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Well some of you have read about my hinge cutting for creating a natural fence between me and my neighbors in another thread, but I thought that I’d post this in it sown thread seeing that for all practical purposes, deer hunting is pretty much done in my neck of the woods. I know there is still muzzleloader and some bow left, but the neighbor rarely if ever muzzleloads and doesn't have a bow.

Let me set up for you the "problem", the "solution" and the "results".

The Problem:
I have neighbors that shoot everything. They are legal in everything they do, but they are shooting 1 1/2 year olds that I pass on every year. I have told (not asked) them that I "pass on the small ones". I didn't ask them too because they can do anything they want to inside the confines of the law but by telling them that I pass on the small ones they may get the hint that if they pass on a few there may at least be a couple of more 2.5 year olds around. They are also aware of another neighbor that passes on bucks that are even 2.5 years old so I am not the only one in the area trying to "pass on the small ones" every year. I'm not trying to grow the next state record, but for me it is a little nice to shoot a 2.5 or older buck both for body and antler size. So after several years of them continuing to drop 1.5 year old deer I figured that I just had to deal with the fact they were going to drop deer year after year that I was passing on and just maybe every once in a while one would make it.

The Solution:
I only started reading on this site at the beginning of 2008. I couldn't believe the info in the habitat section. I had read some magazine articles and talked to a few people, but I had never gotten serious about improving my habitat. Let me back track for one second. What really opened my eyes to the possibilities was watching a short segment that Michigan Out of Doors had on about a year ago (I know some of you remember it and know the guy. It wasn't Lapratt) that talked about managing a buck's time on your land. It talked about making him travel your land looking and having to stop to check areas. This concept was enacted to "keep a buck busy" during daylight hours on your land. Sure he will end up visiting surrounding land, but you wanted him to only go off of your property (or a protected property that could even be a QDM neighbor) only after dark and hopefully arrive before daylight. Watching that short segment on Michigan Out of Doors opened my eyes to the possibilities of being able to "shut off" your neighbors from seeing many if any deer. So that brings me to the point where I started reading on this site in this forum. In this forum was the 1st time I had even heard of the term "Hinge cutting". I must have spent a week reading for about 2-3 hours every night about habitat improvement and hinge cutting. Of course there wasn't much info on here about hinge cutting for creating thick areas for bedding, but there was some info on here about hinge cutting for cutting off or creating runways. I also remember reading someone writing something to the effect that Lapratt had "cut off" some of his neighbors and that the neighbors were probably really unhappy with him. So, the wheels in my head started churning and I decided to hinge cut a natural fence between me and my neighbors to try to cut off the flow of deer across my property to his property. There were 2 or 3 major areas where they like to cross that had been there and been used for many years. I had box elders on the property line and I went to work cutting them down in a systematical pattern so as they fell they would plug up every runway. If there was a small opening after hinge cutting the tree, I would cut off a branch or two and stuff it in the opening. Of course with hinge cutting to create a fence I made all of the cuts from the knee to maybe waist high in height. You don't want the cuts to be too high because then the deer can go underneath them. I cut along quite a large part of the property line but with a main concentration on the high usage paths they liked to use and had been using for many years. I spent a lot of time hinge cutting and went into it with a plan to shut down travel routes. Now I just didn't want to shut off routes and possibly hurt myself too so I also created a few more travel routes on my land. I cut a couple of holes in fencing (my fencing) that had never been there before to give them alternate routes to travel. I also did some hinge cutting to create bedding areas. So in short, I was trying to cut off a neighbors land and at least replace some of the benefits they had on their land by creating those same benefits on my land. Now there is the "right way" to do it according to people who are much more knowledgeable than me like Lapratt, Northcutjeff, ect... I'm sure they'd find faults with a few things I did but my main goal was to slow if not stop travel of deer from my land to their land. The interesting thing is that they are pretty much land locked from a deer standpoint now. They have roads on 2 sides that the deer don't cross much if at all and the other side of their land they don't have deer that come onto their land from that direction very often not to mention that by the time the deer to get to their land from that direction they had to travel quite a ways and it will probably be after dark.

