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Author Topic: Improving nesting habitat on property  (Read 4669 times)

Offline Jrkimbrough

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Improving nesting habitat on property
« on: December 13, 2018, 04:12:07 PM »
I'm looking to improve the nesting habitat on the small tract of family land that I hunt and manage. 

I see the same timeline every year on this property.  Early to mid Feb. the birds start moving in and start seeing large numbers of birds throughout the early hunting season.  Yet once mid April hits the bird numbers really go down and you see them less frequently when the hens start nesting.  With seeing this I assume the hens are going to nest on neighbors properties instead of ours, therefore taking the toms with them.  I also very rarely see any young poults on camera at all.

We have also started to heavily trap nest predators in the past two years which I think has definitely helped a lot.  We see very few coyotes or bobcats on this property.

The property consists of 40 acres, 25% mature pines, 25% mature hardwoods, 50% open fields with a mixture of hay ground and foodplot.  The property also has a half acre pond for a water source.

I'm thinking about softening the field edges by cutting down the small trees and saplings creating brushy areas, also thinking about going farther into the woods and doing the same.

Any suggestions?

Offline randy6471

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Re: Improving nesting habitat on property
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 08:29:39 PM »
  Softening the edges will help, but in my area the hens seem to want to “drift” farther into the timber...away from the field edge and other birds to nest. So going deeper into the hardwoods might be your best bet, but either way I would try some hinge cutting if possible...it just makes for better cover.

  Also I’m not sure what you plant in your foodplots, but in some of my plots I like to throw down a strip of blends that include winter rye along the edges. In the spring the rye comes back and provides some good cover along the timber when hens are nesting. Then around late June I mow it off as I begin to prep for fall plots.

Offline MickT

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Re: Improving nesting habitat on property
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 08:37:01 PM »
I’m not going to tell you how to use your land but there isn’t anything much harder on turkey nests than a hay cutter.

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Offline Jrkimbrough

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Re: Improving nesting habitat on property
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2019, 02:00:12 PM »
Thanks for responding guys!

Randy, I have done some hinge cutting on the property in past years deeper in the timber.  I might try to go back in and do a little more pretty soon.

Mick, some of the property is hay ground but the gentleman that cuts our hay only cuts probably twice a year and the first cut is probably around July.

I have recently tried to do a small prescribed burn to no avail, it was just too wet but will try again when the winds are right and the ground hopefully isn't as wet.

Offline TauntoHawk

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Re: Improving nesting habitat on property
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2019, 10:18:01 PM »
Hinge cutting timber and soft edges will do a lot for both deer and turkey... plant a field in switch grass or turn one of those hay fields into buckwheat would also be a big benefit.

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