Jeffrey Enery Center Wildlife Area News
The wheat that was planted last fall benefited from the moisture that came after the first of the year and did well. It is that time of year again to be burning the wheat in stages leading up to dove season. The sunflowers on Unit #1 did very well and should provide excellent food for doves. When the sunflowers are ready they will be mowed the week or two prior to dove season. The wheat on Unit #2 did well this year and will be managed in the same way for doves. The sunflowers however only did moderately well on two fields with the rest either failing to come up or were browsed by deer and became weedy. Unit #2 is closed to public hunting for the first two days of the season to allow for the annual JEC Youth Dove Hunt.
Even with the outbreak of EHD the region experienced last year there is still a thriving population of deer on the area. After the wheat is burned off for dove management the plan is to plant a cover crop mixture to improve soil quality and will provide late season food availability for deer and cover for upland birds.
Because of the drought and subsequent burn ban last year management activities focusing on upland bird habitat were delayed leaving us trying to catch up this season. There are several summer burns planned for area 1, 2, and 3 that will provide better cover in years to come and set back woody plants that are growing in the grassland areas.