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Hunters - Laura Swarts

The Hills 'N' Hollers team calls our country cabin "Home" when we are in Kentucky. We share similar interests and goals with a like-minded group of neighbors -- together we seek continuous improvement of habitat and wildlife.

The Hills 'N' Hollers Hunting Compound sits on 110 acres deep in the knob country of central Kentucky. It is surrounded by nearly 2000 acres of our neighbor's land all of whom share our goals for continuous improvement. Our land is rich in mature woodlands that include predominantly White Oak, Red Oak, Hickory, Poplar, and to a lesser extent Maple, Walnut and Beechnut trees as well as a spattering of fruit bearing trees like Persimmon and Apple.

Our Hunting Compound now sports:

  • A modern 2400 sq. ft. Cabin with film set
  • This cabin also serves as focal point for meetings and for our special guests
  • A guest cottage
  • Smaller but modern and comfortable
  • Garage hold four large ATV type vehicles with tools for repair and maintenance
  • Pole shed to store other equipment used on the 110 acres of forests, fields, hunting land, food plots and 4 ponds - tractor, implements, etc.

Every other year we sponsor an onsite symposium for the benefit of HnH goals as well as to further the goals of our adjoining friends and neighbors. We have the support from public and private entities to review our land, timber and game management plans with a field of expert professionals from U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, State Forestry Agents & State Biologists (field and water), State conservation officers and wildlife officers as well as advice from private sector business and consulting groups.

We have followed expert advice and have created food plots, bedding areas, where there were none. We have also created more needed sources of water to include two new ponds on or near added food plots and bedding areas. This need became quite evident during thew last 3 years of drought when all streams on or near our property dried up completely. With 4 ponds fed by springs, we had water aplenty throughout the drought periods.

Where previously our land was 100% high canopy woods, it is now 10% food plots, 5% bedding areas and 85% woodland -- though the content of this will change too as we continue to practice TSI - tree stand improvement. Our goal is to get to 20% food plots over time.

We have changed the composition of buildings and the lay of the land over the past half decade that we have owned this property -- not dramatically but enough to matter.

We have property well off the county roads and thus we have had to build miles ot roads internal to our property. And, now we must maintain this essential road structure. We also need water. The nearest source of city water is 1 1/2 miles off the nearest county road. Therein lies city water pipes and meter hook-ups. This would be over one mile as the crow flies up and down hills through slate fields and solid rock and creek bottoms as well as through 3 neighbors properties. We have tapped into a natural spring for our water supply. This was no easy task.

So, to get going expeditiously we first to built our own water supply with yours truly as the Director of Water Works. Interestingly, we were told by an 82 year native that he used to retrieve drinking water from the spring to quench the thirst of workers at the saw mill on the hill above the spring. That was nearly 70 years ago toward the end of the depression. And, when we tasted the water down at the spring it was not bad at all -- well maybe a hint (or more) of sulphur from the slate and iron.

We created a well at the spring, placed a 240V/30A stainless steel pump in the well; built an insulated, heated (as needed for Winter weather), critter-proof Pump House; ran conduit up opposite hills for 300-500 feet to the Cabin on one hill and the Cottage on the opposing hill. We then ran wire through one set of conduit and water pipe through the other one set going to the Cabin and on the opposite hill to the Cottage.

The Cottage, by the way, was a labor in "I was right ... told you so!" When we acquired this property, there was a deer shack on the hill opposite the Cabin. Previous owners had slapped this together as a place for friends to bag during deer season - no electricity, no running water or plumbing. We have completely re-built this structure to code and now have a wonderful, private place to house guests.

We look forward to sharing the results of our grand experiment with our audience through updates we will bring to this website throughout the season.

If you have specific interests, advice or comments you can share these by contacting us via the paths suggested on our HnH Contact page at the end of this website.

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