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#6553613 - 11/21/16 07:30 PM Whitetail Management Question
mikecatt13 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 12
I have the privilege of hunting a low fence ranch in northern texas. Seemed to have seen a decline in mature bucks over r the years. This is my 8th year, I've killed a lot of great bucks in the 140s, and got my PB 172" last year. The property is about 1200 acres, on average there are 2-3 bucks taken off it per year, all mature.

I used to see lots of 110-120" 2 1/2 year old 8s and 10s and not many does. Now there are a lot of 1 1/2 y.o. 3-6 points, lots of does. The owners never shoot does, last year we took 3 off the property. Is this a simple fact of too many does and we need to thin them out or can something else be going on? We usually make it happen on a deer but from what I've been seeing I'm getting concerned foe the future. We are out of staters so we only hunt 1 week a year, while the owners do some hunting because they are local, maybe we have just had bad luck on moon phase and weather the last couple years?

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#6553633 - 11/21/16 07:44 PM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
Roll-Tide Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/11/15
Posts: 1828
Depending on where you are. Lot of natural food. I catch bucks passing by my camera on accident. Never eating. I recently moved camera to trails and not feeders

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#6553644 - 11/21/16 07:49 PM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
ctonsmitty Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 280
Without knowing the entire story of your property, generally speaking, there are not many 5.5 year old bucks out there this year due to the 2011 drought. You should however be seeing a fair number of 3.5 and 4.5 year old bucks. I would not worry about taking a trophy this year and take out the less desirable 6,7,8 pt bucks starting with the 4.5 year class then work on the 3.5 year old class. I would also shoot does and having 1200 acres would try to take out 12-15 to start (if you are not MLD, invite some friends/family)

It has also been abnormally warm and the acorn crop has been good so the deer are not flocking to corn. Set up 6-10 quality game cameras and it will give you a much better idea of what you actually have

Good Luck and Have Fun (because next 2017 and 2018 should be GREAT again)

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#6553705 - 11/21/16 08:27 PM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
mikecatt13 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 12
Thanks for all the input!

I have 6 cameras up, normally we at least catch some mature big boys at night that we don't see in the stand. If it was just this year, I would attribute it to the green and natural food from the wet year.

I was wondering if the 2011 drought was still effecting us, apprently that may be the case. But still not seeing or getting pictures of many 3.5 or 4.5. I have my wife set on a 3.5/4.5 nice 8 in an archery setup right now and Im trying to find another management buck to take as well.

Seems like I am thinking along the right track, my gut feeling was that the does need to be thinned out as we used to see maybe 5-10 in a week of hunting and this year we have 4-6 at each feeder every morning /evening and feeders go off at the same time so there's quite a few out there. I will keep an eye out for the mature ones with no fawns and start thinning.

Thank you guys for the help so far, we are from Michigan and see more deer in a week here than 5 years at home so I wanted to gather info from those with real world management (I hunt a whopping 3 acres at home and deer management on any property there isn't a common thing). I don't mind filling doe tags and paying the processing and donating the meat to those in need, I just want to make sure that's the right approach before killing a bunch of does

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#6553757 - 11/21/16 09:03 PM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
Roll-Tide Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/11/15
Posts: 1828
I am no expert. But have heard them Does will run off buck fawn s. So the bucks being produced wont return to your place. I am no expert. Thanks

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#6553831 - 11/21/16 09:52 PM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
Bradgrace Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 06/11/11
Posts: 265
Loc: Greenville, Tx
What county is the property located in?

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#6553842 - 11/21/16 09:58 PM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25941
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
I think your seeing more doe because your not shooting them.. And they know that... Your seeing less buck because your shooting them and they know it.. And they don't have to come out in the open on the right years
_________________________


http://www.j5tractors.com/

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#6554058 - 11/22/16 07:29 AM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: Navasot]
mikecatt13 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: Navasot
I think your seeing more doe because your not shooting them.. And they know that... Your seeing less buck because your shooting them and they know it.. And they don't have to come out in the open on the right years


I have no doubt that the deer know this or figure it out. My question would be, the pressure in the property is the same or less over the last 15 or so years, when we started hunting it, the owners kids were moving away for college and careers so it's not like we were adding pressure, still about 2-3 hunters per year and 2, MAYBE 3 bucks killed per year so with it being consistent for so long or even lessening now, why would that all the sudden change?


Edited by mikecatt13 (11/22/16 08:01 AM)

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#6554122 - 11/22/16 08:11 AM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25941
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
Any big changes on the neighbors property's? Like loss of habitat or added pressure or less etc....
_________________________


http://www.j5tractors.com/

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#6554139 - 11/22/16 08:23 AM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: Navasot]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23452
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Navasot
I think your seeing more doe because your not shooting them.. And they know that... Your seeing less buck because your shooting them and they know it.. And they don't have to come out in the open on the right years


This plus only hunting 1 week a year... and you shot your best a 170+ last year. Might all be in your head.
_________________________
It's hell eatin em live

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#6554203 - 11/22/16 08:51 AM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: Navasot]
mikecatt13 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: Navasot
Any big changes on the neighbors property's? Like loss of habitat or added pressure or less etc....


Not that I'm aware of but the landowner would know more so I'll ask him

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#6554212 - 11/22/16 08:55 AM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: redchevy]
mikecatt13 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: redchevy
Originally Posted By: Navasot
I think your seeing more doe because your not shooting them.. And they know that... Your seeing less buck because your shooting them and they know it.. And they don't have to come out in the open on the right years


This plus only hunting 1 week a year... and you shot your best a 170+ last year. Might all be in your head.


I get what you're saying lol but I've always gotten pictures of bucks in the 60s, sometimes 70s, so the size has always been here. What I'm worried about is I used to pass 140s because they were too young or just kinda iffy and the last couple years I'm dying to see a 140 to shoot. Yes, I got a monster last year but he was 1 of 2 deer over 2.5 years old on camera or seen in a stand, it worked out well don't get me wrong but I'm still worried about the future of the property with numbers dropping so drastically.

5 years ago I would pass 20-25 different bucks before shooting one, many of which were 125-140" deer



If its just the way it is than I'll deal with it and enjoy the hunt like we always do but if I can do my part somehow to better the management I want to do that too


Edited by mikecatt13 (11/22/16 08:56 AM)

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#6554223 - 11/22/16 08:58 AM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
Bradgrace Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 06/11/11
Posts: 265
Loc: Greenville, Tx
Check your private messages mikecatt

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#6554284 - 11/22/16 09:23 AM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: mikecatt13]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23452
Loc: Texas
How is the property hunted? If you hunt blinds and feeders I would suggest swapping them up for next year because I think the deer have patterned you better than you have patterned them.
_________________________
It's hell eatin em live

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#6554572 - 11/22/16 12:39 PM Re: Whitetail Management Question [Re: redchevy]
mikecatt13 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: redchevy
How is the property hunted? If you hunt blinds and feeders I would suggest swapping them up for next year because I think the deer have patterned you better than you have patterned them.


It's possible, im unsure why ot wouldve worked for many many years and all the sudden they pattern and steer clear, but much weirder things have happened for sure.

I'm going to hunt not from a stand tonight and maybe tomorrow and see if I see anything different

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