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#537304 - 12/22/07 11:19 AM OK to cut trails throughout the property?
waumpuscat
4 Point


Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 193
Loc: middle

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I have 122 acres of ridges and hollows in middle tennessee and am new to any management activities. My property is surrounded by only a total of about 600-800 acres of assorted residents and some hay fields mixed with about 325 acres on the north of mature hardwood. My property was select cut down to 14 inches about 2 years ago. My question is is it OK to cut trails throughout the property so that I can access it or will this run the big deer out of their sancturary? I have pics of two bucks that look to go over 140 but have seen only one buck(a small 8) this entire season.
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#537330 - 12/22/07 12:13 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: waumpuscat]
Stovepipe
18 Point


Registered: 09/21/07
Posts: 21673
Loc: N1549518,E738760

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personally, I would do it the first day after the season closes for antlered deer but hear me out. I hated to, but just had to bite my lip and go for it. I did some lane cutting and strategic bush hogging last year in February on the OUTSIDE edging of my thickets. I will also in late winter disk up some small portions of thicket areas for the management of natural broadleaf weeds for a natural plot (1/2 acre at most for any one area). Whether it be too close to a 'sanctuary area' or not, I'm going for it. Come next year, I'm going to have natural food sources butted right up next to untouched thicket areas. Can't wait to get going. I would try keep 'polygons' of undisturbed patches if you can. I wouldn't make a checkerboard through some known bedding areas. Good luck to you. This is just my opinion and I'm sure you'll get some good feedback from others.
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#537335 - 12/22/07 12:22 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: Stovepipe]
waumpuscat
4 Point


Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 193
Loc: middle

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I hear ya Stovepipe,

I don't plan to crank not one saw until the season is over.
I am just wondering how much I can tromp around without doing myself more harm than good. I have yet to identify all of my thickets and bedding areas and I struggle with a plan for stand placement. Any and all suggestions and comments are welcome

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#537344 - 12/22/07 12:35 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: waumpuscat]
Bertman
16 Point


Registered: 12/07/07
Posts: 18697
Loc: TREESTAND

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do it after season closes for next season.
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#537365 - 12/22/07 01:16 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: Bertman]
WestTn Huntin'man
16 Point


Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 11908
Loc: Benton Co.

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One thing to consider ??Will the trails and easy access invite unwanted traffic from neigborhood 4 wheelers and kids.I would some would be O.K.. Try not to over do it. TRy to leave some thick stuff and sacnuaries. Keep in mind Big Bucks won't usally travel the main trails in day light. They often will have smaller secondary trails close to the main ones.
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#537407 - 12/22/07 02:13 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: WestTn Huntin'man]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16759
Loc: Allardt, TN

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I would cut them after season and then just simply not use them much unless you have to getting a deer out or whatever. Take a good aerial photo and map/plan it all out so you will still have good spacing between roads and dont crowd your thickets too much.
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#537510 - 12/22/07 06:08 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: smstone22]
Brad Martin
6 Point


Registered: 08/28/03
Posts: 913
Loc: Knoxville

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I agree after season sounds good!
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#537658 - 12/22/07 09:22 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: Brad Martin]
Whitehorse
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 08/23/99
Posts: 10655
Loc: Pegram TN USA

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It would be some "exercise" however you may can do a lot with a handheld brush cutter to get some trails in that would not invite 4-wheeler riders. I've thought it would be good to not really cut much 'til you're 30-40 yards back from the main trail also.
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#538126 - 12/23/07 01:13 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: Whitehorse]
HornHunter
Spike


Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 49
Loc: Lawrence county, Tennessee

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We do all of our trail cutting after season on up to a few weeks before season opens we never have a problem. It might keep them sterd up for a day or so but they wont leave for good they have been their to long.
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#538301 - 12/23/07 06:23 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: HornHunter]
renegade50
16 Point


Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 14240
Loc: tn

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i would just do it with as light as impact as possible hand saw and pruner "walking trails" marked with glow tacks and then pruner cut them again very early squirrel season and i amjust talking about walking to stand trails/stillhunting trails ,that is about my only experience in this type of thing.
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#539088 - 12/24/07 12:36 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: renegade50]
Radar
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 31145
Loc: Kansas City, Mo.

