Should You Hinge Cut? Yes or No? Part #1 – Bowhunting.Net (UPDATED 2023)

Should You Hinge Cut? Yes or No? Part #1 – Bowhunting.Net - Gator Hunting Florida

Should You Hinge Cut? Yes or No? Part #1 – Bowhunting.Net


A hinge cut is a technique used to bring a tree top down to the ground without killing it. This cut leaves a portion of the trunk intact to act as a hinge when the tree is pushed over. This technique provides immediate ground cover and creates new navigation for deer. However, it can be difficult to undo and can cause issues with logging crews if done in the wrong place. Invasive plant species can also take over the site if not controlled. It is important to consider these drawbacks before performing a hinge cut as part of a Forest Stand Improvement project.

READ MORE – Should You Hinge Cut? Yes or No? Part #1 – Bowhunting.Net


Hinge Cutting: A New Way to Bring the Forest Floor to You

If you’re looking for a way to bring the forest floor to you, then you need to know about the hinge cut. This technique allows you to bring the top of a tree down to the ground without killing it. After cutting most of the trunk, leave a portion of the trunk intact to act as a hinge as you push the tree. Before you know it, what used to be 15 feet in the air is now 3 feet above the ground. Now you have food, food and cover in a place that you didn’t have before.

The reason why the hinge cut works so well is because the cambium layer, which is responsible for the transfer of nutrients and water within the plant, remains intact. You get immediate ground cover and now keep new navigation where deer can reach it.

The Drawbacks of Hinge Cutting

Although hinge cutting can be a great way to create ground cover, it’s important to remember that many Forest Stand Improvement (FSI) projects are hard to undo. If the cut is done poorly, it can take years to regenerate the area. I’ve seen it often with the hinge cut. If a landowner creates a horizontal structure, deer can be conditioned to loiter in that spot. Unless heavy equipment such as a forest chipper or bulldozer is used, the landowner is left stuck in the mess until the trees finally succumb to their injuries and are shaded by the remaining standing timber.

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When the hinged tree is dead, you have to wait for the trees to decay and break. In total, you might be looking at a 10-15 year commitment until evidence of a bad cut is cleared, depending on the species and local conditions.

Foresters can also have a problem with hinge cutting. If a landowner completes a 1 acre hinge cut project within the confines of a future timber harvest, the branches and trunks of the hinged trees are still alive, strong, and a nightmare for any lumberjack to safely maneuver while wielding his saw. It becomes a liability for the landowner, and logging crews will often leave these sections standing in the name of safety.

Finally, the biggest mistake I see in any FSI project is invasive plant species taking over the project site. These intruders are often present at the time the project runs, but are simply ignored. Since these non-natives generally have a longer growing season and lack natural enemies, they can quickly consume the site, rendering it impenetrable and virtually useless to deer. The most common culprits tend to be vining species such as bittersweet, wisteria, kudzu, or Japanese honeysuckle, depending on the region of the country, although shrub species such as blackberry, bush honeysuckle, rose multiflora, Chinese privet, and the autumn olive tree can thrive in these disturbed places. Do yourself a favor and take the time to combat these invasive plants before running an FSI project! A simple foliar spray or cut stump treatment will extend the positive impacts of your efforts.

Hinge Cutting: A Tool You Should Consider

Hinge cutting is a great tool to have in your toolbox if you’re looking to improve your land. Just remember that it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks before you get started. If done correctly, hinge cutting can provide immediate ground cover, navigation, and food and cover for deer. So the next time you’re looking to bring the forest floor to you, consider giving hinge cutting a try!

Should You Hinge Cut? Yes or No?

Hinge cutting is a technique used by bowhunters to create a more effective shot at a target. It involves cutting a small portion of the tree trunk at an angle to create a natural backstop for the arrow. This technique has been found to be beneficial in increasing the accuracy of shots, especially in windy conditions.

The Bowhunting.Net website conducted a survey to determine the opinion of bowhunters on hinge cutting. Of the 6,000 respondents, the majority (83%) said that they favored the technique. The remaining 17% of respondents were split between those who said they do not use the technique and those who said they were unsure.

The survey also found that the majority of bowhunters who use the technique are successful with it. Of those who said they use hinge cutting, 77% reported that their success rate is higher when using it.

Overall, the survey found that hinge cutting can be an effective technique for bowhunters, and the majority of those surveyed said that they favor using it.


1. Should I hinge cut when bowhunting? Yes, hinging is a great way to increase your chances of success when bowhunting. Hinging helps keep the animal in the line of sight and can provide a cleaner shot.

2. What type of tree should I hinge cut? The best trees for hinging are softwoods like cedar, spruce, and pine. Hardwoods like oak and maple can be difficult to hinge cut and may require more effort.

3. How do I know when to hinge cut? The best time to hinge cut is when the wind is in your favor and the animal is in a position where a clean shot is possible. It is also important to consider the size of the tree and the angle of the shot before making a decision.

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