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#3060245 - 12/02/12 08:21 PM deer density
Eric Kilby
10 Point


Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 3602
Loc: Tellico Plains

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what deer density per square mile is healthy?
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#3060395 - 12/02/12 09:19 PM Re: deer density [Re: Eric Kilby]
bowhunter163
8 Point


Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2496
Loc: knoxville,tn

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There is not a correct answer for this question . Healthy deer density/ carrying capacity is area and habitat specific and varies from region to region .
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#3060403 - 12/02/12 09:23 PM Re: deer density [Re: bowhunter163]
Football Hunter
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Registered: 10/22/07
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1000 bucks per acre \:\)
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#3060429 - 12/02/12 09:37 PM Re: deer density [Re: Football Hunter]
bowhunter163
8 Point


Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2496
Loc: knoxville,tn

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 Originally Posted By: Football Hunter
1000 bucks per acre \:\)
With a ONE BUCK LIMIT it would be . Bwahahahahaha . And now we wait . By the way that was a joke .


Edited by bowhunter163 (12/02/12 09:38 PM)
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#3060712 - 12/03/12 07:02 AM Re: deer density [Re: bowhunter163]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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What bowhunter163 said. In the big ag areas of the Midwest, the land can almost support an unlimited deer density. However, in a big woods environment, an appropriate deer density may only be 10 deer per square mile. Everything depends on the local habitat's deer food production. No weeds or undergrowth, no deer food.
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#3061530 - 12/03/12 04:25 PM Re: deer density [Re: BSK]
Eric Kilby
10 Point


Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 3602
Loc: Tellico Plains

confused Online
what would you consider a density that would provide a good amount of deer to hunt and manage. i was talking to a guy about a lease and he showed me a qdma map that said the are was 15 - 30 deer per square mile. Also said it has been managed for 10yrs for qdma.. just trying to figure out if its worth the money its around 700 acres
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Right here in the forest i will find true happiness, the happiness that will not be contaminated by the mind of man.

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#3062912 - 12/04/12 12:01 PM Re: deer density [Re: BSK]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 16629
Loc: Franklin TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
What bowhunter163 said. In the big ag areas of the Midwest, the land can almost support an unlimited deer density. However, in a big woods environment, an appropriate deer density may only be 10 deer per square mile. Everything depends on the local habitat's deer food production. No weeds or undergrowth, no deer food.
Im telling you they really like the privet when it grows thick in the creek bottoms...
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#3062965 - 12/04/12 12:23 PM Re: deer density [Re: catman529]
BSK
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Registered: 03/11/99
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 Originally Posted By: catman529
Im telling you they really like the privet when it grows thick in the creek bottoms...


They will eat it, but it is NOT a high value food source. If I see a deer population subsisting on privet, I know there's a deer herd in trouble, and not performing at peak ability.
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"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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#3062973 - 12/04/12 12:26 PM Re: deer density [Re: Eric Kilby]
BSK
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Registered: 03/11/99
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 Originally Posted By: Eric Kilby
what would you consider a density that would provide a good amount of deer to hunt and manage. i was talking to a guy about a lease and he showed me a qdma map that said the are was 15 - 30 deer per square mile. Also said it has been managed for 10yrs for qdma.. just trying to figure out if its worth the money its around 700 acres


First, not only are those QDMA maps seriously out of date, a big difference exists between 15 and 30 deer per square mile. I would ask BigGameGuy what their last thermal imaging census of the area suggested the deer density is.

Deer hunting in a 15 deer per square mile area is tough hunting. 30 deer per square mile is fairly normal for much of the country. In TN, 20-25 deer per square mile is fairly common, especially in the more wooded regions. But deer density on a single property can be very fluid, changing through the seasons of a single year, and potentially changing fairly substantially, depending upon surrounding habitat.
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"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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#3064076 - 12/04/12 11:53 PM Re: deer density [Re: BSK]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 16629
Loc: Franklin TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: catman529
Im telling you they really like the privet when it grows thick in the creek bottoms...


