Edge Feathering and bedding areas

Discussion in 'Dbltree's corner' started by dbltree, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    So true, one hour of chainsaw work can provide years of better quality habitat and hunting for lots of wildlife.
     
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  3. TallTines

    TallTines Member

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    Is it too late?

    I just got an accepted offer on a farm and can't do anything till I close in mid august but I want to do some things immediately once I do.

    Mainly create bedding areas on all south facing slopes, ridge tops and then do edge feathering on other areas. i am going to hinge cut the trees at a 30 degree angle about 3-4 ft high. I am going to be cutting them about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through.

    My question is if I do it here in mid august will i get much for regrowth for the next spring on the cut trees?

    Obviously most of the growing season will be done by then so I don't expect much but i would like to see some thickening up this upcoming spring if possible.
     
  4. goatman

    goatman I hunt days ending in Y

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    I would wait til winter. The sap is about if not already starting down to the roots. You would probably harm the tree alot if not kill it. You will not see any growth doing it now. Congrats on your purchase. Once you open the canopy in winter you will see alot of new growth on the forest floor in the spring. Besides doing it now may run off a buck.
     
  5. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    I agree...I know your anxious to get started and admire that but I would wait to late winter. You'll be surprised at the spring re-growth!

    These pics are of this past winters EF work noting that some trees are not alive because they were to big and broke off when I tried to hinge cut them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Regrowth still comes up from stumps however

    [​IMG]

    and opening it up allows an explosion of growth and browse...can you see the live hinge cut maple ?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Remember that with a little work you can tip trees over to close off runways and force movement thru only a few trails.

    [​IMG]

    No need to be in a rush, wait til March or early April to do your EF and you will have some beautiful habitat within months! :way:
     
  6. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Couple more pics of some honey locusts in another edge feathered area

    [​IMG]

    Those things are nasty mean and make animpenetrable "fence" that helps to funnel deer, creates small game cover and promotes new browse along travel corridors.

    [​IMG]

    Birds find safety in the thorns of the locust trees and drop the seeds of all kinds of plants that then spring to life!

    Not the best time of year to be cutting but a good time to be thinking and planning next winters projects...;)
     
  7. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    TallTines, if it were me, I'd actually do a LITTLE BIT now. Basically, if you picked a few sections to do now, you could create some bedding areas for THIS YEAR'S rut. Like the guys above said, winter is much better, agreed. But- if it was ME, I'd want a few little areas that were hammered down right now. Could be going in and making a mess out of a little area OR cutting down a group of super undesirable trees.

    If you can create some extra bedding NOW and keep those bucks on your land THIS SEASON, you'll help some extra bucks make it this year and make your hunting better this year. Save the bulk of the quality work for winter. Just what I would do :)
     
  8. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    I doubt you get much regrowth on most species if they are cut in August, If the area has bedding already I would wait till after season to cut the trees down. The buds off the tree limbs can be a deer magnet in late winter. You should get just as good spring browse cutting now or in winter.

    My vote is for a late winter cut. :D
     
  9. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    To clarify, I am not recommending anything NOW to get the REGROWTH. The rest are correct, you won't. WHY I would cut a LITTLE BIT now is you will give some tree tops, cover, etc for deer to bed by. Especially if come Nov-Jan your woods becomes quite open.
     
  10. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    Ur right Skip,

    If more cover is needed for bedding, cutting some of the less desirable trees now shoudl increase bedding if that is needed.
     
  11. IQDM

    IQDM New Member

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    dbltree - if you had a an area of hickory or some kind of tree that doesnt regenerate quickly, have you ever considered frost seeding switchgrass in that area to create some thick cover quicker? I am thinking about doing that to a couple spots in my land in just a few smaller openings (small pockets no larger than a half acre)... what do you think?
     
  12. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Switchgrass needs to be maintained by burning every few years so it could work in small open fields you can reach with equipment to maintain burn lanes but otherwise it might not work too well in a timber setting.

    Switch gets pretty thick and might prevent trees seedlings from growing if that was your intention?

    If you have a stand of hickories that you intend to hinge to open it up and encourage new growth I think I would consider interplanting different tree or shrub species.

