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Author Topic: DSI  (Read 7345 times)

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Offline John Mc

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Re: DSI
« Reply #60 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.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #61 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.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline John Mc

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Re: DSI
« Reply #62 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.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #63 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. 





Revelation 3:20

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: DSI
« Reply #64 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

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #65 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. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline TKehl

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Re: DSI
« Reply #66 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.
In the long run, you make your own luck good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #67 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!

Revelation 3:20

Offline TKehl

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Re: DSI
« Reply #68 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.  :(
In the long run, you make your own luck good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2018, 03:29:13 PM »
I keep forgetting to park this link here. 

Know Your Native Deer Foods | QDMA
Revelation 3:20

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #70 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. 




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.




 

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



My helper next to the food plot.. Growing up too fast.





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





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.



The vines that now have sun also have grapes








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. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #71 on: July 04, 2020, 11:43:25 AM »





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





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.  




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






All rubbish.












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.
Revelation 3:20

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #72 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. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Ed_K

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Re: DSI
« Reply #73 on: July 08, 2020, 07:57:14 AM »
 That must be a pretty big deer, happy you got the woods working for you.

Offline cutterboy

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Re: DSI
« Reply #74 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.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #75 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!
















Revelation 3:20

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: DSI
« Reply #76 on: July 12, 2020, 12:04:28 AM »
What happened to your deer heard Mike

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #77 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. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline mike_belben

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Re: DSI
« Reply #78 on: July 12, 2020, 12:39:53 AM »
Man.. Seems like just yesterday i could fit him in my pocket.


















Revelation 3:20

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: DSI
« Reply #79 on: July 12, 2020, 12:40:51 AM »
Very nice. Nice pictures of some of the bucks you have taken


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