I have 140 acres of mixed forest/old field and I would like to clearcut/chop a 10 or so acre site that has only wolf white pines, small red maples, not understory. Let it start over. My land is 100 % for deer hunting, wetlands, wildlife. Any suggestions? A "hydroax" would work, yes? But I imagine expensive.
As you're implied and presumably realize, the site doesn't seem to have much value in the trees and you need to find a non-commercial strategy. I would start with a visit from a DEC forester to develop a management plan if you don't already have one. If you have a management plan, call the forester and see strategies they might suggest to accomplish your desired outcome. Here are some ways to clear 10 acres...I'm not suggesting these would work in all situations, and as a tool, these all have positive and negative features for you to explore. Most of these would also mix-n-match to reduce your costs and optimize your outcome.
I hope this helps. I don't mean to overwhelm you, but there are many options to consider. Maybe post a picture of the area so we can visualize what you're seeing. Keep us posted on what you decide.
I would add to Pete's excellent advice, from personal experience. If you go for any option that cuts live trees and don't want certain species to come back into the "restarted" stand, make sure you know which species are likely to root sprout or stump sprout. Sprouts can be very numerous and vigorous, and take over the space once exposed to full sunlight.
We restarted a stand that had quite a few red maple stems in it, by cutting with a chainsaw. The red maples sprouted vigorously from the stumps. The aspen sprouted from the roots, also with gusto. In hindsight, we might have used a glyphosate stump treatment following each stem cut to prevent the sprouting. We ended up not getting the change in species composition that we were looking for.
As with any treatment that opens up the canopy to *any* extent, first pay attention to invasive species and, as I've described above, the likely reactions of existing trees/plants to the additional light. This is a planning step that you should be sure to discuss with a forester.
Good luck! Tim