The Results
The goal was to stop or at least slow the travel of deer from my land to my neighbors land and I have to say mission accomplished. I searched for evidence of this during the summer by looking for crossing tracks. I could count on one hand how many deer were traveling to their land from my land. The thick piles of hinge cut trees had stopped nearly all travel in its tracks. Deer would walk the edge of it but never cross over. Of course there were a couple of new areas they were now using, but not nearly as many tracks were even going across even in those areas. After locating the couple of new crossing areas I got the chain saw and closed them up. There were a couple of areas where the hinge cuts just weren't long enough to plug up a gap so I plugged the gap by cutting off a few existing branches and throwing them into the hole. I had a lot of travel in the "new" alternate areas I created using hinge cutting for bedding and cutting some existing fencing (once again it was fencing I own). My neighbor has several people over to hunt every year and they usually end up shooting 2, 3 or even up to 5 deer every year. This year’s total: zero. How many shots this year? Zero. Did they see a couple? Yes they did see a couple, but that is all they saw was just a couple. Plus I have a bunch of rabbits along the property line that I can go out and hunt in February and March.

Future plans:
I actually went out and hinge cut (30 min worth of work) the other day to help close down a couple of more small holes. The snow really allows you to see where they are going and the snow showed me just 1 small spot they were using but it wasn't heavily traveled....just a couple of tracks whereas in the past it would have looked like an expressway. As far as hinge cutting for a boundary, I will do some small maintenance every few years and it won't require much work just to keep limbs growing the right direction and thick.
 

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That's interesting. Once muzzleloader season closes I'm going to go into my place with a saw and cut down some trees and also hinge cut some smaller trees for a bedding area.

Post a picture of your natural fence if you can.
 

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Imagine how nice the world would be and the bucks we could all shoot if every property owner did what you did with your property. Perhaps the state could encourage it with tax incentives.

Swamper
 

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I am, first and foremost, a huge proponent of private property rights. I fully defend your right to pursue any habitat change on your property that you see fit.

Having said that, I will say that I find your strategy and promotion of what you've done to be distasteful. Personally, I'm 100% opposed to the philosophy of habitat change for the purpose of screwing your neighbor.
 

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I don't find it anymore distasteful than "if I don't shoot him someone else will". Maybe it will encourage his neighbor to do the same. Then 2 properties will have some improvements. A win/win situation if you ask me.
 

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As to clearcutting and hingecutting along property boundaries, there are circumstances where such actions are warranted.

1. It can be the only reasonable response to neighboring hunters (for the hundredth time - I'm not talking about neighbors- big difference) disrespecting your property by setting up to hunt on property boundaries without a prior discussion of such - especially if shooting onto your property is the most likely "play", or if the neighboring land is largely devoid of cover, making it all but a certainty that trespassing will be necessary to pursue any deer shot by the fencesquatter. By setting up on a boundary, he's effectively discouraging you from hunting anywhere near the boundary yourself, thereby shrinking your huntable acreage.

2. It can result in good stewardship, particularly if neighboring hunters are the sort that spurn opportunities to harvest does while slinging loads of buckshot at every antlered buck they see.

3. It mitigates the temptation of others to shoot at deer on your property.

I've done it. It can be effective. I plan on doing more of it. I've done it in response to hunters that hunted my property boundaries. Some of them shot and killed deer that were standing on my property when shot. I've found the gutpiles and blood trails and backtracked them in the snow to where the deer were standing when shot. I've found arrows on my property that were launched across the line. Some will say "report it to the law man". Good luck with that approach when it's impossible to establish who the culprits were.

Apart from the "barrier" quality of boundary cuts, creating a visual screen is a valuable tool to discourage shooting across the line. In some circumstances, if you DON'T create a boundary barrier of some sort, you may never see a buck older than a yearling on your property.
 

