Set the Dinner Table│ What TSI Can Do For You
If you have been deer hunting long enough, you have probably stumbled upon the phrase TSI somewhere in your readings or conversations. Timber Stand Improvement or “TSI” is the practice of improving the quality of forested habitats for wildlife habitat and forest production. TSI can be completed in a manner of different ways, depending on the conditions and goals of those completing project, and can be one of the best habitat improvement projects you complete on your farm especially if you enjoy hunting whitetails and turkeys. While TSI is fairly well known among the deer hunting community as a beneficial practice, this article will focus in on specifics of what TSI can provide to both you as a deer hunter and wildlife we enjoy chasing.
As hunters, we all understand the importance of food and cover. In the wildlife kingdom, food and shelter make the world go around, and that holds true for game animals such as large whitetails and wild turkeys. As hunters, we attempt to address these needs by installing food plots and providing cover in various ways such as warm season grasses. The biggest benefits that can be derived by completing TSI on your property are food and cover, and here is how. While food plots serve a very specific and beneficial role in our deer hunting strategies, in many cases they do not provide the year round nutrition that whitetails require. During the summer months, when does are lactating and bucks are growing antlers, whitetail require a wide range of vitamins and minerals which are commonly found in the native forbs and broadleaves that they browse on.
By removing a specific number of trees from your wooded acres, you greatly reduce the canopy coverage in your woodlot. By reducing the canopy coverage you greatly increase the amount of sunlight that is able to reach the bare mineral soil below. What results is a flush of vegetative growth that is similar to setting the buffet table for whitetails and wild turkeys. Completing TSI can increase you’re the available forage on your property by several tons per acre, providing plentiful year round forage that is available every year after the TSI is completed. This is an excellent complement to any supplemental food plots and minerals that you may have on the property. Maintain the herbaceous cover provided by TSI can be maintained through periodic prescribed burning.
While the look of a woodlot that has recently had TSI completed on it may look like a tangled mess, it is important to keep in mind that as humans, we like everything to be neat and tidy. Wildlife do not like it that way, and rather prefer the type of cover that is provided by TSI. In many cases, landowners who have installed TSI on their properties have been deer hunting only to see deer just appear. This can be attributed to the fact that the deer were bedded close by in the cover provided by the TSI.
The next time you are looking for that little something extra to improve your deer hunting or if you are just interested in learning more about attracting and holding large whitetails, give TSI a try! You will be happy you did.