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The landowner cleared some trails and openings during late gun season in his select cutover with a frontend loader a couple of years ago .
I thought it was going to screw up my hunting , but I couldn't believe the deer sign in the clearings only a couple of days after he got done .
I thought I would take a stand in one of the areas , and saw 16 deer that morning in an area with visabilty of only 100 yards . The deer now use these paths to travel through the thickest parts of the cutover . They now are full of greenbriar and Honeysuckle .
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#539465 - 12/24/07 08:31 PM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: Radar]
Stovepipe
18 Point


Registered: 09/21/07
Posts: 21673
Loc: N1549518,E738760

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 Originally Posted By: Radar
The landowner cleared some trails and openings during late gun season in his select cutover with a frontend loader a couple of years ago .
I thought it was going to screw up my hunting , but I couldn't believe the deer sign in the clearings only a couple of days after he got done .
I thought I would take a stand in one of the areas , and saw 16 deer that morning in an area with visabilty of only 100 yards . The deer now use these paths to travel through the thickest parts of the cutover . They now are full of greenbriar and Honeysuckle .
Radar, when I mentioned 'strategic bush hogging' in my post on this thread, that's exactly what I'm referring to. I'll channel or funnel deer to the specific places 'I want them to be' with this technique. I've made meandering one pass cuts with a 5ft deck next to opportune shooting lanes and or ambush zones. I've even brought several trails to one intersection next to the biggest brush sapling in the mix and placed a stand there. This may sound ridiculous or even far fetched for some of the professional biologists on here but it works at my place and I've been doing this for more than 10 years. It helps too if you have a topo overlay onto an orthophoto of your property to facilitate your network of trails.


Edited by stovepipe (12/24/07 08:32 PM)
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#539807 - 12/25/07 01:07 AM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: waumpuscat]
Venison1
16 Point


Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 12022
Loc: United States

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About 7 or 8 yrs. ago, I had this idea to rake a clean path to my stand. All the Oak leaves were making too much noise and I wanted to slip in quietly, so I did, it actually took awhile and I kept it cleaned up the entire season. I would rake leaves on the way out ocassionally to keep it a quiet walk.
Well, The deer used it and used it heavily. I still do it today,
I have at least one stand location at each property that I keep a clean path and you would think I had corn out by the looks of the tracks.
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#539865 - 12/25/07 06:14 AM Re: OK to cut trails throughout the property? [Re: Stovepipe]
Radar
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 31145
Loc: Kansas City, Mo.

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 Originally Posted By: stovepipe
 Originally Posted By: Radar
The landowner cleared some trails and openings during late gun season in his select cutover with a frontend loader a couple of years ago .
I thought it was going to screw up my hunting , but I couldn't believe the deer sign in the clearings only a couple of days after he got done .
I thought I would take a stand in one of the areas , and saw 16 deer that morning in an area with visabilty of only 100 yards . The deer now use these paths to travel through the thickest parts of the cutover . They now are full of greenbriar and Honeysuckle .
Radar, when I mentioned 'strategic bush hogging' in my post on this thread, that's exactly what I'm referring to. I'll channel or funnel deer to the specific places 'I want them to be' with this technique. I've made meandering one pass cuts with a 5ft deck next to opportune shooting lanes and or ambush zones. I've even brought several trails to one intersection next to the biggest brush sapling in the mix and placed a stand there. This may sound ridiculous or even far fetched for some of the professional biologists on here but it works at my place and I've been doing this for more than 10 years. It helps too if you have a topo overlay onto an orthophoto of your property to facilitate your network of trails.


I'm trying to get the landowner to make some more strategic paths for better stand sites , such as creating a hub at the stand , and clearing the paths in a spoke pattern in several directions from the stand .
Right now he just drives the front end loader through the thickest areas without any plan for stand setups . It's hard to find a good tree to place a stand near the openings .
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