Just as tillable land can be a valuable component to a great hunting tract, having a portion of the property in timber is nearly required. The exception to that might be out in the plains states where hardwood forested areas are few and far between. In much of the eastern and southern United States, wooded areas are the primary security cover for whitetails and many other game species. When most avid hunters visualize their ideal hunting property, the thoughts of larger blocks of timber are most certainly a “must-have” when describing the ideal farm. Besides the obvious benefit of providing cover, the timbered acres can, in a properly managed stand, provide some impressive amounts of valuable food for the resident deer, turkeys, and other game animals.
Hard and soft mast-producing trees, understory plants including brambles, forbs and beneficial weeds constitute a major portion of the animals’ diet. A hand’s off approach to timber management might allow for an eventual park-like setting oftentimes considered beautiful to the human eye, has a very negative impact on wildlife. Sunlight is the key, and occasional, well-planned and executed timber harvests allow for the canopy to remain open, which in turn allows sunlight to the ground and provide for an abundance of ground-level food and cover for wildlife. Another wonderful benefit of owning timber is the opportunity during those well-planned harvests to provide some on-going return on investment.
Hardwood timber values are strong, and a buyer working with a trusted consultant can expect to pull value from this renewable resource in 10-20 year intervals on average. Not only is timber beautiful and enjoyable to hunt and explore, but it is also a valuable commodity as well. These attributes can work wonderfully in harmony.