Louisiana Sportsman
Ricky PonProfile Photo
Deer Hunting in Louisiana

Deer Breeding Question

Iv'e searched the internet for this question and really didnt find much information about it. I was wondering if anyone knows about how many does dose the average, healthy, mature buck breed in a season? It may sound like a far fetched question for some, but i know there are a few people on here that do research on deer herds. If you have your own place and manage it well, it just seems like a waste to take a big buck early in the rut.
November 12, 2012 at 10:56am
44Comments
hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:11am
great question!!!!

Ricky that is a great question, and the answer will solve many puzzles u have. However the misconceptions on this subject are many, many, many, but the answer makes common sense. Sadly very few are interested in common sense facts these days. It would take a lot off typing to explain this, and the last 2 times i tried to explain something it didnt print so i gave up. You will get a tremendous swing on this question.

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Ricky PonProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:24am
Hmmmmm

Well of all people, i figured you would know. Give me an estimate if you could. I understand there is a lot of unknown variables that play into this: deer population, doe to buck ratio, terrain (not much of a factor in La), and overall health of the bucks. It seems like if this subject is better understood, maybe La can produce more quality bucks. Something else i preach about is not shooting does during or after the rut. Never know if they are preggers or not. Shooting her is potentially killing great DNA genes and countless more deer than just the doe.

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:44am
no facts

As u say, so many variables, but one of my favorite subjects. Facts, does stay in heat about 2 days.Fact, bucks will stay with a doe in this time period. The number he can breed depends on how easy he can find another doe and how many ruts the area has.Until last year i believed they were necessary for breeding then Henry Wiggins pointed out that young bucks carry the same genes, so as long as there are enough bucks to breed the does, thats what matters. However, mature bucks serve other important purposes in the herd, and shooting does after the rut is the poorest management practice of all, second to shooting knotheads, of course. This rush to kill bucks in oct.will be the last straw in the collapse.

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Bucks OnlyProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:59am
Deer Breeding

I read about a study on this, but I can't remember where, of course it was in a fence, but I would guess it would be pretty close to the same results in the wild... I dont remember the exact numbers, but the results found that most of the breeding is done by 2.5 - 3.5 yr old bucks. Not by the dominant bucks as you would think... I think it said that the 2-3 year olds do about 60%-70% of the breeding. Now the # of does that each buck breeds, I would imagine would be directly influenced by the buck to doe ratio in that area. I know this wasn't the most informative post, but I hope it answers some of your questions!
Good luck!

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Bucks OnlyProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:11pm
Pregnant does

I just read hunt r's response, and I know better than to argue with huntr, but I am so tired of hearing people say that you shouldn't shoot a doe after rut because you are killing the doe as well as 1-2 babies... People, let's use logic!!! The doe that you shot right before the rut was most likely going to have gotten bred, so in essence you just killed 2-3 deer, right?? Or who knows (unless you watched the doe get bred) if the doe you shot after the rut was even pregnant... So my outlook on this is, become familiar with your land and deer population, kill the does you think you need to to achieve what you are wanting to achieve from a management perspective, and don't worry about what month or day it is... Because in all actuality, no matter what, you are killing the doe and the 1 or 2 yearling that she would have next year!! Hope this makes sense!!

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:18pm
yep

Thats what i see in the wild deer i study. i will see each 31/2yr old deer several times during the season, you're lucky to see the older ones once. Every comment is important because it causes u to think and leads to other answers. I've learned more in 5yrs on this site than 50 before.lol People asking questions causes me to look for answers which creates questions and more knowledge. I dont know it all, but i finaly know enough to ask good questions and how to find my own answers, not just googles.lol

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:27pm
dang

Bucks, another lost comment.dang. Time to hunt now, but there are many answers to your question.later

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Ricky PonProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:06pm
Bucks Only

The majority of the information i found, after posting this thread, was that most of the breeding is done by the younger bucks as you said.Pending doe to buck ratio, they said an average, healthy, mature buck will breed anywhere from 2-8 does a season. I was shocked when i read that. I thought they would be going to town, and taking every doe to the Stabbin' Cabin. If i was in their position and the time would come, i could repopulate a small town in a day haha

From my understanding, does are only in heat for a max of a day and a half. However not all does cycle together so thats why the rut last much longer. Does can give off signs that they are about to be ready for breeding ten days prior to their actual window of fertility. If you ever notice most bucks can be sited with the same does for a few days. If a doe is not bred within that time period, she will actually go back into heat, hence the infamous second rut. I am still just very appalled about the number of does a buck breeds.

