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Winter 2019 | Vol 12 | No 1

Dixie Plantation and the Continental Field Trial Club were proud to host the 124th running of the Continental Field Trial in late January — the 83rd consecutive year the trial has been held at Dixie. An entry of 48 derby and 71 all-age dogs made for a good field that took 12 days to complete. Congratulations to this year's winners.
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On March 10, our new exhibit opening kicks off with a "Meet the Artists" reception. Artists were encouraged to feature a water scene in their current submissions. We are excited about the quality and variety of the paintings we have received.
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Reintroducing an extirpated bird (locally extinct) can be a time consuming endeavor. For decades, biologists favored the use of holding pens on recipient sites to ensure translocated birds had time to acclimate after translocation. Biologists also have often been pretty selective with the individuals they tried to translocate, often insisting that complete family groups be captured and moved rather than an individual here or there.
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Coming off the heels of a year full of rainfall, some 25+ inches above average, the 2018-19 hunting season granted us ample cover and good hunting with premium scenting conditions right out of the gate and well through January. However, heavy rains and high winds knocked a lot of cover down early, as well as lots of trees and limbs on the ground, especially in the Albany and Bainbridge areas. This has translated to slightly below average overwinter survival in those areas hit the hardest by Hurricane Michael.
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Weather is one of those uncontrollable factors that can have major impacts on bobwhite abundance. For instance, hot dry summers can impede insect production, depriving bobwhite chicks of the protein-rich diet they need early in life. Also, drought conditions can inhibit vegetation growth reducing the amount and quality of cover heading into the hunting season — as seen this year.
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Tall Timbers is at the center of a revolution in fire science to advance models of fire behavior critical to prescribed fire planning. Nearly all fire modeling tools available to guide fire fighters and prescribed fire planners are built on a faulty assumption about how fire spreads. While these tools are calibrated by users when fires begin, they cannot meet the needs of fire prediction in advance. Coupled fire-atmospheric modeling tools have been available for nearly 20 years, but since many of these required high performing "super computers" to run, they were dismissed as research only.
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How a multiple-century-old longleaf pine tree gets its start in a frequently burned pineland has been subject of debate since the beginning of longleaf research. It has long been observed that longleaf pine juveniles (between the "grass stage" near the ground to about head-high) tend to become established in dense clusters limited to open areas away from canopy trees. In the traditional model of forest regeneration, one or a few trees die and create a gap in the otherwise continuous canopy, letting in enough light for new seedlings to become established and grow.
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In January, Tall Timbers completed the planting of a new longleaf and fire education plot with Thomas County Central High students. The project, dubbed the Longleaf Learning Landscape, has been a year in the making with funding by the Georgia Forestry Foundation and donated longleaf and wiregrass plugs from International Forest Company.
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The Georgia-Florida Turkey Invitational is an annual sporting event benefiting Tall Timbers' Game Bird Program. Teams consist of two members with an entry cost of $500.00 per team. This year's event will feature special guest speaker, Flip Pallot, avid outdoorsman and TV personality.
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