Creation of Wildlife Openings
Our land managers begin by laying out the wildlife opening based upon the existing forest characteristics such as tree type, tree quality, soil types, slope of terrain and natural timber type lines, while taking into account the landowner's goals and objectives. Our land managers and foresters will generally create an irregular shaped wildlife opening. These irregular shaped openings create additional wildlife "edge". "Edge" is defined as a key piece of wildlife habitat in which two timber types, age classes of timber or habitat types, come together thus providing a variety of options in regards to food, shelter and water.
These openings are simply created by first removing sub-merchantable and/or merchantable trees followed by bulldozing and stump removal. Two options are now presented to our landowners: Option 1) Allow the wildlife opening to naturally regenerate to native grasses and food species, i.e. raspberries, or Option 2) Implement an aggressive site preparation, fertilization and wildlife seeding to one of our wildlife seed mixtures. Cost-sharing assistance may be available through the
Forest Land Enhancement Program (FLEP) and/or locally raised cost-sharing funds. These openings benefit Whitetail Deer, Wild Turkeys, Ruffed Grouse and Black Bear, in addition to numerous non-game birds and animals.
Whitetail Deer Habitat Improvement
Annual Whitetail Deer Seedings
Following proper site preparation (herbicide,
lime and fertilizer applications), our land managers will seed these forest
openings to a variety of annual crops based upon soil-site factors and the
landowner’s goals and objectives. Annual whitetail deer seedings can be any
combination of certified oats, rye, brassicas, turnips and chicory. One of our
favorite combinations is an August seeding of brassicas and turnips which
provides plenty of green top forage into October. As the month of November
nears, whitetail deer will then utilize the sugars and starches of the 3-4 inch
diameter turnips. See Purple Top Turnip Picture.
Whitetail Deer Seedings
Perennial wildlife seedings are generally
established to provide a source of long-term, high quality whitetail deer food.
These perennial seedings are a combination of clover, alfalfa and perennial
ryes. Upper Michigan Land Management recommends the establishment of small
"hunting" plots in and around one large central food plot. These
long-term perennial food plots can be a combination of your favorite seed type.
Upper Michigan Land Management has had very good success with Biologic, Imperial
Whitetail products and local seed mixtures. We recommend seeding a variety of
products to provide the greatest diversity with a source of high quality food
lasting from May through November. Remember, the success of perennial wildlife
seedings is relevant to your site preparation and your annual food plot
maintenance program. Hunting over perennial food plots allows for a safe hunting
environment with adequate time to field judge the health of your whitetail deer
population, buck to doe ratios and antler development.
the September youth hunt of 2004, Jake Nicholson of Rapid River, Michigan shot
his first whitetail buck. The 2 ˝ year-old buck was taken over a perennial wildlife
seeding of clover, chicory and rye. This
buck came from property located in Delta County, Michigan which is being
successfully managed for forest sustainability and wildlife habitat improvement.
We feel confident that wildlife openings and perennial seedings provide a safe
hunting atmosphere and wildlife viewing area all the while creating a healthier
whitetail deer population.
Licks For Antler Development
The establishment of mineral
licks in combination with other whitetail deer management strategies may
ultimately produce a healthier deer herd resulting in high quality bucks.
Whether you have 10 acres or 10,000 acres, it is crucial the
non-industrial private landowner implement a macro/micro mineral lick program in
conjunction with high protein food plots, shallow water wildlife ponds and
timber harvesting practices.
the mineral supplement at strategic places throughout your property.
We prefer areas adjacent to natural travel routes, bedding locations and
feeding locations. The mineral
supplement should be established during the winter months and then reapplied
every four months depending upon weather conditions and soil-site conditions.
The number of mineral licks required will
vary from one property to another.
Management recommends establishing 2-3 mineral licks per every 40 acres.
The size and mineral amounts will vary depending on the site location,
deer populations and soil types. Utilize
aerial photographs and soil maps when establishing mineral lick locations.
Management has developed its own mineral lick
recipe or you can try any number of mineral lick products.
Wild Turkey Habitat Improvement
Upper Michigan Land Management & Wildlife Services,
Inc. has developed a long-term working partnership with Bays De Noc Gobblers,
Michigan Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation.
Since 1999, we have established numerous annual and perennial wild turkey
seedings throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
This working relationship has lead to an improvement in wild turkey
habitat and an increase in wild turkey populations.
Annual Wild Turkey Seedings
The NWTF’s Conservation Seed program provides year old
seed to wild turkey chapters and its members for food plots and habitat projects
on private land with a minimal cost. Annual
seeds like corn, sunflower, oats and soybeans plus 2 Michigan Mixes (a special
blend including corn or soybeans, sunflower, buckwheat and Japanese millet
prepared specially for the
climate) are available. This annual
seeding was completed in 2007 on property owned by a Michigan Wild Turkey
The Northeast & Midwest Strut & Rut Mix contains a
mixture of alfalfa, annual ryegrass, medium red clover, Persian and white
clover. The BioLogic Premium Perennial Mix contains several varieties of New
Zealand Brassicas with several varieties of clover and chicory.
This perennial seeding was completed in 1999 on property owned by a
Michigan Wild Turkey Federation board member.
Wild Turkey Tree & Shrub Plantings
Land Management and the NWTF recommends several tree and shrub species which
are well-adapted to the upper
and should provide excellent wild turkey food and cover. The seedling tree and
shrub package includes Northern red oak, Bur oak, Red Splendor Flowering
Crabapple, Black cherry, Arrowwood, American Highbush Cranberry, Chokecherry,
and Nannyberry. These species have been selected for their ability to provide
food sources for wild turkeys, provide cover from heavy snow and to re-establish
The Michigan State Chapter of the
National Wild Turkey Federation purpose is to develop, restore, and maintain
wild turkey habitat and populations. The
Michigan Chapter and their website: www.mi-nwtf.org/homepagewelcome.html
objectives are to establish, maintain and promote lectures, entertainment and
exhibitions concerning wild turkeys, our hunting heritage and other areas of
related interest for the general public and for chapter members. The
National Wild Turkey Federation is a not-for-profit organization.
Without the efforts of State and
Federal agencies, concerned sportsmen and organizations like the National Wild
Turkey Federation, the wild turkey would be extinct in the state of
. In the few decades since the wild
turkey was reintroduced, they have flourished and now occupy nearly every county
in the state and their numbers have increased to over 200,000.
As of September 30, 2007 there are
96 active chapters with 6,878 regular and sponsor members, 1,699 Women-in-the-Outdoors
members, 2,211 Wheelin'
Sportsmen members, 5,145 JAKES
youth members and 2,484 Hunting Heritage members for a grand total of
18,417 members in the Michigan State Chapter.
Water Wildlife Ponds
Shallow water wildlife ponds provide an ideal environment for ducks, geese,
birds and mammals. These ponds are
usually Ľ to 1 acre in size, irregular shaped with a maximum depth of 10-12
feet. The side slopes are often
seeded to a mixture of native grasses. Cattails
often line the edges of the pond which is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.