Check out Dr. Jim’s Habitat Blog.

EXTREME DEER HABITAT is an educational site dedicated to helping landowners get the most out of their deer habitat, with an emphasis on the use of a chainsaw to shape your property. Dr. Jim is a leading expert on the subject of hinge cutting trees for deer habitat.  He will help you to gain an understanding of how to control deer movement on your property through habitat improvement that lead to optimal deer habitat.

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 Dr. Jim’s 2015 buck

Captured on video, Dr. Jim killed this 11 point buck on the last day of early archery season at mid-day after watching him chase at a distance for a couple of hours.

Dr. Jim killed the largest buck of the year 2014 in the crossbow category according to Commemorative Bucks of Michigan. close up 268x300 Home

Watch the self-filmed video of the killing of the huge buck known as “The Stranger”:





 The book is out.  BUY NOW!

Read what others have said about Dr. Jim’s book of teachings about hinge cutting for deer habitat, control of deer movement on your property, design of small properties for deer habitat, scent control for deer hunting and much more.

Leon Hank, National Vice Chairman of the Quality Deer Management’s Board of Directors said: “I’ve read a lot of good habitat and deer management books over the years, but this is one of the best. It’s loaded with good ideas and practical tips for everything you need to create perfect habitat on your piece of Heaven. There’s also great chainsaw safety lessons that all of us can use.”

Praise for the book from the QDMA Forums:

  • “…excellent…very informative and detailed.”  James P. Bipps
  • “A lot of the info contained in it can literally be found nowhere else. Best source of detailed, useful information on the art of hingecutting that exists.” farmlegend
  • “…his book also contained the most in depth explanation of the importance of and how to’s for scent control I have ever seen.” Chainsaw
  • “I have read many habitat books over the years (although very few “how to hunt deer” books) and only about half way through at this point but this is one of the best I have read. I think reading this book would particularly inspire any small property owner. I would have loved to have had something like this when I first got started in habitat management as it covers so many topics beyond hinge cutting.”  The GrizzledSkipper
  • “It was a great read with a ton of great information.” Michbowhunter
  • “This is a great book with a lot of good information. I definitely recommend reading it.” ALwoodsman
  • “Great read and a very worthwhile purchase.” Elkaddict
  • “I finished reading the book(for the first time) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great information…If you haven’t read this book yet, your missing out.” mthornton99
  • Referring to chapter 10: The Story of the Big 6:   “This was a great story and a super ending. It had my hair standing up and chills running down my back. It was as exciting as if I had been there. You have set a high bar for the next book writer. It was an incredible story incredibly written.” Chainsaw

From the Michigan Sportsman’s Forum:

  • “WOW I just got done reading the book, I started this morning and read all of it. I skipped all of the videos so I am going to go back through and watch all the videos tomorrow. Thank you for the chainsaw safety and cutting info. I thought I new a lot about cutting until I read it.” BIGJEEPMAN
  • “Congratulations on your release of this book. Reading it has been thoroughly enjoyable and I’m learning a lot.” IronMike
  • “…a real eye opener for everyone of all skill levels. The e-book format is awesome and topics are well presented.” RMH
  • “Wow!  Awesome content. Excellent book, Jim, Congratulations. You could spend five years browsing forums for information on shaping deer habitat with a chainsaw. Or you could read this book.”  StevenJ
  • “…a great resource for all habitat managers.” DROPTINE
  • “…wow what a book! how can you beat learnin with great pictures, good explanations, and videos, that you can reference over and over. worth waaay more than your askin price to me!” polish.polka.prince
  • “Very nicely put together and great information as always. Really enjoyed the ‘final’ chapter as well – Great story! Thanks for sharing it.” MidMich_007

This book is jam-packed with cutting edge information on how to improve the habitat on your deer property. It includes over 480 color images and 48 video links.


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Buy the property owners guide to extreme deer habitat and set up your deer hunting property to optimize movement of deer for quality deer hunting.


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115 comments on “Home
  1. Dan Wood says:

    Hi Jim,
    Ive been following you on WAS for a while now. Will you have new information in your book or will it cover what you did on WAS ?

