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Fish and Wildlife Management

Fish and Wildlife Management: A Handbook for Mississippi Landowners

Adam T. Rohnke
James L. Cummins
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 592
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  • Book Info
    Fish and Wildlife Management
    Book Description:

    Featuring over five hundred illustrations and forty tables, this book is a collection of in-depth discussions by a tremendous range of experts on topics related to wildlife and fisheries management in Mississippi. Beginning with foundational chapters on natural resource history and conservation planning, the authors discuss the delicate balance between profit and land stewardship. A series of chapters about the various habitat types and the associated fish and wildlife populations that dominate them follow.

    Several chapters expand on the natural history and specific management techniques of popular species of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkey, and other species. Experts discuss such special management topics as supplemental, wildlife-food planting, farm pond management, backyard habitat, nuisance animal control, and invasive plant species control.

    Leading professionals who work every day in Mississippi with landowners on wildlife and fisheries management created this indispensible book. The up-to-date and applicable management techniques discussed here can be employed by private landowners throughout the state. For those who do not own rural lands but have an interest in wildlife and natural resources, this book also has much to offer. Residents of urban communities interested in creating a wildlife-friendly yard will delight in the backyard habitat chapter specifically written for them. Whether responsible for one-fourth of an acre or two thousand, landowners will find this handbook to be an incalculable aid on their journey to good stewardship of their Mississippi lands.

    eISBN: 978-1-62674-045-7
    Subjects: Biological Sciences, Zoology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-v)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vi-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
    Adam T. Rohnke and James L. Cummins
  4. Wildlife Mississippi
    (pp. xi-1)

    The Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Foundation, commonly called Wildlife Mississippi, is a private, charitable, nonprofit conservation organization. it was founded in 1997 by members representing every county in Mississippi. These founders wanted a low-overhead, cost-efficient organization so they and others could do more for conservation. it is the mission of Wildlife Mississippi to conserve Mississippi’s lands, waters, and natural heritage in order to secure the state’s quality of life by making it a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Wildlife Mississippi is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the internal Revenue Code, and donors...

  5. CHAPTER 1 Mississippi’s Natural Bounty
    (pp. 3-11)
    Adam T. Rohnke, Martha D Dalrymple and James L. Cummins

    Ranging from the shores of the gulf of Mexico to the flat lands of the delta and the foothills of the appalachian Mountains, Mississippi has a vast array of abundant natural resources. Many aspects of the state’s economy, both historically and today, are dependent upon these natural resources. The most obvious example is the agricultural and forestry industry, which employs 29 percent of the state’s workforce (either directly or indirectly) and generates $7.02 billion annually. similarly, outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and other related activities, generate $2.69 billion in Mississippi. Most of these enterprises occur on private...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Conservation Planning and Natural Resource Economics in Mississippi
    (pp. 13-33)
    Stephen C. Grado, Marcus K. Measells, Adam T. Rohnke, James L. Cummins, Richard G. Hamrick and L. Wes Burger Jr.

    The south is an important food- and fiber-producing region in the United states. in recent years, corn and soybean production has increased dramatically across the region as a result of greater demands for ethanol production and food supplies. This part of the country also produces more forest products than any other region in the world. Future projections all point to an increasing share of the forest market to shift to the south, particularly the south-central United states. as a result of this future commitment to forestry, agriculture, and associated industries (such as forest products, fish and wildlife, and recreation), private...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Mississippi Soils
    (pp. 35-47)
    John D. Kushla and Andrew J. Londo

    People often take for granted the importance of soil in their lives. Soils provide the foundation for homes, cities, and roads. They are the media for bountiful crops and forests. Soils store and filter the groundwater that supports life on land. indeed, soils provide for the diversity of plants and wildlife upon which Mississippians depend for commerce and recreation.

    Landowners wanting to optimize their resource potential for agricultural crops, livestock, forestry, or wildlife should have a basic understanding of the soils that make up their properties. all of these resources begin with the quality of the soil. The white-tailed deer...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Managing Agricultural Landscapes for Wildlife
    (pp. 49-69)
    Richard G. Hamrick

    Agricultural ecosystems are essential to the state of Mississippi and the nation because they produce the food and fiber that feed and clothe the world. agriculture is Mississippi’s top industry, employing approximately 17 percent of the state’s workforce and generating 15 percent of taxable income. Agricultural enterprises provide the economic activity that fuels household, local, state, and national economies. according to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, agriculture is a $7.5 billion industry in the state, with approximately 11 million acres on 42,000 farms, which average 263 acres each.

