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Mar 25th, 2012
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Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. #6975960
11/29/17 07:59 AM
11/29/17 07:59 AM
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I have been told time and time again that managing does and killing them until a 1:1 buck to doe ratio is the best solution. Here is my take, and if YOU can tell me an intelligent answer other than what you have heard from other hunters that spout the same BS, than hats off to you.

I have been told that food is limited... BUT in many cases, especially mine there is more wheat, grass, and corn than deer can get their hands on.

I have been told that the does will eat all the corn up so bucks wont come to the feeder... BUT does have always, if anything, brought bucks in.. especially during rut.

I have been told that not all does will get bread... BUT I dont believe that fully, considering most all will go into heat and there are plenty of bucks on our place to bread them.

Hypothetically we have a neighbor shooting 60 does every couple years.. does this not drastically reduce the doe heard? Even if not all does get bread, some does have twins.. so average it out at 1 fawn for every doe (thats being modest). Shooting 60 does reduces the herd 120 deer (with potential bucks). This is not even mentioning the fact that bucks will not come out in the open as much as does, and thus the theory of ratio is out the door because of overestimating the doe population.

This for me is nearly a rhetorical question. I know this THEORY is BS. I know many biologists that do not have a clue, while I am well educated myself on top of having many years of managing experience.

HOWEVER, I am open minded. If you can help me understand this thought process I would be gracious. Thanks

Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6975993
11/29/17 12:00 PM
11/29/17 12:00 PM
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Most does donít get bread. Theyíll eat a lot of corn, though. Just what I heard from someone well educated.


Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976063
11/29/17 01:13 PM
11/29/17 01:13 PM
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Murphy, TX Dickens county
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There are different ways to manage deer herds as you mentioned.

If your hunting where there is a good coyote population I would not endorse killing all those does. But if your in parts of Texas where there are very few you have to manage your browse line or you will exceed carrying capacity.

Where we hunt there are many coyotes so we only manage the age class structure of the herd and this has been very successful keeping a good buck to do ratio. A bout 1.5 does to 1 buck.


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Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976073
11/29/17 01:23 PM
11/29/17 01:23 PM
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I agree it depends on where you hunt, the type of forbs and habitat available. 1:1 ratio is typically not a management goal - more 1:1.5 or 2.

I always relate it to managing a lake or pond. I bought a property years back that had an 8 acre pond on it that had not been fished or managed. The result was many stunted bass. I immediately began aggressively removing bass of a certain size range. Why? Because there was only so much food available and there was not enough food available for that many bass in that sized pond. Over time I began seeing my bass grow bigger and much healthier. The same goes for deer. (by the way I would not count corn as "food" for deer - it like candy to them and has little nutritional value.

The ranch I have been on for the past ten years implements an aggressive doe/cull/management culling process - the numbers we take every year vary based on fawn survival and habitat conditions. The results for us have been awesome.


You can't fix stupid
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976086
11/29/17 01:37 PM
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it ashtonishes me how many "well educated" peeple have such pour grahmer! seriously though, i would expect someone with "management experience" to know that corn is not considered a food source for deer nor is grass!

Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976110
11/29/17 01:54 PM
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As educated as you may be, you are mistaken in some of your ideas. Deer are not really grass eaters and corn like acorns is only seasonal and high in starch, but provides very little other nutritional value. Deer are browsers and require 6-12 pounds of browse per day depending on the size of the animal. Not all habitat is created equal. The carrying capacity of your habitat is determined by the amount and quality of available browse present annually. It is expressed in how many acres is needed to support a single deer throughout a year. Ideally a well balanced herd, slightly below carrying capacity gives you the best shot at a healthy and genetically diverse population. Diversity is key in resistance to adversity. Ultimately the guy with his finger on the trigger is making the final management decisions. So make your call and own the results.


Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: Sneaky] #6976135
11/29/17 02:17 PM
11/29/17 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sneaky
Most does donít get bread. Theyíll eat a lot of corn, though. Just what I heard from someone well educated.
Sneaky, Sneaky banana.....Darn near every deer I see on our place is a buck. I've seen 14 bucks out of my new stand and 3 doe. SapperTitan and I hunted my neighbors place evening before last and saw 14 deer on a coastal field. 1 buck in the bunch. Every place is different. Don't go shooting doe until you know what your ratios are. If you're way below CC let the herd expand.

Last edited by Erathkid; 11/29/17 02:26 PM.