Bucks

I will differ with you highly on shooting does during or after the rut, but we all cant agree.

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Bucks OnlyProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:56pm
Does

Ricky, did you think that mature bucks would breed more than that? If I remember correctly, what i read was somewhere around that #. But I would think 8 would be a high # of does to breed... But I do agree with you, I would be trying to repopulate the community!! For nature's sake of course!!
Why do you disagree on my logic?? Can we agree that most does that don't get killed are impregnated every year? (I said most, I know 100% don't get bred)
If we agree on that, what is the difference if you kill her on nov 20 as opposed to jan 15? Or if your rut is Dec 25-Jan5, What is the difference if you shoot her on Dec 24th? Wasn't she going to get bred the next week? I'm not trying to start an argument, it just seems to me like, you are killing a doe and her offspring no matter when you kill her.

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rrrrraaatt redProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:43pm
....

Bucks...that makes sense to me, BUT the only thing is, if you shoot a doe before the rut then the buck that woulda bred that one would seek out a different doe to breed during the rut....and i would think that there is no possible way that every single doe gets bred every single year...so i guess what im saying is that shooting them after the rut is probably not that good of an idea, but i would probably still do it anyway if i needed more meat for the freezer lol.

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Ricky PonProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:02pm
My Side of the Fence

I would have thought it would have been much higher given the amount of time of the rut. Just learned of a breeding operation in northern louisiana that experimented with this. They put a B&C Class buck in a pen with 10 does, which he bred all of them. He was so run down even with unlimited protein and water, that the next season he came back with a 130' 8pt rack. It took him 2 years to recover, to what he had been prior to this aggressive breeding.

Although i was surprised by the low humber, now i kind of understand it.

Does After The Rut

This is all going to come down to if you manage your herd or not. If you just dont manage or hunt WMA or lease land then most of this will go over your (Im sure other people are on your side, this is a common topic) head, my reasons boil down to management purposes.

When you shoot a doe after the rut, you dont exactly know what you shot. She could have been bred by the best buck on your property. Given what we have all been discussing, the bigger and older the buck, the less it breeds. So in that sense, your taking a chance. Taking a doe before the rut, you know exactly what you shot. A doe who is not pregnant. Did she have the possibility of being bred? Of course, but at least you know she wasnt.

If you are into managing your herd, then we all know you have to take out does. Not only to get the ratio right, but that gives more feed and vegetation for the bucks and select few does you keep. Taking a doe out late in the season (after the rut) accomplishes nothing for the current season but filling your freezer. You will not yield any results from that until the following year. That doe has already taken its toll on your food supply. If you would have shot her early in the season and not in the winter, you would have more food. Shooting in the pre-rut will also create better competition for your bucks, and they wont go crazy trying to chase down the does.

Re-reading everything kind of made me realize i switched up the argument. You were talking about just shooting a doe and i turned into shooting lots of does. I think my points are still valid though. Had a hard time getting some points across.

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Ricky PonProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:07pm
rrrrrat red

Thats it. Shooting a doe early changes things in your herd very minutely and for the better. Shooting a doe after the rut leaves you guessing what could have been, and that ole 180 class you have running around may have wanted to pinch one more off before he bit the dust.

Bottom Line: i see nothing positive out of shooting a doe after the rut, but backstrap wrapped in bacon, cream cheese, and jalapenos smoking on the BBQ pit.

