Low-Cost Wildlife Management Tools

Do more than make do with what you’ve got. Take a peek at some of the most helpful tools and their potential uses for budget and wildlife management.

Hand Tools

Get numerous items to help you make a seamless transition from mowing yards and trimming shrubs to the fields and woodlands where your objective is wildlife management.

A sturdy garden rake: This common tool can be handy for conditioning existing food plots after they have been plowed, gathering brush and debris to burn, or working seed and fertilizer into prepared soil. 

Pruning shears or long-handled loppers: Pruners can help with bothersome limbs and keep vegetation at bay along ATV paths or food plot edges, remove intrusive brush, or clear a place for planting trees or shrubs.

Sharp-pointed shovel: It’s useful to dig holes, remove rocks or set out plants.

Ax: A well-whetted ax or a hatchet provides a way to whack down sprouts, and remove invasive or marginally beneficial plants such as sweet gums, privet, cedar and mesquite.

Hand or bow saw: This decent-sized saw can trump an ax for precision projects like building feeders, shaping existing trees, making wood duck or bluebird boxes and cutting support stakes for newly planted trees.

Hoe: The ticket for chopping down new-growth sprouts after clearing a food plot, keeping the ground loose and free of weeds around plants until they are firmly established, or clearing low-growing vegetation.

Posthole digger: It’s ideal for preparing the ground for transplants with long roots. It also comes in handy when there is a need for deep holes for a gate or to anchor protective fencing around a food plot or young tree.

Mattock: This tool is versatile and can be used for grubbing up sprouts, using the blade-like back end to chop roots, digging places to set out shallow-rooted plants, etc. 

Power Tools

Most power tools have potential application to wildlife management including the riding mower, leaf blower, push mower, garden tiller, string trimmer and chainsaw.

Riding mower or even a push mower: It can maintain paths, shooting lanes, pond edges and grassy areas around rows of trees. A push mower can perform the same basic functions but requires more elbow-grease. Tow a cart behind either to haul seeds and fertilizer, forest debris or rocks.

Leaf blower: Mature trees surround many food plots, and autumn leaf fall can hamper growth or smother grasses and forbs. Dedicate an hour or two on a dry day after deer season to clear food plots so the area is ready for spring.

Garden tiller: Established food plots can be reworked for seeding with a tiller. Tilling existing trails keeps them clean and allows for silent movement when moving stands or chasing longbeards. A tiller is an ideal way to keep competing vegetation at bay in rows of young trees or shrubs, and you can lightly work in fertilizer under mature mast trees with a few passes of the device.

The tools and their uses mentioned here by no means cover the entire range of possibilities, but will advance your management endeavors on a dime. 

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