April 15, 2020

Spring is all about new growth - like the flowers we found blooming out in the field and the baby bluebirds we discovered in our birdbox last week. It's also the time when the summer food plots that Jay and the Conservancy team planted start to sprout. As land managers, it’s important not just to plant these summer food plots, but also to monitor the growth and the amount of grazing pressure that is occurring. As any of our food plots begin to grow (summer or fall), the amount of deer browse can be difficult to judge. This is where an exclusion device comes in.

What is an exclusion device?

We'll let Justin explain more in the video below, but generally speaking, an exclusion device is used to block any deer or other animal from eating the plants. Dimensions vary but the device acts as a control - showing what the crop would look like if there were no deer to graze on the plants. The plants outside of the device will be eaten naturally.

Why is it important to have?

The practice of using exclusion devices is popular among land managers as it allows us to gain insight into the amount of plant productivity and grazing pressure within our food plots.

And here is a short video of what an established winter food plot looks like.

But wait! There's more! What is that fence around food plot? If we want to provide a nutritional buffet for the wildlife at the Bluff, why are we roping off what we just planted? We'll let Big Jay explain more in the video below...

Spring is a busy time at the Bluff - especially for the Conservancy team. Stay tuned for more videos of what the team is currently working on out in the field.

Conservation
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