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Thread: Clearing ground / cutting clearings

  1. #1

    Clearing ground / cutting clearings

    Does anyone do much clearing of bush / tree's for stalking ?

    I have some land atm and it is dense and very over grown, the land was stopped being farmed 30 years ago and has grown wild since, its thick and dense but does have fallow in the area.

    Would be be a good plan to go to town with a chainsaw perhaps and create some clearings etc ... what type of things would be the best to do.

    Need to have a little chat with the land owner but atm he's 84 and doesn't do anything with the land so don't think it would be a problem, he has been quite happy for me to put out some molasses and salt licks and a game camera and shows a great interest in what I'm up to

  2. #2
    I shoot at a Convent which has a small but very thick and overgrown wood. It was coppiced years ago but hasn't been touched for decades. It is well used by Fallow but mainly transient as they cut across from farmland either side. So far I have cut quite a large clearing in the middle which I have sown with grasses and clovers, put up a few salt licks and a few feeders. I know this won't keep them in the woods but it does slow down their passage and makes them come though more often. On the plus side for the convent they have a regular supply of wood for their open fires and using the chainsaw I made a few benches and seats around the edge of the clearing so they have somewhere peaceful to sit. I then put up a couple of highseats on the main deer paths to intercept them enroute to the clearing. As the vegetation has grown I've had to clear a few branches and undergrowth out the sightlines from the highseat.

    I've found its good to do this now in the close season (for fallow) so as you're not making too much disturbance when you'd like to be shooting and also to see where the vegetation will block your view as what looks great in February will undoubtedly be overgrown in July!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by nun_hunter View Post
    I shoot at a Convent which has a small but very thick and overgrown wood. It was coppiced years ago but hasn't been touched for decades. It is well used by Fallow but mainly transient as they cut across from farmland either side. So far I have cut quite a large clearing in the middle which I have sown with grasses and clovers, put up a few salt licks and a few feeders. I know this won't keep them in the woods but it does slow down their passage and makes them come though more often. On the plus side for the convent they have a regular supply of wood for their open fires and using the chainsaw I made a few benches and seats around the edge of the clearing so they have somewhere peaceful to sit. I then put up a couple of highseats on the main deer paths to intercept them enroute to the clearing. As the vegetation has grown I've had to clear a few branches and undergrowth out the sightlines from the highseat.

    I've found its good to do this now in the close season (for fallow) so as you're not making too much disturbance when you'd like to be shooting and also to see where the vegetation will block your view as what looks great in February will undoubtedly be overgrown in July!

    Cheers pal, what kind of area would I need to clear to be worth while ? and whats the best to put down in the ground after cutting it back ?

  4. #4
    To be honest it depends on how big the wood is and how much the landowner will let you cut down? The wood I've got is about 20 acres and due to the shape as its quite narrow I've only done an area about 30-30metres. This lets in plenty of light and as there are only a handful of deer at a time it shouldn't get hammered too hard. I went on eBay and bought a selection of clover seeds and grasses that like moist shady soil, gave it the once over with a rotavator and then planted in March. You can buy a pre packed 'deer grass/feed' box of seed but its quite expensive and will cover over an acre so I found eBay was the best.

  5. #5
    It depends on how much your going to clear and if you will need a felling licence to proceed. This time of year you may fall foul of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in respect to nesting birds.

  6. #6
    A decent brushcutter is your friend!

    if you can make some paths through then at the very least it will improve access for both you and the deer.

  7. #7
    Get a metal brushcutter blade too, not the nylon cord - you'll be forever having to 'bounce' it to get longer threads.
    Bought a 2nd hand Stihl off the Bay of E, excellent kit that has saved me hours.
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by deer man View Post
    It depends on how much your going to clear and if you will need a felling licence to proceed. This time of year you may fall foul of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in respect to nesting birds.
    Thank you Deer Man for that insight, only something I was considering and this was something I didn't think of. Would probally leave it until next year anyways as the season is about to start so don't want to cause too much disturbance

  9. #9
    Hello Lloyd, can you post a few pictures of the areas you would like to clear, and possibly either an aerial photo or satellite image of it (I'm sure you will be able to get it from google maps or similar but don't know how). Work from the ground up, you will need clearings to allow in light which promotes growth for grazing and browsing, coppice is good for woodland and also provides fresh growth for browsing, the under story (mid height) provides some feeding but also cover, the upper story provides shelter. If you get a book on coppicing you will not be far off what you are after, also try and get the game conservancy book, managing woodland for game, its aimed at woodland for birds but the basics are the same. If I wasn't grouse beating for my holidays I might have taken you up on your food for work offer
    I would also look to see if there are any grants available locally for restoring woodland, and you might also look into carbon offsetting, this is where big London firms plant trees to offset their carbon footprint to gain green credentials, these people are priceless, FWAG Base Site

  10. #10
    Only pic I have is from my game camera


    Its a short video, but also includes some deer

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