    The condition of croplands, pastures, and forests in these agricultural...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Managing Native Grasslands
    (pp. 71-101)
    Jeanne C. Jones and JoVonn G. Hill

    Tallgrass prairies and woodland savannas once covered much of central North America and parts of the Southeast. When European settlers arrived on this continent, these vast grasslands stretched as far north as Manitoba, Canada, south to the coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana, and east into Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Alabama. These communities developed over thousands of years, shaped by soil type, climate, and fires ignited by dry lightning and Native Americans. Differences in soil types, rainfall and moisture availability, and fire incidence created diverse habitat types across the country. Mixed and shortgrass prairies and desert grasslands were prevalent in western...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Woodland Management
    (pp. 103-123)
    John D. Hodges

    Timber is a $1 billion industry in Mississippi that supports 123,000 jobs (8.5 percent of all jobs in the state). There are 19 million acres of forest land in Mississippi, representing 68 percent of the land area. Within this forest land, 46 percent of the acreage is in hardwood, 39 percent is in pine, and 15 percent is in mixed oak and pine. Mississippi is home to 300,000 nonindustrial private forest landowners and more than 3200 certified tree farms (the top ranking in the United states). Most woodlands in the state are composed of forest stands that vary in size...

  11. CHAPTER 7 Wetland Ecology and Management
    (pp. 125-153)
    Rob Ballinger and Samuel C. Pierce

    Historically, wetlands have gotten a bad rap. Early documents described wetland areas as having “bad air,” which was thought to cause malaria, yellow fever, and other maladies. Here in the southeastern United States, the prevalence of venomous snakes and alligators reinforced the idea that wetlands were bad places.

    As a result of such negative and sometimes incorrect assumptions, as well as the advent of modern machinery that was used to construct extensive drainage ditches, wetland loss within the United States has been substantial, with estimates ranging from 40 to 60 percent. Many of the remaining wetlands are affected by human...

  12. CHAPTER 8 Managing Streams and Rivers
    (pp. 155-171)
    Andrew E. Whitehurst

    Mississippians have long felt a strong connection to streams and rivers, which run through our history, our literature, and our personal experiences. Streams and rivers support a rich variety of fish, other aquatic animals, and plants, while their floodplains and hardwood bottomlands provide essential high-quality wildlife habitat for deer, turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, most of the state’s migratory and native songbirds, and countless other varieties of wildlife.

    Many of Mississippi’s streamside landowners take great pride in owning land along the numerous waterways of the Magnolia state. With that ownership comes additional responsibilities and considerations for protecting the public waterways all Mississippian’s...

  13. CHAPTER 9 White-Tailed Deer
    (pp. 173-195)
    Chad M. Dacus, William T. McKinley, Chris McDonald and Lann M. Wilf

    White-tailed deer are an important recreational and economic resource in Mississippi. Deer is the most hunted game species in the state, generating an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion, according to the natural Resource enterprise Program at Mississippi state University. Today, white-tailed deer are found in every county of Mississippi, with an estimated population of 1.75 million.

    During colonization by the French around 1700, white-tailed deer populations were likely found throughout Mississippi. however, the lack of undergrowth in virgin pine and hardwood forests probably supported smaller deer populations than we have today.

    The first deer hunting season in...

  14. CHAPTER 10 Eastern Wild Turkey
    (pp. 197-213)
    Adam B. Butler

    Prior to European settlement, the forests of Mississippi were home to an estimated 1 million wild turkeys. Between 1880 and 1930, however, most of the state’s woodlands had been cleared to make way for agriculture, towns, roads, and industry, and the loss of habitat did not bode well for the birds. Furthermore, no laws restricting the harvest of wild turkeys existed, and a growing human population exhibited ever-increasing pressure on the resource by killing turkeys for subsistence and market. The combination of habitat destruction and unrestricted hunting decimated Mississippi’s turkey populations, and by the early 1940s only an estimated 4700...

  15. CHAPTER 11 Waterfowl
    (pp. 215-235)
    T. Adam Tullos and Bronson K. Strickland

    Landowners, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts have long enjoyed observing and hunting waterfowl in Mississippi. Major rivers and tributaries and coastal marshes of the Magnolia State help sustain more than 1 million acres of habitat for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife during migration and winter. Mississippi’s wetlands, bottomland hardwood forests, and agricultural lands provide important habitats for more than twenty-five species of North American waterfowl.

