Forestry can Improve Your Hunting
Better Forestry, Better Hunting
Posted by Bill Winke on 09.30.11

Brady Miller with a great buck.Today's blog is actually a guest blog from Brady Miller.  Bradey has BS degrees in Wildlife Management and Forestry from Purdue University, and is a Forester for the Dept of
Defense, located in Indiana.  He is also an avid whitetail hunter/outdoorsman.  He is the County Coordinator for a venison donation program called Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and would like to share information about this nationwide program that hunters can take advantage of to help feed those less fortunate in our communities.  The following blog was written by Brady Miller.

"For several years now food plots have taken center stage for aiding land managers in their whitetail management, and for good reason. Food plots are great additions to improve the habitat on land and can often improve the hunting if they are utilized correctly. However, with all of the hype about food plots many people forget about their forest and the opportunities for improving it for better deer management. Your forest provides many opportunities for not only changing the habitat but also for some great hunting, especially during daylight hours.

Typical forest management includes: timber harvesting, timber stand improvement and prescribed burning. Each of these common strategies can not only improve the health of your forest but can also improve your deer health and hunting. Timber harvesting or “logging” is probably the one that gets the most criticism due to its general nature of being such an immediate disturbance to the area, but it is also the one that can be the most rewarding in terms of how it can improve your hunting.  If you learn how to hunt the transitions of habitat resulting from a timber harvest you are set for some great hunting. Timber stand improvement (TSI) is also a great tool for improving your property.

Tree harvest and Timber Stand Improvement are important tools for deer hunters and managers.There are several different types of TSI to consider when managing your property, in the Midwest these include but are not limited to: Crop Tree Release, Grapevine Control, Cleaning and Post Timber Harvest TSI. Each of these has specific objectives for their use in forest management, and each can influence how you hunt these wooded areas. Prescribed burning is another great tool that land managers have available. This technique is probably the least used for the typical forest landowners but provides additional opportunity for land management and can improve your land and hunting if applied correctly.

All of these common forest management tools can improve the quality of your forest as well as provide some great hunting opportunities. Before attempting any of these strategies on your property you should contact your state forestry office or consulting forester, these people are there to help you ensure that you’re doing the right thing to help you accomplish your management objectives on your land. Future blog posts and articles will get more into the details of why and when these different techniques are used in forest management and will provide some insight into how to take advantage of these to improve your hunting. "