Throughout the Midwest, there are a great variety of habitats in which to waterfowl hunt. Whether in a marsh setting, timber, flooded or dry agricultural field, one thing remains the same, there’s nothing that beats cupped wings within shooting range! At Graff Habitat LLC, we specialize in private lands consultation and assisting property owners and club members to develop their property to reach its maximum potential. Through careful planning and time-tested management practices, we help your property provide the highest quality hunting opportunities possible.
Wetland properties can be complex and managing them can sometimes be overwhelming due to the countless contributors that impact the functionality and current condition of a wetland. Over the past decade, I've developed an evaluation process that helps my clients reach their long-term goals faster. Working with private landowners to identify a vision for the property is the first step. The goals we set provide structure to the development plan and helps prioritize the strategic steps needed to build a strong foundation.
Next, once the projects are prioritized, establishing an annual budget determines how quickly we can move towards the long-term goals and how many projects can be tackled each year. Some development plans take decades and others take only a few years; however, you can't reach your goals if you haven't identified a strategic plan to get there.
The process has proven many times that fact-based, scientific research will improve the understanding of how a wetland complex functions and identify what can be done to develop and maintain the property. Three key components of a wetland design will determine how effectively you can manage the habitat on a waterfowl property. Topography, water-level control and water sources determine how to get water on, off, and the water depth on a given property. Once these key components are identified, a plan for optimization is put in place.
Providing high-quality food sources for migrating waterfowl is a sure-fire way to attract them to your property. When it comes to food sources for waterfowl, diversity is king. Well-managed moist soil plant communities provide a plethora of native species containing diverse nutrition for migrating waterfowl. Enhancing those natural food sources with food plots will provide a buffet line that is irresistible.
A hunting plan is vitally important to the success you expect to have year-in, year-out.
We will discuss hunting pressure, which comes in many different forms. Establishing strict guidelines for resting pools, how often, where and when you hunt all impact how quickly and consistently you fill your limit. The hunting plan also identifies how you plan to hide, as there are many different reliable and versatile solutions to get concealed. We will build a toolbox of options for specific situations and take an inside look at how you can maximize the return for each day hunted.