Deer Beds

Your place to discuss ways the habitats for deer can be improved!
duderanch
 
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RE: Deer Beds

Postby duderanch » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:15 am

...also, try to cut only trees that you are doing to use for your buck bed. If you don't have much vegetation less than 5 feet (a deer's max feeding height) then you need to open up the understory by selectively removing some larger trees so that you have one mature tree every 30-40 feet (ideally you want 25 feet from the tips of the crown of the most mature tree cleared to allow light to the forest floor and increase native vegetation for deer to eat and hide in).

Trees can be hinged cut 3-4 feet of the ground by cutting half way through the tree and tipping it over. Any trees not used for bedding can be girdled by cutting an inch all the way around a tree twice about 4-6 inches from each other vertically, and then making a vertical slice connecting the two circumferential cuts. This works for most trees except maple and hickory which would require placing roundup (not diluted) into the cut or just cutting the tree down completely. Ideally girdling and hingecutting is done now through the winter. In the Spring the sap flows and will heal the cuts you made and might not kill the tree. Another good time to do girdling is in the summer when the sap has also stopped flowing but it's too hot then and really IMO difficult to determine what needs to be cut since in the winter you can get a better idea of what impact it might have with all the leaves off the trees.

boxcallkid
 
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RE: Deer Beds

Postby boxcallkid » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:33 am

This is an interesting topic, I really never thought about creating Buck beds or doe beds for that matter. But I can tell you where I find them, if that matters.
I do the vast majority of my deer hunting on state land, and here in Mich. that varies quite a bit in regards to cover and terrain. My favorite spot of all that borders private land is a big buck mecca and has been for over 20yrs. Also I was lucky enough to meet the owners of the surrounding private lands and secured permission to bow hunt on it only.
These pieces of private land all had one thing in common on them. They used to grow christmas trees on them, that consisted of five ten and twenty acre plots. After the market for the trees tanked they never harvested them and continued to just let them grow. In between these plots the state land was planted in red pine that were interspersed with huge white oak and beech trees.
Now, as the red pine began to mature they lost there holding and bedding desireability, but the overgrown christmas trees(scotch pine) still hold uncanny bedding traits. The does bed there all the time and the big bucks know it! During the last week of Oct. and the first week of Nov. you catch the bucks cruising from one patch to the other in search of those first esterous does.
During the most severe of weather conditions, from high heat to knee deep snow you'll find the deer here. Also there is a small creek that runs near by so there is a year round water source. You would think that there was no food available to them but you would be suprised at the amount of lichens, mosses and mushrooms that grow amongst them, that deer will eat!
Now it's been my observation over the years that during the heavy chase phase of the rut, the does will run from thinner cover into these thick spots to shake the bucks off their tail. The older, wiser bucks will already be staged up in here just waiting for the fresh meat to be chased to them.Intercepting the does and running the younger bucks off!
I guess I'm rambling a bit, so back to what I believe was my point to start with. I think If I were to attempt creating a bedding area, I would use scotch pine trees.They will grow in just about anything, except very moist ground and muck! and grow especially well in very sandy soils. They also are very cheap to buy in bulk seedling stage and grow appx. 1ft a year. After 6 or 7 years I would top them to slow there upward growth. The deer don't usually brouse these trees until they get much older so I wouldn't be to concerned about them eating to oblivian and destroying the trees altogether. just my 2 cents worth.
Like gramps used to say, "Why is it there's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over?"

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Best pines for deer cover...

Postby buckhunter21 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:54 am

First off, just wanted to say this is a great thread...Lots of really good info!
 
Question for everyone...What do you all think are the best pines as far as creating cover for deer?  Previous post loves the scotch pines...How tall do these get?  I'm indifferent and would like to hear everone's responses and get some more info as I will be hopefully planting some on one of our properties in the next year or two.
QDM!

jsjandro
 
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RE: Best pines for deer cover...

Postby jsjandro » Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:08 pm

ORIGINAL: buckhunter21

First off, just wanted to say this is a great thread...Lots of really good info!

