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Timber Management for Bow Hunting Whitetail Deer

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From: Trent Thompson
Champaign, IL
I need to do some considerable thinning of the my newly acquired timber before bow season. The timber is established and clean(full canopy) in some places and full of pop can size saplings in others. The small trees are no more than 6-8 inches apart, impossible to even walk through. What trees do you reccomend allowing to grow and what trees should I remove? I know its a long drawn out question, but I figured I should ask a professional! Thanks, Trent Thompson

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Greetings Trent,

The trees I would allow to grow are called "crop trees", or desirable tree species which meet your forest management objectives. Often times oak, hickory, beech, and black walnut are considered desirable crop trees for many deer and turkey hunters.

Second to tree species is tree size, form, crown development, and canopy position. Ideally, we want these young "pop can-size" trees to become future canopy trees capable of producing a lot of hard mast for wildlife consumption and for future regeneration of your forest.

Depending on the acreage of land you have and your overall goals and objectives, it may behoove you to contact a professional consulting forester to assist you in your endeavors. You'll be surprised what a little professional forestry assistance out in the woods can do for you and for your prized forest land!

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