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Wildlife Management Guidelines: 

Wildlife Management Guidelines Supplemental Feeding

Goals Wildlife Requirements: 

Goals Wildlife Requirements Water Food Shelter Living area

Animal Production: 

Animal Production


Wildlife Food sources seed forage roots fauna

Bermudagrass and Ryegrass Growth Curve: 

Bermudagrass and Ryegrass Growth Curve

Rainfall Patterns in Denton County: 

Rainfall Patterns in Denton County Typically wet springs Hard to plant Dry to very dry late July and August. hard to make a crop Wet October & November Hard to harvest

Forage Quality: 

Forage Quality Digestibility is a function of maturity Crude protein is a function of maturity and soil nitrogen.

Maturity effects on Digestibility and Crude protein.: 

Maturity effects on Digestibility and Crude protein.

Supplemental Feeding: 

Supplemental Feeding Grazing Management Prescribed Burning Range Enhancement Food Plots Feeders and Mineral Supplementation Managing Tame Pastures, Old Fields and Croplands Transition Management of Tame Grass Monocultures

Grazing Management: 

Grazing Management Rotational Stocking Method Stocking Rate

Intensive Grazing: 

Intensive Grazing

Stocking rate responses: 

Stocking rate responses Forage availability decreases with increased stocking rate and/or forage growth Risk of overgrazing increases with increased stocking rate Palatable plant species loss rate increases with increased stocking rate ground cover (litter) decreases with increased stocking rate


Fencing List Cross Fences Fence Types Barbed: old, keeps cattle out, not wildlife Electric: least expensive, but limited Net: extremely expensive (installation and maintenance), controls largest number of species Mixed: keeps large animals off web: very effective


Fencing Measurements: length perimeter Cost Additional Watering Sites Exclusion Zones Riparian Protected species

Prescribed Burning: 

Prescribed Burning Earliest recorded form of forage management Multiple benefits (residue removal, control of spring weeds, increased infiltration) Effective on young annual weeds Ineffective on many perennial weeds Timing is critical and target species dependent

Prescribed Burning: 

Prescribed Burning Red flag for winter burns Wind speed>20 mph RH<20% air temp> 80oF May damage crop plant VERY RISKY, HIGH LIABILITY Not recommended to most producers

Rangeland Enhancement and Food Plots: 

Rangeland Enhancement and Food Plots Range Reseeding Grazing Management Prescribed Burning Establishment Food Plots includes annual warm and cool season crops


Soils First decision on species/variety selection Texture: Clay, loam, silt, sand Chemical Physical Soil Test: pH P & K Nitrate (?)

Species Selection: 

Species Selection Annual vs. Perennial Cool vs. Warm season Bunch vs Sod (grasses) Legume vs. Nonlegume (Forb) Native vs. Naturalized

Seed Germination: 

Seed Germination Seed stratification required Seeds require infrared light to germinate Litter blocks infrared light Establish plants compete very effectively with new seedling for light, water and other nutrients Seeds must imbibe water to germinate Seed - soil contact required Moisture required

Recommended Species: 

Recommended Species Grasses Forbs Crops

Recommended Native Grasses: 

Recommended Native Grasses Switchgrass (Alamo/Caddo) Indiangrass Big Bluestem Eastern Gamagrass (Pete) Little bluestem Sideoats grama Buffalograss Mixtures of the above

Native Forbs: 

Native Forbs Maximillian Sunflower Ragweed Goatweed Black-eyed Susan Bluebonnet Bundleflower Many others (i.e. broadleaf weeds)

Annual crops: 

Annual crops Grains: (grasses) Corn, milo, etc. Wheat, oats, rye and ryegrass Legumes: (forbs) Soybeans, cowpeas for forage Rape, turnips, others

Species Selection: 

Species Selection Plant what fits your soil Determine the wildlife you want Select native species that are found no more than 50 miles west and 100 miles north, south and east (lots of exceptions) What do you want? (qualitative) What can you afford (economic)

Plot/reseeding management: 

Plot/reseeding management Annual food plots require the greatest tillage and management If properly prepared. planted and utilized, planting this site with perennial forages is less expensive Coordinate: Spring planted plot to fall seeding Fall planted plot to spring seeding

Food Plots: 

Food Plots Food plot amount should be based on requirements of target species Minimum of 1% of land area should be planted in both winter and summer plots

Food Plots: 

Food Plots Fencing: yes or no Plantings cool season annual crops warm season annual crops annual mix of native plants perennial mix of native plants Irrigation: yes or no

Feeders and Mineral Supplementation: 

Feeders and Mineral Supplementation Used to supplement diet quality May be used in harvesting program (excessive numbers only) Aflatoxin < 20ppb Minerals: multiple options At least ONE free-choice feeder/320 acres using 16% CP feed required


Feeders Location near shelter inconspicuous Portability permanent portable Toxic plants

Toxic Plant Categories: 

