Well-Known Member
I've been thinking about conducting controlled burns in some of the clearcut areas on our place. Most of the area is volunteer hardwood regeneration that I plan to let come back in tulip poplar, hickory and oak that was previously there. Would a controlled burn in preferred bedding areas be a good idea? By preferred I mean areas that I want them to bed. Thought would be to kill saplings in small (1/4 acre or less) areas that could be permanent bedding.

I'm also considering doing the same in a few areas that I plan to turn into food plots. Basically an alternative to getting heavy equipment in there. Those areas would be planted, probably in buckwheat, shortly after being burned.

Thoughts from those who have burned?
In my opinion... a burn is seldom bad for wildlife. I don't know specifically about your situation though for lack of experience with those species.

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I know if I don’t burn I’ll have a hardwood regeneration jungle. Decent cover and food initially but there won’t be much deer level food after 4-5 years. Quality cover might last a few more years.

I’d like to keep some small areas in early stage regrowth long term to add some diversity.

I could accomplish the early regeneration with a chainsaw every year or maybe every other year, just wonder if burning would be better. That's the only way to get rid of the hardwood saplings and encourage better beneficial native weed growth right?

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