    • admin says:

      Dan; There will be lots of new information in the book, hope you will sign in on this page and read the free chapter.

  2. dirk diggler says:

    awesome chapter Doc! lots of new and fresh info that makes alotta sense. can’t wait for the book…

  3. Craig Lewandowski says:

    I’m interested in learning more about hing cutting and buying your book.

  4. Alan says:

    I’m interested in learning more about hing cutting and buying your book.

  5. Tom Merkle says:

    Loved the chapter want to get on the list for your book and Very interested in any seminars that you may be doing.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Thanks Tom. Feedback is always appreciated. If you logged in to read the chapter, you are on the list for the book. Seminar and workshop season is over until after the Michigan deer hunting season ends on Jan 1. I had a busy year this year giving hinge cutting clinics, and expect to have even a more busy year next year. I will be creating a web page on this site with a schedule of events for next year. Stay posted plus I will update via email starting in December.

  6. Joe Mole says:

    When is the best time of the year to hinge cut trees for best survival,during the dormant season or in the spring once the sap wood is flowing? I am wanting to put in some bedding areas on our property and I want to make sure the timing is right. Also, have you ever used landscaping fabric for weed prevention for buck beds? I had thought about putting that down and then covering it up with sand after leveling the ground.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Joe thanks for the questions. I always say the best time to hinge cut is when you have a chainsaw in your hand. I think tree survival is mostly dependent on technique, not timing. I will be covering detailed methods for improving tree survival no matter when the tree is cut. Ideally though, for best first season results cutting when dormant will supply more nutrition to the tree for more robust sprouting. But tree survival is secondary to getting the crown down to the ground so that enough light is allowed in for good regeneration.

      I use herbicides to prevent regrowth but your idea is certainly feasible. I know people who have used wood chips, sand, and pine needles as a mulch to prevent regrowth. Using landscaping fabric would certainly do the trick. Good luck with your bedding area.

  7. Mike Brennan says:

    Great first chapter, definitely excited about gettin the book. Do you offer property evauluations? I have a small chunk of property on the north side of Grand Rapids and would love your opinion. If you offer this, how much do you charge?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Mike. I do not do on site consulting. But my friend Jake Ehlinger is the best in the business. his site is habitatsolutions360 dot com

  8. I have watched many of your videos and was curious if there any expos or deminstrations, or whatever you call them, that you will be deminstrating at in the future? I live in southwestern IL. Thank you very much for all that you have done.

  9. john oblak says:

    Read the first chapter. I really like how you go to great lengths to explain what you are trying to convey along with thus use of illustrations. I have read other deer habitat books that left me wondering ” what exactly does he mean by that”. Everytime I started to think that while reading this chapter within a few sentences you went over the concept again making it clear. Good job! thanks for making the book.

  10. Kevin Schwisow says:

    Trying to sign up for 1st chapter and discounts. Keeps saying error of my em5.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Kevin I entered your email and it worked. I sent you an email. You should also receive an email to confirm the address. Could be the cache on your browser.

  11. Nolan Crawford says:

    Hello Jim quick question and basswood. I remember this summer when you were up you mentioned basswood being a great browse. I wasn’t very familiar to basswood but I have now identified it on another piece my dad owns that were are going to get busy with improvements. We plan on hinging them. Curious how the tree responds to hinging. Also whats your thoughts of establishing some box elder for future habitat improvement like long term hinging. We have a big stand of box elder at work. And throughout the years The trees have been trimmed and damaged and the trees seem to really come to life when altered. Thanks again for your time. One Last question. If your were going to establish some willow plantings for screening and cover what variety would you recommend for my area? Hybrid? There is a great stand of sandbar willow down the road that I am going to try and get started on our place also along the wet areas. Your thoughts? Thanks again. Merry Christmas.

  12. Kurt Meyers says:

    Looking forward to the book. Is it still on schedule for early 2015?

  13. Gar Alldredge says:

    Great first chapter! I’m looking forward to the rest of the book. About how many acres of the property you reference in chapter 1 was hinge cut?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Thanks Gar! I would estimate that about 10 of the 130 acres have been aggressively hinge cut. Hinge cutting has been used sporadically in other areas to create screens or to let more light in. More extreme hinge cutting is reserved for areas where we want to block deer (and human) traffic and in bedding areas.

