Well, it’s not gold, but to a deer manager, habitat with an understory of lush, desirable native deer plants is just as good as gold.
You have heard it since you were a kid, “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, in this case the April showers all across Louisiana have resulted in an abundance of native plant growth, much of which is desirable browse for deer.
The 2014-15 deer season is history and now it is time to clean up the deer camp, take care of deer stands, wash the ATVs and trucks, measure the racks at the upcoming Sportsman Show and evaluate the deer harvest data to see what is right or wrong with your deer management program.
It is probably a fact that most dads want their sons to enjoy the same activities in which they participated growing up. It is also a fact that some dads can go overboard and push their kids a little too much to make this happen.
Last month in this column I paid tribute to the wild hog, which has been in this country for 500 years. My point was that this critter has been able to survive despite the fact that most are out to eliminate it from the landscape.
In the dark ages many years ago, when I was a young lad, school always started the week after Labor Day; summer baseball began in June and ended at the end of July, but summer continued through August; and the alphabet letters on the phone were actually part of the phone number. Our number was FR7-5452 and I don’t think there was an area code; if we were at summer camp and needed to call home we simply would make a collect call (reverse the charges, please). Life seemed a little simpler, and involved much less technology.
Back in July our nation celebrated its 238th birthday. No doubt many of you celebrated Independence Day watching a traditional fireworks display; you saw the rocket’s red glare and the bombs bursting in air, and hopefully avoided the popping of a firecracker in your hand.
Many years ago (OK, it was during the Dark Ages for you young people), I was helping Louisiana Sportsman contributor Chris Berzas with an article about deer habitat. I was demonstrating the newly developed deer browse transect and how it measures browse availability and utilization.
Last month I wrote about browse surveys and that now is the time to be looking at the deer habitat, seeing first-hand what is available for deer to eat and discovering exactly what plants they are actually eating.
The late Grits Gresham was editor of the Louisiana Conservationist in the early ’50s. He initiated a feature column that he named Bayou Browsing, and readers could write to him and ask questions and make comments about Louisiana wildlife.
In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray was stuck in time on a cold winter’s day that would never end. While the cold weather this year made for a great deer season, this winter in Louisiana has been one that seemed like it too would never end.
The theme this year for the National Wild Turkey Federation is “Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt.” This is also the theme for the Federation’s new initiative that has set three goals or objectives: conserve and enhance 4 million acres of critical upland wildlife habitat, recruit 1.5 million new hunters, and open access to 500,000 new acres for hunting and other outdoor recreation.