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#5537911 - 01/12/15 02:08 PM whats your management plan like?
Erich Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 710
Loc: Cibolo, TX
hunting season is drawing to a close....time to start working on next years season. this year we're hoping to get some more permanent watering stations set up. planning to clear out a larger food plot...approx. 8acres...going to try and conduct some post season deer density studies to see how they vary from our pre-season results. may try a little February quail hunt even. don't do that too often.

I was curious though...for those of you who have a management plan? what is it?

we feed protein feb-sept, only light corn feeding during those months. turn the protein off and turn the corn on sept-feb then and swithch back again.

do some food plotting. we are 320ac low fence pretty far south. we shoot roughly 10 deer a year...our surveys have called for more periodically but we tend to stop around there. try to shoot bucks n does evenly. we tend to shoot our spikes. just as management deer....know they'll get bigger but its easier to harvest some buck density by shooting the spikes as opposed to the middle-age deer.

otherwise try to harvest our bucks at 4.5 or older. sometimes a 2.5-3.5 deer will present himself that is only a 6pt or something and we may take that as well. tend to have a lot of 8pt deer with antlers that slant fwd. seems to be a prominent genetic trait in the herd. we've grown some nice bucks...they are extremely elusive. but we get a glimpse of them from time to time.

what does everyone else do? whats your results been like? we're on our 8th year of management.
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#5538187 - 01/12/15 04:15 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
bcranch Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 180
Loc: Ft. Benning, GA
Sounds like you have a really solid plan. Our management plan really only differs on buck harvest criteria, and not by that muck. We take any 3.5 yr old that is less than 8 pts (or try to). We start taking 8pts at 4.5 unless they have something else going for them and then we start taking 10s at 5.5. The main difference is that we don't shoot any spikes unless they are 2.5 or older. This year for instance, with all of the rain this spring, most of the buck fawns on the ranch have had spikes 2-3 inches long. We have seen very few "nubbin" bucks like we normally would. In most years we only have a few of the earliest born fawns with spikes showing.
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#5538241 - 01/12/15 04:38 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
don k Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9262
Loc: Bandera, Tx
I figure out how many Deer I want to get taken. X amount of Bucks and X amount of Does. I then get hunters to take that amount.
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#5538380 - 01/12/15 05:37 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
Tff caribou Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 2996
Loc: Watauga, TX
If I like it, I shoot it.
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#5538426 - 01/12/15 05:56 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: bcranch]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11233
Originally Posted By: bcranch
Sounds like you have a really solid plan.


And never let those 2-1/2 spikes get any older, even if it means taking an occasional younger spike that lags his peers.
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#5538554 - 01/12/15 06:42 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
Big_Ag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1006
Loc: Denton or Knox County
Put Erich's and bcranch's together and that is pretty close to our basic plan. I'm a firm believer in keeping a balanced buck to doe ratio and the herd within the carrying capacity of the range. Though very early in our management program, our deer herd already had a good foundation. Our buck to doe ratio is very close to 1:1. We are very fortunate to have land with big neighbors and low hunting pressure. However, we only have a deer per 30 - 35 acres, so we are trying to increase the population and took only two does last year and 0 does this year. We saw our first doe this year that made it to December with twins which I attribute to the better rainfall and the supplemental feeding we began in the spring of 2013. We only saw 1 spike this year that was 1.5 and my daughter passed it on her last day and took a good mature 8 that showed up about 10 minutes later. Otherwise, we would have taken him rather than a doe for meat. Our plan also calls for removing as many hogs and coyotes as possible. All traps are going back to work this weekend. We put in two tanks and cleaned out another. Two of them are very deep and should hold water through almost any drought. We have some additional tanks we need to repair and clean out in the next year or two. We have 1 food plot we plant both spring and fall and plan on adding another this year.


Edited by Big_Ag (01/12/15 06:45 PM)

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#5538614 - 01/12/15 07:06 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
titan2232 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 2998
Loc: Conroe, TX
(1). My plan is to limit human activity in my core hunting area (230 acres of 700) during the offseason.
(2). Hang-on stand has been set up high with the access point away from deer trails.
(3). Tripod feeder has been removed and will now hand corn twice a week.

I only bow hunt on this E Texas property and the deer are quite picky.
No Pop-up blind, no feeder, and less overall activity should result in a more comfortable deer herd.
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#5538619 - 01/12/15 07:07 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
titan2232 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 2998
Loc: Conroe, TX
I meant hand corn ONCE every TWO WEEKS
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#5538660 - 01/12/15 07:26 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
TxAg Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 3246
Loc: Live in Katy, Hunt in Llano Co...
Our plan is similar to what's been posted.

Do a few population surveys in the late summer. Assess where we are vs target density. Set desired doe harvest and buck harvest to achieve target density and B:D ratio. Try to take does early before they are bred. Take culls as the opportunity presents itself.

We have free-choice protein going year round.