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Let me guess SmittySlayer you are a QDMA member. It sure sounds like the same straitegy other members use.
I sure hope so . If the neighbors are within there rights to kill every 1 1/2 yr old they see , and it is legal to cut trees on your own land what's the problem . they have different goals . Why should SmittySlayer just accept that is the way it is, or has to be . Sometimes good fences make good neighbors . If the neighbors property had anything the deer wanted they would find a way there. Now they may need to do some habitat improvement , and that's good for the herd
 

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I guess this is what hunting is turning into. Pretty sad.
thats what i said when the neighbor let two brothers hunt his land. i think they walked the property, seen where i was huntin and said this must be a good spot lets put my stand here. the one was 50 yards from mine, the other was 30 yards from my other one. pretty sad, exactly what i said to myself. that is when i built the WALL.

ps keep up the good work.
 

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thats what i said when the neighbor let two brothers hunt his land. i think they walked the property, seen where i was huntin and said this must be a good spot lets put my stand here. the one was 50 yards from mine, the other was 30 yards from my other one. pretty sad, exactly what i said to myself. that is when i built the WALL.

ps keep up the good work.
You guys have converted me, and I now see the value and nobility of this approach.

My only concern is that the deer in my area aren't really anything special, as best as I can tell, in terms of intelligence. They're just remarkably average, as far as deer go, in terms of their ability to understand that they're supposed to isolate their movements to just within my property boundaries.

Anyway, I guess my main worry is that MY DEER won't know which side of the wall they're supposed to stay on. How do you teach them to honor the purpose of the wall and to stay on your property rather than getting confused and coming in from the wrong direction which I suppose would then cause them to stay on the neighbor's side??? Which could then lead to my neighbor seeing a deer on his property, which is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!!! JUST THE VERY THOUGHT OF IT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL!!!!!

So, 'splain this.

How do the deer know which side of the wall they're supposed to stay on?
 

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I THOUGHT IT WAS COOL TO SHOOT 1.5 YR OLD BUCKS EVERY YEAR AND JUST THROW THE RACKS IN THE CORNER OF THE GARAGE. I LOVE THE NASTY TASTE OF A 1.5 OLD BUCK VS A DOE. ITS SMITTY'S PROPERTY LET HIM DO WHAT HE WANTS. IF HE HAS GOALS THEN GO FOR IT AND I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK. YOUR NEIGHBOR CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS BUT ITS JUST LIKE THE SAYING "IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME" HARD WORK WILL PAYOFF SMITTY KEEP DOING YOUR THING AND LET THE PLAYA HATERS HATE, AND REMEMBER DON'T HATE THE PLAYA HATE THE GAME. I JUST WANTED TO GET A LITTLE GANGSTA ON YOU GUYS. QDM IS ON THE MOVE SO HOLD ON TO YOUR SHORTS.:cool:
 

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You guys have converted me, and I now see the value and nobility of this approach.

My only concern is that the deer in my area aren't really anything special, as best as I can tell, in terms of intelligence. They're just remarkably average, as far as deer go, in terms of their ability to understand that they're supposed to isolate their movements to just within my property boundaries.

Anyway, I guess my main worry is that MY DEER won't know which side of the wall they're supposed to stay on. How do you teach them to honor the purpose of the wall and to stay on your property rather than getting confused and coming in from the wrong direction which I suppose would then cause them to stay on the neighbor's side??? Which could then lead to my neighbor seeing a deer on his property, which is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!!! JUST THE VERY THOUGHT OF IT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL!!!!!

So, 'splain this.

How do the deer know which side of the wall they're supposed to stay on?
If the wall is far enough on your property, they will always be on your side. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As to clearcutting and hingecutting along property boundaries, there are circumstances where such actions are warranted.

1. It can be the only reasonable response to neighboring hunters (for the hundredth time - I'm not talking about neighbors- big difference) disrespecting your property by setting up to hunt on property boundaries without a prior discussion of such - especially if shooting onto your property is the most likely "play", or if the neighboring land is largely devoid of cover, making it all but a certainty that trespassing will be necessary to pursue any deer shot by the fencesquatter. By setting up on a boundary, he's effectively discouraging you from hunting anywhere near the boundary yourself, thereby shrinking your huntable acreage.

2. It can result in good stewardship, particularly if neighboring hunters are the sort that spurn opportunities to harvest does while slinging loads of buckshot at every antlered buck they see.

