Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:14 am

Sounds to me like you've got a good plan for next year, and had a pretty good year (seeing deer) as well.
 
If you ever get it all figured out and stop having questions we'll probably see you on a book tour somewhere.  [:)]
 
What happened to the 4.5?
“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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Goose
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby Goose » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:23 am

He the nice one I was referring to. We had him within 100 yards 5 times, I had him at 25 and my brother had him at 38, neither could get a clean shot.
Hes still there as far as I know--I got till early January yet...
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 6:31 am

Best of luck and send us a picture when you get him.
“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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SHKYBoonie
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby SHKYBoonie » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:46 am

On my land hunting pressure isn't an issue. It is about 1000 acres total and there are only 5 people that hunt it and that's not on a regular basis. Most of them live out of State, so they only get to come hunt for a few days a year. We usually bring a few kids up to hunt the late season, but as far as the rest of us, we are all seasoned hunters. We take alot of effort to keep as much scent out of the woods as possible. We also never hunt one stand more than two days in a row and always only if wind direction allows it. Either we have lost more of our herd than previously thought or we are keeping too much food on the land and the deer don't have to move much to find something. I don't really know. It's just frustrating at times.

jsjandro
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby jsjandro » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:12 am

just me chiming in again, and you're definitely not in danger of this as you tell it, but i thought id add it because it gives great bearing on what i said earlier.
 
much of my hunting has been had in sw wi in grant county, near bagly. my uncle bought 88 acres of wooded draw with all the right pinch points put on it by god himself. he bought it in the early 90's, and clear cut 10 acres of popple and let it regrow and on one side of the cut planted about 2000 seedling cedars. lots of back breaking work! when he bought it, it was part of a 1000-some acre farm seemingly well managed for big bucks at a time period when the deer herd was booming. he had awesome and regular success hunting 120+ inch bucks for nearly a decade. all the while only shooting one or two does a season. they didnt bow hunt till i showed up later, this is all just gun hunting and no bowmen. by the time those seedlings earlier mentioned should have been making for some awesome cover, they were mostly destroyed. literally now there are less than 20 on that ridgetop. no joke. the does took over and the big buck hunting has been rifle season-wise dead there since about 2000. now bow hunting ive had some exciting chase there, my best day was nov.14, 2005, when on a all day sit had 17 different bucks - mostly yearlings - and 14 doe sightings but i still think some were the same does. i never arrowed a deer that day, i wanted to wait for a biggie and when i saw a monster he didnt give me a shot.[>:]
 
 point in case, he didnt harvest enough does and they pushed out the bucks in time. yes the bucks return but only for the estrous then they dissappear again. i shot 6 does with my bow there in 2006 and come 2007 you wouldnt have even noticed, same crap different year. my uncle wishes he would have stayed with the doe harvest better, cuz now its tough to bring it back down. just to see what under harvest can get ya!! 
 
like i said before, it has to do with a five sq mi area around your land when ratios are being figured, thats why theres so much heat surrounding the topic. very hard to apply with even a decent sized farm, let alone only double digit acreage. i think your hunting stories sound awesome and id bet that when you harvest that brute you'll see that its all worth it to have your land be the core of a bucks range. just a tough row to hoe!! 
only if we had antler point restrictions...:(

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

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Goose
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby Goose » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:18 pm

Keep on chiming in!
 
This brings up a question I cant ignore. How does a person determine what is a proper carrying capacity for a particular property.
How do I figure out what we should have.
Its fairly easy to get a good grasp on ratios but what about proper numbers as a whole?
 
I understand that it should be observed if there are too many deer, but without getting to that point, when do you say when?
 
If you do not observe browsing problems, malnourished deer, or loss of cover--could you hold more deer without doing harm?
 
So what you are saying with the ratios and wanting more does is that it can be compared to the baiting argument? As in, well my neighbor does it, so I have to do it and put out more.(I actually like that analogy)
 
That if you and your neighbors manage to a 1 to 1 ratio you will have better hunting than if you have a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio?
 
Would simple math stating that the more deer you have the better your odds are, be wrong?
 
I personally have to believe that a 1 to 1 goal is best based on biology but I do enjoy discussing other ideas.
 
 
 
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 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:43 am

ORIGINAL: jsjandro

point in case, he didnt harvest enough does and they pushed out the bucks in time. yes the bucks return but only for the estrous then they dissappear again. i shot 6 does with my bow there in 2006 and come 2007 you wouldnt have even noticed, same crap different year. my uncle wishes he would have stayed with the doe harvest better, cuz now its tough to bring it back down. just to see what under harvest can get ya!! 


