How a wildlife animal sanctuary on hunting lands helps raise whitetail deer
I have spent many days trying to figure out a way to approach this topic. I know a lot of hunters will say "has he lost his mind! A animal sanctuary for whitetail deer and wild hogs, what is this idiot thinking?" I will admit the idea of having a part of the hunting land set aside for the wildlife, as a wildlife animal sanctuary, was a new concept to me. Not hunting land that was available for hunting was a tad bit farfetched when we built Wilderness Calls. There were few whitetail deer and no wild hogs on the property nine years ago and the thought of not harvesting a deer at the cabin was crazy. I was fortunate to have a partner that loved animals more then I loved to harvest them. James convinced us to let the whitetail deer and wild hogs that ventured near the camp be protected and leave that area as a wildlife animal sanctuary. It was hard at first to keep the boys (Dale and Samuel) from shooting them, but in time we began to see the results. The twenty acres around the camp was a safe zone for the wildlife. The whitetail deer and wild hogs realized this and began to visit the cabin even when we were in it. We began to see more and more whitetail deer, wild hogs and other wild animals near the camp. I will be the first to admit that seeing a trophy buck chasing a doe while sitting by the camp fire is quite breathtaking. It is hard to convince hunters to leave some of the woods protected for the wildlife. Conservationists have been preaching this for years, normally falling on deaf ears. The best ratio of land to leave as a wildlife animal sanctuary is at least 10 acres per hundred. If you have 300 acres of hunting land, it is best to set aside 30 acres that is not hunted or pressured during hunting season. It will not take the wildlife long to figure this out. They will feel comfortable in these areas and tend to stay near the safe zones. I know we have all seen some areas of these woods, which are always full of wildlife, as we travel by them. Have you ever asked yourself, WHY? It could be because the land owner or hunters in that area, have a portion of land set aside as a safe zone, or animal sanctuary for the wildlife. In some areas where hunting is impossible to get to, it becomes a natural safe zone for the wildlife and trust me, they will find these areas. Take it a step further- if you have an area set aside as a safe zone and the land surrounding your land is hunted hard and pressured, the wildlife will soon congregate onto your property. Now there is a positive to letting the wildlife have a safe zone! Take care of the wildlife and they will take care of you. At Wilderness Calls we have a great mixture of conservation and the sport of hunting. It has been our experience that this combination works great. Our number one camp rule is: NO animal will be harvested if it can be seen from the cabin, NO exceptions! Each year several whitetail deer and wild hogs are harvested, but we still maintain the area around our cabin as a safe zone for the wildlife. This practice, combined with the fact that no animal is harvested at Wilderness Calls unless it is consumed has proven to be one that works. Through conservation and smart hunting our wildlife can survive and prosper. Making a animal sanctuary where the wildlife can be safe is just another way to watch your herd grow and in the end you will be able to harvest larger trophy bucks.