    Ducks are classified as either divers or dabblers. Divers propel themselves underwater with large feet attached to short legs situated far back on the body, whereas dabblers have smaller feet and their legs are further...

  16. CHAPTER 12 Small Game
    (pp. 237-257)
    Richard G. Hamrick and L. Wes Burger Jr.

    Small game species, including northern bobwhite quail, rabbits, and squirrels, are present throughout Mississippi and have been pursued by Magnolia State hunters for many generations. Not too long ago, small game species represented the primary quarry for Mississippi hunters, as these populations remained abundant during a period when white-tailed deer and wild turkeys were uncommon. Small game hunting continues to be very popular and presents an excellent opportunity to introduce youth and others to hunting wild game.

    Many private landowners are interested in managing habitat for these small game species, and successful management is sometimes possible on tracts smaller than...

  17. CHAPTER 13 Supplemental Wildlife Food Plantings
    (pp. 259-279)
    William W. Hamrick

    The purpose of establishing and planting wildlife food plots is to provide wildlife with nutritious forages during times of the year when natural forages are less palatable or unavailable, or simply to improve diet quality for a particular wildlife species. This chapter provides information about planting forage crops to supplement the diets of game species. In addition, these same plantings are consumed by many nongame wildlife species. Although there is evidence that wildlife species do benefit from supplemental food plantings, wildlife food plots are not an acceptable alternative to sound habitat management practices, but rather a way to augment the...

  18. CHAPTER 14 Managing Ponds for Recreational Fishing
    (pp. 281-313)
    J. Wesley Neal

    A pond that consistently produces good catches of fish is a result of proper planning, construction, and management. Poor planning, improper construction, or lack of proper management results in lakes and ponds that are relatively unproductive or problematic.

    It is critical that the landowner’s objectives for the pond are clearly defined before the first soil is moved. What will the pond be used for, and what kinds and sizes of fish are preferred? These questions must be answered early in pond development so that a proper management plan can be created. Keep in mind that all objectives cannot be met...

  19. CHAPTER 15 Backyard Wildlife and Habitat
    (pp. 315-329)
    John T. DeFazio Jr.

    Many people enjoy watching wild animals and feeding birds in their backyard. In fact, approximately 43 percent of households in the United States, or 65 million people, provide food for wild birds. More than 730,000 individuals in Mississippi enjoy watching wildlife in their backyards, with the majority reporting a special interest in watching birds. Similarly, gardening is the fastest-growing and one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States. Combining these activities with the proper knowledge and planning can result in mutually beneficial spaces where landowners can enjoy nature while providing much-needed habitat for local wildlife.

    Just like...

  20. CHAPTER 16 Wildlife Damage Control and Management
    (pp. 331-357)
    Kristina C. Godwin, Ricky D. Flynt, William W. Hamrick and Bronson K. Strickland

    Wildlife damage management is the art and science of working to resolve conflicts between people and wildlife. Just as wildlife management is not an exact science, neither is wildlife damage management. After all, the definition of damage is in the eye of the beholder. What one person perceives as damage may not be viewed the same way by another. For example, a deer in someone’s backyard may be a wonderful experience for that individual, but when the same deer walks over to the neighbor’s yard and eats all the flowers, that animal is likely to be considered a problem.


  21. CHAPTER 17 Managing Invasive Plants
    (pp. 359-388)
    Randy Browning

    Non-native plants have been introduced into the United States over the past few centuries for various reasons. It is estimated that 100 million acres in the United States are infested with some type of non-native vegetation. Although certain plants were introduced accidentally, most have been established as ornamentals or as livestock forage. Others have been used for soil stabilization, soil reclamation, and wildlife forage.

    Many non-native plants have proven beneficial and are used on a regular basis. For example, the majority of supplemental forage species previously mentioned in this book were introduced. However, numerous introduced species have become naturalized, and...

  22. Appendix 1 History of Fish and Wildlife Conservation in Mississippi
    (pp. 389-394)
  23. Appendix 2 Sample Hunting Lease Agreements and Hunting Club Bylaws
    (pp. 395-400)
  24. Appendix 3 Sample Forest Management Plan and Timber Contract
    (pp. 401-406)
  25. Appendix 4 Farm Pond Harvest Record
    (pp. 407-414)
  26. INDEX
    (pp. 415-418)