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WEEKEND HUNTER/WILDLIFE/LAND MANAGER = WEEKEND WARRIOR

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WEEKEND HUNTER/WILDLIFE/LAND MANAGER = WEEKEND WARRIOR

Old 02-15-2004, 06:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Default WEEKEND HUNTER/WILDLIFE/LAND MANAGER = WEEKEND WARRIOR

WEEKEND HUNTER/WILDLIFE/LAND MANAGER = WEEKEND WARRIOR


DRIVING FACTORS

Each piece of land has it’s own special driving factors of how much manipulation is necessary in management of wildlife. Driving factors can range from location of the land, condition of the land, the current wildlife population, to human preferences which the most influential driving factor out of them all.

Since in the current modern day environments, there is no true natural state any more for the land or wildlife. Manipulation will be a must, but all of the driving factors mentioned, all will determine how much.

HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS

The first question each landowner has to ask him or herself. What is going to be the main animal they are going to manage the land for? This is where the human relationship and one of the first and most influential driving factors starts.

This human relationship even has different driving factors inside this most influential driving factor. What the person enjoys watching, hunting, or even has decided to try to make the almighty dollar on some type of wildlife and wildlife management, which entails land management and manipulation of the current situation.

The human relationship and it’s manipulation of the land and wildlife is like dropping a rock into water the ripples or what we call affects and the land and it’s wildlife constantly move outward and onward. Never returning back to the source.

HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS - VIEWING WILDLIFE

This part of the human relationship with land and the animals takes the least amount of manipulation to the land, and requires the maximum manipulation of the wildlife itself, which could cause the most negative impact on the wildlife if not monitored.

With the main purpose of viewing wildlife being the driving factor in the person’s mind. A central location, such as a salt lick, feeding station, or water source will be all that is required. This type of manipulation can make the lowest of population of animals seem like a huge population. By bringing all the animals to on central location for viewing. Other than free access to the central location no other manipulation of the land is necessary.

This can be seen with every bird feeder in the world. Which give bird watchers, something to enjoy and even bring a little of the natural heritage of enjoying nature back in to their lives. That may have been buried in the modern day times of computers and work environments. This central location of a feeding station can be enjoyed from the big city to the small farm.

The more rural the location, the more wildlife that will be viewed from a feeding station, salt lick, and watering hole, but with a cost. This type central location is the most covenant for the person, but is the most un-natural state in which all wildlife can exist. This type central location can increase population to an un-natural state by providing food when no food may be available. Can make wildlife dependent if not other food source is as easy to consume. Can condense existing population in smaller areas to obtain this food source.

This type of human manipulation must be monitored to keep a balance, even if a natural state can never be obtained, it still needs to be monitored to keep negative effects from occurring.

HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS – HUNTING

Every highway, road, city, building, school, subdivision and house in this modern day has had an affect on the wildlife. The wildlife today has either been eliminated because of social un-acceptance like large predators or has been condense to smaller ranges.
Hunting may be the closest thing to a natural state and the manipulation of the land and its wildlife.

With humans taking place of the natural large predators that have been eliminated keep the current wildlife population in check.

Hunting organization, license, and fees put money back into improving habitat for wildlife which has manipulated some of the current wildlife population like White-tailed Deer and Wild Turkey to populations over and beyond what biologist believe ever existed.

The effects that have to be monitored in hunting are age structures, sex ratio’s and harvest totals of different wildlife species to make sure that they are in balance with the current habitat.

HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS – ECONOMICS

When land and wildlife managers use the current resources as a source of income. This is when it becomes the most natural or un-natural state. Both the land and the wildlife can be manipulated to an age structure, sex ratio or population that is the most economically profitable. This may or may not be the ideal situation for the wildlife or the land. With money being the driving factor, the wildlife population can be made to surpass the habitat. The age structure can be skewed to the majority of mature adults. Age structure can be adjusted that is the most beneficial to the owners.

With a monitored system that is in tune with the current habitat and the biologist best guess at a natural state the wildlife and it’s land can be brought to the closest natural state of age structure, sex ratio, and population. With money still being the driving factor, and with ethics as an secondary driving factor coming into play for a true wild state of existence. The human relationship can in this case, be the best or worse and is a narrow road to follow.

ENVIRONMENT, ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS
Once a road has been determined by the person about his land and the wildlife that he or she chooses to manipulate on the land that they will have to manipulate for the desire results. For example if the choice is, the manipulation of the land and wildlife for hunting.

Under the current environment of a busy lifestyle and social attitudes of instant gratification that this has come out of this lifestyle. Being able to get back to a heritage lost has come down to a few weekends here and there for eighty percent of the hunting population. Weekend Warrior for the lack of a better term.

