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Creating cover quickly - think this will work?

JCDEERMAN

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1. Using a dozer to rake the ground could damage some of the acorn producing trees' root systems - A prescribed fire would be much more beneficial.
2. I wouldn't over-seed with anything. I'd much rather have natural grasses and growth for wildlife.
3. I would not hinge-cut - I would hack & squirt - much better for establishing and maintaining ample sunlight hitting the ground.

Check these links out below...

https://www.growingdeer.tv/#/improving- ... ack-squirt

https://www.growingdeer.tv/#/deer-manag ... food-plots

Spend some time on this site. A LOT of very valuable information. Good luck...

We do many of Dr. Grant Wood's techniques on our property
 

DoubleRidge

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Absolutely agree with JCDEERMAN's recommendation ^ and you are correct...in addition to good food...they need good cover....and allowing more sunlight to reach forest floor you can get the best of both.
 

diamond hunter

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I wouldn't overseed or bring in a dozer,I would hinge cut yes yes yes spots 1-2 acres at a time and create sanctuary cover and stay out of there.Keep what you want in there and cut it if you don't think in benefits deer.I personally cut down beech,sycamore,hickory,elm,ironwood,ect and now I keep poplar cause I raise honeybees.Build you a place a squirrel cant walk through.
 

DoubleRidge

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Diamond hunter makes a great point:

"create sanctuary cover and stay out of there"

This is something that many land owners struggle with (staying out of a given area).

People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them that there is one portion on our farm that I hadn't walked on since I was a teenager. (I'll be 50 this month).

I run cameras on the outskirts of the sanctuary...but I don't put any pressure on it what so ever. Deer need a place to go without feeling pressure.

The sanctuary on our place is made up of cedars, broom sage, old field growth, etc.
 

FTG-05

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DoubleRidge":hfv3kvdu said:
Diamond hunter makes a great point:

"create sanctuary cover and stay out of there"

This is something that many land owners struggle with (staying out of a given area).

People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them that there is one portion on our farm that I hadn't walked on since I was a teenager. (I'll be 50 this month).

I run cameras on the outskirts of the sanctuary...but I don't put any pressure on it what so ever. Deer need a place to go without feeling pressure.

The sanctuary on our place is made up of cedars, broom sage, old field growth, etc.

Good advice, thanks! [insert beer icon here]
 

JCDEERMAN

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DoubleRidge":15lchvts said:
Diamond hunter makes a great point:

"create sanctuary cover and stay out of there"

This is something that many land owners struggle with (staying out of a given area).

People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them that there is one portion on our farm that I hadn't walked on since I was a teenager. (I'll be 50 this month).

I run cameras on the outskirts of the sanctuary...but I don't put any pressure on it what so ever. Deer need a place to go without feeling pressure.

The sanctuary on our place is made up of cedars, broom sage, old field growth, etc.
Agreed.

We have 7 sanctuaries on our property all spread out. They are all 3-15 acres a piece. We have plans this coming spring to create 5 more.

I’m hoping I get selected in January to become a certified prescribed burn manager. We will start burning all these locations on a 3-5 year rotation. Our instructions for loggers on our select cuts are “cut every tree but the white oaks and red oaks” -we have a lot of them. Essentially, you have whites and reds dropping acorns and everything else is native forbs and grasses...you have food and cover all in one

We also do not enter these areas unless to retrieve a deer.
 

DoubleRidge

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JCDEERMAN":1bbwg0yj said:
DoubleRidge":1bbwg0yj said:
Diamond hunter makes a great point:

"create sanctuary cover and stay out of there"

This is something that many land owners struggle with (staying out of a given area).

People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them that there is one portion on our farm that I hadn't walked on since I was a teenager. (I'll be 50 this month).

I run cameras on the outskirts of the sanctuary...but I don't put any pressure on it what so ever. Deer need a place to go without feeling pressure.

The sanctuary on our place is made up of cedars, broom sage, old field growth, etc.
Agreed.

