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#511543 - 11/28/07 09:06 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: BSK]
Howa
8 Point


Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 2387
Loc: Houston County,TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK

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?


I don't know, I guess that's why it ain't working. Everything I read said kill more does, so 15 out of the last 16 deer killed have been does. I have only seen probably 1 3.5 year old buck a year on this place. Several smaller bucks, but usually we catch a glimpse of a "good" buck once a year. I would like an opportunity to harvest bucks 3.5 or older regardless of antler size. If I have killed and seen as many does as I have, shouldn't I have some bucks of this caliber somewhere on this property? Something is breeding these does, right? I'm afraid that either I don't have any good bucks, or I'm raising bucks that I can't kill. There is 60 acres bordering me, that belongs to a church and is unhunted, it is an absolute Jurassic Park. I hunt my whole property and consider this other land to be "my" sanctuary. This is where the deer always come from and where I suspect the big boys live. Most of my stands are near this property line, so I can catch them coming and going from here. Is this a bad plan? Should I have my own sanctuary? How do I increase my daylight sightings, do I back off this property line to make them feel safer? I have never seen an estrous chase, a buck fight, more than 1 buck at a time, a rub bigger than my wrist,etc. I appreciate any help, comments, suggestions, etc.
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#511551 - 11/28/07 09:10 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: TX300mag]
Howa
8 Point


Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 2387
Loc: Houston County,TN

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 Originally Posted By: TX300mag

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?


1. I have no idea.
2. I have seen no indication of any rut whatsoever. I still have does with fawns and have seen only a couple of young bucks that were showing no interest in females at all.
3. I have no idea, all I see is young bucks.



_________________________
Looking for a safe investment in these uncertain times? Do what I'm doing...invest in lead, copper, brass, and U.S. steel.
U.S. Navy Submarine Service 1991-1997
"Test Depth Dummie"

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#511562 - 11/28/07 09:18 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: Howa]
kholmes
4 Point


Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 280
Loc: Nashville

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Its hard to compete with property that is not hunted. Are there areas on your property that you have never hunted? I would do the old switcheroo on the deer and hunt in places that have not been hunted in the past because they were not as an attractive spot to you. Alot of times the "bad looking" spots are better than the "good looking" spots. Good luck.
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#511579 - 11/28/07 09:33 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: kholmes]
fishboy1
16 Point


Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 10525
Loc: Warren Co

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This is a pretty common occurance.

You need to follow BSK's advice and clearly identify your goals. Once you know what exactly you are trying to achieve, you can go about measuring to see if you are there.

That might involve adjusting your expectations, modifying your habitat, buying a bunch of trail cams to run a thorough census , or other steps.

Good luck killing a mature buck. They are crafty and hard to kill on ANY property! Just keep at it and move your stands freequently. Sooner or later you will score.
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If you can't trust people with freedom, how can you trust them with power ?




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#511581 - 11/28/07 09:34 PM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: kholmes]
TX300mag
Pea Picker
14 Point


Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 8923
Loc: Crosby, TX

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Keep in mind that by hammering the does you may also drive the bucks into a nocturnal pattern-especially the mature ones.

I hunt 160 acres-a little bigger than yours. We see VERY few 3.5 year old bucks. Usually 1-2 per year. Granted I'm not hunting a Houston or Stewart County type population, but a 3.5 year old buck is smart and VERY difficult to kill. A 4.5 is basically unkillable other than letting his guard down in a good rut.

I think you're doing good and not in any worse situation than the next guy. However, if you're frustrated and need a change I would do one of two things-

1. Lay off hammering the does for a year or two (nothing to do with the ratio-strictly pressure) and maybe even cut back hunting hours.

or

2. Do like kholmes said and change your tactics.
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#511775 - 11/29/07 06:59 AM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: TX300mag]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65056
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: TX300mag

I hunt 160 acres-a little bigger than yours. We see VERY few 3.5 year old bucks. Usually 1-2 per year. Granted I'm not hunting a Houston or Stewart County type population, but a 3.5 year old buck is smart and VERY difficult to kill. A 4.5 is basically unkillable other than letting his guard down in a good rut.

I think you're doing good and not in any worse situation than the next guy.


TX300mag,

That was so good I had to repost it! \:\)

I hunt on a property most consider a very successful program. Yet we don't see 3 1/2+ bucks very often. Last year, we had 11 bucks 3 1/2+ on trail-cam. I saw none of them even after over 80 hours in a stand, primarily because I made bad stand choices. This year I've made better stand choices, but with 5 bucks 3 1/2+ on camera and after over 50 hours of stand time, I've only seen 2. Better stats for sure this year, but not what many hunters assume.

Too many hunters think hunting a well-managed QDM property is like what they see on hunting shows, with huge buck sightings almost daily. Maybe a few high-fenced or Iowa properties are like that, but I promise you not many are.

A successful QDM program is a lot of work and requires a lot of patience and hard hunting to pay dividends. That's why I say QDM isn't for everybody. How many hunters are willing to hunt year after year knowing they may only get a couple of sightings of a "shooter" buck each year?
_________________________
"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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#511778 - 11/29/07 07:07 AM Re: Have I Killed Too Many Does? [Re: Howa]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65056
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Howa
 Originally Posted By: BSK

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?


I don't know, I guess that's why it ain't working.


I believe you've hit the nail on the head.

The first thing I ask every client--before I ever see their property--is "What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish with your property?" The setting of realistic goals should always be the first step.

The second step is to set up ways of measuring success. This generally means record-keeping, such as recording observation and/or harvest data. I also highly recommend running trail-cam censuses. Nothing tells you what is really going on with a deer herd like properly utilized trail cameras.

Lastly, a written herd and habitat management plan should be developed (and written is very important, as you need to be able refer back to it over and over). Specific actions should be detailed that will hopeful produce the desired results. The record-keeping will help measure whether those actions are really helping and how much.
_________________________
"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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