enticing deer onto your property.  Eric supports the idea that spring and summer food is critical to our deer and how we need to support our deer through stress periods, improving the quality of our deer throughout the following years. Eric explains the impact of predators on the landscapes. Eric provides a surprising bit of rationale on why predator control may not be on the top of your list when it comes to deer populations and survival.

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

Eric Lance: [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.

And now the founder of Whitetail Landscape. Your host, John Teter.

Jon Teater: I'm John Teter, Whitetail Landscapes. This is Maximizer Hunt. Welcome back everybody. Hopefully everybody's doing well. I've appreciated all the feedback I've been getting as of recent. Thanks for doing that, taking the time. Appreciate all the emails. And I also wanna reaffirm something in the last podcast you'd listened to.

I talked about a Habitat Day, that's gonna be in July of 2024. And all specifics on my website, I've already gotten a bunch of inquiries on that. I appreciate people [00:01:00] wanting to participate that and learn. I'll have more information on that to come. There'll be a subsequent benefit. We'll have a few things going on in that some key people, speakers, et cetera.

It'll be a pretty good time. But again that's for next year. So just keep that in the back of your mind. The other piece of it is continue to reach out to me. I appreciate the feedback. Any topics that you want to hear specifically or questions that you have, we'll start addressing those. I wanna be more interactive with the audience.

I think it's important that. That type of engagement continues to occur. I had a, somebody message me today asking for alternative options for water holes, what material to use instead of mill paper, they wanted to use some other type of, maybe a water tougher, that example and.

I suggest they go to your local pool store, and a lot of times they they do rehab on pools, they'll have pool liners, and that material is fantastic. A lot of times they'll give it away to you, it'll be in a dumpster. So that's a great option if somebody wants to use it as a liner system. Now there's little tidbits and tricks like that, I wanna share with everyone.

So you kinda get the leg [00:02:00] up on other people and that's an economical resource for you. All right. Let me get into the topic. I got Eric Lance back here. If you remember, we had a long discussion on a bunch of different topics. We did talk about Waterfall and Deer Alaska around.

He's from the Hunt Science Podcast, smart guy biologist, happy to have him back. Eric. Hey man. You on? Yeah, man, I'm here. How you doing? Good, good. I think the topic today, And we're getting I think people are starting to feel, the pressure of hunting season. I know that Rocky Burris, who's on the show, was on last time and we talked about he's got a hunt coming up here in August.

They have a velvet hunt in Tennessee. And I think some people are getting the bug or the prep. I, myself, I'm in that boat. I don't know where you're at. So where's your mind at for hunting season? You're starting to prepare.

Eric Lance: Yeah. Yes and no, to be honest.

This is my busy time of year for work with consulting and, with utility clients and private land clients and all that other stuff. So my stuff is usually what's last on the back burner. But I'm definitely thinking about it, my stands are all still up. I leave 'em [00:03:00] up all year round.

The cameras are all in place. I haven't really put any of the cards or anything like that in for the past couple months. Wait until the end of August. Is where I normally do my annual camera survey. So that'll be gearing up. That's usually the first thing that I start dealing with.

But then after that, it's just starting to go out there and scout looking for sign, stuff like that. I spent so much time in my woods already as it is. I've been hunting there for, oh man, I can't even remember how many years. But I can pretty much tell where the deer I know where they're betting.

I know when they're gonna start coming out. It's just, I've patterned them for so many years that, I'm fortunate in that. Aspect, it's still fun going out there, cutting trails. Getting the trails prepped with the leaf blower and then things like that to where we're not gonna impact it too much for actus here in the fall.


Jon Teater: yeah, and I think it's a great time to continue to, do your preparation work. You just mentioned trails, one, and any client that I have, I suggest, hey, This is a time to make sure that the trail systems, for your axis or for your deer are prepped correctly.

And, it's a little bit lighter work than going into cutting timber generally speaking yeah, [00:04:00] it's a good opportunity to kinda get a sweat on and get a little work. And by the way, I'm also gonna say don't stay off your property. Continue to put, apply pressure use it as a resource and have an opportunity on your landscape to assess what's going on.

One of the worst things we can do is not spend time on our land. I'm constantly on my property and deer running around me the whole time. I don't care. I'm there to work. I'm there to benefit them. So

Eric Lance: It's the same thing with me too. I've got pointers. I've actually got four dogs.

I've got two German short-haired pointers, and I've got two Australian Shepherds. So I've got four really high strung dogs that need a lot of exercise, and it's, I'm routinely outta my woods. I've got different, habitat dynamics throughout my property. Forested ag, earth successional, those kind of things.

