Create Cover or Leave It? - Mississippi Hunting and Fishing Forums
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Create Cover or Leave It?

My hunting property is situated between two other properties that have both been clear cut, wiped clean, in the past 3 years. Neither property was sprayed or planted afterwards, just left to its own. One side is 40 acres the other 60 acres. The 60 is tall and THICK, the 40 was cut last summer so it’s still ok but thickening quick.

My place, 100 acres in the middle, has 5 food plots and every native oak tree in MS all full of acorns. The biggest problem I have is, there’s little other browse to speak of and it’s fairly open in the timber.

Should I start a management plan to cut and leave non-mast producing trees, selectively, in an effort to produce brush piles and ground cover? I have deer, that’s not the problem I just want them to stay on me as much as possible. Which is difficult knowing they can lay up in the cutovers and only be seen when they want to be.

Or would this be a waste of time knowing I’ve got 100 acres of cutover either side of me to compete with? I don’t think it would be a complete waste of time myself as long as I can hold some does the bucks will follow.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would leave mine the way it is. I would hunt the edges and catch them coming and going through my property. In a few years when the surrounding property starts to open up I would select cut some of mine to make bedding area. You would have to do ALOT of thinning to compete with the bedding the neighboring property provides.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I know I could never compete with available bedding. I was hoping to create some brush piles and sporadic thickets so they feel some sense of security while on me. If you spook or jump a deer on me now they run to the neighbors for cover. It would be nice to have some thickets that maybe they could hide in without leaving the property.
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Old 10-28-2019, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Iíd make some openings. In time itíll give you the cover your seeking and also provide native forage/browse for them.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This is an interesting one. I generally feel like the goal is to make the property so that you maximize the daylight hours that bucks spend there. If you follow Jeff Sturgis on YouTube, he hammers this home. In your case, I might concede and focus on some cutting that defines travel corridors through your property, taking access and wind locations into account.

Main thing, I wouldn’t let the presence of nearby ample bedding cover prevent me from using responsible timber mgr to make good deer habitat. You’re just in a good spot in that you don’t need to go crazy.

Last edited by turkish; 10-28-2019 at 01:15 PM.
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