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#288212 - 07/04/07 09:48 AM BSK, Wes and others (QDM success)
AlabamaSwamper
12 Point


Registered: 06/03/04
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Loc: Southern Wayne CO and NW Alaba...

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I've been on a honeymoon (GRR, lol) so I have been reading the other thread.

BSK, as a man who does management for a living, what in your opinion is most important?

A: Deer herd overall health regardless of hunters' views or satisfaction.

B: Better than average (or those under traditional management) herds with high hunter satisfaction.


Most properties, including ours, that practice some sort of management cannot (due to unwilling members) produce the data necessary to actually know if the herd health is great, good or bad.

Although, through cameras and past experiences, I can say I believe our herd is better than it was 3 years ago. More fawns being observed with cameras and while hunting. More food plots for the animals and an increase in doe harvest. We have also protected our younger bucks for the most part. We have taken 5 bucks that costs folks some money in two years but that is better than 20 I guess.

We haven't hammered the does nocturnal yet. SIghtings are still pretty good and buck sightings for most of us have tripled the last two years.

While I have no data to prove our herd is healthier (GRR), I can say without a doubt that our hunting has improved (at least the majority of the club, some just aren't good at seeing deer), our buck population is much older on average (cameras tell us this) and with the much needed plots we have put in the last 2 years, there is plenty more food.

I would say we are option B. SOme herd improvement in two years (still a young management property and getting better) but also the hunting has improved. Most likely from not hammering the does. We aren't overpopulated to the extent our plots are mowed down like some areas but we are trying to more so just bring the ratio as tight as we can get it (probably 1:3 or a little less when we started and now 1:2.5) while not hurting our hunting experiences. As with most clubs, once you drive the does nocturnal and people quit seeing deer, you can kiss any management goodbye.

My last question:

Is no management any worse than what we are doing currently or is any management better than none.

As with most properties, we will have to continue to change things as we go as the herd changes I'm sure.


Edited by AlabamaSwamper (07/04/07 09:49 AM)
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#288369 - 07/04/07 11:27 AM Re: BSK, Wes and others (QDM success) [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Without question, hunter satisfaction is priority #1. I say that because even if a management program is producing biological successes, if the hunters are not benefitting from that management, they will want to go back to the "old way" of doing things.

So the trick with any successful management system is to push it as far as hunters will put up with. Every property and group of hunters are unique. You don't have to live by any set of "hard and fast" rules. That's why, when hunters ask how many does they should shoot, I say shoot them until doe sighting become unacceptable and then back off a little bit. To have a successful program you don't need the sex ratio to be exactly "X". Any improvement is a help. Some hunters won't be happy with over-all sightings if the observed sex ratio is pushed below 2 does per buck. And that's fine. Some can stand an observed sex ratio of 1.5 does per buck, although that means over-all sighting rates will be lower. That's even better. What I'm getting at is any improvement is good, and I would push it as far as hunters will allow.

The same goes for buck harvests. Some believe you aren't practicing QDM unless you are passing up all bucks until they are 3 1/2. I disagree. Simply passing up yearlings will produce results.

I wouldn't worry too much about not being able to collect good observation data. It's not as important as other information. Personally, I relly far more on trail-camera data than on observation data. The best use of observation data is observed fawn recruitment numbers and as a "measure of success" (observed shooter bucks per hunt, etc.--a numeric way of measuring success).
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#288374 - 07/04/07 11:32 AM Re: BSK, Wes and others (QDM success) [Re: BSK]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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Is no management any worse than what we are doing currently or is any management better than none.

Some management is always better than none. The question is, how far can you push the management without reducing the quality of the hunting experience for the majority of the hunters.

Unfortunately, older bucks really are harder to kill than young bucks. A lot harder. It can take several years for hunters that are used to harvesting the first buck they see to "learn" how to successfully hunt older bucks. I honestly spend more time trying to teach clients how to hunt the older bucks they are producing than I did teaching them how to produce older bucks.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#288404 - 07/04/07 12:23 PM Re: BSK, Wes and others (QDM success) [Re: BSK]
AlabamaSwamper
12 Point


Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 5133
Loc: Southern Wayne CO and NW Alaba...

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Without question, hunter satisfaction is priority #1. I say that because even if a management program is producing biological successes, if the hunters are not benefitting from that management, they will want to go back to the "old way" of doing things.


I was thinking the same thing, I just wanted to see what someone in your position thought on this. Although, I'm sure you would love to see the perfect world (like myself and many others) where the herd could be in as natural of a herd as possible and still have high hunter satisfaction.

Our club walks a tight line. Some don't like restrictions on bucks, some still don't think we need to shoot does and some are happy. Giving the argumentive advantage to those that are against any type of management is what we are trying to stop.
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#288475 - 07/04/07 02:30 PM Re: BSK, Wes and others (QDM success) [Re: BSK]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
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Registered: 05/14/04
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Without question, hunter satisfaction is priority #1.


Bryan - Excellent answer... ;\)
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#289116 - 07/05/07 10:33 AM Re: BSK, Wes and others (QDM success) [Re: BigGameGuy]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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AS,

The problem with your situation is one of "hunter satisfaction" because of different levels of desire. I hate to say it, but one of the keys to successful management is all of the hunters being on the same page--desired hunting experience-wise.

When some hunters on a property would be thrilled with any antlered buck, including spikes or forkhorns, yet other hunters want the "QDM experience," problems will arise.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#289239 - 07/05/07 12:17 PM Re: BSK, Wes and others (QDM success) [Re: BSK]
ferg
Cancer Free
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Registered: 07/29/04
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Loc: At the TNDeer shirt factory %^...

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
[b]
Unfortunately, older bucks really are harder to kill than young bucks. A lot harder. It can take several years for hunters that are used to harvesting the first buck they see to "learn" how to successfully hunt older bucks. I honestly spend more time trying to teach clients how to hunt the older bucks they are producing than I did teaching them how to produce older bucks.



Bryan - would it be ok for me to use this quote to provoke some discussion on another board ?

ferg....
(You know which one LOL)
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#289274 - 07/05/07 12:45 PM Re: BSK, Wes and others (QDM success) [Re: ferg]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Have at it!
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#289394 - 07/05/07 02:11 PM Re: BSK, Wes and others (QDM success) [Re: BSK]
ferg
Cancer Free
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Registered: 07/29/04
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I thank you sir -

ferg....
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What's your PSA #? Don't know? You should, do it.

USCG(Ret)
Semper Par !




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