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#5839921 - 07/20/15 03:22 PM Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11231
Yes, it appears the decades of liberal doe harvesting touted by those who hid behind a "balanced herd" approach in order to grow more and bigger trophies has caught up with us.

The article "No More Doe Hunting?" in the current (August) issue of Deer and Deer Hunting magazine is worth a read.

While the article suggests that increased loss to predators is the cause of declining numbers, you don't need a degree in Wildlife Biology to realize that liberal doe harvesting has left fewer doe to overcome the decreasing fawn survival rates.
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Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#5839937 - 07/20/15 03:31 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
don k Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9261
Loc: Bandera, Tx
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Yes, it appears the decades of liberal doe harvesting touted by those who hid behind a "balanced herd" approach to in order to more and bigger trophies has caught up with us.

The article "No More Doe Hunting?" in the current (August) issue of Deer and Deer Hunting magazine is worth a read.

While the article suggests that increased loss to predators is the cause of declining numbers, you don't need a degree in Wildlife Biology to realize that liberal doe harvesting has left fewer doe to overcome the decreasing fawn survival rates.
They must not have done their study around this area.
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#5839943 - 07/20/15 03:35 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
I already don't believe that article and I haven't even read it.

We have 320 acres and kill over 10 does a year for the past couple seasons and just a couple bucks0-3 normally. Our population has at least maintained and more than likely grown a little.

I believe some of the areas out west that were plagued by drought for several years and the fires have had low survival/reproduction rates, but I don't think it has anything to do with doe harvest.
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#5839989 - 07/20/15 04:08 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
jmh004 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/01/14
Posts: 386
I hunt in Milam county, the population of deer there has exploded over the last 10-15 years. I guess I can't comment on other areas. 15 years ago, I'd be happy as can be to see one or two deer when I went hunting. Nowadays, I see 15-25 deer ever single time I sit. So I guess it's not declining everywhere.

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#5839991 - 07/20/15 04:10 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
HuntnFly67 Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/27/10
Posts: 4494
Not in any of the areas I hunt in Texas.
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If you attached NP's head to Scooter's body, would muscle memory cause him to beat himself to death?


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#5840046 - 07/20/15 04:46 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
EddieWalker Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1171
Loc: Tyler, TX
No doe hunting in CA and the deer herds are hurting there. With just shooting branched antler bucks, and protecting Mountain Lions that also prefer lone bucks, they have such an unbalanced herd that over half of the deer are either male or older females that no longer reproduce.

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#5840055 - 07/20/15 04:50 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
txtrophy85 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 22026
Deer and deer hunting is a northern and Midwestern deer hunting mag that focuses on that region.

Fact: there are more deer in the u.s today then when Columbus landed. The overall population may be down but it's still way over CC in many places.

You can't take advice from a magazine that is not region specific and tout it as gospel. That's like saying the bass fishing is bad in Texas because of a golden algae bloom in Alabama that killed a bunch of fish
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.

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#5840059 - 07/20/15 04:52 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
Txhunter65 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 490
Oh the ole sacred doe. It seems like you think a balanced herd is a bad thing. What's wrong with fewer deer if they are healthier and the land isn't pillaged by a population over the carrying capacity.

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#5840065 - 07/20/15 04:53 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
rifleman Online   crying
Sparkly Pants

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 43776
Loc: Kingwood
Deer are probably down if you count all species.

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#5840093 - 07/20/15 05:04 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
Armalite260 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/24/10
Posts: 1727
I've taken one doe off my place in 3 years, what a bad mistake. This yr will be a different. rifle

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#5840189 - 07/20/15 06:01 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: redchevy]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11231
Originally Posted By: redchevy
We have 320 acres and kill over 10 does a year for the past couple seasons and just a couple bucks0-3 normally. Our population has at least maintained and more than likely grown a little.


The article draws attention to separate studies in the Northeast and Southeast where deer numbers appear to have dropped most.

