Eric and I made a trek to our northern MN hunting property a couple weeks back. With all of the pre-season rush and summer wrapping up we haven't had a chance to discuss it. We went with the intent of repairing three of the permanent stands on the property and clearing spots for our two portables we will be hanging, along with cutting grass and trimming out our trails a little more. If we had time we had planned on starting to clear shooting lanes. The weekend didn't go exactly as planned but we made due.
We got at it early Sunday morning at 6am loading up the trailer with the lawn mower, gas cans, ladder, generator, weed whip, and the wood/tools needed to repair or stands. As we have talked about many times in this blog, we are doing everything as cheap as we can. That means using my home riding lawn mower to cut trails, a small generator my brother owns for power and wood that we salvaged out of the construction dumpster at my Dad's new house. All together we spent $20 on wood and screws that we would need.
When we arrived at the property we found out that it had rained a significant amount recently. The grass was wet and there was a lot of mud on the trails. We decided to cut what we could back to where we were going to be working on Eric's stand and use the mower to haul materials for us. That plan was dead when the lawn mower battery decided it was going to take the day off. No back up pull start option left us sitting and staring at a useless mode of transportation and a pile of 2x4's that needed hauling. We fired up the old brain cells and decided to walk out to Eric's stand measure the pieces we needed to cut, cut them at the truck and than haul them in by hand. Our plan was sailing along smoothly at first, we lugged the ladder and our tape measure out to the stand and measured the pieces we would need. When we got back to our camp area we fired up the generator and plugged in the skill saw to do some cutting. Of course the generator didn't like the load the skill saw was pulling and died every time we started a cut. After some creative milking of the generator throttle we got it so we could zip through a 2x4 and than rev the gen. engine to build up some juice and zip through the next one. It wasn't ideal but again, we got the job done.
After 7 hours of trekking back and forth from stands to the truck, we finished Eric's stand and my own. We cut some brush and put out a new trail cam. We did not get to Matt's stand and did not do any work on our portable locations. It was a long, hard day of walking under less than ideal conditions. Sometimes when you are working on a budget you have to make compromises and work a little harder. Overall we did get a lot done and are planning one last trip to finish our stands and hopefully cut grass.
Updates on some things:
Food Plots - As we talked about in past posts, we do not have access to machinery of any kind so we tried a throw and grow type product with minimal ground prep work. We also did not spray for weeds or fertilize at all. We could have afforded to do those things, but wanted to see how the seed would grow if we skipped those steps. The results are mixed, in my mind. We have some really nice grass growing that has some very small clover mixed into it. It is better than a pile of weeds, but not the lush clover patch we had hoped for. We are already making plans to take our plots to the next level next year. Here is a close up of the food plot and the hole the deer have dug where we put Acorn Rage and the Mineral Lick product.
Trail Cams - We had only one cam out and working to collect pics from. Originally we put out two. One was the Wildgame Innovations that Eric bought and the other was an old relic we found buried in a box at my Mom's house. The relic died and did not give us any pictures at all. Eric's cam ran out of battery after only 4 days of pics. He should have probably changed the batteries the last time he collected the memory card, but hindsight is always 20/20. We did hang a second Wildgame Innovation IR2 over the second food plot we planted. These cameras were on sale at Gander Mountain for $49.95 and for that price, if they last us a season each, we feel the return on investment is good.
Enough talking, lets see some deer!