This is a very good point - too many does or too many deer in that fact will destroy the edible habitat in an area and bucks as well as other deer may move on to "greener" pastures so to speak.  IF you are wanting to hunt your property during the entire season, NOT just the rut, then it is best to manage the herd for what the land will support, and this would mean shooting a lot of does. 
 
Leaving an excessive number of does on your property in hopes of luring more bucks may be effective during the peak of the rut, but for the other weeks of the season it may not work so good.
 
Since I like to bow hunt from 9/15 on, the idea of having a big herd of does on my property so the rut is more intense during a narrow window in November doesn't make a lot of sense for me.
“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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ranwin33
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby ranwin33 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:51 am

ORIGINAL: Goose

Keep on chiming in!

This brings up a question I cant ignore. How does a person determine what is a proper carrying capacity for a particular property.
How do I figure out what we should have.
Its fairly easy to get a good grasp on ratios but what about proper numbers as a whole?

I understand that it should be observed if there are too many deer, but without getting to that point, when do you say when?

If you do not observe browsing problems, malnourished deer, or loss of cover--could you hold more deer without doing harm?

So what you are saying with the ratios and wanting more does is that it can be compared to the baiting argument? As in, well my neighbor does it, so I have to do it and put out more.(I actually like that analogy)

That if you and your neighbors manage to a 1 to 1 ratio you will have better hunting than if you have a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio?

Would simple math stating that the more deer you have the better your odds are, be wrong?

I personally have to believe that a 1 to 1 goal is best based on biology but I do enjoy discussing other ideas.


Contact your local DNR rep, a local wildlife biologist, or possibly even an instructor who teaches wildlife biology/ecology at your local community college.  Most of these people should be able to give you a good idea of what the carrying capacity for deer is on your property.  I think I mentioned it earlier, and you might also consider the difference between maximum carrying capacity in good times and max carrying capacity in bad times and try to manage the herd for the later.
 
If you don't observe browsing problems, etc. then it may be that your property is right where it needs to be, not necessarily that it can hold more.  You don't want to get to that tip-over point where you start to see those things.  Again, the resources listed previously may be of help.
 
With more deer on your property, mathematically your odds are probably better for shooting a deer, but the question becomes is it the deer you want to shoot.  A property with a lot of does will for a big part of the year not have a lot of bucks, as jsjandro said, the habitat won't support the entire population.  And if the herd is at such a size that it's stressing the habitat, then the does and bucks you do see won't be of optimal weight and size.
“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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Goose
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby Goose » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:08 am

Again, good points.
 
So with a lower doe population you guys feel that more bucks will use the property year round vs. if there are too many does, you will only see the bucks come in during the rut.
 
Thats interesting because I could show you trail cam pics from past seasons that would support this.
 
I honestly believe that our property and surrounding area is right where it should be. Between camera, shining, and driving around, I believe that both the ratios and population is good. If anything I would say that we as a whole are a little below carrying capacity but because of the food/cover that we have, we see more deer and have more deer utilizing our property.
Jake

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

bowman12
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby bowman12 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:29 am

Great topic, great thoughts!

One of the reasons we wait to shoot does is the three of us that hunt our property mainly rifle hunt it, have even saved it for rifle only, and our MN rifle season usually coincides with the rut.

Another thing about carrying capacity, we've had too many deer on our land the prior 4 seasons, we shot 7 does after the rut last year, and some during rifle season in spots that we felt would disturb the deer very little. After last winter, and the booming population of timberwolves, all our worries about having too many deer took care of itself in one year. It's too bad because with alot of cold and alot of snow I believe we lost half our herd, and the wolves have definitely taken several too. So with us trying to keep the carrying capacity right, it didn't matter in the long run anyway, nature took care of it and doesn't always have our ideas of what deer would be best to take out of the herd. So I've felt that we may help decide carrying capacity but it really is out of our hands.

One thing I'd like to run by you guys, I've noticed that no matter how many 3.5 year olds we let walk, we seldom see them as 4.5 year olds. We usually will see a minimum of 3 3.5 year olds a year. From what I've read 3.5 year olds are very rampant breeders so we're wondering if they are rutting too hard because of too many does and they're actually breeding themselves too hard to live. Or is it because our winters are too hard, traveling too much and getting shot by other hunters, or getting smarter so we're not seeing them anymore. Anybody else have similar experiences with 3.5 year olds?

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