The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: mike_belben on February 17, 2018, 11:41:04 PM

Title: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 17, 2018, 11:41:04 PM
The Deer Stand Improvement thread.  I encourage you to hijack it into your own info/image dump and show what youve done or want to do.

I started almost 2 years ago.  Ive only got about 4 forested acres to play with but there are several thousand unfenced acres of timber around it. The hunting could be great.  Poaching and coyote predation of fawns are the biggest issues, sanctuaries are needed to counter them.  Im trying to make my patch provide as much cover and browse as possible for fawning season.

On the timber side of it, the goal is to reestablish the dominance of oaks and hickories in the top canopy, make up openings for the best seed trees remaining to regenerate, and handicap the shade tolerant rubbish until new hardwoods regain an advantage.  I have no forestry credentials, just my own research, experiments and observation.  If i can fix this mess, so can you.

 The whole "neighborhood" was one timber tract with the typical case of sequential highgradings, subdividing and new landowner non-management that really defines my region as a whole.  Compounding the issue was a severe ice storm about 5 years ago that snapped off maybe 20-30% of the tops, pinning down sapplings into arches that vined in. 

Some random before shots.  This is what local realtors call "some timber."

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170116_170149~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518668028)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170116_170237.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518669253)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0110181116.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518746745)


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0214181452a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518747014)



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0110181116a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518747014)

county extension forestor said cull 70% of it.  I think he was being kind!


I started with this patch shown below, lets call it 'Clearing 1.'  I am standing on dozer roof looking south on the main skid trail which will one day be a driveway to my final home. The seed trees shown are about 11-13" dbh white oak.  Not perfect form but best i had. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170325_181859.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518669279)



Panning to the right in place, is a clearing i made for an eventual foodplot.   just natural regen so far but it works. This section was almost entirely red maple sapplings, any oak was a waist high bushy runt starving for light so they all went. Limbs come out for firewood, brush tips get piled for critter housing.  I find that the squirrels will plant seed for you and the brush keeps deer off them when they do finally pop out.  They dont like the loose noisy footing very much.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170325_181903.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518671241)




This is the same clearing a few months later in spring 2017, looking north across it now instead of south.   The antler shaped trees above are actually one of my hunting stands, its a very sloped tree with a limb staircase and railings up the back..  Left side sourwood right side gum.  Its a great illustration of how both species will serpent all over for any patch of light. 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0521171007.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518671857)


This is the stump regen in the clearing that brings the does in.  Shows that sourwood and red maple are very prolific coppice sprouters with a fast growth rate.  Today those are pushing 10 to 12 feet.  Straight up.  I am using the clumps for sidelight shades so that my hardwood sprouts must go straight up to compete.  The deer also love the visual wall it provides while they munch.
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0616171012.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518672739)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0616171014.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518709266)

Its a little hard to tell here but this black gum coppice patch was mowed down to hard stems from 3ft tall. It appears to be a favorite flavor, ill be keeping tabs this year.  Havent seen them browse on the sassafras at all.

 (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0204181704.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518746824)


This is an image of a transition zone from feeding area to bedding thicket taken from the antler stand looking north.  Ive hinge cut the worthless sun hogs so that theyll live on the ground and provide cover and browse.  It gets much thicker a little further in and ive created one guardrailed trail around my stand  from here to the clearing with great shooting lanes.  That spot pictured has water flowing under ground, with drinking holes throughout.  In winter it floods.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0516171823.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518672680)



Closer look at the white oaks to the right of the antler stand.  Someday.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0616171017.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518671831)



This is my main skid trail and future driveway.  Image is also from spring 2017 after dragging logs a few months prior during a very rainy winter.  Its why i advocate dozer skidding if one can tolerate it.  Much easier on our very thin topsoil.  Summer logging is horrible with ticks, snakes and heat, but winter is all rain without much freeze if any.  A skidder will wreck a place fast under those conditions. My machine has 24" pads and weighs 16k or so.  Its like 4psi or something crazy low.  That jap paddy pusher sinks less than my foot in mud.  Compaction round here is already bad enough with all the sharp sand mixed into our clay.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0616171012a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518709248)



More recently i cut the area back further.  I had left some cull trees standing to reduce windthrow on the keepers until they acclimated. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0204181534b.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518746777)

Id found that bigger openings with a long photoperiod really hatched the hickory and oak much faster and straighter in single leader format vs the spots i thinned more mercifully.  The shady thinnings seem to favor the shade tolerant species so ive been cutting with a heavy hand where shade intolerant is what i need to promote.  Lots of straight hickory stems coming up.  Stave hickory is bringing 850/mbf here.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0208181103.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518748053)





Thats all for now. I hope these images can raise some awareness and encourage a few others to grab a saw and go fertilize even a little patch of their own woods.  The response is pretty quick and results are fulfilling. Its a fun way to make sure the grandkids arent allergic to dirt or meat.  Ill try to get phase 2 pics up fairly soon.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Ianab on February 18, 2018, 04:16:56 AM
While our forests are very different, I can see what you are trying to achieve, and long term it should pay off well. The "leave" trees are the ones that should produce some useful sawlogs, some time in the future, without the competition from the "junk".

Left alone it would probably take a couple of generations of trees (centuries?) for things to settle back into some "old growth" scenario.

With a bit of management you can speed up that process  :)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Skeans1 on February 18, 2018, 08:17:49 AM
Mike roughly how many sides of the canopy are open? What kind of spacing are you shooting for?
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 18, 2018, 09:18:48 AM
Skeans, I dont have a fixed recipe.  Most of the woods had a closed canopy of mature hardwoods, some with not one sawlog in the whole tree. Other patches had a previous clearing bush in and then turn into archy tangles. The black cherry is particularly bad when mixed with SM and Sourwood. Not one straight cherry yet but i think i can eventually recover them.   

Anyway whole place all kinda differs from one patch to the next and im treating it in different ways for the education of it all.  I cant add trees, i can only subtract them to reveal what good specimen may be buried in shade.  Where there is no good hardwood specimen there is bound to be a pile of my 4 problem children.. Sourwood, red maple, gums (mostly black) and sassafras. So what i do is kinda clearcut that box to let all sprouts pop even aged, then hinge cut a wall around it.  This makes a feeding room.  The experiment is, if i bring in a bunch of deer, what do they eat the most at a sappling buffet?  And which hardwood sprout do they bother?  If they always mow down the gum and sometimes bug say scarlet oak, then i will know to lop off every gum for max sprouts, and brush fence any scarlet oak.   The idea is how to do best TSI and best DSI at the same time with only a saw.  No fence, no chemicals, no feed.  Just sun.


