Harpole's Heartland Lodge
June 2009
Dear Whitetail Hunters,
     Here at Heartland Lodge we have started a new month, which in turn brings us one step closer to deer season here in Pike Co, IL.  With all of the rain we have had, our food plots have increased growth, by leaps and bounds.  Along with that, we have seen some outstanding antler developement while making my rounds in the evenings, which only elevates our impatience for this fall.  I still have a select few archery hunts available for this fall and with the non-resident tag application ending June 30th, the days are winding down for your chance to receive a quaranteed tag.  I truly hope you are able to hunt with us this fall and for those of you that are already made your plans, I look forward to seeing you in camp.
Matt Farnham
Jason Dubree 
Here at Harpole's Heartland Lodge I have discussed the need for food in terms of overall whitetail health in previous emails.
The other avenue in whitetail management that I would like to discuss is water.  I find this topic appropriate due to the onset of summer.
Just as all other animals, deer need water to survive.  Everybody knows this but tend to overlook it.  The whitetail deer goes through two main stress periods in a year, late winter and late summer.  Late winter poses two different stresses.  Lack of food and in Northern regions lack of water (due to freezing).  The stress in late summer revolves mostly around water. 
During the spring and early summer deer get a lot of their daily intake of water through the food that they eat.  The browse and agricultural foods that they are ingesting are carrying a lot of water in the plant matter that the deer eat.  As the plants growth rate slows or stops its water content lessens.  The end result is drying up plants and browning of the leaves.  This process shows up in late summer and early fall.  To compound the decreasing water content in the plants this also happens to be the driest time of the year in most areas.  If the deer herd doesn't have immediate access to water at all times it can cause significant stress.  Traveling to and from a water source in extreme heat causes the most stress.  If a whitetail buck is stressed from the lack of water his body starts making "cutbacks".  The first thing to go during this period is antler growth.  So if a drought hits early in a bucks growing period it can significantly reduce antler size.  Plant production also plays a big part in diminished antler size during a drought.  The less rain you have the less high protein foods you will have.  This is more significant in the South since here in the Midwest our spring and early summer months are fairly wet.  Droughts have and will continue to happen here so we still need to pay close attention to this.
If you have your own personal farm and don't have a water source on or nearby I strongly encourage you to invest in a pond.  It doesn't have to be a 5 acre lake or anything.  Just a nice little water hole that is deep enough to hold water during the arid summer will suffice. Many states Soil Conservation Department will assist in some of the cost for ponds that help control erosion.  I think you will find that this new pond will be just as effective as a good food plot for attracting wildlife. 
Here at Heartland Lodge we focus on water during the hot days of the hunting season and have great success.  If you have any questions or comments for me please let me know and good luck this fall.
Yours in the outdoors,


Food Plot Growth  
Remaining Archery Hunts
Arrive Sept 30, hunt Oct 1-5, and depart Oct 6.  Hunt cost is $2550
      **Only 2 spots remain**
Arrive Oct 10, hunt Oct 11-13, and depart Oct 14.  Hunt cost is $1450
      **Only 4 spots remain** 
Arrive Oct 20, hunt Oct 21-25, and depart Oct 26.  Hunt cost is $2950
      **Only 4 spots remain** 
Arrive Nov 1, hunt Nov 2-6, and depart Nov 7.  Hunt cost is $3950
      **Only 2 spots remain** 

Arrive Nov 13, hunt Nov 14-18, and depart Nov 19.  Hunt cost is $3950  "Peak Rut"
      **Only 6 spots remain** 

Thanks again and do not hesitate to contact me at the office at 217-734-2526 if you have any questions about any of the hunts for this fall. 

Matt Fanham