It’s summer, at least for the kids who are already out of school. Earlier this week I was transporting my daughter, niece and nephew to various summer day camps before work. They range in age from 8 to 13 and it’s always interesting to spend 20 minutes on the road with them. Topics of conversation vary from American Girl dolls, to playing tight end on the football team. Since they all know I am a biologist, occasionally a subject even “old Daddy” knows something about comes up.
Here in central Virginia we have been in the midst of a “hatch” of Brood 2 of the 17-year cicadas. For the uninitiated, it’s quite a spectacle. All you need to do is type the number 17 into your Internet search engine now and it will immediately go to “17-year cicadas.” In a nutshell, they are not in the locust family, as they sometimes are mistakenly identified. They are in a different order – Homoptera, as opposed to the Orthoptera order for locusts (grasshopper-like).
There are 3 sub-species that hatch (emerge is a better term) on a 17-year cycle, and 4 sub-species that emerge on a 13-year cycle. But by the number, far more broods of 17-year cicadas are extant than are 13-year. Once the soil temperature in an area hits 63 degrees they begin to emerge from their underground burrows of 17 years. While they are mostly harmless, their size and sheer number can make them the dominant “wildlife” where they occur. To a small kid they can be terrifying. And their fire red eyes, and black and yellow striped torsos might even scare a few adults (especially when mowing the yard and rounding a corner to have one fly right into your face).
Of course their primary purpose is reproduction. They mate; lay some eggs in the tip of a tree branch, often an oak, then soon die. After a few weeks the rice sized larvae drop to the ground, burrow in and begin their long development up to a foot underground.
To a biologist they are another fascinating example of the vast diversity on our planet, not only of species, but in strategies for survival. The subject came up on our ride in to town. “Uncle Marc, why do these bugs only come out every 17 years? And how do they live in the ground for that long? What do they eat down there?” And on and on.
I can usually answer some, but not all, of their questions. When I get stumped I usually turn the table on them: “Hey, tell me how old you will be when these bugs come out again.” Of course this causes some silence, then a bit of laughter, because most kids have not thought of themselves 17 years older.
“I’ll be 30!” exclaimed Wyatt “Man, that’s old!” (No slack for his 50-year-old uncle).
“I’ll be…twenttttyyyyyyy fiiiiiivvve,!” my daughter said. This, of course, led to more giggling and speculation on many things. “Yep” I said, “Last time these things came out, I had not even met your mother and none of you were even born. And Paw Paw was only 64 years old.” The truck fell silent a while and I suspect even kids as young as these stopped to think about time … for a brief few seconds.
I pondered on it all day. I asked myself “I wonder where we’ll be with quail the next time these things emerge?” Do we have the stomach for the long haul? Or will we throw in the towel? I also had a more somber thought, “I think I’ll make at least one more cycle…hopefully two, but there are no guarantees on anything.”
To see these neat critters two more times I’d have to make it to 84. It made me wonder, too, “what if quail had a similar strategy? They’d burrow in the ground as chicks and emerge say 40 or 50 years after going under?” Would they even recognize the place? For all those people who tell me “Heck, we had quail and ain’t nothing changed around here, so where they’d go?” Well, try thinking about it like a quail that’d been underground for 50 years.
It also made me think of how short a time period 17 years really is. How much can happen over even that short span – good and bad, though. It really made feel like time is short and rather than throwing in the towel we better step it up even more – not just for quail, but in every aspect of our lives.
“Carpe diem (whispered), caaaarrrrrpeee diem lads…seize the day! Seize the day! We’ll all be food for worms someday soon, boys!” That's Robin Williams’ character’s classic line in one of my favorite movies “Dead Poets Society.” This line has always hung like an apparition in the back of my mind.
How many cicada life cycles do have you left in your time here? And what will you do with them? And it also made me think of my dog Shell for whom this BLOG is named – she was 17 years and 3 days old when she died 2 years ago last Sunday. You can live a lot of life in 17 years. – June 10, 2013
I guess you’d say the 5 Bs Hunt Club would be an example of an eclectic group. Members included the three core men, and several other fathers (along with their sons) that migrated in and out depending on what they enjoyed hunting.
