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Virginia deer are small.

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Virginia deer are small.

Old 11-06-2011, 08:05 PM
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Default Virginia deer are small.

Help me out. I live in central VA. I have never hunted anywhere but Virginia. Mostly here in my area. A few times, in the mountains. I've seen a few big bodied deer but mostly small ones. The "bodied deer I'm talking ab out are less than 200 lbs. I have seen some very respectable racks on deer around here but never anything like the body size I see in pictures from the midwest and northeast. Is it the heat that keeps them small or is it a genetics thing?
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:57 AM
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Yes, I think on average Virginia deer are smaller than the northern and western deer. I think the further south you go the smaller they get. I shot a doe in Ohio a few years back that was as big as any buck I have gotten in Virginia. Granted I have never gotten a large buck but still, this doe was as big or bigger than any deer I have gotten.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:53 AM
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Seen a couple that were horses but are few and far between. Amazing to hear people in the Midwest taking deer that are 250lbs plus.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:42 AM
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Yes, there are alot of variables that keep deer smaller in Virginia. Numero uno being nutrition. I would say hound hunting and the lack of QDMA are the second. It doesn't give them time to grow up like they have in the midwest if you have the "if it's brown, it's down" mentality. There's no way we can compete with Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska or Indiana. We do have big antlered deer here but they rarely get a chance to grow to their max potential in these parts unless they are in a protected area like Maymont Park.



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Old 11-07-2011, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by VA5326 View Post
Yes, there are alot of variables that keep deer smaller in Virginia. Numero uno being nutrition. I would say hound hunting and the lack of QDMA are the second. It doesn't give them time to grow up like they have in the midwest if you have the "if it's brown, it's down" mentality. There's no way we can compete with Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska or Indiana. We do have big antlered deer here but they rarely get a chance to grow to their max potential in these parts unless they are in a protected area like Maymont Park.



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I wouldn't say nutrition is bad, although the land isn't as mineral rich as those famous areas in Illinois.

QDM has a lot to do with it. Every hunter can shoot three bucks east of the blue ridge. So when a small buck walks by, there is no reason to pass on it. Unless you own thousands of acres, passing on smaller bucks is not likely to yield bigger bucks because your neighbors are likely to shoot the buck you passed on.

I took a three point last wednesday. I can assure you that if I only had one buck tag, I would have passed.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Stonewall308 View Post
QDM has a lot to do with it. Every hunter can shoot three bucks east of the blue ridge. So when a small buck walks by, there is no reason to pass on it. Unless you own thousands of acres, passing on smaller bucks is not likely to yield bigger bucks because your neighbors are likely to shoot the buck you passed on.
I do not pass bucks if they are a half decent size. I am a meat hunter and not a trophy hunter and average 1 deer per year. I don't have large tracts of land to manage and most people in VA don't either. So you take what you get because as Stonewall308 said, if you don't someone else will.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:20 PM
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Not necessarily true. I used to agree w/ that, but having access to lg. tracts of land means you can benefit from QDM. Won't shoot anything smaller than 120" now, but like I said, that wasn't the case for many years. We harvest 200 lbers. quite often. I shot a nice 11 pointer Sat. on our farm in Manassas, didn't weigh him but I'd say he was up there. We've got some monsters (body size & racks) on a couple places we hunt in Fauquier.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:29 PM
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Last year I got a 120 range deer. My first larger rack deer and it yielded about 70 lbs of meat. That was my largest deer by far. There are a few times in the woods that I have seen big deer but mostly the body size of the deer I see just isn't very big. I even have pics of deer that are 10+ points but the body size just doesn't compare to other states...not ever close. Perhaps it is the areas that I hunt. I hunt urban areas near my home and public land.
On public land you seldom let a legal animal walk because opportunities are few and far between. I really think it's the heat and the genetics. The nutrition is here. We have lima beans and corn and beats and peanuts around here so the deer have plenty to eat but I don't know of anyone who has taken a deer large than 170 lbs. And that is rare. I shot a doe tonight and she was about 90 lbs....dressed out to just under 70 lbs. That is about average for does around here. I see some of the ones on TV and it looks like the does are over 200 lbs
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:43 PM
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I've taken deer the last three years that were 180+ pounds. I will stick with nutrition on this one. There is no way Virginia can compete with the agriculture (i.e. nutrition) of the midwest states. When we start getting the amount of Booners that those states get then I may change my mind. I agree with what's been stated above to some extent. Start giving us one buck tag for the season and the antlers will start to get bigger.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by coolbrze0 View Post
Not necessarily true. I used to agree w/ that, but having access to lg. tracts of land means you can benefit from QDM. Won't shoot anything smaller than 120" now, but like I said, that wasn't the case for many years. We harvest 200 lbers. quite often. I shot a nice 11 pointer Sat. on our farm in Manassas, didn't weigh him but I'd say he was up there. We've got some monsters (body size & racks) on a couple places we hunt in Fauquier.
Completely agree. I just wish the rest of Va would take a lesson from some of the NoVa counties. The deer up here are starting to mirror the deer in Maryland more than the rest of Virginia. It's amazing how big deer can get if they aren't spooked out of their minds and ran into another county by dogs. Just sayin. I enjoy deer hunting with dogs but it does affect the herd in a negative way.

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