I hired a young friend of the family to come and do some habitat management on my place this winter. He supported my efforts to create thick cover in places but he also encouraged me to thin things significantly in some areas in order to increase mass production and diversify the habitat.
I had not seen his work until this weekend. He did a 5 acre area where he either dropped or girdled non-desirable trees in favor of the mature oaks. I was pretty happy with his work.
I'm not trying to squeeze in free advertising but I do highly endorse this guy, both for his ability and his frees. If you are in Iowa or North Missouri and have some interest in him, send me a PM.
That will only help your hunting area too. I would suggest spraying some type of vegetation killer to the stumps of the non-desirable species that were thinned so they don't re-grow from the stump. We have sweetgums in this area that are bad for doing that. Making a few brushpiles to serve as cover & windrows for all animals is a good thing.
We took the time to open a few trails along drainage to increase the chances that deer & turkeys would take them over. It works well and can create a great hunting location for you.
It will be a whole new world when things start growing and sunlight can get to the forest floor. There will be new browse and the deer will be drawn there. Looking good.
I should have mentioned that the guy I hired is a professional. He does controlled burns, TSI, prarie/savana restoration, consultation, the works. He sprayed as needed on this job and he has laid out a plan for two other 5 acre plots, plus the restoration of native grasses where my old food plot sits.
He did the consultation for free and the work is very reasonable. If I tried to do this alone, I'd wind up spending more in tree identification guides, chain saw blades, chemicals and gas money. Not to mention I'd screw it up.
Tordon rtu (ready to use) will kill the tree once it's cut down. I too advise a brush pile.This will be good for Rabbit and Quail. Pile the limbs and smaller stuff on top of the trunk. Also fertilize and add PLENTY of lime because being in the woods with the decay of leaves and trees the pH will be quite low.