Managing for Wildlife

Cover the basics and the wildlife will come.

Globally, 90 percent of terrestrial plants and animals inhabit woodland, making woods the most diverse land-based ecosystem. Woodland animals need four thingsfood, water, cover and spaceall 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 havewhether its 10 acres or 2000 acresthere 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, elk and wild turkeys.

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 Environmental Incentive Program (EQIP). For example, EQIP 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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