 The sun is actually out today for a change from rain.  After church ill probably go play for a few hours and get more pictures of my current work.  What i really need is to draw out a sketch of parcel boundary and topo/water features.  It has taken me many many walks to understand the forest pattern and the deer pattern, then how they intertwine which im trying to maximize.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: teakwood on February 18, 2018, 10:13:44 AM
Congratulations Mike! That looks like you're doing a excellent job
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Stephen Alford on February 18, 2018, 10:40:23 AM
   Nice.. for what it is worth, can offer a few observations. If ever a man needed a good clearing saw you would be nominated in a heartbeat. Just an awesome tool for your task.   When we were thinning looking up was crucial. Storm damage always leaves threats in the canopy. General rule for spacing ...when we look up at the canopy imagine being able to walk between the tree tops and not get wet. May sound simplistic but seemed to work well. Cannot understate the positive impact on the stand through the use of "the edge" effect and leaving snag trees. A healthy bird population really helps with insect problems. If they have feed trees they tend to leave the healthy trees alone. I think they would also serve as a warning to the deer when  a predator was in the area. We had a 64/65 pound coyote snared here last summer.  Are there any apple trees  on your property ?  They sure are a favorite  hangout here for coyotes . Not sure if its the apples or voles but if they are around they will always stop at an apple tree.  The biggest problem used to be caused by farmers dumping livestock. That practice has all but disappeared.      Sure enjoy this type of thread... :)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Autocar on February 18, 2018, 12:31:29 PM
Steve nice pictures I always enjoy thoughts on wildlife cover. Her in western Ohio our sections are one mile square with roads running north to south or east to west pretty hard to get lost. In my section sense I was a boy we have lost close to fifty acres of woods now in some sections it is 640 acres of bare ground. Most sections anymore if there are two woods then that's a lucky day. My little eight acres some years will hold a fawn most every summer now and then a few turkeys, fox squirrels and about every kind of native bird specie. I have large white /red oaks Hickory/  Walnuts plus a under story of a million white ash seedlings coming up plus six inch hard maple. I use to have a 4H club on forestry and we took a post hole digger and dug a half dozen holes around three feet deep when fall came we checked and found one that held water all thur the summer. So I took my skidder and dug out a medium size wetland that brings in wood duck and mallards I hauled in tad poles from all over western Ohio and think I have about every frog that calls it home in Ohio here. Ive seen a few snapping turtles and this past summer a red belly turtle about the size of a quarter. I would give my left well you know where I was going with that  To have more ground I love logging and wildlife  :D . I talk with landowners that tell me they wish there woods wasn't there to the kids that are not interested they just want the money. Makes me sad there is nothing better for a man then the sounds and smells of a hardwood forest. Our logging chapter is trying to educate landowners on the importance of western Ohio woods for wind and soil erosion and wildlife in general. Monday evening I am giving a talk in Edon Ohio about our chapter and what we require of our members I pray in time we can chance the mind set on clearing for more farm ground and folks will see the importance of woods in general. I could go on and on but for now I will cool my jets  ;D.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: thecfarm on February 18, 2018, 08:24:59 PM
You are doing a great thing.
My step son lives next to a city. They are losing hunting ground to houses development. In one develpment looks like the trees are being left and good size lots. The deer will probably still be there,but you can't hunt there.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: ohiowoodchuck on February 18, 2018, 10:45:41 PM
Thatís neat Mike, Iím doing the same thing on my place. Iím doing 8.2 acres of clearing. The only trees Iím leaving are the oaks and hickory. Iím going to plant clover in it when itís all cleared. I only got about two acres left. My land was cut hard back in 2002 before I bought it. Iíve been doing it all with a couple ms460ís a ms250 and a John Deere 440b. 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35669/8C665928-007E-436A-A432-ABACC54F45C4.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1519011364)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/35669/BF1F4213-E525-4422-992B-9DABCAE48B89.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1519011916)
 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 19, 2018, 08:53:31 AM
Youre getting lots of sun in there, itll green up and draw the critters in fast.  My buddy frank once said a chainsaw is like a dinner bell for deer, he was right.  If you scratch up some fresh dirt does will find it in a day or two and come put their paws in.  Best way to get them on camera during summer is swipe the leaf litter away and flip over a shovel or two.

Autocar, feel free to carry on as much as you want.  I like the stories and incorporating little pieces of other fellas findings into my own procedure. 

Thanks for the pointers stephen, id love a clearing saw but it isnt in the cards for now.  Someone gave me a broken stihl 55r i think it is and ive been hoping to get it fixed and put on a saw chain cutter head but no money for the parts it needs right now.   I use a ms192T exclusively, really isnt bad.  Little slow but the flip side is precision, i grab most every stem i cut with one hand, and that closeness pretty often spares the life of a white oak or cherry hidden in the clump that i wrote off as all maple and woulda otherwise decimated.  If im ever hired for this work then yeah, it would be a necessity.  I couldnt afford to be liesurely about it like i am here at home.

I reckon you're right about the standing deadwood.  I leave most of them for the woodpeckers, to keep them out of my other trees.  No apple trees around that ive encountered.  The snow this winter revealed a lot of rabbits as the primary food source for the coyotes and bobcats.  Id say its just a lack of coyote hunters and their fast reproduction rates.  We have 3 distinct packs and its something to hear them in a turf war.. 40 coyotes yipping then the 30 domestic dogs it sets off puts a smile on my face.  The whole night will switch from tree frogs to a transylvania eruption of barks howls and screams.  Never heard that in the city.  The problem though is they eat a lot.  Barn cats dont last long so the house mice can get bad.  The mice bring the fleas and fleas bring the worms, etc.  I found a nice 8pt coyote kill last year.  Few dog carcasses.   Im gonna start hunting them pretty soon.  Season is all year with no limit. 

Anyways thanks for all the kind remarks guys. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: ohiowoodchuck on February 19, 2018, 12:13:10 PM
They donít mind a bit. Usually see a bunch bedded down in the mornings when I drive the skidder back the holler and up the ridge then I see them slipping thru the edges all day while Iím cutting. Itís interrsting to see the tracks the next day, like there checking on my work. Itís been hard work and I couldnít imagine what I would charge if I did it for somebody else. I know the morning after I have to roll out of bed because everything is stiff. Itís the kind of work that puts a smile on your face because it was a honest days work.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: coxy on February 19, 2018, 12:59:35 PM
you guys with large parcels of land make me jealous  :) the trouble around here is the taxes i tried every thing i could to buy the 80a next door to me this fall  but i just cant swing 10,380$ a year taxes my dad then me has logged it the last 50 years and know how the timber grows and iv hunted it since i was 9yearsold so i know just about everything about the land i have made food plots at no charge to my neighbor just for letting my family hunt and ride 4wheelers pretty much it was my land i just didn't pay the taxes  8) I'm just hoping the new guy does the same i like seeing the pics of what you guys do to improve the hunting/land i would like to move down south so i could afford a large piece of land but there is way to many snakes down there for this chicken  :D 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: TKehl on February 19, 2018, 01:22:30 PM
The black cherry is particularly bad when mixed with SM and Sourwood. Not one straight cherry yet but i think i can eventually recover them. 