Question for everyone...What do you all think are the best pines as far as creating cover for deer?  Previous post loves the scotch pines...How tall do these get?  I'm indifferent and would like to hear everone's responses and get some more info as I will be hopefully planting some on one of our properties in the next year or two.

 
hey, im also going to be planting conifs this spring, and was tossed between white pine, white cedar, and hemlock. the reason being is that a wind break will be created with any of these as they are all pyrimidal in shape. yet in the low spot i wanna plant hemlock responds best to standing water - but is most prone to insects and disiese, and deer love to browse it which if they nip off the lead bud on a seedling, you may be outta luck. white pine are currently on my property  and i will probably go with these, as the deer dont seem to seek them out but the hares do deer will eat them however they have enough food at my place they seem to leave them alone.(many seedlings are already in place) cedar will be sought, but makes excellent cover and they love rubbing them, so if you plant them put ag tiling on trunk! matching any of these cheap choices to your soils in wi will be easy and as long as youy make the lead bud cap, a peice of printer paper cut to size and placed over lead bud so browsing hares and deer dont get it youll be fine if you truely have your deer in check. be honest with yourself though, because if you are not the deer will destroy your investment, i commented on my uncles experience in this post earlier i believe. white pine are also more shade tolerant and that means less chance of losing the sunlight wars. good luck man!!
only if we had antler point restrictions...:(

try not to become a man of success, but a man of value.

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ranwin33
 
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Location: Kansas and Missouri

RE: Best pines for deer cover...

Postby ranwin33 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:34 pm

I'll be trying the loblollyxpitch hybrids this Spring. MDC has them cheap through their website. I've not had much long frowing pines so this may be my last shot.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

boxcallkid
 
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RE: Best pines for deer cover...

Postby boxcallkid » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:52 am

The Scotch pine in my post vary anywhere from 12 to 30 ft at this point. I'm sure that some of these stands are 30 to 40 years old now. If I were to attempt this on my own( building a bedding area) Every 50 yds or so I would plant a square ( four corners) of Yews appx. 6 ft apart. These grow more horizontally and create great ground cover. Then every 100 yds I would make a triangle of Blue spruce or Douglas fir planted 10 ft apart. Last I would plant Red pine around the entire perimeter for future treestands. JMO
Like gramps used to say, "Why is it there's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over?"

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Best pines for deer cover...

Postby buckhunter21 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:11 pm

So you don't think Scotch pines would be good?
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boxcallkid
 
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RE: Best pines for deer cover...

Postby boxcallkid » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:39 am

Yes, actually I do think they would be. It's just within the interior of your plantation I would add these others as long term enhancements for ground cover and bedding desireability. After 40 yrs or so the cover will start to diminish some and in my personel opinion I feel these other varietys will help to keep it desirable.
Like gramps used to say, "Why is it there's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over?"

msbadger
 
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RE: Deer Beds

Postby msbadger » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:03 am

Here's what I observe and have done....We have surrounding us a property with wht. spruce and two with red pine...one with huge Norway spruce....We planted as a wind break ....alternating groups of 5 wth. spruce and wht pine.....on our the spruce are 10ft tall and the wht. pine were all but wiped out....save a few 3ft tall ones....The deer avoid eating very stiff needle conifers...but let me tell you the bucks love rubbing them untill they are dead....loos on average 3 a year.

The guys that drive deer and have the big red pine groups do alot of shooting....the guys with the wht. spruce have many a bedded deer late in the season...usually after hunting stops......the guy with the Norway has deer ...turkey and grouse flock to his place....the lower branches die out but the upper branches drop low to the ground making excellent bed areas....they are very fast growers and produce a lot of seed...which is why we have several stands starting on our place....the deer will do some damage but not usually kill them and the needle are just soft enough that they are an emergency food...they grow well in wet areas and drier ones as well

boxcallkid
 
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RE: Deer Beds

Postby boxcallkid » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:19 pm

Your right about the Norway spruce Msbadger. I've shot alot of pats around these stands of trees in the past. These would be a great addition to anyones effort for wildlife enhancement. By the way I read in one of your post you hunted the finger lakes region of N.Y. I used to go to N.Y. every year to turkey hunt and would stay in Elmira and hunt some of the closer gma's near there. Always had lots of fun and the turkey hunting wasn't to bad either.
Like gramps used to say, "Why is it there's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over?"

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