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watermen

Creating grouse habitat quickly

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watermen

It was cold last week when I was up north.  Rather than sit in the house I ran around a 7 county area of N. WI and the UP delivering machinery and watching the logging company scheduled to do my next  two cuts later this month.  15 below is good for the loggers, they can get in places without leaving ruts.  Over all I learned a great deal, and my impression of the area I grew up in, is it's over mature for wildlife in most of the forest areas.  Most of the woods we looked at were past prime and for some reason TSI has not caught on in this area.  I saw 0 grouse running around in the woods and not even a set of tracks on my property. 

Expensive machinery does not sit in the woods in modern logging.

 

skidder.jpg

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watermen

Brand new harvester ready to work on tuesday.  The head will selective cut 60-100 cords a day.

new harvestor.jpg

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watermen

80% cut similar to mine 8 years ago,  Behind me in the picture is a low lying swamp and this  will be good cover in a historically good area for grouse.

80% cut 2.jpg

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Craig Doherty

All cutting is good for grouse -- the understory will come in nicely in a 80% cut.  My main concern with the piece of equipment you posted is that head is designed to de-limb at the stump and leave the slash in the woods.  Doesn't effect the grouse but can be tough on a bird dog and a grouse hunter.

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WI Outdoor Nut

Cutting - at least in WI, is behind in many areas, but getting better.  Much of that national forests have been tied up in lawsuits holding back cutting, and now, even when released, is not getting cut at the rate it could.  Always glad to see the trucks when traveling in northern WI - means more grouse and woodcock habitat for the future. 

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Peent

I have zero concerns for slash in the woods as far as hunting it goes.  Take up golf is what I tell people who complain.  You can walk a nice clean and open fairway and keep your shins nice and smooth.  That slash has plenty of important qualities for grouse and other creatures.  I am not really much of a fan of what you are calling an 80% cut.  What is it, a regeneration cut or a tending cut.  I suspect neither one actually.  When a large clearcut is not desired i can often convince folks to do a group shelterwood or group selection cut.  It really doesn't have a solid silvicultural name but it works.  .  Here are a couple of photos of what I am talking about.  One is a fresh photo of a job recently completed.  I remove about 40% of a stand by totally clearing 1/2 acre or so pockets.  I try to keep these within 200 feet of one another.  Included is another photo of the results of these cuttings, about 5 years later.  Think you could picture a grouse using this spot?  I can't upload more than one image so I'll post the results in another post. 

 

IMG_5763.thumb.JPG.37db356640fb7c880f097f87de2aa2a4.JPG

 

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Peent

I can't upload it I guess.  I get the 6.4MB max notification but the photo is only 4.4  Pretty annoying.  

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duluthUPLAND
3 hours ago, Peent said:

I can't upload it I guess.  I get the 6.4MB max notification but the photo is only 4.4  Pretty annoying.  

Send it to me shep, I'll resize it for you! I want to see it!

Lars1826@gmail.com

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watermen

Double

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watermen
14 hours ago, Craig Doherty said:

All cutting is good for grouse -- the understory will come in nicely in a 80% cut.  My main concern with the piece of equipment you posted is that head is designed to de-limb at the stump and leave the slash in the woods.  Doesn't effect the grouse but can be tough on a bird dog and a grouse hunter.

The harvesters shown only leave the very tops and they put it under the tracks as they move.  First forty I cut 12 years ago was done by saw,  Way more of a mess than 2nd 40 done by harvester eight years ago, slash except for tamarack was gone and rotted down in 2 years.  Watch a video of the timberpro machines with a Kodiak head on them. (impressive).  A local guy in Shawano holds most of the patents and manufactures them.

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watermen
10 hours ago, Peent said:

I have zero concerns for slash in the woods as far as hunting it goes.  Take up golf is what I tell people who complain.  You can walk a nice clean and open fairway and keep your shins nice and smooth.  That slash has plenty of important qualities for grouse and other creatures.  I am not really much of a fan of what you are calling an 80% cut.  What is it, a regeneration cut or a tending cut.  I suspect neither one actually.  When a large clearcut is not desired i can often convince folks to do a group shelterwood or group selection cut.  It really doesn't have a solid silvicultural name but it works.  .  Here are a couple of photos of what I am talking about.  One is a fresh photo of a job recently completed.  I remove about 40% of a stand by totally clearing 1/2 acre or so pockets.  I try to keep these within 200 feet of one another.  Included is another photo of the results of these cuttings, about 5 years later.  Think you could picture a grouse using this spot?  I can't upload more than one image so I'll post the results in another post. 

 

IMG_5763.thumb.JPG.37db356640fb7c880f097f87de2aa2a4.JPG

 

I agree from a wildlife only standpoint the more edge the better.  I try to balance economics and forest health and diversity as well as wildlife benefit.  The first forty cut had Approx.  80% of timber removed.  I took all the popple, and maple and white oaks, and left cedar, white pine, and red oaks.  Second forty was almost completely deforested to regenerate. I left the cedar and some Big white pine that were some they figured survived the Peshtigo fire.  The next two this month, one will be 90 % harvested with  oak wilt appearing and a thinning of some red pines.  The other is along a major river and just a thinning of mature trees and popple and birch.  A hired forester writes the plan and my FIL who is a retired forester looks over them and explains them to me.  I try to balance all the bricks.   Tough to  do, when you throw in disease, and other factors.   Private land in this area is not managed much at all, the market may change with a change to NAFTA.  I learned a lot from many ends.

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Craig Doherty

It is interesting to me how the northern forest differs across its region.  Here it has been cut so intensively that as soon as trees are big enough to be sold as pulp the crews are back in cuts grabbing more wood.  I have one cover that we found about 25 years ago -- at that time it had been recently cut but a sparse over story had been left in the strips between the skidder trails.  About 10 years ago they went back in and took the larger trees that had been left in the previous cut.  Last year they went in again and cut a lot of 30+ year old junk wood off the same lot.  Each time the skidder ruts get deeper.  Our national forest is barely cut anymore but fortunately it is only a small portion of the open land.  Our newest problem is ATVs.  They have given road hunting a whole new level of access as many of trails go through prime habitat.  Just about every ATV driver has a shotgun.

 

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duluthUPLAND
22 hours ago, Peent said:

I can't upload it I guess.  I get the 6.4MB max notification but the photo is only 4.4  Pretty annoying.  


Here are the "After" pictures from Peent's previous post:

5a4e4e0fcb1af_Habitat1.thumb.JPG.45c0fb706d84fb31771e677e5ae53ad8.JPG5a4e4e4175e24_Habitat2.thumb.jpg.d9d0963710a9b0efe4a53fd717429871.jpg

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vabirddog
22 hours ago, Peent said:

I am not really much of a fan of what you are calling an 80% cut.

I have not seen any benefit for grouse here in va from those select cuts. It will appear to have some effect the first couple years but I suspect that is from the ground disturbance. Clearcutting is the only true habitat creating solution it seems here. Back when laps were left (whole tops) it was different but there was much more cover and birds everywhere at that time.  2cts

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Peent
29 minutes ago, vabirddog said:

I have not seen any benefit for grouse here in va from those select cuts. It will appear to have some effect the first couple years but I suspect that is from the ground disturbance. Clearcutting is the only true habitat creating solution it seems here. Back when laps were left (whole tops) it was different but there was much more cover and birds everywhere at that time.  2cts

If you had a decent base population of grouse it would be a different story.  

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