Does the Cherry in your neck of the woods ever amount to much?  I ask as a Cherry sawlog in my woods would be rarer than a 20' (straight) hedge timber.   ;)  I leave some Cherry for the birds, but it's never on the save list.  Always neutral or hit list as the best thing I can do with it is sell it as smoker wood. 

Like the pictures.  I'm doing similar work, but mine is a combo of TSI and GFP (Goat Forage Production).   ;D

Any reason not to plant some Black Walnut? 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 19, 2018, 04:38:34 PM
I think i found one, maybe two mature and straight cherry today that i mistook for gums.  Need them to leaf out to be sure but the branch form is subtley different than black gum and there are cherry sapplings near each so im pretty optimistic.  Id love to plant some walnut when i can afford to.   The high price of cherry and walnut makes them nearly extinct here.

Hey coxy i met a little friend today.  Him and 3 lone star ticks already.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181203a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519075544)


Last years notable snakes. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0626171238.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519075154)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0620171623a-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519075046)


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0703171328-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519075042)

The one on that gas tank was under a tarp that i pulled off.  I was standing a foot away for like 2 minutes before i noticed.  The copper head on my back porch was another thrill.  Had just leaned down to see why the slider was sticking and there he was right next to my face.  Theres a hole in that board now.  I pet the black snake that was eating the moles around my garden.  It didnt even respond.  Theresa S. was the worst snake of last year though, but that was up your way.  Didnt get her pic. 

My property tax is $193/yr.  I asked them to raise my assessment to increase the equity loan potential.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: teakwood on February 19, 2018, 06:16:41 PM
Is the last snake a rattler?   We have lots of them!
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 19, 2018, 08:54:55 PM
No rattle on a copperhead.  Their warning is "a low dose of venom" i.e. no warning.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: coxy on February 19, 2018, 09:11:26 PM
i wouldn't want that pic in my album  either (http://forestryforum.com/board/Smileys/default/cheesy.gif)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Skeans1 on February 19, 2018, 10:20:53 PM
You glad can have the snakes all you want I'd take the rain any day over them.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 19, 2018, 10:38:52 PM
Keeps the liberals away  :D
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 19, 2018, 11:52:59 PM
Welp, back to deer farming.  I snapped some pics today of trees i pinned over, all about the same time a year ago maybe.  

Hickory:  it does sprout vertical shoots in a kind of random pantern along the whole trunk when hinged or pinned while young.  Deer depend on hickory nuts for sure but i personally have not ever seen the tree browsed before, not the leaves, buds or bark, regardless of season.  Hickory doesnt coppice very much if at all so there isnt much sense in lobbing it off.  I almost never remove a hickory.  Even in bad form its gonna provide hard mast.  I will cull one if its encroaching badly on a prime tree, thats about it.  A hickory sappling thats absolutely never going to make sawlog and wont seed for 20 years, ill usually bend it over and  use for a fence or canopy structure.  The big leaves give a lot of shade from our killer sun and obviously do the same for wind and rain.  Hickory is shade intolerant, it will stunt and die without enough light.  Its never very straight in shady spots and does dramatically better in bigger clearings with fast growing neighbors to keep it from bushing out.  Poplar for example.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181155.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519072727)




Next up, black gum.  A lot of animals depend on these for fruit, the mature tree drops a black round berry that deer love.  Theyre one of the lowest sawlogs price wise i can sell,  but theyre usually a twisty stem.  I never cull a mature black gum.  I will hinge cut it to release some other tree but always put care into landing the top where its accessible on the ground.   That said, i dont want to be in the black gum business so i cull most of the sapplings.  They are very shade tolerant and fan out at any height.  Theyll choke out everything under them.  Good news is they coppice like crazy and deer love everything about them.  Seeds, leaves, bud tips, even the sprout stems.  So i look at these as deer feeders.  Epicormic branching on black gum sapplings is as prolific as hickory, but better.  The hickory is only structure if its too young to drop mast.  The gum is structure and choice food at the same time.  

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181227.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519073071)



Moving on to red maple.  Extremely prolific shade tolerant reproducer whose seed has no deer value im aware of.  These things are thirsty and will jam pack any sun beam they can get in clumps.  I consider RM borderline invasive and am working hard to reset them, i only let one grow if its really, really good looking or close to sawlog size already.  Theyre not very sturdy so ice and wind damage are common, theyre full of sugary sap that draws bugs to wounds in droves, sawlog prices arent great and theyre not very rot resistant.  Often wormy, Makes pretty flooring, and poor firewood.  Its a pretty tree but im strict on it becase of all the downside.  I dont treat the stumps because they coppice a bunch and the shoots are another deer favorite.  If you want a big herd you need a lot of food tonnage.  Maple is great for this.  Leaves, stems and in winter, the mature tree bud tips.  It does not tend to epicormic branch much when pinned over in my experience. If i need a living edible hedge i hinge cut it.  If i need food in a certain area to keep deer from eating other seedlings i want grown, i cull to use the coppice regen as a shadecloth around the sides of the oak or hickory that i want to grow straight and tall.  Eventually maple clumps should be thinned to a single stem if you want to keep it, or theyll frequently join together and have rot from water pocketing.  


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181158a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519102324)




Title: Re: DSI
Post by: ohiowoodchuck on February 20, 2018, 07:22:22 AM
Sounds like we are on the same page. Iíve been cutting red maple way back myself and every tree that is crooked or deformed unless itís a hickory or white oak. I have been leaving some of the poplar even if I can only get one saw log out of it. Iíve cut some decent red maple, but the thing Iíve noticed is that thereís a lot of heart rot in it for what seems like a fairly young tree. Iím finally on the down hill battle with tree of heaven. It was spread out in patches over 34 acres and let me tell you that was a chore. Remedy ultra and tordon rtu are a mans best friend. Iíve used the help of the state forester and the retired state forester who works for the nwtf now. They sure have been a wealth of help on this project. I have a large amount of white oak regeneration and some of what they left is starting to get close to saw log size. I plan on spending my life cutting out the deformed timber and hopefully when my boy is ready to retire, he should be able to coast into it my selecting a few loads of white oak here and there. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: coxy on February 20, 2018, 07:31:11 AM
ohio have you been checking the growth of your trees since you started the thinning if so how much do you think there growing per year 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 20, 2018, 07:42:23 AM
Good on ya OHWC.  Hope to see some pics one day
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Stephen Alford on February 20, 2018, 08:00:51 AM
   There sure is more similarity in goals than in woodlot variables that is for sure.  Every time we work on woodlot enhancement one of the motivators is advertisement. Being able to do a "walk and talk" with a potential client 0n a job you have done makes the process so much easier. First  comes the preparation for that encounter.  So by putting a good trail around your property with stops were you can stop and show through the illustration  what you have done really helps to convince the client that you and your services are what they desire.  For example I will leave an area untouched adjacent to an area that has been thinned. The new tec cameras give you great potential to chronicle what you have done and accomplished. If you were to set up your property as a "demonstration" woodlot then it becomes multipurpose.  Got to say after seeing your snake pics ....when you get your clearing saw get the...LONG SHANK  version.  :D
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 20, 2018, 08:16:56 AM
Funny thing with the snakes is ive had more issues with them right in my living area than out in the brush.  I dont like snakes but after a few sleepless nights with mice scratching through the cabinets and ductwork, i realize me and black snakes can actually be pals.  As long as they stay out of my boots outside. 

