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Stressless 'Don't Blink', Ski Jump Pond/View Access. Part 1

#1
This is the thread of opening up the pond/view across the pond and woods from the shed then the cabin on the land that my brother Bill, Dad and I went in on together and became mine. After putting in 2 oil wells in 5 years and timbered, we had the local Amish build a shed that we used as the Cabin for about 15 years, Dad and Bill clear cut it in 1995 -after the HORRIBLY wrong advice from a local lumber shyster - who eventually went to prison for stealing lumber from clients... (that's an entirely different thread)-...after that you could see the pond/view pretty for well about 4-5 years.. then it grew up - covered up the pond bit by bit and then just occluded it. Dad and Bill had a site we agreed on flattened during the logging - best site on the 100 for a good view, security and privacy. This Prat 1 bit is but a few of the pics over 15 years or so, the cabin was the focal point, the nexus of where we'd go, when we went to the property. How fast time flies by and how fast recovery change of a habitat from neglect/negligent mangement to managed property.... I am always learning, at the end of part 2 I'll list out Ohio wildlife and forestry services with contact and link info.

View from about 1997

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View from 1999 - Father, Brother, Son, Father-in-law (only my son and I left)
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View from 2002
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The farm became mine to manage in 2013 when Bill passed, I took stock of it, cleaned up up, the 2013 Cabin.
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Inside - not insulated, no power, no water, one room with a loft.
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It was functional, shit-tons of good times and memories - but now it was hemmed in by woods all around, in the winter you couldn't see the pond thru the trunks. In 2013 I deceded to put a cabin at the best location for the view, move the old cabin about 45' and turn it into a shed.
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View from the Summer 2013 - My mom, on the edge of the cabin, reflecting. Yes that's the pond down.
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While the Amish worked building the cabin, I worked on clearing about 30-40% of the stems in the overlook, trimed the heck out of what I could reach on top of an extesion ladder with a pole saw extended all the way.
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It worked - but I always knew I could do better, but it would be a load of work, so I enjoyed it for about 5 years... Continued in Part 2.
 
#5
Stressless 'Don't Blink', Ski Jump Pond/View Access. Part 2

With the years slipping by and the canopy not getting higher or opening up the view in appreciable way my lifelong buddy Chris and I discussed opening it up late last winter, decided on hitting it right at opening of turkey season (those long afternoons evenings of no hunting). Chris showed up and we got to work. In two days of 5-7 hours per day, we got it dropped, bunked, limbed, stacked and covered to dry. they say a picture is worth thousand words so with just some captions here's the story.

Date time on the strip, it wasn't bad but for forage + making a view I had seen it 25 years earlier.
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LOL, I set the game cam on timelapse, 4 hours... so it waited 4 hours to take the next one. About 2/3 thru the first day. Both Chris and I are mid 50's, but we keep active and have lots of time in the woods, timber cutting experience, lots if communication in site, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and downright dangerous folks, unless you plan, communicate and think.
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End of day two, the left side looking down still needed some work but from the start we figured we got 90%of it done. That would get knocked out over the next few months.
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I covered the bunks with plastic, allowing air to flow to speed drying, got the rest of the trees down and stacked them and lims on the brush piles and left to dry for 5 months. The view with foliage, since this was a full canopy, I put down a cheap field grazing grass blend to gild the dirt, knowing I'd burn it down and plant a quality plot on the bottom Spring of 2020.
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To give an idea of how big the stacks are.
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So in Sep when we cut in Spoil Plot, we also burned the stacks in place, waited for a evening with zero wind, also used 'Gods Match' = cut cardboard 4-5" x 20" shove them compact into a 5 gallon bucket, pour about 2 gallon of diesel in it, let sit 30 mins, pull them out shove into middle of what you want burned, light, stand way back. Ski Jump Plot and open view with all the piles burnt in place.
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With the piles out, I got the stump grinder in two days later, smae weekend we ground Spoil plot stumps, we blew thru them some 24" sugar maple stumps - all gone. Seeded Ski Jump woth annual clover and radish, (figured it had plenty of potash) and oversexed cereal rye. Ski Jump all done and getting for bow season.
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The rise also works good as an elevated shooting position, the seeding didn't work well as I planted right at the start of the drought Sep/Oct 2019. It came up enough, much more forage then what was under canopy.
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The feeling, to have returned the view, opened up the area and provided additional dry tones of forage is just great. I had setup primary and secondary, passive and active security systems on the property, and added another one. This is from that cam during the last full moon.
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Total cost of doing this 2 gallons diesel,
A buddy that will work as hard or harder then you, a chainsaw blade, enough determination with vision to make your goals reality. Best Regards- Stressless.
 

