Habitat Destruction
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
CAS_HNTR 06-Jan-18
fastflight 06-Jan-18
Killinstuff 06-Jan-18
Hawkeye 06-Jan-18
Pat Lefemine 06-Jan-18
sticksender 06-Jan-18
Killinstuff 06-Jan-18
JTV 06-Jan-18
WausauDug 06-Jan-18
t-roy 06-Jan-18
Killinstuff 06-Jan-18
jmiller 06-Jan-18
jjs 06-Jan-18
Basil 06-Jan-18
buckhammer 06-Jan-18
BOX CALL 06-Jan-18
drycreek 06-Jan-18
Killinstuff 06-Jan-18
Corn bore 06-Jan-18
Treeline 06-Jan-18
Thornton 06-Jan-18
Don 06-Jan-18
drycreek 06-Jan-18
Killinstuff 06-Jan-18
DS 06-Jan-18
t-roy 06-Jan-18
Bowriter 07-Jan-18
elk yinzer 07-Jan-18
Franzen 07-Jan-18
Franzen 07-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 07-Jan-18
JTV 07-Jan-18
Missouribreaks 07-Jan-18
Catscratch 07-Jan-18
Missouribreaks 07-Jan-18
Missouribreaks 07-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 07-Jan-18
Missouribreaks 07-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 07-Jan-18
The last savage 07-Jan-18
Missouribreaks 07-Jan-18
06-Jan-18
Driving to my MO farm from a little over 2 hours away in KS yesterday and was amazed at all of the bulldozer work going on. Numerous farms were taking out timber and brush draws and corners.

No doubt larger farm equipment is causing this, as well as the desire for greater income. I understand it but have concerns about the loss of habitat for many species, not just deer.

It has been really dry in this stretch of area I drove so numerous farmers were taking advantage of that to get this work done. In one place on a half mile stretch of creek the 40 yards on each side was bulldozed right up to the creek bed.

Anyone else observing this? How much of an impact will it have on conservation? Any other trends maybe taking place to offset this? Fragmentation of habitat is certainly a concern as well.

Habitat loss and declining hunter numbers, IMO, threaten hunting more than leasing, xbows, etc.

From: CAS_HNTR
06-Jan-18
I agree 100%.......habitat loss from increased ag production and the desire of everyone to have a manicured 5 ac lawn has been an issue for years and there is no end in sight

From: fastflight
06-Jan-18
So sad to see. I have some farming buddies and they don't understand why I don't like seeing some small ditchline or fence row bulldozed. It sure adds up over time.

From: Killinstuff
06-Jan-18
Yeah I saw them bulldozing those driving east and west on 70. That's a bigger problem for small game, pheasants and quail who hide and nest in it then for deer. Deer will still be having fawns....... just someplace else. Also, its private property, I can't hunt there anyway.

From: Hawkeye
06-Jan-18
100% agree. See it more and more here in Iowa each season.

From: Pat Lefemine
06-Jan-18
I’m not 100% sure of this but the ranchers I know in the Midwest told me much of the CRP payments from the feds have been reduced or eliminated. So little incentive to maintain non-productive ground.

But on the bright side, hunting will improve on lands that maintain cover.

From: sticksender
06-Jan-18
Yeah the old "DCP" payments are a thing of the past, replaced with a much less generous type of revenue-assurance plan that pays only rarely. Much easier decision now for a farmer to decide to opt out of the gov programs, and avoid the need to comply with the sod-buster and swamp-buster requirements.

Still surprising that this is still happening, with commodity prices being as low as they are. Clear out fence rows to add half an acre to a field to plant more corn that sells for 3.50/bushel, but costs 3.75/bushel to grow?

From: Killinstuff
06-Jan-18
Sticksender the crop waste out there in KS this year was amazing to me. (post on Leatherwall got ugly about it) Milo was picked with an afro comb I think a lot of places I hunted this year.

