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#6500183 - 10/18/16 12:38 AM Live Oak County LF Culling strategy
spg Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 903
Wondering what you guys in Live Oak county area culling strategies are as far as how many does y'all take and what you would call a cull buck for ex. 3yr 8 point, 2yr old 6 point, etc. You don't have to go into the bucks without brow tines and the obvious cull. We have a bad no brow tine gene around our place. We usually won't shoot a buck under 3.5 / 4.5yrs old and we don't shoot yearling spikes. We feed protein and corn year round and our numbers kind of high but I wouldn't say we are over populated. Ranch is 2000 acres.

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#6500269 - 10/18/16 06:58 AM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
Jimbo Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 4406
Loc: The last LF ranch in S. Texas
A good place to start would be shoot the no brow tine bucks first.

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#6500567 - 10/18/16 10:07 AM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
Grosvenor Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 1233
Loc: Portland, Texas
We hunt a similarly sized ranch in southern LOC. We focus much more on doe control than we do culls, taking 15-20 per year, every single year. We take a few management deer each year, which are typically 4.5+ year old 8-10 points. Over the last 10 years we've been able to take some nice trophies ranging from the low 140's to the low 170's. That being said, we only shoot 1-3 per year and sometimes none at all during low rainfall years. For us the real secret to success has been not pulling the trigger at all, more than pulling the trigger on select bucks.

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#6500642 - 10/18/16 10:39 AM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
When you have your ratio and the age classes the way you want it, take out the lower part of the age classes(picking a year/age to start is up to you) if you have the buck tags. If you have a lot of bucks with no browtines then I would suggest you start shooting spikes yearlings(if you have a lot of yearlings) or no browtines at 2 yrs old till the numbers drop off. If you have good habitat and feeding protein then there is no need to wait another year on those type bucks IMO.
Most of all work on the does. If you do not like either the mature or middle-age or young buck in the age class then shoot does accordingly. If you do not like the looks of the younger bucks then shoot every doe that does not have a fawn and as many doe fawns you can for 3 yrs or so. Keeping enough older adult does to raise enough fawns to keep your recruitment numbers where you need them. Cull hard on the mature deer and try to allow some of the better bucks to age another year and breed a while longer. You can do just as much or more for the herd by managing your does as you can just killing undesirable bucks. It is not how many does you shoot but which ones you shoot sometimes.
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#6500995 - 10/18/16 01:47 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
spg Offline
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Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 903
We shoot no brow bucks on site. Haven't been shooting but maybe 5 or six does per year due to only four guns and all of usually have more than enough meat with cull bucks as we are taking average 3to4 per gun a year and the occasional trophy or doe. STX, just curious on your selection of does you said "It is not how many does you shoot but which ones you shoot sometimes" how do you determine which doe to shoot besides its fawn production?

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#6501024 - 10/18/16 02:13 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
Txhunter65 Online   content
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Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 490
spg, don't know what your deer density is but 5-6 does on 2,000 acres doesn't sound like anywhere near enough. I'm in Mills county and yes I know it may not be apples to apples but our MLD recommendation the last 2 years has been 30 does on 650 acres. As far as the meat goes you should be able to find a processor that will accept them as a donation for free.

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#6501075 - 10/18/16 02:44 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
We shoot 5-6 or more does a year in south texas on 320 acres... Every year our surveys still come out high.
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#6501127 - 10/18/16 03:25 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
Grosvenor Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 1233
Loc: Portland, Texas
Originally Posted By: spg
We shoot no brow bucks on site. Haven't been shooting but maybe 5 or six does per year due to only four guns and all of usually have more than enough meat with cull bucks as we are taking average 3to4 per gun a year and the occasional trophy or doe. STX, just curious on your selection of does you said "It is not how many does you shoot but which ones you shoot sometimes" how do you determine which doe to shoot besides its fawn production?


That's what guests are for. Take your friends, relatives and their kids out to harvest does. We only have 3 real hunters on our place, but we each invite folks out to take does.

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#6501224 - 10/18/16 04:18 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: Txhunter65]
spg Offline
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Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 903
Originally Posted By: Txhunter65
spg, don't know what your deer density is but 5-6 does on 2,000 acres doesn't sound like anywhere near enough. I'm in Mills county and yes I know it may not be apples to apples but our MLD recommendation the last 2 years has been 30 does on 650 acres. As far as the meat goes you should be able to find a processor that will accept them as a donation for free.


To get a comparison, how many deer on average do you see per hunt? I don't think we have the #'s the hill country has but it not that big of a difference. Most of the does are with twin fawns and are pregnant again after or just before Xmas



Edited by spg (10/18/16 05:02 PM)

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#6501317 - 10/18/16 05:09 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: spg
We shoot no brow bucks on site. Haven't been shooting but maybe 5 or six does per year due to only four guns and all of usually have more than enough meat with cull bucks as we are taking average 3to4 per gun a year and the occasional trophy or doe. STX, just curious on your selection of does you said "It is not how many does you shoot but which ones you shoot sometimes" how do you determine which doe to shoot besides its fawn production?

