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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe Bowmike can pin this thread and it can be a place where we can talk about what habitat work we did that day. Small game hunting is much improved by habitat work and it would be good to see what others are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This isn't small game work but I pruned an apple tree where I deer hunt. I have two other trees to do yet. The deer love those apples in the fall
 

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Sounds like a good idea. I just found out that after this growing season is over that a local club is going to take 1.3 acres that is currently being farmed and make it a food plot. Every bit helps.
 

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I hinge cut trees in our fence rows today at the farm. Should provide many benefits to small and large game.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you explain hinge cutting to those who may not know what it is? How long will a tree live when it's hinged cut?
 

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Hinge cutting is cutting a tree only partially through until it folds over like a hinge. Normally there is 1/3-1/4 of the tree trunk still intact to provided foliage, buds, and cover, while keeping the tree alive.

As far as life expectancy of the tree, it varies. Species, soil, and location will all determine how long the tree will live. Yet, even after death, the tree still provide something to the wildlife.

The hinge cutting also reduces "Hawk Perches" and allows more sun to hit the plot or fields to increase yields.
 

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I have been planting American plum thickets at my uncles place as a refuge to give cover for stocked ringneck pheasant.

I plan on planting some more plums this spring along with some white pine and Norway spruce as thermal cover for snow.

Maybe we will do some cutting but I am not sure.
 

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The past couple years we have been planting a lot of trees and fruit bearing shrubs. Also created a new food plot that used to be an old logging road so it will benefit more then just deer. This year we are planting just a few shrubs/trees so we can concentrate more on cutting/creating more "edge" habitat along our atv and logging roads. Also going to open up some more "spring seep" areas to create better woodcock habitat. Promoting more goldenrod growth in that habitat and also pruning up some apple trees. This will also be the 4th year for our Warm Season grass field so we will decide if its growth is being of benefit or we want to move in another direction
 

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Rober, I'm wondering why you would want to promote golden rod? Areas with allot of goldenrod provide a very sparse amount cover and feed from late fall through mid spring. It pretty much flattens out completely from snow.
I rarely find any small game hanging out in dense stands of it during the hunting season. I think small game and most other wildlife benefits more among plantings of asters. Many asters flower all summer and fall so they are good for pollinating insects. They have a spreading root system that holds soil well. They form seed tufts for birds. They provide a stiff canopy that protects from raptors and heavy snow and wind yet allows enough light to filter down to promote low green growth along the ground. I consistently will find good wildlife populations in areas that have allot of heath aster around. Birds, rabbits, mice, etc.. It has just the right amount of density and openness that wildlife easily can get around in it yet be fairly well concealed.
 

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I find most of my woodcock on grass woodland seep edges. I feel they like to walk around and poke through the leaves with cover overhead than ground with a mat of grass.I have found alot under mature autumn olive with little grass cover then in grass cover
 

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Dobsonknob said:
No.

Golden rod mixed with other flowers and forbs is good for insects.

Birds eat insects.
Correct. Golden Rod also is good escape cover for brooding grouse. The single stem and height of the plant allows young grouse to escape avian predators by weaving thru it as they run. I have a lot of food already on my land so adding more escape cover is always a good thing. I am fortunate that my land is a great place for brooding grouse and we always have numerous broods each year.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We have found that goldenrod does thin out our warm season grass fields and we spray for it every couple of years. If the goldenrod is high and thick, it is good rabbit and pheasant cover. Not as good as switchgrass but it's free.
 

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as for golden rod i see at all times of the year, deer, turkey, bear, bunnies, grouse, woodcock, yotes, bobcats, porkies, squirrels, song birds and many more species using it.
 

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Golden rod does not hold up well under heavy snow but if its mixed with other plants like switchgrass or blackerries, its OK.

The golden rod stems can lodge against the blackberries

I like good, thick blackberry plants to help keep grasses and forbs upright.
 

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another positive thing of goldenrod is deer make trails through it which creates areas for growth. the small game can use these and then disappear in a flash. imo
 

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I live on just over 3 acres of property, 2 of which is currently farmed by my local farmer. My plan has always been to eventually utilize it. I've alway wanted a pond, and hoped to build one in a low portion of the field that tends to hold water much of the year. I figured I'd plant the rest in a mix of wildflowers and even sorghum and sunflowers and I could use it for training and even hunting. However, I'm thinking I might try to create several wetlands (I have several seasonal springs on the property) and young forest type habitat such as silky and grey dogwoods, etc and try to attract more woodcock among other critters. The neighboring property is a mix of small woodlot and fallow field and also has seasonal springs.
 

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Goldenrod is a good native forb to have on the property. You guys have already touched on many positive aspects of it. There is another one, goldenrod attracts pollinators. Bees and butterflies, etc will hang around and that's good for all of our flowering trees, shrubs and flowers!!
 
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