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QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

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QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

Old 01-21-2009, 10:31 AM
  #1  
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Default QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

A good friend of mine downstaterecently invited me to come down and bowhunt on his9000 acre private ranch in South Texas. I was allowed to shoot doe or a mature 8 point (a cull buck- their term), but nothing over 8 points.

They consider a mature deer 4 1/2 or older. Their thought is that if a 4 1/2 yo is no more than a 8 point by that time, he probably never will be anymore. I am not saying they are right or wrong, just sharing with you their protocol and reasoning.

It is a low fence operation. They feed protein during the spring and summer but not during the season.
They target 150"+ deer that are estimated to be at least 4 1/2 and are 9 points or more. They will kill between 8-12 of these size deer each year along with the cull bucks already described and lots of doe.

I had all of these three bucks within bow range hunting from a ground blind. These deer would have beenvery easy to take assuming one can half way shoot.Very different than the "spooky" bucks that I hunt at home which are only "moderately" pressured as compared to you guys that hunt public land.

While these deer do not fit their definition of a "cull", neither do they represent the "top end" of the bucks this ranch produces so maybe these are not true "representatives" of mature deer in their area. But having said that, I will maintain that they did not even act likea 2 1/2 yo back home as far as awareness and caution is concerned.

Thoughts?






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Old 01-21-2009, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

I wouldn't think it makes them stupid, but alot of those deer I would have to imagine see alot of people with nothing going wrong with them so they probably don't care, in a time of danger I bet the bucks instincts would kick in.

BTW nice pictures what kind of camera is that?

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Old 01-21-2009, 10:47 AM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

I'd say the Bucks are more relaxed because of very little hunting pressure.

I have an 80 acre spot I hunt, but there are 4 other guys that also have permission to hunt it. You learn quickly to use other hunters to your advantage or you won't do much good.

Is there really a difference in huntinga low fence and high fence QDM area? I have a friend that guides some for a High fence operation, but there is over 7,000 acres fenced in.

Where hunting pressure is Low the animals tend to be more relaxed. Most Public ground out west has less hunting pressure than private ground in IL.

Dan
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:29 PM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

John Eberhart touched on this in a recent D&DH article. His theory (this is paraphased) was that the bucks in lightly pressured QDM areas grow up and would have encounters with hunters and realize they're not getting shot so their "I-gotta-get-the-hell-out-of-here" reaction time is slower.In other words, they tolerate something out of the ordinary moreso than highly pressured bucks do.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:47 PM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

Absolutely, any micromanaged property that is void of predation not to mention hunting pressure will elicithighly tolerant deer.

Pressureis appliedover a bucks life viatwo major factors, rifle/bow hunters and predators. Hunting durationand# of hunters playsstrongly into the equation as well. I'll put a buck that is hunted by wolves, mountain lions and humans year around up against any animal in NA in regards to how extremely careful they are and how LOWof atolerance they have to negative stimuli.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:12 AM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

They've been desensitized to human presence just like a park deer. There are park deer that will let you walk up to 15' of them. I've walked up to elk bulls within 40 yards, and my buddy went to 20 yards, without them spooking in Estes Park. I've seen bucks bed down within 40 yards of a barking dog that was chained. The buck learned that the dog would never come after him. It's all conditioning.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:26 AM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

I understand and agree that lack of overall hunting pressure is PART of what I experienced, but keep in mind there is still a lot of hunting taking place on this ranch. They killed somewhere around 80 deer(mostly doe) on this ranch which granted is still only one per 112 acres, but it does get some hunting
pressure and lots of human activity.

I am wondering if the OTHER PART of the equation deals with the fact that some of these STUPID deer would have been killed earlier in life in a different setting, but by being protected, not only do they become too comfortable in their surroundings, but also pass on their STUPID genes as opposed to being killed as a 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 yo and minimizing their contribution to the genetic pool.

All theoretical I know, and probably can't be proved/disproved.

But I for whatever reason, I can tell you that after this experience, big horns by themselves don't impress me near as much as they did before this trip. This experience has added another layer to the location argument and how hard it is to compare one area to another, whether it be geopgraphical or management practices.

The pictures were shot with a Nikon D300.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:45 AM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

Jack I can relate, my uncle owns 58,000 acres in Montana, the last time i checked, 12 people get to hunt it a year. A group of lawyors out of Wyoming lease it for a very HIGH price. The elk and deer on my uncles place almost expect you to get out of their way. I helped my uncle drive some cattle for 3 days on horseback, I saw about 20,000 of his acres. You want to talk about LAID BACK tame critters.. I have never been around, mule deer, whitetails and massive amounts of elk that were so tolerant to our intrusion. Just like many of the hunting shows you see Bill Jordan, Primos, Jackie Bushwhackerhunting on in those private Montana ranches..No pressure means tame critters, period. Like I always say, anyone can kill a giant bull, buck or what ever these days, all it takes is $.

Bottom line hunting for a 400 bull on my uncles place,180 mule deeror a 170 whitetail is much easier simply due to very low pressure and the #s ... My uncle makes sure every coyote is killed ..He loves predator hunters, and lion hunters..hecharges a minimal trespass fee for those types of hunts too..as for Wolves...well I wont even go there..
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:29 AM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

ORIGINAL: jackflap

I am wondering if the OTHER PART of the equation deals with the fact that some of these STUPID deer would have been killed earlier in life in a different setting, but by being protected, not only do they become too comfortable in their surroundings, but also pass on their STUPID genes as opposed to being killed as a 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 yo and minimizing their contribution to the genetic pool.
I think that is a big part of it along with hunting pressure. Not every deer is the same. There are definitely smart ones, and definitely stupid ones. The higher the population, the higher likelihood you will encounter more of both. Since they were only killing 4.5+, I'm assuming there were plenty of 2.5s in the herd.

Great shots by the way.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: QDM, does it make Bucks STUPID?

What's upTroy!

I've thought about this some. I'm not sure that the Texas experience equates with many areas.

It isn't a lack of hunting pressure in SW Texas. It's that they feed the animals at set feeders and hunters constantly hunt the same stands, and those same hunters pass on hundreds of deer.

So obviously the high number of human encounters with no negative side effects produces a lower level of caution and urge to flight.

To me this gets confused with low pressure areas being easy to hunt. We have a few areas on our property that are close to asanctuary and not really hunted. Since there is no human intrusion, if you slip up even a little, the deer go crazy. They don't expect human scent or any signs of humans and when they encounter it they go onsuper high alert.

All the above crap tosay that it is not always correct toassume that low pressure areas are always easy to hunt. I do however think that a high pressure area where the huntersconsistently pass all young bucks (engages in QDM) will be much more likely to produce less skittish(or stupid)bucks.
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