Habitat Improvements Anyone Can Do!

We’re joining Scott Sanderson out in Pennsylvania as he tours his 8-acre home property. Scott goes over some of the habitat improvements that he’s done and shows us how well they’ve worked.

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Hey guys welcome back to another episode Of bow hunter die I hope you've been Enjoying kind of following along with me With my property updates I've got a few Others coming down the pipe but you'll Have to wait until those are launched Now in the meantime I think one of the Favorite things for me is watching our Team members grow you know it was Probably over 10 years ago now that I Met Scott Sanderson as you know I love Cycling I was on my bike pedaling Away Online looking at my computer screen a Little message popped up from Scott and Here Scott's like hey are you tired with Bow hunter die I'm a bow hunter and I'm Also a cyclist I didn't know that you Biked ride as well and you know what That struck a great relationship and Here we are 10 years later and Scott has Worked his tail off to not only be a Field staff manager for us but Eventually get to the point where he's On our Pro Staff and his successfully Harvested deer for our show but I'll Tell you what I love more than anything Is watching these guys grow you know When Scott first started with us he was Just like all of us out there trying to Find a buck and harvesting it and the Older you get and the more mature you Get you keep wanting to do things to Enhance your properties not just for the Deer but for all Wildlife so follow

Along with Scott as he continues to make Enhancements to his small piece of Property not only for him to be able to Continue to shoot bucks but also for his Family to enjoy seeing more animals and Be able to have a great place to live hi Scott Sanderson coming from central Pennsylvania and I just want to take a Minute to introduce myself Um my full-time job is seventh grade Science teacher in a rural District I Also am a hunter Ed instructor that I Get to teach that during our club time I'm married to my wife Lacey and we have Two girls Ella h8 Nora who's one and a Half so I've been with bowhunting.com in Some capacity over the past decade the Main point of this video is to show you What I've done on my eight acres here And that is eight Acres with a house I've done anything from some select Harvesting a Timber to this pollinator Garden behind me was once two years ago Of his yard that I converted into a Little pollinator native patch bees are Buzzing butterflies are flying around Here you know so what I've realized is It's more than just you know as I get Older here it's more than just the deer Right it's it's about benefiting all Wildlife we've seen the amazing stuff That Todd has done on his property and Through the conversations that we've had You know even though I'm doing things on

Such a micro scale we see similar you Know benefits I heard a saying once that Said if it looks good to people it's Probably not that great of a benefit to Wildlife and you know you can think of That in terms of people's yards that They're now you know looking a little Bit more overgrown because they're Converting it to a pollinator patch this Was beautiful big open Hardwoods behind Me on a couple acres that I have here But I also realized that it wasn't very Much of a benefit to Wildlife so two Summers ago I had this select cut so now Behind me you're starting to see Structure on the ground there's places For turkeys to Nest browse came down to The deer level some of the natives are Starting to come back through as Sunlight is now hitting the whole fourth Floor and I did a very light select cut In here But you know it took me it was I lived Here 15 years before I saw a turkey pole On the property and since I've done this Cut the past two summers I've had turkey Poles here Um I just had a picture come through on My Stealth cam earlier today so I'll Take you back here and I'll show you Some of the structure and some of the Brows that we're now getting all around Me you see stump Sprouts like this Oak Right here and they're all grazed down

They're all moved out there's a maple There there's an oak here There's another Oak there Maple it's all Around And if you think about it this oak tree Was growing up There was not a food source here at all Yes maybe for a little bit out of the Year it would drop some acorns but by Releasing cutting this tree we now have A food store food store at the bottom Increased sunlight is letting these Little Hemlock trees come up from grow and Where the deer can't get to it like some Of these fall Downs that I didn't Caught up and kind of left some Structure down here there's little Oaks And stuff coming up in between them so There's early session of growth coming Back from the deer are definitely Browsing and using it as a food source All this habitat work is without issues As well if you look right behind me That's a patch of Japanese stoked grass And I'm gonna have to come by here and Do an herbicide treatment or at least Keep it mowed so it doesn't go to seed This was a main trail in which they Skidded the logs out and anytime you get Disturbance like that or any time you Get some bare soil stuff like Japanese Still grass will be will pop up I see a Couple different patches of it something

