We have an awesome show as we celebrate number 150! This week on the Missouri Woods & Water podcast we get to talk with Dustin Williams, owner of Habitat Works, about property planning. We wanted to go through what it is like to have someone like Dustin come out to a property from the walk through all the way through the planning service, so we had Dustin come out to both Micah and Nate's hunting properties and do just that. We do our best to explain each property, talk about what Dustin noticed during the property walkthroughs, and then go through his plan for each place. We also talk about some general best practices that can relate to any property. The next step after getting a plan in place is to start the work. With the knowledge of Dustin's plan you can get to work yourself, or have him start the work as well. One thing is for sure, if you are not actively working to improve your property, it's getting worse. Dustin is a wealth of knowledge and we want to thank him for doing this very in depth show that required much more than just hitting the record button. Give Dustin a call if you are looking to better your property in any way, he can get you on the right track. Thanks for listening!
[00:00:00] you're the new guy. You started off now. Welcome to the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast. Hired already better than you . I've heard it enough times last week. Micah, welcome to the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast. We got Micah, Nate. Oh no. Five second hold. Andy and me , I don't remember last week.
Didn't listen in the last weeks. You're getting lazy. Didn't have the fire. You need to start bringing the effort. Every week. I'll do that. I will dust the effort, perform better. You, if you're not gonna bring the effort, I'll just be on your soap list. We're gonna take Dustin here. Dustin perform better than you.
Okay. In his first try ever. . Okay. Fair enough. And you just took the job from me, and then you started performing like that. Now I will say probably still better than Nate . Yeah, I think I, I agree with that. I don't know how that's possible. I think it's possible. It's definitely possible, but let's get into it.
The one thing we [00:01:00] didn't do is he didn't say who was here. Who are you? You guys said that. Yeah, we did. We got Dustin on the show. Returning guest. This be third time, maybe? Fourth. Fourth total. I came with Ryan. Yeah, it came with Ryan the first time. That'd be five. No, we've done three habitat shows together.
This will be the third one. He just two. He just guested hosted just one much as possible with us for next week's show. Oh, okay. That everybody will heal, hear. And then he came with Ryan, he's five. Say I wasn't, yeah. I wasn't counting next week's show, so I was Okay. He was here. He participated more than you did
Family, man. Family. What do you want me to do? I did you well. So what do you want me to do? Huh? Lock thanks up. That's what . Lock it up. Lock it up. Lock it up. Had to take the kids ice skating tonight. . Yeah,[00:02:00] winter, it's almost over spring's, right around the corner. We gotta get our skating in before that ends so no one is understanding the inside joke right now.
And that is perfectly fine, perfectly acceptable. But yes, we have Dustin Williams with us, our buddy with Habitat Works and today's show, we are gonna do something. I'm excited about because it's our personal properties. But last Monday on the 6th of March, right? Yep. That's it. Yep. Dustin, myself and Micah toured two of our farms.
We didn't get to all three of them that Monday, but two of our farms, Micah's and myself, that we hung at. We took a tour, Dustin went back, put a plan together on those things. And we're gonna go through those on both those properties. We're gonna explain the properties. Why are you smirking at me?
Just a slippery slope. , oh God. . We're gonna explain the properties a little bit to, let people understand what they're, what we're working with, and then we're gonna go through what Dustin thinks, what he [00:03:00] thinks could make them better. What he just let Dustin cook kinda like in that that meme hole up.
Let him cook. We're gonna let him do it. . Absolutely. Before we do that, let's let's pay some bes. Yeah, let's pay some bes. First we're gonna be using this a lot tonight on X Maps. Yep. We got it pulled up on the big screen here. Gonna walk through some stuff, try to articulate what we're seeing.
. Yeah. It's gonna be kinda hard for the listeners, but we'll do our best. But before Dustin's doing, OnX is the perfect tool to be able to see what he has to work with. Yeah. Every day on OnX, every farm I go to, I market before I go there, check out the topography. If you don't use that layer, I recommend using it, going out there, looking at the land and looking at the lines of what they're doing.
And that's how you learn topography. There's a lot of articles out there and it's pretty easy to compare articles to where you're standing most of the time. Nice. Nice. So yes. U OnX [00:04:00] use our code Mww 20 for 20%. Go to the website to enter that code. OnX maps.com. Athlon optics. Ridiculously good optics, ridiculously good price.
Dang you guys sound like a commercial right now, which I guess technically is what we is, but we love our athlon stuff, so that's awesome. Check it out. Black Ovis use the code M ww 10 for 10%. It's end of the seasons. Most of 'em. Really The only thing we got Turkey season coming up, Turkey season big, Missouri obviously coming up right now.
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Yeah, they have everything for every type of season while I'm getting at it. They have their heat boost for your dead of winter. They got their lighter stuff. We use it on Colorado when we're doing, the more hiking, more active hunting. , but what you need, they got it.
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my mother-in-law had too much to do at one point in time. Yep. I went on like a spree of spending on all kinds of different camels probably five years ago, six years ago. Bought all these different brands like Predator and Sick and all these different brands, Kings. And then I had her hymn every single pan I bought
And she did it without a complaint. She doesn't have to worry about that anymore. She's a good lady. Oh, Helen. Good old lady. She's not old. Watch what you're saying sir. , you watch your mouth, you watch your mouth Alps, outdoors, they have, what is it, the number one Turkey vest or they got number one.
How'd that go? I think by field and stream number one rated Turkey vest by field and [00:06:00] stream for 2023, I think. Nice. I'd have to recall the name of it. But then they also have that grand slam Turkey vest with the legs on the back and the pad that also won an award and I'm trying to think, I don't know which one it was, but award-winning Turkey vest.
Multiple of them. Yep. Use our code 2023 Woods and Woods Water. So 2 0 23 Woods Water for 30% off. We're leave. We're leaving the best for last camo. . Yep. Rotating door of deals. You need to just trademark that and just become part of their, I think you say that every single week. I love it. It's relevant.
No I agreeing. It's a good thing. Flash sales of all. Justin, do you get on cam fire? I do not regular enough to take advantage of the deals that are on there all the time, but I'd like to window shop. Do you have a certain time of day that you like to get on Camel Fire? When my morning . When you're doing what?
Hunting . . You're the only one. [00:07:00] Nathan. The only one doesn't take my morning shit. Yeah. Oh, it's a perfect time to get on it. Yeah, it is. It's just, it's perfect timing. Yeah. Zambian boots. I was using my Zambian boots while we were out walking properties. Use 'em every day. They're awesome. They hold up like crazy.
I wore 'em here. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So check them out. Chamberland usa.com. Last but not least, some guy named Dustin Williams with Habitat Works. I'll yeah, I'll do this one. Yeah. I'm Dustin Williams with Habitat Works. Call me to . Yeah, improve your habitat, whether it's, you need some insight on the way to do that, the approach, how to break down the topography, this and that.
8 1 6 7 5 2 7 3 9 0. That's the best way to get ahold of me. Timber stain improvement, if you have timber, it probably needs improved. Prescribed fire. Obviously the mapping and planning. We talked about Onyx. Pretty much I've been to Springfield. I've been [00:08:00] over by St. Louis, Columbia. , I'll go just about anywhere, like at the Ozarks, if it's in Missouri.
That's what I'm focusing on right now. So what'd you say to us one time? Have vehicle We'll travel. Have vehicle will travel. Yeah. I wanna walk your land. . . That's what she said. . I'm gonna start. That's, that should be your new Logan. I want to walk your land. That'd be a good shirt, man. I think that would sell.
Mention us when you call, get 15% off any of his services. You guys on the show today, this is not a commercial for Dustin, but it pretty much is because it's gonna show you how badass he, how smart he is with this stuff. But you guys are gonna basically see one of his services today. He walked two of our farms.
Like he just said. He wanted to walk our land. . And he did that and then he we're gonna go through the the plan, I guess you'd call it. Yeah. He's. Thinking about when he's walking it and Yep. The process that goes through it. A prescription, right? A prescription kind of a, an approach, where to start, how to [00:09:00] not get overwhelmed and approach things in such a way that's like, all right, I can accomplish this cuz I've been doing it for close to 10 years now and it's, it can still be overwhelming when you first get to a place, whether you just bought a property or you just got permission or whatever.
