Hinge-Cutting to Create Funnels
Bottlenecks and funnels are essential to consistently harvesting mature whitetails, especially with a bow. Most hunters seek out natural funnels for stand sites to increase the odds of success and landowners have the luxury of enhancing or creating bottlenecks using hinge cut trees. Deer tend to browse in the hinge cuts but travel through the more open areas, creating some excellent hunting spots.
As with creating bedding areas via hinging, observation is the key and this is usually accomplished while hunting and observing natural travel not just by deer but mature bucks. Archers need to keep deer moving within 30 yards or less and sometimes that can be a difficult proposition during the rut when mature animals tend to cut “cross lots” in search of a hot doe. Hinging trees parallel to natural runways and then crossways like the vanes of a feather can help keep deer traveling by your stand. Usually it amounts to making an impenetrable mess and the downed tops create a natural blocking or funneling effect.
Creating bottlenecks not only creates better hunting spots but also great areas to hang a trail cam to monitor deer. Trail cams can help narrow down natural travel routes, which are often different for does and fawns and mature bucks.