Managing for Wildlife
Globally, 90 percent of terrestrial plants and animals inhabit woodland, making woods the most diverse land-based ecosystem. Woodland animals need four things—food, water, cover and space—all of which a well-managed forest can readily provide.
As a forest owner, you can manage your land to serve the needs of a diversity of animals, including game and non-game species. “Whatever size forest you have—whether its 10 acres or 2000 acres—there are inexpensive things you can do on your property to improve the property, improve the timber and improve the wildlife habitat,” said Salem Saloom, a forest owner and recreational hunter from Alabama, whose woodland attracts white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, bobwhite quail, squirrels, bobcats, eagles and gopher tortoises.
If your objective is to use your woodland for recreational hunting, use this section to learn how to attract a deer and wild turkeys.
White-tailed deer: Habitat basics, how to attract, seasonal activities
Wild turkey: Habitat basics, how to attract, seasonal activities
Where to get help:
In addition to the information provided in this section, the following resources are available to private landowners seeking to make habitat improvements.
- Wildlife professionals: A local wildlife professional can provide guidance on attracting specific species. Your state’s wildlife agency can put you in touch with one.
- State and federal programs: Your state’s wildlife agency may also offer voluntary incentive programs to landowners to improve wildlife habitat, or be able to direct you to federal programs such as the USDA’s Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP). For example, WHIP provides technical and cost-sharing assistance to help landowners establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat.
- Not-for-profit organizations: National not-for-profit organizations such as NTWF (National Wild Turkey Federation), QDMA (Quality Deer Management Association), Ducks Unlimited, Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and many others provide services to help private landowners manage their land for wildlife.
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