Montana Man wrote:I live in Montana so I'm not sure how helpful this will be. I live on a cattle ranch of 10,000 acres and even I am not seeing the racks that I use to. We have had very hard winters in 2008 and 2009 that cut down on our deer herds that we were seeing before. I have come up with some ideas that I would think bring their numbers back. Planting some late season food plots, to bring up their body fat to make it through any blizzards or harsh conditions before spring green grass. Possibly fruit or nut trees. Like you said limit your number of hunters that shoot the big bucks, yes your neighbors are also hunting the same deer as you are, so keep in mind to make your enjoyments first. I do not know of your predator problems but here we have coyotes to eat the fawns in the spring or anything else they can eat and Mountain lions that hit the deer hard anytime. We have started doing predator hunting more to cut their numbers down so hopefully more deer/elk/antelope etc. can make it to maturity. I would like to think habitat improvement of any kind is a great way to keep the ones you have around as well as attract others that are moving around to stay. And like they say the old, mature, giant size deer did not get that way by being stupid, LOL. I don't know if this helps at all, but shoot me an email sometime if you want to talk about it.
By the way MontanaMan, welcome to the forum! Your knowledge will be helpful as well, have no fear! I don't think I know anyone in Montana, but I have been through there a few times. beautiful country.