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South Minneapolis, Hopkins, Edina, St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Minnetonka
We Specialize in Buckthorn Eradication
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Commercial - Residential  •  Brush Removal  •  Lot Clearing

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"Outdoor News" Featured Article by Ron Schara

When he was 16 years old, Joe Nelson , found a way to make a little spending money

It wasn't easy but - when your 're a teenager growing up in the woods around Fort Ripley, MN - it's no big deal to cut a little firewood, load a pickup truck, and rumble around looking for folks willing to buy it.

Today, the kid is 41 years old, and he's up to his entrepreneurial head in the wood business. Not just firewood, which he ships the world over these days with loaded semi-trailers, train cars, and on ocean vessels packed with containers of his certified, kiln dried and heat-treated firewood. His wife, Angie, a high school sweetheart, is a busy partner and the mother of their two boys, Austin, 12 and Devon, 15.

As if they needed another wood business, Joe and Angie, a decade ago started some-thing called Wilderness Land Clearing and Mulching. And guess who are his biggest clients?

Minnesota deer hunters who have some timberland and the wish for more deer.

So, what does Joe do? "1 clear food plots, make trails, shooting lanes, clear building sites, buckthorn removal, you name it," Nelson said.

His machinery is unique, something called a Gyro Track GT13 plus other similar models. It's not a brush hog. Nelson says it's his "lean, mean, green machine." It'll take down and grind up brush and trees of 20-inch diameter or more. Stumps are shaved at ground level.

"I drive over an area once and it's done. The result is eco-friendly. The wood mulch goes right back on the ground, decomposes, and improves the forest soil. Whereas, a caterpillar pushes up a pile of wood. My machines don't disturb the topsoil, but add to it."

Nelson says he can create 1.5 miles of trail a day or clear up to four-acre food plots. The cutting blades run at between 2,600 and 2,800 rpms.

"Barbed wire ruins my day if I don't see it. I have to buy new machines about every couple years. It's hard on them."

Nelson takes on deer land improvement jobs throughout Minnesota, western Wisconsin, northern Iowa, and southern North Dakota.

So, what was he thinking launching into mulching?

"Mulching is my hobby. I love running the machines, making food plots. I like being in the woods," he said. His working crew normally consists of himself and one other employee, both operating machines. "We're plenty busy, but we can always be busier."

Nelson says the best time for deer hunters to improve their deer land is in spring and fall. To learn more, check out

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