From: JTV
06-Jan-18
the destruction of wildlife habitat is astounding around here ... brush rows ,row after row of tree's, CRP, any place that used to allow an escape, or a place to breed is gone... Rabbits, quail, Pheasant are non existent.. gone are the den trees of 'coon, 'possum's, squirrels, flying squirrels, song birds, woodchucks get bulldozed under while in their dens, same fox and coyote pups in the spring....... escape cover is gone... on every drive to my hunting area I see YUUUUge piles of trees dumped and piled to be burned... more and more every year... ....then combine the thousands of acres of farmland and woods bulldozed under for more damn lousy developments and roads leading to 'em, it churns my stomach ... I'll put it very bluntly.. I hate developers.. I absolutely hate 'em ... and as for these lousy assed farmers, I dont have have any respect for those that utilize these practices either... this crap really conflicts with what I was taught as a kid...to respect wildlife and habitat, to conserve it, but also allow the way for capitalism and to make way for humans to thrive, the conservative that I am...... actually, my beliefs are leaning more towards saving the habitat and wildlife now a days than that piss ant lousy developer/farmer who destroys nature ....rant over ....

From: WausauDug
06-Jan-18
yeah we want it both ways. We want the set-aside and then cry about the government subsidies

From: t-roy
06-Jan-18
I enrolled and re-enrolled some tillable land back into a CRP program last year for another 10 years (CP42). As long as I abide by their rules, those payments are guaranteed for the life of the contract. The availability of money for, as well as the number of acres eligible for these programs varies almost yearly. I believe it’s tied to provisions in the national farm bill. There are also, sometimes a lot of different types of programs available to to choose from, dependent upon many different factors. Wetlands Reserve, Buffer Strips, CP42, etc. etc. The payouts can vary greatly, depending on a ton of factors as well. The payouts per acre on several, if not all of these programs, are influenced by the previous year/year’s commodity prices. I was fortunate that the corn & soybean prices had been high when the price structure for payouts were set for the land that I put back into the program. (My little slice of the Guvmint cheese)!

Oftentimes, there are only a limited number of acres available for a certain type of program. Once those acres are signed up for, the program will no longer be available to anyone else for that year. Sometimes these types of programs are offered each year and sometimes it’s a onetime only program. My Dad signed up a bunch of his land for one of these particular programs, but someone on the other end dropped the ball, and his acres didn’t get programmed into the system properly. By the time we caught it, they had already filled the quota for those available acres. He DID get it enrolled into a different program (CP42) and for basically the same money as the other program. The bad thing was, for ME anyway, none of the acres in the CP42 program can be put into food plots, whereas, in the other program, up to 10% of those acres would have been able to have been put into food plots, with some conditions. Plus, for the acres that were food plotted, you still receive the same per acre rate. My dad could care less about the “corn rats”, but I was almost sick to my stomach when I found out they dropped the ball somewhere down the line :-(

I hate to see the ditches/fencelines filled in and cleared too, but I’m not the one that’s trying make a farm/equipment payment on that guy’s land either. The costs don’t always pencil out, but commodity prices aren’t always low either.

From: Killinstuff
06-Jan-18
Good post T-roy

From: jmiller
06-Jan-18
It's a double edged sword. With the capped CRP acres, it's difficult to impossible to enroll. However, I firmly believe that if every farmer sat down and figured out the productivity of each field, they would realize there are small portions of each field that could be reverted to natural habitat. These areas have low yields, as far as actually losing money, and the field average would increase by idling those pieces. One large chunk of habitat surrounded by a giant sea of cultivation is much less productive that an increased number of smaller pieces of habitat. My hope is that is the way that modern production agriculture starts to trend. Precision ag practices will allow for it to be a reality. It's just being able to convince producers.

From: jjs
06-Jan-18
Iowa is the most changed state in the lower 48, the lost of wet lands , forrest, sloughs has devastated the habitat to the plow and tiling. Witness a whole section of prime hunting land (1sq.mile) that went black in 3 wks, they didn't log just doze and burned. Another section was dozed and tiled and have a 'no hunting sign' posted on black dirt, we use to take ducks, pheasants and some decent deer off these ground and not even a fence post is standing. There still are places but not even what it was up to the 90s and then it was shrinking. When google map of the area I use to hunt all I see is bare ground and what is left is leased, sad to see. If there wasn't for the turkey there wouldn't be any reason to buy a upland game license. Use to shoot pheasant right out the back yard and now it is a great conversation piece that one even saw one, about like back in the 50-60s about seeing a deer.

From: Basil
06-Jan-18
Staggering the amount of habitat that started to disappear when the ethanol industry drove corn prices through the roof. With the tax laws and prices you can hardly blame a farmer but it sucks just the same. Where will it end?

