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#6240811 - 03/29/16 06:46 PM when to cull does in south texas
tlk Online   content
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Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1986
does anyone have an studies or data on the best time to cull does in South Texas? Some say early and some say late -
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#6240822 - 03/29/16 06:51 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: tlk]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
For me it depends on the ranch, habitat, how long the ranch has been under management and amount you have to shoot. I have always preferred to shoot them after the rut to keep rut mortality down and antler breakage down. There is really no good or bad time to shoot does. If you shoot early you are managing for that season, if you shoot late your are managing for the next season. IMO I think that if you have been managing for several years and like the looks of the deer herd, then it won't matter when you shoot them.
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#6240872 - 03/29/16 07:12 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: tlk]
tlk Online   content
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Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1986
thanks - that is how we operate but a friend called me and said his lease manager is telling them no does until they are all bred after the rut - theory is that the fawns will be sure to survive if momma is there long enough to insure they survive. We kill most of our does in November but try not to take any that are with fawns. We take some in and after the rut too and does not seem to make much difference
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#6240886 - 03/29/16 07:18 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: tlk]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Most ranches in South Texas won't shoot does till after Thanksgiving. They want fawns old enough(5 months) to live on their own. I prefer to keep does around in numbers during the rut(especially on LF) to keep the bucks active on the property and not on the neighbors grin. I prefer to shoot does with fawns when I shoot does. That way I know the offspring is from a buck that I have chosen to keep on the ranch. That way the fawn is a link to its sire's genetics and it mother's genetics. Those links are not broken IMO when I cull does with fawns. If you like the bucks on the ranch then your best genetics are in the fawns. I also read a study years ago that showed by culling does with fawns, buck fawns tend to stay in the core area they were raised in.
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#6240930 - 03/29/16 07:37 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: stxranchman]
tlk Online   content
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Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1986
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Most ranches in South Texas won't shoot does till after Thanksgiving. They want fawns old enough(5 months) to live on their own. I prefer to keep does around in numbers during the rut(especially on LF) to keep the bucks active on the property and not on the neighbors grin. I prefer to shoot does with fawns when I shoot does. That way I know the offspring is from a buck that I have chosen to keep on the ranch. That way the fawn is a link to its sire's genetics and it mother's genetics. Those links are not broken IMO when I cull does with fawns. If you like the bucks on the ranch then your best genetics are in the fawns. I also read a study years ago that showed by culling does with fawns, buck fawns tend to stay in the core area they were raised in.


If there is plentiful feed (both natural and supplemental) should a fawn not be ok even if their momma is taken a bit early? Seems like they will just partner up with other does who has fawns and trail along and live off the land and feed
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#6240954 - 03/29/16 07:48 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: tlk]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
If they are old enough to jump into feed pens and you are still feeding then they will do much better. IMO, Shooting them to early they are a bit more stunted in their growth and will spend most of their time at the spin feeder(if the doe was killed there) for the free meal. IME depending on the doe age of the herd will effect how the fawn is excepted or rejected by the other deer. From what I have seen is that fawns usually bunch together, especially buck fawns and do not travel with other does unless they were in a family group of does and fawns already.
Another reason I prefer to shoot does later is all the activity and shooting that goes with killing numbers of doe. I want that post rut. If you have to shoot 60-100 does and only have 15-18 stands, then think about all the shooting per location. Then all the scent you leave around the area retrieving the deer. Add in all the other deer getting that much spookier from all the activity and shooting. Not something I want happening before the rut.
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#6241159 - 03/29/16 10:40 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: tlk]
txtrophy85 Offline
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Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 22039
We were always told to shoot does later in the year to help with buck mortality during the rut


We always shot a few dry does in early November but we mainly concentrated on cull bucks before rut and does in January
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#6241188 - 03/29/16 11:59 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: stxranchman]
Tactical Cowboy Online   content
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Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2845
Loc: Abilene
Originally Posted By: stxranchman

Another reason I prefer to shoot does later is all the activity and shooting that goes with killing numbers of doe. I want that post rut. If you have to shoot 60-100 does and only have 15-18 stands, then think about all the shooting per location. Then all the scent you leave around the area retrieving the deer. Add in all the other deer getting that much spookier from all the activity and shooting. Not something I want happening before the rut.


