John's Journal...

Trees and Bushes Bowhunters Can Plant to Increase Their Success

Trees and Bushes for Bowhunters

Click to enlargeTo make accurate shots, many bowhunters must position themselves within 30 yards of the bucks they’re targeting. Too, hunters need concentrated food sources to hunt on rather than large fields because fruit and nut trees and shrubs close to tree stand sites provide much-more-effective bowhunting areas than large green fields do. Bowhunters of yesteryear knew this secret of getting deer in close and keeping them there until they got off shots with their bows. I learned this secret more than 30-years ago from a 78-year-old man. His weather-worn face beamed with pride as he held up a red fox he’d taken with a bow and arrow he’d handcrafted.Click to enlarge

“Our hunting club has a rule that the only weapons you can use for hunting are the ones you’ve made yourself,” the elderly hunter told me. “When our members get together for a weekend at our hunting club, the only food we eat is what we can catch or kill. Our club is trying to preserve the old way of the sport of hunting.”

As I questioned him further, he began telling me about the state of hunting prior to the Great Depression of the 1930s. “In the old days before the Great Click to enlargeDepression, the woods were full of fruits and nuts. You could pick apples and pears off the trees, pick up pecans and walnuts from the ground and enjoy a feast as you hunted. One of the rules of our hunting club always was and still is that every man who hunts on our lease must plant at least three fruit or nut trees every year for the wildlife on our club’s lands. We’ve always made sure the game on our lease had plenty to eat. These trees also provide productive places where we can bag deer and turkeys with our bows. However, during the Depression, city folks came into the forests to take the fruits and nuts from the trees we’d planted there. They weren’t being mean- they just were hungry. The Click to enlargeforest had food, and they didn’t. But the city folks left gates open, broke down fences and littered the land. Many landowners went into the forests and cut down the nut and fruit trees to protect their properties and to guard against trespassers. Today, our hunting lease has returned to the old ways. We once again require our members to plant the fruit and nut trees like we did years ago. Today, there’s plenty of food for the game on our hunting property and numbers of places where we can hunt the game.”

The wisdom of the old way still works today to provide food for deer, turkey, and other wildlife as well as great bowhunting sites. If you’re hunting on your land or leased land that doesn’t practice this philosophy, then consider the wisdom of planting fruit and nut trees every year-a practice good for wildlife years ago and good for wildlife today.

Check out this information:

Tomorrow: The Advantage of Planting Permanent Food Plots

Check back each day this week for more about "Trees and Bushes Bowhunters Can Plant to Increase Their Success"

Day 1: Trees and Bushes for Bowhunters
Day 2: The Advantage of Planting Permanent Food Plots
Day 3: A look At Nut Trees and Bushes
Day 4: The Truth About Honeysuckle + Creating Sanctuaries
Day 5: The Best 1-Acre Bowhunting Plot and Honey Holes



Entry 402, Day 1