But it's something that happens in steps and you have to take those steps to get to the end goal. Nice. I got a prescription. Need more cowbell, doctor's orders, . All right, so let's switch. We're gonna start with Micah's farm first. Yep. First thing we're gonna do for everybody is we're gonna try to explain the farm.
I get, what the hell is that? There's a humming and I don't know if it's the TV or lights or something. Putting a pause, just, okay, we figured out what the buzzing sound was. Not really, but we're moving on. But anyways, we're starting with Micah's property first. What we're gonna do is we're gonna explain the property, lay out for the listener so you guys can paint a picture in your mind of what it looks like.
And then we'll get into what we did that day, walking through Dustin's thoughts, and [00:10:00] go from there. Micah, take it away. What's the farm look like? All right. The way my property kinda lays out it's a rectangle shape. It's roughly 60 acres. The, it'd be the west 30, that's, yeah. The 30 acres that's closest to the west, which, that's where the road frontage is.
That's where, say, west Half West. That's mo that is alfalfa and hay pasture. And there's also a pond there. And then the rest, the back half of it is going to be timber. The east half. Yeah, east half. And starting on the southeast corner big hill. And it's sloped down into my property, falls down, flattens out for a while, and then it goes into a dry creek I would call it.
And you kinda get a nice pond right in the middle a little bit to the north edge of it. Yeah. It's like the north, it's a big pond. North central three acre. Yeah. It's probably two three acre pond. North, north, central on the property. But for what you're hunting, it's pretty much on the west of the [00:11:00] northwest or the timber, right?
Because I don't hunt like in I should I did plant. , the a little bit of that alfalfa field. It wasn't producing anything in alfalfa. So the farmer and me, I said, Hey, would you care if I plant something? He's Nope, we can do whatever. I got a planter. Andy hooked me up with some corn seed, and so we did, I don't know how many rows, if I had to guess, probably 30, 40 rows about that.
Maybe a. Right upward, right up against that timber. Yeah, right up against that timber on the western edge of the timber. Yeah. So that was just shot in the dark. Let's see if it worked. It actually grew really well and I pretty much, I left most of that standing just to keep the deer around sort of thing.
So I've hunted mostly the southern part, central of the timber wise. That's where I've put most of my focus. I got a little eighth of an acre, if not smaller, of clover plot that I planted in there. That's done decently well. The deer have destroyed it. I actually over seeded it whenever we were out there walking [00:12:00] real quick.
I just threw a quick bag down. But I've, like I said, I've hunted most of the south side I have, I'm nervous to get more of the northern side because I've been told by previous people that have hunted this, that. , that's where the big boys like to stay, and so I'm nervous to bump anything out. A sanctuary side.
? Yes. So just looking at Mike, I didn't realize this. Do you have a road access on the east and west? That is a driveway. Okay. So if I wanted possible access possible, it is possible. I could talk to, I've heard one landowner is iffy. Yeah. The other landowner, he said, I prob, and this is talking to other guys that have hunted there before their parents are neighbors to the property.
He said one neighbor's actually pretty cool. And then if I asked, more than likely I could get access from that point. So on the east border of the property is a driveway actually. Yeah. The west border of the property is a gravel road and then the the landowner's house. And then this is a decently populated area.
It's not touchscreen. Oh, yep. [00:13:00] Sorry. Sorry. That's my iPad coming out. Yeah. Most of the people around they own either, usually it's like the five, 10 acre plots. Yeah. That surround that. There's few that you know own a little bit more. There is a huge, I think it's 300 something acres to the north of it, probably a quarter of a mile, maybe less of huge crop.
So I know that they filter through me. Eventually they make it out to that crop ground too. Yeah. But I. The alfalfa. I see them in there every night. So what else do you got Anything else to add to the layout of the property, Dustin, before we get into our walkthrough? No, I'll probably say the same things that you guys said here coming up.
Yeah, starting with access, it's always both in hunting and management. The most important cuz you have to be able to get in there and sneak up on deer and not alert them. And you want to be able to get in there and work efficiently and you want to be able to compartmentalize your property based on different [00:14:00] features or areas of the farm.
And so we started out, we came from the barn in the southwest and walked to the southern, the south southwestern corner of the timber pretty much. . And essentially we were on your perimeter access. and I think we made it probably halfway maybe halfway, but it's probably the same. We didn't even go back here, but I assume it's the same as what we saw up here.
Yep. Pretty close. You can tell on the TV for those that aren't looking at the TV with us you can see breaks in the canopy of the woods that will tell you that there are different tree species there. And so a lot of these dark ones here, I'm gonna assume are your walnuts that were in that stand.
Yep. And then you had a lot of honey locust, some lighter green. There's probably hedge, there's a lot of hedge on the property. Yep. So this is a lot of hedge.[00:15:00] Cedars obviously stand out pretty well. Yep. You can see those on that load of the hill up there. But anyways, we come into this southwest corner of the timber and we're walking and you have what I would say is an overstocked.
Timber stand with those, mostly those trees that I just said. I didn't say hackberry. There's a lot of hackberry in there too. And so we're thinking hunting and we're thinking forest management. You need to get sunlight to the ground all the same. I'm gonna eliminate the fact that you said the landowner wants to be able to go in there and walk and find mushrooms, cuz we're gonna pretend that's not a thing.
But for me, as far as the timber stand improvement goes in this section of the farm, which is the southern south, southern section, southeast, sorry, north facing slope. And south winds, deer want to be on that north facing slope most of the time because they can [00:16:00] catch wind over the top of the hill and updrafts from below them in the creek.
And so when we're thinking hunt set up it makes it tough cuz you always want to have the best wind advantage and thermal advantage. But that's also what the deer want. So we come in here on the perimeter and in this stand I told you guys if it were me with, if you guys are gonna tackle this project in this half of the timber.
So basically I cut the property in half based on half of the timber was like this. Half of the timber was like this down here. With all the vines, which I later determined was Japanese honeysuckle. Yeah. A lot of vines, a lot of immature trees. Like the southern half has more, more mature trees. Yep.
But the further north you get the less smaller Yeah. The smaller diameter trees you're gonna find that's evident of being more open, which is also why that honeysuckle is worse down there. It's gotten a lot more sunlight down. Reading more about [00:17:00] it, mowing that stuff like at your farm and some of the spots that you do is a pretty effective way of keeping it from spreading, but you will have to chemically treat.
But when you have those paths, like I was talking about for management, you can start on those paths. And so on the map that I made you guys, I followed basically what is the same as the contour line, but you can see that there is an opening, a slight opening that kind of runs through there already that follows that contour line.
, you said it's likely from changing tree species. I'm guessing that this is either, Made from cattle. Historically, I've, I was told long, long time ago, it used to be old pasture ground. Yep. Almost. So more than likely it did have cows on at one point. Yep. Based on the composition of the forest, I would even, without knowing that, I would say that's what it was.
It was open ground. Yeah. Because those are all early successional trees that do well in a lot of sunlight. Honey, locust, hedge walnut need a ton of [00:18:00] sunlight. So if you're managing for those, you need to open up the canopy for those benefits. Your deer and your Turkey as well. . So to compartmentalize this part of the farm, the southern half of the hunting area, I put an access trail on that contour line plus your perimeter access trail.
Okay. So split it into thirds really on that. Yeah. Yeah. You have the southern half of that timber area. And if you're not seeing the map here, he has it split into thirds following the hillside. I could do a shape too. Where's the tools on the computer? That's a great question Right here.
I haven't done it. I'm gonna just bifurcate it. What did you just say? Bifurcate B What does that mean? Okay. and the words of rod burgundy, what did you say? What this is really rough, right? But we'll just say that. So I made an area eight acres and then the [00:19:00] southern half would be eight acres as well.
Up here I'm going around the bush. I probably should have had more of a straight up game plan, but we're just attacking the farm . We've got these two access trails. So we're going in, the first thing we're gonna do in this stand, based on what was there, is we're gonna take out honey locust, and we're gonna girdle those honey locust to allow sunlight down, but not immediately create too much.
Down debris on the ground because you still do have the Japanese honeysuckle and other trees that you want to be able to get into and manage and your landowner wants to find mushrooms and all that. So you cut a ring an inch around the tree with your chainsaw into the tree. Yep. You take tort on. The chemical I use is pathway.
