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Quality Whitetails - The Wrong and Right of Hinge Cuts

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Any NDA members get their QW in the mail today? What do you think of this article? I was dismayed and disappointed they would print this.
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Mine was in the mail when I got home yesterday. I haven't read it yet. What about the article dismayed and disappointed you?
Well, I was kind of waiting to hear other's reactions before I elaborated on mine to see if I'm off-base, but the tone of the author was very condescending toward deer land managers, his own readers, clients, and NDA members. He pretty much said most of us are a bunch of idiots that only want to cut corners and are suckers for every fad and marketing gimmick, just to shoot trophy bucks and make people jealous. I was very turned off before I even got to anything about hinge cutting.
Mine was in the mail when I got home yesterday. I haven't read it yet. What about the article dismayed and disappointed you?
Forehead Nose Cheek Lip Chin
Well, I was kind of waiting to hear other's reactions before I elaborated on mine to see if I'm off-base, but the tone of the author was very condescending toward deer land managers, his own readers, clients, and NDA members. He pretty much said most of us are a bunch of idiots that only want to cut corners and are suckers for every fad and marketing gimmick we see, just to shoot trophy bucks. I was very turned off before I even got to anything about hinge cutting.
He said hunters like to take shortcuts. When you consider the amount of Michigan hunters who use bait, the ultimate shortcut, he sounded pretty accurate.
Ok now I'm itching to read this article.
I would have posted a link, but it's not available yet on the NDA website. Here's the first paragraph to give you a flavor.

"If there is one thing deer hunters love more than anything, it's shortcuts. Hunters and land managers alike are willing to do just about anything to increase their chances of placing the crosshairs on a future taxidermy bill. Whether it's the latest camo pattern featuring a proprietary shade of green, a bottle of doe urine so fresh it will make your eyes water, or an earth-shattering new food plot seed blend guaranteed to bring in every Booner in the county, we are always looking for a return on investment that will make both the accountant and the neighbors jealous."

The author is a guy named Zach Vucurevich. He goes on like that for another couple paragraphs before he offers anything substantive about hinge cutting.
Ok now I'm itching to read this article.
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I can agree with a few things he says but most of it is is ill-informed opinion. QW now has quite a track record of publishing hinge cutting articles by people who have no idea what they are talking about. Especially troubling is his superior, virtue signalling, condescending attitude towards his readers.

He says: "I am not a psychologist..." then goes on to psychoanalyze thousands of people around the country who practice hinge cutting. Maybe he should stick to whatever he is and not pretend to know how people he does not know think or what their psychology is.

He calls hinge cutting an "obsession". Really? Who is obsessed with hinge cutting? It is one of dozens of management tools we use and is widely discussed because it is so very effective when done properly.

He has a list of things that he tossed and turned over in his sleep trying to understand the faulty thinking of his fellow hunter. "After countless nights of tossing and turning , kneading out all the possibilities to why landowners are infatuated with hinge cuts, I have arrived at some combination of the following reasons". REALLY? YOU HAVE SPENT COUNTLESS NIGHTS TOSSING AND TURNING AND KNEADING TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE FLAWED THINKING OF YOUR FELLOW HUNTERS? REALLY? And then you come up with a list of things, only one of which makes sense to me and that is that "It is fun to push trees over". Well, he is certainly right about that.

If he wants to know why hinge cutting is so popular he should try talking to some of us that have been doing it and promoting it for many years. IT WORKS! That is why we do it. It is the most effective means I know of to manage woodlots for deer bedding, transition zones, visual screens, travel barriers, and production of woody browse.

He then titles the next section "'UNDERSTANDING A HINGE CUT" and then goes on to say: "A hinge cut is designed to get the tree canopy to the forest floor without killing the tree. After cutting 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the trunk, you push it over..." NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

Stopping the cut half way through the tree is one of the most dangerous things you can do and will lead to a barber chair. OSHA has documented the death of a logger who ran out of gas half way through a tree and died from the resulting barber chair. ALWAYS CUT THROUGH THE CENTER AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND DON'T STOP UNTIL YOU ARE 70% OF THE WAY THROUGH THE TREE PAST THE SOFT CENTER.

