Riley Johnson of Lebanon, Tennessee, has been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff for three years, with a focus on gamekeeping. He's also a Mossy Oak Properties realtor.
Improving land for wildlife can be an expensive proposition, especially if you plant fruit and nut trees, create green fields, create sanctuaries and bedding areas, and keep hunting pressure to a minimum. I have to know what the land buyer wants. If the buyer is purchasing the property to hunt on, and he sees the work that’s already been put in on the property, and from trail-camera pictures, he can see the size of deer, turkey and/or ducks on the property, you can greatly increase the selling or the lease price you can ask for that land.
If your property fronts a road, then plant quick-growing trees or a product like Mossy Oak BioLogic Blind Spot, a fast-growing blend of seeds that will come up quickly, grows to about 8-10 feet tall and provides a barrier that prevents motorists from seeing the animals on your land. If your animals have a barrier around their food source, it helps the animals feel safer.
But being a GameKeeper is more than improving habitat on hunting properties. I have two acres that I live on, but right behind my property is 76 acres that has great bedding sites and big woods. No hunting is allowed. I've put out food for the deer and planted fruit and nut trees on the property, and I could take the deer that show up in my backyard every day.
If you have a small property of about 5-15 acres that backs up to a large tract of undeveloped land that’s not hunted very much, you can put in food plots of Mossy Oak BioLogic and plant trees from Mossy Oak’s Nativ Nurseries to create a small sanctuary area that you don’t disturb. The deer will have a place to bed and know they won’t have any human pressure. Then you can draw deer and turkeys off the larger property adjacent to your land, because the deer will learn pretty quickly that they can come to your property and avoid hunting pressure and have food to eat.