Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Our Bear

Saturday I was working on tree-stands and saw our bear was back on our property.  This is the second time in three years we have been able to document the bear on our property, and a possible third time a few years back when I walked up on something in the dark one morning that could have been a bear but I still can't identify what that was that morning.  
I noticed a large rock rolled over into the firebreak/food-plot under a tree that was dropping acorns.  I thought, bear, when  I saw the rock had been moved. I finished work on the stand and started out the firebreak several steps from where the rock was moved and I looked down in the dry soil and saw the track.
I hope I can see the bear this winter and get a picture of it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Busy Month of October

October is always a busy month both on and off the property.  Several days have been spent traveling to tours on friends property and also two annual events in Alabama and Georgia.  Here are some of the things that have been going on.

On a tour in Greenville of the property owned by John Boutwell, a friend and fellow Tree Farm board member, we saw several interesting demonstrations on his tree farm.  This is a picture of a group of aquatic scientist showing how they do a sampling of aquatic species in a stream.  This was very interesting because they had containers of some of the fish they captured in the stream.  They would shock the water and the fish would come to the top for easy collection. 

Another stop on this tour was a demonstration of a Native American hunting camp.  This demonstration was put on by Native Americans and it was very informative.  I would have enjoyed more time to listen to these people.  From this tour we continued to the Annual meeting of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association at Atmore.

Several awards were presented and many informative speakers spoke to the attendees.  It was a good conference and well attended.

Because it was held on the property of the Poarch Band of the Creek People they did a program on some of their dances.  Bill Smith, one of their tribal elders and fellow Treasure Forest board member, put this part of the program together. 
They were great host and did two different tours of their property that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
They are very good stewards of their property and are certified as a Treasure Forest.
From here we returned home for a day and then traveled to Valdosta and Moultrie, Georgia for the Southeastern Ag Expo

This is always a great event where the Farmer of the Year is named.  To get to be a part of this each year is such a great honor for me and Felicia

The next day we attended the Expo show.  They always start the show off with the National Anthem with the flag being displayed from a hot air balloon.  This was beautiful with the clear blue sky being in the background with Old Glory on display.

At the Farmer of the Year Dinner we won a bouquet with a Massey Ferguson tractor as part of the arrangement.  You can see who ended up with the tractor, our youngest grandson.  
After all this traveling it was time to get ready for our annual event on our property, "Classroom in the Forest".
Our grandson and his mom helped me with clearing our walking trail of leaves.  This was three days before the event.

Also on Saturday, I worked on repairing some of our tree stands that we will be using soon for hunting.  I got six ready and I have many more to check.
On Monday I continued working to get ready for the Classroom in the Forest.

Today the first group came out for the big day, and tomorrow we will have the second group to visit our property.  There will be about 200 visitors these two days enjoying our Treasure Forest and Tree Farm.  The students and teachers were very appreciative and really enjoyed the day.  This all takes place with some great volunteers that make this day possible, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Forestry Commission, and landowners from our local Forestry Planning Committee.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Wildlife Plots, Lots of Dry Weather

Abby, my farmer daughter, and I have worked hard this past week on game food plots.  We planted in the dust and hope for rain off of Hurricane Mathew.  Our summer food plots of sunnhep really did well even though we have been in a drought this summer.  This is our largest planting and it is about three acres.
This stuff is as tall as ten foot in some places and it has been eaten all over the field.
Many plants have been top three times but it puts back out and continues to grow.  Some of the tall plants have no leaves as high as the deer can reach.  I am posting an article to privateforestlandowner.com more in detail on why we plant sunnhemp.
One of our friendly snakes soaking up the sun on a road bank on a cool morning when we started working.  He was the largest black racer I have ever seen. It was six feet more or less in size. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Busy, Hot Time of The Year

Just because the weather has been very hot and humid, this doesn't mean nothing has been taking place on Dewberry Lands. 
We have just sprayed herbicides on the tract we are going to convert back to native longleaf pines.
We will be doing a prescribed burn here as soon as the foliage dies back to make it easier to plant and it will help control weed competition for the survival of the seedlings. 
Roads are checked and we have started putting out game cameras to see how many fawns we have on our property.  In the very near future we are going to be starting a thinning operation to improve the timber stand on another tract.
There's been quarterly meetings with the Alabama Treasure Forest Association and the State Tree Farm Committee in Montgomery, the annual meeting and tour with the Alabama Farmers Federation in Mobile and our monthly Forestry Planning Committee meetings locally.
This is just some of the things that have been going on with Dewberry Lands.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

