should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

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should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby shadow » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:20 pm

I own 13 acres. I am the only person that hunts this land as well as the the only hunter on the property around me which is about another 120 acres. As an FYI.. a major highway runs the length of the entire northern boundry, and a small river along the length of the eastern boundry. In the past I have not cared what I shot, and I normally take 2 deer per year, does, bucks it didn't matter.

Now this year I have been feeding the deer on my property, a Moultrie feeder set a.m. and p.m. feeding corn, and about 100 lbs of apples and pears dicarded from a grocer every week. The property is holding alot of does, I have not seen or got any pictures of bucks this year but when I had seen them last year they where normally small, 4 -6 points.

Now, my question is, should I pass on any bucks seen while hunting in order to grow them larger for future seasons?  And about taking does, would you advise me to take out 1-2 does from there this year or  leave them alone in order to grow the deer population, (and possibly more bucks)?

Any advice would be appreciated, I have been bow hunting for many years and have a little experience when it comes to hunting and such, but not to much when it comes to QDM or TDM.  I also just got a permit for a Town owned property (which sees as many as 12 hunters per day on a 250 acre parcel, and which I already had killed a small buck, but the guys there don't care...a doe or buck..put it in the truck!) so really, I do-not even need to hunt my land this year at all if many of you suggest leaving the bucks and does alone to get bigger and gain a larger herd?
What are your thoughts???


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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby gunther89 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:09 pm

If the property of over-run with does then it would be in the best interest for you to shoot a couple of does.  If you want to grow bigger healther bucks you can let the immature ones grow and harvest some does.

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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby DeerCamp » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:20 pm

I agree... Well put gunther89
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby vipermann7 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:46 pm

yeah, you definintely wont hurt anything by shooting some does. if youre not really seeing any bucks at all but a bunch of does, i would for sure get out there and shoot some of them. all told, there isnt very much land around you that you will personally have a big influence on, but shooting does will help. as for the bucks, i would just set a goal for what size or age deer you want to shoot and hold out for that deer. if you want to see some bigger deer than youre seeing now, pass them up this year and next and see if things improve. like i said, since youre not really covering very much area, youre going to have a very limited affect on seeing bigger bucks. the best chance youll have is to pass the young, small deer and hope they hang out near enough in the area that you hunt and that doesnt get hunted next door that they survive and grow. 130 some acres isnt much to work with, but its enough to hold a buck or two if you let them walk. but definitely shoot some does, shoot as many as you can get tags for, sounds like you have plenty. your best near future chance at a big buck is waiting for the rut and hope a bruiser comes cruising the area, which can happen anywhere. if you dont have any big resident bucks but a lot of does, you should have a good chance at catching a big one from another area come rut time. you should have some good rut action if you have a lot of does, i would focus on november for bucks.

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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby JPH » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:51 am

This all depends on what you want.

If you want Trophy Mgt. I can't help much but I doubt you have enough land for that anyway.

If you want QDM, I can offer a little.
Step one, begin to focus on your doe harvest. I cannot offer you any numbers b/c I do not know your situation but I'll bet the local DNR can help. My guess is that you could take 2-5 a season and not make a dent.
Step two, habitat! Thick, impenetrable habitat! Read a book or take a class on this so that I do not screw you up, but thick is good. Particualry on a micro property.
Step three, learn to identify yearling bucks and begin to pass them up.
Step four, be a studnet of your property and deer herd. Continue to tweak your harvest and habitat in a way that will benifit the herd and your hunting desires.

The QDMA is a great resource and your DNR may be as well.

And one last thing. I would be very leery of feeding via a feeder or pile. Ask a lot of questions to people who know more than I do, but it concerns me. Disease transmission can be sped this way and the area that you own can be damaged by suck high deer traffic.

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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby shadow » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:23 pm

Thanks for the info, I will hunt out there and hopefully be able to get a shot on a couple of does. I will hold out and not shoot any bucks this year with hopes that they will increase in size. Unless of course a monster should wander through while I'm out there. I will also sit out there during the rut, as well as have a couple trail cams up to see what kind of bucks I see out there.

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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby gard73 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:46 pm

I got a 15 acre timber in a similiar situation. I don't have a highway but a gravel road to the north with a house to the east and west.
I would take some does out to. But tery to do it before the rut get going up there. My timber usually holds 2-3 does and there fawns with some more passing through. I shot my biggest bow buck last years about 130" not a monster but I was tickled to death. The biggest thing with small timbers is not spooking deer everytime you go in. Also don't hunt it everyday of the season. Hunt a couple days let it sit for a few days.
Also if it's not a real thick nasty timber make it one. ut some trees down to get more sunlight to the ground to create more cover. If you can plant something to add cover tall grasses evergreens ect. This will probably benifit more than the feeder if you have a nice thick patch they feel safe in. I usually hunt 50-60 yards away from where they bed and get in there early. I also have a stand right by where they walk by to go bed incase in need to fill a tag quick.
You got the does the rut will bring the bucks when they're cruising bedding and feeding areas. Be patient and like others have said set a goal and stick with it.

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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby hunt4 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:58 pm

Yes you should hunt! I would sujust filling all  your doe tags this year. sence the deer herd would be eating less and then by adding even more food like mineral licks ect... you might bring in bucks from naboring properts. But if you don't hunt this year and the deer population grows then the raise in the doe population might atracket some new bucks. But I would sujust over all to HUNT!

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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby shadow » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:58 am

My decision was to hunt my property and kill 2 does, I've been bowhunting and nothing yet, I have had doe sightings on 3 out of the 4 hunts, but just no good shot opportunities with my bow.
One of the times, I was settled into my stand by 6 a.m., still dark out and I hear movement to my left and see a large black animal milling all around within spitting distance of me and around the trail and area I walked in on, once it got lighter I was able to see it was a very large doe, one I would of loved to have shot.
As shooting light came she moved out of a good shot area into some thicker stuff, still only 15 yards out, but not in a good position for a shot. Still had a great hunt and 3 deer seen.
I don't think I'll be hunting until Nov., 1st hope to get one then!

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RE: should I pass on bucks? should I hunt at all?

Postby cannycorn2000 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:02 am

Just fill your tags, you only get so many a year and like what was said before you probably wouldn't have a impact on the herd.

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