Forestry & Wildlife
When deer and turkey seasons end, it is an ideal time to look at wildlife and forestry management techniques that can be completed in the summer months. Land used for hunting is often ignored from April until August, or until hunters begin planting cool season food plots. The summer is an ideal time to enhance a property to benefit wildlife throughout the year.
Food and Cover
Warm season food plots are a great way to provide food and cover for wildlife. You should conduct a soil test and refer to planting guides to determine the best crops. The Alabama Extension publication Plantings For Wildlife is a good resource for additional information.
Also, encouraging the growth of native grasses and forbs by strip disking and burning will not only provide valuable food sources but also cover that is essential for nesting, roosting, escape, brood rearing, and fawning.
Another useful and fun opportunity to do during in late summer is to conduct camera surveys. These surveys allow hunters to gather useful trend data on sex ratio and buck age structure. They also allow them to observe reproduction and survival on the property. For more information on camera surveys, please refer to Alabama Extension publication Managing White-tailed Deer: Camera Surveys.
If done properly, predator control and trapping during the summer can be an effective way to increase fawn and turkey poult survivability. Coyotes and raccoons do not have a closed season during the summer months. This makes the summer an ideal time to get back into the woods to reduce their numbers. Be sure to check the Alabama Hunting and Trapping regulations annually to keep up on game regulations
The summer is a great time to enhance the property and complete general management tasks including:
- controlling invasive plant species
- maintaining or building new roads
- maintaining or establishing drains, water bars, and culverts.
Identifying and managing invasive plant species on your property is also a great way to encourage plant diversity, promote beneficial native vegetation, and increase the value of your timber. Identifying the type of invasive plant species is important in determining the ideal management plan.
Roads throughout the property can serve many benefits such as improving access, adding fire lanes, linear food plots, and increasing edge habitat. If you are looking to sell or lease the property in the future, roads allow potential customers to quickly and easily travel the property to evaluate timber, view wildlife, and inspect habitat types and other improvements on the property.
It is not imperative that all of these strategies be implemented during the summer months. If you are only able to select a few of these management strategies to implement, others can be conducted in the future. The important part is that you are beginning to look at the wildlife management on your property as a year round activity, instead of just during the hunting seasons.