The article also points out that the focus on reducing the doe population really took off in the 80's and 90's before these areas had significant predator populations, including coyotes. The data follows what I observed back in the early 80's in Mississippi and the "deer a day" approach that hunters took as the QDMA looked on with encouragement. In those days, it was not uncommon to see 600 acre leases with ten hunters take 30 or 40 doe in a single season. When we first participated in the TPWD LAMPS Program back in the 80's, a 600 acre lease in East Texas would have yielded just six doe tags.

We can thank the more conservative approach of the TPWD who never bought in so deeply to "doe mania" for protecting our deer numbers.
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Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#5840229 - 07/20/15 06:26 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
txtrophy85 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 22026
also thank the mild climates and lack of winter kill
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.

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#5840246 - 07/20/15 06:36 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
rifleman Online   crying
Sparkly Pants

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 43776
Loc: Kingwood
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: redchevy
We have 320 acres and kill over 10 does a year for the past couple seasons and just a couple bucks0-3 normally. Our population has at least maintained and more than likely grown a little.


The article draws attention to separate studies in the Northeast and Southeast where deer numbers appear to have dropped most.

The article also points out that the focus on reducing the doe population really took off in the 80's and 90's before these areas had significant predator populations, including coyotes. The data follows what I observed back in the early 80's in Mississippi and the "deer a day" approach that hunters took as the QDMA looked on with encouragement. In those days, it was not uncommon to see 600 acre leases with ten hunters take 30 or 40 doe in a single season. When we first participated in the TPWD LAMPS Program back in the 80's, a 600 acre lease in East Texas would have yielded just six doe tags.

We can thank the more conservative approach of the TPWD who never bought in so deeply to "doe mania" for protecting our deer numbers.


Apparently that led to poor herd structure that resulted in more restrictions.

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#5840498 - 07/20/15 09:06 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
Bbear Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/24/13
Posts: 596
Loc: West Texas
I hunted Llano county for 23 years. When we started, the landowner put a pickle jar in the well house to store the 'doe permits'. On our 1000 acres we were allowed just 20 does/year.

A few years later, the TPWD got rid of the doe permits. Speaking with the landowner, he wasn't too happy about that because he remembered as a boy in the late 50's that there weren't any deer to be seen. After a 7 year drought, the worst part there towards the end, it was estimated that the Llano county herd had lost between 85-95% of the total herd population.

For years the limit in Llano was something like 2 bucks and no does. You didn't shoot spikes because they all grew up to be 10 pointers. Starting (I think) in the late 60's/ early 70's they went to the doe permit system. You had to have one of these permits to go with your tag or you weren't legal.

By the late 70's the permits were gone and our contract allowed 3 deer - 1 buck and 2 does.

When my group took over management/leasing the property, we got a game count and spoke with a biologist with TPWD. He said by our count we had nearly 400 deer on our 1060 acres. We were advised to take at least 50-60 doe per year for the next 3 years then re-count and see what needed to change.

When I left the lease we were only taking 30-35 doe per year. Each of the 10 members were allowed 1 8 pt or better at least as wide as their ears. In the 5 years of our management the average weight of a field dressed 8 pt went UP from 74 lbs to 105 lbs. The last year this group was on the lease they took 6 10 pts and 2-3 12 pts that all scored between 130 - 150.

The point of all this rambling is that it may be time for the mid-west and south-east to re-analyze their deer take to maximize for whatever their goals are.

Indiana instituted a 1 buck policy but you could take up to 8 doe depending upon what county you were hunting in. The result is better quality bucks and a better balanced herd. Same could be done be it Ohio or Alabama.
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#5840512 - 07/20/15 09:16 PM Re: Fact - Deer numbers in North America are declining [Re: Texas Dan]
rifleman Online   crying
Sparkly Pants

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 43776
Loc: Kingwood
We completely annihilated does on a lease. Didn't change anything with the bucks, except over time there were fewer of them and fewer of the high scoring outliers. When you have a ton of average browse, freeing up some of it isn't going to do much bc population isn't the issue, browse quality is.

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