And, I've got, trails cut in and that's probably honestly one of the things I'm most active with is manicuring and making sure my access and my trails are good. Making sure my stand, the limbs are good and I'll get up in the stand and, stand up and just, look around and make sure if I gotta trim anything or whatever it is.

Honestly that and my trail cameras, that's really the big prep that I do going into the fall.

Jon Teater: Yeah. No, and I'm in the same [00:05:00] boat. I actually just roller crimped. So for those that don't know I, I have a, maybe a little bit less conventional system. I have a crimping tool that I built for the back of my tractor, and I crimp, and this is a, homemade tool.

It's a little more involved than just homemade, but, welded up a pretty significant tool to crimp my fields. And I just finished my first crimping cycle, a lot of times, I'm doing preparation, so I get another 30 days to my next planting. I've got all my seed in, I'm ready to go.

I'm gonna terminate that crop slightly different, I'm actually gonna mow that crop. A lot of times it's just preparation, timing, readiness, all that kind of stuff. And I'm screwing around with equipment right now. And actually I want to give a shout out. Eric, this is unrelated. I was on a job recently cutting.

And a gentleman who's been on this podcast, Mark Cobb, I'm gonna call him out. I was in a pinch, I had a chainsaw issue and I'm in New Hampshire cutting timber. And I called him and he gave me the parts. I went down to the local steel dealer. Just over the phone. Just great. It's nice to be able to have people that you work with that are on the ball can, give you equipment [00:06:00] advice right there and there, and so I, I think for a lot of people it's staying up on your equipment, having the right equipment.

And that maintenance side of either your properties or equipment is huge this time of year. And I I'm running chainsaws a lot and I, I've gotta be on top of my equipment, so just sidebar, but I want to give a shout out for him. He's just, yeah, just a great guy. Great guy.

Yeah. This is the time

Eric Lance: of year to start looking at that stuff too, it's, yeah, I've been there. Yeah.

Jon Teater: The point there is just being close to somebody that has expert knowledge and that's either the same with our consulting side of the business, or having, the right folks on the equipment side.

So it's important, whether it's a, your ATVs, your tractors, what have you, it's those resources are wor worth their weight for sure. Yep, for sure. All right, so we wanna get into the topic and want to get a little bit more involved here. Maybe we're gonna focus on deer this go around and we're gonna talk about studies and studies related to gps, collaring, and this is an area where I've taken some of the data and try to apply it.

And used it [00:07:00] as, I wanna say a resource for me, how I cut locations, where I think they're gonna be just based on some of this data. But I know that you have been, looking at some GPS collar data over the years and trying to apply it to your hunting scenario. So I want to get into your maybe understanding of how they do g p s studies and, what are some practical, things or takeaways that we can get from that data that's out there on the streets right now.

Yeah, for

Eric Lance: sure. I myself have never, I've been a part of, helping the tagging and things like that for the Deere with the actual studies. But as far as the actual research itself, I haven't really done any myself, but I've read a bunch of it. I think everybody who's.

In the hunting world, I think this is a topic, me and you were discussing a topic and you brought this up. I'm like, this is a topic that I think everyone is interested in because of the information you can gain from it, yeah. As far as it goes, where do you wanna start off?

You wanna start off with how it's done or? Yeah. Or how do

Jon Teater: you want. I do and I know that they look at it in on a yearly basis. Sometimes they look at it in portions of the year.[00:08:00] Yeah I've been involved in some drone stuff, so I have a little bit of experience on just the aerial kinda imagery.

Yeah. Kinda looking at that data too. So maybe we can talk about both of them.

Eric Lance: Yeah, the drone, the drones have definitely modernized, if you will. Not the GPS is outdated by these stretch of the imagination, but, especially thermal drone imagery and things that are really changing the way that we look at, deer densities and, these urban forested metro parks and things like that.

Where I am, the thermal drones are a really good way of doing that rather than the old, spotlight, point count type of thing. Throwing a thermal drone up. With the resolution that these cameras have, are really changing the game as far as that goes. When you talk about G ps studies, the telemetry studies there's a few different ways that they do it.

They have the I think what most people are familiar with are the radio callers, right? Or the g p s callers. There's radio callers and there's GPS callers. The radio callers are obviously for the radio telemetry. Those callers are gonna emit, unique radio frequencies and devices are gonna be in hand to the [00:09:00] researchers.

And it'll help you identify, where the d r in that aspect, G p s callers, are obviously, working a little bit differently and they're using the GPS satellites to where, those data points those G ps callers are emitting certain frequencies signals and relaying location coordinates.