  14. Derek Jochimsen says:

    Awesome information and readability. Love the pictures that correspond to the techniques you describe. Excited to read the rest of the book!

    • Dr Jim says:

      Thanks Derek! I appreciate the feedback.

      • Derek Jochimsen says:

        Hi Jim
        Need to decide on purchasing your book or purchasing lifetime access to the videos you guys produce…any suggestions?

        • Dr Jim says:

          Hi Derek. If you are talking about Whitetail Ambush Secrets I am no longer associated with them. Not sure what you get from them or how much it costs. My book will be under $20. Haven’t fixed a final price yet.

          • Derek Jochimsen says:

            Yes that was what I was talking about (Whitetail Ambush Secrets). Thanks for your input – I’m looking forward to your book!

  15. Dennis Burden says:

    Wondering when your book will be out, and if you have a 2015 seminar schedule & info yet?


  16. kyle h says:

    Hi Jim

    I recently found your videos on YouTube and am hooked. I am so excited to try these strategies on my property. I just have a question regarding bedding areas of bucks. My property is 65 acres and almost 2 miles long. After the first eighth mile which is about 250 yrs eide it gets very skinny 80-100 yds wide. One side is bordered by a river the other is railroad tracks. I want to create bedding in the back but am wondering if mature bucks would walk that close to doe bedding areas regularly to get to my food plots located up front.

    • Dr Jim says:

      You face one of the biggest Challenges you can have with a small property with the long narrow layout. I encourage people to not penetrate too far in to such properties very often. Instead create bedding in the less easily accessible end and draw the deer to the accessible end with food. Yes, mature bucks will coexist in bedding areas with doe groups if there is enough security cover. That is the way both of my properties are laid out. I consider it to be more of a Quality hunting layout than a Trophy hunting layout because in the latter you might want to hunt between the bucks and does but in the former the bucks and does are commingled in one area, and you hunt between them and the food. I prefer to hunt using the Quality layout bec ause I see more deer, bucks and does, even if I have a lower chance of harvesting a mature buck, which while important, is not the main goal.

  17. JD Lochmann says:

    Dr Jim. Love the first chapter. Hope the book is still coming out this month! I’ve been using your “landscape” tactics with my new property (you and Jake E. are spot on). I Have one challenge area that I would like your thoughts on. One of my LMAs is bordered by another property owner that likes to hang his stand right on my line. It’s in the back 40 and nearly impossible for me to keep him shooting into my woods since its open hardwoods that slopes down away from his stand. He can see all down the ridge. My dilema: keep it open hardwoods to keep most deer from using or redo the landscape to make it harder for him. What do you do to in this situation? Any thoughts would be great.


    • Dr Jim says:

      JD I have property lines like that on 3 different properties. My approach is to create thick cover along those lines. I want deer bedding right there on the property line so if the neighbors move in on the property line the deer will vacate it towards the center of my property. You have the advantage of having woods there so you can change everything in just one year by hinge cutting and creating a situation where they have little or no chance of seeing into your property. They will likely move their stands if they can not see a long way into your property.

      • JD Lochmann says:

        That’s kind of what i thought. My only fear Is that since the property rolls down hill from his stands he could still c in even if I hinge cut. The way it is right now he’s very little deer- he likes to talk! If I thicken it up won’t I run the risk the deer may gravitate to the area?
        Thanks again for the replies. I know advice doesn’t come easy or free these days. So I do greatly appreciate it.

        • Dr Jim says:

          They will bed in the area but he is unlikely to be able to shoot them. And why would they move in his direction from their safe zone if he is hunting right on the property line and they are aware of his presence, while you are hopefully hunting more stealthily on your side? I cannot prove it, but I believe I have deer bedding within 30 or 40 yards of stands on my property line, and I doubt the line sitter even knows they are there or sees them when they move.

  18. sylvain judd says:

    Nice job…im really impress by the job you done….. In same time a have a question…. what is the kind of weed do you put on bed buck when you do a bed…….