    Adding some conifers might also be helpful if the area is slow to regenerate on it's own. I have attempted to start switch in an area that i tried to convert from brush and cull trees to prairie grass but blackberries and brush quickly took over and it was all for naught.

    You might share some pictures with us when you can so we can get a better idea what your dealing with? ;)
     
  13. IQDM

    IQDM New Member

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    Thanks, yeah I dont have very many places on my property where I can put switch and from what I read and hear from everyone is that switch is pretty much the best of the best for keeping deer on your property. So I was trying to come up with ways to get some.... I'll post an aeral photo of our property so you can kinda see what is where and maybe you would have some ideas
     
  14. dgallow

    dgallow New Member

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    Just wanted to say threads on this site have been very informative and helped us a bunch...you guys have this down to an art...thanks for your time and efforts!

    Have been musing through this bedding thread as we are simply wanting to increase security and sustainability of current bedding areas. I am confused a bit on the V concept.....just can't visualize it from the pics. The slope, top or ridge part I do understand. But not so much on the size of the V, how it relates to the slope, and where one would expect them to bed. If someone you has the time and creativity to maybe post a diagram or something like that it would be much appreciated. Understand it's 'showtime' huntin wise and the projects won't begin till late december. No hurries but if one has time over the next couple months it would be much appreciated!

    Good luck to all...shoot straight and be safe! :drink2:
     
  15. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    The -V- shapes are pretty arbitrary depending on the topography and just a way of allowing for different stages of growth rather then cutting an entire slope and having it all regrow at the same rate.

    I start at the top and work my way down and of course they are not "perfect" -V-'s...just a way of giving a rough description so that in time I will then cut the inverted -V- so that there is a "seesaw" shaped array of differing stages of growth and new/old bedding.

    Hinge cut trees may eventually die and larger ones almost always break off anyway and rot away...so a "bed" is not going to last forever.

    Here are some pics of hinge cuts and openings made last winter, some live

    [​IMG]

    some dead

    [​IMG]

    and some used to funnel deer...;)

    [​IMG]

    and funneling or creating bottlenecks yielded my buck this year.

    I'll post more pics on this subject but creating bottlenecks in conjunction with natural runways between bedding and feeding areas works very well.

    This time of year is when we want to be observing natural deer movement and deciding which to block or interrupt and which to "open" up...:way:
     
  16. dgallow

    dgallow New Member

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    Right on!

    Thanks for the added pics and discussion, much clearer now.

    We (Lil Blonde) and I bowhunted a top area this weekend and deer activity was amazing....my rifle stand is 150 yds to the west and one would have missed most of the activity we saw. As we sat there I began to contemplate just why it is such a good spot while reflecting upon your writings in this post. Its a SUBTLE saddle bisected east/west by an old siesmic road which I turned a portion of into a plot. Trails across saddles generally form an 'X' as deer prefer to travel wide along the the slopes of east/west drainages...all one has to do is locate the X, hang some iron, and wait for predominant wind...Sunday eve was interesting as movement happened on all 4 trails at once within a minute of me climbing the tree. The south half of the saddle is predominant blackjack oak and very rocky, which after several droughts and ice-storms over the last decade has formed a nice thicket with food (acorn) every 2 yr. The north edge is predomimant post oak and more open with a field further north of that. Does spend much time in and round the thicket when they become intolerant of buck aggression. Bucks (7 Sat AM with one four yr old 8) often cruz the subtle downwind edge and often remain closeby to check moving does. The thicket to the north doesn't need much help but there are a few undesirables to hinge. The field creates a problem in that deer have a natural tendancy to skirt the edge and cross your down-wind ploom. This post oak portion needs a 'brush fence' or two to move the field skirting tighter to the X....there should be enough hickory and small post oak for me to get this done...any acorn enhancement by thinning will be an added plus.

    I'm not the only one who likes saddles. If one looks close, my ladder steps are apparent in the background just across the fence...range would be 10 yds. I'm holding out for this guy...maybe...the eight is very tempting.
    [​IMG]

    Another terrain feature I like is a switch-back...where say a north facing slope abutts directly a south facing slope...mature bucks seem to prefer that subtle transition too. This one is going to be tougher to firgure out as it's a mid-timber location.

