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Culling doesn't work!!! #7694920 12/21/19 03:14 PM
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Just listened to a radio show that talked about a 10yr study of the effects of culling in the wild. This does not pertain to high fence. But over a period of like 10yrs they had 3 areas they studied. One area had "heavy" culling. Another had "moderate" and the last had none. At the end of the study they realized that culling had absolutely zero effect on improving antler genetics in the wild. In fact, in the "heavy" culling area it actually had a negative effect. Thoughts?


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Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7694922 12/21/19 03:18 PM
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I'm under the impression that most management techniques don't work in the wild. Just my opinion.

Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7694954 12/21/19 03:43 PM
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My take on the subject is this:

Culling for quality on “most” low fence places is a moot point. I can give some specific examples on large places down south where it has been done and has worked with some success.

But on 98% of places, shooting a buck based on undesirable antler characteristics thinking it’s influence future genetic makeup of the herd is whizzing in the wind, especially if the deer is mature.

What is does do towards the positive is take a mouth off the pasture. Yesterday I shot a mature 6 point. I made the decision to take him as I really wanted to kill another deer, but I didn’t want to rob my kids of the opportunity if there was another mature buck with better antlers comming to a feeder because we have seen so few deer this season, and I didn’t want a buck like this sucking up protein for another year when that feed could’ve going towards a better racked deer.

So in shooting this “ cull” I was able to eat my cake and have it too....I shot a deer that my kids or wife wouldn’t have shot thus giving me a opportunity to let loose an arrow without affecting their hunting, I got a dominate buck off a feeder and got a deer I don’t want livings mouth off the range giving other deer more groceries.

But the kill ( kill by god, not harvest ) isn’t going to influence antler genetics going forward in the herd other than more food to go around

Even on high fence places, if your not culling hard when they are 3 years old or even earlier, your going to have diminished results. Shooting cull bucks at 5 and 6 years old isn’t helping your herd at all

Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7695033 12/21/19 05:12 PM
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You could be right on this. We don't normally cull bucks on our place. I own a 162.5 acres and I'm 1 1/2 miles from Brazos river. I have a nice tank and normally 12 to 16 does and bucks on my place during hunting season. Not as many as I would like but I have large wheat field on my east side and high fence on my south side. The high fence cut my deer herd down 70% four years ago. It's come back maybe 20% so far.

All three of my neighbors minus the high fence guy work with our local game biologist. We send him our deer cam pictures and estimated deer populations. He tells us which bucks to take and how many does. We don't cull as they're really not legal to begin with. We leave the spikes and 3 pts a lone. Giving them a couple years helps. Each fall we take a nice 130 class and 120 usually 4.5 or older deer and maybe a doe or two on my place. My neighbor's usually get a nice buck as well. Giving them time works for us. I just don't have a huge herd to start out with but working together seems to help us.


Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7695096 12/21/19 06:14 PM
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I just like shooting knarly old "culls". Beats the heck out of sitting at home and posting "my favorite holiday dish". hammer

There's one I saw opening morning and a couple of weeks after; I named him "Mister Limpy". He'd fully recovered from an old wound, but had a noticeable limp. It didn't stop him from chasin' the ladies. He was all about sex. In fact. James Brown's "Sex Machine" started playing in my head the minute I first saw him. roflmao

I was saving him for guests and now I can't find him either. bang

Last edited by Creekrunner; 12/21/19 06:16 PM. Reason: Forgot a period. Not "missed"...forgot.

...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7695108 12/21/19 06:23 PM
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Culling is only one part of managing a herd.....my uncles have a 1000 ac lease in south texas….been on it for 20 years....they are now getting close to 200" native low fence deer..... 2cents


Originally Posted By: skinnerback
Milf does the trick.

"You're statistically more likely to be killed by Hillary Clinton than an NRA member. - PolitiDiva

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7695149 12/21/19 07:10 PM
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I think culling on low fence properties can help in some cases - especially if your buck to doe ratio is off. For example, if you have 10 bucks and 5 does in the area... it'd make sense to cull the least desirable bucks to help improve genetics by making sure the does bred with the more desireable bucks. In the real world, most hunting properties have significantly less bucks than does since many hunters always go for bucks especially with larger antlers.

Additionally, antler size can change pretty drastically as deer get older. Especially with proper nutrition. A buck that some would cull at 2.5 years old could turn into a beautiful buck at 4.5 if conditions are ideal. When I see people post pictures of cull bucks on social media - more often than not the buck looks like it's 2.5 years or younger.

Also, something to consider is the fact that genetics come from both the father and mother. If you had 5 cull bucks mate with 5 does who were bred from bucks with trophy antlers - the resulting offspring would more than likely have a decent rack. If your buck to doe ratio is off, I think it's better to let the cull bucks live to increase the overall heard size.

In my opinion - maintaining a proper buck to doe ratio along with providing proper nutrition will help significantly more than culling. I believe culling works in tightly controlled conditions (high fence) but in most conditions we see - it's not needed.

Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7695170 12/21/19 07:43 PM
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How can culling in high fence work and culling in a low fence not?


The Astro’s are cheating scum bags!
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7695172 12/21/19 07:48 PM
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Like I've said before. There's no such thing as a cull, only management. bolt


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7695189 12/21/19 08:11 PM
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Culling as defined by “I am going to shoot this deer so he can’t spread his genetics” in LF does not work, for 99% of LF properties. It can work in HF properties where specific genetic traits have been introduced and are desired, basically killing off all the native deer herd.

Culling as defined by “I am going to shoot this deer to get rid of it and reduce mouths to feed and help my buck:doe ratio” is tremendously helpful in both LF and HF situations.

The bottom line with the research into culling: Don’t think of culling as removing an undesired genetic trait, i.e. short brow tines, from the herd. Rather think of culling as herd management and just removing mouths to feed and helping bring ratios into line. In the correct thought, one should usually be culling quite a few more doe than bucks every year.

Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696476 12/23/19 05:20 AM
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Interesting thread.

Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696700 12/23/19 04:20 PM
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It's so obvious this message is correct. We never, ever should have taken out this guy. Just think of the positive things he could have done for our pasture.

Attached Files A lil different.jpeg
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696704 12/23/19 04:27 PM
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Hudbone, what message is incorrect in the above?

Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696719 12/23/19 04:41 PM
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Shooting management or cull bucks certainly doesn't hurt your herd. If you have to take a certain number of bucks to maintain a healthy herd /ratio then how could it hurt to cull out lesser deer and leave the biggest to breed and die of old age. The ranch I am familiar with lets dozens and dozens of 150+ Bucks just die of old age but we try to cull out some of the 8's/9's10's that are mature but are not quite the best we see.


"Anyone taking up handloading necessarily plays with unknown factors and takes chances. But so does anyone who drives a car,goes to a cocktail party,eats in a restaurant,or gets married."

Jack O'Connor 1963
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: DStroud] #7696729 12/23/19 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DStroud
Shooting management or cull bucks certainly doesn't hurt your herd. If you have to take a certain number of bucks to maintain a healthy herd /ratio then how could it hurt to cull out lesser deer and leave the biggest to breed and die of old age. The ranch I am familiar with lets dozens and dozens of 150+ Bucks just die of old age but we try to cull out some of the 8's/9's10's that are mature but are not quite the best we see.


This^^^.......It doesn't hurt, and it gives the "experts" something to argue over!

Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696760 12/23/19 05:22 PM
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As mentioned above, culling for “herd management” is completely and scientifically proven to help. Reducing mouths to feed and helping to bring ratios in line is a big help and every management minded hunter should consider this.
However, culling to “get rid of those funky antlers from my herd by taking out this bucks genetics from the herd” is complete waste of time and no proven benefit. Genetic manipulation of the herd is near impossible in a LF native deer population, whereas maximization of the deer herd can be seen by culling deer from the herd. Again, the concept should involve a lot more doe culling than buck culling, but in a relatively balanced population, buck culling can be a part of the overall herd management program (but again, not trying to delete genetics from the herd, simply to reduce mouths to feed and keep ratios in line).

Last edited by Texas buckeye; 12/23/19 05:22 PM.
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: procraft05] #7696763 12/23/19 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by procraft05
How can culling in high fence work and culling in a low fence not?




My guess is a high fence isnt allowing anything in as much as it isnt allowing anything out, therefore you have total control on the herd. Low fence you dont have that unless you and everyone with 50 square miles works together. We have a 100 acres in Menard and no high fence near us. Everything is low fence. We never see the same deer twice so no point in managing. We shoot what we get. I saw a young 9 point that would have been a cull but didnt shoot it. Never saw it again. Learned ny lesson. I'm primarily a meat at hunter because we enjoy the meat and have fun cooking it different ways. I will save a buck tag until the end of the season just in case I see a "trophy" but it never happens. So it's used on a doe if that's all I see or a buck.

Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696772 12/23/19 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by txsuperman
Just listened to a radio show that talked about a 10yr study of the effects of culling in the wild. This does not pertain to high fence. But over a period of like 10yrs they had 3 areas they studied. One area had "heavy" culling. Another had "moderate" and the last had none. At the end of the study they realized that culling had absolutely zero effect on improving antler genetics in the wild. In fact, in the "heavy" culling area it actually had a negative effect. Thoughts?


It’s a play on words. Those that that cull to a high degree on LF and even large HF aren’t claiming they are changing genetics. That’s what the infinite wisdom of forums like THF preach by guys that need and excuse/justification to fill their buck tags.

Culling is achieving a proper ratio and numbers via a DEFINED carrying capacity and a Defined herd size.
Second culling is choosing what you want to continue to allow to grow year to year under the DEFINED carrying capacity.

