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#5480026 - 12/15/14 09:48 PM What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!!
Antler Addicts Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/13/13
Posts: 605
Loc: Helotes TX
I am not going to tell y'all my take on this topic just yet, I am hoping some veterans step up to the plate with some true wisdom on this issue...
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#5480033 - 12/15/14 09:52 PM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
At 1.5 when the numbers are where they need to be on ratio and density.
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#5480066 - 12/15/14 10:03 PM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
Antler Addicts Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/13/13
Posts: 605
Loc: Helotes TX
That is not wise at all lol give your reasoning and more info if you would like so I can understand your logic!
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#5480118 - 12/15/14 10:21 PM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11233
Not an expert by any means so my approach is a simple one. If a buck is old enough to grow a branched antler, he's old enough to grow two of them. If he doesn't, he lags those that do.
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#5480208 - 12/15/14 11:24 PM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
Antler Addicts Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/13/13
Posts: 605
Loc: Helotes TX
I do not understand harvesting 1.5 or 2.5 year olds when all their energy is going into body development. We have some great deer at our place in South Texas and we have never had exceptional bucks at 1.5 or 2.5 years old. hard to judge a buck at that age in my experience and our deer tend to peak around 7.5 or 8.5 and live long. I believe culling should start at 3.5 by that age the factors of when the buck was born are evened out. I mean what if the spike 1.5 year old was born late? We had a spike many years ago that turned into 178" trophy, that experience and the fact that we have had deer at 3.5 that were nice not pan out much more at 5.5 or 6.5 boggles my mind to harvest a 1.5 or 2.5 year old!
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#5480231 - 12/15/14 11:48 PM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
Texas Dan Online   content
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Registered: 07/28/08
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Originally Posted By: Antler Addicts
We had a spike many years ago that turned into 178" trophy, that experience and the fact that we have had deer at 3.5 that were nice not pan out much more at 5.5 or 6.5 boggles my mind to harvest a 1.5 or 2.5 year old!


So you're going to set standards based on exceptions seen in one or two deer?

It makes much more sense to base conclusions on the largest pool of data available.

Also, Management 101 dictates that controls should be put in place earlier, rather than later in order to achieve good process control. You never improve quality by adding improvements only at the end of an assembly line.
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#5480243 - 12/15/14 11:57 PM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Texas Dan]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41082
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: Antler Addicts
We had a spike many years ago that turned into 178" trophy, that experience and the fact that we have had deer at 3.5 that were nice not pan out much more at 5.5 or 6.5 boggles my mind to harvest a 1.5 or 2.5 year old!


So you're going to set standards based on exceptions seen in one or two deer?

It makes much more sense to base conclusions on the largest pool of data available.

Also, Management 101 dictates that controls should be put in place earlier, rather than later in order to achieve good process control.


What about the ones that went 150, etc.

Management 101 has nothing to do with culling for genetics. Has everything thing to do with promoting a healthy herd with a strong age class protections and a level ratio that's at it or below CC.

It's never what the best programs do different...what the do the same.

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#5480245 - 12/15/14 11:58 PM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Texas Dan]
AO2000 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/11/12
Posts: 125
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: Antler Addicts
We had a spike many years ago that turned into 178" trophy, that experience and the fact that we have had deer at 3.5 that were nice not pan out much more at 5.5 or 6.5 boggles my mind to harvest a 1.5 or 2.5 year old!


So you're going to set standards based on exceptions seen in one or two deer?

It makes much more sense to base conclusions on the largest pool of data available.


This is the exception, not the rule. It also depends on what type of deer you're managing for. Your hunting HF, so in my mind, spikes wouldn't make the cut, due to the greater potential of other deer in the same class. It all depends on what your overall end outcome is for your deer though.

