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Im hunting in alberta.. Myself and a buddy this year really took notice of several massive older clearcuts.. they are choked with 10-15 foot high trembling aspen and white birch,, they are also loaded with deer trails throughout them. The deer seem to find any openning in them and use them to their advantage. Its almost impossible to get a shot at a deer in these areas.

We were discussing about hanging some stands in the larger spruce's and lodgepole pines on the back of these clearcuts. No one goes into these places,, 99% of the guys dont get out of their trucks. I can count on my hands the number of vehicles ive seen parked this year with people still hunting or on stands hunting this massive area. We were thinking about going into a couple of these areas over this winter. Clearing out some shooting lanes into them,, or better yet open up a couple areas we can set stands too watch over next year.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to go about it? we were thinking just get in there, figure out some good spots to sit,, then get out the chainsaws over several weekends, and just start cutting opennings into the areas. How are aspen and birch used as browse throughout the winter? weve already got over a foot of snow on the ground(just in the last few days). Will they eat the buds off the trees we cut down?
 

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Anyone have any suggestions on how to go about it? we were thinking just get in there, figure out some good spots to sit,, then get out the chainsaws over several weekends, and just start cutting opennings into the areas. How are aspen and birch used as browse throughout the winter? weve already got over a foot of snow on the ground(just in the last few days). Will they eat the buds off the trees we cut down?
Your property sounds very much like mine - so thick with aspen after a cutting that you'll never get a shot at a deer unless you do something to open some areas. On my property, I knew of several apple trees that needed to be released from competition as well as creating trails for me to quietly get to stands (and to keep an eye on trespassers from the W:16suspect). The idea of using a chainsaw to cut so many trees seemed like a PITA so I borrowed a brushcutter from a member on here. The brushcutter is essentially a souped-up weed whip with a special circular saw blade on the end. It worked very well and I was able to cut the stumps close to the ground to reduce my chance of tripping. The one I used was capable of cutting trees about the size of my wrist with little effort - just kept swinging back and forth. Saved quite a bit of wear and tear on my back. The only issue I had was that the deer liked some of my trails better than their own.:dizzy:

As for your other questions, here is a link to a deer browse guide from the MDNR: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12148-61306--,00.html

Depending on deer density, I would suspect that the deer would browse your trees provided there isn't higher quality food readily available.
 
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