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Mar 25th, 2012
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Ratio question #7506720 05/07/19 10:39 PM
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fishbait Offline OP
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If we have a Biologist on this site this would be nice to have. Trying also to understand the driving force for doe reduction..by using the 4 doe days. I read up on P&W reasons such as high deer densities and ratios in some areas that were exceeding the recommended deer capacities. How do P&W decide that the area the size of the Post Oak is over populated with deer? Just trying to understand the target for deer capacities....is it complaints..is it number of accidents...or the Biologists actually making trips into high populated areas and measuring the food available. ..how are we going to know when we get in compliance of reasonable deer capacities. I wonder if south Texas where the deer harvest go big dollars where the ranches are running densities around 1 deer per 4 to 5 acres....where around my place we run 1 to 10 to 15 acres...with supplemental feeding. I continue to question the process of using doe days. Herd management will be uncontrolled to a point..however I believe that the process will certainly lower doe numbers beyond belief. I hope we will see reports each year in our areas showing our progress toward the intended goals. I also would like to see numbers on what we have now that justifies the new process. I do wish I would have attended one of the meetings.
Looking for good feed backs on how this process was used and how did it work?

Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7506750 05/07/19 11:32 PM
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Erathkid Online Content
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4 doe days doesn't sound like there is an overpopulation of deer, just the opposite. We can hunt doe the entire season even though we dont have an overpopulation. Probably around 30 acres per deer. Whacky, I know


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Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507057 05/08/19 11:06 AM
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fishbait Offline OP
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No...the 4 doe days increases doe tags such that each hunter will have two permits...now a permit is issued to every 50 to 100 acres or higher that can be used anytime. Licenses permits will increase the doe harvest...by how much... ask a biologist they should know....it allows hunters that are on small leases to harvest animals that acreage permits don't allow. P&W are trying to change the deer density such that there are less deer to lower the amount of deer on any acreage. Rest assured, more does will be harvested...you will notice the difference. P&W needs to come clean and give a report how much they expect to lower the population by. Hunters need to be more informed. There needs to be more justification to all hunters. We need the same information given to the board of directors to justify the increase in harvests. Again, we need to know the target numbers that P&W came up with supposedly based on a number of years. Those numbers are too large...hence more harvest of does to lower the population. Hunters that manage their property carefully will be the most disappointed. If you have managed for years you will find all the work for nothing as all management is all for not...it is not in your hands anymore...nor in P&W's hands either. The counts P&W do each year will not make a statement on numbers for years to come as those counts are based on trends over years. Hunters now just don't know how much the numbers will drop. My guess...the target could be as high as a deer for every 17 to 21 acres. Earthkid has a deer for every 30 acres...rest assured you won't like the herd dropping if you really have a density like this. In the past a density like yours was protected by acreage permits..no more protection will be in place...only get worse.

Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507109 05/08/19 12:36 PM
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You complain about how p&w paints the "Post Oak" with a broad brush and then go ahead and paint all of south texas with a broader one.

You in Dewitt Co? Isn't that the aforementioned "high dollar deer/4-5 acre heavy fed area"?


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Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507159 05/08/19 01:30 PM
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Have you asked your TPWD biologists these questions? ---> TPWD Dewitt county

You do understand 'acreage permits' are not state wide or even all that common and in many if not most counties doe can be taken all season long including all the early & late seasons.

Do you really think adding 4 doe days is going to wipe out the doe population?
Considering the legal shooting hours of 4 days, you're taking about less than 40 hours per year additional time to legally kill doe.
Addition of less than 40 hours out of 365 days...

Just going by the acres per deer numbers you're throwing out there, sounds like you have a significant deer overpopulation problem.

1 - 10 ~ 15 acres, is a very high deer density / population / deer per acres.

Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507168 05/08/19 01:39 PM
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I've always found TPWD biologists to be very responsive in answering my questions when I call them. From past conversations I learned they do spotlight counts during the summer months to get at least some idea of deer populations, and I'm sure they have other methods for estimating deer densities.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507176 05/08/19 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fishbait
No...the 4 doe days increases doe tags such that each hunter will have two permits...now a permit is issued to every 50 to 100 acres or higher that can be used anytime.

So you are saying that everyone that has 50 -100 acres gets an extra does tag just because? That's not how any of this works. Are you talking about the MLD program? If so, Most leases and landowners are not part of the MLD program, and most hunters only get the 4 does days plus archery to harvest does. The 4 doe days is aimed at keeping doe harvest low, not increasing doe harvest.


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507320 05/08/19 04:26 PM
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Luckily our area isn't overhunted, and our neighbors don't shoot doe and neither do we. 2 bucks were killed on approximely 3k acres this last season. Communication with neighbors is key.

Last edited by Erathkid; 05/08/19 04:27 PM.

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Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507364 05/08/19 05:11 PM
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We shoot about 10 does a year off our LF 320 acre place for the last 3 years. Us and the neighbors feed year round corn/protein, not sure what they shoot. The supply of deer seems un altered every year.


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Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507400 05/08/19 05:36 PM
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fishbait Offline OP
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thanks for all the input from everyone that has. Good luck to all...

Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7507929 05/09/19 03:05 AM
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The problem in Goliad County was that even with a large amount of landowners under the WMA MLD, they are not using all their allotted tags. They only use around half the ones given to them, even with the extra amount of days to hunt. Almost all over the county the deer population is above what it should be. It has continued to rise for the last 15 yrs or so now. In my area of the county the GCWMA surveys done since I moved here 7 yrs ago show a deer to 17 acres, so one doe permit for every 200 acres. On my place and the ranches around me, we are more like a deer to 8 acres or so. Since I moved here 7 yrs ago I was the only one shooting any does that I could tell, even with archery season. I was the only one under the county WMA MLD program. As of last year, there are 4 of us MLD.
I my area I just don't see how 4 days of hunting (that is 3 weeks into the season) can over harvest on the majority of the places. It is a Holiday weekend, that could be a bad thing or it could good thing. Good thing in limiting over-harvest is that some people are out of town and not hunting. The bad is that some families are in town and out of school, so they are could be hunting more. One or two years of intense shooting and the deer will react to it. Last year with all the acorns...the deer sightings were sparse for almost 3 months.
Someone asked this question at the TPWD public meeting that night about on the subject of over-harvest. The consensus what that the counties that went to it did not have over-harvesting as a rule. There might be a few pockets with a lot of small tracts of land had some issues.



Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7508078 05/09/19 12:26 PM
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Thanks stxranchman for your great input. Your statements sure hit home for me. I believe P&W are using the 4 doe days as a tool to lower populations all over post oak area. I also believe it has been a great tool that does work...rest assured the population will drop after this process begins to take shape. The process takes advantage of hunters hunting the thanks given weekend. This will be successful as I count deer year around and there are two times the doe numbers drop the most. Thanks given weekend and Christmas week. However, the hunters will not notice the drop for a number of seasons as what a hunters sees during a hunt doesn't vary much. To give ya the numbers from 5.6 does to 3.6 does will not be noticed as a significant drop. The difference of 5.6 does represents, for me, my goal of 45 does....3.6 however, is a low number of 26 does and dropping at an alarming rate. The great biologist for my area has reduced the harvest permits from 12 to 5 which will help .. Don't know how this will shake out, especially with the doe days added.
I believe hunters will vary hunting does as the numbers move up and down...if not some areas will experience a low population. I remember hunting many leases where we saw, as a group, maybe 2 to4 deer in a three day weekend hunt due to over hunting the area. For me and my area I will try to coordinate a somewhat managing process that may work or not. I still wish I knew the driving force for this process ,,,I will follow up by asking whoever I can get real info from. My biologist has gone to greener pastures with lots more money or I would ask him . The process will take place...I will have an open mind. I will continue to count deer to monitor my situation.
Good luck to all

Re: Ratio question [Re: fishbait] #7509829 05/11/19 07:54 PM
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Not a biologist, but I can give a pretty short version of the story. I have listed several reasons and discussed them like they are separate when clearly they are not. IT is a combination of reasons...all of which apply more or less in different scenarios.

The simple answer is that when the doe to buck ratio gets too high...does don't get bred. Mature bucks successfully breed about 3 does per year! Assuming you have appropriate age structure, less than half of your bucks are mature so ratios of less than 1 buck to 2 does leads to optimal breeding. When you have too many does for them to all breed, the net effect is does walking around eating groceries and not producing offspring. There is a small difference is weight for a doe vs. a buck...but for management purposes...it takes the same amount of groceries to raise that doe throughout her life cycle and she will never be a "shooter" buck. So not shooting does wastes groceries (or carrying capacity).

There is also a turning over aspect to reducing the ratio of does to bucks when you are near the carrying capacity of a ranch or region (PROBABLY the reason for the added doe days in the OP). Assuming you want to hunt better and more bucks...harvesting does will almost always increase both. As you go from ratios of 4, 5, 6, or more does per mature buck (6 is probably WAY too low of an estimate in most of ares of small ranches and minimal management) down to the optimal 2 does to 1 buck you can replace every doe killed with a buck. This works because high doe to buck ratios typically have 1) unbred does who continue to eat groceries and never grow those big antlers, 2) bred does have less offspring per breeding. If you shoot half of the does, you reduce the number of deer eating the groceries which will increase the quality of the groceries. The next year...with better health...most of the does will be bred by mature deer and have twin offspring with HALF of those being bucks. Thereafter, a balanced harvest of bucks and does will keep the ratio in check and twins will be born to most of the does and you have a complete replacement of the desired bucks into the herd. If you want to get a quick measure of the health of your deer heard, count the number of twin births. Assuming it is not a drought or other extenuating circumstance, whitetail deer in good health have twins. If you don't have twins running around with mom...you need intervention. It could be predators are getting to them...but it is probably too many deer for the land.

And finally, a byproduct of reducing the ratio of does to mature bucks means that the mature bucks take longer to find a suitable doe...increasing daytime sightings/harvest. This is also a VERY important management tool on a high management ranch. PS In over 25 years of deer hunting on small properties in counties with high doe to buck ratios...I have RARELY see the "TV version" of a mature buck chasing a doe during the primary rut, while I often see it during the secondary rut when there are fewer does in heat.

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