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Preliminary survey of farmed fields on the Assunpink WMA

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20180326_094025.thumb.jpg.839748f2f51634ed07d6f7cf2b4aa37a.jpgWelp....i drove around the Assunpink tract yesterday after watching my bass clubs weigh in at Stone Tavern (btw, 1 fish for 4 lbs won it), and I documented some of the fields being farmed, and some of the "in kind services" that are required by the farmers to do, ie planting food plots and mowing. Just as I expected, the "in kind services" do not seem equitable to license buying constituents who hunt the tract. I found only 2 "in kind services food plots" and they were small in size (food plots #1 & 2) shown on big tract map #1.  Food plot #1 was sorghum and food plot #2 was standing corn.  Most of the fields were mowed completely down flat, no strips left for a rabbit to hide, and leaving no late winter/early spring cover for any wildlife.  I predict that mowing is the farmers most utilized "in kind service" practice, if they are the ones doing it and not the Division employees. 

Map #2 shows a closer view of the tract near Stone Tavern Lake.  

I don't like this new system of allowing farmers to provide "in kind services" instead of being required to leave 10% of their crop like they used to.

If it was up to me, the Division employees working in the lands management unit on the tract would be former farmers or trained how to farm, and they would be farming the fields themselves, selling some of the crops and leaving some of the crops for wildlife.....if it's profitable for farmers to make cash off a WMA field, maybe the state themselves should farm it.

Or, just the fields grow fallow so there is more cover for wildlife and more area to hunt to spread out the crowds.

Here's the link to my previous post on this matter 









Edited by Bonefreak

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Hey BoneFreak Off topic but what did you think of that bulletin board by the boat launch ??? One of my Eagle Scouts built it with help from my Troop !!!

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Awesome job Nanny!!  I saw it and thought the Division did it!!  That's the way to get 'er done for the Eagle Scouts!!  Way to get them involved!!  There were some mysterious No Littering signs put up last year in English and Spanish because someone was fed up with the garbage being left there right around Cinco de Mayo!!  Sportsmen and women need to be proactive nowadays!!

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I have always had an issue with safety zones on WMAs, especially Division buildings, like the nice new building at Assunpink, which was built next to the Hunter Education building, .....and as safety zone encompasses approximately 8 acres off limits (using 450 ft rule)....it peeved the normal WMA hunter....so these 2 buildings cancel out approximately 16 acres.  Add in the few other houses, and the safety zone nearly total 100 acres on the Assunpink WMA tract.

Now my point, though it is a decent idea that if the areas can't be hunted in safety zones, then mite as well lease those areas to farmers to farm......but with the kind of pressure that WMAs are getting....how bout trying to implement a Sanctuary Strategy in these areas.  Imagine 100 acres of sanctuary habitat on a WMA!?!?  The areas that are always going to be a safety zone should not be farmed, mowed, etc, but more aggressively be managed as sancuarty habitat with hinge cutting practices, brush piles deployments, etc .....and we all know sanctuary means sanctuary,  and that means no one enters it, not even 6 day Orange army drivers!!  Lol. Maybe, just maybe they could allow someone to enter it w permission from a CO to recover a deer, other than that, it's a reserve sanctuary to serve as a reservoir to help refill WMA wildlife populations. 

Mite as well try something else, because what they have been doing is not working....from where I come from, if it's broke....we fix it!!

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