He goes on to discuss drawbacks of hinge cutting, some of which are valid but none of which are reliably a problem. Then he comes to his biggest issue "invasive species". I consider any discussion we see regarding invasive species to be as bizarre as any "woke" discussion on social issues and he does not disappoint.

He says: "...the biggest mistake I see is invasive species taking over the project site." I guess, somewhere in his confused (superior, smug, condescending) brain he thinks that hinge cutting will produce invasive species whereas other means of letting light in like select cutting or clear cutting will not produce invasive species. It is complete nonsense to suggest that somehow hinge cutting preferably results in invasive species growing. invasive species will respond to sunlight no matter how you get it to the ground. They do not know you did it by hinge cutting. This is an example of someone just rummaging around in his brain to find something controversial to assign to hinge cutting as a negative. Shame on this guy and shame on the QW Editors--I mean you Lindsay Thomas-- for letting him get away with this and the dangerous description of a hinge cut comprising a half cut. THAT IS REALLY BAD ADVICE, (even regarding small trees--which kill more loggers from baseball bat like whiplash than any other means).
Alright I looked up this zack fella, he is a wildlife biologist of course he hates hinge cutting & invasives.
I would have posted a link, but it's not available yet on the NDA website. Here's the first paragraph to give you a flavor.

"If there is one thing deer hunters love more than anything, it's shortcuts. Hunters and land managers alike are willing to do just about anything to increase their chances of placing the crosshairs on a future taxidermy bill. Whether it's the latest camo pattern featuring a proprietary shade of green, a bottle of doe urine so fresh it will make your eyes water, or an earth-shattering new food plot seed blend guaranteed to bring in every Booner in the county, we are always looking for a return on investment that will make both the accountant and the neighbors jealous."

The author is a guy named Zach Vucurevich. He goes on like that for another couple paragraphs before he offers anything substantive about hinge cutting.
Yeah, that is a cringeworthy opening paragraph for sure. I did go right on the NDAs website to check but didn't see it on there yet either lol.
I would have posted a link, but it's not available yet on the NDA website. Here's the first paragraph to give you a flavor.

"If there is one thing deer hunters love more than anything, it's shortcuts. Hunters and land managers alike are willing to do just about anything to increase their chances of placing the crosshairs on a future taxidermy bill. Whether it's the latest camo pattern featuring a proprietary shade of green, a bottle of doe urine so fresh it will make your eyes water, or an earth-shattering new food plot seed blend guaranteed to bring in every Booner in the county, we are always looking for a return on investment that will make both the accountant and the neighbors jealous."

The author is a guy named Zach Vucurevich. He goes on like that for another couple paragraphs before he offers anything substantive about hinge cutting.
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So I take it he does not like Autumn Olive or Canary Reed Grass! :shocked:
Alright I looked up this zack fella, he is a wildlife biologist of course he hates hinge cutting & invasives.
Yeah, this dude sounds like an uninformed tool just trying to fill paper space. What a dingbat. I sometimes feel like these "writers" just get tasked with trying to support or discredit something whether they know anything about it or not. There's almost no way that guy actually feels that way.
I can agree with a few things he says but most of it is is ill-informed opinion. QW now has quite a track record of publishing hinge cutting articles by people who have no idea what they are talking about. Especially troubling is his superior, virtue signalling, condescending attitude towards his readers.

He says: "I am not a psychologist..." then goes on to psychoanalyze thousands of people around the country who practice hinge cutting. Maybe he should stick to whatever he is and not pretend to know how people he does not know think or what their psychology is.

He calls hinge cutting an "obsession". Really? Who is obsessed with hinge cutting? It is one of dozens of management tools we use and is widely discussed because it is so very effective when done properly.

