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Creating a stand in Pines

Old 06-29-2006, 03:25 PM
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Default Creating a stand in Pines

I have some land that is covered in very thick pines. these pines areprobably 10-13 feet tall and are very thick. They are very hard to walkthrough, but i think they hold lots of deer. my question is if you were to go in and clear cut a certain part of them to make an area for deer to come out in the open how big would you make the cut and what kind of shape would you make it. I would like for it to be a good place for deer to come out in and just walk across. i am not talking about clear cutting 3-5 acres, but something small that can be done with a chainsaw. Also, is there anything else you would do to make this more appealing to deer. thanks for any help
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Old 06-29-2006, 03:34 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

I'm only offering my opinion here, and it's based soley on reason. I'm not so sure that would work anyway. It seems to me that the deer use that BECAUSE of how thick it is. It is my feeling that if you clear even a small area, the deer will just avoid it, sticking the thicker pines.

IMO, the better option would be to consider that a bedding area and hunt the edges of it. Put the wind in your favor and set up catching them coming into and out of the pines.
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Old 06-29-2006, 03:46 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

Depending on how big the pine thicket is I would say, go for it. If it's very thick and secluded the deer will be used tobeing there and may come eat in the clearing at any time of the day. The size would be up to you and what you are using it for. Just bowhunting: I would make it a little smaller than if be used for rifle. Rifle: 100ydsx100yds depending how big the pine thicket is. What I'm thinking is that you would want to cover the majority ofit from one stand. Just a thought, we have one very similar to your situation and we cleared about 100ydsx100yds and planted some white clover in it. Our thicket is probably 400ydsx400yds though and the deer feel so safe in there they will come out and feed all day long and even lay down in the clover because the field is so secluded. A lot of hard work, but worth every bead of sweat on your forehead!
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:03 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

My suggestion will differ a bit. I hunt some areas of heavy pine and hemlock but not as low as what you describ. You do NOT want to make a large (100x100) clearing, or if you do you have to realize that it will most likely take a year or two before you have any significant use of it by the deer and even then keep it well toward the center to maintain the feel of seclusion. What I would suggest is to look for "paths" thru the trees and take advantage of them by opening them up a little at a time to clear lanes to allow spoting and firing and any areas you doo clear out should only be a few trees and done as though a natural clearing. (1,2,3 trees cut down and felled so they look like a area where weather has dropped them and if possible leave themand position them to steer any movement into one of your lanes.A limb here and there, a small tree or three here and there. It will take a while to scout thru the whole area for the best combo of usage by the deer and naturally formed paths and lanes but once you find it, you should be able to get a decent hunting area with little noticable change to the area. Also remember to keep one "blind-tree" inthe area you pick to provide cover for your stand sincethe trees areso low there.

Just my advice.
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:09 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

You clear an area and the deer will feed on the new growth as soon as it pops up. Go for it.
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:15 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

Unless it's as heavy as I am thinking and the ground has the usual 3"-4" of needles on the gound then it will take that long to growup unless a lot of work goes to help it along. Still seems like a "do it this year for next years season" job to me. ('course I like to keep things looking like Mother Nature did it and "tricking" everyone else)
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:32 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

Here is a picure of the area i am talking about. the whole thing on the right side of the road is somewhere around 350 acres, if that gives you an understanding of the size. but the picture is a little outdated, os the areas that look thin are actually thivk and the areas that are thick are now then.


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Old 06-29-2006, 04:46 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

My experience with hunting thick pines (which is pretty extensive being in the U.P. for so long) has been that the deer seem to like a SMALL trail or small opening, but anything very large seems to deter them a bit. There usually isn't a whole lot to eat in there, so they tend to stay in them cover, and clearing a bunch of trees will defeat that purpose. We have cleared trails though and the deer seem to really like to use them just for ease of walking.
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:59 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

Well, from what I am seeing you should consider looking for major runs connecting the three foodplots and/or any heavily used bedding areas in the thick stuff and then make some descreet lanes crossing them to catch movement between. A small clearing situated in the center of the three to provide the deer a "staging" and beddingarea would be a goodchoice but you do need to make it akind of safe browsing area andnot open it too much or it will seem like an unsafe area to them. Preferably on a higher spot ofland with an overlook to the paths leading to the food plots. Then I would not hunt over it, but put myself far enough away to catch them coming and going. maybe clear a very small window in the trees to monitor the area for usage and know when to expect a animal crossing the lanes you could cut. And it would be very important to make several lanes that are close enoughtto allow you to spot their movement and be able to anticipate their arrival in the nextlane over for your shot.

Of the thck area to the bottom right, I would just use a combination of small open areas and lanes crossing their runs to and from bedding and feeding areas to place yourself.
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:03 PM
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Default RE: Creating a stand in Pines

Yeah, big is not always better. Too often people end up destroying the very reason they are there.The reason they are there is to avoid large open areas but a half dozen very smallspots may have them concentrated in the area and I don't know how many times the deer have walked down my trail or fire-lane just because it is easier to travel.
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