The Ultimate 4-Acre Deer Plot

Thanks to Matt, a.k.a. Flatlander, for this progress report on the work he’s been doing in his deer woods, very impressive:

Mike: Remember the hinge cutting we did on our little 4-acre timber last winter? Well, it's shaping up. We have opened up the south end to daylight to grow some food adjacent to the bedding cover we created.

I nicknamed it the "Arena" since sitting in the stand above this plot gives you the feel of a place that was built to watch beasts do battle. Come November we expect just that--hopefully bucks will be cruising the south end of this bedding cover to wind a hot doe.

Every detail has been thought out and taken into consideration--the length of plot (50 yards) with bow sighted to 55 yards; wind direction (it will be best hunted for NW to SW wind); there’s even a tree trunk left standing and notched out for a canister of my favorite Code Blue scent. Also, a few hardwoods were left to provide partial shade and a place to mount trail cams.

The food plot has everything deer love--sorghum/milo for cover/bed/food…a mix of soybeans/oats/Austrian winter peas… brassicas/radish/turnips…and a clover patch. They will love this spot, there is water on the west edge and crop fields on East and South. 

I will report back as the Arena progresses and pass along what we learn. I hope for success but learn from failures too. But it should be interesting. Thanks, Flatlander

Learn from Matt’s work because this is a good example of how you build a practical, affordable and top-notch hunting spot. There’s a good variety of food (clover, etc. for early hunting and brassicas, etc. for late season) cover, edge and water. The Arena is well thought out for its proximity to crop fields, as well as the best winds and stand placement for hunting. I expect Matt to do well here and we look forward to more progress reports and pictures--especially the one in November when whacks a good buck in the Arena. comment 


Rodger's Gravatar I would go absolutely insane trying to hunt on a 4 acre plot. First off it would be boring sitting in the same spot all season long and second how many deer can you see in a 4 acre plot when the average range of a buck is a square mile and thirdly the average density of deer per acre would kill you. That's insane. You need at least 500 acres to hunt well.
# Posted By Rodger | 6/15/10 12:26 PM
Scott from MI's Gravatar Roger, your insane for thinking that
# Posted By Scott from MI | 6/15/10 12:38 PM
hanback's Gravatar R: You need to think outside of your Texas hunting box, LOL. Actually that is one reason I like going to Tx once a year,
where you can hunt a big ranch and move around and look.
But back to this post: This Midwest property of Matt's is more than 4-5 acres, it's just that he's managing these specific 4 acres within the property for better habitat and one great stand. Hard-core bowhunters don't get tired/bored of hunting a good stand, they are patient and wait and usually get a shot a big boy, like I hope Matt does this Nov.
# Posted By hanback | 6/15/10 12:45 PM
Flatlander's Gravatar I never said i would hunt only this 4 acre piece.... i will likely not hunt this stand site until Halloween (maybe the first weekend of season) if bucks are in there summer patterns still but after day one not likely until early Nov. every spot has it's time......
i have another 5 acre spot 15 miles down river that is great from Oct. 1- crops being out, and other spots that are better in later November. i live in the biggest county in Illinois (square miles) and i don't know of a single privately owned track of woods that is over 500 acres, or even close.........lots of 5, 10, 20, 40 and the occassional 80 acre tract of hunting land....... we have to not only out hunt the deer but out hunt the other hunters...... if i had 500 acres of land to myself i would be tagged out before Halloween with both buck tags.......reading human intrusion and how the deer pattern people is key where i am at........that's why making a piece as small as 4 acres look attractive is so vital........... but it's still hunting, anything can happen
# Posted By Flatlander | 6/15/10 1:06 PM
Curt's Gravatar I'm with Scott & Mike. I went to Texas once & realy enjoyed the spot & stalk aspect. However, I was raised in a tree stand & sitting all day. I would love to have the opportunity to try what Matt is doing, but I don't have the land to do it. Looks like a lot of thought & planning, not to mention the cost & effort, went into making this happen. I can only hope Matt's pay-off is as big as his pay-out. Great job!
# Posted By Curt | 6/15/10 1:07 PM
Scott from MI's Gravatar Im having trouble posting a large coment so i'll make it short. Did this same thing to our property after seeing Flats first post...the
hinge cut seems to be working great by us as well... lots of beds. Just 80 yards from our food plots. Thanks for the info Flat...good luck this fall
# Posted By Scott from MI | 6/15/10 1:19 PM
CAV's Gravatar This 4 acre plot is part of a 20 acre parcel dedicated to bowhunting. Just to the west of the property is 500 acres of woodlands owned by two different landowners. There are plenty of deer in the area, but we needed to give the deer a good reason to venture off the big parcels and onto the 20 acre killing field. Food variety is key to get the deer to venture off neighboring land...corn and beans surround us to the north, south and east. The soft green leafy stuff is good for the deer and we are banking on them coming through for a nibble!
# Posted By CAV | 6/15/10 1:36 PM
Dean Weimer's Gravatar You definately have the foods covered there Flat. Hope you shoot some good ones there this year.
# Posted By Dean Weimer | 6/15/10 2:36 PM
Buckwheat's Gravatar Great job doing the best you can! Hard work does pay off and even seeing deer feed makes the labor that much sweeter. We all wish we had 500 acres to hunt, but some of the best "honey holes" are 2-4 acre areas like this one. Good luck and enjoy your time in the stand.
# Posted By Buckwheat | 6/15/10 2:57 PM
Mack's Gravatar Well thought out and layed out too. Looks like it will be a central meeting area for some dandy critters. Shoot straigh, Matt!
# Posted By Mack | 6/15/10 3:00 PM
Buddy Mayo's Gravatar What a Deer Diner! Quit a few favorites on their menu along with bedding accomidations. Job Well Done. Good luck and keep us posted.
# Posted By Buddy Mayo | 6/15/10 5:46 PM
Rodger's Gravatar Ah, i understand now. You're NOT hunting 4 acres, you're hunting 520 acres with a 4 acre area in it. That i can see. Most of my blinds watch only 5 or 6 acres though some are considerably larger. If you were only hunting those four acres your chances of even seeing a deer, let alone a buck, imho would be zilch. Gimme lots a land to ramble over. You can have that midwestern mindset of sitting in a ladder stand for 12 hours.
# Posted By Rodger | 6/17/10 3:20 PM
Flatlander's Gravatar the 4 acres is actually on 20 acres, we can't hunt the 500+ tracts .... all my spots combined in our county would add up to about 40-50 actes total.......there is on wandering around....... you would get shot for doing it!!

i would love to have big land to hunt but you do with what you have and if that means finding out when and where big bucks live and travel and set up for them when i can and wait them out i will.......... most won't so patients does give you an upper hand in Illinois....

luck doesn't hurt either HA....
# Posted By Flatlander | 6/17/10 4:03 PM
Rodger's Gravatar I meant the 500 acres are part of the whole landscape. If they are thick woods then they are probably not hunted much. Hence the landscape is 500+ acres. Its just like 4 acres off of a 200 acre cornfield. Yes you're hunting 4 acres but your hunting 4 acres out of a 204 acre landscape and I doubt anyone would be foolish enough to hunt in the middle of that cornfield. Just like I hunt 4 or 5 acres out of the land I look at. Three of us have blinds on about 900 to 1000 acres. Yet we only hunt a small portion of that. The rest of it is not huntable. All of these people especially here who say they hunt very small plots of land are not taking into consideration the over all landscape. They are hunting only a part of the total.
# Posted By Rodger | 6/17/10 7:06 PM