The Oaks - A Kansas Haven
Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas
THE CONCEPT -
With the inception of more prolific wildlife and habitat management over the last few decades, the process of purchasing, managing, and effectively hunting land has greatly evolved in recent times. Over that period, many educated and thoughtful managers or researchers have developed new strategies and concepts in how to best grow and control your wildlife populations. The goal is to create a self-sustaining system that produces results of healthy and relaxed wildlife consistently over long periods of time. Giving back to the land and the wildlife on a consistent basis has proven to be the key ingredient for many places, but especially here at “The Oaks.”
BUILDING A HAVEN -
In most cases, the building and maintaining of a wildlife herd seems difficult and many times fall short because, as we all know, Mother Nature has its ways of correcting itself and being unpredictable, so there are always hurdles. When the plan all comes together, it can be beautiful. In the case of “The Oaks,” it has all come together. The culmination of research, steady implementation, strict evaluations, and simply a lot of time has yielded strong results. It all started with the acquisition of a property with a much larger than average timber habitat mass, and that was not by accident. As viewed from an aerial perspective, this property is a sizeable portion of what is likely the largest block of timber in the county and certainly in the immediate area. Taking that habitat and then structuring the management plan around what the land provides, all the while learning through implementation and adjustments, has been no small undertaking for the current owners. It has been years worth of studying the deer and their habits, where they are traveling and why, how they are using the land, and then laying the management plan over the top of that landscape. There are 17 regenerative no-till food plots here. A number of those plots are large and are utilized as sanctuary feeder plots, some are used for observation, and some are used for hunting. The largest and most centrally located food plots are never hunted; they are simply left for the deer and other wildlife to forage undisturbed. In addition, there are also 14 mini plots or constructed openings that are utilized for staging activity sites which have been thoughtfully placed and lay on the outskirts of the feeder plots or along travel corridors. To accommodate access to these areas while trying to leave the wildlife comfortably undisturbed, the approximate 14 miles of trails include main trails but also entry and exit sneak routes for the best possible undisturbed access to hunt locations. And the list of detailed hunting and management improvements goes on and on, from hand planted fruit and nut orchards in most all food plots, to major predator control, to population study analysis. Upon scrolling through the specific bullet points contained within this profile below, you will see more details of the additional practices that have been religiously maintained here.
EXTENSIVE INVENTORY -
There are many good hunting properties, but there are very few strong producers. The research and development are obviously the key additions on top of the right mix of Mother Nature. To track the benefits over time takes a tenacious commitment to learn your deer and follow them as they grow. Through the extensive trail camera history at “The Oaks,” it is easy to see that many of the deer that current ownership has grown on the property were harvested here. But considering the location just off of the major river bottoms of the Verdigris River and the exceptional habitat along Sandy Creek, this property also is prolific in the travel and migrating deer realm. Extensive numbers of mature bucks per year venture onto and through this property as crop harvest and fall pressure prove to be a major benefit in helping moved deer find sanctuary here. Through intricate trail camera surveying, it has been realized that the goals of growing, attracting, and sustaining a large number of mature bucks have been realized year over year. The number of bucks here, both mature and younger age brackets, is the number one key feature. It is common to have multiple deer, multiple bucks, and a wide array of wildlife on every sit. The long-term goal and strategy in the management plan here were to establish maximum wildlife growth and replacement. That is what is here now, with quality age structure, high deer density, herd health, and an everyday sanctuary locale. Not by just one simple step but lots of steps over time has this occurred, steps like fruit and nut orchards at every turn, by ample food, by entrance and exit trails, by strong predator control, by inventory of animals, and by maintaining sanctuary level operations. This property is simply a smooth running wildlife machine.
COMFORT FOR EVERYONE -
Not only has “The Oaks” been built for complete comfort for the wildlife, it has also been built for the steward’s comfort right in along with them, literally cohabiting. It is a daily event to have the turkeys and large numbers of deer or other wildlife standing right outside the lodge windows in full viewing pleasure. The deer have become accustomed to the relaxed atmosphere that is found throughout the property, and although the lodge and structures within the homestead area are large, the animals seem to pay them no attention. The construction of this timber frame style lodge was no small undertaking, and it took several months of driveway and pad preparation to even accommodate and access the building site, which just happens to be one of the highest points in the entire county. There is approximately ¾ of a mile of 12’ wide rocked driveway and rural water lines that were buried over 1¾ mile to supply the lodge with rural water and numerous other dedicated features. The design of the lodge was developed with the idea of not having to go in and out of the homestead area very often since it is a reasonable distance from the nearest town and the drive to local establishments is venturesome. The seclusion of the lodge headquarters was built to have privacy and everything you might need right there. This custom built one of a kind lodge boasts enough fine details and upscale amenities that it is difficult to list them here. Through the pictures and feature highlights below, you can just start to get a feel for the work that has gone into this property and lodge setting. From the complex water system to the convenient fuel storage, from the expansive kitchen to the theatre room popcorn maker, from the roomy bedrooms to the sky-high ceilings, this lodge was made for staying comfortable, and that comfort is side by side with the wildlife.
HISTORICAL VALUE -
This area of Kansas has long been the focus of stories related to the past and the famous people that made those stories. Jesse James is just one, but the stories of Jesse James and the relation to this particular area are likely related to the unique habitats and expansive timbered hills that have always drawn people to this place. This property is littered with early 1900s historical carvings and rock outcroppings that tell parts of those stories. Native American artifacts that have been found here would certainly predate that activity. There is a cave on the property that bears proof that people stayed there and used it for anything from a home to a hideout. It is easy to see why throughout the past, people have found solace in this property and the surrounding area. It simply stands out when you view it on a map, and when you stand over rocks where people of the past have told their stories, it stands out in person as well.
FAMILY FUN -
Managing deer and wildlife is serious business, but that should always take a back seat to a good family adventure. Even though the policies and procedures of this highly productive property have been followed to the highest degree, the goal has still always been enjoyment. The time is sometimes right to walk down to the pond that was specifically constructed for fishing and let the kids be kids. Even though the entire fall hunting season is dedicated to using only electric UTVs for minimal disturbance, sometimes it's okay to take a ride down to the creek and look for arrowheads. And even as the evening deer families pour into the yard, they will certainly welcome you to use your porch to enjoy the sunset. This property is not only the middle of the wagon wheel for the wildlife, it is also a world-class memory maker. It is not only a primetime setup for the serious deer manager, it is also perfect for a recreational family estate. It will accommodate corporate outings or team building at its best. With approximately 14 miles of trails, it is easy to get lost in the beauty and the personality of this property, that is for certain.
BEHIND THE GATES -
All perimeters fenced, rolling elevation changes, springs, creeks, strictly managed wildlife, premier accommodations, privacy, seclusion, virtually no road frontage, trail system, and the list just goes on and on…all behind the locked gates. For those who have searched for the one property that can fulfill the recreational dreams, “The Oaks” has been being prepared for almost a decade to meet those expectations. It is a personal and private wildlife estate. Co-broking agents are welcome, but listing agent must be present at all showings. Buyer credentials and financials will be required.
, Whitetail Properties Real Estate, LLC