Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

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jsjandro
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby jsjandro » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:00 am

ranny is right on, mentioned some good places to look to for finding out what the vegetation on your land can bear. i believe in earlier posts goose that you said the woods is mostly pine. how old? you said decent cover, so im guessing young trees and horizontal trees are present. but in my experience with WHITE pine, not red, deer dont really care to browse it that much compared to the other trees growing around my place. snowshoe hares do though! deer biologists might know how much forage math-wise is produced on your land with a description given to them, but i feel that is making things way more difficult than it needs to be. you're in wi, and the deer up here are genetically programmed to get large massive bodies and attain great weights, so if you're seeing 3.5 year old bucks field dress anywhere short of 200 lbs, that deer grew to skelatal maturity in an overpop/and/or/recently overpop herd without good food for the given area. 3.5 year old bucks north of and including missouri are the large midwestern subspecies and should easily dress out at 200 plus lbs. i finally posted my pics from this year on harvest pics, go check em out and my wifes deer was 3.5, and just under 200 lbs dressed, which was about 30 lbs lighter than my 3.5 yr old bowkill the year before. his spine wasnt as long nor was he as tall, but he was still filled in nice for last week of nov. he obviously grew up in an area not as rewarding as the bowkill, even though the antlers scored within 1/4 in of each other.  some might slant that to genetics, and yes they are different shaped and looking, but ive gotta say it probably has more to do with a lack of the right food at some point of the year(winter/summer).
 
i agree with ranny dont ever let your herd start to show signs of too many, cuz then its already too late for the veggies and forestry is a long term investment that lost generations of trees will not maybe affect you in your lifetime, but will affect your grandkids fortune someday and who really wants to do that to their family or the generations to come at all?
 
your herd will always be trying to grow , always, and if your numbers are low max bodies and reproductive status will be obtained and that allows for the greatest efficiency in harvests doe-wise and bucks too. dont ever be fooled that its okay to harvest a buck or two and let the doe herd go without equal harvest (again, as an "area". in the big pic those bucks may have come far, but wherever they came from that is still in "your" management zone that affects you, and if you shoot that buck and in your zone no doe is taken to offset his death, the herd "as a whole" is already starting to break away from even. See? or not? its just the particuliar doe's age that is a year to year dillema. some years taking a fawn doe and thats it for doe in your area is all thats needed, since they generally arent considered "reproductive" yet, they are similiar to taking a buck in that the herd lost one deer. now an old doe is different, and harvesting a bb is also different. recruitment time should be considered yearling, not 6 mo old like our dnr does it. this way harvesting fawns and adult bucks has a similiar meaning for the herd, whereas does who can be expected to be fully reproductive yearly need different treatment.
 
sorry for length, but it is complicated and thats why our state has 100 different versions of qdm. i guess till we all as wisconsinites have common ground the best you can do is your own version, eh? 
only if we had antler point restrictions...:(

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

jsjandro
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby jsjandro » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:31 am

bowman, where in mn? ive hunted in the north in mn and the south, in areas up north with and without wolves. up by intrntl falls, have relations, and that area has a good herd and wolves and moose, kinda like ontario, which shows that nature can balance herds and packs and still have deer left. the key is the age structure, ongoing. if you're seeing lots of 3.5s, but not many older, your doing everything as a hunter to put yourself in front of older deer yet so its not your fault, but id say your herd is in danger of wolves. heres why.
 
3.5 is average turnover (generation) time in deer. meaning if the oldest in your herd are 3, the herd is not well balanced agewise and the onset of wolves will wreak hovac. as ive seen in paul bunyan state forest by walker, no wolves, no problem but average oldest buck found was 4.5. still not old enough this year wolves moved in and all my grandpa's group seen was zip, and they normally kill at least three deer minimum a year there. i hunt with my cousins a few miles away from gramps and our group saw a spike. thats it. every year for 5 before in a row someone got a big 8 or better, but this year nuthin. its sad, but solely based on a herd not in sync with nature.
 