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:54pm
bucks

My first response to this was, every one he can as long as they in heat and he is alive.lol But u can see time limits him to a certain amount. However in hunted deer its much harder for them to find does and stay alive for 41/2+ years. Only about 5% of deer herds are mature bucks, so u can see that limits how many also. If u shoot any bucks before the rut u will very likely not get all does bred, just look at all the famous trophy states, they never have gun hunts BEFORE the rut. La. produces just as many or more trophy bucks as any state, they just dont live past 11/2 yrs of age. If u are seeing 4or5 does in a herd without fawns, then this is a problem, and thats just about everywhere in la.

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:20pm
shooting does

Bucks, you are right in your logic. If u have too many does this would be fine. But if u are trying to get the best out of your deer u dont want to waste all that energy. More important, hunting them all year makes the whole herd much wilder. After the rut, does and knotheads are split up making it much harder to tell apart and resulting in too many small bucks killed by accident. I have about 30 acres on a lake, across the road is 400 acres of wrp land. We never hunt these deer but i watch them every night. Last year they killed 2 21/2yr old bucks mistaken for does and one small 6pt 31/2yrs old. These deer stay on us in the day and go across the road at night. They consist of 6 mature does and 2 fawns. For the last 5 yrs no more than 2 of these does ever get bred. Across the lake where we manage our deer i seldom see more than 2 does together without fawns. Normally each of our does has 2 fawns, this year i havent seen one with 2 fawns. 6 sat., 3 sun., 14 today, not one with 2 fawns and not one deer before 5:00pm.

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Bucks OnlyProfile Photo
Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:07am
Does

Ricky, your logic doesn't make much sense to me... If you are worried about 1 doe's food consumption on your land, you have wayyy to many, and you should shoot every doe you see... Now, on the other hand, I do understand huntr's point about the mother and yearlings being split up towards the end of the season. But any experienced hunter should be able to tell the difference in a 60-70 yearling and a 120 lb mature doe. However, if this is your reasoning for not shooting a doe after the rut, I understand, but if you don't shoot does because they may or may not be pregnant, or because they have taken their toll on your land for the year alredy, that just doesnt make much sense to me... Besides, the spring and summer are the most important times of the year for bucks antler growth as well as does that are pregnant. So, I guess sometimes we just must agree to disagree!! But that's ok... Good luck this year guys!

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:15pm
research

Read up on the Cusino enclosure if u are interested in deer management. Very little research has been done on wild deer, but this area comes close. They catch and tag every deer every year, then they change the buck-doe ratio each year to see the effect.

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bucksnducksProfile Photo
Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:13am
very few

The latest study on this subject was published in Quality Whitetails either earlier this year, or last year. There have been several studies over the years that have looked at this topic. But without going into too many details, the answer is 'ON AVERAGE', less than 6 does per buck and its more like 2-3. If you are interested in topics like this, Quality Whitetails is the #1 place to get information on managing your land and your wildlife according to university research. To get Quality Whitetails, go to www.qdma.com and sign up.

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deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 14, 2012 at 12:36pm
management

studys have shown with dna sampling that mature bucks 3 1/2 years plus do over 65 percent of the breeding 2 1/2 yr olds breed 15-20 percent and 1 1/2 yr olds breed 10-15 percent. they have also shown that a up to 20-30 percent of twins have different sires. some other studys have shown that bucks will only breed 3 or less does annually in free range deer. This is why it is important to keep your sex ratio at 1 buck per doe or 2 bucks per doe for the most productivity. if you think about it, it can benifit you in many ways also, the more a buck has to search the better chance at seeing him. also the less he has to worry with breeding several does, the less he has to run and gun and run his health down, bucks can lose anywhere between 15 to 30 percent of there body weight during the stress of winter and breeding season. now, i do have to disagree with some of you that say there is no benifit to taking does after the rut. you are wrong. there is very important data you can recieve from doing this. first off, you can determine a fairly accurate conception date using a technique designed by joe hamilton and a ruler he created, measuring crown to rump of fetus. using this method you will also be able to determine approximate parturition date, in which will allow you to manage accurately for lactating does in the summer. also if enough does are harvested, evaluating the the fetus can give you an idea of the number of does carrying twins and the estimate of sex ratio of fawn crop. also by harvesting does in general you can run a kidney fat index to evaluate the health of your herd. I also want to mention that it is very important to keep your population down to about 50 percent of the carrying capacity of your land to have the most productive herd, health, fawn recruitment, etc...