Toxic Plant Categories Situational: Drought, Freeze, etc. Seasonal: Seedhead, plant parts Chronic: constantly toxic


Situational Soil fertilizer levels: excessive nutrients in the soil taken up by the plant and consumed by the animal Soil pH Nutrient level Copper Selenium Molybdenum Environmental conditions Nitrate Prussic acid Grass Tetany

Nitrate Toxicity: 

Nitrate Toxicity Aerated soil Nitrate uptake by the plant Limited nitrate utilization Nitrate accumulation low growth rate lower stems and leaves

Prussic Acid: 

Prussic Acid Dhurrin + Emulsin neither are toxic react to form HCN Reduced plant growth rate drought, freeze, trampling damage, etc. breaks down rapidly in the plant evaporates quickly Young, tender leaves upper most leaves most palatable

Grass Tetany/Milk Fever: 

Grass Tetany/Milk Fever Calcium imbalance high calcium/magnesium demand (animal) mineral supplementation Cold wet soils early spring limited Ca and P movement Temperate grasses small grains fescue and other cool season grasses

Management tips: 

Management tips Avoid over fertilization Manures Soil pH Manage crop for optimum growth proper fertilization, grazing, etc. Remove suspect plants from feed and other enclosed areas a hoe’s your best buddy


Seasonal Often plant reproduction oriented ergots (seedheads) tannin acid (acorns) aflatoxin Specific time of year Plant part specific


Ergot Dallisgrass, Small grains (Fescue) Minimize Seedhead production overgraze early limit fertilizer (N) to early vegetative growth Fescue: July to January Dallisgrass: April to June Small grains: Fall to March Dilution:clovers, other grasses, non toxic hay


Aflatoxins Drought induced Seed quality trash Affects all agronomic crops corn & sorghum soybeans & peanuts Don’t allow animal access to suspect areas Dilute with clean feed to acceptable levels


Chronic Constantly toxic intake limited by animal reaction generally not a problem harvest effect examples: buttercup, milkweed, nightshade family Cumulative effect slow response period multiple factors (photosensitivity) examples: fescue, sweetclover

Management techinques: 

Management techinques Animal Proper stocking rate don’t overgraze match gp to plant pop Match animal class dry vs wet young vs old sheep-deer-cow Acclimatize slowly no hungry animals adequate feed Proper supplement mobile feeder Plant Proper fertilization no dumping proper balance timing Crop Mgmt. Limit damage stock movement Dilution Weed control Plant identification careful with hormone timely control


Johnsongrass Warm season perennial grass Tall growing, stolons Toxins Nitrate Prussic acid

Tall Fescue: 

Tall Fescue Cool Season Perennial grass Moist lowland area Seedhead mgnt. Dilution Toxin alkaloid vasoconstrictor late term animals young (april)


Pigweed Annual broadleaf Disturbed areas Multiple control mulch, herbicide, hoe Toxin nitrate

Nightshade family Solanum sp.: 

Nightshade family Solanum sp. Warm Season perennial broadleaf Distinctive flower 5 sided tomato type groups of 3-7 Difficult to control Limited toxicity Toxin Solanine Alkaloid hay

Milkweed Asclepias sp.: 

Milkweed Asclepias sp. Warm season, perennial broadleaf Rhizomitous tap root multiple species latex sap Toxin glycoside hay


Jimsonweed Annual broadleaf Disturbed sites, feedlot, etc. Multiple control herbicide, mulch, hoe toxin alkaloid mainly kids


Feeders Purpose: supplement or harvest Targeted species: deer, dove, etc. Feed type Mineral type Number and type of feeder Method and location numbers of minerals Time frame: year round or seasonal

Managing Tame Pasture, Old Fields and Croplands: 

Managing Tame Pasture, Old Fields and Croplands Minimum of 5% of designated area must be annually treated List what, where and how anything was practiced. Tillage Defoliation Annual plantings

Transition Management of Tame Grass Monocultures: 

Transition Management of Tame Grass Monocultures Plant legumes Nitrogen Producer Phosphorus consumer High quality Extend grazing season Require better management fertility grazing

Nitrogen Production: 

Nitrogen Production


Inoculate Proper Rhizobium species specific Fresh Rhizobium heat and light sensitive, don’t save some may exist in the soil Mix within 24 hours of planting Use a sticker mix according to directions.. and let dry

Lieberg’s Law of Limits: 

Lieberg’s Law of Limits


Fertilization Grasses need nitrogen soon after germination Forbs need phosphorus Avoid nitrogen with legumes Species variation huge Both need K and other nutrients Soil test


Establishment Fall or early spring planting: Fall preferred Soil test in Spring, adjust pH ASAP. No nitrogen applied Adjust P, K & micronutrients in the Fall Control perennial weeds prior to planting Inoculate prior to seeding


Establishment Bigger seed=higher seedling vigor Multiple seeding options Prepared seedbed clean, firm seedbed critical planting depth 1/4 to 3/4” cultipack after seeding on clay cultipack before and after seeding on sand broadcast, harrow and pack if not drilled.