Since this human behavior of hunting on weekends is driving by modern lifestyle factors and management attitude that benefits wildlife has instead of an option a necessity for enjoyment of the hunting heritage. So enters the manipulation of habitat to bring the highest population of animals in front of the hunter in the shortest amount of time.

MANAGEMENT TACTICS

Manipulation of habitat to bring the highest population of animals in front of the hunter in the shortest amount of time, take a certain type of management tactics that also has to be accomplished on weekends.

The NO. 1 question the hunter/wildlife/land manager must ask him or herself is. Why does the wildlife need and want to be on their land? This question needs to answered and ask multiple times. Until multiple food sources, mineral requirements, water sources and cover are all in the answers. The objective will always be just out of your reach, because every time you change something to the habitat, the wildlife will adjust and then you will have to adjust. Along with education of what the habitat will require.

MANAGEMENT TACTICS - EDUCATION OF THE LAYMAN

In today’s modern times most don't have a lot of free time due to family and work.
Taking books to work and reading over a lunch hour is the first part of educating one’s self to what and the habitat will require. Most will be amazed how much can be read and learned over time. These are some of the better resource for food plots that will be required to bring in the most wildlife like deer for the weekends when in today’s environment the hunter will be hunting.

GUIDE TO ABUNDANT WILDLIFE, by Randall Rogers
QUALITY WHITETAILS by Karl Miller and Larry Marchinton
WHITE-TAILED DEER ECOLOGY and MANAGEMENT by Lowell Halls
FOOD FOR GAME by Dan Moultrie and Tony Kinton
HOW TO ATTRACT WHITETAILS by Larrry Weishuhn

Also Wildlife Organization like National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, Quality Whitetails and the tons of other organization that are out there. All have tons of free brochures on improving habitat.

Also in today’s world there are ton’s of video’s on starting food plots, and they will provide base to start with.

Along with the Internet, which is a modern day biologist on-line. You can find unlimited amount of information from, states game and fish agency including all the other great Internet hunting and hunting organization sites.

MANAGEMENT TACTICS - LOCATION OF FOOD PLOTS

Which leads us to the first step as a hunter/wildlife/land manager all wrapped up into a weekend warrior. Food plots are by no means an over night fix but after a just one year, most will probably start noticing a difference.

This will improve weekend hunter chances when they get to hunt by concentrating deer and turkey around a central location and improve the habitat by improving the quality and quantity of the wildlife.

Late Winter or Early Spring is a great time of the year. No leaves on the trees, no ticks or chiggers to worry about and you can see a long ways through the woods. Of course depending on what part of the country the landowner is in they will have to adjust to the month that is best for them.

One thing to look for are trails if you haven't seen the deer travel through your area you should be able to find trails a little easier this time of year. Due to the fact that leaves have been off of the trees for good amount of time, which makes them, lay down more on the forest floor, so the paths are little easier to find.

Taking color-marking tape, which is used when tracking deer during the hunting seasons. Find that area in the woods that is not to steep, and you believe to be next to game trails. Don't make the trail part of your food plot make it next to it find two parallel trails try to make it between them. Also rake the leaves away to see if you have some soil to work with or rock not to.

Before marking off the food plot. Now is time to decide how to remove the trees. The best way is with a bulldozer, it removes the stumps, and is the fastest but cost the most, shop around find out how much they charge per hour and their minimum amount.
If this works for you can have a little bigger food plot.

The next way is with chain saws and limb saws. This is labor intensive and may take a few of addition individuals to help. Small plots and may take a few weekends to be ready to plant, one weekend to cut and remove trees, one weekend to rake leaves to have to soil exposed to plant.

Either way now it is time to mark off the trees, mark off the big one's to keep. Then step two the next big tree to keep, the area that is going to be cleared, try to keep the small trees in that area. Making a circle, semi-circle, figure eight, L-shape and Boomerang shapes just always keep the orange markers in site which will allow them to end where it started.

Stranger the shape, better the deer like it. Also by keeping the bigger trees, that produce acorns; will produce better due to less competition for water and light.

When cutting trees down or bulldozing. Make like a fence around the clearing, leaving opening in place you would like to hunt or fences that guide them to narrows on food plots for shooting lanes. These areas the first year will be like funnels into the food plots. The piles will also providing cover for the deer, turkey, rabbits and any other wildlife that needs cover. Why manage for one when you can manage for all in a good wildlife plan.

MANAGEMENT TACTICS - FOOD PLOT

Now its time to plant, we plant around the end of February. Things like red clover, which can take the heat and cost less. Ladino clover which the deer and turkey prefer but cost more and does not like dry areas.

Planting different seeds like Whitetail Clover, No – Plow, Red Clover, Ladino Clover, White Dutch Clover, Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Milo, Sunflowers, Turnips, Winter Peas, Biologic, Alfalfa, Lespedeza, Mr. Whitetail Products and Tecomate seed. Each weekend hunter/wildlife/land manager – weekend warrior will have to decide what works best for the area.

