xGet the right seeds and plants for your rural property.
Selecting quality vegetation for your hunting property.

As stewards of the land, owners of hunting preserves on country estates and rural properties know that landscape planting is an effective way to enhance the quality of the hunting experience.

Since planting and managing for quality vegetation will support a rich variety of wildlife and also enhance the aesthetic value of the property, it's helpful to examine both the biological and visual aspects of vegetation planting for your property.

First the planner looks at the range of biological or habitat values that vegetation supplies. Selection of seeds and plants appropriate for your land can enhance the diversity of forage, shelter, migration and breeding habitat available for game animals and their associated species. Tree, shrubs, forbs and grasses provide food, protective cover for nesting, breeding areas and corridors for seasonal migration. Ideas for planting projects and also cultivation and maintenance of plantings to increase wildlife habitat value include planting shrubs and trees near a rocky outcrop to provide escape cover; planting grasses and shrubs on the edge of a meadow to create nesting shelter for migrating birds and small mammals; and brush trimming to increase seed and browse availability for winter forage. Plantings should be planned to provide variety to increase the survival potential of wildlife. Variation of vegetation growth stages, maturities, heights, types (i.e., trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses) and species provides a range shelter and food values for your animals.

Successful placement of plantings takes into account soil type and condition and also micro-climate factors such as water availability, thermal temperature flow, and wind direction.

In addition to wildlife objectives, soil, topography and microclimate attributes, planners at Three Ravens Ranch evaluate the property in relationship to its location within an ecoregion or indigenous native plant and animal community. Ecoregions comprise areas in nature where natural boundaries such as rivers and mountains and location attributes such as latitude, continental location and elevation contain communities of plants and animals specific to that region. By knowing more about the dynamic relationship of life forms within the community, landscape planning for hunting preserves evaluates interrelationships between organisms that support survival of individual species within the community.

Once you have determined how landscape planting will enhance animal species quality it's time to look at the aesthetic landscape features that make your outdoor experience visually rewarding for you and your guests.

To begin, the planner appraises existing topographic, geologic, hydrologic and vegetation features for visual appeal. Dramatic landforms, transitional zones and microcosms within the landscape contribute to the scenic quality of the landscape. Effects of seasonal light and shade on various forms of vegetation as well as more dramatic landforms contribute to landscape quality.

Landscape projects selected for visual appeal to highlight landscape quality may include plantings of grasses and wildflower forbs to add more variety to a meadow; planting a selection of shrubs and grasses between forest or woodland areas and the meadow to provide an irregular transition; Planting trees with a variety of growth habits and shapes to make interesting silhouettes in the evening hours; Planting tall grasses and shrubs in shelter belt areas to break up flat horizons. As you can see, planting for visual appeal usually adds habitat values that benefit wildlife as well.

At Three Ravens Ranch we've designed The Natural Plant Selector Kit for Hunting: A guide that will help you plan planting, cultivation and maintenance of trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses for hunting property.

This basic planning tool comes with a simple soil collection kit and a question and answer survey that will help you determine current conditions and objectives for your hunting landscape project. The results of your soil test along with your objectives from the survey, as well as climate and ecoregion data from your location are evaluated by planners at Three Ravens Ranch.

A comprehensive package, The Natural Plant Selector Kit for Hunting, provides you with lists of plant and seed selections and quantities for your project. Additionally, planting, cultivation and maintenance techniques targeted to your specific needs are included in a well organized report designed to provide you with the tools to help you reach your goals to create a top-of-the-line hunting experience on your country estate.