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2/2/16 – The Bend – a wildlife perspective…

Visit our listing page on “The Bend,” Dallas County, Alabama here:  The Bend.

The Bend
by Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist

Have you ever wanted to own waterfront property? Are you an avid outdoorsman? If so, the perfect property awaits! One of the finest pieces of land that we are working with in Alabama and Georgia, Durant Bend in Tyler, Alabama is ± 820 acres surrounded by the Alabama River on three sides, which makes it a very desirable home to many wildlife species such as deer, turkey, and ducks. The fertile black belt soil has produced magnificent timber on this tract, making it a great investment as well as a wildlife sanctuary. Along with the heterogeneous landscape and changing topography, three major characteristics of this tract caught my eye:

  1. Established food plots.
  2. Mature timber.
  3. Naturally flooded vegetation. 

Those three attributes lure wildlife species in with no reason to leave. I will explain each in detail.

Established Food Plots

There are three qualities that make a great food plot: size, shape and distribution. “The Bend” contains five extra-large food plots that possess all three. Fortunately, large food plots can withstand high grazing pressure and allow landowners to get more “bang for their buck”. Small plots tend to be susceptible to damage by many wildlife species and never produce in full. If the plot is too large, it can be split up by rows or clusters of trees. Persimmons are a great divider as well as wildlife vegetation. But some species still hesitate to enter a food plot. To entice the skittish individuals, irregular shaped plots work very well. While they may be more challenging to plant, funky shaped plots make some species feel that they are hidden or covered. “Edge feathering” may also be used to make species feel more secure. This term refers to a subtle transition from the edge of the food plot to the wood line or other adjacent habitat to the food plot. Luckily, many of the plots at “The Bend” have shoots of bamboo around the edges of the plots. The bamboo acts as a curtain for the animal, but allows hunters to still see the animal. The last important factor is distribution, which all the plots at “The Bend” are perfectly distributed. The plots lie between bedding habitat and act as a transition corridor to water or food. The landowner may consider his/her objectives and make the plots multifunctional throughout warm and cool seasons.

Mature Timber

The next great characteristic of “The Bend” is the stands of mature timber. There are magnificent hardwoods interspersed throughout the property, as well as old growth pine plantations. Mature forests are a honey hole for Eastern Wild Turkeys. Turkeys require acres and acres of mature forests that they can run through, but still find cover and vegetation. If it is too thick for humans, it is too thick for turkeys and they will not stay in that area. “The Bend” is very desirable to turkeys. It contains large, tall trees to roost  as well as open understory interspersed with clumps of blackberry bushes and weeds for cover/brooding. Turkeys nest on the ground and need vegetation readily available on the forest floor. This tract has exactly that and more. The mature timber is not overcrowded, allowing sun flecks to hit the forest floor and produce vegetation. White-tailed deer also desire old growth forests, as they can run as well as find cover. Throughout the pine plantation, there is woody vegetation (Japanese honeysuckle, for example) at shoulder height. This is the vegetation that appeals to the deer. Depending on the season, this vegetation is more palatable to deer. The mature hardwoods also provide hard mast (acorns) for turkey and deer during late fall and winter. The timber on “The Bend” offers food, cover, and water-everything that any reproducing wildlife species needs to survive. Food, cover, and water will also make a turkey’s (and deer) home range smaller and more confined, therefore giving them no reason to leave 820 acres.

Naturally Flooded Vegitation

The final characteristic I would like to talk about is the naturally flooded cypress bottoms. For all the duck hunters out there, they know that this a really great sight to stumble upon. While walking this tract, I flushed at least twenty wood ducks celebrating another year of surviving duck season. Flooded vegetation is one thing, but naturally flooded vegetation is the bee’s knees. Even if you have no interest in duck hunting, you might be interested in just observing them in their natural habitat. Either way, “The Bend” can accommodate both ends of the spectrum. Wood duck boxes may be an alternative that the landowner is interested in. This would also help entice the ducks to the cypress bottoms as the boxes provide safety from predators and a great nesting area. The bottoms provide plenty of shallow water and thick cover for ducklings and adults. This year especially has created great duck habitat due to the amount of rainfall we have had, but I believe that every year it will provide great habitat for many species of ducks. Regardless, if managed properly, “The Bend” could be a source of your next wood duck limit.

The characteristics I have mentioned are just a few that spoke to me from a wildlife perspective. I know that this tract of land could be a literal wildlife sanctuary; there is no reason to leave! Deer, hogs, turkeys, and all the little ones in between have a little slice of heaven in Tyler, Alabama. The property speaks for itself and has all the assets needed to accommodate landowners of all kinds. If managed properly and effectively, this property will produce some awesome trophies, as well as awesome scenery. Even if you are not a wildlife enthusiast, this tract presents a great investment opportunity! But for those that are wildlife enthusiasts, I have attached some pictures that will spark some interest.

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By: Red Clay

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