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HUNTING LAND IMPROVEMENTS
~~~~~ the whole story ~~~~~
... This Hunting Land was originally leased by me, and has been hunted for the last 48 years straight ... now its being optimized for the future ... updated 9/14/22
FIRST THING ADDED WAS ...... THE REDNECK TOWER HUNTING BLIND .....
I always wanted a Tower Blind for hunting. It didn't take long to find the BEST HUNTING BLIND on the planet. - The REDNECK BIG COUNTRY 6' x 7' 360 Blind
The Blind was installed at the East edge of my 40 acres - it is in-line with an old abandon runway - This is called the "Tower Blind"
Installation of the Tower Blind was fast and flawless thanks to Scott, the owner of "Extreme Custom Food Plots, LLC." Scott is the agent for REDNECK Blinds in our area.
Check out his web page and the Deer Hunting Products he offers - https://extremecustomfoodplots.com/products
Blinds and Tower Stands are pre-assembled in Scott's shop and brought to the site for installation. It took Jason under 2 hours to complete the job.
The following pictures tell the story.
Although my wife was deathly afraid of heights and ladders, the Redneck porch addition eased her concerns and now she has been hunting with me every day.
This is looking North from the Tower Blind along the "Big Slash Row". (Later, the stumps would be pulled and the ground would be mulched for planting a Fall food crop)
This is looking West from the Tower Blind along the abandon "Runway" ... what a View !
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? .. A SECOND REDNECK BLIND WAS ADDED .. THE GROUND BLIND
This is the same Redneck Blind as the Tower Blind except its on the ground .. a "BIG COUNTRY" 6' x 7' 360 Blind .. This is called the "Ground Blind"
This Blind is mounted on a Heavy-Duty steel sled for easy mobility. The sled has built-in tow loops for moving the Blind to different locations if desired.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? .. A SECOND GROUND BLIND WAS ADDED .. PIERCE'S BLIND
This is a 5' x 6' Realtreetm Blind from Country Builders, Wis. Its not as fancy a Redneck 360 Blind, but we only need to shoot in one direction. This is called "Pierce's Blind"
Installation of Pierce's Blind went well. A special tow dolly unloaded the Blind from the flat-bed semi-trailer, and slowly walked the Blind all the way down the 250 yd lane.
The following pictures tell the story.
Pierce's Blind faces South from the North end of a 250 yd long Shooting Lane that extends to the runway. This Lane is the "Honey-Hole-Lane" - 6 nice Bucks, 6 years in a row.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... HOW ABOUT AN EXTREME FOOD PLOT ...
With a company name like "Extreme Custom Food Plots, LLC." you can expect that they specialize in developing Food Plots for Deer hunting.
The Big Slash Row was selected for clearing and planting. Scott brought in his BIG equipment for the job of pulling stumps and clearing the trees.
Operated by Jason, the Big Machine expert, it took little effort to pull out the massive stumps of the 125 year old white pine trees that were harvested years earlier
After all the stumps were removed ... the Shredder / Mulching machine went to work and did its job of grinding all the debris into chips.
The Big Slash Row was now ready for planting crops in coming August. A special blend of seeds to be planted, that would grow a crop to bring-in the deer.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... AUGUST IS HERE AND PLANTING THE BIG SLASH ROW BEGINS ...
The Extreme Custom Food Plots crew arrives with 2 huge flatbeds of equipment. Jason and his assistant Ben didn't take long to unload and prepare for planting.
The Big Tiller was the first piece of equipment to go to work. It made several passes to grind-up debris and loosen the soil.
The Tiller moved slowly up-and-down the 350 yd long row. The Big Slash Row connects to a 250 acre Commercial Soybean field. The new food plot will coax the deer to us.
When Jason finished the Tilling, Ben moved in with the Spreader. First he spread Lime to sweeten the soil, and then he spread fertilizer to feed the new crop.
Next, came the "Seed Machine". The Seeder has 3 compartments holding a special blend of seeds. It planted a "Deer Salad" of 10 types of seeds, to bring-in the deer.
