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Hunting Spot Getting Logged. Advice?

weekender21

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
1,289
Location
Hawaii and North Carolina
My land was clearcut years ago. I built a box blind. The base was 16ft high. For 1.5 years my 30.06 barked every single time I went out and lots of times it was double deer days. The deer will still be there. Get high and sight your rifle in at 200 yards. I had and made lots of 350+ yard shots.
Now, if you are talking select cut, you won't even notice a difference in the deer and their behavior.
Select cut is just code for high grade in most areas. They’ll take all the valuable trees and leave those not worth their time. The percentage of trees removed will depend on species, size, etc.


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weekender21

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Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
1,289
Location
Hawaii and North Carolina
Hey all,

This post-season, I have gotten serious about scouting and doing little things to improve the habitat on the land that I hunt (opening up natural springs to allow for small pools, reintroducing locally native grasses and wildflowers, trying to tackle invasive wineberry, creating tiny clover/oat plots for post-winter supplemental deer feeding). For the past several years, the landowners have been tossing around the idea of doing a select-cut logging, as the land hasn't been cut in a couple decades and could really use some opening up for new growth. This year they are actually going to do it. I am looking forward to the positive benefits, but I am also a bit concerned about how this is going to impact my upcoming hunting season. They will be logging this summer, so I would hope that deer will be moving back into the area by this fall.

A little info on the land:
It's about 120 acres on the slope of a steep ridgeline that's covered in mature hardwood (tons of poplar, seconded by red and white oak), and it's contiguous with upwards of 1000 acres of neighboring forested properties

Here are some of my concerns, and I'd love to hear any insight you might have from those who have experience with post-logging hunting/land-management:
-disruption of travel corridors for deer...will they establish new (permanent) patterns of travel and throw a wrench in all my scouting efforts?

-how do I control the comeback of invasives? Is it feasible to do so? I have been trying to get after the extremely aggressive wineberry growth and replace it with native grasses/wildflowers, and I'm worried that they're now going to explode even more so

-what can I do now and immediately post logging to improve habitat and hunting for the next several years?


I have been hunting this land since I was a little kid and care for it immensely. I'd like to do what I can to make this a positive experience for years to come.

Thanks in advance!

In general logging is good for deer, I wouldn’t be too concerned.

It sounds like the land owner gives you permission to do quite a bit of work on the property, that’s rare. You’re right to be concerned about the explosion of invasive species but what are you allowed to do about it? Getting the invasives under control before the logging is the best option.

If the land owner allows you to put in fire brakes and burn then I’d recommend getting familiar with prescribed fire. BUT, all of this is a ton of work for a property that isn’t yours


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Loopwing

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SH Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
863
Location
Virginia
Select cut is just code for high grade in most areas. They’ll take all the valuable trees and leave those not worth their time. The percentage of trees removed will depend on species, size, etc.


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Ok, I had a friend in Wisconsin that would have select cut done every few years. 3-4 guys would come in with chainsaws and drop 15-20 trees and drag them out.
 

weekender21

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Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
1,289
Location
Hawaii and North Carolina
Ok, I had a friend in Wisconsin that would have select cut done every few years. 3-4 guys would come in with chainsaws and drop 15-20 trees and drag them out.
It’s definitely a relative term! Select cut is more of a slang forestry term which is probably why it means different things to different people. More official terminology would use basal area to describe the density and even age vs. non even age stands to describe macro goal.


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7mmremmag

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Vendor Rep
SH Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
577
Location
Warren County, PA
Deer love fresh cuts, they get to eat the browse they typically can't reach and there is good bedding cover. I wouldn't worry a whole lot but you will likely need to re-scout.
 

THill202

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
55
If you or the landowner has any control it'd be nice to have them leave some of the mast producing trees. The first year or two will draw deer in for the grasses and forbs. It won't be super high traffic but there will be deer checking it out. As it starts to grow up more deer will spend their days in it. Eventually it will get so thick and nasty they won't use it as much unless they need the extra cover. Further down the road it'll grow up into a sapling forest and there won't be much benefit to the deer until it grows up a bit, if mast producing trees take. Throughout the cycle you'll always have the edges created by it and you'll just have to learn how the patterns in, out, through and around change as the cut changes. Ideally you would clear smaller sections in 5-10 year increments to have multiple successions at different ages, but that may not be feasible in your situation. One of my favorite game lands is a checkerboard of clearcuts intertwangled with mature stands. They do a lot of burning there to control invasives. The regeneration rate all depends on your soils. There are some areas around that get clear cut and there's nothing there 10 years later while other places are impenetrable in 5 years.
 

Cknpro

New Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
5
On our place (mountainous hardwood forest) we’ve had loggers in it twice in the 30 years I’ve been hunting it. In my experience, if they get out by September, it will be fine (we open bow season mid-Oct). The last time, they got out mid-Sept and it was not a problem either. It will change the normal patterns and you should be ready to use mobile set-ups that first season as you figure out the new patterns, but I didn’t notice a severe drop in deer sightings and killed deer that next season. Deer are inherently curious. I was in there a week or so after they were done and saw lots of deer tracks inside skidder tracks. They don’t just leave. In many ways, you can capitalize on the change as they may actually focus to tighter areas.

What I did see is after this last logging, which was much more extensive than the first, was the second and third years were the toughest hunting as the new growth exploded and gave deer immense browse everywhere and lots of cover. Finally had to take a tractor and bush hog up and cut out the roads and a few trails. After that, deer started using the roads and hunting got back to more normal patterns.

The best upside is as you know, eliminating not acorn producing trees and providing browse. That’s been my experience.
 
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