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 14, 2012 at 1:27pm
ok

Deltahunter, u seem to know a lot about deer. Can u please explain why u should keep ur herd 50% of carrying capacity. In my case that would mean 10 deer. I have cam pics each year of at least 25 racked bucks and at least 8 of those are over 41/2 yr old. Our mature does average 140lbs, bucks 215lbs. This has been for the last 15yrs. Read the cuzino study about does from '11, i've been saying it for years, old does are better mothers, have more buck fawns, maintain order in the herd, and many other benefits. qdma says kill all the older does.

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Mike Guerin, Louisiana Sportsman Field ReporterProfile Photo
Posted November 14, 2012 at 1:47pm
imho

I haven't read everyones comment... boy is this thread long and lengthy.

The number of does breed on average will vary tremendously with the ratio of the herd. If the ratio is 1:1 then the AVERAGE BUCK is going to breed 1 doe. That is the average of all the bucks.

In most herds 1.5 year old deer breed more does than most people think.

The does are going to get breed so it saving bucks to breed really isn't a winning strategy. Remember that old brusier buck had the same genes when he was a young buck with a small rack.

deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:56pm
huntr

its just been proven through many studys with many different species that if the population is carried at 50 percent of the carying capacity the population is more productive. in deer if it is held at 50 percent it means there is more than enough valuable available forage to keep the herd in a healthy condition, therefore, it is more productive by providing the nutritional needs to produce more and healthier fawns. if a doe is carrying twins during gestation and is not aquiring enough nutrients, in the first and third trimester the lack of nutrients affects both fawns and in the third trimester the nutrients will be given to one or the other and that will cut you back to a single fawn. during lactation if she is not meeting her needs the fawn will either die or she will abandon it. if nutrients are higher than her needs she will produce and deliver both fawns therefore being more productive. also trying to manage a herd at 50 percent it would be ok if you dont meet your harvest goals one year, rather than managing at a higher population if you miss your goals, then your herd has less available forage per head to over come the stressful winter and less available for the most important time of the year, spring and summer, for gestation, lactaion, body growth, antler growth.

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Mike Guerin, Louisiana Sportsman Field ReporterProfile Photo
Posted November 14, 2012 at 5:32pm
delta

What definition of carrying capacity or you using? At 100% of carrying capacity there should be enough food for all the deer. Isn't that the definition? Beyond that the deer will lose weight in the south... possibly starve in the north.

Ricky PonProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 5:40am
Eesh

Delta, i consider myself fairly knowledgable when it comes to deer hunting, but you went way over my head with measuring fetus' and all of that. Im not saying your wrong or anything, but i never plan on getting that deep into it haha Pretty kool stuff though. Any links to that info?

As far as my comment about shooting does during/after the rut, i mentioned in the bottom of the comment that i flipped the argument. Not purposely. We started off talking about shooting A doe after/during the rut. I turned that into taking multiple does. I guess in a way (maybe too much coffee that day) i was trying to say not to do management of does during that time. Do your doe management before the season gets harsh (winter/rut) and that way its less toll on your herd (i.e. food consumption, buck health) I still say shooting a doe after the rut leaves you (me) with too many unanswered questions and could possibly change things for the worse.

I follow your logic on running your herd at 50% of the carrying compacity, but doubt many people will agree/try that out.

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JSoileau6Profile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 6:49am
Mike

Although he is always over my head on the deer biology too, Delta is right. Maximum productivity in wildlife populations is achieved at K/2, or 50% of the carrying capacity.

