Edge Feathering and bedding areas

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

  1. tlambert

    tlambert PMA Member

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    I'm originally from up in west central WI and have a lot of experience with Poplars. From what I've seen, they're going to just break off when you hinge cut them, but you'll get a million shoots that come up off the stump and they grow about 4' or more per year. It gets thick fast.
     
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  3. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    Good point farmland,

    Since I have more young oaks coming up in the hinge cut areas than I would care to count, a fire will not be ran through there for sometime. My plan is to go back through there in a few years and keep cutting any competition (mainly hickory) around the young oaks, using remedy/diesel mix or tordon to keep the unwanted trees at bay.

    After those babies take over and dominate that part of my woods again, I will run fire through there every so often. Before I do that, a forester will walk my woods again to get some ideas before I set the first match. Just like before I started cutting the trees. I had a forester from the MDC walk my woods, tell him what I was looking for and we came up with some pretty good ideas I think. :way:
     
  4. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    This something else I have popping up all over in my hinge cut areas, I am guess they are black cherry seedlings. If not, sure looks like some kind of prunus species.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    Here is a seedling white oak growing right next to a hinge cut hickory that never re-sprouted.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Could be BC Phil? Not something I have really looked for though?

    I walked my hinge cuts and oak savanna with my forester on Monday morning and I have a mess of ash seedlings coming up! :eek: :D

    I also have tons of oak seedlings in my hinge cuts and Ray agreed that fire will be helpful to control some of the fire intolerant species.

    We also discussed herbicidal control and I may give that a try at this stage of the game in areas around oak seedlings. :way:
     
  7. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    That is the route I am going to go in my hinge cut areas since I do not want to run fire through there for sometime. What I really like about the hinge cuts are they create areas where oak seedlings can flourish and not get touched by deer browse or bucks working on them. :way:
     
  8. Alpha Doe

    Alpha Doe New Member

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    Hey Phil...is that poison ivy in that pic too? :confused:

    I don't go anywhere without looking for poison ivy first. Drives my husband crazy...:thrwrck:
     
  9. letemgrow

    letemgrow PMA Member

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    I am sure it is, I have a ton of poison ivy on the farm, luckily, I can walk through it in shorts or whatever without any problems so I dont look for it. Quail sure love it tho. :way:
     
  10. Alpha Doe

    Alpha Doe New Member

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    It drives my husband crazy....but that is why he got it this past weekend and I didn't. :grin:

    Either way it's not good for me...now I have to listen to the fussin'. :rolleyes:
     
  11. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    My wife’s friend Hattie killed this monster 200+ inch buck some time back not far from where we live during a drive in shotgun season.. I suspect if not for that he may have died of old age living in the oak ridges and red cedar thickets of southern Iowa.

    [​IMG]

    No one picked up sticks or raked leaves out of beds to convince him to stay, but instead left him alone in a fairly large tract of cover not unlike other magnificent whitetail bucks across Iowa. Interesting and elusive creatures that few get to see and even fewer actually harvest, but they leave all of us hopeful for the chance.

    How then can we realistically increase our chances of harvesting mature whitetails on our land? Food and secure cover meet their needs but if that were it then we would all have Booners on are wall.

    I am blessed to be able to hunt deer for 2 months out of our 4 month season and observe them year around which has allowed me to learn a lot about whitetails and their habits in relationship to habitat. Even at that there is much I cannot know simply because of the nocturnal nature of a mature buck, we can however learn a great deal from telemetric studies done by Dr. Kroll, Dr. Mickey Hellickson, Dr. Mark Conners and others.

    Much of it is common sense and anyone having spent much time pursuing mature whitetails can already relate to the following table showing that other then November….movement is between 70-100% nocturnal for mature whitetails..

    That narrows the odds then to a certain time period but how much area does a mature buck use?



    That is pretty typical of what I see in Iowa with larger animals typically living in larger areas of cover where they are completely unmolested. We may attract and hold a mature animal on smaller tracts but when they are most vulnerable they are also most likely to travel and sometimes 10-25 miles.

