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What to Expect on MLD? #7931550 08/11/20 04:57 PM
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TxHunter87 Offline OP
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My lease has been on MLD for 10 or so year.

I can say that before MLD, we saw tons of does, wouldn’t be uncommon to see multiple groups each time you sat. I can remember one afternnon counting 16 different does in 1 afternoon. During that time we would only see a hand full of bucks, even on game cams. Could go a whole year and not see 1 buck but ofr a yearling spike here and there.

As MLD start it was hard to change the minds of hunters to shoot does and though we shot more does, we didn’t ever reach out tag limit which was never very high, I think under 10 antler-less tags each year.

Fast forward a few more years and all of sudden we start seeing more and more bucks, each year they seem to get older and you could tell something in the program was working. Are doe numbers were still up but our buck numbers were too.

Now in more recent years, buck sightings and numbers are way up, in all age classes, but our doe sightings are very low. Our observation reports had 16 bucks and 6 does for 2020. Our game camera observations showed even more bucks with the same amount of does.

Im not sure what to make of the fewer and fewer does we are seeing. Part of me is worried but at the same time I don’t know if this is normal in a MLD Program.

Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7931585 08/11/20 05:25 PM
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Size of property, number of hunters, region of the state, habitat on the property, etc.... need a little more info.

Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7931594 08/11/20 05:29 PM
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I think the increased number of bucks on the property have displaced the does you typically see pushing them onto surrounding properties.


Don't pass the first day of the season what you'd be happy to shoot the last day of the season.
Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7931600 08/11/20 05:33 PM
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How big is the place?


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7931630 08/11/20 05:59 PM
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Our lease is 609 acres with 6 hunters but i don't think we have ever reached our quote on the amount of antler-less deer we have taken. also before the buck numbers went up so high it was very common to see multiple does each hunt.

For the MLD we are combined with 6 or more leases that make up a huge amount of acreage, digging through old emails but i cant find the exact amount of acres the whole MLD covers.

East Texas, Trinity County

Its mostly pine plantation with creek bottoms and a pipeline

Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7931648 08/11/20 06:17 PM
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We are on 6000 acres and see that the bucks push the does off certain sections. My favorite spot will have 8 to 10 bucks one year then the next year have 30 does even after taking 5 or 6 does out of the bunch. One feeder may be all does and another may be all bucks. I have a little 20 acre piece of land that alternates from year to year with bucks or does. Unless it's a real dry year that rarely mix until the bachelor groups break up.


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7931689 08/11/20 07:03 PM
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Do you get together with the other leases at the end of the year to compare harvest data, pictures, talk about what everyone is seeing, or does the biologist provide the data from the surrounding leases since all the leases are being managed as one unit? As far as the does numbers going down I'd say that is pretty typical on a lot of MLDP properties because the buck doe ratio is so far apart to begin with. As long as you're still seeing does I don't think I'd worry about it. Bucks tend to move from summer to winter areas and travel a lot during rut. Does tend to stay in much smaller home ranges and groups tend to be related...mother, daughters, sister, etc.

Would be interesting to know the survey data for the entire unit to see what they are seeing compared to your lease. If you saw 6 does on your survey and your survey observed 20% (just an example may be less being pine plantation) of the property that would be 30 does on 600 acres or 1 doe per 20 acres. With 16 bucks observed that would be 80 bucks on 600 acres or 1 buck per 7.5 acres. combined 110 deer on 600 acres or 1 deer per 5.5 acres. Seems a little high for East Texas but without knowing the other properties survey data and exactly what percentage of the property you observed during your survey its all just a SWAG at this point.

Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7931744 08/11/20 07:55 PM
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The other leases and us dont get together from what i know of. Like i said this lease has been on the MLD for 10 years or more and i have been on the lease all those years and the last 2 years have been president. i can say we have had a pretty bad relationship with our Biologist for the first few years until the old lease memeber got off and left me and another guy to put it back together.

Since then we have been working to get on the good side of our biologist and have a better relationship but some of t could be he is managing alot of land and we diffently are one of the smaller tracks.

With that being said i know the Biologist has had face to face meeting with the other leases that are part of his management area and this year we will have one for the first time.

We do get a end of season report with what everyone has shot and how the whole did. With not knowing anything about the other leases its hard to say what some of theses figures mean but below i can show you some numbers that are given

# of Acres Per Deer-15
# of Deer Per 1,000 Acres-66

Antlered Goal-90
Antlered Harvest-46
Percent of Harvest (Antlered) 51%
Antlerless Goal-120
Antlerless Harvest-65
Percent of Harvest (Antlerless) 54%

Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7931767 08/11/20 08:09 PM
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Neighbors truly cooperating is extremely rare, no matter the acreage. And that's the LOs. I would imagine different lease members getting together to help each other is almost unheard of.


...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: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: Creekrunner] #7932034 08/11/20 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Creekrunner
Neighbors truly cooperating is extremely rare, no matter the acreage. And that's the LOs. I would imagine different lease members getting together to help each other is almost unheard of.


I would agree, and also say its sad.

Re: What to Expect on MLD? [Re: TxHunter87] #7932114 08/12/20 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TxHunter87
The other leases and us dont get together from what i know of. Like i said this lease has been on the MLD for 10 years or more and i have been on the lease all those years and the last 2 years have been president. i can say we have had a pretty bad relationship with our Biologist for the first few years until the old lease memeber got off and left me and another guy to put it back together.

Since then we have been working to get on the good side of our biologist and have a better relationship but some of t could be he is managing alot of land and we diffently are one of the smaller tracks.

With that being said i know the Biologist has had face to face meeting with the other leases that are part of his management area and this year we will have one for the first time.

We do get a end of season report with what everyone has shot and how the whole did. With not knowing anything about the other leases its hard to say what some of theses figures mean but below i can show you some numbers that are given

# of Acres Per Deer-15
# of Deer Per 1,000 Acres-66

Antlered Goal-90
Antlered Harvest-46
Percent of Harvest (Antlered) 51%
Antlerless Goal-120
Antlerless Harvest-65
Percent of Harvest (Antlerless) 54%




Looking at those numbers it appears the deer density on your property is a little higher than 15 acres per deer, that would give you 40 total deer on 609 acres and you observed 22 on your surveys. I doubt your surveyed anywhere near 50% of your property during the survey I'd guess more around 10-20% and being pine plantation in East Texas I'd think it was closer to the 10% unless you have a lot of fresh clear cuts when the survey was done or you have a lot of mature stands that had just been burned so you could see a good distance from the road. Assuming you did spotlight surveys. Seems you're on the right track with the MLD if your buck doe harvest recommendations are 90 and 120 that's getting pretty close to 1:1. Our first few years we were getting 10-12 buck tags and 30-40 doe tags.

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