  19. Dennis Burden says:

    Dear Jim,

    Have a number of old overgrown apple trees on my hunting property – any suggestions?

    • Dr Jim says:

      The two main approaches are to release them if they are being shaded out by other trees, by cutting the surrounding trees, or prune them back. There are lots of resources on pruning apple trees if you search on Google. But there is a third approach if you have big, overgrown apple trees, that has worked for me, and that is to hinge cut them. Yep. Especially if they are not great producers. Apple trees are right on the top of a deer’s culinary list. It is arguable that putting apple limbs within reach of deer by hinging, while keeping the tree alive, may provide more food for them than the transient annual mast crop, because they provide the food year around, especially in winter when they badly need winter browse. Plus because apple trees are very bulky, the hinged trees provide great cover.

  20. BJ Speer says:

    I have a property where I can do limited enhancements. its a 160 acre farm with 120 of that being farmed with corn and soybean rotation each year. the cover is good but it is only 200 yards wide the length of the farm. I was able to carve out a .25 acre area right smack in the middle of the farm to hopefully act as a staging plot. my question to you is should I put some screening in the middle of this plot and make it two .125 acre plots so the alfa wont guard it as bad or just leave it as one? Plot is apprx 60 yards long 20 yards wide.


    • Dr Jim says:

      Hi BJ. Yes, I like to compartmentalize as much as possible. I believe in the rule for increased daytime use, decreased doe competition, and increased buck movement, of providing food with two jumps to cover. Two 0.125 acre plots is better than one .25 acre plot. And 4 0.06 acre plots is better than 2 0.125. That is about the smallest size plot I make. In your case I would split the difference. Sixty yards is too long in my opinion unless it is a narrow, winding plot. I would divide it twice and create three 20 X 20 yard plots.

  21. Dennis Burden says:

    Dear Jim,

    Have an area that is park-like on my property with bare ground and a lot of over head canopy. Thinking of doing some hinge cutting to thicken things up and create browse. Should I just cut and let the trees fall as they may, or perhaps create a few travel lanes within?
    Dennis Burden

    • Dr Jim says:

      Dennis, in general it is best to leave trees in place to provide instant cover and browse. Whether to make travel lanes depends entirely on your property design. If it is a location where you want bedding, you should cut for that. If you want them to travel through that location, cut travel lanes. If you want to hunt in that area, you may want to create visual barriers to get too and from your stand. If you want them to not use it, leave it as is. Everything hinges on your overall property design.

  22. Brad A says:

    Dr, Jim, I am anxiously waiting for your book to be released. I loved Chapter 1. Last summer I was very successful in making a nice doe bedding area in a flat hilltop using 3″ to 10″ diam maple and red oaks near a food plot the landowner gun hunts. Now I desire to hinge cut the South sides of ridges I bow hunt for doe and buck bedding. But I am finding the wrong kind of trees to hinge. The North sides are dominated by mature red and white oaks and the South sides are dominated by big (12″ to 24″ diam trunk) red cedars that won’t hinge. Do I just fell ALL of the cedars and leave them where they fall? Or do fell all but a select few big ones to use the base of for buck beds by adding cut cedars tops for back cover to the north (uphill) side of the trunk then shovel and rake a flat bed on the South side of the tree. Or do I not go crazy cutting the cedars this year but still use the big cedar buck bed idea? I have been hunting this ridge on the North side of a saddle when I have a South wind. From the North side is my only real access direction also. I’m concerned that cutting too many of the South side cedars will screw up my bow hunting that ridge for a year or more. help Dr. Jim!

    • Dr Jim says:

      Hi Brad;

      I had the experience of hinge cutting a bunch of large red cedars on a
      friends property a few years ago. This was on a flat above a creek
      channel. The trees do not survive well but the structure created by the
      tops is phenomenal. The downside would be that the tops can take up a lot
      of space but I suggest cutting high so the trunks are suspended high
      enough for deer to move under them. New growth will come up in subsequent
      years which you can hinge down onto the cedar tops. Be careful. The
      trunks of cedars are not uniform and you can get some odd unpredictable
      stresses. No need to hinge the larger trees. If you create a very wide
      face cut of 70-90 degrees and keep the hinge relatively thick when you
      make the back cut, the trees will often hang up because they fall softly
      due to their bulky tops. Good luck.