Previously we hammered 1.5yo spikes, but last two years the majority of our 1.5yo age class has been spikes so now we focus on those culls 2.5 and older. Our culling progression looks like this: 2.5yo must be 6 points (with brows), 3.5yo must be 8-pts. We take trophy 8's at 4.5, and we try to let anything 9pt or above make it to 5.5.

Of course alot of this is theoretical as we are 425 acres LF in the Hill CO. Hard to control numbers, or buck ratios as many get hammered. But, we do the best we can. We have been part of the area WMA since its inception, and that is helping alot.
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#5538706 - 01/12/15 07:43 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
Navasot Online   content
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25907
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
I hunt a lot of smaller properties.. 500acrees- so it's simple.. Feed as much as my budget allows, keep track of the deer as much as possible, keep the places as quiet as possible and shoot only 4yr old and older bucks.and as many doe as my tags allow. On my 40acre track I even go to the point of only bow hunting.
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#5538797 - 01/12/15 08:10 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
Perfect 8 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/14
Posts: 65
Similar to others with the exception that we really hammer 3.5 year-old 6, 7, and 8s that are "
barely" legal for AR. Our neighbors won't shoot less than 15 inches of spread so we have an over representation of these 13 - 15 inch deer that at 3.5 years old are really doing a lot of breeding. Not sure it helps but it makes us feel better. I shot a 105 inch 7 point with a 1.5 inch brow on one side and 13.5 inch spread. His traveling buddy is a 10 that is the same age and at least 125 ... got a pass. Hope he makes it for next year.

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#5539175 - 01/12/15 09:59 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
MELackey Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/28/09
Posts: 1470
We have around 630 acres. Our plan is to remove cedars around oaks so that the oaks will be less stressed and can produce a better crop of acorns. We clear selected areas of underbrush yearly (this year we focused on cleaning grape vines from oak stands). We have built and maintain many tanks and have dug pits in creeks in a few spots to help them retain pools of water longer. We have 2 free choice protein feeders that feed year round. We plant 2 large spring food plots that are fenced and kept cattle free, then 10-12 food plots of varying sizes in the fall (we figure that by clearing out some underbrush and improving native plants, our spring green-up is better than most food plots we could plant). In the late summer through early spring we spin 13 feeders. We trap the hell out of coons, hogs, foxes, skunks, etc (helps the quail and turkey populations).

Regarding hunting, we were level 1 MLD this year. There are a couple more hunting this weekend, but I think our total will be 12 does and 4 bucks. We killed 2 decent bucks and 2 culls. Several culls got away. My son missed a 3 pointer and we never could get a shot at a 5 pointer (big 4 on one side and a long spike on the other). Honestly, our killing plan has been shoot what makes you happy. We've all killed nice bucks, so it takes a nice mature buck to make us happy. This year we killed a few extra does because of the MLD tags.

With all we do and have done, the easy and cheaper things (food plots and feeders) probably have the smallest impact on the overall game improvement. I think the brush management, water source improvement, and pest / predator control have the biggest impact on the game.

Feeders and fall food plots help draw the game for hunting, but likely don't have as significant of an impact on the game as improving native browse health. Incidentally, I observed more game at stands that had food plots and feeders than stands with just feeders. Almost without fail, the deer came, browsed the food plot, ate just a bit of corn, then browsed the plot again before leaving (normally they would stay around 30-45 minutes, with corn feeder eating 5 minutes or less).

Sorry for the wordy response, just my observations from our place.
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#5539187 - 01/12/15 10:03 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 14616
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
I envy some of you guys that hunt in high density areas. Our management plan consists of burning, pushing scrub cedar, planting milo in spring, oats in fall, feed year round, and still be lucky to shoot 2 bucks on 400 acres. This year I shot a 3.5 8 point that was cruising, looking for a doe. He had some ground shrinkage but was an otherwise beautiful buck. He was 14" wide. If he'd stopped at the feeder and given me more time to check him out, I probably would have let him go another year. Oh well. Meat in the freezer, and a pretty euro mount.
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#5539211 - 01/12/15 10:15 PM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
txshntr Online   content
T-Rex Arms

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 33682
Loc: Mansfield, Texas
We pretend like we know what we are doing, pretend like we want to do it right, and then shoot the first stud-baby that walks out bang

This year was rough on our youngsters....we didn't even do good on our doe numbers.
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#5539628 - 01/13/15 08:03 AM Re: whats your management plan like? [Re: Erich]
Ketchn Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 124
interesting reads .....years ago I was involved with the Cherokee wildlife management coalition
the TPW suggested in our high density deer situation to only take one mature buck per 200 acres
and one doe per 100 acres
10 off 320 is a very high number though for sure
that's a deer for every 32 acres btw ?
I wouldn't consider that a management plan at all
unless maybe you are surrounded by a lot of large not hunted acreage
that might help those numbers a bit

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