Occupations included: insurance adjuster, teacher and wrestling coach, power company line foreman, auto mechanic, school principal, college professor, and more. The “executive committee” consisted of: my dad, known as the “Virginia Quail,” at that time principal of Giles County High School and “veteran” of a “jerked-up-by-the-bootstraps” McDowell County, West Virginia, upbringing, World War II; 10th Mountain Division veteran Robert ‘Dirty” McGlothlin, aka the “Virginia Skunk”; and Coach Aubrey Correll (played center at the University of Georgia in front of Fran Tarkenton until injured), aka the “Carolina Bear.”
The term “club” really was a misnomer because there were no by-laws (other than no one under 18 could be told what the 5 Bs stood for), no membership fees, and no real meetings…other than we hunted or fished for something nearly every weekend of the year. I hunted so much I gave up on organized sports because I missed hunting too much. (That and I was not very good at most of them).
The hunting “season” began with dove in early September, migrated to squirrel mid-month during what was then the “early squirrel season” (picture those fat grays and fox squirrels raining down shagbark hickory cuttings on foggy late summer mornings – a kid’s heaven), archery deer season followed in October, and in those days snow was not unusual by bow season’s end. In early November, all small game and fall turkey came in. There was no muzzle-loader deer season then, so we hunted small game until the “big event” – the 2-week gun deer season opened. Short, sweet and intense, the gun deer season was followed by 2 months of weekend rabbit hunting. Most of the dads had beagles and, depending on who showed up each week, we might have from 2 to 6 or 8 dogs out.
These rabbit hunts were occasionally pierced by the stumbled -into, terrifying flush of a quail covey…and for an hour maybe, we’d switch to trying to ferret out singles. None of us could hit one at that time, but every now and then we scratched one down and it became the prize of the day. After all this, you’d think that by late January, when the rabbit and squirrel seasons closed, we’d of been tired of hunting and ready for a break. That wasn’t the case.
What followed were two weekends of grouse adventures. Virginia’s grouse season has traditionally stayed open until mid-February. By “hunting” grouse (we really just walked up rhododendron choked hollows in a skirmish line hoping we’d flush one and it would fly past somebody) we cut the time between season’s end until the opening of spring turkey season in early April by 2 long weeks. This made it a mere 8 weeks without hunting of some kind.
You need to understand that our grouse hunts were built around the “survival box” and the chance to use it. Back in those days 4-wheel-drive vehicles were at their zenith. Big, burly vehicles that guzzled cheap fossil fuel like an athlete guzzles Gator Aid…our crew had huge Chevy Blazers or Ford Broncos, some had International Scouts and one had a Jeep Commando. And in the back of each was the “survival box.”
My Dad excelled at carpentry and loved building things that could be made out of 2 x 4s and plywood. I don’t know where the idea stemmed from, but these men were all hearty guys who enjoyed being out in the backcountry … as long as the 4WDs would get them there. Somewhere Dad saw an article on backcountry survival, probably in Sports Afield or Field and Stream, or maybe Outdoor Life – we subscribed to them all.
I joke now that I think you could have dropped one of his boxes off Niagara Falls and it would have survived. The full width of a Blazer’s interior, and about 2 and ½ feet deep and 1 and ½ feet tall, it took two big men giving it all they had to lift a loaded one in or out of the vehicles. Inside these boxes (as every vehicle had one made by my Dad, of course) was an utterly amazing array of “stuff.”
For starters, each carried a small chainsaw complete with mini-fuel can, bar oil and rat-tailed file. On the opposite side of the box, as far from the fuel s fumes as possible, was a compartment that housed cooking ware. The “kitchenette” consisted of two long, deep, cast iron “skillets” wrapped in greased grocery bags to keep them “wet”, and various spatulas, spoons, ladles, knives, forks and more. Another smaller compartment was full of “snack fare” – pork and beans, Vienna sausage, Slim Jims, Nabs, the kind of health food we ate in those days before folks started worrying about cholesterol (I don’t recall ever hearing the term “artery” until I was in first aid training in boot camp). In the center compartment rested the two things that made our grouse hunts complete – a 2-burner Coleman Stove and Coleman fuel can.
Everyone saved at least one deer tenderloin from November’s harvest, and those loins were packed in coolers for the grouse hunts. Our hunts consisted of a long drive to a backcountry spot where some clear-cuts existed and where every “hollow” ran flush with a creek choked by laurel and rhododendron. Teaberry was a common ground cover.
