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#2752626 - 02/10/12 10:19 PM habitat?? a
4 Point

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 171
Loc: Knox, TN

Anyone manage thier property (or others) specifically for small game. We hear and read alot about manageing property for deer and countless dollars are spent each year on such. How many people put work into managing for quail and rabbits and such??

Though I dont own any land myself I have recently talked a few people in to attempting to adjust the management of their property to include practices that benefit small game as well.
It typically doesn't take long to walk around and see why "John Doe" isn't seeing the quail or rabbits he used to.

Just wandering if there are any out there and what stories you have!
Outside is the only place where I feel like ME

#2753133 - 02/11/12 05:12 PM Re: habitat?? a [Re: birddoginQ]
16 Point

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16954
Loc: Allardt, TN

I managed my grandmas farm for rabbits only for several years, but then the price of beef got to be tempting for an uncle of mine and it was all undone. Not much work to it just rotational bushhog, hinge a cedar here and there. That was 43 acres of open ground to deal with. Im not a big believer in NWSG's for rabbits. Ive hunted a ton of NWSG's and will take a rosebush and briar thicket most any day.
-QDM=Better Deer, Better Deer Hunting
-Let Him Go, So He Can Grow

#2756251 - 02/14/12 02:49 PM Re: habitat?? a [Re: smstone22]
4 Point

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 171
Loc: Knox, TN

I have not looked into rabbits as much as quail and grouse. But do know I see alot of rabbits in NWSG and even if i am not see the critters I see their droppings everywhere. SO they use it at some point.

I am not looking at making a huge effort into the grasses with the plans i have worked up so far. At least not planting them. The will be encouraged, through management, for nesting habitat but not necissarily large scale restoration. That stuff gets expensive. Most of this is field edge work for now. So we will burn a bit, feather a bit, drive a tractor a bit, and maybe work with the farmer to leave a bit standing or fallow in the corners. The price of row crops has these guys milking every acre they can so that may be hard.

In talking to the guy and his neighbor i found out alot and the story is typical. They used to find alot of birds, and rabits, in the fence rows, and feild edges. Then for a few years the birds seemed to stay in the wood line and sometimes deep in the woods, they mentioned seeing them from the deer stand. Now for the last few years the birds have gotten fewer and fewer. This year one of the gentleman found only one covey all year.

The story unfolds like this. The fields were converted from row crop to alfalfa hay and shortly there after the fences and edges started to thicken (prime bird hunting time). After many years these areas converted to trees and shrubs and lost many of the component need for year round bird populations and the birds moved to the woods. Now walking around the farm there is little or no nesting or brooding habitat on the property or the neighbors. Thus popilations dwindle. The blackberry thickets are so thick and old that years of old cane are inches deep on the ground and rabbits dont even have trails in and out. The owners see habitat they used to find them in while hunting but neglect to see that the other necessary components are missing for year round survival.
Now they are going back to tilled ground for a while and we are going to take a shot at getting birds back. While also using some of these tools to work on deer habitat aswell.

I was just curiouse to to hear about what other people had done for rabbits and quail and sories of success and failure.
Outside is the only place where I feel like ME

#2756522 - 02/14/12 07:46 PM Re: habitat?? a [Re: birddoginQ]
16 Point

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 10574
Loc: Warren Co

Predator control is going to be critical as well.

Hawks finished off a covey of wild quail on our little farm the second year we lived here.
Possums were THICK and I can't believe many nests made it through. We have 2 hen turkeys nest in one fence row every year and never raise a single poult.

We had a bunch of rabbits but the yotes have increased and now I think there is maybe 1 rabbit still on the property.
If you can't trust people with freedom, how can you trust them with power ?

#2770180 - 02/28/12 02:04 PM Re: habitat?? a [Re: fishboy1]
4 Point

Registered: 07/11/11
Posts: 394
Loc: Humphreys County, TN

I am planning a timber harvest in a year or so and want to plant a 50' wide strip of quail habitat along 1/2 mile of ridge top since quality trees don't grow well there anyway. I have been experimenting with shrubs quail might like but not found many that will grow on my dry soil. I will probably plant an annual strip of winter wheat/clover down the middle with rows of short shrubs on each side followed by rows of small trees on each side. It will be a lot of work but if I can attract just a covey or two to my property it will be worth it. I'm tired of taking my brittany's out year after year and not finding a single bird.
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