Mike, you are correct in saying that if the population is at carrying capacity, then there is enough forage to support the population. But, if as you said, the population goes over K, then the forage base cannot support the population any longer and body health will begin to deteriorate. So, taking this into account, if we want to maintain a population at its maximum productivity level without going over K and maintain our forage base, you want to shoot for about 50% of the carrying capacity. This provides adequate forage for all members of the population and future recruits (i.e., fawns) into the population.

Here's an example. Say we have hunt r's deer herd with a K = 20, 10 does and 10 bucks for an adequate 1:1 sex ratio. Hypothetically, there are 20 persimmon trees and each deer requires one persimmon tree (I know, not real world, but hang with me here) to MAINTAIN its current, healthy condition. Let's say we have a great fawn recruitment, 10 fawns are added. You harvest the maximum deer off the property, 6. You still have 24 deer on the land. Now, you are over carrying capacity. Instead of each deer getting one persimmon tree, you now get 1.2 deer to each tree. Not a significant increase, but less forage for each deer. Now take that same example, half your original number of deer, and even with a fawn recruitment of 10, you are still below your carrying capacity and there is more forage available to each deer. More forage = better health, higher survival, (potentially) higher fawn recruitment.

Simple population dynamics, that's all. lol.

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deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 8:40am
carrying capacity

Thanks jsoileau! i have a hard time explaining stuff sometimes.

hunt r here is a link to the crown to rump fetus measuring. http://www.qdma.com/uploads/pdf/Detecting-the-Rut-Peak.pdf

Kidney fat index
http://www.qdma.com/uploads/pdf/Kidney-Fat.pdf

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:11am
links not experience

So the cc is 10 does. In my scenario cc is doubled, 20does=40 fawns. Your scenario, 5 does=10 fawns per year. Sounds like math to me, but if u can sell that fine. Actually i dont try to max production, i try to max potential out of every deer. Experienced people can just look at the habitat and tell u all those things u have to kill a pregnant doe to find out. Seems a waste of what coulda been a state record.

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JSoileau6Profile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:36am
Same Book, Different Chapter

Production, Potential. You're starting to talk semantics. They are both affected by similar factors. You have too many deer (above K), you reduce the production and potential of those deer because you can't support them. Max Carrying Capacity is not just about production, its about the health of the population. A population at carrying capacity is not as healthy as one below carrying capacity because there is more food available to each individual in the second scenario. As I said, my example was just that, an EXAMPLE.

Honestly, I'm not really sure what you were trying to say by that post.

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deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:49am
links not experience?

what is that title trying to say? also along with what jsoileau said about health and avalable forage holding your population below cc, it is proven in studys that if it is kept well below cc there is less disease and other potential threats. if you are manageing for potential of a state record, keep your population at about 25 percent carrying capacity to maximize available forage of high value. antler developement is based on 3 factors, age genetics and nutrition. without age and nutrition it will never reach genetic potential. any way you look at it, the more high nutritional forage you have available per animal the greater the chance it will reach its genetic potential. and if you dont let them walk till their maximum growth, when they are 5 1/2 to 7 1/2, you will never reach it either.

on another note about collecting data on does, yeah most experienced biologist can estimate, but your most renoun whitetail biologist are the ones who created these methods because they work! and they use them to be more accurate in their management descisions!

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deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 12:06pm
...

the links were intended for ricky, he asked if i could post them, sorry. also huntr where do you get your numbers for carrying capacity? just curious. and what is your approximate cc? what methods do you use to get your population numbers?

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deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 12:06pm
...

the links were intended for ricky, he asked if i could post them, sorry. also huntr where do you get your numbers for carrying capacity? just curious. and what is your approximate cc? what methods do you use to get your population numbers?

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:16pm
semantics?