At certain intervals. So it just depends on how the system is set up. Is it something that's, marked every half hour, every hour, whatever. It's, I forget exactly what all of the durations are, but there's a time interval associated with it. And then, those GPSs, are monitored from desktops and with certain software and you can plan and look out where.

The deer have actually moved, throughout the range and throughout their habitat, and then start looking at and comparing data for different times of the year. You mentioned different times of the year, how is an individual buck moving, throughout the spring versus the fall versus the summer?

We obviously look at bachelor groups, what's the timing in which they go into these bachelor groups and all those different types of things have been researched. There's. Anybody listening to this that wants to get more information. You can just Google, go to Google [00:10:00] Scholar and just type in, Deere telemetry study and you're gonna find studies, from Dr.

Carl Miller and other, big researchers in the Deere world. Just looking at almost anything you can think of. Cuz you can imagine, once the GPS caller technology became, I'm gonna say more affordable, they're still highly expensive. And that's one of the things on why a lot of studies you don't see.

Know, massive, amounts of deer at the at the university level, like per university. Now you'll get universities that will team up together. So maybe one university is looking at 30 deer, another one's looking at 15, another one's looking at 30, and you start adding four or five different universities up.

Now your sample size is a lot bigger, so you know, the collars are still really expensive. So the net collars, the GPS collars are one way that they do it. Another thing that they do is the intravaginal transmitters as well, and people are like, what the heck are you doing with those?

When we do with those, we're looking at, population dynamics. We're looking at fawn recruitment, right? These intravaginal transmitters are put in, they're meant to read at a certain [00:11:00] temperature. And once you tend, once they sense the massive temperature switch as they have a fawn, that transmitter gets pushed out, the massive temperature switch, triggers the GPS signal to go off.

And a bunch of grad students basically go running out there and collect biological data on that phone. Or. They're doing a crime scene analysis to see what the predation, was happening, there as well. Was it a bobcat? Was it a, coyote or whatever, so if they find a carcass or they find a live on, they can get some type of data, from that right there.

Jon Teater: Yeah. And I think that's all good. And having that variation. This is funny. This brings up a totally different topic. I had a biologist out here at my place. He was studying squirrels. And he was doing telemetry studies on squirrels. And one of the squirrels got picked up by a hawk or some, some bird and was dropped off.

And actually my neighbor's farm down the road. And he came by to ask me permission, actually, we had a mutual friend and we got to be buddies and he's Hey, you want to go on a squirrel hunt? And so he had been trapped in [00:12:00] squirrels on my. Property and telling me, one of the issues at least he was experiencing is he was wondering why all the black squirrels were in one area and the grays and red squirrels were in a different area and kinda understanding the The population dynamics aspect of it.

Yeah. And it's just, it just really interesting, he was doing reproductive study as well, so it's just, it just was really interesting stuff to, to hear him talk

Eric Lance: about. Yeah. And when you go these, like I, I was just at the southeast deer. Study group, this year, a couple months ago.

And there was a telemetry booth there with all the different size collars and stuff, and there's companies out there that make really, so we use it for, like you said, squirrels. We use it for waterfowl, we use 'em for, these things are, I, I don't know when this episode's gonna come out, but.

Here we are on the 19th and Shark Weeks coming up this week. Man, that's a big thing in my house. People that watch, the telemetry stuff is done, with everything. It just makes sense that obviously the deer nerds that are out there like us and the researchers that are like us as well, they're gonna incorporate those technologies as best they can.

It's been done to exhaustion, [00:13:00] and there's just a lot of different topics that go on a lot of different studies and people interested, man. You can literally, there's no end to the amount of information you can get. I was doing a lit review today through the university that I teach at, cuz we get access to all the journals.

It's just pages and Yeah. Yeah. Of telemetry, it's just, oh my Lord. Yeah.

Jon Teater: And it's hard to have a real takeaway from that because, I remember a study that I had read probably, I don't know, eight, nine years ago, I think it was a Bronson Strickland study and probably Har Harper was involved in that.

And they were starting all the factors, right? This is at the time where they were trying to disprove the moon face, all the Charlie Alsheim, activity discussions that, that had, once, been sued for years. He's a local New Yorker and he's now passed, but hi, those type of discussions triggered this whole importance of understanding kinda their movements and.

The breeding phase in a lot of people's mind is really kinda one of the more, critical times to be hunting. Now, I'll argue yes or no, but the range of movement is really important in that. And I [00:14:00] always, and I've said this multiple times in this podcast, is.

It's important to understand the dear social interaction and the range of movement. And my goal with my clients is to shrink that. And there's two primary factors that go into that the studies have supported. One is hunting pressure is paramount. The more hunting pressure that you apply, the, your property likely depending on, your layout, et cetera there's a higher likelihood that deer are gonna disperse because of that.