    To complicate matters more it is common for bucks to have 2-3 core areas that may be 1-2 miles apart and again this correlates with my own observations. In spring bucks tend to move out into large fields of CRP grasses, in the heat of summer they may bed in the bottom of creeks on sand bars. Early fall brings about more movements as they prepare for breeding and feed heavily at night. The change between summer and fall is also noted in the QW article

    Barn Bucks

    The rut has them on their feet and moving in a relentless search for a doe in estrus and little time is spent eating or sleeping as they probe doe bedding areas and quickly move to the next, using their noses rather then their eyes to search out their quarry. The late season finds them actively seeking food sources and traveling several miles if necessary to find it and those that plant only one food source may find themselves left holding the bag.

    Once we have a true understanding of a mature whitetail bucks needs, habits and movements and how they change through out the year we can begin to improve our habitat to meet those needs. This same understanding also makes it clear why landowners find attempts at making individual beds ineffectual in actually harvesting mature animals.

    So we only have an 80 or 120 acres, how then can we hope to compete when an animal has a 450 acre home range? We can make our property the best piece of that home range and manage our habitat in a way that greatly increase the odds of intercepting that animal during his most vulnerable time.

    Here in Iowa large mature animals will often choose large areas of relatively open timber or CRP fields over small thick areas simply because that is where they find the greatest security. In these areas they live completely unmolested and because of their nocturnal nature are seldom seen.

    Our mission then is to create that same sense of security starting with shrub and conifer screens around the perimeter of our property allowing deer to feed and move despite roads, vehicles and people. We insulate them even further by planting interior fields with tall native prairie grasses and surround timbered woodlots with conifer screening.

    Our timber is thickened by hinging, oak mast increased by TSI practices and food sources are maintained year around by planting a variety of crops planted in safe well screened areas between bedding.

    Exactly where a mature buck will bed is impossible to predict but one thing is certain, he will seek out the doe groups and travel during daylight hours in November. In addition other traveling bucks will also visit and all of these deer can be killed by using living tree fences to manipulate movement and vastly narrow and even the odds of success.

    Hinging cull trees plays a huge part in all of this but it is only one element, one piece of the habitat pie required to meet the needs of mature whitetails and landowners should use care not to leave any piece missing.

    The following Q/A is from Dr. Kroll and his telemetric studies:

    Those answers only serve to further amplify the need to hunt during the rut and to hunt bottlenecks rather then waste time foolishly watching scrapes that mature animals will rarely if ever touch in daylight hours.
    If you take nothing else from this at least remember this....during the time when a mature buck is most vulnerable he is least likely to bed at all let alone in the same place and daytime movment will most likely be in and through areas he feels most secure rather then open or edge areas.

    Everyone has different goals but if yours is to consistently harvest mature bucks then it may be time to change not only your habitat but the way you hunt it as well…;)
     
  12. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Great post above folks should read! I also like the BARN BUCK link- I know guys in IA that find this also, especially in the winter. I have a friend who found 3 sets of sheds in his old barn. Maybe we should be building barns instead of timber work! :) Obviously the barns do a great deal for keeping out of elements/wind/snow, etc & hide deer. Cool stuff.
    2 months out of 4 months for hunting? What are you doing with those other 2 months!?!?!? :)
    I won't take away from post above, great stuff. I will add that in IA, I've found home ranges to be far less. They have all the cover & food they need + there's so many deer and so many does, I find many bucks have small home ranges. They do on my farm, I can follow a mature buck in a core area for years on my place- not saying he doesn't leave BUT I feel the home ranges are FAR LESS than the vast woods of Canada or where populations or food are much lower.

    Another thing that is over-looked or forgotten or maybe folks don't realize- Bucks (deer in general) have personalities - some are aggressive, some are quiet/shy, some are dumb (the ones that never care if you walk by them or are down wind of you), some are crazed over females, some not as much. Some travel like maniacs during rut and others don't. I'll have two 4 or 5 year old bucks on my place and 1 of the bucks I see almost all the time I go out (one year I had a buck I swore followed me- no matter where I was, he showed up) & the other buck I rarely, occasionally never, see. Find his sheds and get nocturnal pics of him and that's it- GHOST. We don't put much pressure on my place- it's just deer have personalities somewhat like people as far as aggression, being shy, sex-drive, curious, smart/alert to danger, etc, etc. Of course some of these traits change with age BUT there's also major differences between different bucks of same age class.

