Monday, August 1, 2011

Dove Field Update

Finally, after waiting for the dove field to grow, it’s about time to start mowing, burning and preparing for a hunt.  Dove season is only one month away.  We took a look at the field last week to plan what we would do for mowing.  The Millet was a little stressed and suffering from a drought, over planting and weeds.  But there is still plenty of seed production, so not bad.  The Proso Millet is coming along, not shooting up seed heads yet, but definitely growing.
Sesame in Bloom

In the upper part of the field, the sesame was doing the best.  This area was full of healthy plants and lots of flowers with more flower buds ready to open.  It’s a little over crowded, but producing a lot.  The Sesame in the lower half of the field is struggling, though.  Deer browsing, weeds, and drought have caused this stand to be low with few flowers.  It’s funny how the lower portion of the field suffered more from the drought than the upper portion. 
After viewing the field, I started with the plans.  There’s a lot of information on the internet about mowing, burning and preparing the field for a hunt.  Doves like a field with easy access to seed.  Open ground with lots of food.  The Sesame requires no mowing or burning, but we will need to thin the stands out a little to provide an open area.
For the Brown Top Millet, which is already producing seed, I am hoping we can burn it.  This will surely provide open ground with seeds.  Plan B will be to mow it close to the ground if we can’t get a burn permit.

More Sesame

By the time the Prose Millet is ready, the first dove season will be here, and I don’t want to spend too much time in the field, except to hunt.  So we will mow this seed and maybe disc some bare areas in the field.

That’s the plan anyway, but I’ve learned that the field doesn’t always go as planned.  We’ll be up to the field this weekend to start the work on preparing the field for doves.
Millet Going to Seed