I am hoping to acquire the abandoned 9 acres next door via tax auction one day and it looks every bit as bad as my place.  Theres a skid road on that and trails on mine.  Next door is always available for an example of ugly even if i dont buy it.  
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: ohiowoodchuck on February 20, 2018, 08:32:10 AM
This is just a rough guess, I could be off and donít take it as the gospel but it appears that my white oak gets about 1-2ft a year. I have one ridge top that has some ash on it and back in 2013 when I bought the place it was around 5-6ft and after a wind storm and knocking a few Virginia pines out of the way it appears to be around the 15-18ft margins. Thatís just a rough guess. I could be off and donít want to make it sound like Iím story telling. Iíll get some pictures next time out. I really didnít think you guys would be interested in that kind of stuff, since itís not really logging so to speak. I just have a strong desire to have the place looking like it did when I was a kid before they veneered it in the 90ís. I just hate the sight of a clear cut but understand itís purposes. I have one whole hill side that will probably get it due to small growth and not any really good trees. I have large stands of Virginia pine scattered out and I was going to knock them all down, but since thereís no market that I can find. Iíll just let them stand for roast trees for the turkeys. It sure is nice to stand on one hill side and look at the other in the fall and see all the oak still holding on to there leaves. It sure was depressing when I first bought the place though.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 20, 2018, 08:44:39 AM
Underproductive land needs overproductive landowners.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: ohiowoodchuck on February 20, 2018, 09:34:17 AM
Thatís true, but man is it a huge undertaking at times. Between working up in the woods, starting from scratch on building a house, putting in septic, water lines, electric etc plus working a full time job. It sure makes you just want to throw your hands up in the air. I could start a whole ten year plan thread of my own with the amount of work Iíve done and the pictures I got. I finally hired out some of my work. The Amish are supposed to come in March and frame up and dry in my pole barn.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 20, 2018, 10:08:55 AM
Thanks for the pointers stephen, id love a clearing saw but it isnt in the cards for now.  Someone gave me a broken stihl 55r i think it is and ive been hoping to get it fixed and put on a saw chain cutter head but no money for the parts it needs right now.
IMO, those saw chain cutter heads on a clearing saw are waste of time. The ones that look more like a circular saw blade are a whole lot more productive in the woods. Swamp Donkey and a couple others on there have a lot of experience with those saws. A few years ago, SD recommended a specific type/brand of replacement blade. I can't find the link right now, but think it was called a "Maxi" blade. It seemed to be a much better grade of steel and a whole lot more solid than the cheap blade that came with my clearing saw.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Hans1 on February 20, 2018, 11:13:18 AM
 Great pictures and work being done. Does your area have any funding through the state for TSI work. I just got an approval for 35 acres of edge feathering on a Farm a recently purchased. The goals of the edge feathering is more habitat minded but I also use it to release some quality crop trees. 
  You are creating a show place as to what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication to the future generations. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 20, 2018, 01:49:48 PM
Yes, USDA equip program is one and i cant recall name of the other.  I do mention them when i am trying to sell TSI to big plot owners.  But theyre reimbursements and require money out of pocket for professional management plan, the reimbursement isnt guaranteed.  

In my case its not gonna stay forest, im building a business out front and a secluded cabin home out back.  

John, thanks for the info, ill do some research.  It wont bother me at all to make a circular saw adapter.   I have plenty of carbide steel demon blades for my worm drive that are too chunky for steel anymore but probably great in sapplings.  Id cut every other tooth if needed.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 20, 2018, 02:21:16 PM
Thatís true, but man is it a huge undertaking at times. Between working up in the woods, starting from scratch on building a house, putting in septic, water lines, electric etc plus working a full time job. It sure makes you just want to throw your hands up in the air. I could start a whole ten year plan thread of my own with the amount of work Iíve done and the pictures I got. I finally hired out some of my work. The Amish are supposed to come in March and frame up and dry in my pole barn.
Ha.. I thought you were talking about me at first!  Wife and i had 2 kids, lost 2 houses and moved to a field 990 miles away. Id say ive made about 10 trips and have 20 to go.  Still have a machine shop to move.  Then probably my dad, so make that another 20. 
But, with future generations in mind, its been worth every bump and bruise.  My boy found a pair of axe heads in the dirt this morning and said dad can you make me an axe.  I said no, but ill make one for your son.  
The trees you leave behind will be a living messenger to the generation you never meet.  I want mine to say "i did this because i love you."
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0220180846.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519152783)
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0220181227.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519152796)
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0220181208.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519152764)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: TKehl on February 20, 2018, 04:17:26 PM
Moving on to red maple.  Extremely prolific shade tolerant reproducer whose seed has no deer value im aware of.


Don't know about deer, but the goats will tear up the seeds the fall in the yard.  The kids have to get any helicopters they want before the goats come back for the night or they will not be one left.

Even so, not enough reason for me to leave them in the woods compared to the downsides.  The ones we have are in the yard that I planted when I was 8-10 years old.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 20, 2018, 06:42:22 PM
John, thanks for the info, ill do some research.  It wont bother me at all to make a circular saw adapter.   I have plenty of carbide steel demon blades for my worm drive that are too chunky for steel anymore but probably great in sapplings.  Id cut every other tooth if needed.
Do NOT use a regular Circular saw blade!! They cannot take the RPMs of a clearing saw (and they may not react well to hitting a rock) - you risk creating a shrapnel launcher.

Here is a link to the type of blade I am talking about:
Husqvarna Maxi Brush Cutter Blade (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EWFCXYU/)

This is just one brand, and it may not fit the saw you have (OD of the blade and the arbor hole size vary among brands and models).

This Maxi-style blade seems to hold up better than
Husqvarna Scarlet Blade (https://www.amazon.com/Husqvarna-Scarlett-200-22t-Clearing-578442501/dp/B00EWFCUWK/). The Scarlet blade does not hold up as well as the Maxi style. However, both the Scarlett and Maxi cut better than the chainsaw style cutter blade, IMO.