We have 7 sanctuaries on our property all spread out. They are all 3-15 acres a piece. We have plans this coming spring to create 5 more.

I’m hoping I get selected in January to become a certified prescribed burn manager. We will start burning all these locations on a 3-5 year rotation. Our instructions for loggers on our select cuts are “cut every tree but the white oaks and red oaks” -we have a lot of them. Essentially, you have whites and reds dropping acorns and everything else is native forbs and grasses...you have food and cover all in one

We also do not enter these areas unless to retrieve a deer.

Sounds like a great management plan. Really like the idea of multiple sanctuary areas verses one or two large ones. We actually have the opportunity to do this in the coming months.

I say this because we just completed a select cut where the poplar, beech, hickory and ash were cut pretty heavy with very select cut on white oak and red oak.... estimate from Forester was that we left 2/3rds of the White oaks.

In addition to this select cut we were fortunate to qualify through EQIP to hack-n-squirt the majority of the property. For the hack-n-squirt we targeted the smaller beech, ironwood, gum, etc.

So while there is going to be alot of new growth and thicker areas develop....your comments have motivated me to define two more areas as sanctuary.

Also both loading decks are having stumps removed next week followed by lime ....hope to have them ready to plant by spring.

Hadn't got up the nerve to do any controlled burns yet but we do rotate bush hogging strips in grown up field area...... several acres of honeysuckle , briars & native grasses...deer and turkey love it.

Ok I'll stop rambling.... habitat improvements for wildlife is very interesting to me and I enjoy the process....and I really like the idea of multiple sanctuary locations....it makes sense...thanks
 

JCDEERMAN

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We have a huge project we are trying to tackle before spring as well. In addition to those 5 new select cuts, we are also clearing roughly 18-20 acres for more and larger food plots. Clear-cutting, stump removal - piling them - burn, leveling, fertilizing and liming....all before planting in the spring. A lot of work ahead!

It took me a lot of nerve to build up to burn, as well. I was pressured by a buddy that works for TWRA to burn for years and I just shrugged it off. Didn't want to do anything that dramatic and dangerous. Once I started watching videos and learning about all the benefits, I was sold. The deer and turkey will reap all the rewards, and ultimately, us hunters.

Keep us updated on your progress, DoubleRidge!
 

DoubleRidge

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JCDEERMAN that plan sounds great....clearing 18 to 20 acres is certainly a big project... wow! ...gonna be nice though....for the area we are removing stumps from - one is around 2 acre and the other is 3 to 3½ acre....very excited about finally making some progress....trying to take pics along the way to show before and after.

But I will certainly share progress as we move along into spring......you please do the same....I really like following others progress and learning all I can along the way!

Actually these are the type conversations that motivated me to jump in and join TNdeer....lurked and learned for some time....hope to share some experiences now.
 

DoubleRidge

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JCDEERMAN":1cpmn550 said:
We have a huge project we are trying to tackle before spring as well. In addition to those 5 new select cuts, we are also clearing roughly 18-20 acres for more and larger food plots. Clear-cutting, stump removal - piling them - burn, leveling, fertilizing and liming....all before planting in the spring. A lot of work ahead!

It took me a lot of nerve to build up to burn, as well. I was pressured by a buddy that works for TWRA to burn for years and I just shrugged it off. Didn't want to do anything that dramatic and dangerous. Once I started watching videos and learning about all the benefits, I was sold. The deer and turkey will reap all the rewards, and ultimately, us hunters.

Keep us updated on your progress, DoubleRidge!

Update: Dozer was delivered yesterday and they started today. Working on road going into the property and started removing stumps in the first plot area....he's making great progress.

We've been waiting two weeks to get started and the rain just wouldn't let up...... talking with the dozer operator this afternoon and he said he likes pushing stumps out when the moisture is up some (not muddy) verses bone dry ground....he said it goes quicker.

Another day and plot 1 will be ready to lime/disk. Hoping by Saturday he will start on plot 2 which has allot more stumps. In-between the farm entrance , plot 1 and plot 2 he is making road improvements as he goes.

