# 503 Grandpa Ray Land Management Part 3 – John O’Brion


John, welcome back to the show and let’s talk about the Land Management plan and how it affects deer hunting from Grandpa Ray Outdoors.

John: Yeah. If I have somebody where I’m actually stepping on property, hopefully, they’ve had soil samples taken ahead of time. But if they haven’t, that’s one thing that we’ve done at times is I’ve helped people take soil samples as we’re walking around touring the property. Because without a soil sample, I’m just guessing, we’re rolling the dice. It’s hard to formulate a solid plan. So that’s essential.

When I’m on a property, we’ll walk around, and if there’s existing plots, everybody has probably got a name for each plot. And if they don’t, we’ll help create a name. Or I guess in some cases people are like, “I don’t care. Let’s call it plot one, two, three, five, eight, whatever. So again, what we’ll do then is I’ll have a plan that we’ll put on hardcopy, and it’ll have the name of each plot, the acres of each plot. It’ll have what seed mix that we’re gonna recommend, when to plant that seed mix, how much of that seed mix to plant, what fertilizer to use for that seed mix, how much of that fertilizer to use and when. And then again we also have some other little notes on there saying, you know, if it’s a perennial mix, clip every 30 to 45 days. Maybe if a guy has got certain weed issues, I’ll give a recommendation saying, “Hey, you know, use in May 10 ounces of clethodim, mix with 9-4-9 plant foods.

And again, when I do a plan, it’d be for the existing, the current year, but then we also, when we’re walking around on these properties, we’ll also bring up as part of the plan that, “Hey, the following year, we’ll have another plan. What we’re planning this year is setting ourselves up for us doing something the following year on that bit of land.” So, you know, that’s one thing that we do discuss.

And with technology, whether using HuntStand or onXmaps, we have the ability to use the aerial, you know, imagery to create a measurement tool and a shading and a layout where people can look on an email a picture as like, “Okay, this is plot one. It’s 0.5 acres. Here’s how it’s laid out.” And, you know, so that also is beneficial, not just with me short-term, long-term, but also for, you know, the land manager. Because in some of these plots, we might have multiple mixes planted. Just with any plot, we’d probably wanna be considering a scrape line, maybe screening to help get you in your stand or to make these, you know, plots a little less able to be viewed from a distance by a block. You know, trying to also create little doorways, travel corridors, etc., etc. to make your property more of a highway. You know, so it’s part of the plan. That’s part of, you know, the thinking there.

So depending on how many food plots, maybe it’s a page, maybe it’s two, three pages of Land Management hardcopy, where we have all that essential information. So if a guy, let’s just say we’re planting a clover mix, I’ll have a recommendation of what the fertilizer [inaudible 00:04:13]. And then it also might have, “Okay, we wanna winterize that plot. Well, again, in September, you’re gonna come back with 0-0-60 straight potassium add another 100 pounds. So we put a lot of information on the plan that’s easy but…yet easy enough to look at because we could make this rocket science. And to the average person, they just wanna look at it, be able to understand it easily and apply it. It doesn’t need to be a bible. It doesn’t need to be a book. We’re just creating a basic plan that everybody understands.

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Bruce: How long does, you know, your typical plan last for a person? You know, because doesn’t…we talked about in earlier segments, you know, what if the farmer is growing corn one year and then soybeans the next year and throws in oats the other year and then [inaudible 00:05:09] alfalfa the other year? That’s four years of different food sources that provide different nutrition to deer. And guess what? They know what’s on the table. They really do.

John: Yeah. And for me, I mean, when it comes to the rotation, plot rotation, crop rotation, this is essential for long-term sustainability. It could be, you know, an indefinite years but I kind of like people to think at least three-year rotation case in point because we’re talking right now about habitat, right? Habitat could also be a cornfield. Habitat could be a deer and bird mix. Habitat could be, you know, a permanent, you know, screening. Habitat could be a annual screening mix. So again, that also could be a part of the long-term plan. So you could have a strip, maybe year one it’s soybeans, year two it’s corn, year three it’s a soil builder or a warm season annual mix that you can till down, build organic matter, and then come back in again in year four with soybeans and repeat the process.

So, that’s why when we, you know, get started, do you get sand ground? Do you get a loam ground? Do you get clay? You know, those all come into play as far as what we plant, where to plant, when to plant, and then how many year rotation.