Do you take or have you done annual survey's to see what your ratio and density is? I shoot 4-5 does on my place that is much smaller than your place. There are local needy folks, local food banks and church's that will take the venison off your hands if you simply ask around.
This is difficult to put into words and better explained in person. For me I look at deer density, buck to doe ratio, the quality of mature bucks, and/or the quality of younger bucks to determine how many and which doe age classes I shoot. If you do not like the younger bucks then I would should the younger does since they are related to the younger bucks, those are generally does without any fawns. If you are shooting does without fawns now and not shooting many does then you could start shoot mature does with fawns. Those are the best producers and producing the bucks you do not like more than likely. Shooting old doe leaves the young does to breed to the bucks you like. Younger doe produce less fawns than older mature doe. The younger deer should be your best genetics in a managed herd. You can target the doe however you think will get you the results you want. Most ranches in South Texas harvest 1doe/100 acres with no survey. If you are seeing a 45%-60% fawn crop you have a healthy herd. If you are seeing up and down fawn crops from year to year then you could be over-populated or over-grazed or both. Just remember that every fawn that survives to become an adult later is needing an older deer removed to make space for it. That is why a buck to doe ratio of 1:1 or as close to that as you can get is important.
Also I would ask if you keep records? If you do then great and if not then start this year. Keep a harvest log on every deer taken this year and in future years. PITA but you can learn a lot about what is happening with the deer herd from that data. Age every deer taken. Take a weight, live or dressed or both for each deer. Score all bucks taken. Amount of protein fed per month and year. Rainfall per month and year. Food plots planted when and what. You can see a lot trends by just looking at records. You can see success as well as problems. Little things that can help you a lot in the future.


Edited by stxranchman (10/18/16 05:14 PM)
Edit Reason: Record keeping
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#6501341 - 10/18/16 05:23 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: spg
Originally Posted By: Txhunter65
spg, don't know what your deer density is but 5-6 does on 2,000 acres doesn't sound like anywhere near enough. I'm in Mills county and yes I know it may not be apples to apples but our MLD recommendation the last 2 years has been 30 does on 650 acres. As far as the meat goes you should be able to find a processor that will accept them as a donation for free.


To get a comparison, how many deer on average do you see per hunt? I don't think we have the #'s the hill country has but it not that big of a difference. Most of the does are with twin fawns and are pregnant again after or just before Xmas


Are you river bottom or close to it? Areas of Live Oak have had very high deer densities in the past. While other areas have less numbers. Seeing twin fawns to me means a mature deer herd. It also means problems next year with deer numbers. For example: if you have 133 deer and a deer to 15 acres with a 1 buck to 2 doe ratio that means you have 88-90 does. If they raise 70% fawn crop this year you have 60 or so fawns on the ground now. In order to keep the same deer density of a deer to 15 acres you would need to remove 60 mouths this year frpm the herd. If your ratio is tighter or your density is less acres per deer then those numbers will fluctuate accordingly. Higher fawn crops are not always your friend.
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#6501364 - 10/18/16 05:44 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
spg Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 903
Were about 1.5 miles from the river that crosses 281 in Three Rivers. We have several tanks and water troughs on the property which may be the reason we hold high numbers other than not shooting enough. I sure hope we don't have to shoot that many deer, one of the guys only hunts once a year and usually shoots a buck and hes done. Looks like we'll have to consult a biologist to see what we need to do.

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#6501369 - 10/18/16 05:49 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
How many deer do you see per sit on average? Do you keep blind counts of every deer seen as in bucks/does/fawns? Those counts will give you ratios. TC counts on actual number of bucks is important. With those two numbers from those counts you can get an idea on population. Then set some kind of harvest data.
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#6501370 - 10/18/16 05:55 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
To give you an example: last year in 2015 from every blind hunt in general season I saw a total of 148 does, 82 fawns and 209 bucks. For the first time this year I am doing archery stand counts followed later with blind counts: 41 does, 29 fawns and 100 bucks. Compare those numbers to 2012 when I saw 553 does, 316 fawns and 294 buck sightings in general season only in my first year here. You can see the trend from when I started shooting does and what the ratio has done. I am a lot smaller acreage than you are.
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#6501377 - 10/18/16 05:58 PM Re: Live Oak County LF Culling strategy [Re: spg]
spg Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 903
Average 10-15 20+ is not uncommon depending on the stand hunted, usually 1 to 1 buck to doe + yearlings.

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