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#5480254 - 12/16/14 12:22 AM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
Antler Addicts Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/13/13
Posts: 605
Loc: Helotes TX
As I look at over a decade of footage and study our herd we rarely see exceptional 1.5 or 2.5 year old bucks at our ranch. So this tells me I cannot accurately judge a young buck at least at our place in its first set or 2nd set. We have some great bucks we have seen this year and none of them were exceptional young bucks. Personally I choose to cull starting at 3.5 years old. I believe the deer has had time to develop his body more and he can show us what he is made of. There is ample proof at our place they do not show us their best racks until 7.5 to 8.5 years old as well. We keep our numbers at CC and feed part time protein. I think the yearling spike rule is crazy. Fawns born earlier will have a larger advantage than a late born, this is fact. So harvesting a spike is ridiculous to me and not only because of that one verifiable fact of the spike turning into a 178" buck, but just based on sound logic. Now if you have the luxury to know when a fawn is born and track them all year then I can understand harvesting a yearling, but I cant do that lol
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#5480409 - 12/16/14 07:37 AM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
txbobcat Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 2468
Loc: TX
Your basing a management plan on what happened with one deer one time?

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#5480413 - 12/16/14 07:39 AM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
If you never see exceptional 1-2.5 year olds maybe your density is too hi. Only the mature bucks fight there way to the feed enough to show their potential.
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#5480431 - 12/16/14 07:53 AM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
ancuegar Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/15/14
Posts: 160
Loc: Katy, TX
on some properties that manage, id say start at 3.5. use the rest of the age class to determine what needs to go. basically shoot the bottom 10% of the age class every year. i wouldnt shoot spikes unless you were under an intensive management plan, which most places arent.
unless you willing to kill more deer and not 1 and call it a cull, i dont think some places should even shoot "culls".


Edited by ancuegar (12/16/14 07:55 AM)

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#5480494 - 12/16/14 08:16 AM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
landsurveyor Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 4572
Loc: Annetta TX
popcorn
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#5480498 - 12/16/14 08:19 AM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
txshntr Offline
T-Rex Arms

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 33682
Loc: Mansfield, Texas
There is no "one way" of management that works for every ranch and every region. Deer density, CC, natural vegetation, agriculture, herd conditions, past and current weather patterns, etc have to all be considered before implementing a culling system.

Most ranches will never see truley extensive culling measurements put in place. They will select a few 3.5 or 4.5 year old deer that they deem inferior and leave the rest to reach their max potential.

As was said above, you aren't culling for genetics, you are deciding which deer you decide to feed and let reach their max potential. When managing for the top end to reach the max potential while keeping the herd at or below CC, it becomes necessary to take a certain number of bucks total. This is where the culling at 1.5 and 2.5 comes into effect. You are culling based on averages, not exceptions and there aren't enough 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 year old bucks to keep the numbers where they need to be. Plus, it is much easier to cull deer at 1.5-3.5.

Typically, a management plan that includes these actions would include taking the lower end of each age class. Each year, you will lose the upper age classes for various reasons, so you will have less 3.5 than 4.5, less 5.5 than 4.5, less 7.5 than 6.5, without any hunting on the property. Add hunting into the equation and culling into the equation, and you are going to have a young herd with a few remaining older bucks. Your land will only support a certain number of mouths to feed, so why waste a mouth on inferior younger bucks? Even with culling, you will always have more young bucks than mature bucks.

Also, it doesn't matter if you take a deer at 3.5, 1.5, or even 5.5, you run the risk of taking out an exception. Some deer make a big jump at 3.5 to 4.5, while others don't make a big jump until 6.5. Some deer make a big jump at 3.5 and never make another great increase. That's why you don't manage for the exception, or you wouldn't cull at all.

Areas with low population and high CC can afford to keep more bucks. In those areas, I wouldn't cull until 3.5-4.5 and if you can keep it below CC without culling, main focus should be on managing the ratio and herd rather than based on antlers.
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#5480505 - 12/16/14 08:22 AM Re: What age do you start culling bucks 2.5 or 3.5 years old?? Calling all wise hunters!!!! [Re: Antler Addicts]
Leonardo Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 4661
Loc: Wise County
Management 101 has nothing to do with culling for genetics. Has everything thing to do with promoting a healthy herd with a strong age class protections and a level ratio that's at it or below CC.

Exactly!

Looking for the exceptional deer at 1.5 and 2.5 is not a good way to base a management plan. You can feel confident in your program when you cull deer that are inferior to other deer of the same age class. IMO management goals should be created around using your greatest amount of resources towards the deer with the greater possibility of your end goal.

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