They're not gonna move as much. They may not be on your property as frequently. And they may utilize other areas more often. The other piece of this is recognizing that habitat is meaningful in that equation. And, having not just dense habitat, but remote dense habitat could be ideal.

And that's maybe. Some of these areas that we consider to be I guess higher stem densities and, certain species or certain types would've good food value, the combination thereof could be quite beneficial. Those are two things over the years that I've said, okay, I'll take that basic bits of [00:15:00] information to apply it.

But they've studied so many different things, home range movement studies, individualistic behaviors of deer, all those things that go into. Their general movements and distances. And a lot of people focus solely on distance and, it is critical from a hunting aspect. But I kinda wanna get some of the takeaways and things that you've maybe gained over the years and maybe how you've applied at your own personal property or clients, et cetera.

Eric Lance: Yeah, you hit it. Keeping with the gps, telemetry, what do you basically get from that information? You get the movement patterns, you get the habitat use and selection. You're gonna get, obviously the population dynamic aspect that we talked about briefly with the fawns.

And behavioral, like I said, I mentioned briefly, when are, individual blocks moving into and transitioning into, bachelor groups? Is it the same in the Midwest? Is it in the southern latitudes? What is it? So all these things have been studied, crazy.

So here I am in the Midwest and I'm used to, obviously I'm in big ag country, you know where I am and where I live here in Ohio, a bunch of ag. When you look at the broad scale, I, I. [00:16:00] Personally don't spend a whole lot of time looking at the ranges or the home ranges, right?

You look at some studies and you're gonna see, 350 acres, 400 acres, whatever it is. But for me, the average parcel size that I have here in northeast Ohio that I'm hunting or that I have access to, and that most people do and I'm guessing here, but it's probably 20 to 30 acres, I would imagine.

You are not anywhere near. A deer's home range as far as the properties that we hunt. So for me, It doesn't really spend a whole lot of time. It make a whole lot of sense. Excuse me, to spend a whole lot of time looking at the home range. Because the deer that I see now, they may be staying on my property and that's where the habitat comes in.

I know you're a big Habitat guy. You've mentioned it obviously. And everyone listen to this is Big Habitat guy, and that's where. On my podcast we talk about even too is, you, your job as a manager and whether you're looking at these studies and how to incorporate it, it is to make your property as habitable and [00:17:00] as attractive as possible.

It's, I want to have, especially here in Ohio, I use, I really don't have a good name for it, but I call it. Called like the turnpike model, right? I spend a lot of time driving on turnpike and it's nothing but straight road, concrete, median wall, and then every, 20, 30 miles there's a rest stop, right?

And that rest stop. As humans, it has what we, what I need, for my daily activities. I need gas, I need, if I need to get a drink, go to the bathroom, whatever it is. And it's you need to think about that. With the deer that are utilizing your property. Compare that with aerial footage of what your neighbors look like.

What does your property look like? Do you have good habitat or are your deer just cruising through your property? Because there's nothing there, but that concrete jungle and that median wall. Now of course, that's an analogy, but are your the deer walking through your, closed canopy system, early or secondary growth.

You can see 300 yards through it. You don't have any vegetative. Densities or diversity throughout anywhere. The property, [00:18:00] it's just standing agriculture. So it's like you really don't have a whole lot of resources there. It's Eric, I only see 'em, out at night. Yeah, man.

Cuz you've got a bean field that's out in the middle of nowhere with no cover. They're utilizing the cover of darkness. You and most cases. You start looking at these things and comparing it to what with. Some of these telemetry studies, it's okay, we start noticing, higher prevalences of, do and things bedding within close proximity to food sources, right?

So you can start triggering those ideas in your head as you're walking your property to say, Hey, here I is. I have a really good earth successional area here. My early successional vegetation is high in. Valuable cover and my cover equals food. If you got a high degree of that, guess what?

Because of what we know from deer movement and dispersals, you probably have got some bedding areas there and that's where the drones come in, throw the drones up. I don't want to go trenching through there. And more often than not, you will find some bed areas in those and you can start marking those with a drone, take note where they are and start setting up,

Jon Teater: Plan of action.

Yeah. And I think this is an investment thing for folks, and you can [00:19:00] buy thermal drones. They may not have the resolution, but. You could buy thermal drones relatively cheap under a couple grand and utilize those as a resource. And some states don't allow those during hunting season.

