Will they grow?

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Will they grow?

Postby Mastertangler » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:20 am

Wondering what you guys think.
I hunt on a small piece of land, 30 acres 2/3 wooded, but I'm surrounded by some big farms and tracts of land. 80% of the hunters in the square mile or so of land are doing some kind of QDM and letting the little ones go. This has been going on for a few years so you'd think that the number of older deer should be going up and thus more nice bucks.
After years of EAB, the doe population is down and thus fawn wise, each year I'm only seeing two or three fawns. So it's not like there's a massive influx of young deer.
But 3yrs ago I had like ten 4/5/6pt bucks on the camera. 2yrs ago I had eight 4/5/6pts on cam. Last year I had seven of them, and now this year I've got ten of them again. In comparison, I'm only getting like two bucks a year that are 8/10pt and never anything really big.

They have food, water, terrain, and hunters are letting them get a few years on them.....Is it possible that the genes by us are such that many of these deer are 2.5 and 3.5 but still only basic 6pt and 8pt bucks?

Don't get me wrong...I'm very happy to have bucks running around and I love when the rest of my family gets to see horns and get excited, but my goal of something better than 100" seems like it should be attainable after this many years of letting them grow?

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Re: Will they grow?

Postby msbadger » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:24 pm

Well I'm a firm believer...JIMO....big buck go where the doe are...so shoot off all your doe and limit your big deer....but hey..... only know what I've seen ....all those yonng buck your seeing....I would guess..... are the ones that were kicked out of their birth area by the doe and...bigger buck.;)
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Re: Will they grow?

Postby ranwin33 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:54 am

Saying you are doing and QDM and then actually doing it are two different things. Maybe those 80% of property owners really are not.

On our property we always see many more young bucks than mature bucks. In fact, since APR's have been in force, nearly 8 years I think, we have only taken 3 deer 140 class or above. The older a deer gets the more wary he becomes, and that more than any reason is probably why you are seeing all the young bucks and fewer of the mature deer.

I now hunt two properties, one in KS. and one in MO. and the quality of deer is very different on the two properties yet they are only about a hundred miles a part as the crow flies. I do not think it has much to do with genetics, but rather the types of food they have to eat. The MO. deer have nothing but crop fields around them for miles, corn and beans with some wheat. They grow very big. The KS. deer have plenty to eat, but most of it is pasture for miles around. In fact there are only two small bean fields within a couple of miles from our property. The KS. deer have neither the body or antler size the MO. deer do, and KS. has a much more restrictive buck quota.

Keep passing on the young deer, rewards will eventually follow.
“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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Re: Will they grow?

Postby Modeerhunter » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:28 pm

I noticed here in Mo where I hunt that it took 4 - 5 years after the APR's went into effect for us to start seeing the quality of bucks we thought we should have. We typically had very few bucks reach 3 1/2 before then, and most never saw their 2nd birthday. Now we usually have at least one 4 or 5 year old show up every year, even if they don't move in until the bachelor groups break up. In 2009, the 6th season of hunting after they took effect, we harvested 3 bucks off of our farm that were 4 1/2 or older. Of course, if your neighbors are shooting the 3 1/2 year old bucks, under the impression they are mature, then you won't see many 4 year olds.

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Re: Will they grow?

Postby largemouth19 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:42 pm

Wow I am glad someone else is having this problem too. I have hunted the same private property for about 4 years now and have NEVER seen a buck with more than 6 points, either while afield or on trail camera. This year I have also seen way more bucks than ever before, but all of them are small 6 points or smaller. So I was wondering the same thing, should I shoot a couple of the smaller bucks or just try and wait it out? I am looking forward to see what else others have to say.

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Re: Will they grow?

Postby SwampLife » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:41 pm

Keep doing what you are doing. It will pay off.

Target young does for harvest on your property if you can.
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Re: Will they grow?

Postby rllarson » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:03 pm

If you and the neighbors are doing QDM right it will work. one question I have to ask is your property does it have a thick bedding area? does it have good under browse, or mast crop production or are they junk trees and low quality invasive plants, that the deer do not eat?
The dominant Doe and Buck will tend to go to the best food source with cover, where they can get up during the day munch a little and then chew their cud. take a nap and then move more at dark.
make their bedding area up real nice and comfy. Fat and happy deer
farm fields are great, but it only makes up some of the dietary needs of the deer.
other things I like doing is mineral supplements. regular salt licks work but the ones with minerals are better all around. early spring best for this help the deer recoup from winter stress, and get healthy again.
also check the soil of your woods next to any good mast crop trees. and fertilize them if needed. or the raspberry patches.

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Re: Will they grow?

Postby Ostermann » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:33 pm

I hunt a similar situation for the Wednesday through Sunday of Wisconsin gun season at my in-laws.

Here is the situation: They have about 400 acres of farmland. About 80 acres is wooded in fragments and another 15 is marsh grass with some mixed trees. Some other hunters, I'd say about 4-6 but I'm not sure how many, hunt out there for bow and gun season. They typically hold out for bucks of some size, say an 8 point or something about as wide as the ears. Well, due to EAB and T-Zone from the years past, the daughter shot 3 bucks on opening day (10, 13 and 8 pointer). They were all chasing a hot doe. I'd say they were at least 2.5 years old.

A few days later, day before Thanksgiving, I shot a small 6 point, 1.5 year old. I also saw two more bucks that I kicked up that I would say were 1.5 year old. I also shot a 4 pointer on Thanksgiving in 2008 so I don't think the herd was affected too much. Oh yeah, a few years earlier one of the wives shot a 7 pointer, spike, and doe on opening day.

I think they will grow over time. I only get limited time to hunt so I try to harvest any deer that gives me the opportunity. I don't know what you have for goals but I'm sure if you take a smaller buck every now and then it won't hurt. Or shooting a few does either if you look at more of the herd management concept.

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Re: Will they grow?

Postby milkie62 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:44 am

Here is my situation.I have 100 acres,50 of which are wooded part of which maybe 6 acres is swampy.I have ideal bedding area and is totally off limits to hunting because I am surrounded by farms which are alfalfa and corn.There is a 5 mile circle by road which is all private property.In this block there are 5 landowners and a couple of residential lots.No more than 10 hunters hunt this entire area.Years ago I could wait and pick a buck out.At almost any given day of season I would see no less than a dozen deer and maybe up to 25 a day.Early October years ago --- maybe 10 I could see up to 6 bucks and as many doe feeding in my fields alone.Rarely see any bucks now and ones I do see are 1.5 yrs at best.Doe numbers have also dwindled to where I see a couple at best on opening day.No shooting in the area either.But crop production has not changed.No rubs at all like in previous years either.But when snow hits in the next farm alfalfa fields you can see 25 -50 deer out feeding---nothing big and no horns at xmas time.Where have all the deer gone over the years.My area was one of the best in the county 20 yrs ago.Like I said it is all private and no nite shooting or jacking is occuring.

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Re: Will they grow?

Postby Montana Man » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:53 pm

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.
Good Hunting!!!


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