    Large tracts of timber can be frustrating to unravel but rewarding when one figures out some of the game! :D
     
  17. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Your on the right track with the key element...observation!

    Every piece of property is different but there are always some factors that will allow one to manipulate habitat to both hold and influence movement.

    Nice buck!:way:
     
  18. dgallow

    dgallow New Member

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    On the right track

    Made a call to the Noble foundation to ask a few questions about improving cross-timbers native habitat. The receptionist took my number and we chatted a bit about becoming a 'cooperator' with Noble. Cutting to the chase, the wildlife biologist I talked with told me that under the FREE cooperator program we would get a wildlife, crop/soils, agronomist and cattle consultant to do a walkthrough on the place and make recommendations. I guess they gather some data from all this and it's kept confidential. We don't have much marketable timber so a forester would be a mute point.

    Application should be in the mail soon and I'm excited about getting the ball rolling.

    Yep that buck is nice and the pic kinda gives him a majestic look. Haven't seen him since and passed up an 8 of comparable age/quality....and I feel like :thrwrck:for passin a PB bow buck! Good news is that we have a nanny that likes to go 'stand shoppin'...those are 'special' and easily 'tag-teamed'! :D
     
  19. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    10 years ago I sat and watched as huge bucks crossed helter skelter thru a myriad of trails 50-80 yards thru the trees beyond the main runway I was watching.
    <O:p</O:p
    <O:p
    Back then it didn't occur to me to use hinge cutting to manipulate their movements so year after year I watched them and grew increasingly frustrated. It's hard enough to even see a mature buck but then to have the ones you see just out of bow range is hard to swallow.
    <O:p</O:p
    <O:p
    Eventually I went to work along the field edge hinging trees that you see in the beginning of this thread. I pushed them around with the tractor and loader, cut tops and piled them in the runways until they gave up and were forced to use less runways.

    <O:p
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    [​IMG]<O:p></O:p>
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    Then I went to work on the interior area, using care not to kill any of the bur oaks but hinging virtually everything else...maples, locusts, a few shingle oaks, some elms and box elders.<O:p</O:p
    <O:p
    Some areas went from this <O:p</O:p
    <O:p
    [​IMG]<O:p></O:p>
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    to this and I planted white swamp oak seedlings in the downed tops which cannot even be seen in this pic because the undergrowth is 4 ft high!<O:p</O:p
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    [​IMG]<O:p></O:p>
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    I created a literal "impenetrable mess" in places, completely blocking old runways
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    [​IMG]
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    but also encouraging new browse<O:p</O:p
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    the sunlight and lack of competition will spur a faster rate of growth from the burr oaks and eventually increase mast production and that runway I had so fruitlessly watched in years past is now a beaten down highway!<O:p</O:p
    <O:p
    [​IMG]<O:p></O:p>
    <O:p</O:p

    and deer movement through that path has been nothing short of phenomenal, keeping my trail cam busy day and night!
    <O:p</O:p
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    [​IMG]<O:p></O:p>
    <O:p</O:p

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    Hinging cull trees covers a wide array of possible habitat improvements from creating bedding, opening up areas for new browse, spurring growth of oak seedlings and if well thought out, creating funnels and bottlenecks that allowed me to take a mature buck and numerous does this year.<O:p</O:p
    <O:p

    Start with a walk with your forester, make a plan, mark crop trees via a TSI plan and then manipulate the hinge cuttings in away that affects deer movement to make harvesting them less frustrating...;)
     
  20. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    Here is an example of how I used hinge cutting to funnel deer to my apple orchard in the coming years. The oaks were left, but all those dang shagbark hickory were cut down to create the funnel.

    I blocked everything to the north and south of where I wanted the deer to come up so I would hunt either a northerly and southerly wind.

    In this first pic, the runway is on the right side of the screen.

    [​IMG]

    Here is what the other side looks like....the runway is just on the left side of the screen out of the pic.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  21. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    Here is the overview of my farm: The deer can only come from the east and that whole timber east of the 2 stands is never touched. We hunt north and south of that timber, but that should hold the deer in there to come up to the orchard.

    [​IMG]
     

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