You have to be selective. But you could use those to kinda look at your numbers, your population, densities, et cetera. And then beyond that, I start to think about some of the basic stuff. And one of the things that I've clued in, in some of these studies and. And I'm not bashing any agencies or what have you because they do the studies, they take a lot of peer review analysis and they kinda dig deep.

But NDA had published something a few years back, dissuading the fact that yes, dear or prosecutor, and yes, they move, during the morning and evening periods, paramount, right? That's generally speaking, when they move the most. However, in northern Latitudes where I live and you live, Weather indices or weather indicators are huge factors, period.

Now those, there have been studies that said those are just as important in the consideration of movement, depending on the cycle of [00:20:00] weather. They've just, disputed that point and said no, this trumps that. I think in the broad scale, there's no question in my mind that they're correct, but in intervals, meaning during certain times of the year, particularly in northern latitudes, snow depth, Temperature, those type of things play major parts in their movement patterns.

And so I think, we hear, people trying to take anecdotal, kind of observational information and apply it. However, studies have proven my point as well. So yeah, I want people to think, seasonally and then I wanna think of the factors like you brought up the habitat, that all kind of impact, and then the pressure obviously.

So those are all factors in this equation.

Eric Lance: Yeah, for sure. And there's things that we don't, that tele, or excuse me, telemetry or GPS studies can't tell us, you look at these broad, broad data sets, and then from broad data sets we make broad, research, hypotheses and those are the things that we're testing.

But when you start looking at the GPS studies, what they don't tell [00:21:00] us are the individual deer behavior, right? What the, what are the individual, what are the eight or 10 individual do on your property? Along with the however many bucks, like what are they doing? The broad spectrum data is only, as good as it is, and that's why getting out there, and again, like you said, reading data, reading these studies and saying, okay, this is what this. Study says, talk about weather. Of course. Weather influences deer movement, right?

So it's okay. I've noticed that, again, trail you start combining things. Obviously, the average, obviously hunters aren't out there, spending thousands of dollars on radio collaring, a, you can't do it. You got special permits to do it. But. You can read the data, make inferences, but you start doing observation surveys on your property.

Hey, I'm gonna go sit in a stand. I'm gonna go sit in the blind. Yeah, I'm gonna throw a drone up. Yeah, it's gonna, it's gonna rain. The pressure outside is this, studies say that they're gonna move at, this certain pressure, this wind, Hey, I'm gonna throw a drone up, see if I see anything, see if I see any deer out there.

Rather than me going trenching through there and [00:22:00] spooking them, let me go out there and run that drone in the fields and see where they're moving. Right type of thing. So individual behavior, right? Defined scale habitat. You looking at, precisely what are they using? All these things are indicators of what the deer on your property are doing.

That's just, it's just paramount to understand. Bringing up the nda. I think there I made some notes here. I. I can't remember what it was. I didn't make a ton of notes on here, but I know the NDA at the time, I think it was published, they were the Q D M A. So if anyone was looking at this you start looking at I think Clint McCoy was one of the researchers that did this paper.

They published in Quality Whitetails on his research. And, looking at notes here, 37 different bucks on the property size was 6,400 acres in South Carolina. It's a highly high, managed, wildlife area. So a lot of good, really habitat. And you start talking about individuals, right?

It's outta these 37 bucks. They started seeing all these different, it didn't matter the age class. You start looking at, the two [00:23:00] smallest home ranges were yearling bucks. You use 60 to 90 acres only, and the two largest home ranges of 754 and 640 acres were also yearling bucks.

So it's like The individual is something that really needs to be the most emphasis, but we're limited to what we can get with GPS studies because again, we're looking at intervals, right? If that interval is an hour interval, that gear can move quite a far distance in an hour.

What is he doing in between those two coordinates that were transferred? And that's where, looking at these studies and researchers like, Dr. Harper, who's a habitat specialist, right? That's what his, hi, his main forte is what his grad student's main forte is. Going out there and saying, okay, what are they utilizing?

What are they feeding on? It's this time of year, here's what they're getting, here's what they're doing. And then you can start seeing and taking that data, combining it with, okay, these bucks are together, these doughs are together. The infamous study where, you know the D went on this long excursion outside of her home range, [00:24:00] in the earlier parts as the spring was coming in to go to a mineral.

It was a some type of mineral well coming out of the water source that was high in sodium. The researchers or the GPS study were like, oh my what the hell is this thing doing? It's just making every year this. This dough and then it's offspring, or Mac, every time we call 'em are taking this long excursion.

And then they went out and found out why. So it's, you look at that and you say this is crazy. But it all comes back to combining the different research methodologies to really paint the picture

Jon Teater: that's going on. Yeah, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna throw something out there that is completely theory and I'm I spoke to a client about this recently.