      Book will be released Feb 14th.

      • Brad A says:

        Dr. Jim,
        Even though cedars break of hinges often, it sounds like you are saying to try to cut cedars for bedding areas just I like I would hinge cut maples and oaks to create buck and bedding areas. Correct?

        • Dr Jim says:

          Yes, if you are careful about it you can get them to hang up on the stump. The area we did became superb bedding. Good luck.

  23. Kyle h says:

    Hi Jim

    I have watched every one of your videos I could find online. Your knowledge is so valuable I am getting excited to try some of your strategies. I finally made my first bedding area yesterday and today. I was amazed at how a few days of cutting could completely transform the area. The current bedding area I am working on is 1 acre in size. I plan on doing a few more this size or smaller. I am wanting this to be a bedding/sanctuary area. All the trees are 6-12 inch in diameter I am wondering if should hinge cut all the trees or leave some standing. They are virtually straight up and down and very tall there is almost no vegetation growing there. Also should I be cutting travel lanes in there? Thanks

    • Dr Jim says:

      Thanks Kyle. I really appreciate the feedback. If you are devoting that area to bedding then you will want to remove enough trees so that light can penetrate. But deer need to feel like they can freely move around in it, so make sure that you are retaining space for them to move around. In general, whenever you feel you have cut enough, cut a lot more. But you can overdo it. The myth that no cover is too thick is just not true. Deer need to feel they have mobility in several directions.

  24. Derek says:

    Hi Jim,
    I hunt 40 acres in north central WI. 23 acres (consisting of Aspen, red maple and white birch and all the wooded upland area) was clear cut 2 years ago and is regenerating very well. My question to you is if it’s worth doing any hinge cutting in the wet – 8 acre – black ash stand? I know you say high and dry for bedding areas…any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Hi Derek. It is hard to say without boots on the ground. Deer will use wet ground if there are humps in it to lie on, and they will use them in dry periods. I would do a careful walk of the area and look for existing beds. Check any high spot even if it is 6 inches higher than surrounding ground. You are looking for signs deer have used the spot, with residual hair being your best indicator. Often you will find mounds in swamps produced by old root systems and stumps. If there are other species in the swamp you can create diversity by taking out the dominant black ash. So even if you can’t make bedding out of it, you can improve the browse availability by cutting trees. Send pics if you have them to DrJim@extremedeerhabitat.com

  25. chris wegner says:

    Hey Jim just read your first chapter so much information in just the first 27 pages its amazing. Just last month I had Jake out to my property and he is in the processes of setting it up. I have started to some hinge cutting it is very addicting and I have even got my wife involved and she loves it. I cant wait to purchase your book and continue reading and learning. My land is only a 11 acres we are building a home on it this month. My question I have for you is I also have a 300 acre property I can hunt, that I have never hunted before I was wondering if I should do these tactics to it also. As in hinge cutting, making bedding areas, or should I just hunt it and leave it at its natural state. (I will be putting in food plots but that’s all’s I was going to do.)

    • Dr Jim says:

      Chris I can’t answer for you regarding that other property. There is a lot that goes into it. If someone else owns the property and you make improvements, you could end up losing hunting rights and not have gained from the work. However, I think any hunting property can be improved through the methods Jake and I employ. I can say with some certainty that if you are located east of the mMississippi, you are probably not hunting in a “natural state.” Unimproved for deer hunting maybe, but certainly shaped by the activities of humans. If you are assured of continued use of theat 300 acre property, i would certainly consider improving it for deer hunting.

      • Chris says:

        Ok sounds good thanks for the input it is an older woman and her husband that own it I farm some of the ground now for income and they were looking to turn the 300 acres into a hunt club of 6 members and I would be able to pick the six members and have control of the managing of the land so I just didn’t no how far to take it.

