Conservation Topics

Prescribed Burning and Deer Hunting

We have had many prospective and existing clients that are concerned about the affect of restoration practices on deer hunting, especially in regards to prescribed burning in their woodlands. A monster buck, along with 2 other bucks, were all harvested opening weekend 2016 in a freshly burned open oak woodland (pictured below)! This woodland was burned the week before opening weekend and it did not adversely affect the hunters on this property from shooting 3 nice bucks in the areas that were burned. In the pictures you can see the freshly burned forest floor that we refer to as “the black.” This woodland has had most of the invasive brush removed, so it is open in structure.

Occasional fire is what shaped the landscape of SW Wisconsin before European settlers began suppressing wildfires. Oak woodlands, savannas, and prairies are historically what covered our landscape and are all fire-dependent ecosystems. Prescribed burning is a way that we can return fire to the landscape and begin to improve the health of our lands.

When burning in woodlands, the fire behavior is much different than the fast moving 15+ foot flames that are common in prairies. In woodlands fire is much more subdued with an average of 2-4′ flames and a much slower rate of spread. This low intensity burn helps discourage herbaceous invasive species, thin out brush and young trees, and consume some of the dead and down woody debris which helps return nutrients to the soil. The brush and young trees that are “top-killed” will re-sprout the following year, producing young shoots that can provide a food source for deer and other wildlife. Prescribed burning is a great tool to help restore your woodland and improve habitat for deer and many other wildlife species.

img_2698img_2700 img_2699


Projects, Update

Looking back on the burn season

This spring the Quercus Crew had another excellent burn season and we were able to check off all of our burns on our list! We burned 36 sites over 25 burn days and approximately 800 acres! It was a busy season and we were lucky enough to have a very talented photographer document two of our burns. One at the UW Lakeshore Preserve and one at a private property in the Ridgeway area. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we do – Check them out at:

If you would like the Quercus Crew to burn your property contact us in order to get on our list! Our schedule fills up quickly, and we try to prioritize burns based on the date we confirm them.      608-767-3553


Spring Burn Season 2014

The spring burn season is well on it’s way and Quercus has been getting in 1-3 burns every day the weather permits! This spring we have over 30 burns scheduled that we are trying to get through, but with the nature of this line of work some will inevitably have to wait until the fall season. Since each site has different requirements for wind direction and drying conditions (among other things), it is nearly impossible to fit them all in this spring. But that isn’t stopping the Quercus Crew from trying their hardest!

This spring, the crew has been traveling to a number of different counties conducting prescribed burns for private land owners, government agencies, and public parks. We have a number of burns throughout Jefferson, Columbia, and Fond du lac counties on private land that is enrolled in the Wetlands Reserve Program through the NRCS. Many of these burns total over 100 acres, with the largest of all near Oakfield (Fond du lac Co) which is 850 acres of beautiful wetlands. The crew has seen a variety of bird life working on these wetlands including sandhill cranes, buffleheads, swans, and wood ducks.

We enjoy seeing the ongoing improvement at the properties of our long time customers who continue to choose Quercus to help manage their land, as well as getting to know new properties for those who choose Quercus for the first time! It is a privilege to help improve the landscape around us, and though some days are long, tiring and difficult, I think I can speak for the whole crew that this work is extremely satisfying and necessary. Keep an eye out for smoke on the horizon throughout southern Wisconsin, it could be the Quercus Crew checking another burn off their long list!

Here are some snapshots of the burn season so far this spring. I hope you enjoy the view as much as the crew does!


Tall grass prairie burn in the town of Berry (Dane Co). With fuels like this, solid breaks are a big plus!




Setting sun at a 120 acre NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) burn in Jefferson County.


45 acre NRCS WRP burn featuring our new UTV the Pug. (Columbia Co)


Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Middleton, WI. (Dane Co)