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Discussion Starter #1
I have 120 acres of hemlock. Yes I'd say its 95% hemlock and 2 duck swamps. There are a few clearings on the property probably 40 yards by 40 yards in size. There is some black berry briers growing in the clearings but its mostly golden rod. I'd like to put in some clovers in a patch or two in the spring, and a patch or two of turnips and other brassica near the center of the property. I know the hemlock offers good winter grounds as when theres 6" of snow its only an inch or so deep in some of the thicker spots. The problem is there just isn't any food for the deer. I hope these plots help with that, but what are some native browse I can plant or encourage on the property? Maybe some dogwood shrubs along the swamps or clearings? Olive? Any advice is appreciated!
 

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Goldenrod and blackberry growth are both indicators of light deer browsing. They both are highly preferred deer food.
You ever think of thinning the hemlocks in some areas?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is a lease I have. The owner lives out of state. I lease it for the duck hunting, but want to improve the deer habitat. The land owner would sell me the land, but I don't know if I'm ready for that. So I pay the taxes on it and use it as I wish. He doesn't want to be bothered by it, so I have a written lease to use the land as I see fit.

There is a small stream between the swamps. I plan to cut down along the one side of it to encourage some new growth. So that's why I'm wondering what should go in there. Maybe transplant some sumac, dogwoods, or honeysuckle? I also read somewhere that elderberry it a good deer browse. On family property the elderberry has grown unchecked since the herd has been reduced. It doesn't look like it gets browsed anymore. I could transplant some.

Tussy, you say I have indications of light deer browsing. I would agree. There is deer sign, but light. I've only seen a few bucks this year, and plenty of does. I have one neighbor who has standing corn. I know they harvested at least 4 bucks during rifle season. The other neighboring property I see a lot of white Oak. I guess I need to compete with those two awesome food sources to attract some deer. Some thinning will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can cut all I want but don't want to over due it. Maybe 5 or so acres total in strips? The land is mostly flat. Odd for North East Pa, but maybe 50 ft. total elevation change from the highest to lowest elevation by the swamps. No natural funnels except between the swamps.
 

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broknaero said:
I have 120 acres of hemlock. Yes I'd say its 95% hemlock and 2 duck swamps. There are a few clearings on the property probably 40 yards by 40 yards in size. There is some black berry briers growing in the clearings but its mostly golden rod. I'd like to put in some clovers in a patch or two in the spring, and a patch or two of turnips and other brassica near the center of the property. I know the hemlock offers good winter grounds as when theres 6" of snow its only an inch or so deep in some of the thicker spots. The problem is there just isn't any food for the deer. I hope these plots help with that, but what are some native browse I can plant or encourage on the property? Maybe some dogwood shrubs along the swamps or clearings? Olive? Any advice is appreciated!
Your property is in the NE, with hemlock, and it's not invested with Hemlock Wholly Adelgid (HWA)? Were these said openings created from hemlock mortality?
Sounds like you have a treasure there if the hemlock is "still" living!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The openings are just clearings along the only trail through the property. Maybe old log landings or something.
 
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