Trees are an excellent investment and a solid improvement for virtually any property. Melissa says that as a long-term habitat management solution she wanted to plant an apple orchard as a food source. So, she planted a large number of apple trees and committed to watering them daily and also applied a spray to them regularly to help keep the deer away, preventing them from eating the leaves and killing the trees. However, after spending one week away she came home to find that the whole orchard had been completely destroyed by deer that ate them and rubbed them down to nubs. Taking it all in stride, Melissa says she’ll be planting more, but this time she’ll be putting a fence around the perimeter.
When it comes to predators, population densities vary across the country as do the effects of predation. Concerning coyotes specifically, in some places it takes as many as 78 does to recruit 2 fawns due to predation. Because of the impact they have on all wildlife, coyote/predator management is crucial in order for other species to thrive. Melissa says she is a very proactive predator hunter and doesn’t give coyotes a chance to gain a foothold. The more you can keep them in check, they better you’ll be she says. Because coyotes can reproduce so quickly it doesn’t take much time for them to regroup and dominate the landscape again. Melissa discusses the negative impacts coyotes have on whitetails in particular as well as other species and how an aggressive management approach is often necessary. When it comes to calling Melissa uses a system that is a little different than a lot of those you may be used to. She highlights the Convergent Hunting Bullet HP Bluetooth Game Call, explaining how the caller can be placed on a stake but instead of using a remote to control it, everything is operated through an app on your phone. Melissa says this call went with her to Mexico where she ended up calling in close to 30 coyotes in one afternoon. Once you call them in and it’s time to knock them down, a .22-250 is Melissa’s predator caliber of choice for its flat shooting, low recoiling and minimal pelt damage advantages. She’ll also highlight her favorite predator loads from Winchester and their effectiveness for coyotes. And when it comes to predators, Melissa will also talk about her love of alligator hunting, especially with archery equipment. She says early spring turkey/gator combo hunts are fun, but usually require the use of a rifle since the gators aren’t all that active yet at night based on cooler temperatures. In order to be successful bowhunting alligators, Melissa says summer nights are the best. By utilizing a call, a baby alligator distress call in particular, it attracts females who instinctively want to protect that baby and males who want to eat it. That call can produce a lot of action and bring them right next to the boat offering the bowhunter a prime shooting opportunity.
Save a fawn, shoot a coyote!