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Vernal pools/ponds.

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Neat. I had to google to catch up to what a vernal pool is. What are you hoping to see now that you've got these installed? My place is covered in spots like this and I wouldn't mind digging some down an extra couple feet to extend their life into late summer and use the soil nearby.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Vernal pools are awesome for habitat!

I've got a natural one a couple hundred yards long that runs down the middle of my woods 3-4 months or more out of the year, runs from 6" to over a couple feet.

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White Birch Farm

5 year old buck +
Neat. What are you hoping to see now that you've got these installed?

Two things. First, is whitetail habitat improvement. Second, is wetlands improvement.

That whole area was relatively non-descript. It would almost all be wet in the late fall, winter and spring and then could all be dry come late summer. So, I used the dredged soils to build mounds throughout the area that will stay dry year round and also provide prime raised bedding areas for deer. Also, by deepening existing pools and creating new ones I will now have a lot more quality pools when it is wet and a handful of small pools that will likely hold at least some water year round.
 

White Birch Farm

5 year old buck +
I also did a substantial amount of forest stand improvement (FSI) in that area. As part of that I created openings over the pools. Most of the remaining mature trees in the canopy are now Pin Oak, which drop acorns in the water through the winter months. That combination is ideal habitat for wood ducks. To encourage them I installed several nests.
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SD51555

5 year old buck +
Two things. First, is whitetail habitat improvement. Second, is wetlands improvement.

That whole area was relatively non-descript. It would almost all be wet in the late fall, winter and spring and then could all be dry come late summer. So, I used the dredged soils to build mounds throughout the area that will stay dry year round and also provide prime raised bedding areas for deer. Also, by deepening existing pools and creating new ones I will now have a lot more quality pools when it is wet and a handful of small pools that will likely hold at least some water year round.
That's my place exactly. Too wet to travel before June 15th or keep winter cereals alive in spring. Not wet enough to hold water into late summer and fall unless I get big rains. I started moving dirt last year, and didn't even realize I had created a vernal pool. It may be a tad bit deep for ideal design, but I imagine it'll still dry out eventually.

I just wanted a water hole next to my plot. Then my buddy talked me into using the dirt to raise up and expand my plot where it was low and covered in brush. Knocked out about 3 things and a bonus with 1 project.

Water hole
Fixed low spot in trail
Expanded food plot

Extra credit: frog and shrimp habitat. I get a bunch of ducks in my place in the spring. I'd imagine these would help them find stuff to eat as well?
 

White Birch Farm

5 year old buck +
It may be a tad bit deep for ideal design, but I imagine it'll still dry out eventually.

The big difference between shallow pools that dry out quickly and deep ones that hold water longer is that the big ones, while they wont hold fish (undesirable aquatic predators in this case), will still attract and concentrate other predators like large frogs/snakes/turtles. Still, the deeper pools are better than ponds for protecting breeding salamanders, frogs, etc.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
That's my place exactly. Too wet to travel before June 15th or keep winter cereals alive in spring. Not wet enough to hold water into late summer and fall unless I get big rains. I started moving dirt last year, and didn't even realize I had created a vernal pool. It may be a tad bit deep for ideal design, but I imagine it'll still dry out eventually.

I just wanted a water hole next to my plot. Then my buddy talked me into using the dirt to raise up and expand my plot where it was low and covered in brush. Knocked out about 3 things and a bonus with 1 project.

Water hole
Fixed low spot in trail
Expanded food plot

Extra credit: frog and shrimp habitat. I get a bunch of ducks in my place in the spring. I'd imagine these would help them find stuff to eat as well?

We get all kinds of tadpoles and little shrimp in ours too, the shrimp are very small and almost see through. The spring peeper frogs are very loud in spring and summer in the woods because it stays wet. Have had students from our local college out to look for salamanders, supposed to be some rare type using our woods I’ve only ever seen one that was black I think they must be very nocturnal.
We get a lot of mallards and wood ducks in spring using it and when we get a wet fall it’s just like flooded timber hunting.
We are putting up two wood duck boxes in ours next week.
I think seasonal pools can really benefit a large variety of wildlife.
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
Be careful looking for rare things and declaring areas wetlands it can come back and bite you.Have you had any luck with wood ducks in the plastic houses?I looked at those but went with cedar so it will be nice to follow how they do
 

White Birch Farm

5 year old buck +
Be careful looking for rare things and declaring areas wetlands

Don’t worry, we considered whether there was any rare habitat we might be destroying before we did any work on my property, as everyone should. Also, I am perfectly comfortable calling a declared wetlands a declared wetlands.
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
Very cool!
24 years ago I used a skid steer and put damns up along a set of terraces at my dads place. The amount of wildlife that those provides for is amazing; from frogs to migratory birds there is never a time that those little ponds aren't being used.
 

White Birch Farm

5 year old buck +
During the wet seasons, any depression on my land without an outlet serves as a temporary pool. So, any tree that uproots makes a classic vernal pool. My place is covered with wetlands species during those times.
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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Be careful looking for rare things and declaring areas wetlands it can come back and bite you.

Mine has been declared a wetlands, it’s got USGS signs up around the perimeter.
Like White Birch said I have no problem with ours being under that status. I don’t mind state biologists checking in on it and giving me feedback and working with the college for the kids to get some outdoor real world training. I bought our place for all wildlife to be able to thrive not just for a place to deer hunt, deer are just one part of it.
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
I had a area they wanted to test and it was in a farm field so if they would have declared I would have had to quit farming it.I don't have a problem with habitat for all wildlife it's just that state sometimes doesn't have a clue.Example USDA put 15 acres in a wetland program,told me I had to keep all trees off.I sprayed and cut trying to keep the cottonwoods off all the sudden they come back that it was natural progression so don't worry about them.Almost as bad as planting trees and shrubs in a riparian and then saying maintenance was burning until I convinced them it wouldn't help the trees and shrubs much if I killed them all.
 

White Birch Farm

5 year old buck +
I had a area they wanted to test and it was in a farm field so if they would have declared I would have had to quit farming it.

If it is a longstanding farm field that has been in production since the early 80s and it is a wetlands it would be classified as an agricultural modified wetlands and you would not have to stop farming it. However, if it was turned into a field after that, then someone illegally converted a wetlands to a farm field presumably draining it in the process. In that case yes, you would have to stop farming it and they could require you to restore the wetlands. Moral of the story, unless a conversion is done illegally, calling a wetlands a wetlands is not an issue.
 

Telemark

5 year old buck +
My place in Ontario had several huge beech and maples tip over, pulling the roots up like that. The water stays in the holes almost all year. It's great for amphibians, and we have lots of salamanders and other such creatures in and around there. I wish I could get more of the biggest trees to tip over like that. They also make excellent spots for building blinds.
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
They sure had a different story when we were looking at terracing some areas that held water
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
I found 30 inch carp in middle of my bean field this last year but the water was only there a week,saw today we had 57 inches last year,about 15 more than normal.
 
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