winter, pumas, lynx, wolves all take the same age groups - right. common knowledge. fawns, old loners, and the weakest at any given time. man is the one who doesnt abide by natural selection, and when nature comes round again, our doings to the herd combined totally wipe it all out. why? because man harvests the middle age class out, and that is who nature lets go to carry on and remain adaptable. see the problem. ontario has moose, deer, and wolves. its a delicate balance, but all coexist because the hunters there often adopt the same killing ways as nature, to blend in. thats why ontario makes some awesome radical bucks. and to have moose and deer because of the brain worm, there has to be low densities of deer.  wi is having a similiar problem with wolves in that man here as well hasnt considered age in the herd and in the harvest. there should be in a natural herd deer of all ages on both sides of the buck and doe. this doesnt allow for artificially high harvests that dnrs have adopted to bring profits to the "buissness" they've become. very complex, but totally solvable.
 
dnrs need to change a lot, hunters need to get a new mentallity, and then we can hammer this out. but if hunters want tons of deer, and wolves arent allowed to be harvested(which is about as meaningful in practice as coyote hunting and trapping, few do it and the numbers bounce right back), we are in for a rough ride in the great lakes.  
only if we had antler point restrictions...:(

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

jsjandro
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby jsjandro » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:15 pm

goose, got sidetracked....again!
 
other ?s u asked, more deer better odds? true and not true. more deer do get harvested obviously the higher the pop, but i beleive that the same few hunters with access to those deer are killing the extra. more deer simply means more deer crowding where habitat warrants, they're not evenly distributed so that people hunting crappy spots can get one too. case in point, you can hunt on 20 acres like me and kill/see/pass deer every single day. there might be 100 deer sq mi, and a guy in the right spot will know it, but if you're limited to the wrong 40 acres in that 640 chunk, whether there are 10 or 100 is a moot point, your odds suck either way.
 
i firmly beleive a proper age/sex distribution makes the herd more visible meaning you dont need more deer, just more visible deer. people have taken in this state the simple more deer math way too far, density and sightability are not as related as people think.
 
your baiting to doe analogy is correct, and sad, but true. its the only way to be "on the spot" come nov, but as ranny said, all season or two weeks? that dont take a brain to figure out on my end!!
 
and bowman - with wolves, in a natural setting up north here wi or mn, moose and deer and elk all were in the woods and lots of beaver too(another main wolf dish), which that obviously isnt the way it is now, yet the antis and enviromentalists still push for more wolves yet the areas wildlife demographics are anything but natural by the standards of prewhiteman. there is no proof that even in areas lacking elk and moose that a natural deer herd would be able to withstand a wolf issue - id say it'd have a better chance, but there's no proof with the lack of variety that it'd last stabily for any timeframe anyhoo. but a couple extra generations wouldnt hurt at all though!
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 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:31 pm

Well I came into this thinking that maybe we have been driving down the wrong road but you guys bring up some great points and facts that tell me that our original plan of 1 to 1 is a good one.
 
To be honest, there is a guy that I work with that calls me everything you can imagine for killing a doe. Ive heard everything from I am ruining it for my kids to go back to school and take a simple math class. LOL
We are friends, just have some interesting arguments.
They (him, his brother, and dad) are of the old school mentality where you are not a man if you kill a doe. They have never shot a doe off of their land and every year they get nice bucks come rut time.
This discussion brings up some valid points that I argue with him about all the time. So I am glad that I am not alone.
Ill give you some examples:
They do not see a buck older than 1.5 until late Oct.
Their land used to be some of the thickest land around (swamp land) but now it is nothing but canary grass and dead elm trees. Its barren.
They see absolutely no sign like rubs or scrapes.
Come rut time though, their woods(grass) explodes with grunting, chasing, and other rutting activity.
 
So after busting our butts this last year and feeling sorry for ourselves, I thought, well...
 
These posts have made me confident that we are doing the right thing from a conservation standpoint, and thats all we really can ask for.
Thanks...I needed it.
Jake

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

Stickman
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby Stickman » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:23 pm

We only own 25 acres and on my camera and food plot sightings have revealed that the more does we hold the better our rut is also. I plant year round and monitor regularly, I have at least 9 does living on my 3 acre sanctuary I have created for them and for the past two years I see bucks running everywhere during the rut.

bowman12
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby bowman12 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:52 am

jsjandro, thanks for the input. I hunt near Roseau, MN which is 2 hours straight west of I Falls. Interesting thought on the wolves taking the young and the old, then the hunters pounding the middle age class, doesn't leave much else to keep the population booming does it.

