limiting wildlife—it was the habitat for protection, nesting and raising young.
With Doug’s passion for native plant restoration and Arvil’s lifelong love of quail, the father and son team took their wildlife management to a whole new level. In just five years they began to achieve the results they desired.
The Kappelmanns traded their tractor and brush hog for a chain saw and a couple of drip torches. Then they removed cedar from the idle corners of their farm. They allowed these areas to grow over and blended in annual food plots with the improved cover. As they gained knowledge and confidence, the duo expanded into larger areas and seeded native warm season grasses and wildflowers.
Natural community restoration and early successional habitat development on a limited farming budget was difficult. As their projects grew in scope, they sought financial assistance through cost-share assistance programs provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation and USDA’s Farm Bill.
Through their dedication and the financial assistance provided by state and federal programs, the Kappelmanns have completed 10 acres of cedar removal, 23 acres of native grass and forb establishment (with 15 more planned), 10 acres of glade and savanna restoration (with 10 more planned), and 6 acres of edgefeathering (with 6 more planned). They maintain 46 acres of early successional habitat and crop land. Doug will be completing a 6-acre timber stand improvement project this coming winter as well.
The Kappelmanns readily share their enthusiasm and expertise with anyone who is interested. They are quick to admit that food plots are not the answer to wildlife population problems and that you have to work hard to make habitat happen.
The Kappelmanns are stellar cooperators and conservationists. This is evident not only in the work that they do on their farm, but in their willingness to speak with anyone they meet about the benefits conservation provides for all Missourians.
Funding for diversity
Owning land in the rugged river hills of southern Montgomery County requires creative management. Dennis Horstman’s 175 acres includes forest, woodland, savanna, glade and open ground.
A good steward of the land as well as a hunter, Horstman wanted to improve both the quality of the timber in the forest and the wildlife habitat on his property. With assistance from cost-share programs from a variety of sources, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Horstman property underwent a metamorphosis.
While federal FLEP (Forest Land Enhancement Program) funds were used to complete 36 acres of