It's the same active ingredient, I believe. It's a pickle brush stump killer. Yep. Yep. And you're gonna spray that on there. And it is super effective at killing honey locust. Okay. And so in the Southern half, timber stand improvement first, and then fire [00:20:00] and herbicide. Okay. You have enough open ground there.
There's nothing at ground level for the. To have cover. They're moving through, they're not gonna bed down too much probably in that area. I wouldn't assume everyone, I've kicked them up a handful of times, not a lot. Yep. Most of the time. I'm either catching 'em coming, they're coming south, heading north, or they're north.
Heading south. Yep. I don't, behind the pond area, that's where I mostly have kicked up deer and, hell, even when we were walking it, we kicked one up. So that's, a pretty good bedding area, I would say. Yep. Those of you understand how ponds are made too. A lot of times you're gonna have that, but below a pond where the, it funnels down where the original watershed ran down into the creek is still a change in topography where wind and thermals swirl and hub and a deer has a lot of advantage for one in that area.
For two, the features above that area lead them. [00:21:00] To that area. Okay. So they follow those lines down there. Side note. No, that's a good, that's a good tip. Yep. You already have good perimeter access and I think once you got the honey locust out of there thinned and it's anything that you don't cut the first time into a place can be cut later if you decide that you want to.
It can be a lot if you're not used to seeing that kind of damage. But I would assume that if you're just gurgling him, you could probably bang out quite a bit pretty quick. Yeah. Yeah. If you, hell, if you just had one guy with a saw and one guy coming right behind you and spraying real quick, yeah, that goes super fast.
You could go really fast. That goes really fast. Done that a few times and that's super efficient. If you have two guys I would say after that first harvest, you will have enough. and other new generation of plant material that in a year or two's time you could run a fire through there and you're starting to be more effective at managing the invasive stuff like the Japanese honeysuckle.
[00:22:00] Now, would it benefit me, let's just say this year I went in there girdled them. Would you suggest go ahead and do in a fire too, or would you just, if you could it or would it just not be as effective and it wouldn't really matter? No fire is a bad fire. Some fires are better than others.
Okay. Unless, I mean you burn up your house or side to side or whatever. Yes. There is such thing as a bad fire. Yeah. So you've got one level of timber stand improvement done and you've got a fire. Now I'm looking at, and probably me, I would do the same. I would do hedge honey locust and hackberry.
All at the same time. Okay. And I'm gonna treat all those trees with the same chemical. Okay. And this happens in the wintertime. Most of the time hedge runs sap. And so if you cut into a hedge and it's running a lot of sap, for that chemical to effectively work, you need to wait for it to slow down. [00:23:00] But you can't wait too long because the tree will heal itself in a half hour or so.
Really? And then, so you know, a minute or two after you cut it, you might have to sit there and wait and spray it. So that could slow you down on a hedge tree. Would that be something that you would maybe do it one, cut 'em one day or girdle 'em and then come back the next day? You would have to cut it again.
Really? That quickly? Yep. Yeah. Dang. Okay. Yep. Another thing about hedge though too, and there's research and stuff, I'm not the scholar that we just talked to on the last show, but. Which is gonna be the next show. The next show. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. But walnuts and hedge are good trees to cultivate together because they grow in similar conditions.
And if you ever did want to try to do like a hedge harvest, obviously that's not the full thing of what we're talking about here. But some of those can be left and they're great tree stand trees. Yeah. So the bigger ones, if you only girdle a hedge, that thing is gonna be standing there dead for long after any of [00:24:00] us are still here.
I mean it seems like they get tougher the longer they're dead . Yeah. It's kinda Choose your battles. Yeah. So all the smaller hedge, those are gonna be the ones that you wanna take out. But if you've got, a lot of times in a deer hunting scenario, I'm not gonna be worrying about all these big giant, like if you had to put a measurement on it, would you say you take care of everything 12 inch diameter and lower and leave the 12 inch bigger alone?
If you can in the hedge scenario. Okay. E every timber stand is different, but in this one, taking out those that are smaller than that size. Yeah. Cuz we looked, and that was another thing we pointed out. Hedge has no purpose in, hunting for the most part besides the tree stands.
But I could probably make a fortune just on hedge post. Yeah. And well selling , there's a lot of hedge, people use that for fencing all the time. There is the potential to make a little money. If I wanted to put that effort into it. Yeah, you'd have to, or the landowner, you'd have to hustle.
Marketplace pretty hard. . It's like head post or a [00:25:00] little lost art. And I'm say lost art, but lost. . Yeah. A lot of people are going to steel posts and different things like that. Like hedge is not as widely used as. I'm not saying I'm gonna make a lot per, I'm just saying I got a lot where I could, there's, some potential there.
Yeah. If you know a fence builder in a rural area or something like that's a good tool. But even then, a lot of times they've got so many people asking them that your hedge isn't gonna be any different than the hedge next door. I thought about it, I was like, if I could just find a farmer that would use this, be like, Hey, you follow me around, you take these ones that you want and just get rid of, you can have 'em.
Yep. Yeah. And tell people on marketplace, come cut some firewood, come get this or whatever. It's better to be gone from your situation than to keep it. Yeah. Cuz I would, cuz until that burns up after years and years it's just gonna be laying there. Or standing there. Or standing there if you don't cut it all the way down.
Yeah. When you're talking about spraying like the Tordon and I can't remember what you said, you used Pathways, pathway. Pathway, yep. , I guess when I help on the farm we cut trees, and clean up field [00:26:00] edges. I tore on the one we had comes with a little cap. I just put a ring around the outside, to kill the stump.
, are you talking about do you put yours in a sprayer? I put mine. So if you have a go to your farm store and go to the equestrian section and they have horse sprayer bottles, like the smaller sprayer bottles. Yeah. It looks like what Windex would spray. Yeah, I know what you're talking about.
I just didn't know when you're saying spray, so then you put the tord on in that, or pathways or whatever. Yep. Tord on there, it's essentially the same thing. So if you put Tord on and it's the same thing. So when you're girdling that, your cut chainsaw cut's pretty minute, distance wide.
, are you trying just to go all the way around and miss that or what, how you. . So here's your cut. , here's your nozzle. Yep. You want it to get some of the top and the bottom? Top and bottom. Yep. Just keep, so it separates the Yep. Try to get, if you get it in there and it's on the bottom, that chemical, most of the time you're gonna get the job done.
As long as it's not running too much sap. Yeah. Okay. And that's for the hedge, like the, that's for the hu like the, what was the other one? Honey locus. Honey locus. Those probably [00:27:00] don't have a problem you spraying there. They don't, yeah, they, I've not run into very many honey locust that are running any sap.
Okay. They usually have a wound or something that might ha they might shoot something out of that, but, gotcha. So I've never really girdled trees per se. Like I said, we usually, we'll cut 'em off a few feet above the ground one so we can see them from a tractor. Oh. And. , honestly, and about, depending on the type of tree hedges, seems like five years plus.
, if you kill that stump, you can come back with a si skid steer or something and pop that stump out of the ground. Yeah. Other trees let, it takes, one or two years. But I've never girdled and then sprayed in the wound. I've always, it's always been a clean cut and then treat it, but just around the outside ring is what we've done.
Yep. So that's why I was curious Yep. How that spray works and hedge trees, if you have the equipment to do it, they're actually relatively shallow rooted. Yeah. And so it, it might not take as long , depending on if it's wet soil, you might be able to push 'em quicker to pop 'em out. Yeah.
But the two contour paths here too, just another side note that's part of making this, easier for yourself. [00:28:00] Come out and maybe work the corner section first and then you work this section and then now you're down to the mid-range. , those are also gonna be.
Probably deer movement routes because of the topography lines. And so if they were started by cattle, elk, deer, they all do the same thing. As they move through an area, they'll follow those contours to make travel easier for 'em. Okay. And so they, on this map, I have 'em in yellow.
These are daytime or upward thermal areas. So in your situation, I didn't follow the main ridge. I followed the contours because it's so gradual that I'm, it's not the ultimate path, but those are just that I would expect a deer to want to follow, to catch all these updrafts coming from the bottom.
Okay. And then in contrast, the blue i, I mark my low drainages [00:29:00] essentially is what they are ditches. Low areas where water would run in blue. That's also where downward thermals are gonna all meet and then run down towards the stream system. And we will have on the show release, we're gonna do, I guess you call 'em pictures the OnX still shot of these properties where it shows what Dustin is talking about.
