Fallacy of managing the Buck to Doe Ratio - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 01-03-2015, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default Fallacy of managing the Buck to Doe Ratio

Found this to be an interesting presentation given how most outdoor shows talk about harvesting does to keep the optimal 1:1 ratio in the herd. Many folks immediately translate that into justification for increasing the doe harvest when what it means is that there is an overharvest of the bucks.

I've personally seen how a great public tract can quickly get overharvested due to mismanagement. My casual observation (not based in quantifiable data) is the explosion in popularity of bow hunting without taking into account the damage that's being done to the herd by taking so many lactating does in October.

Enjoy the presentation, if you are into that sorta thing.

http://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/fileadmin...Buck_Ratio.pdf
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:49 AM   #2
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I have always said shooting doe's was the wrong way to bring the doe-buck ratio back.All that does is reduce the herd buy less fawns produced.Killing more doe deer to bring the "Doe-Buck ratio" to a level of more buck deer is just crazyIMO!
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:55 AM   #3
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Just throwing this out there,a buddy took his son to his club last evening and used one of his doe tags on a 110# doe that happened to be lactating,in JAN.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:00 PM   #4
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Shooting does is fine just not slaying them. Like 2 or 3 doe weekends would be fine. Enough to then them out a little but not enough to hurt the herd. But this is where I have said before where we should have 2 to 3 bucks per hunter and stay with the regs now with the three points on one side or the 10" main beam. But I know some people got their panties in a wad about that.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:16 PM   #5
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Interesting article, though it is only one and it is from Texas where supplemental feeding is common. It is really hard on public land where there is less control than on private land.

The fertility of does is related to nutrition which is partially related to density, an indicator of population density is the number of fawns per doe, lots of twins means good nutrition and likely a reasonable population. Conversely singles and does without fawns likely means too many deer competing for food. A lactating doe late in the year (Jan) indicates she was bred late which may mean not enough bucks to go around.

Bottom line, with data it is hard to make blanket statements. Collecting age, weight, antler circumference, parasite counts and repro rates are the data that will tell the story about herd health, age class distribution and habitat quality.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:50 PM   #6
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The days of private managed leases are over. Sure places like King Ranch that has NO LOCALS poaching or hunting around them can do it. But if you have a lease that is bordered by other hunters you will NEVER be able to MANAGE your deer population, the "If it's brown it's down mentality" is rampant in hunting now days. It reminds me of back when I lived in apartments, it does you no good to clean your counters, seal your food, and take trash out when the neighbor on both sides lives trashy you will still have roaches, Had a lease we tried to manage in Milton, and every weekend we would come back we would find a poached skinned carcass sitting on the side of our lease, they knew as soon as we would leave and they would swarm our lease and shoot anything that would move.

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Old 01-03-2015, 01:10 PM   #7
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You don't even know how many hundreds of deer get shot out of the ag fields at night with the depredation permits. That's the big killer of the deer herd. "Legal poaching/night hunting" Those deer make a small migration from a few miles around during the summer time towards those ag fields, and most just get shot and left to rot. While around a lot of those fields there are food plots & gas lines right near them that are planted with millet and crap for birds, or nothing at all, when they could be planted with stuff that deer like to keep them out of the ag fields, but that would just make too much sense.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:06 PM   #8
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It's not a hard choice or a problem that has to be pondered a lot.

Does and their fawns eat the most desirable food. Food eaten in the spring and summer build the horns. If you want better horns you have to kill more does and try to balance the ratio. When the numbers are down, the food quality and quantity is improved; therefore, the horn structure is better if you allow the other component in the equation to go forward...AGE.

Texas has made a science out of this and people in low buck harvest states (those with tag system) have adopted this science. You can have the same result if your adjacent leases and landowners are on the same page.

If you want to read the science of how to achieve better rack quality, read Dr. James Kroll. He has a doctorate in deer herd and herd quality management. He has only been doing it about forty years. He has contacts in every institution that is doing research on the subject and he is on the payroll of dozens of property owners who manage for quality deer herds.

Finally, you can have quality deer without doing ANY of this as long as the people around you are following an establish management program. You will find better quality deer around places where they are doing crop predation thinning as long as they don't shoot deer with racks.

We have the genetics here. All the animals need is Quality and Quantity of Food and AGE.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:45 PM   #9
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Also to have a better deer herd we have to manage the predators to. BW is a prime example. We hunt deer and that's it. The average hunter might shoot a coyote but if you add in buck only, hardly anyone shooting coyotes. Leaves for a bad deer herd to.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #10
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This guy's 'Power Point' presentation has a few good points.

Best Point: Most people are harvesting TOO MANY bucks.

Next question: How many deer can you afford to feed?

His presentation says that you can sustain survival of 30 fawns (total) per year on 1,000 acres IF YOU FEED. Some of that will depend on the quality of your soil and natural mast and shrub. He says that really it should be 43, because 13 will die from natural causes.

That means that you need to shoot 30 does per year on 1,000 acres. We had 9,000 acres in Alabama and the state would just give us 100 tags. That is only 11 does per 1,000. We couldn't get members to even kill 100 and if the landowners stopped seeing does on greenfields, they would say that we were killing too many. NO Science...just their intuition.

In the presenters info. he mentioned that they don't cull any buck before they reach 4 1/2 year to 5 1/2 years. I think it is rare for a buck to live to 4 1/2, around here.

The poster who mentioned that fawn births will increase if there is a good food source is correct. Fawn birth will fluctuate based on the food intake and quality that the doe is getting.

I really don't think you can take too many does around here....honestly. I have NEVER heard anybody say, 'We don't have any does.' You do hear this about bucks, all the time.
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