    I've pimped my land to have maybe 20-30 good bedding locations, 12 different areas for foodplots, 30 acres natives, year round food with different plots, forest browse. There's not 1 inch of land not doing something to benefit deer and farming or wildlife. I think that's another reason I've found such small home ranges. It also makes it easier to pass a big buck that isn't "quite there yet" which needs another year but is darn tempting. Much easier to help a buck survive, even on small parcels, if you can have the bedding and food during shotgun season when folks are blazing your neighbor's place BUT can't get into your "sanctuary" that gives the buck everything he needs late season to not move as much. Anyways, just my 2 cents. Great post-
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  13. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Your place is a perfect example of "doin' it right" Skip but you also have a larger farm much closer in size to the "450 acre" home range figure then typical 80's might have.

    Do it right though and even small properties will hold some great deer...:way:
     
  14. FarmlandQDM

    FarmlandQDM New Member

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    Here are a few examples of situations where oak regeneration and fire can work and one where it most likely would be difficult at best.

    These hinged trees have very little canopy and there is plenty of light

    [​IMG]

    These are hinged hickories and shingles around a black oak where again it has opened up canopy making both oak rengeration and fire a possibility.

    [​IMG]


    .......



    Paul, if you could, re-shoot the above two photos you posted sometime this summer and post them here so we can see what these two spots look like during the summer. The areas I have hinge cut like you show in the above photos look pretty open before the leaves sprout too, but once things start to grow back they quickly choke out most of the light from getting to the ground. Maybe the timber you work with responds differently than what I have experienced.
     
  15. FarmlandQDM

    FarmlandQDM New Member

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    There are so many variables that affect fire behavoir that makes it pretty hard to answer those questions. Humidity, wind, fuels, fuel moisture all affect the results you will have with trying to kill hickory and elm.

    I have one site with a stand consisting of oak, hickory and elm with an open enough canopy to allow ground cover of fescue(yuck!), some indian/ big bluestem/ switch. Tree dia. of 5" - 18" @ DBH. Seems like a great site to kill elm/hickory with fire but with 5 burns over a 9 year period not one elm or hickory has died ... but I see no elm hickory (or oak) regen so the seedlings outcompeting the grass are getting burned off.

    I have another site consisting of oak/hickory, elm, and an understory component of hophornbeam. Heavy canopy with almost no ground cover other than leaf litter. Again tree dia. of 5" -24" @ DBH. Very low 1 hour fuel and an unlikely spot to kill mature trees with fire. I have burned this stand 3 times in 9 years and have killed a few of the larger hickory (16"-24") .... but the intent of that burn was to produce food not kill trees.

    In general fire can be used successfully at killing most trees 1" in dia or less if you burn once they have broke bud and leafed out ... this means burning in May through Sept. in SE Iowa. Sufficient 1 hour fuels (grass/leaf litter) need to be present to generate enough heat with the duration to severely damage the bark around each sapling. Over 1" dia. trees are difficult to kill consistently with fire. Fire is great at killing individual trees in a stand (including oaks) but it is very difficult to actually remove entire species (like elm or hickory) from a stand with fire alone. Even repeated burning is marginally affective on most sites. The fuel available around each tree is more significant than the actual species you are trying to kill.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  16. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Will do Rob...but I have some that are 5 years old and still open as you see in that pic, probably because of less fertile soils then you may have.

    I walked all of mine with my forester the other day and he also noted that I do have great oak regeneration in my hinge cuts. I'm not just talking about recent cuts but some that are a number of years old and the oaks are in many cases 6-8' high...above the canopy now.

    In all the years I have been doing this (hinging) I have never had canopy so severe that it might inhibit oak regeneration and there are plenty of older pics back thru this thread but I'll will keep everyone posted...:)
     
  17. dgallow

    dgallow New Member

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    Thanks for your reply. The fuel in most of our burn areas are leaves, some downed limbs from ice storms and the prdominant grasses are short panicums. So by your definition that would be less than 1 hour fuel load.

    Do you have a table or some other descriptive which better describes the fire hour rating of fuel loads?

    Anyway, for these burn areas I plan on girdling/remedy-mix or hack/squirt-straight remedy to kill standing elm and hickory to open the canopy before burning. Then before the next burn, we'll evaluate oak crowding and address that issue. Of couse I'll get a forester to walk through at that point as current consultants only provide a 'range management' viewpoint.

