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Natural Forage and Cover

87894 Views 331 Replies 57 Participants Last post by  Neal
Food plots are fun and helpful in attracting and holding whitetails but sometimes I get concerned that landowners put to much emphasis on them and not enough on the natural sources of food and cover that whitetails really rely on.

If you have timber or even brush...it can be improved and if you need trees and screens they can be planted and if you need cost share assistance it is usually available.

Managing our land for whitetails and wildlife in general covers a broad spectrum of things of which food sources from crops are only a small piece of the pie.

Right now is the perfect time to start inquiring about cost share assistance and I have a complete list of federal, state and private source of cost share programs that I would urge you to be aware of.

Conservation Cost Share Programs

Contact your NRCS office or private lands biologist and find out what programs are available because $$'s are tight these days and the supply is not unlimited.

Planting trees and shrubs is something I have been doing for nearly 50 years and I am passionate about this subject. At my age I will most likely never see the fruits of some of my labors but I do it anyway because I see the results of what others before me have accomplished.

The 80 year old white pines on my place are full of turkeys every night and when I hear the winds softly blowing through them I imagine the people who planted them years ago and silently thank them.

I concentrate mostly on mast production and especially on hybrid oaks and chestnuts in my hardwood plantings and many different varieties of soft mast producing shrubs that provide screens, travel corridors as well as food sources for wildlife large and small.

If you have an interest in planting trees next spring regardless if it is a 1/2 dozen or 10,000 seedlings take a look at my informational threads that will help you better decide which trees, the right herbicides and other planting information might be best for you.

Tree Planting

This thread is longer but covers everything including direct seeding of acorns and ideas to start your own seedlings from top producing trees in your area.

Tree Planting 101

Those threads include a list of some great nurseries and sources of all kinds of supplies and herbicides as well regardless if you plant by hand...



or with a tree planter...




I have hundreds of pictures that make it interesting and helpful as well.

Most likely you have timber, woodlots or forest on your property and managing it properly can be both profitable and help you attract and hold whitetails at the same time.

Begin by truly understanding what Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) means and learn to identify the trees on your property. Utilize your area forester and learn all you can before cranking up the chainsaw!

TSI is primarly releasing crop trees by killing cull trees close to them and doing so also allows oak seedlings to grow and replace shade tolerant less desirable species.

I put together these threads to help everyone understand how to better manage their own timber and get paid to do it!

Learn TSI

Understanding Timber Stand Improvent



Once you have learned to properly identify your trees then your in a position to decide where to create bedding areas or which trees to edgefeather.

Hinge cutting is a great way to create both cover and new browse at the same time and opening up small areas will increase both bedding and feeding areas.

All of these things make your property more attractive then the neighbors and you can see not only mine but others who have shared their successful work in my thread on edgefeathering.

Edge Feathering and Bedding Areas

A number of knowledgeable landowners share their own pictures and experiences in these threads to provide a great deal of information to landowners eager to learn how to improve thier property.

Ideas that share how to funnel deer, which trees produce the sweetest acorns the quickest, what shrubs provide the best screens the soonest and what timber is valuable and which is not are all in those threads.

Plant food plots but don't forget your greatest natural assets...your trees! :)
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The title of this thread is not Creating Natural Forage and Cover for Micro Managers. If you want to cover that aspect then start a thread on the topic. Personally, I don't care anymore what direction or where the deer lay in the bedding area. I don't care if they lay under an overhanging branch or hinge, I don't care if they lay beside a stump or log. I do care if they have cover to lay in and feel safe without human intrusion and natural forage to eat. Hence the title of the thread: "Natural Forage and Cover".

This thread is for people that for whatever reason don't buy into the TL micro manager way to do things. If you want to do things the TL way, knock yourself out. There are plenty of threads explaining the techniques...or lack thereof. Why are some people constantly trying to push TL concepts onto these threads. There are other widely accepted ways to build bedding and cover for those that don't want to spend money to learn how. We are not micro managing in this thread. We are creating hinge cut areas for "cover and natural forage".
If you hiss like a snake, slither like a snake then you prolly are a snake.

Bio, if you feel that Pauls thread is directed toward you then you must have a guilty conscience.
And that is fine and dandy...But those concepts should be discussed in their own thread and not here. The concepts that Paul is trying to teach are not TL's concepts. Tl teaches those at boot camp...you won't learn them on this thread. This is like trying to push corn on a bean thread. It doesn't belong here.
And because Tony Lapratt concepts are quite unique, innovative and for some successful. They are a great framework in which to begin one's plans for natural forage and cover. Successfully hinge cutting areas for cover and natural forage is a huge component of TL concepts.
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