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#3170014 - 02/19/13 06:41 PM Improving herd health

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 8
Loc: Nashville, TN

I ran trail cameras for the first time during late january and was suprised at what I found. I noticed that the majority of the 1.5/2.5 year old bucks have dropped their antlers, as of 2/10/13. The more mature bucks still had their antlers as of last week. The we have only taken 3 bucks in the last two years and over 25 does taken in the same period. I have worked extremely hard on taking does, promoting new growth area(bedding/sanctuary), and food plots. We have let most of the bucks walk reguardless of age. Do you feel this is a mistake? Trailcam survey showed closed to a 1 to 1 buck to doe ratio. It is on roughly 400 acres and our nieghbors shoot a lot.

I'm just curious to see if anyone else has this problem. Should we seek to shoot more deer, male or female? Larger food plots? Would appreciate anyones imput. I can't tell everyone how much I enjoy reading the topics on this site. It is amazing how much valuable info this site contains and its very much appreciated.

#3170522 - 02/20/13 08:25 AM Re: Improving herd health [Re: BT1]
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind

Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN


I would use antler drop timing as just one of many "clues" about your deer herd. I would also be looking at as many other indicators of herd health as I could collect, including: the lactation rate of the different age-classes of females, body weights of harvested deer by sex and age, body fat thickness of fall-harvested deer, and antler size of bucks by age-class.
"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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