We started at the hollow mouths forming a line of hunters 4 to 8 abreast with one on each side of the creek close to it and the others progressing up each side of the hollow. We’d hunt out the hollows upward until reaching the ridge lines; then we’d cross over a ridge, re-form our line and work down one hollow over. This usually took until lunch, when we convened at the survival boxes and made a lunch of snack food. The process was repeated after lunch in a new hollow.
Hunting grouse without dogs, your nerves are always on edge because there is no warning before that eruption some call a “grouse flush” happens … and for this reason we rarely got a grouse. We flushed plenty, and those hills rang out frequently with “Grouse Dirty…coming your way!!”, or “Heads up Biiiiiillllllllll!!” Quite a bit of shooting was not unusual, but very little killing occurred. Now you know why we carried deer loin.
The whole event was just a way to get outside, enjoy some fellowshipping, and work up an appetite for the real reason we were there – Coleman stove, tailgate cooked, cast-iron greased pan fried deer loin and onions. Around 3, maybe 3:30, the hunt ended and the cooking began. My Dad usually did the frying and everyone else did the storytelling. He carried a bag that contained flour, salt, pepper, and a bit of cornmeal. He’d dip those loin slices in milk, drop them in the bag of seasoning, shake them around and then toss each into the hot skillet grease that erupted with a gurgling spatter and a rise of steam.
It was usually cold so sometimes we built a small fire to huddle around. The vehicles would be parked in a circled wagon fashion, all tailgates down, and us sitting there with our wet boots dangling and eating deer loin until it was gone and we were stuffed, fat and happy. I don’t want to dishonor other more noble forms of grouse hunting, but as a 15-year-old boy I would not have traded these “survival box grouse hunts” for a vintage Parker side-by-side.
“Hell, I wouldn’t get up and walk across this farm road to shoot a deer” said dairyman Jack Farmer, Pulaski Co. Virginia, sometime about 1978. I reckon I was about…well, heck, I was 16 and I lived to hunt, fish and trap everything legal. But my big thing was deer. A small group of fathers and sons, our “hunt club” chased rabbits and squirrels when deer season was out, but deer was our “big deal” each year. That is for all of us except a few. I found out one day what they really lived for.
Now don’t start writing me hate mail. The white-tailed deer is a magnificent animal and perhaps America’s favorite. But not everyone lives to hunt deer. Bud Smith was another member of the “5 Bs” hunt club who cared nothing about shooting a deer. During the deer season he stayed at the old cabin, stoking the fire and “partaking” of his “snake bite medicine” from time to time. He was as tough as a 2 dollar steak – a paratrooper in the Korean War and a line foreman for Pike Electric back in the days when they ran power lines through the roughest of the Appalachians. He wore a waxed handle bar mustache on his face and a greasy “Caterpillar” hat on his head. He could knock an ant off a log with a spat of Redman tobacco juice from 15 feet.
Jack Farmer was, indeed, a farmer, and the one who owned the land where our club hunted. He would visit us from time to time and we always showed our appreciation with a hefty, hot, “meat on your bones” kind of meal any evening he’d happen to drop by. Good Lord, I can still smell those old cast iron long pans heating up on the Coleman!
One evening the subject of quail came up. Now you’d think these two tough old weathered workmen would laugh at a quail, but when several of us mentioned we’d been flushing a couple coveys while walking to this spot or that, their eyes lit up and reflected a lot more of the fire we sat around.
“You say ‘quail,’ boy?” Jack asked. “Yes sir, must a been 15 or 20 of ‘em in a covey up by the pine thicket in the brushy field to the left of the old house,” I replied. “Yep, and I flushed another bunch back behind the barn along that old fence line yesterday” David added, “Come to think of it, there may be two coveys in there because I found another bunch up in the chinky pin patch Monday.”
Bud looked at Jack, and Jack back at Bud…”How’s about 1 o’clock?” “It’s a plan,” Bud replied. Nothing more was said. Shortly after lunchtime the next day Jack showed up in his hunting coat and brier pants. Bud went into the back room of the cabin and soon came back in his Carharts carrying his beloved Browning “Sweet Sixteen.” I always wondered why he brought that shotgun. I soon came to know it was built for birds.
Jack looked at all of us and said, “Now y’all hunt all you want this afternoon, but you stay away from those quail coveys on your way in and out.” Jack and Bud set out, no dog, just the two of them, both looking years younger. All afternoon from about anywhere any of us hunted back in the woods, we could hear the occasional “pop, pop” of those shotguns.