Only way to influence genetics is to swamp the herd with genetics from a particular Sire, you can only influence multiple breedings with a lack of Male Breeders. Even then for a Buck to have successful multiple breedings he would have to be in a confined space With multiple does, because he physically can not run down enough does hard enough to get into double digit or even medium to high single digits.

So really the agruement is isn’t really genetic influence it’s buck tag allocation


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Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696779 12/23/19 05:50 PM
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Low fence genetics = hinz 57 mut. The biggest buck naturally conceived born and raised on your property has the same genetics and opportunity to pass on what he turned into a trophy as well as the no brow 6 or cow horn spike or short tined 8 etc. And similar a no brow six might get with the right doe and breed your next booner.

That's my take, your not changing the genetics you just picking what you want to invest your resources in.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696784 12/23/19 05:55 PM
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I listened to the same show. Here is the interesting fact that I took from it. In the study that they did, the did genetic testing of all captured bucks, so they knew which deer fathered which offspring. They had three areas they studied. One with aggressive culling, one with moderate culling, and one control with no culling. In the control group, they found that in many cases, "inferior" bucks had some of the highest scoring offspring. They found that aggressive culling hurt the buck to doe ratio, causing the does to go into estrous 2 and 3 times before being bred, causing late birth dates. That affected the overall herd health negatively, and resulted in net smaller antler production. Overall, they said that culling had no positive effect on antler production. All three areas did start with good buck to doe ratios, so culling to get buck to doe ratios in line would still be beneficial.


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: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: redchevy] #7696786 12/23/19 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
Low fence genetics = hinz 57 mut. The biggest buck naturally conceived born and raised on your property has the same genetics and opportunity to pass on what he turned into a trophy as well as the no brow 6 or cow horn spike or short tined 8 etc. And similar a no brow six might get with the right doe and breed your next booner.

That's my take, your not changing the genetics you just picking what you want to invest your resources in.


Correct, when you add in dispersal, his sir’ed son is probably not going to reside on said smaller properties also


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Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: procraft05] #7696794 12/23/19 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by procraft05
How can culling in high fence work and culling in a low fence not?



Genetically speaking it technically doesn’t in casual fashion on HF either. But for agruement sake, HF discourages dispersal and time a degree also allows for genetic swamping.

Most popular and effective way to improve your genetics, isn’t releasing Breeder Bucks, reproductive percentages are way to low. Most popular way is DMP program. Where one buck Breeders x amount of does and they are all released back. Repeat and repeat


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Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696795 12/23/19 06:00 PM
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If there is one thing I learned in college - You can make a study say ANYTHING you want simply by the way you set up the data collection!

Remember all those studies and polls that said Hillary would win by a landslide?

You have to remember that the bucks DNA is only part of the equation - the doe has genetic makeup as well; so by culling you will have less doe fathered by undesirable bucks also.

I know of one 5,000ac+ low fenced property in Oklahoma that culling combined with allowing mature bucks to age well past 4yo has made a huge difference on in just the last 6 years.

Now I do believe this has to do with property size - comparing culling on 5,000+ acres to culling on 160ac is a difference of night and day.


Last edited by deewayne2003; 12/23/19 06:07 PM.
Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: deewayne2003] #7696800 12/23/19 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by deewayne2003

If there is one thing I learned in college - You can make a study say ANYTHING you want simply by the way you set up the data collection!

Remember all those studies and polls that said Hillary would win by a landslide?


Newest studies are the genetic testing and following offspring. But in the end it stills comes down to you only have a finite amount of animals the landscape can support and you can’t dictate breedings numbers per sire


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Re: Culling doesn't work!!! [Re: txsuperman] #7696836 12/23/19 07:02 PM
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Culling hurts the buck doe ratio - how the heck does that work? The first thing to consider in any management plan is to achieve a desired buck to doe ratio. Once that is achieved you can then go in and attempt to shout the ugly out of the field. It really doesn't have to get too complicated above that. We have taken great pride in shooting out the ugly and we have lots of pretty left. 140's were trophies in the beginning and last year we took one @ 160 and two more in the 170's. Pretty proud of what has taken place at the ranch we have been on the last thirteen seasons. I guess it all has happened in spite of us.

From what pros of the "you can't cull them out crowd" are telling us is it would be better to keep the buck pictured previously and the one we have in this post (photos from 17, 18 & 19) should have been shot when first figured out he was pretty. Gosh darn, what are we thinking. Note to self - shoot out the pretty and the surviving ugly will do something better down the road - geez, right! Sounds like a reason to purchase an ugly car.

I often will reference that rational people will use logical arguments to come up with all sorts of crap, but this one may well take the cake. Stupid is as stupid does and if there is anyone out there that truly believes all is right with this study, then I know not what to say besides, "Please God, take care of them all for they know not what they do.".

Attached Files Comb from 17.JPGComb from 18.JPGComb 2.JPG
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