From: buckhammer
06-Jan-18
Farmers are their own worst enemy. They all think they need to farm from ditch bank to ditch bank and from one road side to the next. Then they piss and moan about low commodity prices. I have no sympathy for them.

From: BOX CALL
06-Jan-18
Our old archery club is now a bunch of warehouses.its just sad,.

From: drycreek
06-Jan-18
It's called progress gentlemen, and it ain't always for the positive, at least for us. When I was a kid and even as a young man, I could walk out my back door and find two or three coveys of quail in a couple hours. That was when people still farmed here. Now, most folks raise cattle, or work in town and only own a couple acres in the country. I haven't seen a wild quail here in thirty years or more. There's nothing for them to eat in pine plantations,, coastal bermuda, or behia grass pastures. It's really eye opening to drive down some of the county roads that I travelled as a kid. They were mostly dirt roads, with lots of fields and woods. Now the roads are paved, and there's nothing but houses, pine trees, and hay meadows, most of them in some stage of hog rooting; that is, rooted a while back, rooted recently, or due to be rooted soon. Yep, it's a whole different place than I grew up in.

From: Killinstuff
06-Jan-18
Drycreek, remember riding your wolly mammoth over to the tar pits and playing kick the saber tooth tiger?? Boy those were the days. :)

From: Corn bore
06-Jan-18
Property taxes and crop insurance policy kill habitat more than anything else in the world.

From: Treeline
06-Jan-18

From: Thornton
06-Jan-18
Habitat- You are right. I have a lawyer fighting to keep my hedge that my neighbor wants to doze. Its ridiculous in KS how many trees they think they have to remove, sometimes only making a little extra farming space. Then, the giant stumps and tops are left to dry out for several years sometimes.

From: Don
06-Jan-18
Agree completely not going to be anything left in northern Missouri before long

From: drycreek
06-Jan-18
Killinstuff, I road the tiger and ate the mammoth ! Ah, he was a hairy bastard too !

From: Killinstuff
06-Jan-18
Hahaha!

From: DS
06-Jan-18
I guess I'm just different from a lot of farmers. I don't plant right up to the fence rows, in fact there are some areas I probably end up leaving a few acres. I used to would burn out and work some nuisance low areas in fields in the fall but then most springs they would be too wet to plant so I quit doing that. I have planted a lot of trees over the last few years and yes some of it was crop acres.

I farm by myself and found out this past year that I've got a lot of arthritis in both hips and back and the doctor said that I will probably down the road need surgery in both areas, plus I take care of my nearly 93 year old Dad so I sold the last of my cows this last fall. I did work up one grass area and will put it back into crop. I did sign up some acres for CRP. I have never done that before. There are already some deer that have moved in by the trees at home. I have a hay bale out for them now and am planning on putting in a food plot for winter feed next year.

I didn't bow hunt this past fall because of the pain, plus I just had a lot of things to do. However, I have let a number of people hunt on my land over the last few years and there have been quite a few deer taken including some nice big bucks but I don't mind, I've gotten a share of big bucks myself over the years with a bow.

I use to bow hunt a couple of half mile long tree groves on one of my neighbors land but he sold it and they were bull dozed out but for you guys who are bitching about the farmers, just remember, it is probably farmers who are feeding most of the wild life you are hunting.

From: t-roy
06-Jan-18
I wonder if you guys that are ripping on these farmers, let them know your feelings about their farming practices, BEFORE or AFTER after you’ve asked them for permission to hunt?! Not everyone views the merits of habitat/cover the same as we do. Lots of farmers hate the deer due to the huge amount of damage they do to their crops in some instances. I’m wondering how many of you guys that think you have some of the answers to proper farming practices, have actually farmed? Ever had 100s of thousands of dollars in operating costs invested and are totally at the mercy of too much or not enough rain at the right time? Uncertain commodity prices and a host of other issues? (Disclaimer) I don’t farm for a living, but I live in the heart of farm country and have several friends who do. Some years they do very well, but some years they lose money.

07-Jan-18
Troy,

We are in the CP38 which allows planting plots. Re-enrollment is still occurring in my area as long as there is money left. The funds have been cut.

When I enrolled it was $96/hour, this past year it was $200/acre. The biologist for my county told me payments have only dropped a couple of times, and by small amounts, in the thirty years he has been doing it. I guess I will see in four more years.

Great info you provided, thanks.

