Hinge Cutting

Before and after Hinge cutting for deer

Open woodlots, with little if any understory is not a secure habitat for deer to bed and spend time. Hunters are not the only predators that deer are concerned with.

A chainsaw, the right tools and some planning transformed this woodlot into and ideal hinge cut bedding and safe zone.

Regrowth after hinge cutting

This is the kind of regrowth you get after a few years. Once the canopy is opened up and the sunlight reaches the ground the magic happens.

Doe Bedding Area

Doe family groups like to bed together in numbers of a dozen or more, so build a four star hotel for them. These are hinged and tied together younger trees creating a living canopy for years to come. The raked out areas are clear bedding locations to get the does & fawns using the area.

Buck Bed

Buck beds are all by themselves, normally they satellite the doe bedding areas and are strategically located to take advantage of typography and wind direction.

Hinge Cutting with wedges

When hinge cutting for deer habitat, you want to leave enough meat to hold the tree and by using a plastic wedge you can get it to fall without cutting too far into the trunk, this technique is called a daisy chain fall.

Hinge Cutting for Deer Cover

When you can’t see more than 40 feet you’ve produced great deer cover!

Other methods of security cover & bedding

Security Cover for deer habitat

Switch grass planted for bedding, fawning and rutting habitat.

Buck in cover

One of my favorite photos, this buck understands security and cover!

Hinge Cutting for Deer

There’s nothing I’ve done that has created the numbers and consistent shooting opportunities that compares to hinge cutting and creating security cover. You want to see and harvest more deer? Do your deer and your woodlot a favor and hinge for bedding, cover & screening all the while opening the canopy and allowing regeneration and woody browse to be available to your local deer!

Essential Habitat Improvement Equipment List


– Leather gloves, deer hide or cowhide
– Roll of parachute cord-550 strength
– A high quality hand saw  I use the “Silky-Sugawaza”
– A quality light easy to use chain saw I recommend a Stihl MS 201-T
– A quality safety helmet with eye & ear protection
– A high quality set of safety chain saw chaps (these just may save your life)
– A pair of quality made comfortable water proof leather boots
– A set of quality arborist hand clippers
– Small hand rake, for clearing out doe & buck beds, plus great for silent access trails
– An assortment of plastic wedges 10 inch, 8 inch and 6 inch
– 3-5 pound small sledge hammer
– Custom built hinge tool (http://home/habitatsolutions/public_html.nationscreations.net/habitat-hooks.html) or (richhuttonconstruction@comcast.com)
– Jack-Knife for cutting para-cord



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