My way produces 20 buck fawns each year and 18 survive to be 11/2 yrs old, that way produces 5 fawns and only 2 of those survive to be 11/2, then 75% of them are killed at 11/2yrs old. I think thats a little more than semantics. The cc for my area according to dmap is 1 deer per 20 acres. My cc is 1 per 5 acres, based on sightings and cams. Already said our weights, obviously healthy deer. Look at my pics, u can see how healthy they are. Yes disease happens in theory, but only in nutritionaly stressed deer. In 18yrs here i've never found ONE deer dead of disease, except for lead poison.lol I could fill a wall with big buck mounts my neighbors have killed that i found dead on my land, where they originaly came from.

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Mike Guerin, Louisiana Sportsman Field ReporterProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:30pm
Not buying it

If you have 20 deer and I have right at 40 deer I will see a lot more deer than you do and I will have twice as many bucks. My deer will not suffer from malnutrition because my deer are not above the carrying capacity of the land. Any difference in weights of the deer will be negligible because all deer on my land will have adequate nutrition as defined by not being over the carrying capacity.

I will concede it might not be practically prudent to manage at 100% of carrying capacity but killing enough deer to knock the population down to 50% seems extreme.

There just aren't enough benefits to decimating the population that far down below carrying capacity. Reproduction will likely be close to 1.5 fawns per doe on both properties.

Bucks OnlyProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:53pm
CC

Guys I think there are a lot of valid points in this thread. I also believe some people are arguing points that will never be figured out. My point is, I would be willing to bet that anyone could get any 2 biologists to study their land and both biologisits will come up with 2 different answers. I think as long as everyone uses their own knowledge and a little common sense, they can manage their own land... For example, if I am trying to manage a 2000 acre lease, who's to say exactly how many deer (bucks and does) are on the property? And what 2 biologists are going to give you the exact same 2 numbers of carrying capacity? As long as you kill deer and they are have a good bit of fat in them when you kill them, I would think you are within the limits of your land. If your buck to doe ratio seems close and your mature bucks have good horns, I would say you have nothing to worry about. When you start seeing an abundance of does without yearlings, and your bud horns seem to be shrinking, it is time to start shooting more meat in the freezer.
I have enjoyed reading this thread, and seeing others' beliefs. But a little common sense can go a long way!!

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Mike Guerin, Louisiana Sportsman Field ReporterProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 2:29pm
True

True this discussion is mostly and exercise in theory more than anything else. I don't have a clue where my hunting land stands with regard to carrying capacity and I certainly don't control enough land to really manage it. 36 acres isn't quite enough. haha

But for practical purposes I would like to switch gears and offer some advice to people that do have land and do want to manage it.

Age and weigh every deer that is killed. Record it in a log. Keep track of the weights and if there is a drop in weights then increase the harvest. A deers weight vs its age is the best measure you have at your disposal to determine if you have adequate food for your deer herd.

Keep in mind that changes in vegetation, age of a pine forest for example, will change the number of deer it can support. Drought is another variable.

hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 3:02pm
point

Bucks, u make a lot of common sense. But u are wrong about biologists. If u ask a hundred they will tell u the same thing, kill more does, because they all operate out of the same book thats 50 yrs old and done on penned deer. My point is, increase the number of bucks, not kill all the does, esp. all the older does. If u must read, at least read new stuff, not ancient history.

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deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 3:53pm
hunt r

i will agree to disagree on management descisions. but i will say this, the research and publications i read are all the work of renoun biologist and studies from universities. i will also disagree that they are all on penned deer. because i know for a fact they arent. yes there are some studies that i have read that are on fenced deer, because the purpose of the study can only be accurate in a controlled situation. but as far as carrying capacity studies i have read and helped with studies conducted on free range populations, and have read some conducted on fenced deer. i will also say that trail cam surveys, if conducted correctly can give you an ESTIMATE on your herd, but trail cam surveys and observations will not be completely accurate. also if you think you are holding your population at or near cc then you need to conduct a browse survey! if your cc is held at this high of a level, i hope the best for you in a drought year and hope you have plenty of money to supplement feed.

also, i want to say your carrying capacity is not your current population size. it is the number of animals your habitat can support per acre according to soil fertility, vegetation type, vegetation productivity, lbs per acre of available forage, supply of water, amount of cover,and other factors. if you are holding 1 deer per 5 acres and cc is 1 per 20, you are holding your herd at 400 percent cc! that is outrageous! if your cc is 1 per 5 acres you need to have a biologist look at it because you have something special man!

