Fallow Discing for High Quality Deer Forage

 Fallow Discing for High Quality Deer Forage

Shallow soil disturbance on open sites to encourage the growth of herbaceous (weed) growth. This method is cost-efficient and particularly effective for the management of bobwhite quail and other ground nesting birds. The technique is applied through the use of a conventional farm disc disturbing the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches. Continue reading “Fallow Discing for High Quality Deer Forage”

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Deer Overpopulation in Urban Areas

Controlling Urban Deer Overpopulation

Controlling Urban Deer Overpopulation

Many expanding suburban communities, and even some cities, face a dangerously expanding deer population. In backyards, they graze on shrubbery and feud over territory. They scramble through an empty Washington D.C. subway stop and into Colorado streets. They’re a costly municipal menace that some call a nice problem to have. “They wouldn’t think that if they were faced with $1 million worth of damage and, you know, 50 or 60 dead deer on the road that need to be disposed of. It’s not a nice problem to have,” says Gerry Astorino, the mayor of Lakeway, Texas. Continue reading “Deer Overpopulation in Urban Areas”

Five Essential Management Tools for Deer

Aldo Leopold wrote in his 1933 textbook titled Game Management, "The central thesis of game management is this: game can be restored by the creative use of the same tools which have heretofore destroyed it: axe, plow, cow, fire, and gun. Management is their purposeful and continuing alignment. " The key to managing natural resources and specifically deer habiat is to use a holistic approach, where these "tools" and others are applied to develop, maintain and manage healthy ecosystems. Although you may be focused on whitetail deer management, remember that single species deserve less attention, while the system in which they thrive requires more. Continue reading “Five Essential Management Tools for Deer”

Photos of a Mature Albino Buck

Here are some photos of an albino white-tailed deer that I came across recently. The really odd thing is not only is being an albino mammal rare, but the fact that this is actually a mature buck is a miracle! Natural predators and hunters alike will hone in on oddly colored deer, even in areas where deer management and controlled harvests take place. This whitetail buck can be identified as an albino deer — and not a piebald deer — by examining both his eyes and nose. Take a good look and you can see exactly what I am talking about.

Albino white-tailed buck deer

The pink eye and the pink nose are textbook signs that this deer is an albino. At first glance, I noticed the brown on his head and near the base of the antlers and thought that maybe this buck was not an albino, but then I realized that the brown color comes from the buck rubbing his antlers (on trees). Bucks will commonly rub their antlers once annual antler growth stops to rid themselves of decaying velvet. In addition, this activity helps strengthen their neck and shoulders prior to the breeding season. Continue reading “Photos of a Mature Albino Buck”

Whitetail Deer Food Plots Without Planting

Food Plots Without Planting

Have you ever noticed that the first plants to return in a plowed, scraped, or otherwise disturbed area are weeds? Although this may not seem like much, these natural food plots could be of big benefit to your deer management program. When exposed to air, light, and water, seeds that were lying dormant in the soil begin to germinate following soil disturbance. These young, succulent plants are high in nutrient value and attract a variety of wildlife species looking for valuable forage, particularly white-tailed deer.

Disturbed sites can also serve as excellent food plot locations to supplement white-tailed deer diets during the stressful late winter or late summer periods. Areas can be lightly disked during late winter for the production of spring annuals, and then be heavily disked in early fall for winter food plots. This process can be repeated over and over and you can even sprinkle in some seeds during the spring disking to enhance  the plot. Remember, you are trying to create supplemental food for deer. You are not trying to grow a lawn. It does not have to look like a perfect stand of manicured plants. Continue reading “Whitetail Deer Food Plots Without Planting”