Improving pine woods habitat

11/29/15 @ 10:25 PM
ORIGINAL POST
Hill of No Fishes
Hill of No Fishes
USER since 5/27/08
Question for the experienced landowners: What would be your first steps in improving a pine woods (mixed with oaks periodically) habitat for deer? I have access and rights to manage 40 acres of woods. The land has cut trails through it for the landowner to travel on with his 6 wheeler periodically but, other than those infrequent visits, the woods goes untouched 365 days a year. This season I saw 23 does and 1 fork but the wooded area is full of buck sign. The local area is pretty high-pressure hunting so this seems like somewhat of a sanctuary. I do have two 1 acre areas that I can put food plots in but that is about it. Any suggestions?
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12/17/16 @ 7:43 PM
Gunsnbowses
Gunsnbowses
USER since 6/17/01

That's it! Thank you! 

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12/13/16 @ 6:21 PM
Casedog
Casedog
USER since 10/4/11

That there is known as the famous " hinge cut method". One of my favorite projects on my property!! Do it right and you will see why it's my favorite 

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12/13/16 @ 4:45 PM
Gunsnbowses
Gunsnbowses
USER since 6/17/01

I recently saw a show that was explaining how to improve open wooded areas of deer habitat. The guys were angling chainsaw cuts ALMOST all the way through a tree. The tree would fall, but since there was still a sliver of wood attached the tree would stay green and provide browse and eventually cover for deer. Anyone know the name of this technique? I only caught a minute of the show and would like to do more research on the subject. Thanks!

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12/5/16 @ 11:02 PM
Hill of No Fishes
Hill of No Fishes
USER since 5/27/08

There is typically corn on the 40 acres just south of my 80 acre parcel. There is also a massive pine tree nursery on the east end of the corn field. That's it...other than woods and a small pond/marsh area to my north. The next closest corn field is about a mile away. 

I'm thinking I'll do turnips in about a 1/3 acre area and something else on a hillside that I'm going to clear. That hillside is just below the corn field...

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11/30/16 @ 10:49 PM
One shot one kill
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

Are there any crops being grown in the area ? Beans or corn ?  Try something  different such as canola , rape or turnips .  Deer will usually  not touch them until a frost or two . Then the starch  in them turns to sugar and the deer love it . When I had turnips  for a whole season they grew as large as a softball  . All winter deer dug them out . This was in a dryer  peat bog with no lime or fertilizer  .

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11/29/16 @ 4:56 PM
GreatOutdoors2001
GreatOutdoors2001
USER since 7/5/01

Congrats on the success of your habitat projects.  Always nice to benefit from the work you put in. 

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11/25/16 @ 10:46 PM
Hill of No Fishes
Hill of No Fishes
USER since 5/27/08

Update: I ended up killing a very mature (6 y/o, 250 lb buck) in my original improvement area on opening day of the WI gun season. My son also shot his 1st deer (doe) directly in our first food plot (ladino clover).

We are going to do some hinge cutting this winter to open the canopy in some areas and help provide a better bedding area.  

There is also one area that was partially logged for firewood this fall so I plan on finishing the clearing in that area to plant a mid-woods food plot. I'm thinking either turnips or soybean. Anyone have suggestions for a "hidden" food plot?

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7/25/16 @ 8:33 AM
Hill of No Fishes
Hill of No Fishes
USER since 5/27/08

Couldn't agree more. I found some *great* cover on the property so I decided to add the food plot about 200 yards east of the thick stuff. I'm also adding a stand at the front edge of the end of the food plot (about 30 yards to the edge of the plot). This upcoming winter I'm also planning on doing some hinge cutting to make another thick area to the north of this plot area to add another funnel point to the plot.

Good ideas?

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7/7/16 @ 10:40 AM
browning3
browning3
USER since 5/23/02

If you want to hold and kill big bucks you want the best cover in the area.  If you just want to kill does and young bucks, then you want food.  Of course you may have a chance at bigger deer during the rut if you have does frequenting the area.  However, great cover and low pressure are key for big mature deer.

Edited on 7/7/16 5:56 PM
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7/1/16 @ 6:54 PM
Hill of No Fishes
Hill of No Fishes
USER since 5/27/08

Added a 12' x 60' ladino clover food plot in between the rows of pines today.  The location gets sun all afternoon so I'm hoping that this will be enough to get some good growth.  I also set a camera up at the end of the plot to see if I get any traffic in the next months...

HoNF


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Displaying 1 to 10 of 27 Posts