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Buck Mortality #8543109 02/27/22 09:21 PM
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Found a dead 3 year old buck this past weekend outside one of the feeder pens. Looked 3-4 days old and 90% eaten. Antlers looked freshly shed and still red/raw looking. Haven’t been able to confirm which buck it was but hadn’t seen any bucks in bad body condition leading up to this. Realize it could have been anything, but what are some of the most common causes of buck mortality this time of year?

Doubt it’s related but found a dead pig and cow that were both fresh (within 24 hours) as well.

Re: Buck Mortality [Re: Double AC] #8543311 02/28/22 01:07 AM
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Post rut mortality in 3 and 4 yr old bucks can be high on some ranches. With a good number of bucks in all age classes and some mature bucks, the 3 to 4 yr old get pushed off the ranch or spend a lot of time moving around. They get into a lot of fights from moving around and then get really rundown IME. Also with the recent really cold wet/ice temps then really warm temps followed by really damp cold temps again, pneumonia can be a real issue with rundown bucks. Coyotes can really get those post rut bucks also if they have lost their antlers. Can't defend themselves and are really rundown after the rut.


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Re: Buck Mortality [Re: stxranchman] #8544080 02/28/22 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
Post rut mortality in 3 and 4 yr old bucks can be high on some ranches. With a good number of bucks in all age classes and some mature bucks, the 3 to 4 yr old get pushed off the ranch or spend a lot of time moving around. They get into a lot of fights from moving around and then get really rundown IME. Also with the recent really cold wet/ice temps then really warm temps followed by really damp cold temps again, pneumonia can be a real issue with rundown bucks. Coyotes can really get those post rut bucks also if they have lost their antlers. Can't defend themselves and are really rundown after the rut.


Makes sense, we definitely see the widest ranges from our middle aged deer. Hadn't thought about pneumonia and the fluctuating temps

Re: Buck Mortality [Re: Double AC] #8545698 03/02/22 04:15 PM
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agree with stx ... also another thought popped into my head, are there any MLD ranches in near proximity? late season tag filling and bad shooting???


"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

~PMK~
Re: Buck Mortality [Re: PMK] #8545717 03/02/22 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PMK
agree with stx ... also another thought popped into my head, are there any MLD ranches in near proximity? late season tag filling and bad shooting???


We are the only low fence MLD ranch within a wide radius and all of our neighbors are responsible landowners who wouldn’t shoot out of season. I’m leaning toward weather induced illness as Stx mentioned just becuase we saw some other wildlife casualties this trip

Re: Buck Mortality [Re: Double AC] #8545782 03/02/22 05:48 PM
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I've found 2 mature bucks dead so far. they were both 6 plus. Both had already been eaten up but were fresh kills meaning I could still open their jaws. Saw buzzards. One had already shed both horns and the other only had one that just broke off when I tried. I had seen both on the cameras the week before and they looked poor and run down. I'm also thinking coyotes took advantage of their run down state and not having horns to protect themselves. One was in the 190's other was low 200's so that sucked pretty bad. We have been pulling protein in Oct and starting up again in Feb. but this year we started in early January because of no rain. Brush was okay until the 1st freeze in Jan then it looked like a desert. But feed didn't save them so we're rethinking what to do this season. If we don't stop feeding in Oct the mature bucks are impossible to catch in the daytime except for the rut.

Re: Buck Mortality [Re: Double AC] #8545783 03/02/22 05:49 PM
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The deer where I hunt look pretty bad - the worst shape I can remember.. The mature bucks that ran the hardest look the worst. We've had under 1/2 inch of measurable rain in the last 3 months. Just dry cold fronts... everything is long since froze and nothing is growing.

Re: Buck Mortality [Re: Double AC] #8547423 03/04/22 12:43 PM
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I may be wrong but at least for around here coyotes are becoming a problem for grown WT Deer. My son had a WT doe killed recently as did my sister. A couple of places next to me were recently divided into 20 plus acres parcels. I have not seen a deer in any of those places in months. I had a couple of mouflon lambs killed in the last few weeks. I don't know maybe coyotes are learning that taking down a WT is not that difficult and there is a heck of a lot more eating on it as opposed to a rat or rabbit.

Re: Buck Mortality [Re: Double AC] #8548307 03/05/22 01:29 PM
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I think finding fresh dead deer, first thing I would do if I felt I had a problem of some animal taking down deer, I would set up cameras and try to get an answer. However, even a bobcat will eat on carcasses..but might answer some questions. If packs of wolves,coyotes, or cats are taking deer this is serious. Then seeing dead cows with injuries maybe p&w or cattlemen [censored]. might help.

Re: Buck Mortality [Re: Double AC] #8593444 05/08/22 01:54 AM
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trophybuck135 Offline
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Good points

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