That I'm always going to be battling up Here but knowing the different types of Invasives that are on your property and Knowing how to get rid of them is key to Staying on top of your habitat goals so We made it out to the edge of my food Plot here it's about three-fourths of an Acre and it kind of it's back behind me And it meanders back up through I'll Show you a little bit more here later What you're looking at is a failed food Plot I ended up killing ryot under like Late April and then throwing down a Blend thinking that it would do really Well and then we went a solid month Without a drop of rain so all I saw were Birds in here picking up the seed and Basically there was a little germination But It pretty much got annihilated so it's Not necessarily a bad thing you know We've got I now know that I have some Poults that aren't necessarily living on The property that are showing up quite Frequently and I'm catching them in here There's a little bit of bare dirt you Know the key to the pulse right now is Having them be able to dry off and stay Dry the sun can come out here and hit That there is plenty of cover around so It's kind of an ideal situation for that So I'll end up you know putting in a Blend and reseeding this here heading Into the fall hopefully we get more rain

So the whole idea here is as my house is Back away from us as we worked our way Out through here Ultimately there's big AG I'm surrounded by State Road a major Highway and really nice AG field the Deer don't really bet on me they're more Bedded on the neighbors and some of the Thick stuff they make their way out here To my food plot and Native brows as they Make their way towards the destination Food so I have two water holes on the Property that are these 50 gallon Rubbermaid containers and you know for Right now I've got another one that I Did a liner do we were just getting so Little rain that that one evaporates Gets more sun you know when you're Putting in these ponds think about that You know one of the you know one of the Things that I do is try to look for a Bit of shade it helps the evaporation it Helps keep away the algae so I've just Been kind of keeping these topped off With my 25 gallon moose utility sprayer Converted that just into a water Containment system but one of these Things one of the things you want to do With these is make sure that you're Using the little mosquito dunks Otherwise this just becomes a breeding Ground for mosquitoes and what all other Vector-borne illnesses that they might Have so

Find an area where you can keep these Things topped off without having to Bucket water real far and they're a Really valuable piece especially in Times when it's really dry here's a Section where it's probably 20 yards Deep 15 yards across where I just got a Blend from my local Conservation District and kind of tilt it up a couple Years ago well tilt it up with a rake Broadcast that down and now I have some Nice perennial grasses there is some Form wildflowers that do come up in here But it's a little section that I've seen Fawns bed in before so kind of thick Anything that you can do to promote and Create cover is key Welcome to The Snack Shack so there are Definitely more snacks killed in there Than deer but that's all right so one of The main goals that that I had for for Putting this up Um was basically to introduce my Daughters into just wildlife in general I can bring them out here you know I'm a Two minute walk from my house so I can Expose them to the outdoors with the Ability for them to kind of go back to The house whenever they want they can Get in there they can move around There's a carpeted floor it kind of Gives them you know modern Comforts they Also get up close and personal with Wildlife out here with Snack Shack kind

Of borders the edge of this food plot That kind of wraps around here and then It overlooks about two acres of an area That I call my native restoration And then you've got your three-fourths Acre food plot and then you're gonna Work your way back into the to the Bigger woods but it's at a nice place Where you're situated between Destination food and bedding and it Would be rare that we wouldn't come out Here in an evening and not see deer Moving through I did shoot a buck here Two years ago it was a dry rot early November he came into the water hole Behind me and I was able to shoot them Which is which is pretty close the Tricky part is here Um if you leave the windows up The deer recognize something's a little Bit different When you go to put the windows up to Shoot you kind of have to do that early You can't make any movement the deer Close they'll see a reflection that is Tricky about about hunting any air but It's a nice comfortable spot I wish I Had some place like this to go when I Was a kid But what I want to talk to you a little Bit about next is the native restoration Area behind me so before I did any work In there and it was part of the property It was always just thick right so when I