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Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976138
11/29/17 02:18 PM
11/29/17 02:18 PM
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Lubbock, TX
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Better to keep your yap shut and be thought a fool than to open it and confirm the fact.




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Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976142
11/29/17 02:21 PM
11/29/17 02:21 PM
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One thing to remember is the doe herd will help dictate how strong a buck herd you have. If there is an abundance of doe, and there's always more than meets the eye, then bucks don't have to be strong and they don't have to fight for breeding rights. Keeping the doe population in check will facilitate growing stronger bucks. If you don't care about stronger bucks, then by all means let your doe population sky rocket. But, if you are interested in stronger bigger bucks, then manage the does with the bucks.

Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976161
11/29/17 02:28 PM
11/29/17 02:28 PM
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A guy that used to own property next to ours but recently sold, would come out from east Texas and declare that we need to kill a bunch of doe. Without spending any time doing census, cameras, etc. Claims he read it somewhere. Im on the land 300 days a year. I KNOW whats out here. And we darn sure dont need to kill doe. 2 miles away, my neighbor could take doe and it wouldn't hurt a thing.

Last edited by Erathkid; 11/29/17 02:30 PM.

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Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976211
11/29/17 03:00 PM
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We take out the old dry does we also take out the weak does (the ones that can't keep fawns alive). We try to balance the age where we have 4 year old does and less. At the end of her 4th season a doe can be educated enough to blow your hunt. Also bringing the buck to doe ratio to 1 buck to 1.5 or 2 does brings more bucks out in the open during the rut. Less does = more competition among bucks causing even the wariest of bucks to get out in the open. If a doe is bred by a good buck and she is weak the fawn could go either way so we try to keep the best does and manage both bucks and does before the rut. On the AR county place, youth season takes care of that unless someone sees a really nice management buck and wants to take it with archery equipment. I generally get my meat deer in archery season and hope the big guys come out after the rut and aren't all busted up but if they are they get another year unless they have lessened from the previous year. Genetics, supplemental feed, water and cover all help the herd but if you want to see more bucks chasing, reduce your doe and predator populations.


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976217
11/29/17 03:09 PM
11/29/17 03:09 PM
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1:1 was a past thought, premise was 1st population control, 2nd balanced age class segments, 3rd biggest and most dominate bucks will do majority of breeding(false thought). In the end works great for population control, but most likely will ends up in higher natural buck mortality and more broken antlers. Vast majority of ranches donít have the tag or hunter resources to get there. With that said it helps takes focus off solely buck harvest, like hunters only want to shot bucks smile

Farming is supplemental not part of what should be considered part of carrying capacity. Donít think of winter wheat and summer corn a prime annual food sources, itís not.

Does dominate feeders when young bucks arenít there.

Does carrying or lack of carrying fawns is more nutritional related. Twins tends to be a correlation of nutrition and age.

Your neighbor killing 60 does doesnít effect you as much as you think. It will some what reduce the the number of yearling bucks you see(dispersal), thatís it. If any thing they are doing you a favor. Very few places in TX that couldnt use a good doe reduction. If your neighbor has the ability to shoot 60 does, then you both probably have more then you think.



Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: Erathkid] #6976218
11/29/17 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Erathkid
A guy that used to own property next to ours but recently sold, would come out from east Texas and declare that we need to kill a bunch of doe. Without spending any time doing census, cameras, etc. Claims he read it somewhere. Im on the land 300 days a year. I KNOW whats out here. And we darn sure dont need to kill doe. 2 miles away, my neighbor could take doe and it wouldn't hurt a thing.


Ive been around here for a while and seems like you have always been of the stance to not shoot does. That is fine, I don't know your place not arguing that fact, but do you think there is something wrong with your set up that the does/deer in general have not populated enough to need to shoot them in this time?

Our property was incredibly overhunted when we took it over we didn't shoot deer for 2 years. At year 3 it was time to shoot and from year 4 on we have had too many deer in general both bucks and does. What do you think holds your deer back from making a population come back?


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: Erathkid] #6976258
11/29/17 03:33 PM
11/29/17 03:33 PM
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Broaddus TX
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Originally Posted By: Erathkid
Originally Posted By: Sneaky
Most does donít get bread. Theyíll eat a lot of corn, though. Just what I heard from someone well educated.
Sneaky, Sneaky banana.....Darn near every deer I see on our place is a buck. I've seen 14 bucks out of my new stand and 3 doe. SapperTitan and I hunted my neighbors place evening before last and saw 14 deer on a coastal field. 1 buck in the bunch. Every place is different. Don't go shooting doe until you know what your ratios are. If you're way below CC let the herd expand.


