Steelman: Late August checklist

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Wildlife Notes
Bluebirds are hatching their third nests
Shorebird migration at its peak
Songbirds begin migrating
Young bats learn to fly
Bats begin migrating
Chipmunks are bearing their second litter
The bobwhite population is probably at its annual peak in August
Bullfrogs, green frogs, cricket frogs, and gray and green treefrogs are calling throughout TN
In west TN, you might also hear bird-voiced treefrogs, and barking treefrogs

Habitat Management
Spray undesirable woody plants in early successional areas
- multiflora rose, privets, sericea lespedeza, sweetgum, green ash, and Ailanthus are examples of undesirable woody plants in early successional areas
- Roundup, Garlon 3-A, Arsenal, Cimarron, and PastureGard should be considered
- refer to Chapter 6 and Appendix 4 in Native Warm-Season Grasses: Identification, Establishment, and Management for Wildlife and Forage Production in the Mid-South, PB 1752, for additional information
Instead of mowing early successional areas, spot-spray instead
- Roundup and other glyphosate products work well
- Garlon 3-A and Cimarron work well for many undesirable broadleaf plants
- drive across field with tractor and sprayer as you would when mowing; spot spray undesirable species with a spray gun as you see them
- composition of field will change over time, developing into an early successional area with desirable plant species
Burn old-fields to stimulate forbs and reduce grass dominance (late August)
- Smokey Bear is 69 years old this month (1944). Let's pray he will retire soon!
Plant firebreaks (late August) and other disked strips not left for natural vegetation
- annual cool-season grains (such as wheat and oats) along with annual legumes (crimson and arrowleaf clover) are excellent choices

Prepare new cool-season plots for planting in September
- spray existing sod with glyphosate herbicide (such as Roundup-2 quarts per acre)
- amend soil according to soil test recommendations
- incorporate (disk) lime and fertilizer into root zone of plot
- refer to A Guide to Successful Wildlife Food Plots: Blending Science with Common Sense, PB 1769, for additional  information on seeding rates and management recommendations
- if you cannot get seed locally, order it now so you'll have it when it is time to plant
Spray and/or mow perennial forage food plots for weed control if necessary
- refer to Appendix 2 in A Guide to Successful Wildlife Food Plots: Blending Science with Common Sense, PB 1769, for herbicide recommendations
Begin silage chopping or strip-mowing dove fields as they mature
Top-sow winter wheat in late August to attract doves and provide forage for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife through fall and winter
- Don't cut native grass hayfields past mid-August
- winter cover provided by native grasses is the primary usefulness of native grass hayfields for wildlife
- if you hay past mid-August, there will not be enough regrowth to provide sufficient winter cover
- refer to Chapter 3 in Native Warm-Season Grasses: Identification, Establishment, and Management for Wildlife and
- Grazing native grass pastures should be ceased by late August to allow sufficient regrowth for plant vigor and winter cover for wildlife
- Order tree seedlings if you plan to plant trees this fall/winter
- Begin flooding fields for migrating blue-winged teal and local wood ducks
- Finish planting wild millet and buckwheat around beaver sloughs and other areas that will be flooded in November for ducks
- Construct/repair dikes and water-control structures for flooding fields/woodlands for waterfowl this fall/winter
- To provide high-quality habitat for many amphibians, maintain flooded areas throughout the summer and restrict cattle access.
- Maintain cattails and other emergent vegetation around ponds if amphibians are a focus and fish are present (fish are significant predators of amphibian eggs and tadpoles)
- if the pond is managed for fish, pond edges should be deepened to approximately 18 inches and emergent vegetation should be removed

Wildlife Damage/Population Management
If bats are in your attic, don't close them up now
- young are still present, but will be flying soon
- if you close them up, they will die and produce a terrible odor
- maternal colonies will be leaving for hibernation before too long
- close all outside openings to attics as soon as the bats leave
Blackbirds begin flocking later in August
- don't allow them to roost in the trees in your yard; if they start, they'll form a habit
- repel them with noise makers consistently until they stop returning in the evening (shotguns, firecrackers, banging metal pans together)
- be persistent
- Conduct survey for white-tailed deer using infrared-triggered cameras
- one camera per 50 - 100 acres, spaced systematically throughout property
- trace mineral salt may be placed at site in spring to get deer accustomed to coming to site
- bait camera sites with shelled corn and take pictures for 2 weeks

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