Wildlife, game and non-game, has certain basic requirements. Three of the most important are food, water, and shelter.
Changing wildlife numbers in an area is primarily a matter of altering the amount of food, water, or shelter. Generally wildlife is found where two or more kinds of vegetation meet. At an ``edge,'' variety of plants is greatest, so a much broader range of food items and cover materials is available.
Lack of adequate cover may limit wildlife numbers. Therefore, whenever possible preserve such sites as bays, heads, fence rows, hedge rows and old house sites. Although wildlife cover can be planted, it is much easier and cheaper to preserve natural cover.
Water seldom limits wildlife populations in Georgia. For that reason, there is little need to manage water except to attract waterfowl. However, water is necessary, so food and cover should be located near it
In many areas, food is the principal factor limiting wildlife numbers. Under most circumstances, native vegetation provides both cover and the best foods for our native wildlife. Every attempt should be made to preserve and encourage native food plants. Table 1 lists some native plants important to wildlife.
Although mention is made that these plants serve as food for one species or another, most also provide cover for many wildlife species.
Under certain circumstances it may not be possible to manage native food plants. In these cases, use locally available domesticated plant materials. There are a number of different plantings which can be used for wildlife. See Table 2 pages . Although plants are generally listed singly, you may want to plant several different ones. If you can only plant one kind, try to stagger planting dates. Either technique--mixing varieties or staggering planting dates--will provide a longer period of food availability.
|Plant1||Used by2||Soil3||pH4||Rate||Planting Dates||Time to maturity||Other|
|Annual Game-bird Mix: Korean lespedeza, rape, milo, browntop, peas, soybeans||DO, Q, R, T||All||6.0-6.5||Broadcast: 25 lb/acre||May-June||Seeds available as food from Sept. to March. Mix equal parts of each. Annual.|
|Asiatic day-flower||Du||Wet pond soils||Broadcast seed or push plants into bottom about 12 apart||May-July||No commercial source; seeds or plants collected in wild and planted. Perennial.|
|Bahiagrass||R, T||All||6.0||Broadcast: 15 lb/acre||Feb 1-Apr 1||S. GA only. Occasional mowing until July 1 will improve use as brood range. Perennial.|
|Beggarweed, Florida||Q||Fertile, moist sandy soils||Broadcast: 10 lbs/acre||No later than June 1||150-180 days||Use scarified seed; S. GA only. Seed available as food from Nov through Feb. Annual.|
|Chufa||T||Well-drained sand or sandy loam||6.0||Broadcast: 50 lbs/acre. 18 or 24 rows: 25-35 lbs/acre||May-July||Rotate after 2-3 years. Annual.|
|Clover, Crimson||D, R, T||All except poor||6.0-6.5||Broadcast: hulled--15-20 lbs/acre unhulled--45-60 lbs/acre||Sept 1-Oct 1||Inoculate seed. Use reseeding variety. Winter annual.|
|Clover, White||D, R, T||Moist clay or loams||6.5-7.0||Broadcast: 2-3 lbs/acre||For winter: Sept 1-Oct 1||Good for winter greens. Innoculate seed. Use scarified seed. Perennial. May die in summer.|
|Clover and grass mixture||D, R, T||All||6.5||Drill: 8 lbs. of mixure per acre||Mix 1: Sept.-Oct.; Mix 2: Sept.; Mix 3: Feb.-March||Specify clover and innocualte. Mix 1. White clover and fescue, 1:3. (N. GA); Mix 2. White clover and bludgrass, 1:2 (N. GA); Mix 3. White clover and dallisgrass, 1:3 (S. GA)|