This is Mike's place. We'll just drop him a pin. Did this exact address and everything. But it'll show kind of what Dustin is talking about throughout these shows and some of the stuff he does to it's be easy, follow along and see what's help his customer understand what he's talking about too.
. Yep. Cuz Micah, myself, Andy, we might understand what Dustin's explaining to us, but Dustin also works. non hunters. Or hunters that don't know what the hell he's saying. So he's gotta be able to explain these things to him and say, Hey, this is my thought, et cetera, et cetera.
Yep. I know [00:30:00] these guys know what I'm talking about cuz we were there together and they've been there for a long time and it's right in front of us, but it's different trying to put into words Yeah. What's on a picture so that a listener can understand yeah. I hope that's somewhat clear and you can get some knowledge out of this, but Okay.
So where did we leave off guys? So we've taken care of the Yeah we're down to the blue lines now. Okay. So we're basically have taken care of the southern half of the timber. Yeah. Yep. On this property. So the southeastern corner, technically of the property is the southern half of the timber.
which is the the more mature trees. That's where Dustin was talking about going through and using those contour lines to remove some of those honey locust hedge honeysuckle, not honeysuckle. Both, yeah. Hackberry, hackberry. Honeysuckle though too, start working on the timber stand improvement as the first step in this process that Mico is, hoping to go through.
And now we've, we're moving more into the northern half of this timber, which would be [00:31:00] the northeastern corner, I guess you'd call it, of the rectangle on the property. Yep. Most of that is still on the north facing slope. You have a little sliver of creek bottom with south facing slope with ag north of there.
And then the drainage that you have runs east west, and then when you get north of the property, it runs north with branches going off to the east and the west. Yeah. So the drainage almost cuts the More than one, like the northeast corner and in a pizza shape. So it comes into the property in the north center of the property, and then the drainage kind of runs east and then back out in the northeast corner.
Yep. So there's not a whole lot of what you would call the dry creek or drainage. Yep. But there is one, there not a whole lot of topographical variance. enough to still focus efforts and play the wind in everything that you have to do as a deer hunter. Moving to the northern half of the timber, we get into what is the [00:32:00] Japanese honeysuckle infestation, which when we talk about Nate's hunting property will be topic of the hour.
I actually had to, I haven't worked with any projects that had that problem yet, so I had to do a little research and refresh my knowledge. I run into a lot of the same problems all the time, and so when I see one that I haven't worked, it's gotta do a little research again, go back to school. But you don't have aids, you got super eights,
Pretty much, honestly, most of the stuff that I deal with grows on the ground from the ground, and then your guys' stuff, this Japanese honeysuckle grows from the ground up through the trees and yeah I will, yeah, I got this one area. That is engulfed, probably 20, 30 trees. Just blankets. Yeah, all curtains all the way up.
You have a skid steer. You guys have a brush mower? Yep. You could it's broken right now, but I think we're getting it fixed. , that thing would be efficient at getting into some of those curtains of honeysuckle and knocking it down. [00:33:00] Okay. It's still gonna be hanging there and you're still gonna have to run fire and do the whole thing.
But so the northern half of this timber, honestly, we didn't walk in to look at forest composition, but this is a good example of where what, obviously they know that it's two different things, but there's no cookie cutter approach to any property. They have little areas that are this, and then they have little areas that are this.
And then depending on what the past uses were, the problems might be more severe in one area than another or vice versa. So priority number one in the northern. Piece, which is common on a lot of pieces that haven't been managed historically is that you have to get your invasive species under control before you do any thinning of the canopy.
Cuz whatever you take out in the canopy is gonna allow everything underneath of it to take out flourish. Yeah. And so you, that's the last thing you want to do. Yeah. In this situation. And [00:34:00] that's true even in the southern half. You had some of it there, you had some other invasive species. Those are gonna be the first thing that you always want to take care of, no matter if it's forest land or grassland that you're trying to manage for.
So you go through there and you mow it down, knock it down, you come back in spray, foli or spray a lot of times on that stuff is gonna be your best. Okay. Best bet. What's type what's an example? Not put you on the spot, but like a foliar spray. Is this a glyphosate will do it.
It's non-selective in an area like I'd say So more of a You're killing all spectrum. Yeah. You're gonna kill everything that touches for the most part. There's some things that are. . And for people not glyphosate is essentially Roundup, pretty much Roundup, or I should say Roundup is glyphosate.
Yep. And if I know, it's scary if you haven't worked with it a lot and it is something that you have to be careful with and pay attention to which way the wind's blowing and everything else when you're using it. You don't want to have a whole bunch of wind because you're gonna get some off-target kill.
If it drifts through the understory and then makes its way up, you might kill trees above. Really. So it's strong enough where it could [00:35:00] kill a tree you didn't want. Or at least he's done. Unhear it. Stunt it, and then in this situation, the other stuff is gonna take over. Morris and kill that tree.
Gotcha. So in this situation, get your brush hog working. Go in there and start knocking that stuff down wherever you can get it into. Okay. Those areas that you knock down are your new access to be able to go in there and spray that stuff. And as it dies, next thing that you're thinking is fire. . And so now you got good fire load.
Yep. So yeah, you're burning, you're dead essentially. Yep. And getting cleaned up for your new growth. Yep. I'm gonna backtrack. Andy asked earlier if it was a driveway on the east side of the property. And I asked the same question because especially when you start talking about fire perimeter, access and barrier from places that you don't want to burn is very important.
. And so that gravel driveway on the east side and then the two track that we walked in on [00:36:00] the very south boundary, excellent fire lines, they would be very sufficient for stopping that fire from growing. Yeah. Some of my other professional peers might not want me to say things like this out loud, but people need to get educated with fire and learn the conditions to use it, and it is the cheapest and most effective tool.
Whether you have a guy like me do it or you do it yourself it's a lot cheaper and you don't have to use as much chemical and it's just way more bang for your buck. Private recovery for your soil might be honestly a little easier than, pouring on to a ton of chemical. Yep. To it because it is, and it's fun.
And it's fun and you're sending nutrients down. There's a lot of benefits to using fire. Yeah. Okay sorry, go ahead. Would you recommend, so say someone doesn't have, the two track or the driveway for instance, I got a tiller. Yeah. Would you recommend maybe go ahead and creating a boundary of you.
[00:37:00] Squaring off an area you're gonna wanna burn. Yep. And going ahead and pre making a fire boundary and absolutely. A disc or a tiller or something of that nature to give yourself that buffer. Is that a possibility? What Yeah. The more exposed soil or exposed rock that you have, the better.
So rock, gravel, not, that's something he actually mentioned at the second property we'll be talking about is like a disking or a till up land to create that fire boundary. That's kinda what I was thinking about, like where I was working before I came here tonight. That's on the line between what is the till planes that we are familiar with here.
In the Ozark Highlands. Okay. And so they have deep rocky ravines and then up high they got soil. And so part of that, you're gonna be able to use your tiller, but part of that, you're not gonna be able to. It, that's just every property is different, but if you can get exposed soil however that is, or exposed rockets, the best, the next best is mowing. Yeah. I've heard guys that will use a certain kind of [00:38:00] fertilizer. So you being a farmer would have access to that kind of stuff. That is a fire retardant and it essentially will put it out. I don't know. I don't know the percentages.
I'd have to look into that and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know the percentages, but I know that's an option. If you're doing it in the woods, all you have to do is blow off the leaf litter path wide enough that you can effectively work it further conditions. What they say is that you want your fire break to be three times the width of your fuel height.
Okay. So if you're burning leaves that are six inches thick, you wanna have a 18 inch fire break. Okay. Okay. That makes sense. Yep. If you're burning grass that's six feet tall, you wanna have a 18 foot fire break at the least. Really? Grass is wild. It's a different, which I am walking through mine. We had one little patch that down.
Yeah. Yeah. The, if it took off it's still, if it Yeah. It's our, it is okay if it's gonna burn somewhere else. If it [00:39:00] catches. Yeah. But okay. That's a, that's another topic too coming up. Okay. So we will get back into what I have here on the map. Like I said, I do everything based on topography when it's com compartmentalizing, hunt setup access, where the deer are gonna move is all based on topography.
So you have drainages naturally that come off of the ridge top and between each of those, drainages is another smaller ridge top. Those drainages on each side of that ridgetop, we're gonna catch downward thermals from that high ground piece. And so an access route that I always like to try to implement is the low route.
