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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some ideas. We bought this property in Gogebic Co. in Oct last year and after 2 seasons I'm looking for some help. Of the forty acres about 36 of it is old growth thick cedar and hemlock that you hardly ever see a track in. Last year it was dry all year, this year was a different story with it being very wet. I know the over all deer numbers in this part of the western U.P. are not very good, but just looking for some ideas besides baiting to maybe keep a deer or two around. Would it be worth it to cut some of it since the deer do not winter on it? Their is not another piece of private land within a couple miles in any direction and from what I can tell their is no one else hunting the area so pressure is minimal. Any ideas would be appreciated
 

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How is the muzzleloader and late bow season. Do deer move in when the snow gets deep?


The loss of thermal cover is seen as the limiting factor for deer numbers in the U.P. It is hard to regenerate. I used to hunt up there, too.


When I had a surveyor go around my place years ago, the deer were all over the cedar tops that were cut. Could you cut a few trees in November and use that as bait?


This is from a Michigan DNR landowner's guide.
Management Considerations

Forests of lowland conifers are susceptible to windthrow, fire, insect damage, and water level fluctuations. Small-scale disturbances from insects and fire open up the canopy, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor and develop a diverse understory of shrubs and other plants. Larger scale disturbances such as logging, road building, or intense beaver activity can have vast negative effects on lowland conifers. Often after these disturbances aspen and birch, or in wetter sites cattail and sedges, move in and dominate the area.
Most lowland conifer stands in Michigan are in good condition, and there is no need to regenerate them over the next 20 to 40 years. Further, researchers and other professionals have experienced limited success in duplicating the natural conditions that created these forests. Therefore, unless there is an economic need to harvest your lowland timber, you are best advised to leave these forests alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
During muzzle and late bow their is some migration trails in the area, but nothing really hangs around.its also tough getting in that time of year because it's 12 miles from the nearest plowed road. I left the auto corn feeder at camp out after riffle season and all we had was 4 picks of the same doe in a three week period. Would clearing some of the land close to camp for a clover plot on the edge of the swamp be a good idea or is it to close to camp
 

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Cutting down large trees, and opening up the canopy to create heavy cover along with browse and some food plots will help any area. I question the amount of return you would get in your area. As far as I a concerned you are in an area with pretty extreme climate for whitetails. Huge population drops influenced by harsh winters. Improper timber harvest and lack of adequate browse and regeneration of cedar has really dampened much of the upper peninsula deer numbers, especially in the snow belt areas. It's more practical to enhance habitat in areas below US 2, out of the snow belt. I guess what I am saying, you could spend a lot of time and money and see small results. It's a different ball game when you are working in areas that have all the environment pieces for whitetails in place. Do you live in the area? Are you driving a long way to get there? As many can attest, the farther you have to drive to your hunting property, the much harder it becomes to maintain food plots and habitat work.
 

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Tornado Jim
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Looking for some ideas. We bought this property in Gogebic Co. in Oct last year and after 2 seasons I'm looking for some help. Of the forty acres about 36 of it is old growth thick cedar and hemlock that you hardly ever see a track in. Last year it was dry all year, this year was a different story with it being very wet. I know the over all deer numbers in this part of the western U.P. are not very good, but just looking for some ideas besides baiting to maybe keep a deer or two around. Would it be worth it to cut some of it since the deer do not winter on it? Their is not another piece of private land within a couple miles in any direction and from what I can tell their is no one else hunting the area so pressure is minimal. Any ideas would be appreciated
I would cut 2/3rds of the mature trees. Then, if I did not see enough regeneration in a couple of years, I would decide to get aggressive and stop fooling around with half-measures:lol:.

All those cedar and hemlock trees got there because they had enough light to grow. Now they are not allowing anything else to grow on the forest floor.

You will never see many deer in a mature, canopied forest of any kind.

The UP held very few deer in pre-Columbian times because the forests were too mature. Deforestation led to the ability of the habitat to support deer.
 

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You are not going to hurt anything by waiting a year or two by cutting down your cedars and hemlock. Try putting in some food plots on the semi cleared area that is higher. Make sure that you leave a visual barrier between your camp and the food plots. If you see signs of your plots making a difference think about cutting and making access trails around your property.

In the mean time get a soils map plus and a soil index from your local NRCS office. Take soil samples where you want to locate your food plots. Add lime as required, it needs time to work. Make equipment access trails to your future plot locations. That should keep you more than busy while you come up with a long term plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your guys for your expertise. When you hunt public land for 25 years you think of all the stuff you would do when you finally have some private of your own, but then when I get it its like whoa were do I start. Hopefully I can get a buddy of mine over from Houghton who is a forester this summer to take a look at it and get his opinion also. In the mean time I think I will work on clearing some of the higher ground this spring for some fall plantings. Thanks again I'm sure I'll have many questions moving forward
 
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