As we returned one- by-one after dark that evening, each of us was greeted by the sound of laughter filtering out with the lantern light through the cracked cabin windows. Bud and Jack had been back since about 4:30. Their quail, about 6 or 8 of them, were lined up on the front porch rail for all to see. And inside they sat glowing and telling bird hunting stories and laughing like teenagers who’d gotten away with something. I was only 16, but even I knew something special happened that day. And I knew there was something special about those little birds.
Bird hunting was already on the beginning of the down slope in ’78. And it was the age I call “the rise of deer.” Today, I often hear people say of bird hunting it is “a sport of the rich, only doctors and lawyers and wealthy entrepreneurs hunt birds anymore.” One recent new bird hunting magazine described itself as “an elegant lifestyle magazine.” Well that may be true, and I have nothing against money or people who have worked hard to earn it no matter how much they have. But I do want to convey that there used to be a lot of “Working Joe” bird hunters. And there still are quite a few. And if you have never hunted wild upland game birds like grouse, or quail or woodcock on their turf, let me tell you there is nothing dainty about it.
One look at Jack or Bud and you would have known better than to ever say that, too.
I undertake this topic with some trepidation. We discussed quail population management two blog posts ago and I hope I gave everyone a basic understanding of the dynamics involved within different levels of quail populations.
Of course, it’s hard to know how to manage a quail population without some knowledge of just how many coveys you have, or to carry it even further – what your quail density in birds per acre is. This discussion can quickly devolve into one that’s like trying to talk about tree density versus trees per acre versus basal area with a forester – none of it means anything to a landowner unless they can visualize what is being said. I struggle with how to best convey a practical method of quail population estimation suitable for the average landowner.
Several levels of population estimation need to be addressed:
1) you simply want to know if you have quail at all
2) you don’t plan to hunt your quail, but you would like to know if the habitat work you are doing is leading to a trend of increasing quail numbers and quail use of your land
3) you own a relatively small property (250 acres or less) and you would like to hunt it occasionally
4) you own a larger property and want to have an idea how many coveys you have and how many quail you should harvest annually
5) you manage a large quail plantation and it is critical to have a pre-hunt fall density estimate for your population.
We could come up with many more variations of these scenarios, but these will address most of your needs.
Case 1 – You simply want to know if you have quail:
For the complete bobwhite quail novice, you first have to become familiar with their songs and calls. Go to the Cornell University Ornithology Lab’s website at the link here http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_bobwhite/sounds . Familiarize yourself with each of their calls. They’ll come in handy regardless of how intensely you want to get into population estimation. In case 1, you can determine if you have quail by listening for singing male bobwhites during June. They call well between sunrise and about 9:00 a.m. typically. Listening on days with nice, clear, still mornings is best.
Case 2 – Is your quail population trending in the right direction?
First, face some cold hard facts. If you own a small piece of land, perhaps less than 50 acres, maybe even 100 acres, there are only so many quail coveys you can pack into that area. It can vary based on what type of landscape your property exists in, but by-and-large once you reach a covey per 25 to 50 acres, you’ve done about as good as you are going to do. So if you started off with no quail, and you now have 2 coveys on 50 acres, you’ve done well. Your goal now is to manage and maintain the coveys you’ve developed.
The “June Call Count” is one way state wildlife agencies keep track of quail population trends over large areas (such as entire states). A “trend” gives no true estimate of quail density (coveys per unit of area, or quail per acre, etc.). A trend is an indicator of whether a population is increasing, decreasing or stable. For example, you purchase 1,000 acres of land and want to manage it for quail and other early-succession species. You’d like to track the population trend through time. This is relatively easy to do by setting up a June whistling male bobwhite call count. Get a good aerial photo of your property and set up listening points periodically in easily accessible areas. Try to keep the points at least 600 yards apart to avoid double counting (generally during summer a bobwhite song can be heard up to 250 - 300 yards).
Begin your count at sunrise on a good, still, clear morning. Listen for 5 minutes at each stop. Record the number of different males heard making the “bob, bob, white” call at each stop. It is best to run the route several times each year and get an average of the number of bobwhite males heard at each stop. The first year serves as your baseline. It will take several years to establish a trend. Through time you will be able to tell if your population is increasing, decreasing or stable. Do not let one “bad” year throw you. Anomalies occur in nature. Plot your numbers through time and focus on the overall trend.
