Habitat-improvement projects

Going through a timber stand and deciding which trees to cut and which ones to leave as mast producers is an excellent way to improve deer hunting.

Gary Barrett has initiated a number of habitat-improvement projects at Oakhaven that North Carolina deer managers can implement on properties they own, lease, or hunt on if the landowners agree:

• He worked with the local Soil and Water Conservation District office to fence highly erodible places near streams and ponds. Not only have these projects been good for the environment, but they have created deer bedding and travel areas as vegetation has flourished.

• Conducted Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) projects. These include such activities as daylighting oaks by cutting surrounding, competing trees and eliminating competition around soft-mast producers as paw paws and persimmons.

• Planted sawtooth oaks, which can bear acorns in as little as five years.

• Plant native white and red oaks for the next generation of sportsman and future whitetails.

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