From the frozen ground of early March, until the muddy days of May when the aspens leaf out, it’s a time to work the land in ruffed grouse country. Before the ticks grow ravenous and the grouse are nesting, I got a lot done this spring.
When the snow was off the ground, I was able to discern the curving path of an old farm road on my property. With chainsaw and brush cutter I removed the aspen, alder and blackberry from it’s footprint. I can’t wait for those yellow-gold days of October when I walk my trail with Levi and 20 guage.
Protecting the Cabin
My cabin is surrounded by aspen of an age that’s ready to topple. Every wind storm knocks a few over. In spring and fall I look at the big aspen and cut a few down that threaten the cabin. This aspen, while appearing solid, shows a shelf fungus that is feeding off the heartwood of the tree. Our forester warned us about placing deer stands on aspen with shelf fungus, it is a sign that the tree is no longer healthy.
Spring is a great time to plant or transplant some trees. I like the balsam fir with their flat needles, it’s a tree of the Northlands. I moved a few, along with white pines, from their nursery along the trail to more open spaces. I hope to thicken up a few spots, for winter cover for grouse. Along the trail, a few pines mixed with aspen makes a favorite spot for grouse to sit.
By Joel Schnell
Posted May 24, 2017.
Joel Schnell is publisher of www.ruffedgrouseminnesota.com
He can be reached at info[at]ruffedgrouseminnesota.com