Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Animals: Wildlife Management

Wildlife Loves the Ozarks!

Known as a wildlife paradise, the Ozark area of NW Arkansas provides excellent habitat for popularly hunted species such as whitetail deer, turkeys, quail, squirrel, and rabbit. Elk have been re-introduced and populations are growing at a surprising rate. Where prey animals abound so do major predators, and coyote, fox, bobcat, and black bear are thick in the region.

Naturally any woodland will have a high population of smaller predators, too - raccoon, possum, skunk, mink and weasel, and abundant birds such as migratory and resident songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl.

Good Habitat is the Key to Success

All wildlife specialists agree that appropriate available habitat - cover, water, food, shelter to breed and raise young - is the most vital yardstick to measure the ability of wildlife to thrive in an area. The good news is that lots of good habits exists in NW Arkansas and owners can make some fairly basic changes and institute wildlife-friendly policies that can dramatically improve habitat.

A lot of habitat improvement could fall into the common sense category, but landowners don't have to guess. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is one of the most pro-active in the country and has very dynamic out reach programs to assist landowners with planning, planting, and managing their habitat to encourage multiple game and non-game species alike.

The Commission even has specialty biologists on staff that visit interested landowners, discuss and formulate goals and objectives, then provide plans - and in some cases material support - for habitat improvement. They can even teach us how to establish wildlife food plots to enhance their populations the natural way, as shown in this short video:

Planning and Working for Wildlife

At Valhalla we intend to bring these agencies early into the planning stage and to work with them and our sustainable timer advisor and geological assessment to produce a comprehensive, multi-faceted plan that will permit maximum game harvest potential as well as decades-long plans to harvest marketable timber and other natural products that may occur on the land.

Sound wildlife management practices encourage much direct participation by those living on the land. For this reason Valhalla will offer Soldiers formal and informal programs in the field ranging from lectures and programs by the Commission, Cooperative Extension, and academic presenters all the way to simple but fun tasks like making brush piles, clearing and planting, and building bird and small mammal houses.

Our philosophy of "everyone works" extends to the wildlife also, so we fully expect to see many participants during hunting season. Arkansas game laws permit bow, crossbow, black powder, and shotgun and rifle hunting, and we will establish hunter friendly structures like stands and blinds, as well as manage the wild areas for maximum participation commensurate with reasonable safety precautions.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post. Most informative. Thx! , Super! Thanks especially for the video! Everything is looking good. It is real posting and i will share with you.