So I have a higher route for when thermals are uphill. When the sun's shining, then it's daytime. And then I have a low route for when you're going in and out in the dark if possible, you wanna have both options. And then you always still have to keep wind [00:40:00] in mind, wind first, thermal second. Those access routes are gonna be new management routes too.
And so working off of those access routes, so it's, it might be, you might be off to the side on one side or the other of that drainage, but you're getting down in there and you're able to work up, back up to that high point with your chainsaw, with your skid loader. Your tractor, whatever it might be.
And again, you're just com compartmentalizing, making it easier to do an area, okay, I got that done, I can move on to the next one or I can do the next step in that area. You can do the full process in that spot. You can try different things, rotate your fire, you can end up putting fire breaks there to separate, you've only got, what, 20 acres or so there to roughly 20 to 30, somewhere in there.
Yeah. So as you don't want to, when you get further into this, you don't want to be burning the whole thing all the time. You want to have options. Okay. I'm gonna have variance [00:41:00] based on when I burn and what stage of management I'm in and that'll attract different animals. That's pretty much the access routes part of it.
And like I said, no timber stand improvement there until you got a pretty good handle on that stuff. Take that. Timber that's workable on the southern part and that's where you're gonna worry about opening the canopy a little bit earlier, but still the same thing. You gotta get your invasives first, right?
Because then there's more oaks and everything once you get closer to that ridge. Yep. Working south trees that are actually gonna benefit me. Yep. In the foreseeable future, those northern ones, there might be one spread out, but it's more than likely three inches or less. Yep. Diameter. It's a lot of smaller trees when we're talking open up canopy and TSI and stuff, like getting rid of invasives obviously before you open that canopy cuz you don't want those to flourish.
What do you recommend? Is there something [00:42:00] recommend to try to seed back in that or what do you recommend doing with the canopy once you have it opened? I think you let canopy and what God put here, do the work for you. Okay. You save yourself a lot of money. trying to get things to grow. It's better to manage what's already there.
, because more than likely, somewhere in that seed bank, even still, no matter how long it's been, there's good stuff. So as long as you take the other stuff out of the equation, your positive stuff is gonna, yeah. When you start implementing fire, especially, you can start thinking about, okay, maybe a couple times through this, I'm not getting the results that I want.
Maybe I need to supplement something. Introduce some, yeah. And when you open that canopy up, some of them trees that you're not gonna take out. That are getting their asses kicked by either invasives or just too much competition are gonna start to flourish. Yep. Especially if you got some small oaks in there, maybe they'll start to actually [00:43:00] produce, produce, do something and produce and walnuts aren't really that used by wildlife.
Wildlife, there were something Yeah. So they can actually flourish that sort of stuff. And you might get some of that browse back at the deer's level once you , you were talking about just, even just doing the mowing, you're gonna start seeing some of those natural good things coming back in those areas where you're getting rid of that.
What the hell is it Japanese? What honeysuckle where you're just at least getting rid of it. And some of those native grasses and, winter grasses and things like that can start popping back up just by doing that. Without spraying yet, and then you start spraying and getting rid of those and then you just accelerate the growth of what you want to have on that north side of Micah's property, which is not that blanket of shit.
Yeah. The walkthrough. Yeah. Yeah. It's a process. Yeah. And like even once you got a pretty good hold on it, you're never done cuz your [00:44:00] neighbors probably aren't doing as good of a job. If you're being, if you're being good, they're probably not being as good. Or if they are, then you're lucky. What are some things you are wanting to see, yeah, what are the, once you open it up, once you kill all the bad stuff what's some of the good stuff you're hoping that come as far as, are there things to look for that are Yeah, so in, in this setting historically it was probably open ground and so you want warm season grasses to start to work back in.
That's, I was curious it was more of a grass based type. Yeah. Yep. And then, around those oak trees and things like that. You would like to see some younger oak saplings and even walnuts if you open it up that much, they require a lot of sunlight. So I think a guy that I used to work for Ryan Ra talk out of the Kansas Forest Service, I believe he said, a single walnut tree.
Something like an acre that it needed Oh, wow. To itself, to be able to re sunlight from the angles Probably. Yeah. Really? Wow. So [00:45:00] I'd say roughly now when you plant them, like you plant 'em 15 feet apart and then you have to thin 'em as they get more mature. But yeah. Okay. And then you also want Forbes.
. And so when you start talking about Turkey, PTs and fawn habitat, and, quail's not gonna be in this situation , but Turkey . What they need is those broad leafed weeds that put on seeds that they can move through. And there's plenty of brows in there. So like your rag weeds, your pollinators that you hear about, like your coneflowers.
And Illinois bundle flower. Partridge pea. A lot of those are what you want too. Okay. So that, that adds brows into the wintertime cuz you want stuff at least this high. Yeah. Which I'm holding up probably three and a half feet. Four feet. Yeah. But a deer lives at six feet or less.
Five feet or less. Really? What was the the tree that when we were walking through, you said, cut these. Cut these and they'll sprout, [00:46:00] willow a bunch of trees do that. But Willow, remember we were on the two track. It was a willow and it was No it wasn't. It was a willow. You said cut it and it'll sprout out and the deer will eat it.
There's some that will Good. That was when we were punt and there's some that will, that are bad. We were walking right down the trees and there was a tree growing out of another tree. Yeah. And you're like, yeah, cut those and that'll have a not What was that? Oh, Elm. Elm. Yeah. See I told you wrong.
Yeah. Elm is the best. Say it. You were I am wrong Nathan. You were right though cuz he said that about Willis. When you do your tsi, if you're, another method that went didn't talk about is crop tree release. So you pick out the oak that's being choked out by honey locus and hackberry and elm and all these other things.
When you cut off an elm, don't treat it and it re sprouts and elm is the best Woody brows. I've learned that I have a lot to learn about identifying trees. . Yeah. It was nice to have him dust walk through. Yeah he just walks through ands, like out. That's this. Yeah. Pointed something out.
So that's gonna help. I need to study up on a little more, but I know hedge [00:47:00] hackberry, thorny locus or whatever. I know I can do most oaks, even though I just say oak, I don't know what kind of oak it is. Most of the time I can usually point out a white oak and a red oak. But where does a hackberry fall on the scale of good to bad?
I have a very small soft spot for hackberries. Unless there's nothing else there, I'm most of the time taking 'em out. So from my guess, Mike I prefer them just because I can hang deer stains in 'em fairly easy. Yeah. They're not bad, quote unquote. They're not, I don't have thorns, they don't have whatever, but they're also not producing any forage from my experience.
Not great. They're good for, they're good for songbirds. Yeah. And other. Other things. So I don't wanna take away from they're native, but they are one that will, say your big oak tree dies and there's a, they take over a hackberry next to it. Hackberry is what's gonna come up in that opening. Yeah.
Without question. Okay. So what about, what else about this north hath of the the timber that we we saw? So I don't really have any stand site, but I'll make some [00:48:00] suggestions. When you have those ridges that come to points, even if they're small ridges. So we're looking at the map here, and it's right where I'm pointing on each side of this is the drainage coming down.
And this is like your breakover point. And the best version of it here is probably actually here, but that's called your soldier's point. , it's the farthest point out on the ridge. That's a stand site. That's the best location that. You can be in, or a deer can be in to have wind and thermals, cuz it's gonna travel down and around and wrap that point and right, come over the top and hit that point.
So you want to create your stand site with shooting lanes and everything. Don't take too much cover around your stand site, but once you get outside of whatever range you're working to create for yourself, you wanna create a mess, pretty much [00:49:00] that is the cover that's close to that best spot. You wanna put the big bucket close to the best spot, but you want to be in the best spot, right?
So that he's probably gonna come closer to try to get there. And that's where your shot opportunity comes from. Okay? And so say I moved this waypoint here to the very point that Waypoint was just marking the property. So it doesn't it doesn't mean anything, but. , that's gonna be the stand site. You have a bunch of cedars there.
Some of them are pretty good size. Like I might think about trying to do a stand there or at least leaving some cedars around that spot to have yourself camouflaged. And then you're gonna cut some, maybe leave some, create diversity off to the sides that the buck likes to bed in. He's gonna be at a slight disadvantage to you.
