Wildlife Management

Wildlife population on private lands can be improved by increasing the carrying capacity of your land for wildlife. Including wildlife in your total farming plan restoring soil fertility, and applying sound water quality management can all be developed hand in hand. Proper planning will provide more and better food, cover and water for wildlife and, at the same time improve living conditions for both people and livestock.

The Private Landowner

Nature, through her amazing power of reproduction, will restock new wildlife in homes as fast as we can provide them. Help is available through the Lee County Conservation Board (LCCB) to assist with wildlife management planning and fishery development on private lands.

Upon request, a Wildlife Manager will schedule a tour of your land and help you develop a program that is suitable to your land-use operation and to your interests.

What does it cost? There are no charges for this service. Special planting materials that may be recommended are usually available at a cost from a state or private nursery. Cost share may also be available.

Where do I get the materials? The Lee County Conservation Board in cooperation with the Lee County Chapter Pheasants Forever has information and materials available.

What are some of the Wildlife Recommendations? Wildlife management recommendations vary because all agricultural and livestock practices must be considered as the plan is developed. Farms are different, as are the landowners.

Dustin monitors a prescribed burn

Annual Food Plots: Provide a high quality winter food supply for quail, rabbit, deer, turkey and many song and field birds.

Wildlife Shrubs: Provide a variety of natural foods; escape cover, and homing areas. These plants are excellent additions to existing field borders and woodland edges where food and cover are lacking.

Windbreaks and Shelter Belts: Both man and wildlife share the direct benefits offered by windbreaks. Protective plantings shield the farmstead and livestock from winter winds and provide wildlife cover in areas where it may be lacking. Shelterbelts between fields greatly reduce wind erosion on croplands.

Pond and Lake Improvements: Managed ponds and lakes attract wildlife. A few of the additional benefits are fishing opportunities, water for household and livestock use, fire protection, erosion control and water conservation. Management of small lakes and ponds can produce dramatic results. Aquatic plant and fish management increases healthy fish and wildlife populations.

Improved Field Borders: Special plantings and field borders that are not mowed create natural wildlife areas. Most farm game species are dwellers of the edge (where woods and field meet).

Brush Piles: Brush piles provide escape cover, roost sites, new food areas, and offer protection from severe winter weather.

Woodlot Management and Tree Planting: Woodland wildlife species benefit greatly as a result of planned woodland management. Small, protected plantings of pine or cedar will produce long-lasting winter cover for many species of wildlife. Plantings and woodlot management also furnish posts and lumber as another direct reward for your labor.

Ditches, Gullies and Odd Areas:
These areas are not suited to agricultural production but they will produce a large crop of wildlife. Leave all of these areas protected from livestock, and install plantings where they are needed. A well-vegetated ditch or gully also protects the soil from erosion.

Wetland Management: Iowa landowners can make their wetland areas support more waterfowl by adopting management practices that have been proven to increase wetland carrying capacity for waterfowl and shore birds.


Lee County, Iowa, is located in the heart of the Mississippi Valley “Flyway.” Prairies, forests, and rivers meet in this county attracting a great variety of wildlife species. As landowners, we have an opportunity to enhance these resources. The quality of life that we enjoy in Lee County is reflected in the abundance and quality of wildlife species that our lands produce.

Wildlife management is very flexible and can be shaped to your land. All you need to do is to show your interest. Contact the Lee County Conservation Office if you have any wildlife or landowner questions.

Help is also available through: