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Mar 25th, 2012
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Healthy Deer Population Help #7171923 05/17/18 02:55 AM
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OK everyone, I have been reading this site for years. I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a ranch so now I had to log on and ask for help.

I just bought a small ranch and am starting to get some good game cam pictures in. Looks like a little too good. I have A LOT of deer eating at one feeder. I counted 13 on one of my pictures. looks to me like there is a fairly even number of doe to bucks.

So my question is this... what is a healthy deer population? 2 doe for every buck? Obviously I cant do anything about it for a few more months, but Id like to know what your thoughts are so I can start looking for the ones I'm going to weed out.

I also have a big hog problem same game cam shows about 25 hogs so my second question is... is it ok to go out and shoot the hogs at the same feeder that the deer are coming to? will I scare the deer off? is it better to trap? it's not a large piece of land so I don't want to scare them off to a neighbors land.

Thank you all very much in advance for you input.

and I've been reading this site long enough to know that "this thread is worthless without pictures." so I am attaching a couple.





Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7171937 05/17/18 03:18 AM
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Pen the feeder or shoot the hogs, run those off to your neighbors property for sure. Hogs will run those deer off.

Regarding the deer, a 1:1 ratio is what most manager strive for. Despite pics showing the case, your ratio is very unlikely to be 1:1 only because most deer wonít show to feeders and be on camera. But, the best thing you can do to help grow bigger deer and bigger bucks is kill some mouths. Tags in tx make it easier to kill ladies so this fall take out some doe. Invite some people over to kill some doe. You canít kill too many doe (realistically you and 5-6 other people could, but not you and a friend). Use the year to take some doe and see whatís there. Shoot an old mature buck If itís there but donít shoot younger deer less than 4-5 the first year into your property.

How big is your place? Has it been hunted before? Neighbors that hunt?

Congratulations on the purchase! Nothing better than working your own land!

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7171943 05/17/18 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted By: letshunt222
OK everyone, I have been reading this site for years. I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a ranch so now I had to log on and ask for help.

I just bought a small ranch and am starting to get some good game cam pictures in. Looks like a little too good. I have A LOT of deer eating at one feeder. I counted 13 on one of my pictures. looks to me like there is a fairly even number of doe to bucks.

So my question is this... what is a healthy deer population? 2 doe for every buck? Obviously I cant do anything about it for a few more months, but Id like to know what your thoughts are so I can start looking for the ones I'm going to weed out.

I also have a big hog problem same game cam shows about 25 hogs so my second question is... is it ok to go out and shoot the hogs at the same feeder that the deer are coming to? will I scare the deer off? is it better to trap? it's not a large piece of land so I don't want to scare them off to a neighbors land.

Thank you all very much in advance for you input.

and I've been reading this site long enough to know that "this thread is worthless without pictures." so I am attaching a couple.






Congratulations on your new ranch. Looks good and alot of fun. I am new to hunting so i will monitoring your progress.

When you bought the ranch, how did you know your land had deer on it?

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7171957 05/17/18 03:58 AM
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Thanks for the reply. 1:1? that's definitely good to know.

I have 1 big old buck which I may take this year. My daughter named him "Brutus" so I may have to do it while she isn't looking. grin

I have 100 acres. Neighbor to my left is 120 acres and yes, they hunt. they are putting 3 blinds up on theirs. 85 acres to my right is still for sale so hopefully someone management minded will come along. behind me is a large ranch. I've heard somewhere around 10,000 acres. It's a new development so it was hunted in the past, but i don't think it was hunted last year.

I've noticed everything coexists except the hogs. Everything runs off when the hogs show up. I am really wanting to attract some exotics. Especially axis but don't think I have much of a chance with all of those hogs. I have seen a couple of Aoudad at my protein feeder.

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7171960 05/17/18 04:01 AM
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Goodo,

I walked the land before I bought it and I saw signs of deer. A lot of fresh droppings plus some really good game trails.

I have been looking for land for about a year now. I have had hunting leases in the past. this land had a lot more trails and signs of deer than I had seen on other land.

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7171984 05/17/18 10:59 AM
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Congrats! owning a place is a blast. It is a slow process to improve your herd but it is also fun.

First off it sounds like you have a good set up with the large ranch next to you. I would go make friends with the one small neighbor in hopes they will cooperate with you on some of the management. Same when the other small property sells.

On the hogs I would for sure pen off the feeder. I would then try to trap/shoot as many as I could. Probably impossible to get rid of them all but you can thin them out.

Do you have water on the property? If not I would try to figure out a way to get some - well, truck it in, etc. Without water it will be hard to keep wildlife on the property during drought.

I agree with the other poster about culling some does. Realistically getting to a 1:1 ratio will be difficult. IMO 2:1 would be ideal on a small parcel like this.

As far as killing the one large buck you have seen I would try to age it first - if it is only 3-4 years old I would let it walk and keep breeding (assuming your neighbors would also let it walk)

The more feed and water available on your property the likelihood of more deer and wildlife. Have fun!


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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7171997 05/17/18 11:25 AM
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CONGRATS on your new place. Nothing like owning your own place. Feed ,supply PLENTY of water & do what you can to help the habitat & you will hold game. With a small place you won't be able to control deer ratios etc. Just be conservative in what you kill & PRAY your neighbors don't invite everyone they know out to fill their tags. Talk to your local TPWD biologist & get his thoughts on kill ratios, etc. When we bought our places we didn't kill any bucks the 1st year[would have if an obviously mature nice one came out] & just kinda looked our numbers etc over to get a feel for the places. What county are you in?

Last edited by DUKFVR; 05/17/18 11:28 AM.
Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7172024 05/17/18 12:15 PM
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By far the best way to get rid of hogs is to pen your feeder off. That will drive them to your neighbors feeders if they are not penned. And of course shoot every one that you see. Congratulations on getting some land, you will never regret it, even though you will come home tired and worn out from working.


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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7172085 05/17/18 01:24 PM
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Congrats on your own place. Lots of good advice above. Feeding year around has really helped me on my place. Adding protein helped even more. I try to add something every year to benefit the wildlife on my place. Whether it be adding water to an area or bigger food plots. Enjoying yourself is the main thing. I love to get out and work on mine. Don't worry too much about shooting hogs close to your deer feeders. This past season I shot two hogs one evening and a coyote a different evening and let them lay til dark. I had deer eating around them shortly after I shot them (I did move them after the hunt though). Don't over think things and have fun.

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7172109 05/17/18 01:44 PM
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cheers congrates...
coolpics
Deer, turkey, hogs.

Save Big bucks at grocery store.

As far as buck-do ratio,
Mother nature does pretty good job of taking care of that.

It was buck only were had my set up, NO does, told not enough deer. So concentrated on hogs. It finaly went ta 4 deer county.

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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7172849 05/18/18 03:25 AM
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Thank you everyone for the well wishes. Having my own land does feel great. Working to improve the land takes on a whole new feeling when you own it.

So to answer some of the questions...

I am in Edwards county. Which is why I am hoping to get some axis come through.

I have built a lean-to to do a water catchment system for the deer. I have a a 4 ft diameter trough that I am trying to keep full. It's been out there for about 3 weeks but I only see a couple of deer using it so far. I also built a hay feeder that i have alfalfa in but only those same couple of deer that drink the water eat the hay. We had some good rains 2 weeks ago so maybe the animals have plenty to eat right now.

I definitely need to pen off the feeders to get the hogs under control.

Here is my water/hay station...



I have a 250lb protein feeder, but with all of the mouths to feed, I am filling that thing every 4-5 days. Apparently, everything likes protein.




Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7172854 05/18/18 03:30 AM
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Yeah, the protein will disappear quick. LOL! Good Luck on your place! Great looking place!

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7172862 05/18/18 03:37 AM
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Great Job! Providing a food and water source as these two items become scarce during the hot summer months will keep the wildlife close!

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7173283 05/18/18 05:42 PM
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I would suggest you go get yourself a copy of this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Guide-Producing-Harvesting-Tailed/dp/0938361090

Then maybe Food Plots & Supplemental Feeding. I recommend all of his books, I've learned a lot from them.

Go to Dr Kroll's website https://www.drdeer.com/ and look for anything that may help you.

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7173483 05/18/18 09:14 PM
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Just curious... Where in Texas is this. I may be interested in the 85 acres next to you.


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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7173486 05/18/18 09:16 PM
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Geeze turkeys are a pain

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7173540 05/18/18 10:05 PM
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Congrats on your new place! You will enjoy it. Enjoying it while you can at first and pray that hunting pressure around you is not to heavy. A lot of subdivisions get hunted very hard at first due to good wildlife populations. The hunting deteriorates rapidly after that.
If you have a deer to 10 acres with a 1 doe to 1 buck ratio then you only have 5 bucks and 5 does on your land. Your neighbor would have 6 buck and 6 does. So taking one buck per property will insure that you will continue to keep good buck numbers. If your area has 2 does for every buck(your land would hold around 6 does and 3 bucks) then taking more than one buck per property will deplete buck numbers down in 2 or 3 years to where you will only see very young bucks. Throw in droughts(with the last rain the next dry period started) or anthrax and hunting will be disappointing in the future. You might want to research the history of Anthrax in your county also.
Pen any feeder you put out. You might invest in a timered protein feeder to keep protein out to the deer from one trip to the next. Also look at getting a smaller trough with a storage tank to hold water. Large troughs evaporate much quicker and fawns can not drink from them. Fawns need to be able to get to water as well as the rest of the herd. Put the water inside the pens also.



Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: Hunter-Steve] #7174361 05/19/18 10:40 PM
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Thank you for all of the suggestions.

I really do want to do food plots and but I don't think I will be able to do that until next year. I just bought the land so 4-wheelers and tractors and discs may have to wait until next year. Although I did plant a few fruit trees. I planted 2 apple trees, 2 pears trees, a persimmon tree and a peach tree. Selfishly, the peach tree is more for me. I love peaches.

Steve, the land is in Rocksprings,Tx in Edwards County. I don't want this to turn in to a land sales pitch so I will send you a PM if thats ok.

Navasot, Yah I have a lot of turkeys. I threw down some of that "no-Till" food plot right before a good rain came through but as I was finishing up I already saw 4 turkey picking up the seed I threw.

STX, I have already heard that "the first year will be the best." I have met a few of my neighbors and they all seem to want to manage the herd and keep bucks around. I guess we will see come deer season.

I was worried about evaporation so I built a lean to over the trough that I plan on putting a rain catchment system on leading in to a storage barrel that can feed the trough. I had not thought about having the fawns drink out of it as well. I may have to put a smaller one on there too. and quickly since they will be here soon.

Here is a picture of my water shed...




Here is one of my very first pictures that I got on my game cam right before they dropped the antlers...
Please excuse the picture. It's not the best, its a picture of my computer screen.



And this is "Brutus"... the only buck I'm thinking about taking this year. (I think he's about 5??) again, I know its a bad picture.


Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7174491 05/20/18 12:36 AM
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A doe usually his one fawn for her first baby..it can be either a buck or a doe. After that, she usually has twin fawns and the ratio of bucks to does is about 50/50. If that's what you have, your ratio is ideal and rattling (if you want to try it) should work great.
Your problem is hogs. Kill em and fence them out from your feeder/s.
Looks like you bought a good place..Congrats! cheers


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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7174791 05/20/18 02:58 PM
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With only 100 acres and small hunted parcels around you I wouldn't worry about population to much, just provide plenty of feed and water. You really can't manage a place that size and under those circumstances. Put out as much feed as you can afford and try to draw and keep the deer on your place and forget about ratio's.


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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7175185 05/20/18 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted By: letshunt222
Thank you for all of the suggestions.

I really do want to do food plots and but I don't think I will be able to do that until next year. I just bought the land so 4-wheelers and tractors and discs may have to wait until next year. Although I did plant a few fruit trees. I planted 2 apple trees, 2 pears trees, a persimmon tree and a peach tree. Selfishly, the peach tree is more for me. I love peaches.

Steve, the land is in Rocksprings,Tx in Edwards County. I don't want this to turn in to a land sales pitch so I will send you a PM if thats ok.

Navasot, Yah I have a lot of turkeys. I threw down some of that "no-Till" food plot right before a good rain came through but as I was finishing up I already saw 4 turkey picking up the seed I threw.

STX, I have already heard that "the first year will be the best." I have met a few of my neighbors and they all seem to want to manage the herd and keep bucks around. I guess we will see come deer season.

I was worried about evaporation so I built a lean to over the trough that I plan on putting a rain catchment system on leading in to a storage barrel that can feed the trough. I had not thought about having the fawns drink out of it as well. I may have to put a smaller one on there too. and quickly since they will be here soon.

Here is a picture of my water shed...




Here is one of my very first pictures that I got on my game cam right before they dropped the antlers...
Please excuse the picture. It's not the best, its a picture of my computer screen.



And this is "Brutus"... the only buck I'm thinking about taking this year. (I think he's about 5??) again, I know its a bad picture.





Congrats on your new place. I just wanted to add, since you're building a cover over your water trough, you should put a metal roof, and turn it into a rainwater recovery system. I've done this at our place and troughs stay full. Works great.

Last edited by Erathkid; 05/20/18 11:04 PM.

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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: Erathkid] #7175497 05/21/18 12:37 PM
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[/quote]Congrats on your new place. I just wanted to add, since you're building a cover over your water trough, you should put a metal roof, and turn it into a rainwater recovery system. I've done this at our place and troughs stay full. Works great. [/quote]
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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7176094 05/21/18 11:04 PM
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Thanks for all of the great advice.

Looks like i'm going to pen off some feeders. and need to do it quickly.

I do plan on putting a roof and gutter on the water shed. The brown barrel in that picture is 110 gallons and should be enough to keep it full (I hope).

what kind of system do you use to keep water flowing to the trough? float valve and hose?

Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7176716 05/22/18 04:24 PM
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if you have coons, they will demolish a hose and most float valves. I would opt for some form of metal tubing/water line and a metal type float valve. PVC might hold them at bay for a while.


HERE is a metal float valve that you can secure to most troughs.


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Re: Healthy Deer Population Help [Re: letshunt222] #7178994 05/24/18 09:16 PM
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Posted for ErathKid


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