Kentucky Grouse Hunters Association
Habitat and habitat improvements

 These are photos of some habitat work done at Paintsville.   We felled 2 acres of scrubby pines  about 4 or 5 years ago.  Last week, we went back with a Bobcat skid-steer with a forestry cutter    attachment and chewed up the tangle of vines and logs.  Then 21 students from Hocking Technical College planted 1,200 shrubs in the opening on Saturday, Feb. 25th.  Shrubs included green hawthorn, red-osier dogwood, roughleaf dogwood, and American hazelnut.  Scott Friedhoff
The above 2 pictures were taken in a previous work area that is now productive and hunt worthy habitat.
The annual Sportsman's Legislative Reception was held at the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort on Thursday February 21st. The event was exceptionally special for one particular KDFWR employee. Scott Freidhoff has been working on small game habitat for several years and was also a contributor to the Ruffed Grouse Population Study in the Appalacian region with the findings released early last year. Scott has been working on Grouse habitat in Eastern Kentucky and was asked by the KGHA what he needed to assist in creating more habitats and at a faster rate.

  Scott responded with "equipment and a way to get it in and out of some of the areas I have been working." The KGHA and the League of Kentucky Sportsmen joined forces and decided to surprise Scott with a new Kabota, 3 chainsaws, extra chains, several other needed supplies and a trailer to hall it all on. 

  After this presentation , The League of Kentucky Sportsmen (HILAF) presented Scott with a check for $4,000 to purchase 8,000 Alder seedlings that will be planted on the Morgan County side of Paintsville Lake in areas where Scott is currently creating habitat. 
Yesterday, March 10, 2013, NE Region staff burned about 56 acres of fields along Blaine Creek on the Yatesville Lake WMA near the town of Blaine in Lawrence County. We’re only about half done with the prescribed burns at Yatesville this season. The primary objective of the fire is to improve habitat conditions for quail and rabbits. Fire removes the dead vegetation in the fields thereby allowing rabbits and quail to move freely through the cover once the grass and forbs re-sprout. That is especially important to quail chicks. Prescribed fire is applied to Yatesville on a 3-year rotation when the weather cooperates. 

Scott Freidhof 
Wildlife Biologist (Forest Management) 
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

For the past 3 years, trees and shrubs have been planted on the strip mine section of Fishtrap Lake WMA. Approximately 90 acres have been planted. Prior to planting, the compacted mine spoil has to be “ripped” to loosen the soil. Tree and shrub roots cannot penetrate compacted mine spoil. The ripping process breaks up the spoil down to a depth of about 4 feet. Of the 35 acres planted this spring 2013, about 10 acres were planted with a variety of shrubs including flowering dogwood, red-osier dogwood, nannyberry, southern crabapple, Allegheny chinquapin, dwarf chinkapin oak, and hawthorn to name a few. The shrubs will eventually provide food and cover for quail, rabbits, and songbirds. The Kubota UTV was a great tool for transporting seedlings, tools, and people when needed. 

Scott Freidhof
Wildlife Biologist (Forest Management)

The Habitat Team and Forest Mgmt Techs continue felling trees at Paintsville Lake WMA this winter in the Glade Branch Forest Management Unit. Seven acres are on the ground with several more acres left to complete this particular section. A nice layer of flowering dogwood, holly, and serviceberry has been released to the sunlight now that the tree shade is gone. Grouse, woodcock, and rabbits will be able to expand into this area as it regenerates. This new thicket is long and narrow and connects openland habitats which will provide a safer travel corridor for quail too. In about a month, the habitat technicians will plant shrubs in this section to improve food and cover diversity. 

Scott Freidhof
Wildlife Biologist (Forest Management)
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
255 Rodburn Hollow Road
Morehead, KY 40351