Carrying Capacity is defined as the number of a given species that a particular area can support without detriment to the wildlife or their habitat. If you as a landowner are content with the wildlife currently on your land, you need only sit back and enjoy.
However, if you’re like most landowners who want to attract and hold more and healthier wildlife, including deer, turkeys and a host of other species, you need to increase the carrying capacity of your land by providing the proper amount and type of natural food to meet their year-round nutritional needs.
Building food plots with annual or perennial herbaceous crops is one popular way to increase available nutrition, but often results in nutritional gaps during certain parts of the year. Your property will be far more attractive to, and beneficial for wildlife, if you can strive to keep fresh food sources on your property for as long as possible throughout the year.
In early summer, newly born or hatched young of many wildlife species are at their most abundant. Young fawns are putting tremendous nutritional stress on nursing mothers. Meanwhile, antler growth rates have kicked into overdrive and rapidly growing wild turkey poults, not to mention the young of dozens of other bird species, are scouring the landscape searching for food. Yet, important sources of soft mast may be lacking if you haven’t planted early producers like plums and mulberries.
Though all is lush and green, mid to late summer is actually an often unrecognized period of nutritional stress. Herbaceous vegetation is maturing and dying while rapidly growing young wildlife now need more nutritious food than ever. Summer fruits like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapes can help wildlife bridge this nutritional gap before the next one arrives.
As the leaves start to turn and the temperatures drop, wildlife must start the process of fattening up for winter. That job becomes easier, and can begin sooner with late summer and early fall mast species like persimmons, apples and pears. They’ll hold and nourish more wildlife until crucial hard mast species like chestnuts and acorns start dropping, and if you’ve planted a good variety of species, will continue providing high-energy, high-calorie hard mast well into winter.
Planting soft and hard mast orchards is a great way to significantly increase available wildlife nutrition over longer period. It should be done in addition to, other wildlife habitat improvement practices. By incorporating mast orchards into a larger coordinated plan that could include timber harvesting, herbaceous food plots, controlled burning and other practices, the end result of the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Chestnut Hill Outdoors is more than just a nursery. In order to ensure you receive the maximum benefit from their products, they also provide sound advice and instruction on proper planting and care. For more on Chestnut Hill Outdoors products and how to care for them, visit ChestnutHillOutdoors.com, or call (855) 386-7826.
Chestnut Hill is the best place for you to purchase your food plot and deer attractant plants because they offer a large selection, their plants are specifically bred to attract deer, and they offer customers different sized plants at different levels of growth.
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