Manage your woodlands for wildlife

SALEM, Ohio – Songbirds hiding in the brush, wild turkeys eating acorns, and white-footed mice darting between trees. It may sound like a picture-perfect forest but just because you have woodlands, doesn’t mean you’ll have all this.
Each species of wildlife needs a slightly different habitat to survive, said Kathy Smith, Ohio Woodland Stewards program coordinator.
The place to learn how to get that ideal habitat will be at the first Wildlife in your Woods workshop June 24 in Carroll County, Ohio.
Maximize. Learn to track wildlife. Learn to identify the animals. Learn to look at woodlands in terms of habitat. Then learn to manipulate the forest to attract certain species, Smith said. This will all be covered at the session from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Dellroy Community Hall, 6 Main St., Dellroy.
Your woods may not be suitable for the wildlife species you want, but you can do something about it, she said.
For example, turkey like white oak acorns, she said. If you want to attract more wild turkeys, thin the areas around these trees so they produce more food for the turkeys.
It may mean cutting trees to remove species that attract animals you don’t want, Smith said, or it may mean giving desirable trees more room to grow.
Taking ‘inventory.’ The workshop will also tell woodland owners how to take “inventory,” Smith said.
Different signs will let you know whether turkey, deer, raccoons, coyotes, red-tail hawks, woodpeckers or jumping mice live in the forest.
Participants will then take this knowledge outside and spend the afternoon testing their skills, she said.
They will also spend time looking at food sources, Smith said.
“Hard” mast like acorns and hickory nuts and “soft” mast like fleshier fruits attract different wildlife. If an animal’s food source isn’t there, it probably won’t be there either, Smith said.
Deadline. The workshop, which is part of the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, is for woodland owners of any size. Register by June 20.

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