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Hinge cutting


30 replies to this topic

#1 Male OFFLINE   tcook8296

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Posted 01/30/13 - 11:22 PM

Has anyone ever done any hinge cutting to make thicker deer bedding areas? Did it work? I am thinking about trying this on my farm in Illinois to improve the bedding areas in the center of the timbered area to try and encourage deer to spend more time on the property. I would like to create a sanctuary but I dont want to go in and start mowing down trees and kill my deer hunting if its not beneficial to do so. Maybe do a small area each year. If any one has any before and after pics if you could post them that would be awesome

#2 OFFLINE   Rutting Buck

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Posted 01/31/13 - 10:12 AM

We have never tried it, but we clear a 2 acre spot of all timber except the perimeter. We left most of the cut timber inside the perimeter, after about 3 or 4 years later the brush is about 4 feet tall with thorns and grasses. Also some trees sprouted up and the deer love this area. We do not go in it until the spring to check but there are rubs everywhere along with beds. The deer use this thicket as a natural travel route as well to get to our food plots.

#3 Male OFFLINE   tomtag

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Posted 01/31/13 - 10:16 AM

We usually hinge them around shoulder height on the edge of fields or hedgerows this time of year. Deer would browse the buds and the tress would blossom for a good number of years. Brush would sprout through branches and take over in no time. Provides good cover for quail as well.

#4 OFFLINE   DeerMaster

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Posted 01/31/13 - 11:29 AM

Has anyone ever done any hinge cutting to make thicker deer bedding areas? Did it work?

I do it all off season. it makes a huge difference. Forget the pics.....you can see it when you take the tour...[ninja]

#5 Male OFFLINE   Bucksnbows

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Posted 01/31/13 - 11:41 AM

While I haven't done hinge cutting, we do perform clear cuts in our forest and then we plant spruce and pine thickets as bedding areas and treat those as sanctuaries. The clear cuts themselves become dense thickets in a few short years, but will eventually once again become mature forests over time, hence the planting of evergreen species.

#6 Male OFFLINE   BowHunter96

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Posted 01/31/13 - 08:04 PM

I've only hingecutted on one of my properties and it showed some improvement but where I did it was already naturally blown down so I just added to what was there filling in the gaps.That stand has been a producer since day 1.

#7 Female OFFLINE   webmavennj

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Posted 01/31/13 - 08:11 PM

We use hinge cuts to create edges for upland bird habitat.

#8 Male OFFLINE   outdrdave

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Posted 02/01/13 - 08:11 AM

Some trees don't respond well to hinge cutting and break off. Maples hinge really well but if a tree breaks off, just cut it at its base. Keep in mind most trees that you cut at the base will also sprout new growth off their base for browes and cover.

If the canopy is big in mature woods the hinge cutting isn't going to produce much. I have hinge cute a bunch at my parents on a big south facing slope and along the creek. The hill side and creek bottom is really thick now with Japanese honey suckle we planted and it took off. The combination of hinge cutting and planting the honey suckle really helped.

If you have any oak flates you would do your self good to fertilize them. They make fertilizer spikes you can buy in bulk cheap and it makes a big difference. We have a giant oak tree about 4' in diameter that wasn't producing the mast it was capable of for its size. We put spikes around the drip edge and it blankets the ground now.

#9 Male OFFLINE   Bucksnbows

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Posted 02/01/13 - 08:21 AM

No offense outdrdave, but I hate seeing folks advocating for the planting of non-native invasive plants like Japanese honeysuckle. We are far better off planting only natives as our deer evolved with natives, and the invasive, non-natives wind up killing off our native species and cause a variety of issues in our forests and fields.

I spend thousands of dollars each year through competitive grants killing off this and other foreign invasive species to later replant the area with natives in my job with Trout Unlimited along our trout streams.
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#10 OFFLINE   DeerMaster

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Posted 02/01/13 - 08:23 AM

The hill side and creek bottom is really thick now with Japanese honey suckle we planted and it took off


That's a terrible idea and bad advice. Japanese honeysuckle is a non native and invasive species.

#11 OFFLINE   Rutting Buck

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Posted 02/01/13 - 08:27 AM

Bucksnbows has the right idea non-native invasive plants will end up killing off or choking out some native plants and will change the environment for the deer.

#12 Male OFFLINE   outdrdave

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Posted 02/01/13 - 08:36 AM

That's a terrible idea and bad advice. Japanese honeysuckle is a non native and invasive species.


Its great for bedding habitat. There are plenty of native vine growing species that will choke out mast producing trees you should be more worried about.
 

No offense outdrdave, but I hate seeing folks advocating for the planting of non-native invasive plants like Japanese honeysuckle. We are far better off planting only natives as our deer evolved with natives, and the invasive, non-natives wind up killing off our native species and cause a variety of issues in our forests and fields.

I spend thousands of dollars each year through competitive grants killing off this and other foreign invasive species to later replant the area with natives in my job with Trout Unlimited along our trout streams.


No offense taken, used to be good advise and worked out well for us. You used to be able to read the suggestion of JHS in hunting books, I didn't think this up on my own.. What natives do you recommend that provide similar cover, are as hardy to droughts and heavily sunny hillsides that take off well with little to no maintenance?