Sod Seeding: 

Sod Seeding Sod Seeding Graze or mow to 1” stubble Sod drill is best Lightly disk if possible Drag or roll. Chemical suppression helps


Management Maintain or Increase Soil Fertility Levels Avoid Cutting Pre-bloom (1/10 bloom best) prebloom possible with proper rest period make sure the TNC’s recharge All clovers respond to rotational grazing the taller, the better the response. Most perennials are short lived in Texas.


Grazing Watch for bloat Rotational grazing preferred if not required for plant persistence Reseeding: Pull off annuals and biennials at/or before flowering Nitrogen for grass available after legume has flowered and nodules slough

Legume Species: 

Legume Species Annual Arrowleaf Aliske Ball Berseem Crimson Lespedeza Sweetclover Subterranean Biennial or Perennial Alfalfa Serecia Lespedeza Red clover Sweetclover White clover Illinois Bundleflower


Alfalfa Hay production pH>7 Well drained, fertile soil 15-25 lb. seed/ac. Bud weevil, diseases Apollo II, Cimarron II

White Clover: 

White Clover Moist clay soils pH: 5.5-7 prostrate growth 2-3 lb./acre Peak production in April, mixes well with Dallisgrass S-1, Nolin: persists Regal, Osceola: yield

Red Clover: 

Red Clover Biennial clay loam to clay soils well drained pH>6.5 hay (May, June cuts) graze rotationally 3-4 week rest 10-12 lb./acre Kenland, Redland II

Sweetclover annual (Hubam) & biennial (Madrid): 

Sweetclover annual (Hubam) & biennial (Madrid) upland clay soils pH>7, 12-15 lb./ac Flowers early (Hubam) to mid (Madrid) summer Tall growth pattern 20”-60” Coumarin bitter blood clotting

Arrowleaf Clover: 

Arrowleaf Clover Sandy to loamy soil pH:6-7, well drained Medium to tall growth Mid May flowering 5-8 lb. seed/acre scarified Night temp<60F virus Yuchi, Meechi, Amclo

Berseem Clover: 

Berseem Clover Fine loam to clay pH: 6 - 8 poor on sands 10-15 lb./acre Flower in late April Graze @ 6” Bigbee

Crimson Clover: 

Crimson Clover Sand to well drained clay pH: 6-7 Flower late March 15-20 lb./acre limited hard seed Tibbee, Dixie, Chief

Subterranean Clover: 

Subterranean Clover Sandy loam to clay pH 5.5-7 10-15 lb. seed/ac. 4 lb./ac possible prostrate growth habit self -planting graze when flowering Flowers mid April Mt. Barker, others

Hairy Vetch: 

Hairy Vetch Sands to clays pH: 5-8 20-30 lb./acre Susceptable to nematodes Graze lightly till after flowering Cahaba White, Vantage

Prairie Ecology: 

Prairie Ecology Plant production Species Fertility Growth Curve Weather Reproduction Sward Composition Animal production Requirement food water shelter living area Behavior Stocking rate Species Reproduction etc.


Forage Leaves age reducing quality and photosynthetic efficiency Bottom leaves are the oldest Nutrients transferred to seed and carbohydrate reserve best to maintain an LAI of 4-6

When to defoliate: 

When to defoliate When conditions are favorable When target plants can afford to loss the protection When target seeds need to germinate Before target wildlife needs the food After target wildlife doesn’t need the shelter

Defoliation Methods: 

Defoliation Methods Grazing/feeding: requires adequate numbers controllable vectors Mowing: leaves a residue Disking: disturbs the soil improved seed germination erosion Fire: complete residue removal

Carbohydrate Management: 

Carbohydrate Management Carbohydrates (TNC’s) are the products of photosynthesis Plant part removal and regrowth requires utilization of TNC’s. Depletion of TNC’s=Plant death Reproductive organs are sites of TNC’s Consumption and defoliation deplete Plant TNC

Carbohydrate Management: 

Carbohydrate Management Consequently vegetation management is Carbohydrate Management Minimize TNC depletion of target plants Maximize TNC depletion of weeds Utilize growth curve knowledge for timing Keep forage vegetative for browsers/grazers Keep plant reproductive for seed


Ecology Balancing act What helps one hurts another Maximize niches Shelter areas Water areas Food areas


Examples Long strips of Shelter belts surrounded by foraging strips Checkerboard: alternating squares of forage and shrub/ trees Islands of shrubs/trees circled by forage Mixtures of tall and short grass Mixtures of adjacent mown and unmown plots


Summary Maximize plant numbers and diversity over time and space by carbohydrate management of the plant Maximize animal numbers and diversity over time and space by vegetation management Start with a small number of target plants and animal, increase over time

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