And now ... we wait for nature to take its course. During the next 3 months, the crop will come in - and hopefully, so will the deer. We will update in about 3 weeks.
And now ... only 10 days after planting .... we start to see some growth .... we'll update again later.
And now ... only 15 days from planting .... we start to see more growth .... we'll update again later.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? .... HOW ABOUT A HUNTING SHACK ....
I didn't want to build a hunting shack from scratch in the middle of Winter, so I searched the internet for a used hunting shack. And what do I find in Wisconsin in Winter?
What else but a 6' x 12' Ice-Fishing-Shanty ... with sliding windows on 4 sides ... a rubber roof ... on a trailer ready to be brought to and put in place on the Hunting Land.
In the Spring, it got a Forest Green paint job. It has lots of room to sleep four, and the sliding windows on all 4 sides also makes it a great ground Blind for Deer Hunting.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... HOW ABOUT EVERY HUNTER'S DREAM ... A PORTA-POTTY
... but, not an ordinary Porta-Potty .. A "HUGE" one .. one with plenty of room for removing heavy hunting clothes in a hurry .. because of the night-before chilly and beer.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... HOW ABOUT A "DEER POND" ... DEER NEED FOOD AND "WATER"
BUT FIRST TO GET THE WATER ... WE NEEDED A WELL
Where to get the water ? .. Well, we needed a Well .. I contacted Bill Vetter of "Allied Well Drilling" for the project. Here is his info: https://alliedwsp.com/about-allied/
Bill and his son are real treasures and experts at their trade. I'm very fortunate to have found them. I highly recommend them to others that may need their service.
In less than 3 days of Drilling .. we had a 6 inch Well .. 84 feet deep .. that is capable of producing 60 gallons of water per minute - more than enough to sustain a Deer Pond.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... WE GOT THE WATER SOURCE ... NEXT COMES "THE POND"
So where do you go to buy a pond ? ... we found a Company on the internet that specializes in building Ponds, and they work in close conjunction will Bill, the Well guy.
Faulks Brothers construction are experts in building ponds, with Chris heading-up the project. I highly recommend them. Here is their info: https://faulksbrothers.com/
First the area was cleared for the future Pond by removing all the brush and stumps. The 3 pictures below show the "before" .. the "during" .. and .. the "after".
During the digging, precision Lasers were used to insure a level construction. Lloyd, the operator, expertly used Faulk's Huge Equipment to make the task look easy.
Lloyd carefully and expertly worked with all the huge machines. This one had little trouble reaching all the way across the future Pond .. a full 65 foot span.
In less than a day, a 64 ft x 64 ft x 5-1/4 ft deep hole was dug. It was now ready to be lined with 2 ft of clay. The finished Pond would be 60 ft x 60 ft x 3-1/4 ft deep.
One by one, Faulks Big Gorgeous dump trucks kept coming with clay to line the Pond. It took 18 truck-loads, totaling 306 cubic yards, to make a waterproof 2 ft clay liner.
Lloyd leveled and graded the landscape surrounding the Pond, and then compacted the clay liner with a heavy roller. He rolled the clay for hours to insure a seamless liner.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... WE'VE GOT THE POND ... AND WE'VE GOT THE WELL ...
BUT HOW TO GET THE WATER "UP" AND "OUT" OF THE GROUND, AND INTO THE POND?
We needed to fill the Pond, but mostly needed to maintain the water level to offset day-to-day evaporation. But how? The Hunting land is remote, without any power.
So, without electricity to run a pump, what were the options? We explored using a windmill, but discovered that windmills were no longer made for pumping wells.
We were told a generator could be used, but we didn't want to clutter the peaceful wilderness ... with day-after-day-after-day of loud engine noise.
Solar power was suggested ... and the Company RPS was discovered on the internet. They were the answer! Here is their site: https://www.rpssolarpumps.com/ponds/
I can't begin to tell how impressed I was with the RPS "turn-key" Solar Pump Package. I purchased their smallest system, the RPS-200. It was rated at 4+ gallons per minute.
The kit was absolutely complete with everything needed - a submersible pump, 2 solar panels, wiring, hoses, tools, electrical tape, Teflon tape, a safety rope ...
