Ken, Jacks hewing suggestion rest in the length of the timber, long stock was more economical to hew than saw if it was 18' or longer, and a 8x8 and up.
Around here most folks have ATVs to recreate with. They also can be used to extract timber with by adding an arch which is towed behind. There is other small scale logging equipment available but it is cost prohibitive.
If you are going to use human power to hew than a logical next would be animal power, if it is available.