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How to Make Work Fun to Improve Deer Hunting Habitat Reaping the rewards of a demanding off-season of habitat improvement for deer hunting is a wonderful feeling. Creating food plots, mineral licks, moving and putting up stands, adding kill plots in the woods, hinge cutting and other tasks aren’t always easy, but they should be enjoyable. One of the best things you can do if you own timbered property is hinge cutting trees to improve habitat. How does this work? Hinge cutting involves cutting a tree about two-thirds of the way through, leaving the cambium layer and bark intact on the far side of the tree. That’s the spongy, thick layer just below the bark. By doing this instead of cutting all the way through, the tree will fall and then live typically another three or four years. If you cut these about head-high, deer can walk and stand under them or use them for bedding areas since they’re screening cover. Careful selection of your trees for hinge-cutting can result in directing deer along specific routes including in front of your stand, perhaps between a feeding and bedding area. Deer will walk under or around trees much easier than over them. Similar to humans, they will take the path of least resistance. Off-season work also may include creating water holes for deer to use in the woods where there are no other sources of water. You can use a shallow tub or perhaps a child’s small plastic swimming pool, dig a hole deep enough for it, put the tub in, add some dirt in the bottom and a stick for rodents to get out, and then let it fill with rain. It may sound gross to you, but this simple water source could be a major attractant for deer in late summer or a hot autumn day. Steve Bartylla is quick to remind you on this episode of Grow ’em Big to enjoy your work, but also make it fun and take breaks. Don’t get tired, frustrated or exasperated with the list of tasks. Do some things, take a break, go for a walk, have fun and enjoy getting ready for deer season.
Grow ’em Big, How to Make Work Fun to Improve Deer Hunting Habitat. Season 3, Episode 23


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Posted in Habitat Improvement

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