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Deer Management question

Old 02-11-2010, 06:37 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Deer Management question

I will be leasing (5 year) a 200+ acre parcel this season. I have hunted this parcel for the last 10 years. I have taken 7 bucks from the land, including a 131 class buck with a shotgun and a 115 class buck with my bow. The parcel is about 65% open old farm land that is bush hogged every other year. The remaining land is about half hardwoods and pines and the other half scrub brush and real old apple orchards.
It has primarily been hunted by my group of 3 hunters and another group who bring as many as 9 hunters with them opening weekend gun season. I bow hunt the parcel with my 15 yo son. Generally there is no one else.
I have 11 tree stands set up for bow season and they are generally on the perimeter with a few about 50 yards in. I plan to hunt gun season the sam way but even farther from the perimeter. I want the deer to move naturally and keep the big woods a sanctuary.
I plan to allow no more than 3 hunters at any one time. I plan to allow each hunter one doe throughout the entire season.
Here is my question: For bucks would you suggest
A) outside the ears
B) 8 point or better
C) Other - please make suggestion
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:11 AM
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What we do on our leases is say, if you shoot it (meaning buck), then you must mount it. We all have agreed about which taxidermist to use and he charges $450, so that at least makes a guy think before he pulls the trigger.

I had a "buddy" in 2008 kill a small 1 1/2 old 5 pointer. He said he was not going to get it mounted and he knew the rule. I did not get upset, I just told him he hunted his last day on any of these properties if he did not mount it. He did not mount it and while we still hang out and shoot together, he has not spent a single minute in any of our stands since then.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kickin_buck View Post
if you shoot it (meaning buck), then you must mount it
We used this rule on an old property that I hunted in NC and it is very effective and simple. You have to be willing to hold people's feet to the fire as kickin_buck described.

You could probably let the guys shoot more than one doe as long as they are disciplined enough to thoroughly check for button bucks.

Effective management is much more difficult than it sounds. It only takes one bad hunter (or guest or tresspasser or dog hunting incursion) to ruin years of patient management and discipline. Good luck and be ready for the unexpected.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:42 AM
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Another thing I did not mention... I live directly across the raod from the land so I can see it daily.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nybuckboy View Post
Another thing I did not mention... I live directly across the raod from the land so I can see it daily.
That is a HUGE help!!!

Just for my own knowledge. Are you wanting to practice "true" QDM, meaning improve all aspects of the entire herd, or are you wanting to practice "trophy" management, meaning improving the chances of harvesting "trophy" bucks?

I only ask because the two are not the same thing. While "true" QDM can and will increase the number of trophy bucks, larger (or more) racks is not the main focus. It is like the arguement that Lee and Tiffany have...."Bigger Bucks, Healtier Deer".
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:56 PM
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Bigger bucks. There is a pretty healthy herd here now, say 25 that frequent the area. I saw 21 doe and 3 buck opening day muzzle load before 10am in the morning. The next day sitting in the same spot, I saw 2 more different buck and a few of the same doe.

The only other people hunting will be my soon to be 16 yo son, my nephew and another long time hunting buddy. There won't be any outsiders or individuals who will pay to hunt here. I'm looking for a good rule of thumb they we can all understand and abide by.
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by nybuckboy View Post
C) Other - please make suggestion
Minimum age of 3 1/2 yrs. This will help mitigate shooting those young bucks with lots of potential. However, this criterion will put a burden on you and your fellow hunters to learn the characteristics of older bucks...

-fsh
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fshafly2 View Post
Minimum age of 3 1/2 yrs. This will help mitigate shooting those young bucks with lots of potential. However, this criterion will put a burden on you and your fellow hunters to learn the characteristics of older bucks...

-fsh

Judging the age of a deer from the stand can get tricky. I don't really know a good rule of tumb. I know guys that say 8 points or better and outside the ears. Then a buddy of mine (not on my ground) shot a 7pt this year that had 16" plus g2's, a crap load of mass and was no more than 14" wide and aged out at 7 1/2. I guess he should have let that buck go.

Same guy shoots for Wild Outdoors. They have been told that unless you say "wow" when you first see the deer, then it is not a shooter. I understand that will be different for everyone, but you have a 16 year old hunting with you. How many 115" bucks has he killed? Do you really want your son to pass on the biggest buck of his life, even if it is only 115".

IMHO, the best thing to do is limit everyone to one buck. This make them have to think if this buck is "the" buck and also limit the number of bucks being taken allowing more bucks to reach a high age.
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:58 PM
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I say with only 200 acres and a 5 yr lease you need to limit the number of bucks to one per hunter and to greatly thin down the doe numbers,I believe you said the first time you hunted your stand you saw 21 does and 3 bucks,thats a 7 to 1 ratio ,that's your problem right there and thats just the does you saw.Thin the does and limit the bucks then reevaluate in 3 years and see where your at with your buck numbers and size according to sightings,trail cams ,ect.You will see more bucks if you get rid of some of those does,does will push the bucks out.
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:09 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by treboryerf View Post
I say with only 200 acres and a 5 yr lease you need to limit the number of bucks to one per hunter and to greatly thin down the doe numbers,I believe you said the first time you hunted your stand you saw 21 does and 3 bucks,thats a 7 to 1 ratio ,that's your problem right there and thats just the does you saw.Thin the does and limit the bucks then reevaluate in 3 years and see where your at with your buck numbers and size according to sightings,trail cams ,ect.You will see more bucks if you get rid of some of those does,does will push the bucks out.


LMAO you cannot judge doe to buck ratio in one sitting, count does, and bucks seen all year, total it at the end of hunting season then get your ratio, and its still gonna be heavy on the doe side because of button heads you counted as does maybe because you cant identify then correctly sometimes or u only got a glimpse of an un-antlered deer.


and and i just now realized that you said Does will push the bucks out
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