Okay. No, that makes sense. And like I said, the one of the neighbors, his son used to hunt this [00:50:00] property and he hunted his dad's, which butts up to it and stuff. And he always told me, he is like, this is where you need to be. Yeah. And like I said earlier, I've just been nervous cuz I didn't wanna kick anything out cuz when I gathered that information it was already during season and I'm like, I don't wanna push in there late season cuz I knew it was nasty and I would've.
take the chainsaw. Do a bunch of work and I just didn't wanna push anything. Yep. So that's the plan this summer. So throughout this property, you have a few soldiers points, I guess you'd call it. Yeah. So just under that one, there's another ridge. Are those considered soldier points every time you see those?
In, in this property, not so much. Now, if we zoom out, maybe I might have Yep. To the really big ridge. Yeah. So you start to look at the whole system. You've got the big ridge, right? There's one up there then. Yep. Here to the northwest is a drainage. The main drainage. So would that be one coming from the other direction then?
This here, so this is a [00:51:00] soldier's point. This is the high ground. You follow your blue lines, that's your low ground. . So right in the middle. For starters, when you're getting used to learning topography, , your low point is this drainage, and then the next one's this drainage over here.
Your high point's right here, it's steeper on this side than it is on this side. That there, so this appears a soldier's point. Is that also right? Oh crap, I zoomed in there. Yep. That's a soldier's point for a south wind. So you don't get a lot of straight east winds, but this is a east wind soldier's point.
Most of the wind and thermals will end up there. That's a, yeah. When you zoom out of the area that you're in, you know there's a lot more going on than, yeah. And that's what, 360 acres something you have to take into consideration too, like where based on the wind and conditions are the deer gonna be coming from.
Yeah, it makes sense. Especially when you're thinking access [00:52:00] and that type of stuff. Nice. All right. What else on this property? Just for a highlight area, we'll go to this main point that we've been talking about. And I said there's Cedars that you could see there. I pointed out that you had c cicio za there.
. That's stuff that grows in a mat. You're gonna use a brush killer. So like pasture guard and 1% of that and 1% two. Four D starting in about July. August, okay. July would be better. And even before that, if you can see it good enough. And then there your situation, you can, you're gonna want to spray that stuff.
But what's probably gonna happen is first you're gonna want to thin these cedars out. There's too many cedars. We talked about that. , nothing can get through there. It's a wall. You want to, I'm I. I go back and forth on how I want to describe this cuz I know if it was my property, I'd just cut 'em into a big pile and [00:53:00] burn 'em, not move 'em at all.
I'd let 'em lay as they are and then I'd burn 'em two years later. For what you're trying to do, that's probably not gonna be the best. And I think what I said was, get in there and get what you can get if you have to pull it out to create some diversity and some pathways do that. You could have a decent sized area here that is different type, cover type than what you have on the whole slope above.
And so that's a transition point. So you might have a, here's your higher version of the same area, here's your high stand and a low stand. Gotcha. If you're hunting that feature, which you know, it's a south wind type thing and you're still pretty much on the low part. But yeah, so I gotta, we're probably buttoning up my property, so I got a question.
I don't own this property. I'm lucky enough to I get to hunt it, and I've talked with the landowner, and it's him and his son [00:54:00] that own it. They really enjoy mushroom hunt. That is their thing. If I gave them an option, Hey, you kill a 200 inch deer, or you go out and you pick a hundred mushrooms they're gonna pick the a hundred mushrooms. I'm just letting you know that's their passion. All right? They've been doing it. So whenever I talked to the landowner about you coming out and I asked them, I was like, Hey, I'm gonna have Dustin come out. I have a feeling he's gonna want to cut a bunch of stuff down, making some shit, burn some shit, do all that.
And he's I don't care what you do, but my dad, the, the other guy that owns it, he's . He wants pass. or he wants to be able to access the woods a little bit easier to hunt for mushrooms. That's the only thing I care about. He, other than that, I can do whatever I want, so if this was a lease or something like that, if this was a lease, I'd probably wouldn't do much at all.
Just because you never know when you're gonna lose that. But yeah. I foresee that I will have access to this place for, the foreseeable future hopefully. , lord willing type thing. So if I [00:55:00] went in there and I just did some trails and things like that. Yep. Is that gonna mess up the overall plan?
No. I would say if you did some trails, start with some of these uhhuh anything that you cut and kill will decay. Yep. Mushrooms are our fungus. Yep. So they're going to thrive off that. Yep. Okay. Same with fire. And when you start getting the right things, growing, your soil starts to hold moisture. Better.
Yeah. More mushrooms. Okay. More recycled nutrients year to year. A win-win for the mushroom hunters. Yeah. Okay. It's it will help the mushrooms. Yeah. So I just wanna be able to go back to the landowner and be like, Hey, this is the plan that we've come together with. This is what we're gonna do.
It might look nasty at first, but eventually it's, it's all gonna help everybody. Yep. I wanna kill big deer. He wants to kick, he wants to pick big mushrooms. So I like it to each his home. Yep. So that's Micah's property in a nutshell. We're, obviously there's all kinds of detail.
Dustin can also do [00:56:00] the work that he's talking about on his properties, which is, another layer. In this situation, he might help us with some of this. We might have him do some of it. We might just try start, starting on our own. But there's a lot that goes into his plan because he wants to see the plan work.
Especially if he's gonna be doing the work. And then if he's not, he wants to see the plan work. Some of these plans are gonna take a while though. The amount of work that's just going into this little 60 acre farm is, it's a lot of amazing, it's a lot of man hours. Yeah. And if, even if he was doing it, this is what he does for a career, it's not a lot of work for one dude to go do pretty Yeah.
Pretty much. Start with those access routes is always the best thing to do because you can get in there and do stuff. And just follow the guidelines of what I've said so far. Work here, invasives. Once those are under control next to your access routes, then you can start thinking about what you're leaving and taking.
You wanna keep your access route open, obviously. . So if something falls on your trail, that's gonna [00:57:00] be a little bit more work than if it's in the middle. But it's more intensive starting out always. Yeah. And then you eventually you get to a certain point where, It's sustainability.
Just a little bit here. A little bit there. Yep. And it, you can do it from the outside in. Yeah. At that point. Gotcha. All right. So that's Michael's property. We're gonna move on to mine now. All right. Where to my property now? That I hunt. So I'll explain it first so everybody can understand it. This is also a rectangle that is more tall than it is wide.
So it's a north and south rectangle we'll say. And it's pretty basic. The north half of the property is crops. The south half of the property is timber. That timber is then broken half, in my opinion, by a creek. Not quite half, we're just gonna say half the north, half of that, that timber is a little bit more mature type of trees.
A bunch of old shale piles. This was a old shale mine or whatever back in the day. So there's some. It looks really cool in there, but[00:58:00] some little hills surgeries and Yep. Yeah. Little, yeah. The back half of that timber is shit, bunch of shit lot of locust hedge, bunch of stuff going on.
Really thick, nasty, impenetrable areas in some spots. So that's basically the farm. And then it's about 40 acres total. What I hunt is somewhere around 15 acres, so not a huge area. But, this is the work we have done. This far, I think has already helped. , as far as sea and deer and helping us.
And so you can make a difference on, on really small properties. You're talking about Michael's property with 60, mine's 40. and we don't hunt 60 and 40. We hunt 15 and 30 basically. So that's the property that we're talking about on this one. Dustin and I went out there walked out there and he kinda went after it, took it over another, pretty simple prescription.
[00:59:00] Honestly, it's, it'll sound similar to the first one. The north and the south will be flipped. The, you have your kind of creek bottom area. , and you're getting, obviously it's a creek bottom. You're getting movement off of both slopes. And so you have a south facing slope that is the ag field, and you have a north facing slope with a soldier's point.
That would be like for a southeast wind. Yeah. So the wind's out of the southeast and the point of the slope is in the northwest, but that's the most advantageous spot. In your creek bottom area. The first thing I noticed, it was just way too open for wildlife. Turkeys probably like to strut there when they're there.
But there's not much for brew rearing habitat because there's no cover on the ground. And so there were hackberries in there, there was honey locust. There's just some poorly formed trees and trees with hollow nooks that are probably gonna [01:00:00] succumb to weather eventually. Anyways, those make some of those decisions easier when you're like, what do I take out?
Like I have no idea where to start. When you have a decent stand and you hit, you had oaks here, some nice mature ones too. Did have the winter creeper. , we talked about that. That's another one that's what's the winter creeper? It's dark green grows like a map. It's like carpet. Okay.