He has a list of things that he tossed and turned over in his sleep trying to understand the faulty thinking of his fellow hunter. "After countless nights of tossing and turning , kneading out all the possibilities to why landowners are infatuated with hinge cuts, I have arrived at some combination of the following reasons". REALLY? YOU HAVE SPENT COUNTLESS NIGHTS TOSSING AND TURNING AND KNEADING TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE FLAWED THINKING OF YOUR FELLOW HUNTERS? REALLY? And then you come up with a list of things, only one of which makes sense to me and that is that "It is fun to push trees over". Well, he is certainly right about that.

If he wants to know why hinge cutting is so popular he should try talking to some of us that have been doing it and promoting it for many years. IT WORKS! That is why we do it. It is the most effective means I know of to manage woodlots for deer bedding, transition zones, visual screens, travel barriers, and production of woody browse.

He then titles the next section "'UNDERSTANDING A HINGE CUT" and then goes on to say: "A hinge cut is designed to get the tree canopy to the forest floor without killing the tree. After cutting 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the trunk, you push it over..." NO NO NO NO NPO NO NO NO NO!

Stopping the cut half way through the tree is one of the most dangerous things you can do and will lead to a barber chair. OSHA has documented the death of a logger who ran out of gas half way through a tree and died from the resulting barber chair. ALWAYS CUT THROUGH THE CENTER AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND DON'T STOP UNTIL YOU ARE 70% OF THE WAY THROUGH THE TREE PAST THE SOFT CENTER.

He goes on to discuss drawbacks of hinge cutting, some of which are valid but none of which are reliably a problem. Then he comes to his biggest issue "invasive species". I consider any discussion we see regarding invasive species to be as bizarre as any "woke" discussion on social issues and he does not disappoint.

He says: "...the biggest mistake I see is invasive species taking over the project site." I guess, somewhere in his confused (superior, smug, condescending) brain he thinks that hinge cutting will produce invasive species whereas other means of letting light in like select cutting or clear cutting will not produce invasive species. It is complete nonsense to suggest that somehow hinge cutting preferably results in invasive species growing. invasive species will respond to sunlight no matter how you get it to the ground. They do not know you did it by hinge cutting. This is an example of someone just rummaging around in his brain to find something controversial to assign to hinge cutting as a negative. Shame on this guy and shame on the QW Editors--I mean you Lindsay Thomas-- for letting him get away with this and the dangerous description of a hinge cut comprising a half cut. THAT IS REALLY BAD ADVICE, (even regarding small trees--which kill more loggers from baseball bat like whiplash than any other means).
The NDA is really starting to become laughable
I know!! Isn't that crazy?!?!
So I take it he does not like Autumn Olive or Canary Reed Grass! :shocked:
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An article like this really hurts their credibility in my eyes. Makes one wonder if the author's attitude toward his readers is a reflection of how NDA looks at us too. :cautious:
The NDA is really starting to become laughable
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Exact reason I don't listen or read much if the rhetoric about habitat. i just do it and see for myself. Don't need no stuffed shirt college boy telling me how to cut a tree or make deer want to be somewhere! Talk to a guy who is a logger he'll tell what works. Or a farmer how to grow stuff. Yeah that's a shortcut for sure!!
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Rigid views and a need to bash anything counter to their own belief is a common theme amongst whitetail experts. Interesting because the animal they're experts on is one of the most adaptable mammals in North America.
There. Fixed it for you. ;)
Rigid views and a need to bash anything counter to their own belief is a common theme amongst whitetail experts human beings...
I know I should do a better job of following the rule, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". That's why I was hesitant to publicly criticize this article, but when an organization like NDA prints something that shows such poor judgment, if not distain for it's own members, it's worth calling out I think.
Journalism can be an opinion that you use the facts you want to support your writing and ignore the contrary. A good journalist views and weighs all the information and then puts pen to paper. I did it for a lot of years and if not careful, you can find yourself subconsciously not weighing out all the information before spewing at the keyboard. As in all walks of life, there are good, bad and ok…
I know I should do a better job of following the rule, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". That's why I was hesitant to publicly criticize this article, but when an organization like NDA prints something that shows such poor judgment, if not distain for it's own members, it's worth calling out I think.
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