I. And I think he appreciated my perspective on things. A lot of these younger deer these year and a halfs, in some cases, two and a half, they may stick around for a longer period of time when they have their dispersal. You remember that a lot of the times that could happen at a really early age or even older, even in their life cycle.

And when I say that, I mean in their adolescence life lifecycle, they go to these different areas and it's not. No, no one [00:25:00] really has a true understanding of why they go where they go. And to your point there, there's always, elements to things and think of things in like a fraternal situation.

You've got individual deer that group together, these bachelor groups of different age classes. Sometimes they tend to be older, younger, combination thereof, and they disperse and they go to these different areas and they investigate and they learn about these areas throughout the summer. Sometimes these deer go back to their, the areas where they were birthed.

They go to all different sorts of areas. And a lot of times they form relationships and those relationships I'm keen on understanding because, those relationships create bonds and interests in areas and there is learned behavior between Deere and that associative learning makes them respectively, would be inclined to.

Prefer or learn about these adjacent areas and you pick up deer. So if you build good habitat in the summer months, you're gonna have these bachelor groups that you know are basically learning their environments. And they go to these other areas and what they do [00:26:00] is they're addressing, and this is why I'm huge on summer food in the and these properties, they're addressing the benefits of being on those properties.

They look at, what other deer are there? They can sense, the social aspect of it, right? They can see other deer, et cetera. And in those environments, they're learning the benefits, the goods, the bads. And what you'll find is the deers start to disperse. They start to break up those bats or groups, some of these deer that had keen interest in your property in the summertime.

We'll actually relate while to your property and pull in. So what I think happens over time is some of these deer form these relationships and they may be born in a consistent area. They're offspring. And this is why there's similar ant or characteristics because a lot of the deer dispersion thing that we've been talking about, or I've just been mentioning, 80%, 70% from their, their, where they were birthed, they go back to these areas and they relate to.

We'll say the other deer in that LO location and they utilize their knowledge base to use these areas as resources. So you'll [00:27:00] find similar, we'll say brothers that will utilize an area, siblings, et cetera, that will utilize an area that is far from their birthing areas and it'll be very consistent.

And this is totally theory, but I actually think I. There's some truth to that because I've seen very similar anular characteristics. I've seen areas where I'm assuming that deer, tend to disperse because of the great habitat we're providing. Summer food in that whole environment that we're providing for deer is meaningful all year long.

That includes the winter months as well. So think of it on the flip side. So winter month studies where you're looking at these deer that, utilize your property wow, there's great resources here. I should come back here. This is a great vacation site. And I'm humanizing this to some degree, but there is some truth to some of the information I'm suggesting.

And I think that's been one of my little secrets to success is, that's why I don't listen to the guys don't plant summer food like that. That's absurd. That, that,

Eric Lance: and if someone, go ahead. Oh, no, go. I was gonna say, if someone's telling you not to plant summer food, there's issues with that all around.

Yeah, I know you wanna keep it to [00:28:00] half hour. We could spend three hours. It's, you start looking at, that's one of the most, it's the second most important time, I would say. And I only say preface that it's very close first, only because the early spring early, excuse me, the mid to late spring, early summer.

Is the most crucial. Yes. And I'm primarily talking with those lactating, those feeding their fawns and then fawn growth because we all know fawns have to hit a certain weight before they heat, they reach central maturity. And the more food resources you have, high quality, palatable, nutritional forages.

That are out there, those fawns are gonna massively grow to where they need to be at a much higher prevalence than they will on obviously poor areas with low food quality. And it's obviously you got bucks that are investing everything in antler development and body size.

Because as you move through the summer, right? What's the whole goal is their whole goal is to build body mass. They're [00:29:00] consuming protein. They're growing antlers. They're feeding themselves, they're feeding the fawns for the next generation. And then as you start moving into the winter or the fall, excuse me it's now that, that shift happens, that lipo switch to where now, They've got all of the things that they needed through the summertime.

Now they're not as stressed biologically to start putting on the fat reserves and things they need to get through a harsh winter, because that's really the goal, especially in our latitudes. The whole goal is to pack enough resources and have enough biological currency, if you will, to really stressful or to go through a stress period of three months, I think is the golden rule, right?

That they try that kinda research has looked. Yep. If how do you expect them to do that? If there's no summer food, you gonna expect them to do that in the late August when? You start looking at the the the growth period of plants, right? It's the summer forages are at the lowest nutritional density towards the end of the summer, and that, that's when you want to do it, right?

