Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

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mheichelbech
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Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby mheichelbech » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:22 am

For anyone that has Bush Honeysuckle where they hunt, I am sure you know what this is. It starts as a single viny twig and grows into a large arching bush about 7-8 feet tall. It is a terrible plant to have on your property as the roots emit a substance that is poisonous to other plants and trees. It is also very invasive. Deer do eat the leaves but not that much as best as I can tell.

I have a couple places I hunt where this stuff is all over. On the surface it looks like it'd be superb buck bedding cover however I wonder if larger bucks avoid it because it can be hard to walk through; especially if you have a large rack on your head. Also, it seems to block out most other wild food sources.

I am curious as to anyone's experience with bucks bedding in and around this stuff. I believe bucks will travel through it to get from A to B but I haven't found any evidence that it is the type of cover to hold bucks. About the only plant I see growing around it is Wintercreeper. The deer do seem to keep that mowed down pretty good but otherwise, not much. Having said that, 100-200 yards away are other good food sources.


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DaveT1963
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:36 am

it is a preferred food source - deer love honeysuckle. Deer will always choose to bed close to preferred food as long as they are not bothered.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby basspro05 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:39 am

I know in my area of the country bush honeysuckle is really messing with the local timber. It greens up first and goes dormant last, blocking sunlight from all the native species and choking them out. They have teams out trying to eradicate our forest system of it.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby brancher147 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:56 am

I have never seen any honeysuckle that deer love to browse-if they loved it you wouldn’t see it because they would eat it all.
In the midwest deer do browse bush honeysuckle as it is a different variety. In the east they do not ever touch it.
Bush honeysuckle is a preferred browse species in the midwest in the winter when times get hard. Same in the east with Japanese vine honeysuckle. But not really something they eat year round. I have seen bedding around eastern bush honeysuckle but not in it. Mostly bedding honeysuckle to back looking into more open areas.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby live2hunt » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:01 am

There isn’t a plant bush or tree that I hate more than this stuff. I have declared war on it personally. The only time I have seen bedding near it is when it is sprinkled into a variety of other species. Once it has grown and choked everything else out I don’t believe there is much value to it at all. In heavily overgrown areas I rarely see well used trails unless deer are forced in it by terrain features. Not saying they won’t bed in or browse the stuff, but the chance a deer might bed/eat it is far outweighed by the chance of the stuff taking over other habitat types.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby mheichelbech » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:52 am

The places where I hunt, it is so rampant, I think only burning it all or a bulldozer could take care of it.

My advice to anyone that has a small enough population of it is to get ride of it ASAP.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby Jeff25 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:07 pm

DaveT1963 wrote:it is a preferred food source - deer love honeysuckle. Deer will always choose to bed close to preferred food as long as they are not bothered.


I believe they eat the vine honeysuckle but not bush honeysuckle as much. I could be wrong though, Iv never seen a deer eat bush honeysuckle.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby Hawthorne » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:21 pm

Best way to treat it is to cut it then cover all the stumps with a herbicide. Tordon works good. It will come back 10 times worse if you just cut it. I have them and autumn olive on my land. Autumn olive is worse in my area
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby Razorhead » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:53 pm

Invasive plant species are not good. They are very aggressive, first to green up in the spring and last to die off in the fall. They greatly inhibit natural regeneration of native plant species and trees. Wildlife generally doesn’t find it real useful for food or cover. Cut it, spray it, burn it - basically do whatever whatever you can to minimize it. In the long run you (and the wildlife) will be better off.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby purebowhunting » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:56 pm

I have some bush honeysuckle on the property I own but its scattered not a monoculture. I do have deer bed throughout it but cant say its in the honeysuckle but the other native species scattered throughout. It's more of a doe bedding area, some buck bed in it during the rut. I'd rather not have it and with a high deer density find I can cut at ground level and deer keep most eaten to the ground where I do so. I'd try to eradicate it but neighbors have it and do no control measure so effort would be wasted.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:00 pm

Jeff25 wrote:
DaveT1963 wrote:it is a preferred food source - deer love honeysuckle. Deer will always choose to bed close to preferred food as long as they are not bothered.


I believe they eat the vine honeysuckle but not bush honeysuckle as much. I could be wrong though, Iv never seen a deer eat bush honeysuckle.



yes vine honeysuckle. We dont have Bush honeysuckle around these parts.
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Jeff25
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby Jeff25 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:21 am

Bush honeysuckle sucks. It grows up fast and greens up way before anything else and blocks out all the light killing every other native brows at ground level.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby Jeff25 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:22 am

Unfortunately the largest bedding area on our property is mostly bush honeysuckle
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby hambone » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:37 pm

Around here, deer love to eat, travel through and sleep in Bush Honeysuckle. Like mentioned, its the first to green up and last to go dormant. Food and cover all in one terrible, invasive species. I fought it for years on our property, but finally gave up.
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Re: Bush honeysuckle and bucks bedding

Unread postby Double Draw » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:20 pm

I think it is important to point out that there are native honeysuckles (both vine and bush) and the more talked about Asian types that are invasive. The natives are far less aggressive in growth. And, yes, most deer biologists consider honeysuckle a top ten food source and it is often bedded in, too.
It may seem like a chore but learning the difference between the natives and invasives can go a long way to bettering your habitat. I can share some identification information if anyone is interested.

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