... stainless fittings, and the best detailed instructions I've ever seen ... in addition, there were dozens of internet videos detailing the assembly.
Most of the kit was assembled at home in about 3 hours, and it only took 4 hours in the field to finish and start pumping water out of the well. It was Amazing!
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... WE'RE GOING TO START FILLING THE POND ...
The Solar Pump started to fill the Pond. We used plywood to protect the clay liner from being eroded by the flowing water. Later, a tarp was added as the water rose.
Unfortunately, it was a very cloudy day with very little sunlight to run the pump. After 4 hours we only had a tiny puddle of water in the bottom of the would-be Pond.
We were advised that we needed to fill the Pond quickly, or else the moist clay would start to dry-out and it could "crack" if left without water for any length of time.
Filling with the solar pump was too slow. Bill from Allied Well Drilling came to the rescue. We pulled our Solar pump and he installed a commercial pump and generator.
Bill's commercial pump with a 1" pipe was now pumping 27 gallons per minute, continuous .. so long as the generator kept providing the power. Pond filling continued.
...and continued ... and continued ... night and day ... we kept filling the generator's gas tank every 6 hours ... and continued ... and continued ... night and day ...
After 44-1/4 hours of continuous pumping with Bill's Commercial pump, the Pond was finally filled with 71,685 gallons of water. Only then was the Solar pump re-installed.
With the solar pump re-installed, it kept the Pond full to the brim. The pump had no trouble keeping-up with the 500 to 800 gallons per day evaporation on sunny days.
And the bubbler spout made a trickling sound that would attract the area wildlife to the pond. It also added a little aeration to the Pond.
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... ALL THAT BARE DIRT AROUND THE POND NEEDED SOME SEEDING
Chris from Faulks offered to help seed the area around the Pond. That weekend he and his wife came with all the necessary equipment for the seeding task.
Chris dragged a special steel grate behind his 4-wheeler. The steel grate had claws that dug-in and created thousands of grooves in the 1 acre dirt area around the Pond.
Next Chris attached an electric spreader to the 4-wheeler. He spread lime to sweeten the soil, followed by fertilizer. Then he seeded radishes, winter wheat, and soybeans.
He then walked the entire acre using a special seed blower to spread 2 different types of clover seeds. Those seeds were too fine to be used with the electric spreader.
And finally Chris flipped over the steel grate and reattached it to the 4-wheeler. Now link knuckles spread the dirt back over the grooves that were filled with the seeds.
So what happened later that day? ... the Mother of all severe thunderstorms with high winds hit the area ... and flooded everything, the Pond, and the newly planted seeds.
Now its a waiting game to see how many seeds survived and how many floated away. Many of the seeds just floated to the top, so now we had a 1 acre "bird feeder".
and .... 1 week later, if you look close ... you can just start to see that some of the seeds have sprouted. Apparently not all floated away .... or were eaten by the birds.
And ... 3 weeks later, many of the seeds are growing nicely. So nice in fact, that the deer are already starting to browse on the sprouts.
And ... 3 weeks more, .. we now have a a large feeding plot for the deer to graze on. ... and all is still growing.
GOOD NEWS ... WE'RE DONE ... ALL THE DEER AND TURKEYS LOVE THEIR NEW POND
SO WHAT'S NEXT ? ... WE ADDED MOSQUITO KILLERS ...
We didn't want the pond to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes .. so we added some mosquito killers .. 100 Goldfish .. That's 1 Goldfish for each 725 gallons of water.
Its a mystery? I have no clue how these little guys got here - I've seen 13 of them. The nearest water is 3/4 miles away. I'm pretty sure they can't jump from that far away.
And, here's a bigger mystery ... Is this from a Bear? ... Trail cams have been set-up around the pond to find out ...
MORE TO COME - to be continued ...
AS A SIDE NOTE
This is the last surviving 125 year old White Pine Tree of the nearly 2,000 that were once on the property.
All the others were harvested several years ago. This one was left because of the nails that attached my Dad's tree stand. Saw Mills hate nails.
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