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 6:03pm
wrong

Sorry delta, that was a poor joke, esp. now. Of course there have been lots of numbers and browse surveys done on wild deer. I was referring more to rut info than browse. My land is under a conservation easement with du, they come and check each year to see the health of my habitat. Also couple months ago a man from tnwr came and looked over my property. No one can believe i can support that many deer, maintain weights and horns, and not effect habitat. I have over 70,000 pics of bucks i've taken in 5yrs. I have a photo history of at least 15 bucks from spikes to 61/2 yrs. old. This is on 500 acres surrouded by at least 30 other deerstands,so these are wild and hard hunted deer. Check my posts and see for youself the pics.

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Choupic-ManProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 6:17pm
Huntr

Huntr if I ever have a question on deer management you'll be the first one I call . Whatever you are doing is working ! The proof is definitely in the puddin on your place .

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 15, 2012 at 6:43pm
thanks

Thanks cman. Twenty years ago no one thought u could manage small properties and u had to have great land. A group set out to prove this wrong. They bought the poorest land they could find in alabama and set about to see. I read about this and decide to do the same thing. Our land was managed for sweetgum to make the side of woodie stationwagons. Took me years to change the natural habitat. First couple years u could go several days without seeing a deer. Now we average about 7 each hunt, one evening we had 14 feeding at dark, the other 3 evenings ony 3 deer, 4 today. Sitting with my wife to get her first muzzleloader deer, she passed a 4 and 7 yesterday, only bucks seen this week. They can set the seasons early, they cant make the deer move.lol delta, my method is for land at carrying capacity, i simply count my spotted fawns each year and thats how many deer we need to take without increaseing. We have 5 large (5-10)acre foodplots scattered about. at the end of the season, after the deer get over the wildness caused by the rut, all the deer return to the foodplots every afternoon, so when it gets dark and 20 deer are in every field, thats a large majority of the deer there.

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JSoileau6Profile Photo
Posted November 16, 2012 at 8:29am
Ducks

So I take it you've got some mighty fine duck habitat too, then? I mean, why else would DU get involved?

Plus, I will say this, 5 food plots of that size would definitely affect the carrying capacity of the land. Makes a lot more sense now. I can believe 1 deer to 5 acres when you've got between 25 and 50 acres in food plots. That's almost like supplemental feed. If that wasn't there, doubt that land could support that many deer. Just plain facts. But that's awesome if you can support that many. Not trying to say I doubt you or anything, just saying food plots have a lot to do with that because there tends to be a lot more nutritional value in food plots than natural forage.

But you already knew that, i'm sure.

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deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 16, 2012 at 3:00pm
wrong?

