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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Will deer feel uncomfortable eating at a plot if there 12 foot red pines(screens-can't see through) surrounding 1/3 of the plot perimeter? I am worried that they will be skittish having their head down to eat so close to a screen w/ predators and such.
 

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Will deer feel uncomfortable eating at a plot if there 12 foot red pines(screens-can't see through) surrounding 1/3 of the plot perimeter? I am worried that they will be skittish having their head down to eat so close to a screen w/ predators and such.
Screens work both ways.
I've watched multiple deer use the screen to check field before entering it.
And watched them use the edge to pass through.

Today I checked three runs (all headed the same direction but about ten yards apart) through heavy cover.
Most areas were more screen than jungle with the leaves off ,but still thick.
Deer used those runs and during season I could only see them on the run nearest the field/plot.
So they were not avoiding it by using the open are farthest from screening.

It could be argued that any deer in the "center" farthest from cover edge/screen were avoiding screen/cover , but they arrive and depart through the thick stuff......
And plenty of evidence , including camera pics and actually watching them ,of browsing along cover edges.

A friend got mad at coyotes tackling fawns from cover edges and cut down lots of brush. But that still leaves an edge.
And deer like edges ; alot....
 

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If there is food they will use it. I would not worry, it’s only a temporary situation. Soon the red pine will self prune and open up the screen providing plenty of visibility.
 

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I like my plots screened but with a lot of exits. Hinge cutting is also a way to control the deer traffic. Just keep in mind of the way they enter and exit the plot. This place has a lot of good advise compared to the rest of the internet because it is mostly all the same layout in Michigan.
 

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Your only thinking or worrying about one of their sense's. Same reason many hunters get busted by scent and sound? They are not comprehending the deer utilizing all three senses to stay alive.

Screens are essential to give deer a false sense of security around a food plot. Not only helping for daylight activity instead of nocturnal, but increases the use of that food availability.

The downside is the needles from the pine and shade is a battle to maintain not only PH but high yield production from the food plot. Keep the lime coming and allow enough sun needed for what you plant in the plot.
 

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Jeff Sturgis covered this recently in a video:


His view is that some natural screening may be fine but guys piling up cuttings and other stuff around the edge, basically enclosing the plot, may be spooking deer, which makes sense.
 

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I watched that video. I'm not sure what to think anymore! Maybe it was Bartylla that promoted edge feathering, which in my mind is similar to having cuttings and blocking at various areas around the plot. Now it needs to be open so they don't feel boxed in? Just when I start to think I got some of this stuff figured out...
I'm beginning to think tornado zones are bad for my property, and when I cut to open up the canopy I should burn or clear out the trees that drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I watched that video. I'm not sure what to think anymore! Maybe it was Bartylla that promoted edge feathering, which in my mind is similar to having cuttings and blocking at various areas around the plot. Now it needs to be open so they don't feel boxed in? Just when I start to think I got some of this stuff figured out...
I'm beginning to think tornado zones are bad for my property, and when I cut to open up the canopy I should burn or clear out the trees that drop.
I would agree on the tornado zones. My friends property was hit hard four or five years ago, and it was difficult for me to walk 20 yards with all of the down trees. No sign of deer anywhere. I am guessing partly because it wastes their energy to live in something like that.
 

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I would agree on the tornado zones. My friends property was hit hard four or five years ago, and it was difficult for me to walk 20 yards with all of the down trees. No sign of deer anywhere. I am guessing partly because it wastes their energy to live in something like that.
Get your chainsaw and go for a walk through an area like this. Several trails in different directions with a few pockets opened up and I think you'll see a big difference in use. JMO.
 

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Will deer feel uncomfortable eating at a plot if there 12 foot red pines(screens-can't see through) surrounding 1/3 of the plot perimeter? I am worried that they will be skittish having their head down to eat so close to a screen w/ predators and such.
It shouldn't be an issue. I have a similar set up on my property - planted 1000s of red pines to split a field on half. Deer routinely come and go right thru the pines and I also watch chasing go on through it.

In the areas of the field that are too wet and the red pine don't do well, I've been mixing in Norway spruce and Tamarack.
 
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