This part makes a TON of sense. I'm not convinced the rest of it matters though.
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#6243118 - 03/31/16 02:14 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: tlk]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9426
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Our lease "recommends" you harvest does before Thanksgiving, so bucks won't waste their time breeding a doe that will get culled anyway. I've always waited til early Dec to Christmas to harvest my does. I see it both ways. I still prefer to cull later in the season.
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#6243119 - 03/31/16 02:15 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: stxranchman]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9426
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Another reason I prefer to shoot does later is all the activity and shooting that goes with killing numbers of doe. I want that post rut. If you have to shoot 60-100 does and only have 15-18 stands, then think about all the shooting per location. Then all the scent you leave around the area retrieving the deer. Add in all the other deer getting that much spookier from all the activity and shooting. Not something I want happening before the rut.


Yes. This is why I like hunting suppressed!
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#6243202 - 03/31/16 03:08 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: stxranchman]
redchevy Online   content
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Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23446
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Another reason I prefer to shoot does later is all the activity and shooting that goes with killing numbers of doe.


This is the main reason we switched to shooting does in late season. Our place is smaller than many and if we tried to shoot does early season then by thanks giving our place was like wwIII and deer were spooked as all get out.

Last season we sat on our hands till late season hunted the rut, saw good numbers of bucks that were call as could be and still had no problem shooting our does in the tail end of general season and on into spike and doe season. So far it is also the first year we haven't found a dead middle aged buck in a while.
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#6243272 - 03/31/16 04:09 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: ChadTRG42]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Another reason I prefer to shoot does later is all the activity and shooting that goes with killing numbers of doe. I want that post rut. If you have to shoot 60-100 does and only have 15-18 stands, then think about all the shooting per location. Then all the scent you leave around the area retrieving the deer. Add in all the other deer getting that much spookier from all the activity and shooting. Not something I want happening before the rut.


Yes. This is why I like hunting suppressed!

Is your scent and activity(foot traffic and vehicles) suppressed?
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#6243311 - 03/31/16 04:53 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: stxranchman]
txtrophy85 Offline
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Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 22039
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Another reason I prefer to shoot does later is all the activity and shooting that goes with killing numbers of doe. I want that post rut. If you have to shoot 60-100 does and only have 15-18 stands, then think about all the shooting per location. Then all the scent you leave around the area retrieving the deer. Add in all the other deer getting that much spookier from all the activity and shooting. Not something I want happening before the rut.


Yes. This is why I like hunting suppressed!

Is your scent and activity(foot traffic and vehicles) suppressed?



You can wear moccasins and burn sage when you traipse they the woods
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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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#6255479 - 04/11/16 12:19 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: tlk]
Erich Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 710
Loc: Cibolo, TX
I don't know how much of it matters, but I prefer to shoot them after thanksgiving as well to give the doe more time with the current fawn on the ground. We hunt pretty deep south, our best hunting period for really anything is later in the year. December forward seems to be the best, and after Christmas seems to be the best rut. The problem with that is when you hold onto everything that late in the year you start running out of time to accomplish your goals. and especially when you're a weekend hunting like me you don't usually get to hunt every weekend let alone every day of those parts of the season.

we try to do our best to not disturb our hunting areas until the rut, and we will try to not shoot many or any does until thanksgiving.

we will also though take advantage of opportunities to harvest deer in less disturbing places and times. we will take opportunity to harvest deer not next to feeders, or at the end of a hunt when you're about to get out of the blind and nothing is left down there except one doe or one spike. we will use that chance to get a management deer harvested after the other deer have already moved on for the morning.
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#6255829 - 04/11/16 04:56 PM Re: when to cull does in south texas [Re: tlk]
ScottA Offline
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Registered: 05/07/07
Posts: 106
Loc: RGV
Interesting thread. I generally support shooting does late, but I have experienced does becoming blind shy over the course of a season, making finding a mature one difficult. Another thing to consider is many hunters (like me) are anxious to shoot something when season opens and shooting a doe early might make them a little more selective on the buck they shoot.
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