From: Bowriter
07-Jan-18
It is a common problem in most places. Most of the farms I hunted 10-years ago, are now subdivisions or strip malls. Right now, the 103-acres across the street from me, a place I hunted for ten years until it sold, last year, is becoming a medical plaza.

It is a simple fact. Population and needs are growing. Land is not. As the per acre price continues to climb, land will continue to be developed. I bought my house and land 28-years ago for just over $1,500 an acre. The land next to me is selling for $50,000 a half-acre. And, it is selling like hotcakes. I now live in a subdivision. When I bought here, I could only see one neighbor.

From: elk yinzer
07-Jan-18
As a hunter there is a lot of hypocritical/conflicting gray area in "conservative doctrine" when it comes to land use, development, farm subsidies, and environmental issues. We can't stand the urbanites telling us what to do, but urbanization is a necessary evil, lest we want to succumb to living in a nation that is one giant suburb. We want small government but farm subsidies programs are great for hunting. We cite the need for facts and disparage emotion then act like toddlers when it comes to cold hard science about the climate. Some even fail to see what a tremendous asset public land is. It is mind boggling sometimes.

From: Franzen
07-Jan-18
I've seen this my entire life, and it certainly is something that bothers me. I've seen fence rows bulldozed countless times. They really do make up part of the best upland habitat. However, I'm often surprised to see that CRP ground is established where I wouldn't have expected it to either. In direct comparison, I'd say the fence rows made for better habitat than the "substitute" buffer strips, but that's just my opinion. At least as far as one species goes, I believe the quail really do need the trees, plus the grasses are easier to hunt for the predators. Brush piles and broken up tress provide better protection, especially from aerial predators. Deer don't necessarily prefer one or the other that I've seen.

Anyone who believes CRP is simply gone is just misinformed. As stated above there are quotas established, but in my state at least there were still funds available for certain programs recently. No one knows what there will be in the future. Currently, prices are really pretty good, thus in some situations it would actually benefit the farmer to enroll with current commodity prices, with the caveat being the government payments are set and grain prices could rise (or fall further). In general, I think a reduction in the program is good as far as federal government is concerned. Selfishly, I would like to see as much CRP as possible, but logically I can't get past the government spending. I'm not going to say that I would never take advantage of the program, because I am in the process of getting just a few acres of my dad's land enrolled, but I do see a reduction in the program as prudent. Some form of "happy medium" is best in my eyes.

I see both sides of the coin actually. My family farmed through the early years of my life, and gave it up a few short years after my grandfather retired. Back then there wasn't a craze to bulldoze every standing tree quite like there is now, at the very least with almost any farmer I knew. It always bothered me when the farmers kept extending their fields to the ditch edges, etc. In my opinion, the poster above was correct regarding the marginal acreage. Sometimes more is less regarding average production, but if you remove entire parcels of trees or brush on some land, it can be improved out of the marginal production category over a period of time. I say some land, because in some instances only problems are created, and actually clearing and shaping down to a creek bed is illegal without proper permitting.

Overall, hunting-wise, I don't like the way things have gone and are going. However, there is a chance that the process is cyclical and we could see improvement in the future.

From: Franzen
07-Jan-18
yinzer, let's keep this on track. Cold-hard "climate science" is what you make of it.

07-Jan-18
Gheez. I'm amazed at that one. FWIW, Franzen X 2

From: JTV
07-Jan-18
While the climate may change, because thats what it does, its done so in the past and will in the future... the man made global warming crap is just that, pure crap ..

07-Jan-18
Jeff, Please take that stuff to the CF. Thanks.

07-Jan-18
I lost over 900 acres of CRP under the Obama administration, now it is farmed for hay, grain and grazed. Tough to pay taxes on it and not have it in production for a revenue stream of some type. I do think CRP became somewhat a farmer/rancher welfare system, paid too much, and too many liberal plant establishment policies for many landowners to want to deal with. CRP was and is great for some types of wildlife. In many areas of Montana over 1/3 of the CRP acres were removed during the Obama administration. I am not sure why the government dropped so many acres, but they did.

07-Jan-18
I would like to see CRP used for smaller properties to reduce fragmentation which causes genetic isolation and eventual total loss of some species in that area.

But everything has a cost as we know. Some ground nesting song birds require 100 acres or more of native grasses and forbs to encourage nesting.

I think fragmentation is the big problem. When edges, fence rows etc. are being removed, land parcels become isolated.

