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Small Properties and Big Hearts

Published on: Nov. 13, 2009

Here are a few questions from a dedicated landowner.

Aaron: Thanks for the info.

Can you give us some guidelines for those of us with smaller parcels, say 40 to 80 acres? I know in the overall scheme of things, that's not much. But we all have to work with what we have.

Food plots are pretty simple, but in regards to grass or weeds how small is too small? Is a long but narrow--30 to 50 feet--grass edge wide enough if beside good escape cover? Or are we just making it easy for predators?

In one photo a guy had strips of grass/wildflowers and food plots. How wide should those be? I have a small field with plenty of dogwood thickets. There are so many, it would be hard to plant food plots, unless they meandered narrowly through the field. And if covey headquarters are 1,500 square feet, does that necessarily mean all the shrubs have to be within that area? What if we have a few feet between each shrub patch, like with dogwood. I have a couple of areas where eventually they may form one large patch, but for now they are smaller individual patches, maybe 10 feet in diameter and expanding. I dropped a pine into each one a couple of years ago, so that adds some size. I also dropped some aspen near the same location. Berry canes are also expanding into the area.

Thanks for taking the time to keep this blog going. We all learn. The pictures help a lot too.

Here are a couple comments and thoughts from a landowner with a small property but a big heart for quail.

Small farms can support good quail populations. I've seen several examples of 40- to 80-acre farms supporting three to eight coveys. However, small islands of good habitat are at the mercy of the weather, and a lot depends on what the surrounding habitat looks like. For example, if your neighbors have some good quail habitat, that helps your cause. However, if your farm is the only one in the neighborhood with good quail habitat, chances are you're going to see radical changes in your quail population from year to year. My best advice is to get your neighbor to do some quail work or ask them if you can do some habitat work where they might not mind, like on the property line or an idle field.

Small property

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