Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby buckhunter21 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:11 pm

One thing that I've seen with myself and some other people, is that when you wait to harvest does till the end of a season, sometimes it gets harder and you aren't able to do it...Whether this happens because of the weather, time commitments during the holidays, etc etc. 
 
Our two properties are about a mile apart.  One has a very healthy, almost too healthy, doe population, and the other not so much.  The one with a very healthy population gets very little hunting pressure, while the others is hunted heavily on all sides bow and gun season.  We've stated that we will not take any does from this one property for at least this year, and it'll be on a year-by-year basis going forward.  This other property, I've had chances at does but did decide to hold off early bow season and then never had a chance gun season at all.  If I head out late bow, and get an opportunity, I'll probably take it, and then this property will be re-evaluated again next year. 
 
Sorry if I got off-topic a bit there!
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ranwin33
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby ranwin33 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:40 pm

Makes good sense to me. I know that once we get a buck down our hunting efforts do tend to ease up a bit, so taking a doe in the late season can be hit and miss with us.

How big are your properties?
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

jsjandro
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby jsjandro » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:21 pm

goose, funny you start a thread on this, i was just touching this on another thread yesterday i think.check land management natural enhance. as you know, i am also here in wi. maybe this will help you, let me know.
 
you have just desrcibed the #1 issue to everyone that trys to implement qdm in an area where as a whole not everyone is on the same page. it sounds like you're doing everything seemingly right, yet the action is always at the guys' places where they dont shoot does and let the bucks come to them in november. Right?
 
sad news, that is the way it will be for you unless you let the doe herd go in your area and push out the bucks there. does claim fawning territories in the spring, and as you let them build in an area with favorable fawning ground bucks will use the land in summer less and less, as does use it more and more. ive experienced this first hand in the reverse. my land and surrounding area was a doe woods, then come november rut all around, but it truely isnt the same as a large scale 1:1 area. but you have the bucks, which is why many say to hell with qdm, stop harvesting does, and start shooting bucks whenever they show up in the fall.
 
i dont know if you've ever hunted an area that had antler restrictions, but mn has state parks that enforce them, and there are other states with them and i suggest that you take the time to go hunt one. itasca state park in mn has them, and if you go there you will see why i am all for ars. all the action you lack they have, and it doesnt take more deer to get there, only large scale cooperation that wi as a state lacks. all it takes for your area to be screwed up is one guy who dont shoot does and all your balancing work shows up at his place! with more bucks in the herd, this man loses his advantage because more bucks show up via ranwin's description(excellent work there  describing how attraction works!!!)and the action there is over and bucks are on the move again. the buck harvest rate here hasnt changed much in time, and bringing the doe herd down and not letting the buck herd ever get some extra has cost this state as a whole dearly.  wi needs ars soo bad because everyone here complains/talks about the same issues, and yet no one seems to have any faith in ars. and the funny thing is that all the people that dont want them HAVENT ever hunted an area with them!!!lol. 
 
you need to pick, sadly, to either keep up the faith and take good care of the herd as a whole in your AREA, or just let it all go and have what you want(Bucks in november on your does). you know that aint the "right" answer for the herd, i know that. but your frustrated and that is the only workable way to get the "action" others say they have. but know this, ive experienced wi doe woods and buck woods(summer range) and the action is lacking either way compared to ar enforced largescale areas anywhere. thats why i push and push for ars. i know they work. can u have a good herd across the board w/out ars, of course, look at ohio and the western states and canada. but with the fragmented land here in wi, we need them. that and most everyone has a different description of qdm. 
 
sorry its long but the boat you're in isnt a bad one, but since its stale, your thinking about different ways. understandable!! but i assure you that letting the does go will only bring bad ju-ju in the future!      
only if we had antler point restrictions...:(

try not to become a man of success, but a man of value.

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SHKYBoonie
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby SHKYBoonie » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:41 pm

This is a great topic! Something I had also been wondering about. I have 2 tracts of land in West KY that I QDM. They are separated by a two lane road, but we get pics of the same bucks on both properties. They total around 1000 acres together. 2 seasons ago we had "blue tongue" devastate our herd. Then last year we had an ice storm that devastated our trees which in turn devastated our herd again. We lost alot of does to these two things. I know this because the hunting isn't close to being what it was 3 years ago.
 
 On one tract we are bordered on 3 sides by a State Park of 17,000 acres. They are on antler restrictions and only allow bow hunting except for a one weekend quota gun hunt. They do not have food plots of any kind. They have some very impressive deer tagged there every year. We have year round food plots and supplement feed in the hard Winter after the season with protein. We see alot of young bucks now and only a few bucks in higher age class.
 
 3 years ago the rut was unbelievable. The bucks were chasing all day. You could literally sit in a stand and see bucks chasing does all day. I got video while sitting in a tree of 16 different bucks in one morning, one of which was the buck I decided to tag that year. We haven't seen anything like this sense.
 
The trail cameras are telling us that there are way more young bucks on our property than does. We did get to harvest some great bucks this year, but we had to work hard for them. Deer sightings are few and far between on our property now. That makes it hard to sit in a stand very long in itself. We have decided to not harvest any does until our numbers are back up. I also understand that the State is going to remove the doe harvest from our County for a few years for this same reason.
 