You gotta be feeding these, you gotta feed, be [00:30:00] feeding them for the four months, the spring the summer. That's a crucial period. Especially, you wanna talk about Fawn recruitment? They dropped. Deer gonna drop fawns in spring. And it's, if there's no food, those spawns aren't gonna survive, and if there's no habitat, they're not gonna have cover.

It just, you can go down the list on things that, that are gonna go wrong with that. You have to have summer food.

Jon Teater: You have to, yep. Absolutely. So anybody who listens to anybody that says that, otherwise we've just. Totally, hopefully sh reshaped your mind and said, don't listen to that person,

Eric Lance: And it's if someone says, you don't need summer food. Okay what do they do for I'm just gonna say three months. Do they not eat? Like what? What are you gonna, what are they browsing on or what are they gonna be consuming? If you don't have summer food and you've got a poorly manicured, I'm not gonna say early sessional.

Let's say, just grass areas with a mixture of, non-native, cool season perennial grasses some sprinkling of native Forbes here and there, but you've got a deer density. I'd look up here, our deer density's up here. Crazy. We've got 30, 40 deer per square [00:31:00] mile.

Oh, yeah. So it's okay. What are they gonna eat? They don't, deer don't eat grass. If deer eating grass, you got a problem. Yeah. Period. So it's like you want 'em to, okay. Yeah. They can eat, shrubs and brambles. You think they're gonna, you think that's gonna feed 40 deer per square mile?

W what do you think they're going to eat? What do you think the fa and do you think they're gonna get enough food to feed, twin fawns or even triplet fawns Okay. What about cover you th how do they avoid predation? How do they avoid thermal cover? The really hot temperatures, how do they bed down into shade?

Your habitat equals food, in, in cover, so it's like you just start, it just doesn't make any sense. I've heard people say that, and I'm sure, I can't even in my head think of an instance on an individual level on why you wouldn't do it. Everyone's they're soybeans.

Okay. Have you ever noticed, like why is it that, that the entire field of soybeans is not completely n it's only sporadic areas, right? Yeah. Because they don't want to eat only soybeans, right? [00:32:00] Exactly. Yeah. It's just if that's your argument, if I plant five acres of soybeans, entire five acres should be gone.

But it's not. You can do an observation study and watch 10 deer around your bean field. They'll spend a certain amount of time out there, and you go out there and visit where they were. Why isn't the entire area new? So one of the, it's, yeah,

Jon Teater: no I

Eric Lance: think that it's like they have the ability to sense, the most highly nutritional, plants that are out there.

That's why we call 'em concentrate selectors. Yeah. Because they selectively focus on the highest concentration of nutritional density for the food sources that they're targeting. And it's, if you don't have the diversity, I just. It drives me nuts a little bit.

So No, you, I could

Jon Teater: with it. No you, I think you've nailed it and I'm gonna give one, I'm gonna give one added to that point is, for those thinking about this, and I worked on just a design recently where it's a large food plot and, we have a big portion of beans, but what I call 'em a fungal areas.

So areas that are dominated. By, natural brows within, and they could be shaped in circles or squares or [00:33:00] what, whatever you, whatever shape you're comfortable with, where you can move your equipment on around. And so you've got the planet areas that are, manicured, for row crops.

And then you've got these other, again, I said fungal areas. And you'll be amazed in these other areas that are natural brows, the utilization, where they'll come through, they'll actually, nip off, some of the beans and they'll go right to these native brows areas. And it's pretty interesting to think about that.

And you ask yourself why. It's what I call the Ponderosa diet, right? And so they want a variety. And in that variety you're supplementing the best that you can with natural opportunities. So that's where you get smart on your plants. And the other thing when we've talked about this is, what are some natural options to emphasize interest in those areas?

We talked about the utilization of sea salt. Very simple option for people to throw on the ground. You can buy it. Pretty cheaply. We talked about that on another podcast. Foliar sprays, really inexpensive price, per ounce is very simple. My food plots, that's exactly what I'm doing. Foliar sprays, strip [00:34:00] food plots.

I'm working on something new and I'll talk about that a little bit more next year. Some bio inoculation process, that's gonna be cool. I can tell you if it works or not. And I've done some studying on a few things but the point being is diversity and the point that Eric has brought up the whole time.

Eric, last thing I wanna bring up, and I know that we went over our time already. We knew we were gonna fail this, but Hey, only nine minutes, man. We're doing pretty good. Yeah. Yeah. The prey. So the prey piece of this, have you considered predator prey relationships or looked at that at all in any of the studies Yeah.

Or anything that you're familiar with?

Eric Lance: So Dr. Will Gaby is a buddy of mine. I've had him on my podcast, and we talked about the, we talked about predators. I think, and the research shows this. But people will cherry pick research, everybody does it.

