Improving Your Hunting Land in the South

We start off this week with a quick Alabama youth hunt with our buddy John Dawson Bell, then we’re answering your questions on how to manage your property in the south.

Burning Hardwoods

Utilizing fire in pine stands is a great way to provide quality habitat in the south, but what about burning stands of hardwoods? Over time, if the fire gets hot enough it could hollow out the base of the trees. This will not only decrease the value if you were to ever harvest it, but you’re also giving nest predators a place to live. Pines have a thicker bark and can handle a hotter fire. If you have stands of pines and hardwoods, hit the pines with the burn, but leave the hardwoods alone. Diversity is key when it comes to providing an area wildlife like to call home.

Caring for Clover

For an annual, wait until it has gone to seed then bushog it to spread the seed and allow it to re-germinate in the fall. Perennial clover maintenance depends on moisture and temperature. Wait until it get 8-10 inches tall then cut it to keep it young and tender and to also help with weed competition. If weeds become too plentiful, you can spray it with Poast of 2,4-DB. The most important thing to remember is to not mow or spray if your clover is under any heat or moisture stress.

Thinning Pines

On first cutting stands of Loblolly, we typically take out every 5th row then pull from the two rows in between. Leaving 70-80% basal area lets plenty of sunlight in and the strip that is thinned offers a great opportunity to plant a food plot that can double as a green firebreak.

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