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#6
I read extensively, listen to pod-casts, follow certain folks including Youtube channels to get ideas, verify hunches and have Pro-level discussions concerning my overall management goals. I am also not at all afraid to ask for help/knowledge. If you are unsure of your destination, how will you ever know you are on the right trajectory. Some of the Ohio services offered for free:
  • I recommend that you contact your local Ohio Private Lands Biologist for personalized information on managing your land, from stream corridors to pastures, prairies, woodlands, and urban landscapes. http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/species-and-habitats/private-lands-management
  • I recommend contacting your local Ohio service Forester, there are 19 in Ohio and will work with you one on one to discuss and refine your goals, plan and outcomes. They also will advise you on various Ohio grants and programs that will reduce your land $$ burden. http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/serviceforesters
  • I recommend a couple channels - but these are aligned to the goals I have for my lands, you may have different goals, but from an information output to time spent listening - these really hit the meaty spots of what I'm trying to realize. These are the Web Blog landing pages - the videos are in their links. In each of these I recommend starting from the beginning of these video habitat/wildlife management lessons and working to present.
  • I DO NOT recommend the flashy, hard sell, click bait bullshit overrunning the online hunting community, where some jackass in camo warpaint manufactures drama for clicks - where the Kill is the point then a pretended "reverence" for the game right before and after the sponsored crap to make them money. ... but to each their own.
 
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#9
I had some prior engasgements last month durring the cold snap, saw this approaching and lined up my buddy Chris again. I had 7 bigs trees left on the slope and needed at least two men to get them safley on the ground. To that end I had a 900' of 3 braid anchor line (from when I had a 23' Center Counsel boat on the Gulf of Mexico -Stationed at Hurlburt AFB, (AF Special Ops)) Only thing I bought was a 5000# pully to double the torque on the trees.

Laid out an easy plan, I went up a ladder, ladder feet on that slippery slope, to attach a strap to the tree, pully to the strap - with the 1/2" braid thru it.

Strapped the bike to tree with a tow-strap - you want very little 1'-2' feet from the back of the bike to the tree it's strapped to.

One other end of the bike was the bike's winch - fully extended,

One end of the rope is tired off to the winch hook, then up through the pully and back to a stout tree about 20' off the side the bike, tie that end , that's the end you'll need to lossen/tighten as you move from tree to tree. Simple and effectively almost doubling the winch rating.

Here it is pulling a back leaner across the pivot point, before sending it right down the hill: Missing both the beech I wanted to save and of course the corner of the cabin.
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Good comm between the saw handler and the wincher is critical - we dropped all six > 18" right where we planned. (WHEW!!!!) LoL - I am not licensed or Bonded!
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These were the last trees (6) in "Ski Slope" project.
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Another perspective of the trees -
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Trimmed up the the beach.
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Couldn't be happier, well, we did try to light the pile but even God's Match didn't catch it with all the ice on the limbs and twigs... Just burn it down the road. All the real 'asscracking' work is now complete.

Before yesterday....
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..and after.
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All good, stacking soon, then dry for a couple months then burn in place again.
 
#12
Back at it again, had the 7 large trees on the dirt, needed remediation.

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With 'Social Distancing' I figured I'd just take it slow and gnaw at it.

End of day 1
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And then day 2...
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...and done, gonna dry u till Sep/Oct and burn it up. :devilish:
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Blew the leaves off and frost seeded prior to moving / stacking the wood pile. Should be good come June.
 
#13
Well, time flies and wood dries!! Got my buddy and neighbor down and we torched the last vestige of Ski Jump efforts.

Earlier I made the "Devils Match" 4" strips of cardboard stuffed upright in a 5 gallon bucket and soaked in a gallon ot so of diesel fuel then lit.

Thinking i could better i tried s new concoction, aptly titled the Devils Napalm, paper grocery sacks folded and stuffed in a 5 gallon bucket and soaked in a gallon of diesel fuel...

My buddy Chris and I just lighted devils napalm.
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Better perspective lighting 17-20" bunks no kindling - Devils Napalm!!
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In full up conflagration...
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.another for perspective, that's about 110' latterly from the deck.
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So... satisfying to see a task well and truly done

About 2.5 cords -gone- in about 16 hours

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..and yes I did check the boss buck, warmed up but not damaged in any way. About 45' from the inferno

A few days later...
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