(I am not liking the new way the forum handles links. No control over how it appears in the post, and I'm not sure why it's replacing some of the displayed text with "robot check") (EDIT: thanks Jeff - I went back and fixed how the links displayed based on your tip.)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: teakwood on February 20, 2018, 07:52:10 PM
"Funny thing with the snakes is ive had more issues with them right in my living area than out in the brush.  I dont like snakes but after a few sleepless nights with mice scratching through the cabinets and ductwork, i realize me and black snakes can actually be pals.  As long as they stay out of my boots outside. "


never had a snake in my shoe but i sure hate it when a scorpion sleeps in it (http://forestryforum.com/board/Smileys/default/cheesy.gif)

Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 20, 2018, 08:52:36 PM
Did see scorpions at 29 palms once, they can keep em!

Thanks for setting me straight john. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: thecfarm on February 20, 2018, 08:59:05 PM
I like to check on the maple suckers too. The deer can find them better than me.
I did a small thinning one winter. I cut the tree down and left the tops. I would haul out the so called logs. I would leave the tops over night or 2-3 days. Than haul the tops out and cut down some more trees. This was in an area that I did not want any brush on the ground. The tops was being hauled to a brush pile. The deer would chomp the ends of the limbs. I tried to leave 2-3 tops at a time. Don't want the deer to fight over them,which they will.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: lopet on February 20, 2018, 11:08:28 PM
You just keep those little creatures in CR teakwood. LOL
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: teakwood on February 21, 2018, 06:52:51 AM
They're not venomous it just hurts like hell for about 15min. I actually prefer a scorpion sting than a wasp or bee, for me there is no swelling on scorpion stings.

On the other hand my best friend get a sore tongue for 2 days if he gets stung by a dark scorpion. the clear ones aren't that bad    
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 21, 2018, 08:29:55 AM
So the dark ones dont like being licked then.  Noted.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: g_man on February 21, 2018, 03:41:03 PM
You are doing a lot of good stuff there Mike. Everything seems really well thought out. One of our goals is being wildlife friendly too. Trying to nurse red oak saplings and poles along after the previous owner made a liquidation cut is a big thing. The other day while I was working in the area I released an old wild apple tree that sits in the middle of the woods. I believe in brush piles too. Rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, grouse, and some song birds like the winter wren, hermit thrush, oven bird, and white throated sparrow love them. But this is small stuff compared to what you are doing. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21065/SpringBrushPile1.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1506294613)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/21065/TreeStandArrow.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519214778)

gg
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 21, 2018, 03:48:44 PM
G_man, you need to check out Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife (http://vtcoverts.org).  They have one of their 3 day training workshops coming up in May (Free food and lodging while you are there). It focuses on teaching landowners about managing for wildlife and a healthy forest, and integrating those goals with others such as timber value, recreation, etc. The May workshop is in Starksboro, just a few miles from my house.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 21, 2018, 07:17:28 PM
Beautiful work!  That brush lodge is pretty sweet.  Would love to see summer pics around that apple clearing.  Deer are gonna love that. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: g_man on February 22, 2018, 06:52:11 AM
G_man, you need to check out Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife (http://vtcoverts.org).  They have one of their 3 day training workshops coming up in May (Free food and lodging while you are there). It focuses on teaching landowners about managing for wildlife and a healthy forest, and integrating those goals with others such as timber value, recreation, etc. The May workshop is in Starksboro, just a few miles from my house.


That is a good message to get out there to any one in or near VT interested in good land stewardship practices, the things John mentioned, and much more like invasives recognition and control. I was a member of the Spring 2008 class John, and have continued to learn more thru workshops and group visits to other land owners woodland to see what they do. Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife is a great group.

gg
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: thecfarm on February 22, 2018, 06:56:20 AM
Might even be state money with what you are doing. You would have to open your land to the public,like walking trails. Seem like there was a memeber here or I spoke to someone about this. What stuck with me,The state is paying me to do what I was going to do anyways. ;D 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 22, 2018, 08:07:01 AM
Might even be state money with what you are doing. You would have to open your land to the public,like walking trails. Seem like there was a memeber here or I spoke to someone about this. What stuck with me,The state is paying me to do what I was going to do anyways. ;D
There is Federal money available through NRCS via the EQIP program for wildlife habitat management work. Here in VT, the NRCS office in the area will send out an expert to walk your land with you. They will provide you with a written recommendation of things you can do. It's then your decision whether to sign a contract and do the practices they recommend (either yourself or hire it done) and get reimbursed for some of the costs - or you can say "no thanks" and skip the contract. Even if you don't sign the contract and get the cost-sharing funds, you still end up with a great list of recommendations of things that are suited for your property.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 22, 2018, 08:36:20 AM
Equip appeared to be the better paying of the two programs i investigated to help sell a tsi job.  I know for sure USDA had one.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 22, 2018, 09:25:17 AM
Equip appeared to be the better paying of the two programs i investigated to help sell a tsi job.  I know for sure USDA had one.
EQIP is wildlife focused, so is a good fit on the work you are describing, Mike. You can often get other TSI-related things included in it if they have some wildlife purpose (crop tree release, especially for mast trees which provide food for wildlife), patch cuts for early successional/regeneration purposes, etc. They also seem to be very interested in erosion control these days, so things like installing waterbars or broad-based dips, and possibly bridges and culverts may be eligible.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 22, 2018, 11:27:37 AM
G_man, you need to check out Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife (http://vtcoverts.org). ...

That is a good message to get out there to any one in or near VT interested in good land stewardship practices, the things John mentioned, and much more like invasives recognition and control. I was a member of the Spring 2008 class John, and have continued to learn more thru workshops and group visits to other land owners woodland to see what they do. Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife is a great group.

gg
G_man - I suspect we have had this conversation before. I went through the training in 2002. I eventually served on their board and spent a couple years as president (2009-10). I recently rejoined the board after several years off.

There are similar programs in other states: I know NH has one, as does CT. I think MA has one. NY has the Master Forest Owners Program (Even if you don't go through the NY program, you can sign up to have one of the folks who have gone through it come walk your land with you to share experiences and swap ideas). Most of these programs are built around the idea of peer-to-peer networking: that is, landowners helping each other by sharing information and techniques. Most of the programs are run through their state's forestry extension programs. Vermont's is unique in that it spun off and has been an independent non-profit for the last couple of decades.

For anyone who is interested, the
Resources & Links (http://vtcoverts.org/resource--links.html) page on the VT Coverts site has links to programs in other states (mostly New England). That links page is currently missing the New York Master Forest Owner's program, but you can find that with a simple google search.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 25, 2018, 12:48:06 AM
Found a doe today.  what the coyotes left of her, unfortunately. Thats the third full grown deer ive found, nevermind the ones i havent.  Really need to trim them dogs back pretty soon.  


