Wildlife Wednesday: Hinge Cutting for Habitat


Sarah Topp Sarah Topp
Last weekend, OTG volunteers enjoyed a beautiful spring day at one of Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy’s (SBLC) nine nature preserves; the Wah Sash Kah Moqua Nature Preserve. This event was an all-around great opportunity for me and for the volunteers eager to learn about hinge cutting and the benefits it has on local wildlife. I was able to coordinate this event with one of my fellow Huron Pines AmeriCorps members, Dawn Marsh, serving with SBLC and recruited yet another Huron Pines AmeriCorps member, Tressa Hubbard who is serving with the Gladwin DNR Office.
The Urban Redneck Archery crew perfects the hinge-cut technique The Urban Redneck Archery crew perfects the hinge-cut technique
This was a bit of a unique OTG event, as it was utilized as a demonstration and will be monitored for deer use of the hinge-cut areas. The 123 acre project location was a former farming location; it now provides a mix of grassland and emergent wooded habitat. Volunteers learned how to implement hinge cutting techniques and then put their new skills to work in two wooded parcels of the preserve. The parcels were young, regenerating aspen stands in which taller trees three to six inches in diameter were selected to hinge over or alongside of pre-eminent deer trails.
The hinge-cut aspens will continue to produce foliage that deer can now accessibly browse on as well as take cover under. Volunteers Jacob Bennett of Rep. Dan Kildee’s office and Tressa Hubbard assisted me with hinging trees to create screening cover around an evident bedding area; another benefit hinge cutting techniques can be utilized for.
Volunteers learn about the preserve and hinge-cutting for deer habitat Volunteers learn about the preserve and hinge-cutting for deer habitat
It was a perfect day to be outside and volunteer for wildlife! The Sieveke’s from Saginaw made it a family affair. Eric Bartholomew and his son, Scott, learned some new tactics to benefit deer for their next hunting season together. SBLC Board member Pat Trahn got his boots muddy and put in a hard day’s work in his area. The dedicated Urban Redneck Archery (URA) crew was very well equipped for the event; showing up with folding handsaws, loppers, and a very nice pole-saw they put to good use. Adam Schroeder of URA put together a video using footage he took during the event,
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This weekend we were in one of Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy's nine Nature Preserves; the Wah Sash Kah Moqua Nature Preserve. We were here with the Great MUCC and the #OTG #OnTheGround Project with their coordinator Sarah Topp demonstrating the "Hinge Cut" and telling why it is so useful and benificial to the habitat. Thanks for the great time as always and cant wait for the next event. We can always use Volunteers so if you want to have a great experience and maybe learn something new check out https://mucc.org/ontheground/ #Volunteer4Wildlife #HingeCut #HingeCutting #DeerHabitat #WhitetailDeer #MichiganWhitetail #UrbanRedneckArchery #MichiganOutdoors #MichiganOutOfDoors #GreatOutdoors #NatureNerd #Nature

Posted by Urban Redneck Archery on Monday, April 13, 2015
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SBLC’s Conservation Lead, Trevor Edmonds, was impressed by how well each of the volunteers caught on to the hinge-cut technique. Since we were working with smaller trees for this area, we utilized handsaws rather than chainsaws. I noticed that using the handsaws and habitat hooks allowed for a much stronger hinge and a greater percentage of the cambium layer to remain established. I’m looking forward to hearing good results from the benefits this event has provided for the area! Of course, we couldn't have done this without the grant support from Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN); thank you!

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