need advice on present management practices

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need advice on present management practices

Postby shaunna » Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:38 pm

i hunt 1000 acres in s.c. management practices have been taking place for 14 years. the main goal has been shoot does to no end.the first 12 years the average doe harvest has been approximately 20 does per year.i have been there for 6 years,the rule is if you do not mount the deer,the fine is 150.00. theonly bucks harvested in my time there have been mistake bucks,spikes or button bucks.i have not seen a 4 point taken much less a mountable the early season we get some pretty good trail cam pics,several 130-150 class point has been that in 14 years of killing so many does and practically 0 bucks that the deer herd is all out of whack.98% OF THE BUCKS SEEN ON stand are 1.5 years old,with a very large majority being spikes.this year i have hunted approx.50 hrs and seen only 1 2.5 year old buck.we have great food plots,clover,chicory,oats,sorgum etc. when the rut kicks in the only thing we see is yearlings,and1.5 year olds. this year we have not killed any does,only because no one is seeing any mature ones.i personally have not pulled the trigger since i have been there.i really think that too many does have been harvested,and the social structure is way out of order.all members think i have lost it,but something is definately wrong. let me add that most members are very scent conscious,along with wind directions. any&all advice is welcome thanks ken knight                                                                                                                                                                                  

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RE: need advice on present management practices

Postby ranwin33 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:16 am

If you have 1000 acres with food and cover, then you should have bucks, as evidenced by your trail cameras.  You just need to figure out where they go once the season starts.  What's in the surrounding area that is drawing them off, if anything?  Have you provided a sanctuary for them on your property where they might feel safe - in an attempt to hold them on your acreage.
As for doe harvest, 20 a year is quite a few.  If the habitat isn't suffering and it looks like there is plenty of food, then maybe it's time to ease up for a while.  That doesn't mean shoot 0, but maybe shoot fewer.
If nothing else, those spikes and yearlings will eventually turn into something bigger given the chance.  Some will stay on your place if you give them what they need.
Best of luck.
“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

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RE: need advice on present management practices

Postby JPH » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:20 am

At first glance, it would appear that you are hitting your doe herd too hard and too early. If the herd is within the carrying capacity of the land, then you may want to hold off on the doe harvest until post-rut for a couple of years. The commotion of shooting, tracking, gutting and dragging 20 does a year, on 1000 acres may be pushing your older bucks into noctournal behavior.
Secondly, Ranwin33 mentioned cover, but I did not see that in your post. What kind of thick, nasty escape cover is available on your land? If it is not in abundance on your property, but it is available nearby, you may be losing bucks to that.
Lastly, I agree with the idea of sanctuarys. If you do have thick stuff, you may wish to make some or all of it off limits to hunting. Hunt the downwind side of the sanctuarys only. This may allow the bucks to feel more at home on your property and venture out to seek does from there.

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RE: need advice on present management practices

Postby cannycorn2000 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:26 am

Well to me it doesn't sound good to me.  You can't shoot anything unless you can mount it?  I would get out of that party as soon as possible.  What fun is that if you can't shoot what you want?  I just don't see the point of hunting so much land if you can't shoot whatever. 

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