Invest in a Better Habitat

Land is often considered a sound investment because, as they say, “They’re not making any more of it.” It may be merely an investment toward future cash returns for some, but for those with a love and appreciation of the outdoors, it represents far more.

Today’s hunters and land stewards possess a certain awareness we call dirt wisdom. They share a bond with the land and the creatures that live on it. They hunger for knowledge on how to care for and improve the landscape. They understand that doing so represents a long-term investment that will ultimately pay much higher dividends, indefinitely if done correctly.

Just as you can grow your retirement account by making monthly or annual contributions, you can increase the dividends from your land by enhancing the habitat, and one of the best means is by putting down roots – planting mast orchards.

The quantity and quality of wildlife any piece of land can support are directly related to habitat quality. By improving that habitat, you increase the carrying capacity of your land, allowing it to sustain more and healthier animals. Hard (nuts) and soft (fruit) mast provide excellent nutrition for deer, bears, turkeys and a whole range of other species.

If you build it, they will come. Deer and other game are continually looking for easily available food sources. As they begin producing fruit, your mast orchards will become a magnet to them. The short-term return will be more encounters with wildlife and more opportunity to harvest game. But because we only harvest a fraction of what’s out there, your investment will continue to grow

In the long term, the benefits become generational. Once deer learn to find food in the same place each year, they will teach their young, who will in turn, pass this behavior along to successive generations.

Somewhat the same applies to those of us who care for and use the land. We may start by emphasizing the harvest, but in time, we place greater emphasis on the total hunting experience. We appreciate the time spent outdoors, the company of friends and family and the beauty of nature, an appreciation further enhanced by knowing it is all a direct result of our efforts, our investment. We can mentor the next generation of hunters toward realizing the same satisfaction.

Alachua, FL

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