Pinetag's Plot - 43 acres in Virginia

They finished surveying the line yesterday so I went out and met with the logger. All is well with the property line. We spoke about him logging my proposed 8 acres and it seems to be a go. Since this deal will only really work while he is down that way, I am in a bit of a time crunch so I'm going to mark the boundaries this week of what i want cut. I will also mark the mature red oaks I want to keep in the interior. Hopefully we can sign a contract next week and then they can start. He said it wouldn't take long so it sure would be nice for them to be finished up by early Nov!

I added an orange overlay of what I'm looking to cut and you can see my existing bedding pockets and trails underneath. I notched out a small section in the SW corner so I can make a linear plot (running from SW to NE into the cutover) for next year that should provide a good shot with the ML or rifle from the 1/2 mile stand. I tried to leave enough distance from the proposed edges to my perimeter access trail/stands so that I should be able to get in without spooking bedded deer in the thick stuff. I am also optimistic that this will improve my wind consistency once everything is opened up. I'm excited!

Any feedback on my layout?


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I had the day off on Friday, but chose to skip the morning hunt because my daughter and i had planned an evening hunt together. Well, one of the nice 8's came through at first light (first pic) by the stand i was likely to sit with that wind. Go figure.

The evening turned out to have some excitement as well. We sat in the blind on the ridge and early on, a lone hen worked her way around us. We watched her for a good 15 minutes but she never offered up a clean shot. Then, something came right up behind us to the base of the blind and my daughter was worried that it was going to come in from underneath, so I tapped the blind and it scurried onto the dead fall that ran alongside us. I looked out the left window and saw a little chipmunk about 2 feet away. She was able to peak out and see it as well and thought he was so cute. She had never seen a chipmunk up close. Then, right at last light a small buck pushed a doe through the bottom in front of us. A minute or two later a nice buck came in. He stayed about 45 yards out and it was a little too dark to see him well, but based on his right side it appeared to be one of the 8's. We watched him work his way along the same line that the doe and smaller buck had used. Obviously no shot was offered but we enjoyed the time together and she said it was one of her favorite hunts. We were able to get out clean without spooking anything and as of an hour ago, he still seems to be keeping a close watch on the doe (second pic). The camera is about 50 yards to the left of the blind. Hopefully we get another opportunity soon.



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Hope you or your Daughter gets a chance at him.
Thanks deadeye! She's just an oberver until gun season. She has never shot a bow and for some reason has an aversion to shooting the ML. I thinks it's all the smoke and the boom has a different note so I believe she's a little scared if it, but hopefully she can get a crack at one during gun season. I'll be heading out again this Fri.

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The timber harvest started on my 8 acres this week and they are making good progress. I eased down the trail after the morning hunt yesterday to take a closer look. Here are a couple shots from two different stand locations and then a zoomed in shot of them skidding out some logs.

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Here is what I plan to do to get the most out of the area. I want to create a lot of edge through a combination of plots, conifer seedling pockets, NWSG's, and native hardwood regeneration. First i will create a perimeter plot with spokes headed toward the center as well as toward stands in the other direction. Second I will create thermal cover pockets using Balsam Fir seedlings, which do well in bottomland soils. Next I would like to seed some NWSG pockets for bedding. Last I would like to create a buck sneak trail (just inside the timber) that goes all the way around it to give bucks a chance to scent check all the bedding areas/food and direct them in front of my stands.

Yellow - cutover perimeter
Green - food plots
Brown - conifer plantings
Peach - NWSG'S
White - sneak trail
Orange - existing stand locations

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I haven't posted in a while so here are some updates.

The timber harvest definitely impacted deer movement, but bucks were still around some during daylight. I just missed seeing the big 6 (1st pic) on a couple of occasions as well as a 2.5 year old 8 that I missed by mere minutes one Sun morning before church(2nd pic - although he came through the same plot around 9:00 AM but that pic is blurry). I did take out a mangy coyote in Nov.

As far as the cutover, I started clearing debris from the perimeter trail left by the skidders right after the season ended. I don't plan to use that trail for hunting access, just a way to guide deer toward my low impact stands as well as a way to retrieve any downed deer that run out into the thick stuff. As I continue working my way around the perimeter I am throwing down rye for early germination and then eventually a spring mix to get some summer food established. To prevent a monoculture of woody regeneration, I am also getting ready to frost seed a mix of NWSG's and wildflowers in various pockets on the high spots. The couple remaining mature oaks will provide good hard mast this fall. I have some white cedars on order that should be able to withstand my wet soil and provide thermal cover in a couple strategic areas. I can't wait to see how much the deer use the edges this coming fall. I'll follow up with some regen pics as the weather warms up.

I also made a couple of posted sign mounts for the property line where I don't have any trees left.

The 2.5 yo 8 and a wide 7 pointer that got busted up both made it through the season.

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I've been able to get out multiple times over the last few weeks to try to get my cutover work done before spring green up. Here is what I've accomplished...

1. Cleared about 90% of perimeter trail around the outside edge of the cutover
2. Made multiple ditch crossings so I don't tear the trail up too bad when it's wet
3. Seeded rye on the entire perimeter trail
4. Cleared and seeded two micro plots in the NE and SE corners (stands nearby both locations)
5. Seeded warm season grasses on some the raised hummocks to create different habitat structure aside from the woody regen that is expected
6. Seeded a wildflower wetland mix in various pockets to provide additional food, cover, and edge
7. Cut out a section from a fallen dead Ash (I believe) tree that was across my existing atv trail and then created a short trail diversion around another dead tree that was across the path


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The big 6 has been missing from cameras for a while but he made it through the season and has already dropped his left side. So between him, the young 8 with the short G2, and the busted up 7 pt, there should be some good prospects for the 2023 season!


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You’ve been a busy fellow ! I like habitat work, especially laying out food plots and trails to get to stands. Alas, on my 80 there’s not much more to do, and I enjoyed that as much as hunting.
You’ve been a busy fellow ! I like habitat work, especially laying out food plots and trails to get to stands. Alas, on my 80 there’s not much more to do, and I enjoyed that as much as hunting.
I have found over the last few years that I also like the habitat work as much as the hunting!

I've been taking every free moment to get things done because I knew there was a fairly short window for getting the cutover the way I wanted it before the natural regen made it 10 times harder. Starting with clean soil gave me some good design opportunities.

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I have a few more bucks that started showing up on camera with some odd racks and I will be curious to see if I can find any sheds from them as well as if they show back up in the fall.

Also, I created some more deer trails around the cutover that should hopefully guide them in front of existing stand locations. I still have a large list of late winter/early spring work to do over the next couple months.

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We have some weird racks also. We had hoped to take some of them out but were not presented an opportunity. Good luck with your new trails and "to do" list
We have some weird racks also. We had hoped to take some of them out but were not presented an opportunity. Good luck with your new trails and "to do" list
The mature deer that I have been getting pics of over the last couple years have mostly been nice typicals, so it's just these young ones that look odd. Maybe they'll develop better form as they get older!

Hopefully you get a crack at your odd ones this upcoming season. Got any habitat plans in the works?

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