Articles

WHAT IS YOUR PROPERTY WORTH?

As a landowner, you may ask yourself the question our network of rural land and property specialists is asking daily: “How much is my land worth?” With the rural land market experiencing unprecedented activity due to high demand from buyers wanting more space and a desire to escape, land prices have increased over the past several years. With several economic forces placing some downward pressure on that demand, such as rising interest rates, it’s likely there’s a significant amount of people

WETLANDS MANAGEMENT

A delicate subject, BioLogic’s Austin Delano says the trickiest thing about wetlands management is knowing when to let nature take its course. “One of the things we can do to actually hurt wetlands is to try and do too much,” said Delano. “Wetlands can really work for recreation and hunting with very little manipulation. Wetlands can be very easily disturbed, and when trying to manage them effectively, traffic should be controlled. Less is often more when it comes to managing wetlands. “Another

THE VALUE OF WETLANDS

Honestly, you can’t put a monetary value on the importance of wetlands. Of course as sportsmen, we count on wetlands to provide habitat for the game we pursue and the fish we catch. But these aquatic sanctuaries have other purposes as well. According to Austin Delano, Habitat and Wildlife Consultant for Mossy Oak BioLogic, wetlands are paramount for both pollution and flood control. “They are nature’s giant filter,” Delano noted. “They look nasty and they smell nasty, but one-acre of wetlands

BUILDING WETLAND HABITAT FOR DUCKS | THE PROCESS OF 404 PERMITS

A few years ago a friend called and asked me about his idea of attracting more ducks to his farm. “All we need to do is build a levee across that little slough near Pine Creek,” he said. Drawing more mallards to his land sounded like a good idea to me, but I told him there may be a hoop or two to jump through. What he didn’t know was that you cannot dam or block a creek that is marked on a USGS map as a “blue line stream.” That’s because any work occurring in the floodplain of a stream

STEEL SHOT FOR WATERFOWL: HIGH VELOCITY VS. PATTERN DENSITY

When duck and goose hunters are purchasing steel shot there are a few numbers on the box that we look at, speed and payload. For most, it is velocity or density. Waterfowl hunters are constantly bombarded by ads such as “Speed Kills” or our pattern density “Drops Ducks Like Rain.” So which numbers mean more to you and why? Do you prefer more density or higher velocity? I am not a physics guy for the most part, but have done a fair amount of research to be informed rather than just opinionated

HOW TO POSITION FOR THE SHOT ON WATERFOWL

The seminars I once did were called, “The Dynamics of Duck Hunting.” But now, I have changed what I speak on, and the seminar is called, “Positioning for a Shot.” The people who come to my seminars think I’m talking about positioning the boat or positioning the decoys to get shots at incoming ducks. My seminar is really about positioning the ducks, so the hunters can get their shots. I start off by telling people you may enjoy calling ducks and sky busting. But, I’m accustomed to having someone

HUNTING WARY WATERFOWL

After the first few hours or days of duck season, waterfowl get wary. The birds are still out there, somewhere. You can wile away the hours waiting for them to come to you, or you can get out and go after them. Here’s a few ideas on where to start your quest for quackers. LIKELY LOCATIONS Farm Ponds - Most farms have ponds and while many might seem more suited place to spending a summer afternoon with a worm and a bobber, they also attract waterfowl when they have been blown out of their usual

TIPS FOR SETTING UP DUCK DECOYS

Decoys are visual aids used to draw attention, give birds and animals a reason to close the distance, and to add realism to a hunting ambush setup. Decoy placement, posture and movement (or lack of motion) can all be important. When hunting waterfowl, positioning of your decoys in relation to the hunters’ locations and considering the wind speed and direction is vital for consistent success. As migrating birds move south, they look to flock with other birds. We hope that our fake offering of

MISSING A DEER SHOULDN’T KEEP YOU OUT OF THE WOODS

The early morning October sunlight sifted through the treetops and glinted off the white antlers of a small fork horn buck that was slowly feeding through the oak grove in front of me. I stood frozen in my stand, bow in hand, waiting for my shot opportunity as the deer gradually came closer. At 15 yards, I had my shot. I drew my bow and threaded the arrow through the hole in the hemlock branches, intending for the broadhead to enter just above the right shoulder blade, and out the opposite side

PREDICTING WHITETAIL MOVEMENT: NEW TECH OR OLD SCHOOL?

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew the exact time deer activity would take place on your hunting property, not only seasonally, but also daily? That would be great for some, but might take the fun out of it for others. With the way technology has advanced in recent years, we now have smart phone apps that say they can help hunters predict deer movement. NEW TECH I’m not opposed to newer technology instead of having to sit on a stake-out somewhere with a spotting scope glued to your eye. Trail