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Wildlife Food Source

3 Ingredients in Wildlife Management

Whether you have raised an animal for FFA or just livestock on the ranch, everything about wildlife management is common sense. There are 3 ingredients that all animals, including humans, need to survive and reproduce: food, water, and cover. Now that you know what is needed, lets figure out why these ingredients are needed.

The first ingredient is food. In my opinion, having both natural and supplemental food is important to wildlife management. In northeast Texas, we have an abundance of natural vegetation because of the rainfall we get for the majority of the year. Natural food in our area are things like acorns, rye grass, berries, and forbs. Availability of natural vegetation often varies because of location and seasons. Having a supplemental food will help the deer to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients throughout the year.

I always put a deer feeder filled with Purina feed near water and cover to make sure the deer have plenty to stay healthy. If you have water in addition to cover, you will retain and grow the herd. You can have some of the best cover, but if you don’t have water that is easily accessible, the wildlife won’t stay. They will pass through and eat what’s there, but they will keep moving. If natural water sources, such as a pond or creek, are unavailable, a good rule of thumb is to provide permanent water sources, such as a Water Guzzler or Harvesting rainwater, every ½ mile from the food plot and cover. On a side note, my grandpa and founder of Priefert Mfg., Marvin Priefert, actually moved to Mt Pleasant, Texas for that very reason. He liked having easy access to springs, rivers, and creeks.
The last and most important ingredient is cover, with the key to cover being safe from predators and weather conditions. Most people look at a wide open meadow and wonder why there aren’t any deer in it. Deer, like most living things, want to be in a place that they feel comfortable and safe. White tail are not going to be seen in an open field because they like being in the woods with seclusion and cover. Being in an open field without close cover, is just not in their nature. In one of the food plots that we will discuss later, I have planted about 4,000 oak and pine trees which will provide both cover and food in the fall. As I continue learning and researching how to manage the wildlife better, feel free to leave a reply with what has or hasn’t worked for you. Check back next week as we dig deeper into my “Deer Pond” food plot and why having a food plot is important.

3 Comments

  1. Molly Ford says:

    Great article.

  2. Lamar says:

    This actually answered my issue, thank you!

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