From playing in the dirt to looking at the habitat and its results, Brett Kleinschmit, has always had a passion for the outdoors.
“Growing up, I’ve always wanted to get involved outdoors,” said Kleinschmit, owner of Antelope Creek Wildlife and Ponds. “I love to impact the land with grazing, fire, food plots or cover crops and see the results. Here is where we were, and this is where we are now.”
Kleinschmit’s passion of being outside grew over the years. In fact, he used his passion to study as a student in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at South Dakota State University.
“Just because we can always farm the land, doesn’t mean it cannot be hunting land,” said Kleinschmit. “There does not need to be a battle between farmers and hunters. Everyone can win by having an open-minded relationship.”
What is your goal?
The first step is to structure a plan to benefit yourself and the environment. Ask yourself, what is my goal?
- Livestock or wildlife?
- Grazing or forage production?
Plans differ depending on your property and goals, but there is a system that can benefit everyone. By designing a goal and plan, you can have higher weaning rates or better cover for deer. However, it does not have to be one or the other. There are multiple ways to benefit the habitat, wildlife and grazing cattle. This may include:
Grazing is unique as it can suppress cool season grasses to give the warm season grasses a chance to grow. While cattle are grazing, it can benefit the environment as well.
“If we graze cattle without rotation, by the end of the summer there will be no grass,” Kleinschmit said. “Rotation shows more vegetation through the summer, and more deer habitat.”
Another option is to let a pasture sit for a year. Replanting may not always be the best option.
Fire is mother natures way of restarting. It provides lush green growth by opening the ground for new nutrients, while increasing weed suppression.
Plant a shelter belt, food plot, trees or enroll in CRP
CRP gives more time and profitability for you, while benefiting the environment. This impacts soil erosion and provides a wildlife habitat.
How to measure success:
- Habitat development
- Number of Wildlife on property
“Don’t be afraid of change,” Kleinschmit said. “It’s a slow transition, but if you start small scale and experiment, you can find the right system that works for you.”
A challenge for you:
Get out, try new things and make connections. It may lead you down a path of where you want to be. With just a little more work, you can benefit everyone at the end of the day.
“There are many tools out there,” Kleinschmit said. “If you set a plan and do it right, you can influence your operation and the wildlife. Today is the day that you make a plan and implement the solution.”