Land Was Logged - Now What?

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Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby antlersonly » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:26 am

Two years ago the 70 acres myself and my sons hunt was logged - 1,200 trees. They only took the big ones, so there is still plenty of trees and shade, therefore the underbrush hasn't grown wild. However, they left the tree tops! What used to be an easy walk in most places, is now a tangled mess of tree tops everywhere. Even doing a deer drive has become quite difficult. We stopped seeing the number of deer we used to see, but couldn't tell if it was the tops that caused it. Now we are convinced it is.

So, we are considering cutting multiple lanes about 20"-24" wide, spanning the length and width of the property, which will allow them to access the land more easily, strolling as they used to. Is this crazy? Will it increase traffic? Please let me know if anyone else has encountered similar circumstances and what you did about it.

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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby Cut N Run » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:46 am

We had similar selective cut on our lease, but they left the bigger white oaks standing at the landowner's request. Those cut treetops have made it more difficult for you to walk through that area, but I guarantee that the deer have already figured out a way to get where they need to. Those treetops provide great bedding areas and windbreaks for deer. You can't get close to those deer without them knowing about it a long ways off. There is also a ton of new browse available to the deer that wasn't there before.

To hunt that land more efficiently, look around the edges of the cut area for the most heavily used trails. The deer are still going to use draws and saddles in ridges to their best advantage, same as if it was in mature timber. Forget doing drives. You should have some great stand hunting once the leaves come off the trees. It would help you to use some of the logging roads as paths and trails to make your way into & out of the cutover. You can always open them up in the winter when nothing's in season. Find the best trees to observe the most active trails from when the wind is to your advantage and you should be in business. If that cut area is adjacent to woods with mature oaks, look for the deer to move between the two locations regularly.

Don't look at a selective cut as something negative because they usually aren't. Once the trees get about 20 feet tall and you can't see any distance, then it will be tougher hunting. Good luck.

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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby Jslotter » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:47 am

Those tree tops do provide real good cover and concealment but yeah, trying to push thru that stuff sucks. I hunt on land that is littered with leftovers from loggers. They left the lanes free of debris luckily. Next spring if you have the time get in there with a chainsaw and cut out those tops that are blocking your lanes. Or have a neighbor or someone that maybe needs some firewood to get in there and do the job. Clearing out lanes does work and deer will move thru the less difficult areas. Especially on fencelines bordering a neighbor's land. Doing that is like leaving an open door for deer to move onto your land. You will create a "pinch point" if you will.
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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby scottflesher » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:30 pm

last two posts were on the money. Jim and Jslotter know their deer.
As much as a mature woods lackinig underbrush is beautiful to us, it's not the best deer habitat unless it's laden with white oaks and other food sources.

I've hunted many properties and it always seems that the thicker the better. Thicker can equate to a tougher to hunt, but I'd rather be in a place that I know there are mature bucks.

Also those tree tops are going to attract non-resident deer when the pressure increases. I think you're in for a good future.

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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby GTOHunter » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:44 pm

There should also be a few logging roads where the loggers drove in and out of the woods,I would plant some clover or grass seed on them to give the Deer something to browse on and draw them in.If You clear a few good pathes the deer will use them and like scottflesher mentioned You will funnel the Deer to where You can hunt them,after a while if they cleared a lot of tree's and daylight can shine thru better you will get more under-growth and more browse for the deer to eat...over time it will get better hunting there.We had several tree's blow over last year and there are all kinds of bedding and droppings behind the fallen tree's...guess I need to set up a stand there too and see what comes thru since its Bow Season? [;)]

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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby msbadger » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:21 am

We were lucky...well I really researched and carefully selected the loggers....but our guys routinely cut down all the tops....they had gotten reports back.... of owners getting hurt trying to cut them up for fire wood and the logs rolling on they trim the tops down...also clears the woods faster so in a management plan coming back in several years later is easier....any how deer loved the area and I mowed paths on the upper and lower side ...the bramble grow on either side of paths and the deer just walk and eat and then the buck cross scent the area and bed in the middle...I have stands on the edge of this

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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby kbdeerdown » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:06 am

I have a similar situation on a smaller scale - instead of tree tops, my problem is blow down of trees. Like you are reporting, it is very difficult to move around in. Over the last 2 winters I have been cutting small walking paths to allow easier movement and deer certainly use them. The deer probably don't need the trails but my thinking was to try and make it a little easier and maybe they would use my bush more?

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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby hunts2long » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:46 am

The hill across the road from me has been logged three times in the last 30+ years....8/10 years ago they had the top and the back side done by a crew from out west (Wash/Oregon), they used choppers to bring out the whole tree to the landing where everything was used, right down to the smallest limbs. It has really re-grown very fast. There is a crew right now cutting the lower road side. It looks like they may be just cutting hardwood to be used as firewood so tops are being left in the woods. There equipment does leave ruts in the ground but some crews do go back and bulldoze them back it to prevent washouts with heavy rain....the logging does really help the deer down the, if I could just climb that hill....hunts2long

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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby Jaybird654 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:45 am

As a former logger, I've seen first hand the effects of logging on hundreds of different properties. Logging can have both positive and negative affects on deer movement. Dropping large tree tops is actually one method of controlling deer browse (they can't get in the middle of the tree tops and browse all the young trees), so if that was the intention of the forester or the logging company, you'll want to check with the land owner before you try to clear any of the tops.

In my experience, tree tops are a good thing for holding deer because they are excellent cover. Deer will feel very safe in that environment. The thicker the better. But it can make hunting a bit tricky because you can't get close with out alerting deer.

If you want to clear some alleys, I wouldn't go hog wild. Start by identifying area food sources, and clear just enough to make it the easiest route for the deer to use between bedding areas and feeding areas. You can create funnels by leaving some tops and clearing some trails through others.

Clearing a grid of trails through the entire property might make it easier for you to get around, but I don't think it will attract any more deer. Plus you won't be able to influence their movement at all.

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RE: Land Was Logged - Now What?

Postby antlersonly » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:21 am

[size="2"][font="arial"]Okay, so the consensus appears to be that cutting some lanes is a good idea, but that we shouldn't go crazy doing so.  We made that mistake once before and ended up with lanes you could drive a truck through - which also made us quite obvious when sitting in that particular stand.  Won't do that again!

So, we will cut a few selectively planned trails which will purposely funnel the deer past our stands.  We will try to make them "natural" - weaving a bit through the property.

However crazy this may sound, we're going to start on it today, September 29th.  We saw SO FEW DEER the last couple years that we feel we've got nothing to lose by cutting late - vs. having cut last spring or waiting until next spring. 

We're also hoping things will settle down some by the rut - early November - which is when we really hit it with bow hunting.  If not, well, then there's always next year...

Thanks Guys!
I'll let you know how it all turns out.


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