      • Chris wegner says:

        Ok thanks Jim the 300 acres that I am looking to hunt I farm a portion of it right now for income an older woman and man own the land they were looking to turn it into a Huntclub they would like six members and they said I can pick the members and have control over the managing of the land so I just didn’t no how far I had to take it with that many acres I would like to have a minimum size of bucks that are takin on the land also preferably 3 1/2 years or older.

  26. Justin says:

    Anticipating your release of your book. I received your email about the reduced price offer on 2-14-15 but am not able to find where to purchase. Maybe it’s just me, My wife will attest that I can’t find anything at home either.
    Help greatly appreciated

  27. Justin says:

    Thanks for the update on the book. As of this time I’m not on facebook so am unable to log onto gumroad. I totally understand about deadlines. No need to worry about that on my account(or anyone else’s for that matter because we are not going to find this information anywhere else!). If when you recover from this manuscript marathon you are able to help out the inept(ME) that would be greatly appreciated.
    P.S The sale price is not all that important to me as the full price is well worth more than that for this valuable information. Thanks for all the FREE videos that all can use to learn how to unlock some of the mysteries of the White Tail.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Justin, you do not have to log in via Facebook. You just need to click on the link in the email I sent out and then enter your credit card info at the secure site.

  28. Edge says:

    Just got through reading the Extreme Deer Habitat Book .WOW LOTS of infro in there. Will read it again and goto vlinks and really read and learn. Thanks Dr. Jim Keep up the good work PS Is there another in the works?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Thanks edge. I am going to follow with two booklets. One will be on Wind and the other on Sanctuaries. I plan on doing things in smaller pieces in the future. This almost did me in. Hardest thing I’ve ever done since my Ph.D. thesis. :)

  29. Charles Hanes says:

    I just want to be sure I’m on your book buy list. If I understand correctly, you will send an e-mail and instructions to complete the sale. Thanks for all the time, effort, and the expense you have experienced so we all can profit from your talent and know how.
    C Hanes

  30. Jay Dirks says:

    Does the book come in hard copy

    • Dr Jim says:

      It is an ebook only. I would have to sell a print book for around $75-100 and it would have much less content than the ebook does. I just can’t see charging people so much more money for so much less content.

  31. Rob Oleksy says:

    I just finished your book, I learned a ton and I’ve been doing this for some time. You mentioned several times that the products you use are listed on your site. I can’t seem to find them.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Ha ha…caught me. I do not have a list up yet but thanks for the encouragement to get going. Keep posted I will get it completed in a few days. Anything particular?

      • Rob Oleksy says:

        Everything, LOL. Hinging pole, plus activated carbon, zeolite, etc. Also, recommend an ozone generator to be used as you use in the last chapter of the book. Yea, you’re a little crazy….but you don’t stink.

  32. Brad Mclean says:

    Dr Jim
    Good book , good inf.I will put information to the test in NC.
    Did the fellow with the kids that played outside set up his property as you suggested in book?
    If so any reportsof sucess.
    Hat set up will work on my property.
    I had not thought about deer being more acustomed to your scent because of wind direction aroud the house.
    ill let you know my sucess starting plan on Monday.
    thanks Brad

    • Dr Jim says:

      Brad I forgot to mention these techniques will not work south of Ohio…

      Just kidding.

      Jason is really starting on his property this year. So we will not know the results for a while. I plan on trying to get up there this year and see how much of what I suggested he has implemented. The point is less about his actual actions and more about how to think about things and solve problems that seem insurmountable.

  33. Kurt Meyers says:

    Great book. How do you deal with grapevines? I’ve cut so many trees that end up getting caught up in vines.

  34. Rebecca London says:

    Good Morning Dr. Jim:

    We downloaded your Extreme Deer Habitat book and at first it was working. But not too long after we couldn’t get it to open so I re-downloaded and paid for the book again. How do we go about a refund for one of the downloads?

    Thank you-
    Becky London

  35. Jamie says:

    Can you no longer view the free chapter? I didn’t get to read all of it and now I have tried going back to it but says it’s no longer available?


