There are few things finer than watching a good bird dog lock-up on point. Over the last 25 years, upland bird numbers in north Missouri have sharply decreased due to loss of habitat and improved farming practices. At Graff Habitat, we work with private landowners to prioritize target species and tailor the development plans to offer world-class hunting opportunities. Many management practices that are beneficial for deer, are also advantageous to turkey, quail and other upland game species. Native grasses, edge feathering, strip discing, scrub/shrub plantings and food sources all uniquely contribute to providing high-quality habitat. If your goals are to encourage quail, pheasants and turkeys to utilize your property, we have strategic management practices and sure-fire development plans that will help.
Nesting, brood-rearing, and security cover from predators are vital to these species and can be accomplished quickly through edge feathering. Breaking a property down into smaller areas and providing the various habitat types in each unit will encourage higher populations of quail, pheasants and turkeys. Strategically locating food sources and bare ground near the various habitat types will draw in upland birds like a magnet.
Dove hunting is the way that many of us start out the fall - knocking off the rust and honing our shooting skills. Developing consistent hunting success for doves takes a little time, but will provide exceptional hunting opportunities when they are approached strategically. Graff Habitat is committed to taking the guesswork out of putting together a successful dove hunting program.
Over the last decade, we have planted hundreds of acres of dove plots and have developed a sunflower program that is nothing short of exceptional. Choosing the right seed hybrid, effective soil preparation, fertilization and exceptional weed control are most important in producing a high-quality food source for migrating doves. Sunflowers, wheat, and other cereal grains are highly sought after dove foods while they migrate through the Midwest.
Doves want bare dirt where they are feeding, so keeping your plots clean is a big priority. Sometimes discing is required to get some bare dirt for doves to land and pick grit, but effective weed control is without a doubt the best way to keep the ground bare.
The location of dove plots is important as well. We have found high ridges are more visible and attracted more birds than areas that are harder to locate. Providing dead trees for doves to stage, especially locust trees, around your dove plots will give them a place to gather before they pitch down into the fields.