texashuntingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
GavinBryant, JT Panel Company, Fobo, J_D, RopinRonnie
70591 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
dogcatcher 110,645
bill oxner 91,416
SnakeWrangler 64,152
stxranchman 60,296
Gravytrain 46,950
RKHarm24 44,585
rifleman 44,461
BMD 41,241
Forum Statistics
Forums46
Topics616,397
Posts11,415,031
Members85,591
Most Online19,184
Feb 5th, 2020
Print Thread
Census for MLD?? #2746298 11/12/11 11:53 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,550
R
rtp Offline OP
Extreme Tracker
OP Offline
Extreme Tracker
R
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,550
The thread about MLDs got me to thinking about the census numbers and how accurate they may be and why they are a part of the management plan.

Everyone I know that does survey counts of their deer herd is always woefully inaccurate. Some I know use the spotlight method and some use helicopters. If these counts are so inaccurate, why are they included as a requirement to participate in the MLD program? Let me say, on my place I have been collecting all the harvest data and then some for each deer killed for years now. We provide supplemental feed, food plots, water throughout the ranch, brush clearing as needed, controlled burns etc. I would love to participate in the MLD program but Im not going to invest time or money in something that is not even marginally accurate.



Let'em grow old
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rtp] #2746417 11/13/11 12:58 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
rifleman Offline
Sparkly Pants
Offline
Sparkly Pants
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
Makes sense... I feel a lot of pop estimates in the pineywoods are inaccurate so permits are based on acreage & supposed avg for the area with browse samples taken from locations easily accessible that are not always indicative of what is found throughout the property.


Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rifleman] #2746545 11/13/11 01:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 11,124
L
LandPirate Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
L
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 11,124
There's no way, regardless of method, that you can count each and every deer. I personally feel that Helo surveys will generally be more accurate than spotlight surveys. But that has more to do with vegetation and geography than anything. Helo surveys in the low brush of S. Texas are more inclined to flush the deer from the brush. However, that method even misses deer because they generally fly a grid 300 yards apart. There's the possibility of a lot of deer being within that 300 yard space.

I still think it's the best method for that terrain. I've seen other methods employed (spotlight, trail cam, feeder/blind census) and think they are much less accurate. Just my opinion.

With that said MLD is still an awesome management tool when the program is followed. I love the fact that you can take many more deer than your license tags allow. Just my 2 pesos.



Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: LandPirate] #2746597 11/13/11 02:13 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
rifleman Offline
Sparkly Pants
Offline
Sparkly Pants
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
The additional permits are fun if the hunter density is low.. What cracks me up are the observation cards when folks are set up on top of each other and they're counting a lot of the same deer. Helo is out in our parts or I'd be slaying hogs.


Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rifleman] #2746608 11/13/11 02:20 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 11,124
L
LandPirate Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
L
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 11,124
Yeah, I can't the helo working well in tall timber. I could be wrong, but I don't see how could see through the canopy well enough to count deer on the ground.



Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rifleman] #2746617 11/13/11 02:21 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,550
R
rtp Offline OP
Extreme Tracker
OP Offline
Extreme Tracker
R
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,550
But see that is what Im saying....there are not even remotely accurate but it is a baseline requirement to participate in the program. Why not just use the harvest data to see what the trending info is telling you. Weights going up, scores going up, balanced harvest of bucks and does, mature bucks being taken, should tell you all you need to know. If the opposite is happening the reduce the harvest. Doesnt seem like rocket science to me.



Let'em grow old
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: LandPirate] #2746623 11/13/11 02:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
rifleman Offline
Sparkly Pants
Offline
Sparkly Pants
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
You can on land that's been cut & rowed for a few years, after that it's kind of hard to even see the ground in the pine plantations and you can cover the hayfields from the ground so that's about pointless.


Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rtp] #2746652 11/13/11 02:35 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
rifleman Offline
Sparkly Pants
Offline
Sparkly Pants
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
Originally Posted By: rtp
But see that is what Im saying....there are not even remotely accurate but it is a baseline requirement to participate in the program. Why not just use the harvest data to see what the trending info is telling you. Weights going up, scores going up, balanced harvest of bucks and does, mature bucks being taken, should tell you all you need to know. If the opposite is happening the reduce the harvest. Doesnt seem like rocket science to me.


Would you reduce harvest or up it. Our weights are all over the place, but we have the Heinz 57 of genetics in TX with a mixture of native, stx & KS.


Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rifleman] #2746676 11/13/11 02:47 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,550
R
rtp Offline OP
Extreme Tracker
OP Offline
Extreme Tracker
R
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,550
My weights went up considerably from when I started the management program. They have stabilized the past 3 years. Down about 3-5% so far this year but I attribute that to the drought.