  36. Clay says:

    Hello Dr. Jim,

    I have seen many, many of your videos and now I am looking at getting your book I just found out about. Everything I have seen and read has been great info and very well done!!!! Thank you for this. I am about to embark on trying the new skill you have provided me on my 40 acres which currently 15-20 acres is used for farming purposes. Along the wooded property line on both side approx. 300 yd. I have high pressure hunting from my neighbors. Their mindset is if it is legal than it is down. My plan was to create more cover towards the center to give them more security from them and hunting season. Both neighbors love to hunt the property line and I was going to hinge cut as you suggested to someone else on these property lines. The question I have is do I ever have to worry if doe do bed on the property lines that buck will travel on the edge of the hinge cut/property line in search of these does while making their rounds? Also wont this hurt my ability to move along my property lines to get to my stands? Sorry very new to this. Thank you so much in advance for you feedback.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Hi Clay. All the things you mention must be taken into consideration. Any bedding you create needs to be part of an overall plan. If you need the property line to access stands, well then it is probably a bad idea to bed deer there. As far as bucks cruising the neighbor’s property, it depends on the hunting pressure and cover there. If you provide trails with scrape lines on your side of the property edge bedding, and also provide small food plots with good cover, you will optimize any deer movement towards the center of your property, away from the disruption of property line hunters, and the bucks will do their routes between the doe bedding and the food.

  37. Mitch Day says:

    In your book you mention that deer will pick up on ground disturbances, is this changed in snow where foot prints can be seen?
    Thanks for your time,

    Mitch Day

    • Dr Jim says:

      My view is that their sense of olfactory ground disturbance is noticed most on grass, less on fluffy ground, and less on hard ground. Not sure about snow. It is hard to know if their awareness of it is visual or olfactory. But I would argue their sense of smell always outweighs all their other senses.

  38. Darren Weimann says:

    Jim – I bought the book a few days ago and it’s by far the fastest I’ve ever read a book from “cover to cover”. Our land has been in a forest management program for 15 years. Our second cutting will happen after the 2016 gun hunting season, so we did some research on improving deer habitat as part of planning and found you! A couple questions on bedding and food plots. Is there a minimum or maximum distance recommended to have between the beds and the food plots? Secondly…Our land has a lot of elevation changes. Is there a preference for having bedding areas on lower or higher ground, or is it just a matter of making sure they feel secure, while blocking their view from hunters getting to their stands?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Transition food plots should be the closest safe (unexposed) food sources to bedding. Typically the first food on my properties is within 50-150 yards of bedding. But there is no hard and fast rule. It is simply the safest nearby location with high quality food.

      Deer bed in two main types of locations in my opinion. One is mainly visual, such as the military crest of a ridge, and the other is mainly olfactory, for example completely surrounded by cover on a mound in a swamp. There are of course lots of other kinds of example, but those are the two main classes.

      Either type of bedding can be used on a property that has both low cover vs. high ground. The key is to make sure deer cannot see or hear you entering. So if you have deer bedding on a ridge where they can watch you enter your property, you will have to destroy that bedding and move them. You can move them to a different slope where they cannot see you, or you can move them into heavy cover on lower ground. It is advisable to have as many bucks bedding on the military crest of ridges as possible, but the key is to have them keeping an eye on the neighbors rather than keeping an eye on you.

  39. Mike Howie says:

    Love the book, has my mind spinning with ideas!
    I want to know if you think its possible to get deer to bed within 100 yards of a house using your hinge cutting techniques?

  40. Adam says:

    Hello all ur YouTube videos r awsome
    I have a question about hindge cutting

    Can a fruit baring tree b hindge cut. Like a persimmon tree?

  41. Darren W says:

    Dr. Jim,
    We and our 40 acres are in a forestry program in Wisconsin for deer habitat management. Our first cutting was 14 years ago, and we are due for our second cutting after the 2016 (As mentioned in my previous post). We are walking our land with DNR foresters next week to show them our plan, which utilizes your entire program. Assuming they approve the hinge-cutting methods and our plan to move forward…What should our plan of attack be as far as the order in which we proceed? Obviously at this point we can’t do anything with food plots until the snow melts and we can “dig in”. Our plan is to take the map we made and mark the trees. Should I assume we should identify and create the bedding areas first, then create the transition trails, then eventually in spring clear out and create the food plots? It seems like the only way to progress, but any guidance would be appreciated. We can’t wait to fire up the chainsaws and start hinge cutting!

