Hinge Cutting

Your place to discuss ways the habitats for deer can be improved!
msbadger
 
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Re: Hinge Cutting

Postby msbadger » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:56 am

Good God that is an understatement!
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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Hinge Cutting

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:05 am

You have to be VERY careful with winter feeding. It's an endeavor that can be layered with all kinds of impacts ranging from what to actually feed them without hurting them to to what the effects will be on the native habitat. These effects may not even be felt until the NEXT winter. I say this because one of the negative impacts of concentrated winter feeding is the overbrowsing that occurs where fed animals concentrate. If they know that they're getting fed they will not dispurse and many times this will further damage the habitat and next winter you wind up with even LESS natural feed with even more deer to be fed that should have died the previous winter because there wasn't enough food for them. Like I said, it's complicated. Hinge cutting many times is the best possible option, and unlike temporary feeding measures it has longer term sustainable effects.


You also have to know what kind of habitat you have, what condition it's in, what state of succession it's in, deer numbers, etc.


The WORST thing you can do is feed them hay. They'll starve to death with a full gut. Deer are pirmarily browsers and not grazers.
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msbadger
 
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Re: Hinge Cutting

Postby msbadger » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:54 am

Right Woods Walker...I believe that it is a tad difficult for the more southern ppl that feed deer to see the difference in herd dynamics..not that they are wrong for their area in providing feed programs, but the deer are different due to habitat.
I had DEC foresters walk our place some years back. I found some observations funny. One ,noticing the "islands of dogwood and tartan honeysuckle brush asked how I managed to contain them so well...I mow and plot...These are two plants seriously frowned upon as invasive...not managed they are very much so...but they are also what helps naturally feed the game animals. The also provide cover and nesting. Then they noticed the hophorn trees and said ,"you want turkeys keep these". Yet they are rather invasive unchecked as well, but both the turkey and deer love those fall seed pods and winter branch browse. Suggestion cut all those beech trees, Really? for in years of low mast production,Oak,Hickory,ect...It is the beech that provide the food. Also go in and cut a beech wood lot then go back the next summer...You wont be able to walk the lot due to the amount of root suckering that occurs...There are no fire clearing in at least our part of NYS. If you go in and chemically spray ...you are taking out the good with the bad. So my point in managing you really need to know the in's and outs of all your plants/trees as well as the game.
Romans 14:10
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James 4:11
Luke 6:37

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rthomas4
 
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Re: Hinge Cutting

Postby rthomas4 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:27 pm

I wasn't thinking about feeding the deer hay, just figured a hay wagon would be the way to haul food into the areas. I've noticed on some of the hunting programs that up in Canada they haul in cut alfalfa, and I've seen big bales of it being put out on those programs. Since we don't plant alfalfa down here, I have no actual knowledge of it's application and/or benefits. I was actually thinking about being able to haul in some of the bagged or block protein feeds when I posed the question.
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msbadger
 
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Re: Hinge Cutting

Postby msbadger » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:12 pm

Understood RT...my comments were a in general context..I 've read many southern hunters wonder about this.....The alfafa is a good protein but with a "woody" stem...similar to the tips of branches they browse.
The whole CWD scare is what revved up the DEC' s feeding ban. Also the fact the deer here yard up in winter...if the yard where ppl feed and then due time ...cost...weather...the feeding stops..deer can die .
Romans 14:10
Romans 14:13
James 4:11
Luke 6:37

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Hinge Cutting

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:35 pm

The deer are just one part of the equation. The habitat and what it can support is the other part. You have to be VERY careful that any well intentioned efforts to supplementally feed wildlife over a winter doesn't result in an even worse scenario a year or so later.

It generally takes a lot longer for damaged habitat to recover than it does a deer herd. If there's not enough or the right kind of natural feed available when the deer numbers do come back then nothing's been solved.

In southern climates it's not so much a factor, but as you know in the northern states a whitetail population's size is pretty much limited to the amount of WINTER range that's available. Supplemental feeding if done at all needs to be approached very carefully because whenever you do feed in winter you've just added complications to an already critical situation. If the available winter forage is already limited and there's not enough and you supplementally feed, then you have to be concerned with concentrating the animals around the supplemental feed source which will even further damage the natural feed that occurs, and then you may also have the same and even larger problem next winter when you have even less natural feed and even more deer because of the ones that shouldn't have made it through the last winter. It's mathematics, pure and simple.

When I lived in Wyoming I participated in a late season deer hunt for this very reason. It was conducted on a very small area, and it was overseen by the Wyoming G&F. There was more deer than what there was food for, and they had us locals who volunteered come in and do the shooting. We could keep the meat. I was 24 years old and thought at first that this was going to be a good hunt. It wasn't. Yes we all killed deer, but it wasn't a "hunt", or at least a hunt in my definition. But it had to be done. Killing deer that are too weak to really run away is not my idea of a hunt.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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