Wetlands provide important habitat for ducks, geese and other water birds. They help to slow flooding and cleans our waters, yet our beloved wetlands and waterfowl habitat are slipping away. The latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report indicates that America’s wetlands declined slightly from 2004 to 2009, reiterating the need for continued conservation and wetland habitat management. In short, the trend is staying the same; previous reports have documented a continuous, but diminishing, decline in wetland and waterfowl habitat.
The report, which represents the most up-to-date, comprehensive assessment of wetland and waterfowl habitat in the United States, documents substantial losses in forested wetlands (swamps) and coastal wetlands that serve as storm buffers, absorb pollution that would otherwise find its way into the nation’s drinking water, and provide vital habitat for America’s fish, wildlife and plants. Continue reading
For as long as there have been wild animals there have been diseases that plague them. And no one likes wild animals to die from disease more than hunters, especially white-tailed deer hunters. Hunters prefer that those animals be used to help sustain them and their families, but disease is one of those things that is hard to shake. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is widespread deer disease that covers much of the whitetail’s range. The United State’s Great Plains states have been hit hard this year, most notably Wyoming and Texas.
Wyoming Game and Fish biologists have confirmed that EHD has killed a number of white-tailed deer and some pronghorn in the Big Horn Basin, Sheridan and Casper areas this year. Samples from approximately 13 whitetail deer and four pronghorn were collected and tested for hemorrhagic disease–either epizootic hemorrhagic disease or the bluetongue virus. The test results indicated that EHD was the cause for two of the four pronghorn deaths and six of the 13 white-tailed deer. To date, bluetongue virus has not been isolated or detected. Continue reading
Well-established food plots should be a part of the wildlife management toolbox on every property. Chufas are great for wildlife food plots, especially for wild turkey and ducks. Chufa food plots may be broadcast or row planted depending on the equipment available. For either method, spread fertilizer (13-13-13) at a rate of about 200 to 500 pounds per acre, depending on the fertility of your soil, and disked in. A clean chufa food plot with little weed competition will produce greater yields than a weedy plot.
Broadcast Chufa planting method: Chufas can be broadcast at a rate of about 40 pounds per acre on the prepared seedbed. Next the plot should be disked into a depth of about 1 to 2 inches. Top-dress the chufas with ammonium nitrate at 100 to 200 pounds per acre when the plants are about 6 to 12 inches in height. Broadcast planting will work for both turkeys and ducks where suitable habitat exist. Continue reading