So i kinda profiled the characteristics ive found with hickory, black gum and red maple earlier.  Ill get back to that series with poplar.  One strength is it grows really fast and straight without being bushy.  Its like the pine of a hardwood forest, you can fit many stems in a small space. A poplar sappling stand reminds me of a bamboo forest.  Theyre as thirsty as maple and love being neer creeks.   They sprout a lot of vertical branches when hinge cut or pinned down and have big broad leaves that are exceptional at providing visual cover.  If i need a green wall somewhere, like to block deer's line of sight for me to get to a stand, a snapped off or twisty poplar is my first choice to hinge cut.   

I dont think they provide much in the way of deer food, but i will have to monitor that this summer to be sure.  Perhaps theyll eat the leaves.  Definitely no signs of interest in bud tips.  I imagine poplar is pretty important for birds and bees but dont hold me to it.

This is one year old growth.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181208.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519102136)

Funny thing about coppiced poplar, its kinda kinked and twisty.  Natural seedlings come up much straighter in single stems most of the time.  Below is a pair of antennas that sprouting off a culled sappling stump.  Note the kinks

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181156b.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519536869)




Bottom one that has already coppiced i hinged a year ago, top one last week to open up better shooting lane.  You can see the railing and steps on that gum tree in background.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181217~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519536605)


That tangle in back ground is a bedding area.  One of many now.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181216a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519536825)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0219181216~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519536880)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: bobby s on February 25, 2018, 07:30:20 AM
Great job Mike. Thanks for sharing. Iím doing similar work on my wood lot and finding your posts very informative. Looking forward to more!
Bob
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 25, 2018, 08:02:11 AM
I dont think they [poplar] provide much in the way of deer food, but i will have to monitor that this summer to be sure. Perhaps theyll eat the leaves. Definitely no signs of interest in bud tips. I imagine poplar is pretty important for birds and bees but dont hold me to it.


Around here. they will browse on poplar saplings in the winter. It's not really their preferred food, but they'll eat it if there isn't better stuff around. A lot of Vermont is even-aged forest, more on the mature side (came about when the sheep farms were all abandoned many years ago, so a lot of land reverted to forest around the same time). So when winter rolls around, that patch cut that someone made that is full of early poplar regeneration can be popular with the deer. It can also be a matter of convenience or energy conservation for them: it's hard work moving through deep snow, so sometimes what's easiest to reach is what they eat first.

It sounds as though the work you are doing is providing enough of their preferred foods that they are leaving the poplar alone.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 25, 2018, 08:34:15 AM
Thanks bobby

Yeah, definitely a matter of food options john.  As browse sources run out they will eat coarser and courser foods with less nutrient and poorer digestibility.  Like a horse, theyll "starve" with a stomach full of bark and twig.


My place now has way more food than deer.. Infact that doe was the lone survivor ive seen recently.  There was a big fiesty buck over winter but he may have been poached.  This region used to have trophies clanging antlers right here in my yard, but theyre gone now. The drug epidemic made a lot of new hungry people and their culture is to take all that theyre able, whenever they are able.  
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: thecfarm on February 25, 2018, 12:20:33 PM
mike,I was out in the woods today and I cut down a crooked cedar for the deer. The deer will find it and enjoy the greens. It will look like fishbones tomorrow. ;D
I did have to hook onto to it to pull it down. I backed up with it, to break off some branches. Get a group of deer together and they drive off the smaller ones. As I stand there and watch them do it, I tell them, no wonder he's small, you drive him away from the food. ;D
I saw 9 deer when I was driving down into the woods.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 25, 2018, 02:16:42 PM
5 poachers and 3 yote packs will fix that for ya :)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: thecfarm on February 25, 2018, 02:36:28 PM
Not much problems with poaches. There was something a few years back. Someone had a night scope. Shoot and leave them. The hunters was mad and I mean mad. First off shooting deer out of season,second thing,just leaving them. Seem like they got caught.
Them coyotes are a problem. Sometimes I hear them down by the pond and sometimes behind the house.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Skeans1 on February 25, 2018, 02:42:56 PM
I don't understand this at all why take a property that has potential to be productive, a good thinning you should have material coming up for the critters. Different side of the country but out here a year after we thin you can't even tell we've been in the area other then a small landing with light between the trees. We were in this patch a year earlier (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/47446/20151106_111459.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1517782099)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 25, 2018, 03:15:16 PM
I dont mean for this to sound offensive but theres not a much better way for me to say it.  You may not be familiar with the effect of continual highgrading on a eastern hardwood stand.  When you remove every sawlog, every time and dont remove the twizzlers and snapped off storm trees, eventually you run out of sawlogs and only have firewood.  The mill collects the sawlogs while the stand collects the rejects.  Eventually, the rejects achieve dominance.  If they are healthy and never harvested or culled, it could be 200 years before a replacement.  However it is very likely there will be a twisty turd in the mid story ready to get ontop. So the species mix changes dramatically too.  

That said, i am only an amatuer and i hope everyone takes me with a grain of salt.  Im only one rung above guessing.  

Let me ask you a question.  If you are in a fir stand and cut out say 3 prime firs, what will resprout in its place?

(Nice aim btw!)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Pclem on February 25, 2018, 05:41:44 PM
mike,I was out in the woods today and I cut down a crooked cedar for the deer. The deer will find it and enjoy the greens. It will look like fishbones tomorrow. ;D
I did have to hook onto to pull it down. I backed up with it,to break off some branches. Get a group of deer together and they drive off the smaller ones. As I stand they and watch them do it,I tell them,no wonder he's small,you drive him away from the food. ;D
I saw 9 deer when I ws driving down into the woods.

When I was a teenager, two weeks prior to deer season, I built a beautiful ground blind on the edge of a cedar/balsam swamp with fresh cut boughs. Man, it looked nice. I sat in the middle seeing in my mind ol mossyhorns comin through. Come opening morning, I had no cover :D
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Skeans1 on February 25, 2018, 05:57:16 PM
I dont mean for this to sound offensive but theres not a much better way for me to say it.  You may not be familiar with the effect of continual highgrading on a eastern hardwood stand.  When you remove every sawlog, every time and dont remove the twizzlers and snapped off storm trees, eventually you run out of sawlogs and only have firewood.  The mill collects the sawlogs while the stand collects the rejects.  Eventually, the rejects achieve dominance.  If they are healthy and never harvested or culled, it could be 200 years before a replacement.  However it is very likely there will be a twisty turd in the mid story ready to get ontop. So the species mix changes dramatically too.  

That said, i am only an amatuer and i hope everyone takes me with a grain of salt.  Im only one rung above guessing.  

Let me ask you a question.  If you are in a fir stand and cut out say 3 prime firs, what will resprout in its place?