US Forest Service- Thirteen States Meet

 The USFS recently met in Atlanta, Georgia, and came over to East Alabama for part of the day back on June the 7th.  The group toured Munford Elementary and met at the high school for discussion about partners with the USFS.  The USFS partnered with Munford to develop the schools with a forestry them throughout the schools.  If you ever get the opportunity to visit the schools I recommend you go and see how interesting the schools were designed.
I was invited to speak to the group about landowner/USFS relations and how we work together in the Talladega District of the forest.  Originally they were to visit our property but travel restraints kept us from having them on our property so my son helped me develop a virtual tour of some of the work we have done in our forest.  Below is the video I showed to the group as I talked about our forest management. It was an interesting day talking with state foresters from Texas to Virginia and answering questions they had about our management plan. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day 2016

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Everyday is "Earth Day" on Dewberry Lands.  This morning I made two pictures while we were eating breakfast.  This Rose-Breasted Grosbeak ran the other birds off as he came to eat.  As soon as he left the Gold Finches returned.
Gold Finch

Also this week I got a picture of an Eagle this week in the Barfield Community.  He was flying up out of the road as we approached an landed in this sweetgum tree.  Such a beautiful bird!
Bald Eagle

Friday, April 1, 2016

Why We Spend So Much On Wildlife Habitat

This is one of the reasons why we spend what we spend on wildlife management on our property.  Last week after we did the prescribed burn on Tuesday, on Friday my dad harvested a nice gobbler.  It was where we burned but we had also planted chufa seed in the field where the turkey was.  My dad is about to be 79 years old and nothing does him better than getting a nice gobbler.  
We continue to manage the property investing a considerable amount each year in wildlife habitat.  I enjoy seeing the wildlife on our property and my desire is that some day my grandchildren will be able to go onto the property and see deer, turkey,and other wildlife that they may or may not hunt but just enjoy the natural resources that we are managing for.  
Some ask why do you do so much work and invest so much into this?  The answer is: to provide my grandchildren a place of their own to enjoy some day.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happenings This Past Week

Started out this week, on Monday, with a prescribed burn of four year old longleaf pines.  This stand was burned two years ago.  We got a real good burn, knocking back the hardwood seedlings and burned up lots of briers.
Then on Tuesday morning, Eli and his mom went by the logging operation and watched the logging equipment in action.  He got to watch the skidder, loader and log truck in action.
After some time I went to a tract of 22 year old pines, about 130 acres of loblolly pines, that we did a prescribed burn on.  We got  a very good burn with only one jump that we got extinguished very quickly.  Next week I will be back to painting boundary lines before the woods get too thick. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Timber Harvest

We have started a timber harvest where we are going to be converting this site back to longleaf pines.  There are some nice trees being harvested that will make great lumber and plywood for some new homes.  It is good to see these nice trees being made into a product that will help house someone, somewhere.
This site will be planted back as soon as possible after the harvest to start the next generation of trees for future homes.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Enjoying The Outdoors

Have you ever sat on a foot-log and watched the water running under you?  Eli has! At age two he already loves the outdoors.  If you don't get little ones out early, before age five, then you probably have waited too late to develop that love for the outdoors.

These two, nine and seven love getting out. The oldest is always blazing a trail and his sister is right behind him even though sometimes she might fall in the water.  That is what happened this weekend but after the embarrassment she was right back up trying it again.  This has happened to all of us before and if it has never happened to you it will happen if you walk enough foot logs.  

Marking Property

Spent one day last week re-painting boundary lines on one of our parcels of land.  This is important for several reasons.  1) So family can know where your property boundary lines are in case you are not able to show them.
2) So family hunters will know where the property is located that they are hunting on.  3) So adjoining landowners will know where the boundary line are located. 4) There are many other reasons that I will not go into at this time.  Look at www.privateforestlandowner.com for more information.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Damp Morning

Neat find this morning while hunting.  GOD really does things right!

Turkey Tail Mushrooms