Wildlifeseeds.com- An Informational Website From
Wildlife Management Tips
Wildlife areas in many parts of the U.S. have become
smaller with the encroachment of civilization and many of the natural wild food
crops are disappearing along with many water sources.
nutritional supplements provided by food plots now supplies prime food resources to
wildlife in many areas.
While some animals range
hundreds of miles in migratory routes; some only travel a limited area in their lifetimes.
Yearly instead of just seasonal foraging needs to be kept in mind when planting the food
plots. The new hunter manages wildlife just as the farmer manages domesticated animals
with an increased awareness that today's young provide tomorrows hunt. And just like the
farmer planting for his own animals he also provides for the "wildlife" that eat
his crops; the hunter is providing forage and seeds for other wildlife also. Songbirds,
mice and a host of other animals in the environment utilize these crops throughout the
year in one form or the other.
Rotational crops should be
employed not only to attract but also serve as cover and breeding grounds for wildlife.
Crops that mature at different rates can be planted in one planting. Cow peas
and clover can be planted together and the peas will grow, produce and die while the
clover is still being foraged. Many of the tubers and millets can be planted for wet areas
and will germinate only after flooding when the season is in for ducks. Wildflowers
adapted for your area are not only beautiful but provide seed for many of the smaller
wildlife. Corn can be one of the longest usage crops for a host of animals while green and
afterward when either left standing, pushed or mown down for fall and winter
forage. Early and late millets can be planted along with sunflowers that mature at
different time depending on the variety chosen.
Successful food plot management is
designed to incorporate the maximum use of annual and perennial food sources. Food plots
should provide yearly (not just seasonal) food, shelter, reproductive areas, nursery
conditions, the range according to the species, adaptable water sources and the usage of
native plants that each species are accustomed. Animal plots are not much different in the
planting and care as human food sources are. They generally must be cultivated in some
way, seeded whether manually or by machine, fertilized, weeded, watered if needed, and
tended in one form or the other to get the maximum benefit expected. The basic difference
is that pesticides and herbicides are used only in extreme cases.
One of the best sources of information is your local
county extension agent. These agents are trained in the types
of soil and native plants that are in your area. Valuable information
concerning plants that should not be planted in your area can be obtained here.
Food Plot Elements To Consider
You may be planning on attracting one species but
you can also attract unwanted ones to the area so be prepared. A good example is the wild
hog populations that are so destructive to these prepared food sources. If
you have a feral hog population on your property you should know that they love
Chufas (so do Deer). Turkey also thrive on chufas and you may want to plant them but
not use them as the primary forage source in your food plot. In other words
it up use some Chufa and other food plot plants attractive to turkeys. You
may also want to consider
food plot protection to keep deer, wild hogs and other unwanted
animals domestic or wild out of your food plots until they are well established.
This can be also done with fencing or by planting multiple food plots in various
locations on your property.
Basic knowledge of
wildlife habitat is essential to preparation and maintenance of food plots. Food plots are
planted with grains, millets, tubers, legumes, grasses, trees, shrubs, vines, oil seed
plants such as sunflowers, weeds, mushrooms, berry plants, reeds, water plants and all of
nature in one form or the other.
Serious game management might include adding ponds or waterways
plant life suited for the site. Swampy marshes may not be popular with most people but
including or enhancing an existing one will bring in the animals. Fertilization of fields
and plants will only add to the productivity of the land and the nutritive value of
the forage material offered. Clearing some over growths to provide better animal egress,
putting in fire lanes, planting small bushes which overtime will become hedges, planting
nut or fruit bearing trees and much much more. The reintroduction of natural plants
species is becoming slightly easier with the wild crafters gathering and growing some of
these vegetation. The natural plants are adapted for the locale and have built in
resistance to disease and insect damage while still attracting the insects that wildlife
naturally fed on many years ago.
Steps For Successful Wildlife Management
Decide What you Want - You should carefully plant you food
plots around the species of wildlife you wish to attract. Study
habitat, food and water requirements along with the range the wildlife
Size of Food plot - Your food plot can be as small as a few feet or
pasture size. Many plot plantings are suggested at 1000 square feet.
A plot this size can be managed easily by planting annuals either yearly or
seasonally. Remember that wildlife species have habitat ranges from a
couple of miles to hundreds of acres. This is why it is a good idea to
have multiple food plots.
Population, Species & Range of Habitat - These are factors that determine
the size of your food plots and the type of seeds you choose. Many
species are attracted to the same types of foods and you will attract a
variety of animals including aquatic. Tubers, millet, rice and other
aquatic plants used in waterfowl plots will also attract nearby wildlife
using the water sources.
Keep Wildlife There longer - By adding perennial plantings to your food
plots such as permanent grasses, shrubbery, wildflowers, berries, clovers
and so forth you will attract wildlife species longer than short term food
plots and provide shelter for some species. Also do not discount or
destroy all weeds as they provide seed and attract insects for wildlife such
as quail, turkey, grouse, and other species.
Mix It Up - Seed mixtures used in food plots should give a
range of plant material that bear and mature at different times. Seed
types planted individually should produce at varying times to give wildlife
a versatile diet. Early spring crops are needed by mothers feeding the
young while the summer and fall crops prepare wildlife species for winter.
Perennial fall and winter food plots should be planted to help wildlife
through the often harsh winter months.
*For more information go to Planting Food