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Promoting better buck age structure while keeping numbers in check #5238801 08/06/14 08:47 PM
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Maintaining a 1:1 ratio, your herd theoretically turns over every three years. What can you do to promote better age structure while keeping numbers in check? Shoot more does to keep fawn crops lower giving you the ability to carry more bucks? Is it an exercise in futility on 460 acres and should we try to keep numbers up/bigger fawn crops in efforts that by pure numbers, more bucks will make it to upper age classes?

Last edited by JMalin; 08/06/14 08:48 PM.
Re: Promoting better buck age structure while keeping numbers in check [Re: JMalin] #5238823 08/06/14 08:57 PM
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We have 320 acres LF and from what I have seen keeping numbers down is an exercise in futility. Being the only property around, none of the immediate neighbors feed, that feeds leads to lots of coming and going deer. I don't know what the answer is.


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Re: Promoting better buck age structure while keeping numbers in check [Re: JMalin] #5238842 08/06/14 09:06 PM
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I would keep enough does to get enough buck fawns past recruitment into the herd each year. I would not be concerned about a 1:1 ratio as much as how many buck fawns I get from the does I have. With an older age class of your doe herd it will get you more fawns also vs a younger doe herd. So you might look into shooting doe fawns for a couple of years then leave a few doe fawns to the herd for a year to allow your older does to stay in the herd longer. With good habitat and supplemented feed you can have 30 does raise as many or more fawns than 60 does on poor habitat and no supplemental feeding. I would work heavily on predators and kill every exotic that walked if it were me.


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Re: Promoting better buck age structure while keeping numbers in check [Re: stxranchman] #5239299 08/07/14 12:49 AM
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managing deer is very similar to managing a lake for bass. There is only so much food to feed so many animals - too many mouths to feed and growth is stunted. So the trick is to limit the number of mouths to feed in relation to the amount of food available. Since does are fifty percent of the equation, culling does is a no brainer. To grow big deer you need: decent genetics, food, limited mouths/numbers and age - pure and simple. You can make mistakes on culling bucks but you cannot make mistakes on culling does


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Re: Promoting better buck age structure while keeping numbers in check [Re: JMalin] #5240636 08/07/14 07:33 PM
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its a tricky situation to maintain high buck densities with fewer does and lower fawn crops. first off your bucks will try and kill each other fighting for the few does available. with lower doe densities you will be producing fewer future bucks in the long run. common sense says more fawns equals more bucks in the future. just my 2 pennies....

Re: Promoting better buck age structure while keeping numbers in check [Re: JMalin] #5240693 08/07/14 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted By: JMalin
Maintaining a 1:1 ratio, your herd theoretically turns over every three years. What can you do to promote better age structure while keeping numbers in check? Shoot more does to keep fawn crops lower giving you the ability to carry more bucks? Is it an exercise in futility on 460 acres and should we try to keep numbers up/bigger fawn crops in efforts that by pure numbers, more bucks will make it to upper age classes?


if you kill your spikes you lower your numbers and let the biggre deer spread seed. are you doing that? how many deer can you shoot on the land?

Re: Promoting better buck age structure while keeping numbers in check [Re: ancuegar] #5240773 08/07/14 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: ancuegar
its a tricky situation to maintain high buck densities with fewer does and lower fawn crops. first off your bucks will try and kill each other fighting for the few does available. with lower doe densities you will be producing fewer future bucks in the long run. common sense says more fawns equals more bucks in the future. just my 2 pennies....


How do you account for higher fawn recruitment as female population health and age increase.

Biggest question is how many bucks and does will use the 460 as a core area and what will it support.

Personally I wouldnt care about spikes, I'd put a hard number on age and watch the dominance trends.

Doe flop like STX said and watch age harvest. If you get above cc then cull via dominant bucks with lowest potential.

Mature bucks don't buddy up, so no matter what you do only a few will call that their core area until that dominate buck leaves


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