Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wildlife Management Post

We plant more in the summer than we do in the fall for wildlife.  Many hunters, not wildlife managers, plant only in the fall.  This helps but the more food wildlife have the better condition they will be in.  Bucks need more protein in the spring and summer to develop better racks.  Many of these plantings made in the summer are also for winter food for wildlife.  The corn and grain sorghum left in the field provides energy that cool season grass food plots don't.  This field in the picture is being prepared for planting chufa.  If you have ever planted chufa you know that this becomes a field that wild turkey will use all year round.  It always amazes me how turkeys love chufa.    
We also plant soybeans and sunflowers besides the corn, chufa and grain sorghum.  The sunflowers are planted for birds of all kinds, from turkeys and quail to song birds.  The soybeans are mainly planted for the deer even though other animals will feed on them but most are eaten by the deer before beans are actually produced.  It is the increased amount of protein made available to the deer from the forage the reason we plant them.  Another thing we do that really helps the deer is to fertilize the kudzu we have growing on the property.  This also increases the amount of protein made available to the deer.  Bucks, does, and fawns benefit greatly from this increase in protein.  It is amazing how the deer will nearly kill the kudzu from grazing on it.  If you fertilize a spot and not fertilize the other you will be able to tell exactly where you applied the fertilizer.
With all this  being said, don't go and plant kudzu for wildlife management.  It is a pesky weed, hard to control but if you have it on your property and are managing for deer then make it work for you.  In our county in Alabama it is hard to find 40 acres that has no kudzu on it.

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