Helpful hints ask some farmers if they have any seed left over, might just get some cheap or free. Even if the seed is a last years or older, who cares most are not trying to grow it for harvest, they are trying to draw in the wildlife to your area. Also, you can get free seed from your Conservation Agents. Most of the time it is first come first served. Along with Wildlife Organization have some great seed prices.

Everyone recommends testing the soil. But, sometimes only having the weekend to plant, and don't have time to send off for test. Buying your own testers at local lawn and garden stores.

Most will not able to put as much lime or fertilizer as need but at least they know if you need to add some. Lawn and Garden stores sell Pellitized lime that works great. If you find an old metal bed frame that you can drag after seeding, that will give just enough to cover for the seed to take hold. Don’t worry about over planting between the birds and the turkey they will start thinning it out. Then the deer will start eating as soon as it comes out of the ground.

Small food plot under an acre, plant heavy the deer will and turkey will concentrate on a small area food source.

Other things that can be planted like, Dwarf Apple trees in area without can provide additional food sources. Sooner they are planted then the sooner the wildlife will have another food source in a couple of years. Don't forget to put chicken wire around them or the rabbits and deer will eat the trees. Mulch will help the trees from drying out during the summer.

WEEKEND WARRIOR EQUIPMENT

What I use to do by hand that took several weekends to accomplish can be done in just a weekend, with today ATV’s and ATV Equipment. Seeder that goes around your neck and crank is can be replaced by the ATV seeder can now make planting even faster. One of the most impressive pieces of equipment for ATV’s is the Heavy Duty 64” inch Tandem Disc with Electric Actuator which is a must. With one pass the ground is now something you can work with.

ATV and equipment has gone beyond the weekend warrior dreams. Just to list a few, Tandem Disc, 60” Rear Blade, 60 inch Cultivator, Trailer Sprayer, Spreader, Utility Trailer, and Brush Cut Mowers. Most local area store’s do not carry these items. So I will give you two places to get your start looking for what you might need. WEEKEND WARRIOR www.weekend-warrior.com or call 1-866-539-8944 and CYCLE COUNTRY www.cyclecountry.com or call 1-800-841-2222 for both I suggest you get a catalog

MANAGEMENT TACTICS - THE OASIS

Also if you don't have any pine trees in the area which deer prefer to rub because of holding their scent better. You can get them from the forestry division of the conservation department for little to nothing.

Just like apple trees if every year you say I need to plant these and don’t that is one more growing season you have missed.

Adding a water source in your area will be the best thing you could ever do after establishing food plots.

Remember a good watershed is needed to keep it filled and use sakcrete concrete to make a little spillway. Then planting clover around it will be an added benefit.

This watering holes become a drive through for most of the deer and turkey in the area. This is even with Rivers a ½ mile away and a large pond ½ mile away in the other direction. All this does is putting this in is now the deer and turkey don’t have to travel that ½ mile to get a drink. Instead they come to a little oasis. Just think about it this way, if gas is the same price would you fill up next door or around the block if you had that choice.

This will give the deer and turkey a reason to be in that area, something they can't live without, food and water.

MANAGEMENT TACTICS - FINAL THOUGHT

Food plots are a trial and error project and it depends on the area of the country. By getting a surveillance game camera, will tell if things are improving and can hunt the 5 days most don’t get to. But if weekend hunter/wildlife/land manager – weekend warrior don't try then they won’t succeed.

With success will come the only weekend most have to hunt and most will get to watch just one deer or turkey eat or drink the hard work within bow range will be the most gratifying feel they will have as an weekend hunter/wildlife/land manager – weekend warrior

ETHICS IN MODERN DAY MANAGEMENT

Since there is no turning back time and there is no true natural state of wildlife or land because of human factors. Everything we do has to be driving by what we see in the mirror. That is the draw to hunting and management of wildlife. It is not a sport with fans cheering or booing, it is a heritage that is only celebrate by what you don’t do or do when we as hunters/wildlife/land managers and human care takers of the land do when stand alone in the woods.

Ethics in management can not be forced, or in-forced with laws, it can only be taught by example by one’s own actions. When one landowner shows improvement most will follow. That is way it so important to start.

The human relationship and it’s manipulation of the land and wildlife and the ethics involved in doing so, is like dropping a rock into water the ripples or what we call affects and the land and it’s wildlife constantly move outward and onward. Never returning back to the source.

Hope to see you in the woods or on the water. Horntagger.
horntagger is offline  
Old 02-16-2004, 07:45 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Default RE: WEEKEND HUNTER/WILDLIFE/LAND MANAGER = WEEKEND WARRIOR

Wowza! Quite a thread. I enjoyed and thank you for your sharing of thought on modern era land mgmt.
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