I am a big fan of small government, but I would like to see land owners, government, conservation groups work together to identify parcels where money would best be spent to reduce fragmentation. They would look at the big picture so to speak. Pay enough on land where we need help keeping habitat tied together on other parcels.

Sounds good, but we know it never goes like we plan. Education is still key, but if it doesn't pay enough it will not matter.

From: Catscratch
07-Jan-18
On a personal level hate to see the treerows bulldozed (I live in KS and know exactly what the original poster is talking about), but until I buy their land from them I'm not going to knock them for doing it. I probably get similar remarks from locals who have noticed I've taken some land out of production and it's starting to grow up in shrubs, trees, and native grasses. Ask a farmer about food plots and they look at you like you're crazy; why take something out of production, spend money on it, then get no return. Farmers/ranchers have to make money. It's none of my business to tell them how to run their business (even if I would do it differently).

07-Jan-18
I agree with Catscratch. Farmers and ranchers have to make their land not only pay property taxes and upkeep on irrigation, roads etc, but also support their families and all those who work on the ranches and farms.

In todays society, ( and even right here on this board and very thread) farmers and ranchers are not always thought of as a positive influence. It is true however that much of the best hunting on earth still resides on private land, including farms and ranches. Why is that?

I do agree that removal of fence lines and associated cover is a negative impact on wildlife, but I also do not see many hunters buying up these lands and the associated expenses and protecting it. Best to not sit and complain, then do nothing.

Personally, I admire ranchers and farmers and wish we still had a society with agriculture and farming values, rather than a liberal culture based on urban living and sentiment. This cultural shift is the real enemy of hunting and trapping, sad to see so many hunters embracing the democratic liberal and socialist values. These hunters are the real downfall of hunting in general. As someone else mentioned, if you think Millennials are liberal, wait until their offspring become voters. Ballot box game management will be very detrimental.

07-Jan-18
I agree private property rights reign supreme and LOs can use their land for maximum income. That is why I support leasing. When LOs can keep their property attractive enough that hunters are willing to pay, then they may not put every square inch into production.

Create incentives with the market that helps hunters and wildlife. But how many of us want to just talk about how we could walk out the door and cross any fence without asking? Those days are gone.

07-Jan-18
Habitat is right on!

I too support leasing,...... including outfitter, club and private hunter leasing. All are incentives for landowners to maintain wildlife habitat.

07-Jan-18
Development is the real, long term harm. A good bit of this whole country has had in-habitation at times. Old farms, roads, etc,,,, It healed and reverted back to habitat. However, I've never seen a asphalt parking lot grow one stitch of cover and food. These areas also very negatively impact stream flow of any water shed. It is the ruination of wildlife.

I'm guessing the reason the CRP programs are drying up due to fund availability and the reality that we are over producing the demand. We by and large export most of our grain production. And, with world wide economies slowing down, that has hurt the prices. Also the dollar has hurt exports competitively as well. This is the last hoo-rah before attrition takes its victims. Its getting that competitive.

God Bless

07-Jan-18
And, due to regulations and costs, it is still "generally" cheaper to produce much of the grain and other foods in developing nations, and South America. What America has really done is export much of our farming and it's associated culture to foreign lands where the libs do not have to see the destruction of the rain forests and virgin ground. A lot of good tillable land is no longer in production in the US, some due to urban sprawl, others due to simple economics. Obama hated ranchers and farmers, along with it's associated past and present culture.

07-Jan-18
Yep. ^^^^^^^^^^ This is 100% spot on. Due to liberal policies, it has simply become cheaper to import it than grow it here and sell it for a profit.

07-Jan-18
I live here in Maryland,,,I've watched the countryside I grew up hunting ,fill with houses,,it just blows my mind to hear guys from Texas,Kansas and heck you guys that have posted represent ALOT of Midwest to western states,see the same as I see here in the human choked east..no seeing a quail in 20 yrs,,a cockbird....1 in 15 years..darn ,when you really think about the future of wild animals vs human intrusion....it's bleak,,,.

07-Jan-18
America is growing in population every year, some from within, some from the outside. Very few from within care about rural values including farming, ranching, hunting, trapping and habitat. Top predators receive all the love,.... be it wolves, grizzlies, killer whales, eagles, other raptors, bears in general, mountain lions, you name it. Anything to reduce the need for human hunting, and this is only the beginning.

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