    • Dr Jim says:

      It is chainsaw season so that is how I would start, with any hinge cutting for beds and transition zones you need to do. Good plan.

  42. Scott Drake says:

    Hi, I have acrerage with small river bordering on the northwest side,how do I improve along river along side?

  43. DAVID DALOISE says:

    Dr. Jim..are you available for hire?

  44. Vaughn Smith says:


    I really enjoyed our online consulting session the other night. I’ve read “To Fell a Tree,” have my silky zubat on order, and my safety gear and chainsaw ready to go… excited to get started.

    I know you speak and give demonstrations at various outdoor events. I would love to come see one of your demonstrations. Do you have a list of dates of when you will be presenting/doing demonstrations in Michigan set for this spring? Through the plethora of online resources and your book, I feel like I have a good idea of what I am doing, but there’s nothing like seeing it in person.

    Thanks again,
    – Vaughn

    • Dr Jim says:

      Hi Vaughn. Nothing on the schedule right now. I will be speaking at the Let ‘em go summit on April 16th in Mt. Pleasant but the subject will be Antler Point Restrictions not hinge cutting. :)

  45. Vaughn Smith says:


    Gearing up for the work I’ll be doing this summer. If you don’t mind sharing, what brand of boomless sprayer do you use? I’ll need something similar for the back of my ATV and could use some guidance.

    On a side note, I met with Rich Hutton yesterday to purchase an Ultimate Hinge Tool. Rich had a lot of nice things to say about working with you… just an FYI.

    – Vaughn

  46. Kevin says:

    What boomless sprayer do you recommend?

  47. kevin says:

    I’ve heard honeysuckle is good to plant in the woods for cover and food. Do you do anything with honeysuckle? If so what kind?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Honeysuckle is well loved by deer but many habitat guys don’t care for it as it is very invasive. If you have it, use it, if you don’t, you might want to consider alternatives.

  48. kevin says:

    Do you spray a pre-emergent on your buck beds?

  49. travis says:

    I have about 2 acres of total clover chicory brassica food plots broken up in 6 plots on my 40 acres. I have good growth and germination. I use frost seeding method to plant. My uncle says it won’t last if I don’t til it? Should I listen or not listen? (I lime fertilize mow and spray grass herbicide)

    • Dr Jim says:

      I find mowing to be effective to maintain perennial plots. I would not till unless it starts to go bad on you. I do not mix annuals with perennials, annual plots like brassica I do till every year.

  50. Judson says:

    I received your book as a gift, and have it downloaded on my laptop. I would now like to load it onto my kindle, but can’t figure out how to do it. Maybe just copy the file with a usb cable?

  51. travis says:

    In a year with below average rain like this year. (North of Oscoda south of Alpena) is it important or prudent to maybe hinge cut a few more trees for forage? If so what would you cut?
    Also would you fertilize clover chicory fields? If yes what time of day?

  52. Bobby Joe Smith says:

    Looking for the link for carbon activated face mask could you point me in the right direction. I loved your book trying to incorporate it into my hunting.

  53. Kurt Meyers says:

    One thing that I don’t recall any habitat managers discussing is the fact that hinge cutting may just be creating opportunity for invasives like Tree of Heaven, Japanese stilt grass, etc. Where I knock trees down, this is the issue that i have…I’m creating a forest of invasives. Please advise.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Invasives have to be dealt with exactly the same if you do hinge cutting, clear cutting, or Timber Stand Improvement. Letting light get to the soil will allow the seed bank to come to life. If there are invasives in the seed bank, and you don’t want them, well then you will have to deal with them. But there is nothing, to my knowledge, about hinge cutting that favors regeneration of invasives more than any other means of getting light to the forest floor. Many, many invasives are here to stay. Multiflora rose is one for example that is like candy to deer, so I don’t mind having it, and I know no matter how I fret about it It will not disappear from the landscape.

  54. Dr Jim says:

    Yes, it might be January 31st, but I said January and by golly it will be January.

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