    Thanks for your time! :)
     
  18. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    This past winter was pretty tough on unprotected oak seedlings with many being severely browsed or eaten to the ground like this one.

    [​IMG]

    Standing corn, brassicas and winter rye plots all literally surrounding that and other seedlings like it, yet they were not spared.

    On the other hand...those oaks planted at the same time in and amongst hinge cut trees not only escaped un harmed but have thrived and are growing well this spring!

    [​IMG]

    I tubed some of these trees recently to compare growth to untubed and not one of them had been browsed. I took this pic early in the morning and the light was poor but it still shows how thick it is around these young oaks, yet they are thriving.

    [​IMG]

    Interplanting oaks in hinged areas may not be for everyone because it does require some management. I slip in and spray herbicide around the young trees each spring and will do so until they are above adjacent canopy and some may prefer to not enter the bedding areas at all.

    The seedlings I plant are fast growing hybrid oaks or Dwarf Chinkapins that will produce low tannin, sweet acorns in as little as 7-10 years and even a dozen such trees dropping acorns in the middle of a bedding area will provide a combination of food and cover that...the neighbors won't have.... ;)
     
  19. FarmlandQDM

    FarmlandQDM New Member

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    If you do a search for fuel classification with the national interagency fire center you can probably find something on the different fuel types.

    In general wildland fire fuels are broke down into four groups ...
    1 hour fuels ... grass, leaves
    10 hour fuels ... small twigs, sticks, small pieces of bark
    100 hour fuels ... larger sticks to small logs
    1000 hour fuels .... larger logs, snags, stumps

    the fuel rating is based on the approximate time it takes the fuel to dry out enough to burn under "average" conditions as well as the time it takes to wet and become unburnable ... so in thoery it takes a blade of grass 1 hour to dry enough to burn under normal conditions ... rocket science
     
  20. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    My friend Cory sent me some pics of areas on his farm where he has not done any hinge cutting...

    [​IMG]

    Like many woodlots, it 's all open with no cover or browse

    [​IMG]

    As compared to these pics of areas he did hinge cutting this past winter

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hinge cutting cull trees can make a night and day difference in your deer habitat in months rather then years!

    [​IMG]
     
  21. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    This spring and early summer has been so wet that growth has been not unlike a rain forest here in SE Iowa! Probably as heavy as could ever be expected in my hinge cuts so I'd like to share some summer pics of hinging done last winter. I also want to address concerns about oak regeneration and how hinging might affect oak seedlings.

    This pic is one where I have not done any work and shows the runway that my hinging has funneled deer down. There is little native browse or cover.

    [​IMG]

    These are some only yards away that show the tremendous amount of browse and cover that hinging can generate

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hinging can create a "jungle" like environment that radically changes timber from an open park like area devoid of food and cover to a haven for whitetails!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Even if the tree does not remain alive (some will not) the stump sends up an explosion of growth!

    [​IMG]

    Despite the appearance of thick cover, hinging does create openings that then encourages native plants and grasses to emerge taking advantage of sunlight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tree seedlings that previously could not survive in the completely shaded atmosphere now begin to grow and thrive. Some good, some bad and that requires some micro mangement to ensure that the species you want will survive and invasives are kept at bay.

    [​IMG]

    If there are no oaks nearby, regeneration is unlikely unless we introduce oak seedlings, something I have done very successfully. If on the other hand there are parent oaks in your hinged area, there are already oak seedlings attempting to grow.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is a simple task to locate them and hinge trees around them to further open up canopy.

    [​IMG]

    Growth of the seedlings will be rapid once canopy and competition is removed

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Even in heavy cover the oak seedlings will surge towards the sunlight and soon rise above the downed canopy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Everything requires managment, every inch of our properties, without it everything from our CRP to woodlots will be over run with invasives. We don't plant a field of clover or corn and then ignore it, we manage it using herbicides, mowing, soil building and so on.

    It is possible to use burns to help control invasives in our fields and timber but herbicides are also a safe way to control invasives. Basal bark treatment with Remedy and dsl fuel will smoke any invasives without killing nearby species and easily done with a backpack sprayer.

    Even simply nipping off any competing trees as needed will also insure that the right tree species survive within your hinge cut areas. It is important to stay out of hinge areas as much as possible but it takes very little time to do some management versus leaving it alone for years and regretting doing so..... ;)
     

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