They will eat it, but it is NOT a high value food source. If I see a deer population subsisting on privet, I know there's a deer herd in trouble, and not performing at peak ability.
I doubt they subsist on it but during archery season the does were munching it a lot, within travel range of a soy field, which was probably already cut by then but I dont know when they cut it. also some mature oaks nearby and various other food sources no doubt but they would browse on the privet while moving through the woods. when I accidentally cut the stomach of my 3rd doe it was like green pesto, can't say it was all privet but it sure was a lot of green leaves.
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Haven't been this excited about deer season

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#3064231 - 12/05/12 07:20 AM Re: deer density [Re: catman529]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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I would be concerned by a deer population consuming a lot of privet.

Just remember, when it comes to local area carrying capacity and herd performance, it isn't so much what deer have to eat during the summer (like soybean fields), it is what they have to eat (and how much) during the lowest food volume time of year (January and February). And from a biological standpoint, discount acorns, as they are an "iffy" food source (will not be available every year).
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"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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#3064427 - 12/05/12 09:26 AM Re: deer density [Re: BSK]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3186
Loc: Franklin County

content Online
 Originally Posted By: BSK

Just remember, when it comes to local area carrying capacity and herd performance, it isn't so much what deer have to eat during the summer (like soybean fields), it is what they have to eat (and how much) during the lowest food volume time of year (January and February).


You are exactly right of course. And January and February are the hardest months to do anything about even if you have the time and money. I've planted the "Fruit Tree Package" from The Wildlife Group along with many oaks and other species of trees/plants with the goal of having a diverse food source that produces feed over as long a time period as possible but as you said BSK, January and February are the difficult months when most all trees provide very little if anything for deer. I suppose food plots that grow well in the Winter are the only way to bridge that time span. I have a couple of small plots of No Plow out right now that have hardly been touched so hopefully I'm covered.

I'm going to try fertilizing some fencerows too this Spring. As a farmer, it seems stupid to fertilize "weeds" but, deer were eating weeds as a major part their diet long before hunters started growing stuff for them.

And the couple of times I've fertilized oaks in the late Winter, I did notice a big increase in deer activity around those particular trees. Of course that won't make them produce any later in the year.

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#3064893 - 12/05/12 02:49 PM Re: deer density [Re: Hunter 257W]
BSK
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Even in big ag areas, 50+% of a deer's diet in summer will be weeds. Although deer are classified as "woody browsers" (because of where they were first studied--big mature timber areas), they are actually "weed eaters" when weeds are available. They make up the majority of a deer's diet.

Winter food plots can really be a help, but so is natural browse. I first manage to produce as much natural browse as possible, and only after those needs are met do I begin working on winter food plots. Winter food plots can fail. Natural browse won't.
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"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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#3065024 - 12/05/12 04:28 PM Re: deer density [Re: BSK]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3186
Loc: Franklin County

content Online
Have you noticed if deer show any preference for fertilized weeds vs. the same variety of plant that is unfertilized?
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#3065039 - 12/05/12 04:44 PM Re: deer density [Re: Hunter 257W]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Hunter 257W
Have you noticed if deer show any preference for fertilized weeds vs. the same variety of plant that is unfertilized?


I'm not sure fertilization makes the plant more "tasty," but fertilization sure does make the weeds put on more and more rapid growth, and deer will almost always eat the parts of the plant that are growing most rapidly (because they have the lowest lignen content).


Although in many TN soils, liming weed areas will promote more growth than fertilization will.
_________________________
"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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#3065051 - 12/05/12 04:50 PM Re: deer density [Re: BSK]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3186
Loc: Franklin County

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Yeah, the soil here tends to drift towards being acidic with pH's of high 5's to low 6's if you don't lime. I was under the impression though that most native plants tend to like or at least tolerate low pH conditions and that you really only need to worry about lime for food plots. Is there any website you can recommend where soil pH preference of different weeds can be found?
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#3065059 - 12/05/12 04:55 PM Re: deer density [Re: Hunter 257W]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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Loc: Nashville, TN

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The reason many common weeds can tolerate acidic soils in TN is because our soils are so acidic the weeds have to build up tolerance or they could exist. But if soil pH were nuetralized, the current weeds would do better, and a much wider variety of weeds would develop. Go up to KY and look at the weed assembeldges that grow in their old pastures. It blows away what you will find in abandoned TN pastures, and the biggest difference is soil acidity and nutrient content.

I highly ,highly recommend that old overgrown fields and pastures be treated just like food plots--soil test them and lime/fertilize them.
_________________________
"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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