#13 OFFLINE   MS22

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Posted 02/01/13 - 09:57 AM

Guys, lets keep the criticism constructive. Dave, take a venture over to the QDMA forum and pose the question there. I am sure you will get plenty of responses. While some native species can be harder to grow, one should take any and all care to avoid non-native invasives like JHS. It is not wise to plant these species. The undesired proliferation of non-native invasives can be detrimental to our native plants and ecosystems. The non-natives might hold deer or provide food but the potential negatives far outweigh the positives. I can guarantee that there is a suitable native plant or plants for any application you wish to use it for. It just might take a little more work.:thumb_up: Please Do what you can to avoid non-native invasives in the future.

#14 Male OFFLINE   Bucksnbows

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Posted 02/01/13 - 10:36 AM

"No offense taken, used to be good advise and worked out well for us. You used to be able to read the suggestion of JHS in hunting books, I didn't think this up on my own.. What natives do you recommend that provide similar cover, are as hardy to droughts and heavily sunny hillsides that take off well with little to no maintenance? "

Sorry, I'm still figuring out how to quote from past posts....not sure I got it correct.

I've been doing clear cuts in my mature forest in the areas with the lowest timber value and allowing the hardwood forests to regenerate on their own. But you have to keep your deer herd in check or the browse pressure won't allow for decent regeneration. The oaks and hickory trees that come back create thickets for bedding as well as browse for food for many years after the initial cut. Plus you'll get other native shrubs and herbaceous plants until the forest canopy grows over the cut, but that takes at least 15 years. I'm seeing a lot of native carex and sedge grasses as well as thick blackberry bushes that provide dense bedding sites. I augment those sites with thick plantings of white pine (deer hit them hard at first) and native spruce trees which are slower growing, but hardy as heck and very dense in any areas I want to remain deer bedding long after my clear cuts have grown back. It's just a native cycle that is augmented by only the planting of (native) pines. Again, make sure to keep your herd in check until the hardwoods reach up above the browse line.

#15 Male OFFLINE   BowhunterNJ

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Posted 02/01/13 - 12:10 PM

As Mike said, let's keep these discussions civil and constructive, no need for negative criticism. It's great to educate each other on what we've learned over time and to provide insight or even site the sources for our learning versus just blanketing ideas as "good" or "bad". Please keep that in mind, as discussions can turn into heated debates and put a negative overtone on the entire thread/forum and/or otherwise discourage users from engaging in conversation.

Thanks guys!

#16 OFFLINE   Spent Brass

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Posted 02/04/13 - 12:08 AM

Greenbriar is a great native species to plant deer will bed in it and also eat it in the winter when food is scarce
Hunting and fishing is not a sport to me its a way of life:rock:

#17 Male ONLINE   Rusty

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Posted 02/04/13 - 10:19 AM

That's a terrible idea and bad advice. Japanese honeysuckle is a non native and invasive species.


That’s a bit of an Al Gorean knee jerk response. Not all invasive species are created equal. Unlike the more noxious weeds (garlic mustard, stilt grass, and barberry) which are not eaten by our wildlife, JHS is readily eaten and has a long history of being used to improve wildlife habitat.

Due to the fact that it is heavily fed upon by deer and rabbits in the winter, it doesn’t become the same type of problem that other invasive plants do. The local wildlife keep it in check.

Although I would never recommend planting any invasive species in today’s politically correct, green society, I do not make any attempts to remove JHS where it is already established. It stays green through the winter, providing quality food and cover at a time of the year when wildlife most need it.

#18 Male OFFLINE   Bucksnbows

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Posted 02/04/13 - 10:35 AM

Rufous, while I agree that some non-natives are less onerous than others, why plant any non-natives when our native species are typically far better? Sure, clover is not native to the US, but it is also not invasive in a forest environment (just in our non-native grass yards, lol). Carex grasses, where found as a minor component of a mature forest, will thrive when you perform a burn or a clearcut or forest thinning and it is green year round and a good food source for all sorts of critters, and you don't have to plant it.

When I took my NJ Hunter Safety test back in 1975, we were given a package of Russian olive seeds and told to plant them for their wildlife habitat benefits. Today we know that was a very bad decision as that species has virtually taken over fallow fields to the detriment of native species. The Division alone spends tens of thousands every year attempting to eradicate it from our various WMAs. I'm always a proponent of natives over non-natives even when some of the non-natives don't do the harm that highly invasive species do.

#19 Male OFFLINE   tcook8296

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Posted 10/23/15 - 05:23 PM

I didn't realize I created this thread a couple years ago. Nice to revisit
I have been hinge cutting for the last 2 years and all I can say it has made a huge difference on my property. I will dig up some photos of before and after. Unbelievable difference and the better bucks in the neighborhood are taking notice
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#20 Male ONLINE   Rusty

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Posted 10/23/15 - 05:39 PM

I didn't realize I created this thread a couple years ago. Nice to revisit
I have been hinge cutting for the last 2 years and all I can say it has made a huge difference on my property. I will dig up some photos of before and after. Unbelievable difference and the better bucks in the neighborhood are taking notice

 

Hinge cutting is a great way to instantaneously provide food and cover with minimal effort.   :up:






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