(Nice aim btw!)
Mike we don't high grade when we thin the only nice trees that come out will be a row tree or if you have something crowded. If I have three good firs with nothing behind them I'll leave them say there's another one behind them that shaded out I'll take one to release a tree you try for two sides open in a personal stand. That's slipping one off the stump for an idea.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 25, 2018, 06:05:23 PM
Yep... there is quite a difference between thinning and highgrading. In fact, done right, thinning can be the opposite of highgrading: you are putting work into the stand to improve what remains for the future.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 25, 2018, 08:25:55 PM
Yes, i do EXACTLY the opposite of a highgrading.. I find the biggest primest tree first, then make decisions on how to protect it, help it grow and give it ideal conditions to clone itself. 

Plenty of literature is written on good forestry (the best i have ever seen is the free 100 page landowner guide PDF on tennessee timber consultants resource page)

Plenty is written on good deer herd management.  QDMA.org leads that field.  

 What i have never encountered is a merger of the two, where one weighs the pros and cons of each tree on the merits of its future timber value, and current browse/structure value.  If i knew more about birds and other critters i would try to incorporate that too.  

So thats why im trying to profile my observations with each species.  With just a little more information one can say well, i know this one will make winter feed and this one will sprout a lot of branches they dont like to eat but love to hide behind.. And both are low quality, poor form trees that are stepping on that clean red oaks toes which is in the top pay bracket at the mill.. And drops lots of necessary hard mast.. So im gonna grow this one by laying this here and that there and Im confident this is a good decision.   

I cover so much more ground without looking back when im confident in how im doing things.  Its actually fun.  
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on February 25, 2018, 08:53:58 PM
Mike -  That's exactly what drew me to VT Coverts:Woodlands for Wildlife. The organization focuses on wildlife, but recognizes that landowners don't necessarily have just one goal for their land. You can be interested in wildlife and still have an interest in managing for timber value. To me, it's an interesting conversation to have (with yourself or with knowledgeable friends or professionals) about how best to balance those goals.  As you said, working this stuff out can be fun.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 26, 2018, 09:20:53 AM
In TN most sawlogs are grown on private property.  Thats a lot of different people with a lot of different plans.  It can only serve to my benefit if i am able to say who are you and what are your goals here?  Okay, here is how i can do that.  Come to my lab if you want to see what your scrub tangle can look like.  


Some encouragement.   These bucks were all taken around here before the herd was depleted. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170406_183150.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519652796)


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170406_183246.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519652797)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Stephen Alford on February 27, 2018, 09:15:29 AM
  Just thinking about your woodlot. What comes to mind when considering your species/children activities mushrooms come to mind. Some folks hunt mushrooms by learning to identify tree species that particular shroom they want is associated with.  Have no idea what the market in your area is for editable or medicinal shrooms would be like. Considering the snake issue maybe there is some potential for Chaga mushrooms which are harvested in the colder months from live trees. My kids have worked in the woods with me and I treasure those times.    Sadly from the sounds of your drug problem there would be a huge demand for ol magics.   Police here used to train their dogs chasing shoomers. You would be working away and this panicked individual would go rippin by with a hound on his heals. The officer told me they were not usually charged cause like I said the dogs were not trained.. enough said :D
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 27, 2018, 09:40:53 AM
LOL.  Id love to see some of my meth monkeys running from rin tin tin.  

Never thought about mushrooms at all.  The magic ones are dung loving psilocybe.. Now that you mention it, i ate my share of em as a teenage idiot.  Now i say prayers with my kids at the bus stop.  People can change i guess.  

Almost stepped on a huge black snake yesterday out checking cams.  Theyre harmless and eat copperhead babies so ill never kill one, but they still make me jump.  Definitely dont want the kids out there poking under logs. my son would think a baby copperhead was a worm and go right for it. "Dad its sooo cyoooooot!"

  Im in a hurry to finish up this seasons DSI because the ticks and snakes will get bad real soon. i try to stay out most of summer. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: TKehl on February 27, 2018, 10:07:49 AM
I would think you would get Morels out your way.  Real good eating but also bring good $ if you can find a good patch.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 27, 2018, 10:13:04 AM
Well, eating is a favorite past time .. Guess ill hafta dig out that north american field guide.  I know its in a box somewhere!

Title: Re: DSI
Post by: TKehl on February 27, 2018, 12:35:53 PM
A good thing is it's hard to confuse them with anything other than a False Morel.  The false one has a solid stem if I remember right.  Real ones are hollow.

A springtime treat for sure.  I think they come out with the ticks though.  :(
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on February 28, 2018, 03:29:13 PM
I keep forgetting to park this link here. 

Know Your Native Deer Foods | QDMA (https://www.qdma.com/know-native-deer-foods/)
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 04, 2020, 11:07:50 AM
Reckon its been long enough for an update.



This spot was formerly a dark, closed canopy with nothing on the floor but leaf litter and the occasional shade tolerant briar (often black and dead) in a tight understory of 2" dbh red maples, black gums and dead or dying twisted hardwood sapplings that would never see the sky.  Between the mostly pathetic sawtimber was a replacement stand of pure trash.  This describes any normal TN woods.
 

  A chainsaw is the best tool i ever brought out there.  Not missing any of the trees i thinned, and i thin pretty heavy. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0703201618.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1593834872)

I recently discovered wild blueberry when passing a shrub that had fruit on it.  Im very attentive, there has never been fruit before.  Nor on the tree climbing vines i always trimmed back. hardly any blackberries either.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0702201946a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1593749324)

 

Few years later you cannot walk through the place at all.  I keep the main trail open by annually scraping the grasses and thin new topsoil off with the dozer into a big compost pile that has become my food plot soil, just a mound of fertile dirt i toss extra seeds in with no additional care.


I recently made this to keep the trails scraped clean and it works great


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0701201825-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1593872922)
My helper next to the food plot.. Growing up too fast.



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0702202001.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1593872941)

Underneath the tangle of heavy brush is a bed of baby blackberries coming up all over. 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0703201618a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1593834863)



There are berries on shrubs hardly ankle high beneath a tangle of 5 to 10ft regen where a fawn or rabbit can stay out of the eyes of coyotes and hawks.  This clearing is near a creek and ive created a few sinks to hold rainwater so they can bed, eat and drink while concealed, with very short travel distances.  The thickness of brush now provides lots of shade for relief from the summer heat when fawns are most vulnerable.  

There are also abundant blackberries EVERYWHERE now.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0703201618b.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1593834993)

The vines that now have sun also have grapes

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0703201621.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1593834990)


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0703201622.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1593835063)



The tracks i get indicate does are fawning here every summer despite the closeness to humans. I think my scent keeps the coyotes from ever coming all the way in to me.. Ive tried to bait them many times.  Theyre always howling just a few hundred yards further back at an abutting pasture or along my back boundary.  I havent found a deer carcass in 2 years so the thick brush is favoring the deer.  


