USA – –Ammoland.com)- The winter can be a great time to take a look back on how your season has gone and make a checklist of things you would like to improve in the coming year. Call it a new year’s resolution for wildlife management purposes.
To ensure you can grow the best food possible for all the critters you are trying to manage, late winter can be a great time to soil test. Getting the areas that you plan to plant in food plots or mast producing trees tested and properly amended with the recommended lime and fertilizer will be the best money you can spend. I encourage land managers to get their lime spread in the late winter for a couple of reasons.
Ag lime can take months to begin to break down and neutralize the acidity of your soil, the finer the mesh that the lime is screened through at the quarry, the sooner it will break down. If you usually use the local co-op to spread your lime or rent equipment from them to do it yourself, late winter is a good time to get it done before the row crop farmers begin their planting season. Getting your plots amended with the proper amount of lime will increase the effectiveness of your fertilizer which will positively impact the growth and palatability of your spring and fall food plots.
This can also be a great time of year to create a tree plot by utilizing hard and soft mast producing trees. Many of us have those hard to reach fields or grown up areas that don’t make great food plots because of their tough access or poorer soil types. These areas can be turned into a tree plot by selecting mast producing trees that will drop highly coveted acorns and fruit for your wildlife. One great tactic I like to use is taking a couple of acres and selecting 2-3 tree varieties that drop their mast at different times, this creates 2-3 month source of food. For example, persimmons and swamp white oaks can be planted for a great early season drop tree, and Shumard oaks can be used for the mid to late season drop. The guys at Mossy Oak Nativ Nurseries in West Point MS have these and many other varieties of beneficial wildlife plantings available.
Most of us have at least a couple weeks or more of deer season left to hunt this year and many of us have filled our freezer and more by this time of year. If you live in the southern portion of the country you are gearing up for the rut and ready for a shot at the bucks you have protected all year. Take the time this year to take a kid or an adult that may not have an opportunity or the resources to get out and enjoy God’s creation. A positive impact can be made on so many people by taking them out and showing them all the different ways we work and enjoy the land. Simple management chores on the farm can be a great way to spend time with kids and teach them things they don’t get from a classroom. Planting trees, working on farm equipment, building duck boxes, are just a few of the hundreds of things we need to make sure we are passing on to not just our kids, but any others who show interest.
Would you like to learn more about improving your hunting and get discounts on the products you need? Learn from the experts by joining the new Mossy Oak GameKeepers Club at www.gamekeepersclub.com. Or call 844-256-4645