Originally Posted By: waynesworld
I don't know what the bucks mental capacity is but would reason also look at if you lower the doe population then the competition for the food would also be lowered and that has a direct influence in the quality of bucks. Also you lessen the problems of over population. But on the other hand the less does the less chances for a buck born the next year to replace the ones you are killing.

In an area where deer populations are relatively high in comparison to food availability (and the actual number doesn't have to be high--just high in relation to how much food the habitat produces), lowering deer density will increase antler size on same-age bucks. This is exactly why we saw a big surge in large-antlered bucks being killed in the areas hit hardest by EHD a few years ago. Fewer mouths were sharing the same available food sources, hence each deer received a diet higher in the best food sources, which in turn increased individual deer performance (antler growth).

But lowering the deer density and increasing performance also does more than grow larger antlers. It also allows does to produce more offspring. So lowering the deer density doesn't automatically decrease fawn production. In fact, it can actually increase fawn production (more surviving fawns produced per doe offsets the fewer number of does).

Calculating how many does need to be removed from an area is an extremely complicated process. It requires knowing a great deal about the local population, how that population is relating to the available food resources, what current doe harvests are for the area, predator numbers in the area, the goals of the hunters/managers in the area for population and herd health, etc. Developing proper doe harvest goals will always we a site specific process. No easy answers exist.
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