Hunting a fresh cut-over


Senior Member
Thread starter #1
I was wondering today, in everyone's opinion, how long does it take the deer to move back to an area that was just(within the last week) cut over? And would you hunt it? I've got an area that has been very productive over the past few years, but it looks as if the Forest Service is about to cut it....which makes me nervous about my prospects for this year. My stand area won't be cut, but they will be cutting within 200 yards of it, and it appears that cutting will be going on all around me. Just curious on everyone's experience...


Senior Member
They will be using it right away. Depending on the surrounding woods, you may have to tweak your stand sites a little. You will be surprised at how quickly the deer come back and stay around. It should provide a great new spot to hunt the rut.


Senior Member
To make a long story short, they will never leave. I had a crew thinning my land about three years ago, and I was sitting in the stand probably 100yds. from the loading ramp. Five does came out and started feeding on a long narrow winding food plot about 40 yards from me. With all the noise being made by the loggers the second i flipped off the safety they thru there heads up, and looked dead at me. Guess which direction they ran? Straight at the loading ramp. I assure you that they will be used to the logging long before you will be.
Our land in Greene County was clear cut at the end of the 1989 season. We considered letting our lease go, but couldn't find another piece of property where we could stay together, so we kept it. We killed deer the very next year by hunting the creek rights of way that were left uncut and the ridges where we could see for miles. We had deer bedding in brush piles and browsing the fresh growth. Our best years were the fourth through sixth years though. They came in and planted the summer after they cut. When the new trees were about 3 years old, they provided security cover for the deer to move through. By the time they got to be about 6 years old, they were so high we had trouble seeing deer anywhere except the logging roads.


Senior Member
Sometimes they'll move in while the skidders are still pulling trees out of the clear-cut! A logging crew on our lease a few years ago had to stop the skidder several times a day in order to let deer move out of their way while dragging trees to the loading deck.

The Snakeman
If it is cut in time for some regrowth to start this year then the does will be on the edges quickly. Especially if you have good surrounding cover.
From my experince the deer will over run the clear cut. Back when I started hunting the area where my blind and my Dad's blind were got clear cut. That season ( in MI gun season is 15 days long) I saw on average 40-50 deer a day. They were feeding on all the acorns and new growth. Dad got a nice 3 pt on the 2nd morning and I missed 3 ( yeah I said 3) bucks over the 4 days we were in the woods for opening weekend. I remember shaking like a leaf for the 1st two bucks and just plain old missed the 3td one. I did get a nice lil jack pine though!:biggrin2:


Senior Member
I have actually had good hunting on a cut-over before the loggers even had moved all their equipment out! I shot a nice buck years ago in a stand of hardwoods bordering a area that was being logged while I was hunting!
They will be browsing the cutover before the skidders are finished. If cutting is going on all around you, it sounds like your location will wind up being the cover for them. I'd say you are in position.
If they have established trails and travel routes they will still use them trees or no trees!


Senior Member
Thread starter #13
Wow, that's amazing fellas, thanks. That gives me alot more confidence...yeah, I was kind of has been a honey hole for quite a few years for me. The area is covered in deer, and I figured I'd be looking for a new area this year. If anybody is looking for a good place to hunt public land in the mid-state, pm me...I hunt alone, and really don't need to be. Would be nice to have a good hunting buddy. Thanks!


Senior Member
We had about half of our property select-cut about five years ago and the deer acted like nothing happened. We had excellent hunting for the first two years and then it got to thick to hunt. Now we have a 700 acre bedding area that we can't hunt and to top it off it's full of white oak trees. The deer don't even have to move from the bedding area to feed.

Now don't get me wrong we still have good hunting, just half as much land. But turkeys, that's a different story. We use to have great turkey hunting but not anymore.
One of my favorite spots is on a cutover. I've never hunted one while the skidders were working but I absolutely love em 2-3 yrs later. Great bedding, feeding areas. Go get in there and you'll love it.