So....we have "before pics"....will try to take some "after pics" when he's done....and "finished pics" once planted....and post some pics to show examples.

Excited to finally get the ball rolling!
 

JCDEERMAN

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DoubleRidge":2ulyiy23 said:
JCDEERMAN":2ulyiy23 said:
We have a huge project we are trying to tackle before spring as well. In addition to those 5 new select cuts, we are also clearing roughly 18-20 acres for more and larger food plots. Clear-cutting, stump removal - piling them - burn, leveling, fertilizing and liming....all before planting in the spring. A lot of work ahead!

It took me a lot of nerve to build up to burn, as well. I was pressured by a buddy that works for TWRA to burn for years and I just shrugged it off. Didn't want to do anything that dramatic and dangerous. Once I started watching videos and learning about all the benefits, I was sold. The deer and turkey will reap all the rewards, and ultimately, us hunters.

Keep us updated on your progress, DoubleRidge!

Update: Dozer was delivered yesterday and they started today. Working on road going into the property and started removing stumps in the first plot area....he's making great progress.

We've been waiting two weeks to get started and the rain just wouldn't let up...... talking with the dozer operator this afternoon and he said he likes pushing stumps out when the moisture is up some (not muddy) verses bone dry ground....he said it goes quicker.

Another day and plot 1 will be ready to lime/disk. Hoping by Saturday he will start on plot 2 which has allot more stumps. In-between the farm entrance , plot 1 and plot 2 he is making road improvements as he goes.

So....we have "before pics"....will try to take some "after pics" when he's done....and "finished pics" once planted....and post some pics to show examples.

Excited to finally get the ball rolling!
Thanks for the update!

I am definitely jealous. Still waiting on our logger to finish up another job so he can start on ours. Then, just have to call to get the dozer delivered at our convenience so that work can start. I too plan to do before and after pics...love to see progress!!!

What size dozer are y’all working with?
How long would you say it has taken them to do say, 1 acre with the dozer?
 

DoubleRidge

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The dozer they are using is a D6 with the rippers on the back....for him a "full day" is a 10 hours.....he said he got started late today and didn't get in a full day....so when I arrived this afternoon I'd estimate he had 1½ acre of plot area stump free plus several hundred feet of farm road improved....I know that's not a straight answer to your question.....so I'll try to get a better feel what progress he's making going forward.

His estimate was 4 days minimum 5 days maximum and that's to clear all stumps from a 2 to 2½ acre plot and a 3 to 3½ acre plot.... estimate also includes making improvements to road going into farm.

We'll see how close his estimate is....but from the progress he made today I'm guessing 4 days. (weather pending)

Also I forget to mention....the 3½ acre plot has allot of very big red oak stumps which obviously effects the time it takes. Some areas will go quickly....some will take more time.
 

BULL MOOSE

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DoubleRidge":2yorz7gw said:
BULL MOOSE":2yorz7gw said:
There is a podcast with dr.craig harper on Wired to hunt that is great!

https://ag.tennessee.edu/fwf/craigharpe ... fault.aspx

Looks like some great information.....thanks!

It has been a couple of years since listening to the podcast, but a main takeaway was that you could produce more good browse and poundage with roundup/mower than you can with a food plot for less money. Of course, that was before all these roundup cancer lawsuits. :).
 

DoubleRidge

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BULL MOOSE":2zr7yih2 said:
DoubleRidge":2zr7yih2 said:
BULL MOOSE":2zr7yih2 said:
There is a podcast with dr.craig harper on Wired to hunt that is great!

https://ag.tennessee.edu/fwf/craigharpe ... fault.aspx

Looks like some great information.....thanks!

It has been a couple of years since listening to the podcast, but a main takeaway was that you could produce more good browse and poundage with roundup/mower than you can with a food plot for less money. Of course, that was before all these roundup cancer lawsuits. :).

No doubt bush hogging natural vegetation can be a cost effective way to make habitat improvements.... totally agree! Food plots can get in your pocket!

