Forest Management Programs and Whitetail Habitat Goals

Discussion in 'Wildlife Habitat' started by Gary A Zajicek, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Gary A Zajicek

    Gary A Zajicek

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    Prairie du Sac, WI
    I am asking for input on Forest Management Programs and deer habitat management. I own 40 acres in wooded area that is approximately 1.5 miles x 1.5 miles. My property is near the north east corner of this chunk of woods. My property is currently enrolled in a Department of Natural Resources forest program. The program length is 25 years and my program will end in two years. My program does not have any required cutting due at the end of the program and it did not have any required cutting during the 25 years of the contract period. The property is in need of a cutting.

    The forest program does allow the owner to set aside 20% of their enrolled property to do what they want with it as far as cutting is concerned. This means I have 8 acres I can have cut the way I would like.

    Currently, I have cut some large trees and hinged cut some smaller trees in the southwest corner of the 40 acres. I call this my buck bedding area. There is a 1/3 acre food plot near the northeast corner of the property. I have cut some larger trees and hinged cut some smaller ones near the food plot for the doe bedding area. Last spring I hinged cut a narrow trail on the south border, running east to west, from the buck bedding area to a small area I am building as a browse plot. My 40 acres is located in the Baraboo Bluff area of southern WI. My 40 acre area is very rocky. I chose the food plot area as it had the least amount of rock on it. I also dug in a 110 gallon water tank to the south of the food plot.

    The reason for this post is to gain feedback from those who have been enrolled in forest management program and tried to create whitetail habitat. With the 20% or 8 acres that I can control, I would clear cut 5-6 ¾ acre areas for deer bedding. The cut trees would be hauled out and the tops would remain to create side cover. My goal is to plant conifers, dogwood and sumac in these areas. I don’t know if the regeneration will eventually choke out the conifers, dogwood and sumac. I would also like the loggers to create a meandering, narrow, food plot trail at least 50 yards from the property borders.

    I appreciate any suggestions and feedback you may have. My concern is trying to marry forest management with whitetail habitat management. my property is the blue box towards the center of the photo IMG_4152.JPG