|Corn||D, Do, Du, Q, S, T||Fetile, well-drained loam||6.0-6.8||Space at 8-10 in 36 rows (ca. 7 lbs/acre)||March 15-June 1||80-100 days||Can be flooded for waterfowl. Plant to mature before frost. Annual.|
|Corn and Soybean Mixture||D, Do, Du, Q, R, S, T||All, best on fertile loam||6.0-6.8||Alternate rows & plant as for individual crops or 4 lbs corn & 25 lbs in soybeans in 36 rows||March 15-June 1||80-100 days||Annual|
|Lespedeza, Annual: Korean Kobe, common||Q||All except sand||6.0-6.5||Broadcast: 30-35 lbs/acre||Feb 1-March 1||Seed generally available after first frost. Annual. Will reseed.|
|Lespedeza, bicolor||Q||All except deep sands or poorly drained||6.0-6.5||Plants: 24 apart in 36 rows Seed: 36 rows 12-14 lbs/acre||Nov 1-April 1 for plants, March 1-April 15 for seed||Use scarified seed. Seeds avaiable as food beginning in Sept. Use a 0-20-20 fertilizer for maximum seed production. Perennial.|
|Millet, Browncap||Do, Du, Q, T||Well-drained||6.0||Broadcast: 20 lbs/acre||April 1-July 1||60 days||Can be planted in dewatered ponds for ducks. Annual.|
|Millet, Japanese||Du||Wet soils||Broadcast: 20 lbs/acre||July 1-Aug 1||75 days (up to 110 days for late varieties)||Keep water off until 10 high. Light grazing may improve seed yield. Annual.|
|Millet, Proso||Do, Q||Well-rained||6.0||Broadcast: 20 lbs/acre Drill: 15 lbs/acre||April 1-July 1||75 days||Can be used in duck ponds: dewater, plant by June 15 and flood in Sept. Annual.|
|Brown-top millet-grain sorghum mixture||Do, Du, Q, T||All||5.8-6.2||Drill: 10 lbs brown-top & 15 lbs sorghum/acre||April 1-July 15||Equal parts black amber cane, orange amber cane, atlas sorghum, dwarf kaffir, sudangrass, alta fescue-omit fescue in S. GA and substitute napiergrass. Annual.|
|Oats||D, R, T||All||6.0||Broadcast or drill: 2-2 bushels/acre||Aug 15-Oct 15||Annual|
|Pea, Partridge||Do, Q||Moist sites preferred but will produce on all||6.0-6.5||Broadcast: 15 lbs/acre. Rows 30, 7 lbs/acre||March 1-April 15||150 days||Seed available as food beginning in Nov. Annual.|
|Rye||D, R||Loam||6.0||2-2 bushels/acre||N. GA Aug 15 through Sept 15. S. GA Sept 15-Oct 15|
|Ryegrass, Winter||D, R, T||Best on fertile soils||6.0||Broadcast: 40 lbs/acre||N. GA Aug 15-Sept 15 S. GA Sept 15-Oct 15||Very useful on areas bared in the fall. Will provide winter greenery. Annual.|
|Sesame||DO, Q||Well-drained||6.5-7.0||Broadcast: 10 lbs/acre Drill: 4-5 lbs in 36 rows||After soil temperature reaches 75°F (Ca. July 1)||85-100 days||S. GA do not plant on same site 2 years in a row due to wilt. Annual.|
|Sorghum, grain||D, DU, Q, T||All||5.8-6.2||36-44 rows, 2-8 between plants Broadcast: 30 lbs/acre||March 15-July 1||95-130 days||Plant as late as possible and still have grain before frost. Bird-resistant strains have durable grain that may last all winter.|
|Stoddard Winter Mixture||Do, Q||All||6.0-6.5||Broadcast: 25 lbs/acre||Sept. 1-Oct. 15||Late spring for seed||Vetch, 60 lbs; Caley peas, 30 lbs; Rye, 7 lbs; Oats, 7 lbs; Wheat, 7 lbs. Annual.|
|Sunflower||Do, Q, S, T||All, but best on fertile loams||Broadcast: 5 lbs/acre Rows: 36, 12 apart in row||June 1-June 30||Annual.|
|Wheat||D, Do, R, T||Well-drained heavy||6.0||Drill: 2 bushels/acre||N. GA Oct 15-Nov 1, S. GA Nov 1||180 days||Available as food beginning about May. Annual.|
Since wildlife is mostly a product of ``edge,'' management should provide maximum ``edge.'' Plots should be relatively small, long and narrow. Avoid extremely large plantings because the central part may never receive use. Table 3 shows how plot shape affects the number of feet of edge.
|Feet of Perimeter (edge)||740||835||889||1072||1842|