Most hunters I know talk about finding cheap land for deer and turkey hunting! I do also. There is a way that many can gain acreage for literally a few hundred dollars per acre and some sweat equity! It is as simple as controlling noxious, invasive weeds.
Webster’s dictionary defines a weed as: a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants. Most hunters can only afford or have access to hunt land that is less than desirable. If weeds are taking up space on your hunting property, then it is much less expensive to kill those weeds and improve the habitat than to purchase additional acres!
Weeds that are common and very invasive throughout most of the whitetail’s range include:
- Sericea lespedeza
- Honey locust trees
There are many more species of invasive weeds that rob literally millions of acres of productivity from wildlife habitat.
The good news is that most of these weeds can be controlled by using a selective herbicide. A selective herbicide is one that only kills specific species. With some research, usually a herbicide that will kill the targeted weeds and not harm the beneficial species can be found. Although this research may seem daunting, I frequently use Crop Data Management Systems free website to research which herbicides to use for specific weeds.
The site can be searched by simply going to the Services and then Labels tabs. Then use simple search for the name of the herbicide to research, or use the advanced search option and search on specific herbicides and the crop you wish to protect.
For example, sericea lespedeza has invaded some of the bedding and native vegetation areas at The Proving Grounds. It doesn’t provide quality forage or cover for wildlife. It is literally decreasing the functional size of my hunting property. Some quick research pointed toward the herbicide PastureGard. However, I wanted specific information to know if PastureGard would control serecia lespedeza and if so, how to apply the herbicide. I searched the CDMS website for the PastureGard label and quickly confirmed it was a good choice to kill serecia lespedeza, how much herbicide to apply, and any personal safety precautions. The image at the top of this blog was taken this morning. I’m thrilled to see the serecia dying and the sparse big bluestem undamaged by the herbicide. I had confidence that would happen after reading the herbicide label.
Controlling weeds is a very important part of wildlife habitat management. Using the correct herbicide, if that’s the best method, saves the manager money and time and returns acres to productive habitat. I’m all about getting more hunting land for not much money and some sweat equity.
Growing Deer together,