Don Higgins Creating cover through logging

Creating Cover Through Logging

Don Higgins


As much as I enjoy the warm season grass fields on my property, I also like diversity in bedding cover just as I like diversity amongst my food plots. Thick woody vegetation makes a tremendous bedding area and I try to have plenty of it on my property and always suggest creating it when offering advice to others. Most wooded cover can be made thicker and most of the time this can be accomplished with little expense. I start by evaluating the timber value in the chosen location and determining if it is worth having a logger come in and harvest saleable timber. If so, I let the loggers do their work before I begin mine.

Logging alone will sometimes create the desired results but more often I like to go in after the loggers have gone and open things up even more by cutting undesirable species. Simply taking a chainsaw into an area and randomly dropping trees will instantly let sun light in and cause a host of weeds and woody vegetation to begin growing. This is a natural cycle where eventually the new trees will grow tall enough to take over by shading out the sunlight and thus preventing weeds and grasses as well as younger trees from growing. When I use the “chainsaw approach” to creating bedding areas I use some timber stand improvement philosophy by properly spacing the remaining desirable species and leaving those with the best shape and trunk development to mature. On rare occasions I will be working in an area with few or no desirable species. In these areas I level almost every tree and then come back in the spring and plant seedlings of more desirable species. Once a woodland has been cut or timbered and the canopy opened up to let sunlight in, the location will get better and better for a number of years as the vegetation matures and gets thicker before eventually being taken over by maturing trees. By slowly working your way through the timber on a property you can create a situation where various parts of the timber are at different stages of development and you always have prime bedding areas. Depending on the property, I would suggest a new cut being done every 5 – 10 years.

Don Higgins

Doing some chainsaw work can produce near instant protective cover for deer