We have several "grown up" areas we plan to bush hog strips in this year....and rotating areas year to year.
 

DoubleRidge

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JCDEERMAN":3o7zn29f said:
DoubleRidge":3o7zn29f said:
JCDEERMAN":3o7zn29f said:
We have a huge project we are trying to tackle before spring as well. In addition to those 5 new select cuts, we are also clearing roughly 18-20 acres for more and larger food plots. Clear-cutting, stump removal - piling them - burn, leveling, fertilizing and liming....all before planting in the spring. A lot of work ahead!

It took me a lot of nerve to build up to burn, as well. I was pressured by a buddy that works for TWRA to burn for years and I just shrugged it off. Didn't want to do anything that dramatic and dangerous. Once I started watching videos and learning about all the benefits, I was sold. The deer and turkey will reap all the rewards, and ultimately, us hunters.

Keep us updated on your progress, DoubleRidge!

Update: Dozer was delivered yesterday and they started today. Working on road going into the property and started removing stumps in the first plot area....he's making great progress.

We've been waiting two weeks to get started and the rain just wouldn't let up...... talking with the dozer operator this afternoon and he said he likes pushing stumps out when the moisture is up some (not muddy) verses bone dry ground....he said it goes quicker.

Another day and plot 1 will be ready to lime/disk. Hoping by Saturday he will start on plot 2 which has allot more stumps. In-between the farm entrance , plot 1 and plot 2 he is making road improvements as he goes.

So....we have "before pics"....will try to take some "after pics" when he's done....and "finished pics" once planted....and post some pics to show examples.

Excited to finally get the ball rolling!
Thanks for the update!

I am definitely jealous. Still waiting on our logger to finish up another job so he can start on ours. Then, just have to call to get the dozer delivered at our convenience so that work can start. I too plan to do before and after pics...love to see progress!!!

What size dozer are y’all working with?
How long would you say it has taken them to do say, 1 acre with the dozer?

Update #2 dozer wrapped up last Wednesday....ended up being around 5 ½ to 6 acres cleared of stumps....also Improvements were made to around 600 feet of farm road....crowned road added ditches, etc.

So total dozer run time was 33 hours....wish I knew how many hours were dedicated to only stump removal but I do not.....if I were guessing I'd say 30 hours on stump removal on 5½ to 6 acres....which included back dragging and smoothing entire area.

When I get back on the property I'll post some before and after pics.....next step is getting lime truck scheduled.... progress is never fast enough....but we're getting there.
 

JCDEERMAN

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Great to hear DR. Can’t wait for the pics. Our logger hasn’t started and probably won’t be able to for several more weeks. All this rain is delaying him finishing up another job.

You doing soil tests?
 

DoubleRidge

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JCDEERMAN":1zrpemev said:
Great to hear DR. Can’t wait for the pics. Our logger hasn’t started and probably won’t be able to for several more weeks. All this rain is delaying him finishing up another job.

You doing soil tests?

Yea....the rain has caused numerous delays for us as well....hoping this week is dry enough to get lime truck scheduled.....was hoping to start disking soon but going to wait till lime is spread.

This week looks little better with less rain.... hopefully that helps your logger get caught up!
 

DoubleRidge

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DoubleRidge":qnie78h4 said:
JCDEERMAN":qnie78h4 said:
Great to hear DR. Can’t wait for the pics. Our logger hasn’t started and probably won’t be able to for several more weeks. All this rain is delaying him finishing up another job.

You doing soil tests?

Yea....the rain has caused numerous delays for us as well....hoping this week is dry enough to get lime truck scheduled.....was hoping to start disking soon but going to wait till lime is spread.

This week looks little better with less rain.... hopefully that helps your logger get caught up!

Just noticed I didn't answer your question on soil test....Yes! Going to pull soil test....I'm getting the cart before the horse....pulling soil test on the new plot areas where stumps were removed..... already have soil test results for existing plot areas..... hoping to lime all plot areas soon.
 
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