I wish they did Todd, fence them in, put up a sign with a picture of them...then I'd know where they were! Looks a bit like what I think they call Fern Ridge - the 233 side of the Kettle - we call it the "backside". Kill'nTime used to take a bunch of his DCNR buddies up there and drive the enclosure... Never did too well from what he said.
On the other hand, we do seem to have about a 2 year old black bear (with tag in ear) that seems to have taken up residence around our place. Have seen him 3 times over the last few weeks.
Muttley, by the time I'd get it out of the woods, checked, processed, and "rugged" it'd be too expensive for my taste. However... if they keep stick'n around like they have been the last 5-7 years or so, at some point I just may buy a license. Who knows.
Last Edit: Aug 13, 2019 17:18:47 GMT -5 by Muab Dib
Todd, on our habitat tour years ago the guy leading it said those oaks in there were the oldest trees in Michaux Forest. They were trying to get some true natural regen in there; thus the fence (blaming deer of course). Didn't work as they've since realized that there's more to Michaux regen than just deer. I still don't think they understand what's going on up there. I think since then they've tried at least three different projects in there to facilitate natural regen (fence, shelterwood cut, spraying and killing the ferns, etc.) As far as I know they haven't been very successful. The deer however do find a way to regenerate themselves.
I was on that tour, as was Brad, Kathy and probably some others. There seemed to be a lot of regen inside the fence compared to the surroundings. I did not spend too much time studying it. Was on the bike wondering around. Did see where trees fell on the fence probably allowing the deer to get it, although the fence does not seem to be very high.
Todd, the flora does look nice in that pic, but I'd be willing to bet that it isn't oak. Might be, but I doubt it as they've had a heck of a time dealing with that little area. Every fence that the DCNR put up around our cabin over the years (4) eventually had deer coming and going out of them. I've seen the tracks and trails in the snow; some went over, some went under, and some took advantage of fallen trees.
Several years ago,DCNR fenced in 70 acres and did a shelter wood cut.I was in there a couple years after the cut and the oak regeneration was incredible.From a distance,it almost looked like a laurel patch.A couple years later I went in it again and there wasn't a single oak seedling left.It was completely wiped out and every single stump sprout had a distinct browse line.Red maple had taken over in the meantime and the deer were hardly touching it.My buddy was the district forester at the time so I called him.He said three deer got in and they couldn't get them out.Three deer or roughly 27 dpsm completely wiped out all of the oak regen except for the stump sprouts that made it past the deer.
Well Doug, deer aren't what's keeping natural regen from Michaux... The herd has been taken way, way down over the last decade and a half. HR to the nth degree... Last I heard (a number of years ago) in the area we're discussing there was maybe 6-7 dpsm; at one point a forester was saying that maybe the area could hold 10-12 dpsm. Never happened and they continue to DMAP. However, what they have found out with the deer herd taken so low is that there are other things at play in natural regen up here. Doug, they basically took deer out of the equation; and yet they still can't make Mother Nature go with their science.... Not the same everywhere I know, but it is here... go figure.
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2019 10:18:34 GMT -5 by Muab Dib
There's certainly more at play than just deer when it comes to regeneration.Oak doesn't grow well in every area but if the overstory is oak,they should be able to get oak regeneration.My point with my post above is that it doesn't take many deer to wipe out oak regeneration inside of a fence.I've never been to the Michaux so I won't comment on it's state of affairs.
"Oak doesn't grow well in every area but if the over-story is oak,they should be able to get oak regeneration."
That's the million dollar question Doug; Why not here? Where's their so called "science"? The DCNR/PGC thought if they could just drop the deer herd (demons of biodiversity), to next to nothing they'd have "their" biodiversified forest filled with new flora and fauna and abundant regen; all would be right with the world... so they did it... they got rid of the deer; and they came up short. I don't have an answer for it and they sure don't either... but they want us, "me" to believe they do. "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me". That's where I am in all this ...
I can tell you that we had some of the worst habitat in the state 20 years ago.DCNR had to fence everything and there was a stark contrast in what grew inside and outside the fence.The deer herd was drastically reduced and I truly believe it reduced itself during a few very bad winters.In any event,the habitat recovered way more than I thought it ever would and the deer recovered right along with it.Evidence of too many deer is starting to be seen and DCNR DMAP'd this district for the first time in about 9 years.Are you saying the habitat is still the same as it was 20 years ago or jsy saying the oak isn't coming back?
In my not so humble opinion Doug, the habitat hasn't changed except to have gotten worse. Where I hunt we once had an oak/pine forest that provided feed and cover for deer, grouse turkey, etc. Where they did shelter cuts (clear cuts) sure... we got new growth; birch and sassafras and maple from stump regen...they planted oak in tubes in some areas, left the rest to fend for itself (science) and that by and large was a bust...spindly little oaks in the tubes that didn't make it as they thought the tubes would disintegrate over time and they didn't. We cut a lot of the tubes hoping that the oaks would make it... Most didn't. Other than that...nothing to talk about. They got the timber cash and left us with what was a once a beautiful oak/pine forest with nothing but trash. Hey, but we adapt... Sorry, just had to throw that in. confused-smiley-013
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2019 14:29:42 GMT -5 by Muab Dib
Not to split hairs but there's no such thing as an oak/pine forest.Pa has two primary forest compositions oak/hickory and northern hardwoods.You find various conifers in a northern hardwoods forest,not an oak/hickory forest.They are so distinct that you can actually see where one type stops and the other starts.You normally won't find many pines in an oak/hickory forest and it's hard to get oaks to grow in a northern hardwoods forest.In many areas,due largely to overabundant deer,northern hardwoods species have overtaken the oak/hickory forests.Oak is a highly preferred browse species and the deer would just wipe it out and faster growing species that are more browse tolerant would quickly take over.It happened all over the NC part of the state and it's exactly why they had to fence and herbicide.Without ever being to the Michaux it's impossible for me to say.However,based on what you're saying,it almost sounds to me like they're trying to get oak to grow where oak shouldn't be growing.
When they do shelterwood cuts up here in the oak/hickory forests,they work as long as they fence them or cut the deer numbers.Shelterwood cuts aren't clear cuts.They cut just enough during a good mast production year to open up the canopy.One they start getting advanced regeneration started,they can go in and remove the rest of the over story.It's a valid silverculture technique that works but it only works where it's supposed to work.It won't work if there's a lot of other species like black birch and maple.
I stand corrected Muab.I just researched forest management in Michaux and they do describe some of it as Oak-Pine.We don't have that up here so I never heard of it.In any event,if you read through it,they do have some challenges in that area.Invasive species,gypsy moth defolation,insects and a host of other things including deer are presenting challenges.
Post by turkeykiller on Aug 14, 2019 17:29:15 GMT -5
Just my humble opinion. Man is part of nature, deer and all animals are part of nature, and all trees and plant life are part of nature. Nature takes care of itself. Too many people, plagues, disease, and natural disasters control that. Too many animals, disease and food supply control that. CWD, bad winters, and droughts are examples. Too many trees and vegetation are controlled by natural lighting caused forest fires and insects. It is foolish to think that " man" can control and thwart nature. Nature has controlled what happens on earth for millions of years, and "man" can't change that.To those who say "man" is causing the problems, I say again, "man" is part of nature, therefore it is part of what happens.