Started realizing what some of the stuff Was it was in there I realized the Majority of it was invasive tons of bush Honeysuckle which you saw you know Todd Having to deal with that on his property There were Privet There was lots of Mile a minute Vine Um and different types of invasive Vines So it's a battle that I'll never win but I really set the invasives back and then Once I did that we were able to come in Here and add some different Native Things some native warm season grasses Back here Um you'd just be surprised at what's in The the seed bed you know once you Remove those invasives there's a whole Bank of native Seas seeds ready to go When they can get a little bit of Sunlight so my neighbor came down here With the skid loader and he was able to Mechanically remove those who kind of Pile those up push them to right near The edge let some openings so some of The deer could still travel and move and It basically gave me a blank pallet to Start then putting in some some of the Natives you know here's something that I Did what you're looking at here is the Atlantis or tree of heaven and I've got A real probably have 40 some tree Heavens out here in the western part of The area so what I did was late last

Summer I'd come in here and did an herbicide Treatment I did a hack and squirt on These trees and as I come in here now I'm seeing a lot of growth still on the Trees But it really set them back I think if I Hit them again the end of this summer I Think I'm you know gonna take them out And I can see all over this little motor Floor hose stem that comes out here It's tiny little uh with the invasive Lantern spotted Lantern plaque you see All these nymphs in here so this is a Major food source for them and quite Frankly a breeding ground for them so Take those out it's a worthless tree Shouldn't be here and hopefully more Native things grow something that I Didn't do last year that I did new for This year was just cut some paths in Some of this I mean some of this native Growth that you're seeing behind me that Came back up is getting quite tall in Fact over the winter I'm probably gonna Have to come back in here and set some Of these blackberries and some of these Green Briars back we see a lot of Goldenrod you come out here and look at This area that we redid in like September and it's going to be full Color of all the blooms lots of snake Root in here a lot of different Native Things among invasive stuff that I'm

Still trying to fight back I see still Grass all around me I've got mile a Minute in here but these paths are are Going to be a way that we can just Direct the deer they come right off the Bedding and the different different pads That they can choose and they can walk Around in here Plus makes it easier for me to get back Here and maintenance just a little bit More in the summer you know ultimately This whole area here is way more Beneficial than it when it was just you Know big bush honeysuckle that was Around here nothing was growing Underneath it so limited food and yes There was a little bit of cover but the But the food value alone is huge and we We have better cover right here is a Species that I that I put in this is a Chickasaw Plum I got another one right Behind it there's a whole bunch of Blackberries that are coming in there I Also put in I got some clusters of American plum in here I've put in Persimmon I put in some hazelnut shrubs I've got some apple trees in here I've Got chestnut trees I've got Beauty Berry Planted amongst some warm season grasses Little blue stem I got some switch grass In here so the variety that I'm adding I'm hoping that over time that keeps Spreading and I can you know try to stay On top of the invasives probably one of

The species that I've noticed the most That seems to be constantly browsed Is this this Greenbrier here any Greenbrier especially here you know at The intersection of the couple Trails Coming together I mean it's all browsed back So again it's increasing food it's Increasing cover well thanks for coming Along and touring my couple acres here You know when I started off my ultimate Goal was just to make it a little bit Better than it was before you know I'm No expert by any means and this has been One big learning curve for me one of the Tools that I utilize probably more than Anything is a plant identifier you know If you know I have iron naturalist is What I use and whether it's looking at Something in the pollinator Garden or What new native I think is coming up We're just trying to identify something To figure out if it's if it's worth Keeping or if it's an evasive that needs To go but I highly recommend getting Something like that just keep learning I Feel like there's so much out there the More you learn the more you realize you Don't know my advice is to start small You know start with uh start with a Small plot or start with an area where You're going to do a little bit of Timber stand Improvement or open up a Little kind of wildlife opening or or

Something and and see what comes back so Hopefully this year you see me sitting Behind a nice PA Buck good luck to you This fall Beau hunter die

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