I hunted near George West Texas this week and based on what I saw, that area must have a 15-1 doe-buck ratio. Iím not sure how you can ďmanageĒ low fence ranches either. Coyotes and bobcat probably get a few, but the deer and turkeys are doing well.


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Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976261
11/29/17 03:35 PM
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You cant manicure lf herd like you can on a HF, but you can surely impact your ratios.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: Chuckw] #6976283
11/29/17 03:46 PM
11/29/17 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: Chuckw
it ashtonishes me how many "well educated" peeple have such pour grahmer! seriously though, i would expect someone with "management experience" to know that corn is not considered a food source for deer nor is grass!


Nailed it...................

Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: Chuckw] #6976288
11/29/17 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: Chuckw
it ashtonishes me how many "well educated" peeple have such pour grahmer! seriously though, i would expect someone with "management experience" to know that corn is not considered a food source for deer nor is grass!


The number of people who call out bad grammar and then "F" it up themselves is more astonishing to me. I probably have a mistake in my response, and I do not care. Nor do I give grammar and spelling a seconds thought when I am posting on a recreational forum up


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: Erathkid] #6976296
11/29/17 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: Erathkid
A guy that used to own property next to ours but recently sold, would come out from east Texas and declare that we need to kill a bunch of doe. Without spending any time doing census, cameras, etc. Claims he read it somewhere. Im on the land 300 days a year. I KNOW whats out here. And we darn sure dont need to kill doe. 2 miles away, my neighbor could take doe and it wouldn't hurt a thing.


No organization has been more responsible for encouraging hunters to "shoot more does" than the QDMA. They have long preached that we have too many deer and that the only way to have good numbers of good bucks is to whack more does. As a result, areas with healthy deer populations have become places where hunters find it difficult to fill a tag.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: redchevy] #6976309
11/29/17 04:02 PM
11/29/17 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
Originally Posted By: Erathkid
A guy that used to own property next to ours but recently sold, would come out from east Texas and declare that we need to kill a bunch of doe. Without spending any time doing census, cameras, etc. Claims he read it somewhere. Im on the land 300 days a year. I KNOW whats out here. And we darn sure dont need to kill doe. 2 miles away, my neighbor could take doe and it wouldn't hurt a thing.


Ive been around here for a while and seems like you have always been of the stance to not shoot does. That is fine, I don't know your place not arguing that fact, but do you think there is something wrong with your set up that the does/deer in general have not populated enough to need to shoot them in this time?

Our property was incredibly overhunted when we took it over we didn't shoot deer for 2 years. At year 3 it was time to shoot and from year 4 on we have had too many deer in general both bucks and does. What do you think holds your deer back from making a population come back?
I think we have more bucks because of the rugged nature of our place. Steep draws and canyons, more rough, buck country. Neighbor has riparian habitat near the Paluxy river. Doe tend to prefer easier, gentler, terrain to raise fawns. Plus there's always green stuff growing at waters edge, even during prolonged drought. We do have water at all of our stands, though.


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Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: Texas Dan] #6976322
11/29/17 04:07 PM
11/29/17 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: Erathkid
A guy that used to own property next to ours but recently sold, would come out from east Texas and declare that we need to kill a bunch of doe. Without spending any time doing census, cameras, etc. Claims he read it somewhere. Im on the land 300 days a year. I KNOW whats out here. And we darn sure dont need to kill doe. 2 miles away, my neighbor could take doe and it wouldn't hurt a thing.


No organization has been more responsible for encouraging hunters to "shoot more does" than the QDMA. They have long preached that we have too many deer and that the only way to have good numbers of good bucks is to whack more does. As a result, areas with healthy deer populations have become places where hunters find it difficult to fill a tag.
I couldn't agree more, Dan. I've hunted places that were overrun with deer, usually in the hill country. Our part of central Texas is totally different.


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Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: Texas Dan] #6976370
11/29/17 04:36 PM
11/29/17 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: Erathkid
A guy that used to own property next to ours but recently sold, would come out from east Texas and declare that we need to kill a bunch of doe. Without spending any time doing census, cameras, etc. Claims he read it somewhere. Im on the land 300 days a year. I KNOW whats out here. And we darn sure dont need to kill doe. 2 miles away, my neighbor could take doe and it wouldn't hurt a thing.