It just, it's just the way of the world. But when you talk about predators, listen, predators are a problem, okay? There's no doubt. You can have predator issues, but. What people need to understand is that, and especially with talking with Dr. Will and anybody's interested, head over to my [00:35:00] podcast, me and him had a really good episode talking about this.

But one of the things is if you've got a 10 step approach, this is gonna make a lot of people probably aggravated. If you have a 10 step approach, okay, for your habitat management, step 10 should be predator management, and everyone's wait, what? The reason being is these whitetailed deer.

Have been around for. Millions of years, right? They've been e they have evolved mechanisms to avoid predation. Are they gonna get preyed upon? Yes. Okay. Does manmade actions make it easier for predators, such as, high urban areas, poor habitat. Whatever. But that's the key, is that you have poor habitat.

If you are on a property that has, that's intensely managed, you have really good habitat you're looking at your harvest data each year and you're seeing body weights go up, for the deers that you're, the deer that you're looking at and everything and all [00:36:00] those things. So you've got good.

And you're having low recruitment, then maybe you gotta do some predator management. But I think a lot of people look at the predator aspect and put way too much emphasis on it now. I listen to guys like Dr. Will go, I mean that, that's what he studies. Is predators. And he's a deer guy, that's all, not all of it, but that's his big, kind of passion, and I remember his big deer stu or predator study is how I first met him, years ago at one of the Q D M A conferences is at the time, and listening to it, it's obviously something that's really fun, people like doing it, but I think it's one of those things that people spend.

They invest too much of their time and resources in something that is gonna have the less that's gonna, that's gonna yield the least favorable results where you need to spend more time on your habitat and everything around that. Because if you do that, listen, you're gonna have predatory occurrences, [00:37:00] but, They're not gonna be as bad as what you think.

More often than not, your problem is something somewhere between steps one through nine versus step 10 with the predators. Now that's, again, we're, there's probably areas where that's not the case, but a very high majority of the time. You know that's the case. And that's what I've seen, too, is people like, I got a predator problem.

It's okay you need to be very careful when you're even doing predator management because what are you dealing with coyotes? Are you dealing with a transit coyote? Are you dealing with a resident coyote? Okay, how many are you dealing with? Because coyotes have this thing called compensatory reproduction, right?

You might make your problem worse if you don't know what you're doing. So are you gonna go out and do a predator survey? Are you gonna go out there and start shooting shooting coyotes? You know what I'm saying? Yeah. It's like you could be making the problem worse and you're like, oh my God, I got a coyote problem.

Yeah, if you left the damn things alone, you wouldn't have a coyote problem, but you killed, 10 of them last year. And guess what? There's this thing compensatory reproduction, right? Again, that's not the case at [00:38:00] all times, but I think people just spend too much time, focusing on that when it's not as bad of a problem as what you probably think that it is.

Jon Teater: Yeah, and I think we should probably end with that cuz I think a lot of people go to the next piece of that. I will. Yeah. A lot of people

Eric Lance: might just turned you off there,

Jon Teater: John. Yeah, I think so. And I think the other piece, and if people can listen back, Marcus Lashey and I did a podcast and I talked about kind how to predator proof your properties for turkeys.

I got

Eric Lance: it. He's very. Marcus is a great guy too. Yeah. I've had Joe.

Jon Teater: Yeah. And those guys are just great resources. There are ways we can set up your property to eliminate movement or minimize movement or give more opportunities for deer and thinking about deer, opportunities to escape areas how they.

Kind of transect, lines of movement where predators may be more inclined to move. So I was thinking through that on your property. There's some real simple things that you can do to minimize those things and that, that happens to deal with, minimizing road systems and that's a big piece of the equation.

So it's creating habitat,

Eric Lance: That you're giving them what they need to [00:39:00] do, what they've evolved to do. Yeah. Yeah. That's just, that's it. People make it too complicated. It's like that's the mission statement. It's like right there it is. Like it's two plus two is four.

Man I, no matter how much you want it to be, five it's four, it's, you can spread it. 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, just ugh. Anyway, but yeah.

Jon Teater: No good stuff man. Eric, I appreciate having you back on, man. I'm excited. No problem. To talk again. Who knows what our next topic will be, but I think this was good.

We, we talked about a whole bunch of things on this today, so I think I think it was good smorgasbord. I got to get my opinion about some things that I don't typically talk about, so I think it's I think it's all good. Awesome, man.

Eric Lance: Yeah, I had fun like usual, man.

Jon Teater: Thanks for having me on. All right.

We'll talk again soon. See you brother. Bye. Yep, bye.

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