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Recent entries

Kevin Hahn

Food Plotting

2013 In Review: My Photo Diary

Sat, December 28, 2013

I have already started to think and plan about 2014 activities with food plots, timber stand improvement, and ways to enhance habitat for the whitetail deer and other wildlife.

I like many who visit the HO website, am concerned about the status of the Illinois deer herd.  Much has already been posted on this subject, so I am not going to write about that.  I instead am posting a link to a slide show which is photo diary of the various activities my family and I have done at our farm and a few other farms we hunt.  Most of these activities and pictures may be familiar to you for they were the subject of many of my blog posts throughout the year.  I plan on doing many of these same activities and more in 2014 for I feel our deer herd needs all the help that they can get right now.  As in 2013, I will be posting on my blog all of my activities in “near real time” as I do them.  I look forward to interacting with all of you via the HO blogs in 2014.

Take Care
Kevin Hahn

To view the slide show, mouse of the slide screen show below to open the control bar at the bottom of the screen.  Click on the start buttom to view the slide show from the begining.

2013 Highlights - slideshow

Slide Show Link


Fall Fruit Tree Plantings

Mon, September 09, 2013

A Stark Bro’s catalog came in today’s mail with an offer of free shipping on all fall orders of $85 or more.  This caught my interest as I have been making plans for some fall plantings of apples to add to my wildlife food plot orchards.  Early spring and late fall are great times to plant fruit trees and there is plenty time to place an order for fall plantings. Fruit tree suppliers will ship your trees for the appropriate planting time for your location based on the zip code you provide.  My apple tree order that I placed with Stark’s today will arrive around November 4th. 

My number one suggestion for planting a wildlife fruit tree orchard is to plant the best disease resistant varieties available.  This will make your orchard a much lower maintenance orchard.  Along with disease resistant variety selections, I also recommend the following:

• Avoid planting dwarf trees and thus plant only semi dwarf or standard size apple trees
• Protect your fruit tree plantings against rodent and deer damage with wire cages
• Chose a selection of apple varieties that will ripen over an extended period to ensure available fruit throughout the hunting season.

Some very good apple selections in Stark Bro’s fall catalogue http://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/apple-trees  that meet the above criteria are:

• Whitney and Chestnut crabapples
• Jonafree
• Enterprize
• Goldrush
• Crimsoncrisp

For more detailed information about growing fruit trees for wildlife food plots, variety selections, and fruit tree suppliers, visit my January 17, 2013 blog post: “Orchards Catering to a Deer’s Sweet Tooth” http://www.heartlandoutdoors.com/food_plotting/story/orchards_catering_to_a_deers_sweet_tooth1/



A Foggy Start for Opening Day

Sun, September 01, 2013

Opening day of dove season is one of my family’s favorite events.  Dove hunting is how I was introduced to hunting as a young boy growing up in SE Illinois, and dove hunting is how I introduced my two kids Brandon and Emily to hunting.  My son Brandon, Koda—our young lab, and I hunted a 5 acre sunflower field at Metamora, IL along with 19 other hunters.  My daughter Emily hunted at a sunflower field on the Somer’s farm just south of Bloomington. 

A heavy fog hung over the sunflower fields at both locations resulting in somewhat of a slow start, but the action soon picked up at both locations with both fields having good consistent dove numbers.  All hunters at the Metamora field were able to harvest their limits and the action at the Somer’s farm was just as good.  Note: During the year, I have posted multiple blog articles about the activities associated with growing   sunflowers at these locations.  If you are interested in growing sunflowers for dove food plots, check out this blog article I posted earlier in the year. http://www.heartlandoutdoors.com/food_plotting/story/sunflowers_for_dove_food_plots/


Opening Day Action at Metamora - Click on the video link below.


Photos From the Somer’s farm Dove Hunt.

My daughter Emily with our veteran lab Cooper

Bret Brummer enjoying his first dove hunt over sunflowers

The Somer’s family

Bill Somer’s, a veterinarian by trade, giving dove cleaning instructions.






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