No organization has been more responsible for encouraging hunters to "shoot more does" than the QDMA. They have long preached that we have too many deer and that the only way to have good numbers of good bucks is to whack more does. As a result, areas with healthy deer populations have become places where hunters find it difficult to fill a tag.


Thatís not QDMA that falls under the same ideology of hunting license hunters killing spikes to better genetics, or random culling guide lines or random harvest limits/goals.

QDMA pushes sound scientific management practices that rely first and foremost on data gathered and reviewed under multiple scientific sources.

Habitat is shrinking and deer numbers are steady... hummm









Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976388
11/29/17 04:57 PM
11/29/17 04:57 PM
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Okay, this is MY opinion, and based on my experience with my ranch. Each ranch will be different, I have no doubt.

That being said, I do not shoot many WTD as I cannot control the people around me and going out and "shooting does" to maintain a ratio lends to the possibility of devastating the herd if you are not careful.

Do you have a lot of land?

Smaller than 400 acres?

We have like 330-ish and found out the guy that sold the small 100 acre tract next to us was bragging how he "killed 12 deer the year before"... so, had WE gone out to work on any sort of ratio, we could have killed off a lot of the herd.

With that being said, it is not just about does, it is also about bucks. When there are lots of any sort of deer competing for the same resources, it stresses the animals and that can have the same effect as it does with people.. follow that logic however you want. heh.

I do not focus on a 1:1 ratio, I focus on a healthy herd that appears to not be over-populated...i.e. I am not seeing 20 deer at a feeder which could mean that is the main food source.. i.e. not a good thing.. and I focus on keeping the older deer down. If that happens to be a doe, then so be it.

I would not focus on the ratio so much as.. " do you have too many deer or do you have too many old deer? Do you have too many young ones?"

anyways, rambling.. sorry..

Russ


Hunting is easy..it's getting permission from your wife that is tough.
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976441
11/29/17 05:37 PM
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we try and keep the ratio at 1.5 does/buck at the ranch down in South Texas. most of the does get bred and the bucks don't have to kill themselves over does. seems to be working for us as we have been running 80% or better on fawn crop the past few years and avg score and body weights have gone up. as far as food supply goes, we supplement our deer with protein feed from January to October.
and you are right about a good answer. every property had different goals. what works for us may not work for you.

Last edited by ancuegar; 11/29/17 05:38 PM.
Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: ancuegar] #6976482
11/29/17 06:05 PM
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here is another aspect - I read a study awhile back where they radio collared a number of bucks in South Texas. From the time the bucks reached age 4 there showed a 25% average death rate every year following age 4 - most was from predators. It was surprising to me that the percentage was that high but when I think back over the years on our lease we certainly would be tracking certain bucks and some of them just disappeared never to be seen again.


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Re: Management Question that I DOUBT I can get a good answer .. [Re: HogSnatch26] #6976490
11/29/17 06:14 PM
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Wheat, corn and grass are not "food". Wheat has about 12% protein, grass -0- and corn about 6%. Deer need a steady diet of 16% protein to reach their full potential. In natural situations such as yours, forbs = protein. If you don't have enough forbs or other higher protein plant species to support your deer/acre, then you'll have to supplement that protein source or remove enough deer to balance carrying capacity.

Does eating up all the corn is BS.

Not all does get bred, but most do. But you're making the assumption that most does have twins, so things will even out. Most does do have twins in really good years or when the herd is well below carrying capacity; however, very few of those twins make it to their second year for a multitude of reasons. If you have 50% fawn survival on low-fenced country with predators, you're well ahead of the curve. But to assume 100% fawn survival of twins to make up for the does that don't successfully rear offspring is NEVER going to happen in the wild.

As for overestimating deer numbers because does come out much more than bucks? That's also incorrect. Maybe that's what you personally observe, but run some trailcams and do some spotlight counts and you'll know just about every deer on your property. Helicopter surveys are good for deer counts, too.

I'm not a wildlife biologist either. But I've been at this hunting and management game for many decades and what I stated above is accurate. The bottom line is this...you only need enough momma cows (does) to replenish the deer herd each year. Any more than that and you're going to be buying a bunch of feed or have a deer herd too large for the carrying capacity of their habitat.

Just look what happened to the Hill Country when the old ranchers wouldn't let folks shoot does. Their belief was that if I kill my does, I won't have any bucks. How'd that all work out? Ever notice the browse lines in that country?

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