Songbirds, owls and all that have definitely increased dramatically.
Anyways, if youve got some dark junky woods that wont ever produce anything, take a saw to it and keep a trail open.  The sun will totally renovate the place for you and the critters will show up. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 04, 2020, 11:43:25 AM

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0526181726.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1592536393)



This is where im getting the new topsoils.  Scrape JUUUST down to the first hint of clay and roll the summer grass, fall leaves, sticks bugs dirt and all that into a pile to compost.  Then push it all the other way the following year.  Every spring the weeds and briars break the hardpan and then grasses come in.  Knee high every year.  


Ive got radish, corn and lettuce seed starting in there now.  When summer breaks ill put in turnip and kale


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0526181818.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1592536229)


I dont have many images during summer for a "before" look but you can see the contrast here in this wall of shade/light.  Look at how sparse the ground vegetation is and how little concealment it offered.  


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0526181831a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1539089008)

Another untouched spot.  One more round of highgrading and this place would be better off as a hayfield.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0704201549.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1594212216)



All rubbish.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0214181452a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1518747014)



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170116_170149.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1493992520)






Deer will move freely in an open field where they can see predators from afar and run in any direction.  In the woods they want their motions to be fully hidden from view so thickets, brush walls and especially corridors of soft regen bring comfort for daytime travel from bedding to water.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 08, 2020, 12:33:32 AM
Was picking blackberries today out back and saw something ive never seen in any of the woods ive scouted around here.  A print from a deer heavy enough to leave dew claw marks.  I guess its working. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Ed_K on July 08, 2020, 07:57:14 AM
 That must be a pretty big deer, happy you got the woods working for you.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: cutterboy on July 11, 2020, 04:46:59 PM
Mike, I just read this whole thread and I'm impressed with what you've done. It seems to me that most people can't see beyond tomorrow and thus never make any long range plans. But you have and it's already paying off. Good for you!

BTW, that's a fine looking young man you're raising.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 11, 2020, 11:50:17 PM
I appreciate you sayin that bud, thanks and God bless you.  He drives me crazy and i dont have enough patience with him but i am very proud to be his dad even when i miss the mark.  

He just lost his 2nd tooth today in the passenger seat of a pete 379 haulin stone up the mountain... worked the quarry again today.  thinks hes hot stuff on the wheel loader but still cant stack one slab ontop another with it yet. i just play along.  LoL.  Hes my shadow. Except when i turn around fast my actual shadow knows to move out of the way.  He will walk right into my butt if i stop quick.  We spend a lot of time messin around in our woods and i wouldnt trade it for anything.  I hope to have built him a quiver of forestry machines before he hits 20. Ive got 13yrs left and running out fast!




(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0710201453.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1594525074)




(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0710201453a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1594525801)






Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Walnut Beast on July 12, 2020, 12:04:28 AM
What happened to your deer heard Mike
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2020, 12:35:52 AM
What happened to your deer herd Mike


Seems to be doing fine.  I got a print with dew claws in it last week, which is a first.  Theres always doe and fawn print.

Coming back from dunlap we saw a huge buck tonight in velvet.  8 to 10pts, about 45 minutes from home. 
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2020, 12:39:53 AM
Man.. Seems like just yesterday i could fit him in my pocket.



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170317_180035.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1594528648)




(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20170316_165921.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1493987745)



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20161129_161831.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1594528774)


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/RenderedI28129.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1493986723)


Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Walnut Beast on July 12, 2020, 12:40:51 AM
Very nice. Nice pictures of some of the bucks you have taken
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Walnut Beast on July 12, 2020, 12:42:39 AM
It would probably be tuff to take him hunting with you for a few years 😂
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2020, 12:46:15 AM
Very nice. Nice pictures of some of the bucks you have taken
Oh i get your question now.. No no, those bucks i posted a few years back are hanging in a neighbor buddies house up the road.  Locally taken but mostly the 1990s. Theres just been too many years of extreme poaching in back yards over corn to have anything grow into trophies anymore, and its universally the meth heads that do it. Some feed em to their dogs or shoot em at night just for fun which is even worse.  Thats what got me into building a sanctuary out of my little woodlot. 

 
We only eat one deer per season and im not selective about it.  Theyre all delicious when im done with them.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Walnut Beast on July 12, 2020, 01:07:31 AM
I hear you there! Good call and nice work on the sanctuary. Yes indeed deer 🦌 are tasty for sure 👍
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2020, 02:54:38 AM
I regret not having a sequence of true before/after images. When i started we were barely, barely able to keep the lights on and eat, life was in a tailspin and i just started dragging logs up to survive.  It evolved into this 'bring the deer to me' mentality out of necessity back then.

Anyways this is the best progression image ive got at the moment. Same spot year apart i think.  Ive cut that bush back atleast twice for a clearer shot.  The stack is a little over 6ft high.  Ill have to remember to keep taking the same picture year after year.



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0526181818.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1592536229)




(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0705201545.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1594536143)


Before logging i rember this area just being brown leaves and larger trunks.  The kids and i walked right thru it all the time with no actual trail.  Sure cant do that now.  


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0704201543.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1594537524)


Title: Re: DSI
Post by: Walnut Beast on July 12, 2020, 03:17:04 AM
You got some great stuff going on Mike 👍👍
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: thecfarm on July 12, 2020, 05:37:10 AM
Yes on the pictures!! I cleared off the Old Pasture. Did it one tree at a time and mowed it with my mini bush hog, a push mower!!! This was tree 6-10 across. I kept the oak for the wild life and everything else is gone. Dug out some rocks and levered out many areas and it needs another treatment with the min bush hog again.
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: John Mc on July 12, 2020, 07:54:46 AM
Man.. Seems like just yesterday i could fit him in my pocket.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/20161129_161831.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1594528774)
What is that little tractor he's on? That's perfect for a kid learning the ropes!
Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2020, 09:29:08 AM
People call them cub zeros, the original cub cadet lawn mower from the early 60s.  They can be made to look pretty cool.   I will find a better picture when i have a chance.

Title: Re: DSI
Post by: mike_belben on November 18, 2020, 12:32:51 PM
I sat in my stand this morning, saw one lone doe take her time at 9:05am. She crossed left to right quite a ways out of bow range and sniffed around where i felled some more FW culls yesterday.

Shes the first legal hours deer ive encountered on my property in a long while.  I get fresh tracks almost every night.  Theres been some good sized buck track, scat, rubs and a scrape this season.  Hopefully he makes it another year.


This was december 2017


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1202171619.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1605717027)


Same spot today, can't tell much difference. I'm just now starting to thin ahead toward the pasture area where my house will go. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1118200909_Film3.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1605717309)



And the neighbors lot just to the right as a control, still looking like what i started with. Growing more vine and brush than it is boards in my opinion.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1118200909a_Film3.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1605717378)