Let'em grow old
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rifleman] #2746677 11/13/11 02:47 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 60,296
S
stxranchman Online Content
Obie Juan Kenobi
Online Content
Obie Juan Kenobi
S
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 60,296
Yearly survey is only for trend data. Upward, level or downward on numbers or ratios. I participated in a TWA seminar at the Longbranch Ranch in Gillespe County in the early 90's. They had a meeting to discuss whitetail management with surveying being the key topic. The ranch was 590 acres HF. The ranch had been leased to an outfitter for hunting who is a wildlife biologist. They had been spotlight surveying the ranch and shooting deer based of it. 3 methods survey. 1st was a helo one on Thursday. 2nd was spotlight on Friday pm and 3rd was a walking line survey on Saturday evening during the meeting. 125 or so people in attendance. Meeting took a break to do the survey. The ranch was "L" shaped. We drove out the 90 degree break in the "L". Two lines of people 70' apart went from one fence line to other at the "L". One heading westerly and the othe line to the south. The west route was narrower and had around 50 people in it. The south line at 75 or so in it. Rules were walk a straight line to boundary fence and count only the deer that ran to your right in between you and the next person to the right in your sight. Write the numbers by sex down. I was on the south route on the west fenceline with the biologist and another counter. Had to have 2 guys minimum on ends due to numbers of deer coming at you on the fences. After the count we met back up for a recap of all surveys.
Interesting data was found out. Helo survey saw 130 deer or so and they doubled the count feeling they saw 50% of the deer. Spotlight data was run with numbers ratioed to the ranch acres and it came up with just over 270 deer with 140 or so deer actually counted that nighg. After 2 counts they though man this going to be close to the numbers of deer. Wrong. The walking line counts astounded everyone with the sheer numbers. A total of 508 deer were counted on the 2 lines on 590 acres. I do not remember the ratios but there was more bucks than does and the fawn numbers were high. The helo survey was only 25% accurate. The spotlight count was better at 27% accurate of total population seen on the count. The kicker was the feed consumption was very low on the ranch for that number of deer. I do not remember the numbers but it was only just over 1#/hd/day.
Sorry about the longwinded post but thought you find the results very interesting.
I personally use feed consumption data and then stand/incedental counts for ratios to get my numbers.



Are idiots multiplying faster than normal people?[Linked Image]
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rtp] #2746684 11/13/11 02:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,550
R
rtp Offline OP
Extreme Tracker
OP Offline
Extreme Tracker
R
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,550
Also, it is not all about the harvest rate but what are you doing to assist the herd overall. Everything together should paint a picture of mature healthy deer being taken year in and year out. This is much more important to me vs. some imaginary number of deer I may or may not have.



Let'em grow old
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rifleman] #2746691 11/13/11 02:52 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 11,124
L
LandPirate Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
L
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 11,124
Yeah, I dunno. I don't have an answer.

Doing a spotlight census doesn't count the deer that run away as you approach and only the deer that remain along that particular road or trail get counted. Still lots of pasture is uncovered.

Doing a trailcam survey only counts the deer that pass by that camera and then only if the camera triggers.

Doing feeder surveys only counts the deer that come to the feeder. In my experience that's usually younger bucks and does. But the does won't come around if the young bucks are harrassing them.

I don't what else one could do.

Then take into account small or medium sized, low fence places where deer come and go at will.

They must figure a margin of error into their formula which really makes it all a SWAG.



Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rtp] #2746703 11/13/11 02:57 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
rifleman Offline
Sparkly Pants
Offline
Sparkly Pants
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
Spotlight counts can be iffy... Went on a cpl on almost 15k and I believe we saw 2 on one trip and maybe 40 the next... Went on another one on 5k and it was entertaining, only the does are trained on the front section that truck=food and most of the bucks don't have that same mindset. Biologist was blown away at the doe numbers on that 3 mile stretch of foodplot.


Last edited by rifleman; 11/13/11 03:00 AM.
Re: Census for MLD?? [Re: rtp] #2746872 11/13/11 04:10 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
rifleman Offline
Sparkly Pants
Offline
Sparkly Pants
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 44,461
Originally Posted By: rtp
Also, it is not all about the harvest rate but what are you doing to assist the herd overall. Everything together should paint a picture of mature healthy deer being taken year in and year out. This is much more important to me vs. some imaginary number of deer I may or may not have.


We have land we don't step foot on, so no clue on total traffic numbers, but right at a section total (and only hunting almost half) I know we share deer with neighbors and I can't control what they do so I set a 5.5 minimum on bucks and lay off the does in case more are getting shot than I think around me. Its a pretty sweet set-up and does well considering the area it's in.


Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 2004-2022 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3