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#510003 - 11/27/07 08:16 PM Have I Killed Too Many Does?
Howa
8 Point


Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 2397
Loc: Houston County,TN

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I've got 108 acres in Montgomery County. I started hunting it in 2001. Starting in 2001 we've killed 2,5,4,3,7,12,and so far this year 4 deer. This is composed of 8 bucks and 29 antlerless deer,2 of which turned out to be buttons. In the last 1.5 years we've killed 16 deer, 15 of which were does. Have I killed too many does? It used to be really easy to see deer there, now they do not come out until last light. There is still tons of sign, tracks everywhere,etc, but they do not show themselves in the daytime anymore. Do I keep hammering them or let them walk for a year or two? How many deer can you kill off 108 acres? I need some advice.
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#510020 - 11/27/07 08:26 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: Howa]
TX300mag
Pea Picker
14 Point


Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 8946
Loc: Crosby, TX

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You won't kill too many. They've simply adjusted the way bucks did when they were getting hammered statewide several years ago.

I'd say keep shooting every doe you see since you seem pretty serious.

As far as deer killed on 108 acres-no telling if your 108 acres is highly traveled with some good cover. My brother hunted a 40 acre tract and would kill up to 10 a year and they would just keep piling in.
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#510025 - 11/27/07 08:29 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: TX300mag]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16923
Loc: Allardt, TN

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That is a downside of aggressive doe management unfortunately.
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#510254 - 11/27/07 10:16 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: smstone22]
fourwheeler431
14 Point


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 8538
Loc: Powell

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It sounds like they are becoming more nocturnal.
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#510277 - 11/27/07 10:38 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: fourwheeler431]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
12 Point


Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 6617
Loc: Nashville

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A common misconception with QDM is "you can't kill enough does."

That statement is very misleading because it all depends on the habitat. In some areas with excellent cover and food resources it is definitely is true, especially if surrounding properties do not maintain an adequate doe harvest. However if you have poor habitat that doesn't hold too many deer or if you maintain a high doe harvest and you and every neighbor shoots every doe you see, guess what...you may seriously reduce your deer population.

I have actually had a few calls where the caller would tell me, "I don't know what's going on, for the past four years we've been hammering every doe we've seen, the neighbors are hammering every doe, and the neighbors neighbor is hammering every doe, and now we're not seeing any deer...what the heck is going on?"

My reply: "That's because you probably killed all your deer sir."

Anyhow...back to your problem...

All too often people use blanket management statements (like shoot every doe you see) that may not pertain to your specific situation. The only way to know for sure is to run a trail camera census. Due to the abundant sign, it sounds as if you have not seriously hurt your deer herd. Try to get some annual census data and you will know for sure what your herd is doing. You can then begin to set goals such as "we need to take at least ten does this year" or "fawn recruitment was way down due to the poor weather so we'll take six does this year".

What it all boils down to is this...manage YOUR property as you think you should. Excellent TN deer habitat can easily support 25 deer per square mile but since you are only in control of just over 100 acres, you'll have to look at your neighbors habitat as well. If you have any questions, just ask, that's what we're here for.
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#510436 - 11/28/07 06:43 AM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: Howa]
TX300mag
Pea Picker
14 Point


Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 8946
Loc: Crosby, TX

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 Originally Posted By: Howa
There is still tons of sign, tracks everywhere,etc, but they do not show themselves in the daytime anymore.


Put up some trail cams and it will confirm your population is still there.




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#510519 - 11/28/07 07:56 AM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: TX300mag]
muddyboots
12 Point


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 7207
Loc: savannah, tn., usa

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I dislike hunting properties with aggressive doe harvests unless you are lucky enough to be there that magical week when they are everywhere.
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#510591 - 11/28/07 08:58 AM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: smstone22]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65673
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: steven stone
That is a downside of aggressive doe management unfortunately.


Exactly. Significant declines in doe sightings can be expected after several years of intense doe harvests.
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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#510599 - 11/28/07 09:01 AM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: Howa]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65673
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Howa
I've got 108 acres in Montgomery County. I started hunting it in 2001. Starting in 2001 we've killed 2,5,4,3,7,12,and so far this year 4 deer. This is composed of 8 bucks and 29 antlerless deer,2 of which turned out to be buttons. In the last 1.5 years we've killed 16 deer, 15 of which were does. Have I killed too many does? It used to be really easy to see deer there, now they do not come out until last light. There is still tons of sign, tracks everywhere,etc, but they do not show themselves in the daytime anymore. Do I keep hammering them or let them walk for a year or two? How many deer can you kill off 108 acres? I need some advice.


The critical question is, "What are you trying to accomplish?" By that I mean, why are you hammering the does? What do you want to achieve?

By answering these questions you can then try and match your goals against current conditions. Have you achieved your goals?
_________________________
"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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#511321 - 11/28/07 07:02 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: BSK]
TX300mag
Pea Picker
14 Point


Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 8946
Loc: Crosby, TX

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If you're trying for a balanced herd, you've got about a 3:1 doe-buck kill ratio based on the numbers you've provided. I've practiced as high as 10:1 ratios in the past property I managed myself-and seen much higher. Do you have any idea what your ratio was in 2001 or what it is now?

The questions I would ask myself:
1. What is my buck-doe ratio
2. Am I seeing a shorter but more intense rut?
3. What is the age structure of my buck class?
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