Yep. And then it goes up trees eventually also. Yep. That's another invasive one to take care of. Relatively easy at ground level because Is that in the north part of the timber? Yeah. You know where that dead tree is? , that down tree and then the food plot quote unquote, it's creeping into that food plot that's all throughout there.
Yep. And so the chemicals that we discussed earlier gonna be part of that too. You can do you can do glyphosate heavy and I'm not, don't quote me on that. I might put a link to MDC has an invasive plant page. Oh really? And it breaks down how to treat each one of 'em Nice. Oh, nice.
Most effectively.[01:01:00] Anyways, you're gonna end up spraying that with a broadleaf killer to be more successful and a woody broadleaf killer at that. When it's that thick and you're not, there's nothing else growing underneath of it when it's thick. And you can cut the vines that are on the trees to.
and treat those with your tree cut chemical. When you're running your chainsaw, you don't want it, you gotta be careful. You don't wanna cut into the tree that it's on if you're trying to save that tree. And so something you can do is get really close here and then make another cut on that vine and then run your saw to where it grabs the middle.
It might pull it off, but those vines are pretty fibrous, so it's tricky. A pain in the ass to deal with. Yeah. Might be better if you had a hatchet . Really? Yeah. Make a small cut. But in that scenario, there were some hackberries in there too. I'm probably gonna take it all of 'em out if it's me.
You want to create it would be easy to drop trees in this piece. Versus your piece on the north half. Yeah. Because it's so open and so I want to create horizontal cover. [01:02:00] I might do a little bit of hinging on the edges and if I want to direct some traffic. But laying that down and you've got cover at ground level and that's your fawn and your Turkey brewing habitat.
And that was pretty much it on that one. With oak trees, you have good leaf litter for burning. And you're pretty much on your way with the timber management. And what I say of these farms like this is you're managing your cover cuz that's where you're hunting right out here. You don't have a whole lot going on.
Maybe one day the landowner will let you leave some crops or something in there. But highly doubtful was I, so what I do these perimeters too. It looked like this was family that owns that. Distant. Yeah, distant. Yeah. I didn't know if, if you, they're right next door. How distant aren't they?
Yeah. Say this, say that for some reason you got into a big CRP program and government regulations on how much you could farm change one day or whatever. Here's my tree hugger coming [01:03:00] out, but you could access, same deal. Yeah, this is the cool route. I have access right here.
That way that was not fun. And then here's your warm route like this, then it comes down this point, boom. Or this would be the other one. So right out the barn would be the other one. Right There. No reason to save that. But
something to think about. If you had to say in what happens and say this was, if you were somebody that wanted to do a C R P buffer, they have buffer programs. If you wanna do pollinators, they have that, whatever that actually used to all be pasture where you're marking. I can see that in the picture that it's grass.
That would probably help the hunting, I would imagine. , but that's not always in our control and in the back half of that. So the north half of that timber is about, what would you say, 30 foot lower than the back half of that timber? The south half? Yeah. There's a pretty [01:04:00] decent you call it elevation change.
Elevation change from the the south half of the timber down to that creek. Which the creek does stay wet about, I'd say 90% of the time. Yeah. I mean there's, if it's like this last summer when it was really dry, it did get dry. So that creek actually is a collection of the road water.
, that's the low point of the road. The ditches drain into that and runs down to a big water. As long as it's raining for the most part, it'll stay decently wet. It stays pretty wet. There's always some parts of the creek that has water in it. The neighbor had a pretty good pond and it was drying up and it got real shallow, it silted in and he actually just recently took it out.
So I kind, that kind of changed it a little bit cuz they don't have the overflow from that. But on the south part of this, I'm imagining the same type of stuff as what you were talking to Micah of girdling, some of those like locust trees or, yep. They have the heavy honey circle infestation too.
. But what I noticed is where, and like I mentioned earlier, mowing [01:05:00] is an effective method of at least setting it back and keeping it from continuing to proliferate. And so you're doing the right thing by mowing already. And I noticed that cool season grass is coming up, which that's like your bro and your fescue and cattle grazing grass.
. That's enough to allow you to start running fire through there. And then, so like on your south boundary where it's ag field, if you had permission, you could run a disc line right there. You could run a disc line on your west boundary where we walked up, Nate. . And then, maybe your farmer to the east there is cool with, fighting fire from the open ground on his side and you just start opening those grassy areas up and running that fire through.
And that is a very effective way to set the honeysuckle back. One of the best things that I think happened on this property was the day I got in that skid steer and just started playing, I'm owed a lot more than I was planning on. Remember I even got lost in the back. Skid steers turned in the same [01:06:00] sense and I just, I mowed much more than I was planning on.
But yeah, it's, satisfying ended up he helping I think because that whole back half of that timber is just
shit. Yeah. It's just, thick. At one point that the southeast half of that timber you couldn't walk through at, at all, and then, we went through and mowed some main trails at first, and then we started, just going through and it was a start.
And, you do see deer start moving through it. And even, some bucks have decided to hang out in some of those really thick areas at certain times. , not that they want to live there, but. So it's, it started helping. And then, one of the things you said that stuck with me on that was just keep doing that more.
Yeah. You've opened up a, you're that far, right? A five foot spot. Make it 10 foot next time. , get, eat that Japanese What? Honeysuckle back. Just keep knocking it [01:07:00] back so that those winter season cool season grasses and stuff that needs to be there can start reestablishing and then that gives you a chance to start fire.
Yep. About that. The cool season grass is a good way to start the fire eventually, especially in this piece. What I noticed is that it was nothing but hedge and honey locust. , once you get to where you can move around in there and get that honeysuckle set back, you're. If it's me and this is my property, I'm thinking this is upland, warm season, grass area, maybe future tree planting area.
, if I want to have oaks and stuff in there that's what you're gonna have to do. Some guy tried to one time, but it went like shit. . Yeah. It probably got taken over and there are some oaks up there. We saw that one. Yeah. And there's that big cedar that needs to go away from it. Yep. But I think that might be the only cedar that's up there, but yeah.
This over here where you said your bucks, you always kick 'em out of, was so thick. Essentially that can hold that deer in [01:08:00] my opinion. Do you leave that alone then? I don't. So when you manage your properties, the hunting area, you want to attract deer to the center. So you want the most of the mess to be in, in the center of your property.
And that's essentially this knob. This knob here. . And then your drainage and then where these trickle down, I liked where this kind of drainage worked down into the creek. That'd be an area to highlight too. Your soldier's point, you want to have the best advantage so you have a perimeter access trail and probably a short one that gets to here.
. And then I'm beefing up everything here. And I might have another stand site right there cuz there's a, I remember this came down pretty heavy washout. And so there's a ditch that runs through there and there was a heavy deer trail even in that thick stuff. And so they use even just a small ditch like that, they have to follow the line of lease resistance.
It brings 'em down. I might have a stand catching [01:09:00] 'em coming off of that slight drainage for maybe a straight south wind. Yeah. I've basically got a stand where you're where you're way point is. Way point is. And then I've got one on that soldier's point. Yeah. About there. Yeah. Just once.
Once again. I remember that one. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz I, we walk right by it coming up out of the creek. , it's in that gnarly tree. Yep. A lot of cutting happened. . Yeah. That's the hardest part is there's no hedge is basically your option and it's not mature hedge from there it's younger, gnarly, or hedge you might be thinking, eventually once it gets cleaned up more, then it's hard.
Like it might be ground blind area. Down towards this, here, when you think about it your evening sits happen when the thermals switch and go downhill. You're setting up for that switch in thermals and so whatever deer is betting on a southeast wind, you're expecting to drop down here and then go this way or this way.
To catch downward thermals. So your [01:10:00] approach from a south wind is here. Obviously going into the wind. Nothing. You don't think anything's probably gonna be Ben near, they can bed up here for like updrafts. It does happen, but not often. They're usually in the, on the southern half of the timber.
Most of 'em are gonna be here. And then if you beef this up to where they might feel comfortable on a north wind hanging out there a little bit more, maybe we look at, is there a way that I can stay as far to the perimeter as I can this way or ask permission to go this way? On the far south and then you're dropping down however high.
