Timber stand improvement and hinge cutting are a great way to improve your property. This week we are with Erich Long of Drumming Log Wildlife Management, Ross Fogle, and Derrick Neville. The farm that Ross and Derrick hunt is full of mature mast producing oak trees which is great for producing acorns that deer love, but bad for allowing browse to grow near the forest floor. Properly managing your woodland habitat can produce 1000lbs. of food per acre.
Properly managing your timber can be done through evaluating your property and deciding which trees you can hinge cut. A hinge cut is simply a half to three-quarter cut through a tree to allow it to fall. By not cutting through the entire tree, you are allowing it to stay alive for a few years. The tree top, which is where it does it’s growing, is now at a deer’s level. As this tree begins to come out of dormancy, leaves and twigs will provide browse for whitetails. It will also open up the forest canopy and let the sun hit the forest floor. There are seeds laying there just waiting for the right conditions to germinate. By allowing the sun to reach the floor, these young plants will begin growing and provide more food for the deer, but also promote thicker cover.