On the other side of this discussion, we also have a buck on our property that seems to be keeping the others at bay. He's a 5.5 year old and est. at about 180". He had 14 scorable points before the rut. Then we get pics of him after the rut and he's all broke up. Most of the young bucks we see are all broken up from fighting but we don't see anywhere near the bucks we usually see before the rut. This has happened for a couple of years on the same part of the property.
 
These issues have left all that hunts in our area scratching their head, including me. I am really doing all I can for the deer in our area, but it is hard when it looks like you are actually going in reverse.
 
 

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Goose
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby Goose » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:51 pm

Good posts and thanks for that.
 
jsandro, you bring up some very good points and I enjoy your thoughts.
 
I can tell you that since we started doing some conservation work, we have noticed a difference in bucks using our land. 6 years ago you wouldn't catch any bucks using our property until the rut, then a couple would show up once on camera at 3 in the morning.
Once we stopped baiting, put in some food plots, enhanced natural browse, clear cut, hinge cut, planted trees, practiced scent control etc...we started seeing older bucks using our property on a regular basis and then we could actually see the different age classes show up and frequent our property.
Now we are to the point that if we don't get a 2.5 or better on camera or see one from stand we wonder whats going on.
This year was no different, looked great going into the season, early bow started off good, the big guys were still there but under the cover of darkness which is expected, sign starts showing up--big rubs and big scrapes, start seeing a couple shooters on stand then boom...gone. We still had the biggest one around and ended up having 5 encounters with him on stand but all the others...gone.
It was kind of cool because we had this buck all the way from June to gun season frequenting our property so he liked something.
Just wonder what happened to those other bucks and why we didn't see much for wanderers.
 
As far as I know, none of the bucks we got on camera were killed by our neighbors, we visited their camps and the gun shots (lack thereof) re-enforce that.
Our neighbors to the west got a 3.5 9pt with the bow, and the neighbors across the road got a 3.5 10pt and a 2.5 8pt both with the gun. I saw these deer and we didn't have any pics of them.
 
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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Goose
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby Goose » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:56 pm

SHKYBoonie, it seems as though we are having similar issues and observations albeit I am on a much smaller property...
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:04 am

Goose, how big is your property, how many people are hunting on it, and how often.
 
Sometimes it just comes down to too much too often.
 
My brother and I hunt 100 acres - and if we don't keep rotating through various stands throughout the season we can burn a stand out fairly easily.  If we tried to put 5-6 people on that acreage, I could see a situation where the entire farm gets burned out because of too much pressure and not enough different stands to put people in to keep things changed up.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
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CONLEY14
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby CONLEY14 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:22 am

I DON'T OWN MY OWN LAND TO MANAGE BUT THE PROPERTY I HUNT THE BUCK TO DOE RATIO IS I'M GUESSING FROM WHAT I HAVE SEEN IS PROBABLY 1:5 AND THE RUT IS REAL INTENSE FOR ABOUT A WEEK BUT IT SEEMS TO LAST FOR 2 MONTHS. I GUESS ITS BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS OF DOES SO THATS WHAT I'M SEEING WHERE I HUNT.  

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Goose
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby Goose » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:55 am

I was hoping you wouldn't ask! LOL
 
Our land is 50, we have permission to bow hunt our neighbors which is also a 50. We have 13 stands on our property, 2 blinds, and we utilize a climber or 2. We also have other stands on the neighbors.
We play the wind to a T and will not hunt if wind is questionable.
Our scent control regimen is on the extreme side and entrance/exit routes are also planned out.
Several stands are not sat in until the rut some are only early season etc...
We have about 10 acres that nobody hunts in or walks through in the center of our property thats marsh/river bottom.
 
My brother and I hunt often and my dad hunts regularly. I do not doubt that this has an impact on it and we are taking measures to address it, but its what we do and not hunting is not an option.
We start out more or less on the fringes and work our way in as the season progresses.
I also would like to point out that we hunt pretty smart, maybe too conservative at times, which also may hurt us. By that I mean that the wind has to be perfect to sit in a certain stand, I often wonder if we miss some opportunities in better stands with a marginal wind.
 
We had encounters with does, 1.5's, 2.5's, and what I would call a 4.5 all year long--not every day but nothing to complain about.
 
We also lease a smaller property that we spend some time on as well just to still be able to hunt but rest our land.
 
Heres our plan for next year (this year isn't even over yet LOL):
We are gonna run cameras early, then lay off of them a little.
Gonna hunt hard the first week or 2 of bow season then lay off until after Oct. 20th. (will probably hunt different properties during that time)
Try to gain permission to access our land via the back side.
Obviously move some sets and put up some new ones.
Not shoot does on this property until after the rut if we determine that some need to be killed.
 
The rest will pretty much be the same as years past.
We will also be working on bedding areas, food, and hopefully some coyotes because I think they are really affecting our turkeys and some fawns.
 
 
 
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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Goose
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby Goose » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:00 am

Please do not take this as me whining. We had one of our best seasons yet and no antlers hit the ground.
We saw and passed up more deer than we ever have (including the biggest buck I've ever passed) we had some great encounters, and had a blast the whole time.
We can see that the hard work is paying off.
I'm just more or less thinking out loud and trying to figure some stuff out.
As always I walked away with more questions than answers...
 
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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