Aldo Leopold is the father of wildlife conservation someone that is a true American hero and someone that you will never be told about in school until you start to emphasis in wildlife management. As Aldo Leopold wrote in his 1933 textbook titled Game Management, "The central thesis of game management is this: game can be restored by the creative use of the same tools which have heretofore destroyed it - ax, plow, cow, fire, and gun.
If want to learn more about Father of Conservation here are some suggested readings.
One of the best books you will ever read, Aldo Leopold His Life and Work - Curt Meine, Game Management, A Sand County Almanac and many more!
We are going to discuss the modern day ax the chainsaw and, how it can increase your quality and quantity of deer and other wildlife on your property.
A research study done by one of the top wildlife consultants in the country Bryan Kinkel, in the study the landowner and hunters harvesting only small and yearling bucks wanted a change. So just like most hunters they started putting in Food Plots and in 2 to 3 years they has a increase of 112% increase in quality and quantity of deer. Improvement was a start but still not what they were hoping for. They implemented Quality Deer Management program which was harvesting more does and passing on yearling bucks after 2 to 3 years they had a 212% increase in quality and quantity and have started harvesting pope and young record whitetail. Then the final piece of puzzle was put into place and they put in an area called a Sanctuary in which not hunting took place or even human presence except during late winter and early spring to do habitat work. After another 2 to 3 years they had a 415% increase in quality and quantity of deer, along with some of the hunters taking their first Boone and Crockett record whitetail.
Location of Sanctuary
Location of Sanctuary is a key factor; it should be located so that the prevailing winds hit the sanctuary first and then blow in the direction of the rest of your property, like water sources and food plots. This way you can enter and exit your property during hunting season and the deer are not aware of your activity.
If you can see more than 20 yards then this is not a place a whitetail deer will feel comfortable. Your sanctuary should be a place all wildlife feels protected. By greatly thinning the trees with a chainsaw will allow for regeneration of the forest, this will increase native food sources for all wildlife, and increase bedding area for all wildlife, and increase habitat edge which all wildlife prefer to stage in. If you can get money out of the timber that is a plus, but thinning the trees is a must for any sanctuary.
A typical closed canopy forest can support 1 deer per 25 acres, an open forest can support 1 deer per 5 acres and can reduce stress on the forest and the food plots, a high forage food plot can support 7 deer per acre.
Is not a nasty word and is a great way to increase both food, and quantity and quality of wildlife. It will make it harder for predators to find fawns and turkey nest. Hinge cutting smaller trees will keep tree alive and allow for even more forage.
With those numbers you can see how important it is to increase the forest opening so why not put this area in the sanctuary, where is can benefit the wildlife.
So don’t be shy with your chainsaw you will be amazed at how much the wildlife will improve. This time of year is the best time of year to make those improvements so that nesting and fawning can start in your new habitat improvement areas.