Is that loud when I do that? What did you do that chew my cough? Drop . Oh, you're fine bud. Okay. Opposite wind, waiting for 'em to come down here. Now the opposite, if you're gonna hunt like a cruiser buck, you're expecting 'em to be catching thermals. . So this is your cover in its entirety.
It's not enough to really have a lot of wind. Variables. I'm gonna be on the uphill side with the wind all the way hunting. Does that make sense? Yeah. It's on a north [01:11:00] wind. Yep. And that's where I've seen my most successes. Yep. On that uphill side. Initially when I first started hunting this property, my success was down low.
But that's because that's all the only spot we could go at the time. Honestly, it was right. So thick. When was the last time you thought, you think that was mowed before then?
Several years looking at it. I'd say three or four years. Yeah. So that was your option. , and I'll be honest with you, I got tired of getting flat tires on my tractor, so I didn't have a ski steer with tracks at the time. There's so much storm load tractor loads up there. Yeah. That I was mowing it when I first bought the property.
I mowed the whole like, . They used to, when I bought it, there was cattle up there, so it was pretty open for the most part. , there's some, the head trees and stuff were there, but the undergrowth was not. And then I mowed it there for a while and, but I would constantly get flat tires.
I just got tired of paying the flat tire bills, so I didn't mow it for a couple years. By the time I got skid steer tracks and mowers, it was already [01:12:00] so far gone that it wasn't a easy task to just run up there and mow. . That's the trouble with all the invasives too. If you let 'em go, you like, you have to stay on it multiple times a year for the first couple years and then at least every year, which is the first couple years of the mowing, we've done that.
It's been about twice a year that those have been mowed down. . And it's definitely helped. And like I said, I killed the second buck, biggest buck I've ever killed on the south half of that temper. Which is the highest point of the timber in that farm, if you look at it that way. Only because of the work we did out there.
Otherwise I couldn't even been there. So I guess the the biggest thing is, Micah and I's property that we talked about on this show tonight. Neither of 'em are like these, oh my gosh. This could be jury, Missouri jury. , south Missouri. I, it's not gonna happen. Those aren't these properties.
But you're looking to attract that buck that [01:13:00] feels comfortable in that spot for whatever period of time. Exactly. And not doing anything isn't helping you. So doing something is better than just saying this isn't worth it. Essentially what you're doing is when you open the canopy up, you're increasing your carrying capacity, which makes it attractive to more deer because they can.
It can handle more deer. There's not enough brows, not enough cover there right now to hold more than a couple a deer at a time. Yeah. Would you say it hurt, it's hurt Turkey population as well by not having that opened up or, yes. Oh, absolutely. And for Turkey survival, the Dr. Lashley, have you guys heard?
Yeah. Yep. He was talking about how important those first couple weeks of their life are, and that's where the down cover part is pretty important. But a Turkey likes to also be able to escape cover if it has to [01:14:00] in the air. And so on the ground, they wanna be able to run, but they need that option of flying too.
So a lot of these forest stands that you see is so thick. In this layer that they can't get off the ground, they don't want to go in there. And, get themselves trapped in an area, they need to be able to fly to escape. So that mid story, opening that up is important for adult turkeys, but makes a lot of sense.
In the end, for me and Micah, like this was a great experience with Dustin. We both are very generic land managers. Like we don't know shit. US three are just we do what we think's the best. . And it was really cool to have Dustin come out who, this is his, bread and butter and be able to say, Hey, this is what I think you should do here.
Reaffirming some of the decisions we made, which was nice. We didn't really get hand slapped for anything like Don don't think we'd had made any major mistakes, which was nice. We do stuff we feel like's the right thing, but we don't necessarily know the, it is the real reason why.
Yeah. Behind what we're doing. I think [01:15:00] I mentioned to you guys too I kind of envy. Sometimes, cuz I remember when I was younger starting to hunt, it was just like, oh, I'm just gonna go hunt. I'm not worried about what's growing or what the wind's doing. I'm just going, yeah. And that's a lot different.
Everything is so much now you like, Nope, I need this type of conditions and this type of area and Yeah. Yeah. And being a public hunter, like the, we have so much public land and not enough resources to. Financially To manage it. Yeah. To manage it properly. So I go to these public places and I see all the stuff that I'm telling you guys.
. Oh, wish I could do that. My, I wish I could. Just bothers the shit outta you, doesn't it? Yeah. And I'm just now getting to where I can like, deal with it and I'm doing what I can where I can to make changes. Dustin's hunting with a chainsaw. . That's what I, most of the time I just wish I had my saw or a machete or something.
Sir, we heard you were improving habitat out here. Yeah. , please leave. I didn't get my permit. . Yeah. I'll send you the bill. But anyway, it was nice to, get those plans and say, Hey, [01:16:00] this is what, your first step should be. To me, what I liked the best was, here's what I would do first.
Micah's property, I would, start girdling trees, girdling some trees, taking care of somebody mowing. Yeah. And knocking back those invasives. Nate, I would continue knocking back those invasives even more. And. Getting ready, focusing on the north part of that timber do maybe some hinge cutting of some of the trees that we don't want to help create that cover and then fire.
Yep. I like the one thing you said about, starting to fire down at the creek side and then just letting it eat. Yeah. That entire upper area once you have enough for a fire or a fire, a good fire load to be able to make it burn, with quality burn. What impact do you see fire have on your standing mature trees you want to keep?
Do you see it? As long as you, as long as you don't have too much dead material at the bottom, that's gonna sit there and be hot and smolder right against it [01:17:00] then you're pretty good, especially your oaks and your hickories. They're pretty tough. Yeah. They're fire adapted. So when naturally it happened in the past, that's why they proliferated.
You didn't get as many elms and hackberries and stuff because fire kept up there. Cedars especially same deal. And so when you do go in and you do some, if you do some heavy thinning, I get in some situations where I'm dropping a lot of trees to the ground and there's definitely a balance between too much down material and not enough.
And are you actually taking enough out to get the benefit? And each scenario is a little different. And even as you move from, that end of the room to this other room, it might be different. So I would say to generalize, find, learn topography, have perimeter access.
. Have access on high ground all the way at the highest ridge, point down to the low point, wherever that might be. And then [01:18:00] have access through low points and then just start managing off of those, keep 'em clear and then whatever happens in the middle, eventually it won't be as like, that's where your cover happens and you keep your access going.
Nice. I like it. I liked it a lot. And like I said, I'm looking forward to starting some of these projects and, doing more and hopefully maybe dust will come and, help us with some of that and show us. I'd really like to do a fire with you. Yeah, that's what I'd like to do.
I burned all day yesterday, 40 acres. I almost just wanna be like, Hey, day next time you go burn, call me if I'm around I'll come with you. I'll just go with you. Yeah. I can be your gopher, but I passed a couple on the way here tonight too. Did you? Yep. Nice. Anyway, yeah, if you have any questions, once again, we're gonna plug Dustin on this because this is, this is his thing.
This is what he does. He enjoys doing it. Give him a call and have him do this for you. If you're thinking about trying to make your property better, [01:19:00] cuz like I just said, it's not gonna get better if you don't do anything it's actually gonna get worse. It's gonna continue getting worse.
Those invasives are invasive for a reason. They will take over, they will cause more problems. It's not gonna get better just by not doing anything. So if you don't know what to do, that's where you call a person like him who can give you at least a, what would you call it? A blueprint to blueprint Plan of action.
Yeah. To make it a better property for deer, Turkey, whatever you're going for. And and then like I said, depending on what you want to do, due to do the work too. . Give him a call. Yeah. What's your number again? One last time? 8 1 6 7 5 2 7 3 9 0. Habitat Works. He's on Facebook, Instagram also, if you forget that phone number, just check 'em out on those by searching Habitat Works and you can find 'em there.
Yeah, if you do remember text honestly is pretty good cuz I have it there on my [01:20:00] phone and I won't forget and I hate looking at my emails. I look at my emails, but not a fan of 'em. I'm not good. I'm with you. That red, that red number in the corner call for a good time. Yeah, . All right you guys got anything else for Dustin?
I don't think so, man. How about you buddy? Got anything? No, just, I appreciate it being here and it was cool doing that other show, so Yeah. Thanks for coming out. Sick too. Yeah, I think I'm on the men recovery. Yeah. I don't feel bad. That's good. So that's a good thing. All right, man. Appreciate you.
We're gonna do this. We're gonna hit the stop button on this one. All right. See you. See you boys. Next time.