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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Of the 95 acres I have, 50 of it is open marsh type swamp. It never gets thick and the only thing that grows out there is that swamp brush (like you see in boggs). Deer rarely move through it or stop by to eat anything in it. If I could only make it into something thicker for the deer to hide in. Water levels vary.

I'm not even sure if, in the state's eyes, I'm allowed to touch it.

Any ideals? This property could be real good if I could make something of this portion.
 

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Forget about the deer. Become a duck hunter. I wish I had 50 acres of wetland. In the words of a friend of mine at the USFWS "Wetter is Better". This wetland that you have is more beneficial than you might think, all animals benefit from a wetland. You have deer that use it more than you think. If you think you might want to enhance the wetland, contact me via PM and I will set you up with the right people. By enhance, I mean to control the water levels. The worst thing you could do would be to drain it.
 

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Willow and alder grow real thick where I'm at.
 

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i agree on the white cedar. i had a lot of willow in my low area but the past 2 summers it has been dry and the willow died out.
 

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White Cedar would be a good choice but deer will eat it before it has a chance to grow unless you have a way to protect it and in a wet area thats going to be a tough row to hoe.
 

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I have areas just like you are talking about, I think. Tag alder grows in spots, and there are occasional stunted pine and spruce, but that's about it. And very little deer activity. The area though is dry for most of the year. You will have to construct fences to keep the deer out of the cedar, and wait a lifetime. You could possible spot spray the dry areas to kill the swamp brush, that the locals around here refer to as "leather leaf", and attempt to replace with red osier dogwood, or even white pine for just cover. Willows would be great too if you can plant them, but that brush will be pretty competitive.
 

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Silky and Red osier dogwood should grow anywhere there is ground that is not under water for a long time. Red Osier dominates a lot of "Haymarshes" in the UP. If your land does not have the dogwood, "Red or Purple twigged in color". Its probably do to heavy deer browsing. They are favorite browse species. In the winter when the water is froze they could venture out and browse.
 

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Where is your property located? Believe it or not, in some agricultural areas where White Cedar is not a native species, deer hardly touch it where planted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies!

I'm in Roscommon County. I'm surrounded by state land on three sides. My 50 acres is part of 1000's of acres of swamp on state.

There's an area with many dead trees (been dead for a long while too) that I believe were killed when water levels were high. This swamp goes up and down based on water levels in Lk. St. Helen and Houghton Lake. When levels are hign in the lakes the DNR adds a board to their dam and retains water in the swamp. When levels are low (like now) they remove boards and let water filter down to the lakes.

I don't think I will be able to fence this in. I will have to find something the deer won't eat. However, all I want is cover. I will be putting in food plots to better the existing habitat. My other 45 acres is mostly cedar (great cover add winter habitat).

Is it possible to bulldoze half of the swamp to create one side high enough to stay dry and allow growth while the other gets deeper and better for water fowl?


Orion - there are duck and geese but theres lots of area for them.
 

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Originally posted by davidshane
Is it possible to bulldoze half of the swamp
For something like that involving wetlands you should contact the DEQ.
 

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Deeper water will be attractive to geese, but ducks like shallow water. I created three wetland ponds, Designed for waterfowl and wildlife. They wanted to maximize a 10 inch water level. The shallow water warms up quicker and produces food for ducks faster in the spring. If you did take a dozer to increase dry land, you would benefit deer. The moist soil would grow Speckled Alder very fast. You probably already have it there, its the same as Tag Alder, prime beaver and snowshoe rabbit food, grouse eat the buds. Speckled Alder will not be browsed heavy by deer. Just good cover. Dogwood would be browsed heavy, but you can just stick cuttings in areas where the soil stays moist. They use dogwood for stream bank stabilization. They bury long cuttings lengthwise in areas along the bank that stay moist. It will sprout branches along the length of the cutting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm thinking that at some point I will have to deal with the DNR or DEQ. I've heard from many people (some probably sh_t house lawyers - the guys that know it all) that you can do certain things on your property that the gov. will tell you that you can't. Thats where I looking for sound advice, I don't want to do away with my wet lands, just change them.

I'm worried that if I contact the gov. first that what I will hear is that I can't do anything to improve the property for deer. That's why I need a non gov. expert of this topic.

Any more suggestions?
 

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Is it possible to bulldoze half of the swamp to create one side high enough to stay dry

I don't want to do away with my wet lands, just change them.
Although your intentions may be good for your deer hunting seasons, I believe most DNR's would say, "you are eliminating wetlands" (half would be gone). contacting the right people with the right words may get them to listen to you, (that may be the hardest part). Good luck.
 

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Originally posted by bishs
Dogwood would be browsed heavy, but you can just stick cuttings in areas where the soil stays moist. They use dogwood for stream bank stabilization. They bury long cuttings lengthwise in areas along the bank that stay moist. It will sprout branches along the length of the cutting.
I have never heard of this - So - if i clip long cuttings from my red osier and bury them in damp soil say along a damp run they will sprout the entire length? -

What would the best time to do this sort of thing be? cut now while dormat? and plant in the dormat state? or wait for budding to start and then clip and bury ???

ferg....
 

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I really like that idea of opening up a few ponds on the property...even shallow ponds, while small ridges would be created adjacent to the ponds that may allow for an increase in habitat variety and cover.

It would improve many aspects of your property especially topgraphy, cover, and overstory.

Would be interesting to see if legally possible....have you tried contacting an excavator?
 

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Ferg, for stream bank erosion control, they will bundle 4 foot whips and bury them lengthwise along the stream bank, in moist soil. They will sprout along their length. The bundle provides some imediate erosion control, but the real benefit is when the bundle sprouts. They use dogwood and willow whips.
 
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