The Bone Collector Shares Secrets of Effective Wildlife Management

Waddell highlights the importance of controlled burns in the effective management of the habitat on his property.

New Exmark video offers tips on how to support natural habitats on your property

Habitat is crucial, and if you manage your habitat, it’s only going to make your wildlife better,” Waddell says. “So, it goes hand-in-hand, but man, it’s a lot of fun and a heck of a responsibility.”

— Michael Waddell

BEATRICE, NEBRASKA, USA, January 18, 2024 / — One of the best aspects of rural living is the wide variety of wildlife that also call your property home. From deer and turkeys, to rabbits, quail and other smaller creatures, experts say it’s important to create a good habitat for each species to thrive.

With this in mind, Exmark has partnered with “The Bone Collector”, Michael Waddell on a new video designed to help landowners better understand how to support natural habitats on their property.

According to Waddell, the key to effective wildlife management is managing the timber and soil to create a natural habitat that will help wildlife thrive.

“Anytime you’re managing habitat, that means you’re looking after several different things,” Waddell says. “But through the management of the timber, the soil, and the natural habitat, it’s also going to help the wildlife. Manage the habitat correct, and it’ll benefit the wildlife.”

Food plots are one key element Waddell has incorporated to support all types of wildlife on his land. He plants milo in around his property to not only provide seed for the wild birds, including turkey and quail. Then, when the seeds dry out, it provides food for deer as well. It also provides cover for the wildlife.

Waddell plants grain sorghum on other parts of his property that he won’t harvest at the end of the season.

“If you’re looking for good habitat for turkeys, it’s unbelievable” he says. “The seed provides a lot of food for them, and it also provides cover for turkeys and deer.”

Waddell also plants forage oats and clover to provide additional habitat for deer.

“The habitat provides a strategic place to hunt, based on also creating some habitat that makes it easier and better to hunt,” Waddell says.

Brush piles also provide premium habitat for turkey nesting, but also offers shelter for rabbits and other small animals to hide from other predators. And if the pile becomes an eyesore, it becomes a great cold day bonfire, Waddell says.

“Habitat is crucial, and if you manage your habitat, it’s only going to make your wildlife better,” Waddell says. “So, it goes hand-in-hand, but man, it’s a lot of fun and a heck of a responsibility.”

Waddell emphasizes that while pristine, well-manicured areas have their place, they aren’t ideal for creating habitats.

“Open fields create an easy way for prey to snap up your wildlife,” he says.

Learn more tips on effective wildlife management by viewing the complete video on the Exmark Backyard Life site. There, you’ll also find a wealth of Backyard Life content, including Backyard Smart, Prime Cuts, Dream Yards, Living Rural, and Done-In-a-Weekend Projects, as well as a wide range of backyard living content from notable backyard experts.

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About Exmark
Exmark Manufacturing was incorporated in May 1982 as an independent manufacturer of professional turf care equipment. Today, it is the leading manufacturer of commercial mowers and equipment for the landscape professional. In addition to designing, building, and marketing quality turf care equipment, Exmark’s goal is total customer satisfaction. All Exmark products are designed to help customers increase productivity while delivering unmatched quality. Products are sold to distributors and dealers who share the company’s commitment to customer service and quality products. Learn more at

About Backyard Life
With a focus on giving home and acreage owners tips and know-how to make the most of their outdoor experience and live more life outdoors, Backyard Life is a unique one-of-a-kind multimedia destination. Content focuses on lawn-and-garden, outdoor cooking and living, and rural lifestyles. Learn more at

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Habitat Management Tips with Michael Waddell

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