Case 3 - The owner of a small property who would like to hunt it occasionally:
Some consider “small” properties for quail those being less than 2,000 acres. That is not practical for many. I use 250 acres as my criteria. On properties of this size, and maybe even up to 500 acres, I believe landowner “familiarity” is a relatively reliable way to track the number of quail coveys each year. By this I assume you are a landowner who spends a great deal of time on your land. You manage it, you know the cover, you develop a feel for what quail need and where they are and during any given year you have a good feel for productivity.
Was it a good hatching year? Did you receive good rainfall during June, July and August? Or did you suffer extreme drought? Did you experience any heavy flooding events during peak times when young broods would abound (late June, July and into August)?
By early fall, you probably have an idea about how many coveys are on your property and perhaps even have a feel for the size of those coveys. The one thing you have to use care to avoid is double counting coveys. Coveys do move around, so when you see coveys on different days in different locations that are relatively close to one another, you can’t be sure they are not the same covey. In your case, though, as long as you do not want to hunt frequently you can safely take some quail off your land during all but the worst years.
Estimate the number of coveys and use an average size for each, generally 12 to 15 birds, calculate the total and use 20% as a general guide on the number that can be safely harvested during all but the worst years. And by “worst years” I mean those summers during which you believe reproduction was slim to none.
Recent research suggests that harvest of adult bobwhites during seasons following years of poor productivity could slow population recovery (Miller et al. 2012). If you want to get any more precise than this, you might consider using the fall covey count method I will describe for Cases 4 and 5.
Cases 4 and 5 – Larger properties that will be hunted moderately or frequently:
I lumped these two categories because they involve either large properties where intense familiarity with the entire property is unlikely, or larger properties which will be hunted moderately to frequently.
For my purposes I consider 1,000 – 3,000 acre properties as “large” relative to most others in the mid-South. But the fall covey count method I refer to can be applied to larger properties up to 15,000 or 20,000 acres if resources and time are available.
The fall covey count method was tested and perfected by researchers at Tall Timbers Research Station in Florida (Wellendorf et al. 2004). I will not try to describe it in detail here. But it basically involves assessing your property, developing a series of listening stations designed to cover as much of the property as possible without too much overlap, and then using them to listen for morning covey calls in early fall (mid to late October usually).
As with many surveys, it is best to run the survey at least 2 times and preferably more if resources allow it. In my opinion, the fall covey call count is the most reliable way to accurately assess fall pre-hunt quail populations on larger land holdings. If properly applied, it can allow a property owner to practice “adaptive harvest management,” meaning that harvest rates can be modified annually based on pre-hunt fall population levels. It is applied extensively on some of the premier quail plantations in the Deep South, and has been used to assess the effects of large scale government habitat cost-share programs across multiple states. The method is described in great detail on the Tall Timbers website at http://www.talltimbers.org/gb-fall_densities.html .
I’ll wrap up by saying the more you know about the quail population on your land, the better you’ll be able to manage habitat and harvest. I hope this has at least provided you a place to start.
Miller, R.S., W.E. Palmer and S.D. Wellendorf. 2012. Age-specific nesting performance by northern bobwhites. Proceedings of the National Quail Symposium 7:229-233.
Wellendorf, S.D., W.E. Palmer, and P.T. Bromley. 2004. Estimating calling rates of northern bobwhite coveys and measuring abundance. Journal of Wildlife Management 69:672-682.
Thickets, weeds and brush
Please do not rid your farm of us.
And in the fall when your bush hog is itching for a ride,
Within your barn let it continue to reside.
Else it will be to no avail
The Bobwhite will cry and wail:
“Where else am I to hide
When by the predator’s beady eyes I’ve been spied?”
“And, alas, where will I loaf about
When July’s blazing sun comes out?”
“Without these wonderful and diverse plants
My fragile bones will soon be picked clean by ants.”
Happy New Year to all of you!
Please excuse me the brief foray into poetry. I heard Dale Rollins, communicator extraordinaire, recite a similar verse about Broom Weed in Texas this summer at the annual National Bobwhite Technical Committee meeting. Sometimes a few simple words can have an impact.
