Should I remove some osage trees and try to create better bedding habitat?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
Hello Grant!! I live in central Indiana and I hunt places that are full of osage orange trees. But they are also full of deer. The areas I am referring to are fairly close to waterways and usually where the deer bed. I believe these places can be much more suitable for deer, even thought the deer tend to like them already. I am interested in creating ideal bedding habitat. Should I hack and spray these osage trees and then just allow the undergrowth to take over? Or should I plant seedlings. Also I am very interested in creating a “border” with either pines or cedars. What would you recommend as a border? It seems to me that your preferred bedding habitat is saplings and weed growth that is only about chest high, without any mature timber. Is this an accurate assessment? Thank you!!!!! Aaron


Deer will readily use the best cover around.  I suspect it’s fairly open under the osage trees.  However, if deer are using it I’d leave the area alone!  I’m a big believer in the “…don’t fix what ain’t broken…” principle.  Thick cover from 0′ to 3′ tall would offer better protection. However, I suggest you use your time on other projects if the deer are already consistently bedding in this area.  You might consider making a tree plot or hidey hole food plot at the edge of this bedding area and create a staging area!

Enjoy creation,


December 29, 2015