Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Williams Wilderness Lodge 2016 Preparations

     It is hard to believe that it is already the end of June here at Williams Wilderness Lodge. Spring has come and gone so fast that our heads are still spinning here. I would like to take just a bit of time to update our current customers on the preparations for the season. Having been retired from the United States Marine Corps now for two and a half years, I can honestly tell everyone that land management for whitetail deer is difficult work at times, and rivals the USMC in sweat equity as well as tactics and strategy. We have certainly had successes as well as failures going into this third year of business, but the overall goal has always been creating a better hunting environment each year, and the evidence on the trail cameras as well as the signs on the land clearly demonstrate that we are. We expect 2016 to be our best season yet, and these are the efforts we have made to ensure it.
Williams Lodge 2016 Stand Placement
     Above is the tentative layout of our stands this year. Our future customers will see that we have placed quite a few stands for customers to use, although all customers are certainly free to bring their own and setup anywhere on the property. We have (4) ladder stands, (2) hanging stands, a two-man elevated box blind, a single man ground level box blind, and a newly acquired tripod blind. I mention again that this is the "tentative" layout. As I continue to gather intelligence and pattern the deer, one or more of these stands could be moved. I am already considering the possibility of moving the ladder stand in the northeast corner further south. In addition to these stands I have two single man popup blinds that customers are welcome to use and place strategically. Additionally, we have (3) Mr. Heater portable buddy heaters for our customer use in any of the enclosed blinds.

Williams Lodge Trail Extension
     Additionally, we extended one of our trails all the way through to the narrow food plot field (bottom field) in the southeast corner of the property. This should encourage more whitetail movement in a northwest direction after feeding rather than southward. It also allows for more efficient and strategic movement by hunters into those southern stands depending on wind direction.

Williams Lodge 2016 Mineral Sites
          We have two mineral sites on the property currently as notated above. These are setup in late March generally, and are replenished in June. Mineral sites are amazing for getting an accurate count of deer as well as ratio of bucks to does. They help bucks to get the minerals they need to grow those amazing racks as well as give does the necessary nutrition in the Spring to have healthy fawns. Our mineral is special ordered and made here in Missouri at a feed plant. It is not commercial garbage that is 90% salt.
Williams Lodge Quality Deer Management Mineral
     The deer have been tearing these sites up all Spring and will continue to do so until late August or early September.
Williams Lodge 2016 Food Plots
     We have planted forage soybeans in the bottom field again this year (orange star) as well as two small micro-plots of clover along the main ridge top (yellow stars). The soybeans are currently protected by a plotsaver fence which is in it's second year of use and I am quite impressed so far in how well it repels deer. 

     In addition to planted food plots, last year we completed 42 acres of timber stand improvement which was done by a professional forester.
Williams Lodge 2015 Timber Stand Improvement
     This was completed in Zone 1 and Zone 2 above. This has done wonders already in opening up the forest canopy and allowing a more dense understory of natural food plots as well as improved bedding areas for our deer population. It has already created a noticed increase in deer population. 

     So, as you can see a great deal of effort goes into ensuring a quality hunt for our customers. If you are a current customer we are excited to prepare another great season for you. If you are considering booking a hunt with us this year please give me a call. I am happy to help you with any questions you might have.