I start off the New Year again emphasizing that the importance of thickets to the long term survival of quail (and dozens of other organisms) cannot be overstated. Lack of thickets is consistently what I find glaringly absent on most farms where “quail management” has occurred. I also find that many landowners believe they have done a ton of work and should have more quail, but what I often see is that they simply do not have enough habitat to support many coveys.
And while on the subject of thickets, hunters participating in Virginia’s annual avid quail hunter survey last year reported that 58% of their covey finds occurred in cut-overs (clear-cuts). Indeed, cut-overs often provide the only good thicket cover in many landscapes.
But as with agriculture, forestry has become more intense to keep pace with an ever- growing demand for wood products. And as it has intensified, the value of the wildlife habitat that cut-overs provide has declined. I’m not pointing fingers at an industry – we all play a role as consumers, too. What has long been termed “clean farming” is now being seen more often in forestry.
In the “old days,” new cut-overs were most often windrowed and burned. Both practices were fantastic for wildlife. Modern forestry rarely uses either technique anymore. Advancements in timber harvesting and processing techniques have allowed cleaner harvesting and more thorough processing of material on site, leaving little debris to windrow and burn. And advancements in herbicides have led to even cleaner cut-overs than ever. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. Soil is conserved, and water and air quality are improved. Better use of material means less waste. I don’t think we will go back to those old ways. What then can be done to improve the modern clear-cut for wildlife?
First – as the landowner you should know that you have options and “a say” in how your site is managed after harvest. I fear all too often the landowner gets a standard forestry prescription and doesn’t know they have wildlife options.
Now please understand … if maximizing your profits from the future timber is your primary concern, by all means listen to, and do, what your forester recommends. They are good people just trying to do a good job for you. But if you have wildlife interests, make sure they know that. Request that a wildlife biologist also be brought into the planning.
If your goal is to re-plant with a pine species like loblolly, short-leaf or long-leaf pine (or others conducive to fire), consider getting the site harvested with future understory burning in mind. On our own small stand of pines at home, when conducting our second thinning, we let our consulting forester know we would like to do some burning in the future. He laid out our haul roads to double as future fire lines. In addition, he requested that the cutter harvest a strip all the way around the stand so that perimeter fire lines could be constructed easily.
If you’re going to clear cut and you plan to re-plant with pines, consider long-leaf as a good option if you’re in long-leaf range. Long-leaf can be managed with fire at a very early age. In fact, it benefits from it. It is also generally grown at a wider spacing than traditional reforestation pines like loblolly. That means it closes canopy later so provides a longer term for early-successional habitats (weeds and thickets). Short-leaf pine also offers some advantages – consult a local forester and a wildlife biologist to indicate interest in non-standard forestry applications.
Brood rearing habitat
Regardless of type of pine to be planted, consider the following if at all possible:
1) Have a site preparation burn conducted – it scarifies (activates) seed long dormant in the native seed bank.
2) Do not replant pine up to road edges. Leave 25’ or more on each side of all major haul roads. These can be rotationally managed (disking, planting and or fire) to provide good bugging and winter feeding areas as the pines age and close canopy.
3) Consider planting no more than 435 trees per acre – this is a10’ x 10’ spacing. At this spacing, some manipulation can occur between pine rows (light disking, and or legume planting) until the pines reach canopy closure.
4) Wildlife clearings should also be made at this time. I know one landowner who cleared 100’ for every 300’ of planted pine throughout his cut-overs. These now serve as excellent summer brood rearing and winter feeding strips within a context of older, thinned and burned pines.
5) When considering pine release herbicide application, opt for herbicide solutions that will leave more plant diversity (particularly those that are friendlier to blackberry and legumes).
6) After release spraying has been done this summer, survey the site for residual herbaceous plant survival. If you do not find ample native plants and legumes returning, i.e., beggar weed, partridge pea, native lespedezas, poke weed, ragweed, blackberry and others, you might need to consider planting these species along road edges on old logging decks and anywhere feasible.
7) As ground cover between the pine rows begins to thicken and become mostly grass, consider some rotational strip disking between the pine rows. Disking need not be too heavy, only enough to break the soil and bigger clods. This will help maintain annuals like ragweed and many legumes, providing bugging areas during summer and seed gathering areas in winter.
I’ll leave this at the lucky 7. For comprehensive pine management information go to our web link http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/quail/managing-pines-smaller.pdf .
And remember, invite a wildlife biologist to your forestry planning meeting.