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby ranwin33 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:15 am

ORIGINAL: Goose

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.

 
Yes.
“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

deer123
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby deer123 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:05 am

Hello everyone, this is my first post.. I couldn't resist joining when I read this topic !
I agree with what all of you have said so far. Here's my 2 cents.. I've hunted the same place for 8 years now, it's roughly 320 acres surrounded by hundreds more that are not hunted, it's pretty close to town and the area lake, so a lot of it is off limits by city ordinances.. I practice QDM by only shooting mature bucks (4-5 years old) and here's what Ive noticed.. Past 3-4 years I've noticed less buck activity and chasing during peak rut, there's been wheatfields and other crops on my property and does seem to be scattered around the property.. Well, this year I put in a food plot and fed corn (500lbs piled up) on 40 acre section of this property and limited myself and resources to only hunting this section of the property.. On average, I see 8-10 doe every single trip and haven't been once without seeing at least 1 buck all year.. Compared to years past, this is a huge difference ! Past years I would see average of 3-4 deer and sometimes nothing at all, and past years rut was slow.. This year I've kept a ton of doe on this 40 acres because of the corn and food plot and Ive seen a very intense rut.. I check my camera every 2 days and there were days during November I'd have 5-7 3.5 year old and older bucks on camera.. To me, the more does you have, the more breeding there will be by more bucks ! When one buck is tending his doe for the 2-3 day period, other does will be coming into their cycle and new bucks will show up to breed.. Unless you have thousands of acres to manage, the more does you have the better, you can attract all your normal bucks AND all your neighbors too !!!

jsjandro
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby jsjandro » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:45 am

what u say is true no doubt, i had it similiar when i bought my land, but....
if everyone does this it creates wisconsin!!lol! im not sure where you're from but up here this is the secret many use to get a big buck without putting in as much effort as otherwise.
 
but... as the ratios go to hell, there are lesser quality bucks in body size and rack size per age cuz they are forced off the best feed come spring by fawning does, and even in very dense areas where the best food feeds all, and bucks still use it despite the high doe count with fawns, bucks suffer stress that is undue and that affects everything they grow. does this matter if all you want is a big old buck without having to hunt hard, no. it only matters if true quality is the goal, and often times its not.
 
like i said, wi has people doing this all over, and it really sucks to be the guy trying to keep things in line if you CHOOSE to care, since you dont have to in order to buy a hunting license, and thats why i do care, because i feel obligated too. doesnt mean anyone else has to, but i do and that is why i dont do that tactic.
only if we had antler point restrictions...:(

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

deer123
 
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RE: Questioning Common Buck/Doe Ratio Beliefs

Postby deer123 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:18 pm

I agree and I don't want anyone to take my last post the wrong way.. I do my best to manage my herd. I was stating how I've devoted all my hunting efforts to a 40 acre area of my 320 I have, and in return it has helped me by attracting more deer from my property and getting them into a smaller area.. There's still over 120 acres of my property with crops growing, but by me making a " deer heaven" of some sort, it attracts a greater number of deer to my 40 acres to feed in an area in cover where they hold up in the evenings before heading out in the open fields and they come back through and feed after being on the crops in the mornings also !
I still do my best to get a good idea of my buck to doe ratio by monitoring my trail cameras, and on 320 acres I have 6 cameras so I have a good idea of where the ratio is and I take as many doe as I think I need to, to keep a healthy herd... I live in Oklahoma and our bag limit is 6 deer total, and no more than 2 bucks.. I monitor my cameras and I try to pick out the early in the season the 1 buck I am going to hunt that year, and usually that is the only buck I am willing to shoot, and if he never presents me with a shot, then so be it, I will still take a few does in the late season to reduce the heard as I see fit..
Just letting others know the success it has created for me on a smaller tract of land so hopefully others can take something from this and make themselves more successful in seasons to come .. Good luck to all !

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