3. It mitigates the temptation of others to shoot at deer on your property.

I've done it. It can be effective. I plan on doing more of it. I've done it in response to hunters that hunted my property boundaries. Some of them shot and killed deer that were standing on my property when shot. I've found the gutpiles and blood trails and backtracked them in the snow to where the deer were standing when shot. I've found arrows on my property that were launched across the line. Some will say "report it to the law man". Good luck with that approach when it's impossible to establish who the culprits were.

Apart from the "barrier" quality of boundary cuts, creating a visual screen is a valuable tool to discourage shooting across the line. In some circumstances, if you DON'T create a boundary barrier of some sort, you may never see a buck older than a yearling on your property.
I forgot to mention that he has at least 3 stands on the property line along with seeing him (and some of his other guests who were sitting there looking at my land. I stopped to make sure they knew where the property line was. I was very nice about it and wished them luck as I moved on) sitting along the line on a bucket or leaning against a tree.
 

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thats what i said when the neighbor let two brothers hunt his land. i think they walked the property, seen where i was huntin and said this must be a good spot lets put my stand here. the one was 50 yards from mine, the other was 30 yards from my other one. pretty sad, exactly what i said to myself. that is when i built the WALL.

ps keep up the good work.
They just did that to combat your practice of hunting near the property line. ;):lol:

The future of hunting. 'Screw thy neighbor' or 'Combat hunting' Next step will be to put up a 12ft fence all around the property, then you could make sure the neighbors couldn't get your deer.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You guys have converted me, and I now see the value and nobility of this approach.

My only concern is that the deer in my area aren't really anything special, as best as I can tell, in terms of intelligence. They're just remarkably average, as far as deer go, in terms of their ability to understand that they're supposed to isolate their movements to just within my property boundaries.

Anyway, I guess my main worry is that MY DEER won't know which side of the wall they're supposed to stay on. How do you teach them to honor the purpose of the wall and to stay on your property rather than getting confused and coming in from the wrong direction which I suppose would then cause them to stay on the neighbor's side??? Which could then lead to my neighbor seeing a deer on his property, which is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!!! JUST THE VERY THOUGHT OF IT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL!!!!!

So, 'splain this.

How do the deer know which side of the wall they're supposed to stay on?
I know you are asking a ligit question using sarcasm and believe me I wish there was more sarcasm. I take what you said/asked with the cheek in tongue it was meant as.

Here's "my" answer. My fence was part of an over all plan. Deer come from a neighbor on the other side of me so they don't cross the now land-locked neighbor. Like I previously stated, I am improving my habitat big time with a ton of hinge cutting, I;ve planted a ton of new trees, mainly food bearing along with food bearing bushes and fruit trees os the deer won't miss the neighbors offerings. Like a friend once told me, stop looking for the party and become the party. I am trying to make my land a destination for deer from miles around. I have planted 5 apple trees, a ton of fruit and berry producing bushes, I am putting in 2 wildlife watering holes , I have changed deer movment patterns ect... all with an overall plan in mind. So, instituting my overall plan (believe me I do not know 1/1,000,000th than a Lapratt and other deer experts) will help at least keep a few more deer on my side of the fence. Remember, I only fenced off about 60-70% of my property from the neighbor. A few areas I left open were areas they don't cross much anyways. I could hinge cut those areas too and cut the off 100% if I want to in the future.
 

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I never knew
I THOUGHT IT WAS COOL TO SHOOT 1.5 YR OLD BUCKS EVERY YEAR AND JUST THROW THE RACKS IN THE CORNER OF THE GARAGE. I LOVE THE NASTY TASTE OF A 1.5 OLD BUCK VS A DOE. ITS SMITTY'S PROPERTY LET HIM DO WHAT HE WANTS. IF HE HAS GOALS THEN GO FOR IT AND I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK. YOUR NEIGHBOR CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS BUT ITS JUST LIKE THE SAYING "IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME" HARD WORK WILL PAYOFF SMITTY KEEP DOING YOUR THING AND LET THE PLAYA HATERS HATE, AND REMEMBER DON'T HATE THE PLAYA HATE THE GAME. invasive insmasive autumn olives
 
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