so... you have approximately 7 percent of your land planted in food plots. that will def increase cc. also you are telling me that after dark every evening there are about 20 deer in every field. you also say that is the majority of the deer in the area. so lets bump that number up to 25. that puts you at 1 deer per 4 acres. ok.. look at in terms of this, you also say they are free ranging deer. how many deer are you drawing from adjacent properties? a radio telemetry study on FREE RANGE deer in south central la was conducted from 2007-2008 on seasonal home ranges of male whitetail deer. i understand this is not in your exact area, but it can be looked at as valuable info for you. averaging year round home range, yearling bucks had an average of about 364 acres and bucks 2.5 and older had an average of about 268 acres. unless your place is fenced, your population is including animals with home ranges outside your property. so then you can just say the carrying cc of your area is probably more like 1 deer per 20 acres but, because they arent fenced out, the population of the area is more concentrated to your property because you are providing a significant amount of high nutrition forage by supplementing natural forage. cc evaluations should not account for food plots because the high risk of mankind. something may happen to you and you cant suppply this supplement the next of following years and it puts the herd at risk of many things. if you do a forage survey on natural forage and you have exclusion cages in your food plots and can sample the amount of forage production in your plots, you can compare the two and get a real idea of how much more forage you are producing than natural forage. you will be surprized. though, on free range deer there have been studys that prove a low percentage of the deers diet comes from food plots. no i am not saying they are bad by no means, they are an awesome management scheme that greatly increases the nutrition of there diet! if your food plot program is managed correctly, year round, sepperate plots for warm season and cool season (60% cool season, 10% perennial, and 30% warm season), fertilized and limed according to soil test, etc... number of pics means nothing to be honest, how many are the same deer... i am glad to here you keep track of your pics tho! do you record weights, ages and measurements of all your harvested animals? do you log every sighting? seems you have a good handle on alot of things so im sure you do this. if not you should. you can get a lot of info from that kind of data. and du evaluating your habitat? when did they start managing habitat for deer? just curious, maybe i missed something. oh and i wasnt talking about studys i was asking if you have or had someone cunduct browse surveys on your property and forage evaluations on your property? also there have been numerous numerous studys on breeding behavior in free range populations. it may not be in a magazine, but look into the right sources.... JWM by the way is probably the most reliable source. tho, these days there is some biologicaly reliable resources and people with significant credintials publishing articles for the public. QDMA is one for example. i am not knocking la sportsman by no means, i just wish they had more info about management from actual biologists and researcher.

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hunt rProfile Photo
Posted November 18, 2012 at 10:38pm
cc

I do have about 150 acres in 3 spots of great duck habitat, just no ducks. The last 5 yrs of drought have dried up our water but made lush deer plots. Du got our easement from delta waterfowl, not sure why or how. They monitor for neo-tropical migrants, from butterflies to ducks. I also have about 12-1acre each plots and about 6 miles of road, all these are planted with whitetail clover. No deer around me to draw, they have the typical 1-20acre. If mine get hungry they'll just leave, thats what herd dispersal is all about right? U have to have thick woods, just like people do better in apartments than school gyms. When bucks see each other in the rut they must fight. Having thick woods lets them avoid seeing each other.Just like a maze, my deer can walk 20ft from each other and not see each other. I havent reached my cc yet because they eat the clover so much they have plenty natural food for winter. I do keep records, i was in dmap for 5 yrs, and i also keep a daily journal. I hunt every day of the season and see about 90 racked bucks and i updated one everty couple days the last two yrs on this sight.

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deltahunter85Profile Photo
Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:44am
link

http://www.imbmonsterbucks.com/info.php?id=215 take a look at this, it is a summary of several studies by renoun whitetail biologists about buck movement. there is a section in there about buck home ranges, this may interest you. also i want you to cut open the rumen of every deer you kill this year, sort and dry the matter and give us a percentage of native matter and food plot matter. not arguing at all, im sure they use your food plots alot considering your herd size, they prolly have no choice. but i am curious what percentage of the deers diet is actually coming from the plot. just curious, there is no arguement in mind. do you fertilize native vegetation? you should, this is also included in the deers diet and you can significantly increase nutritional value and palatability of it just by fertilizing, maximizing nutritional value of complete diet would make a significant difference on the chances of a buck to reach his full genetic potential at between 5 1/2 to 7 1/2. there have been many studies done to evaluate nutritional value of native forage responding to fertilization. you should look this up and read it. it is interesting, cheaper than food plots, and is a main portion of the deers diet.

good hunting.

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JasperProfile Photo
Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:38pm
Pregnant Does

I have to disagree with your logic on whether or not you kill a doe before or after the rut is the same. Most hunters have a self quota and don't just shoot for the numbers. (I said most...)They already have a plan on how many does they will shoot each season. Therefore, a hunter planning on shooting them can do this before the rut and definitely not kill deer that would have been born in the future. If you have a plan to kill a few does, do it before the rut unless you are trying to cut down on deer numbers in your area.

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