Should I use hinge cutting as a habitat management tool on my 40 acres of wide open hardwoods?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
My 40 acre parcel is 99% wide open hardwoods with no real thick cover. How do you feel about hinge cutting for bedding areas and travel corridors?


There are several variables to consider such as how mature and what species of trees are present.  

In most situations I prefer to kill the trees rather than hinge cut and allow maximum sun to reach the soil.  

The limbs from hinge cut trees rapidly growth out of reach of deer and don’t provide cover from 0′ to 3′.  The forage quality from hardwoods rarely is close to that of herbaceous plants.  Native grasses and forbs provide much better cover that most hinge cut trees.

The occasional hinge cut tree to encourage deer to travel closer to a stand can be a good technique.  

Enjoy creation,


February 5, 2016