Hidden River Golf & Casting Club Deer Management Program
The vast acreage, wooded landscape, and water access has made Hidden River Golf and Casting Club a perfect habitat for wildlife. However, with the harsh winter temperatures of Northern Michigan and lack of nourishment that comes with it, the survival rate of the creatures that inhabit the area can become dismal. At our course, we take great pride in our dedication to keeping our wildlife thriving throughout the year.
In 2007 after witnessing the carnage that winter left behind on the course, Owner, Tom Foster, decided to apply the ideas of Quality Deer Management as his mission to reverse the disastrous effects that the lack of agriculture, limited food sources, and the severely low temperatures had on the local deer population. The Management Program quickly turned into an obsession for Tom. Beginning with only a couple food plots nestled in unused areas out of the way of the golfers play quickly turned into multiple plots scattered throughout the course. As the years passed feeders filled with corn have been added to supplement the food sources along with trail cameras to monitor and keep track of the progress and needs of the wildlife.
The Deer Management Program is a year round project for Tom and Hidden River’s Course Superintendent, Kevin Graf. With Kevin's help the deer and bird feeders stay full during the winter and when the summer droughts take hold, Kevin is more than happy to run sprinklers to the various food plots to keep them in optimal condition.
After ten years the effects of our deer management practices are obvious. The deer population is now thriving and we couldn’t be happier that our efforts have paid off. Its common place to be playing a round of golf or dining on our patio next to the river and witness the progress; from the great variety of birds, smaller animals scampering along the river bank, and even deer wandering over our bridge. It is a truly breathtaking experience – a little piece of paradise nestled in a picturesque landscape where wildlife flourishes.
Hidden River is a truly special place. And it is one of the only golf courses in the United States embracing this type of deer management. We encourage and offer our assistance to any course with interest in following in our footsteps. It is an easy and effective way to give back to the environment that has given so much to us. We thank you for your support and contributions to the Hidden River Deer Management Program.