Deer Debate

Whiskers

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Here in NJ where I hunt we have too many deer. We are allowed two buck, and unlimited antlerless deer in most zones. Most of my stands I see 10-15 doe a day. Very few buck. This afternoon my wife and I went out to tag our Christmas tree (won't get it until middle of Dec) in the field next to the tree farm, 18 antlerless deer, no buck were feeding in a rye field.
Here is the debate. I say we should kill the mature does. Let the yearlings, and fawns go. Some of my amigo's say we should kill the yearlings, let the mature does drop fawns in the spring. I beleive that perpetuates the problem. If we kill the mature doe. We won't have such a big fawning in the spring. The yearling does will come into estrous next fall, and some of the yearlings we are seeing now, will turn into buck. I think we have so many doe that the bucks don't have to wander very far to get what they want. They are pretty wore out real quick.
What do you folks think.
 

1_pointer

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I agree with schmalts, it sounds like a horrible buck/doe ratio. However, by killing the adult does, the fawns are less likely to make it through to the next breeding season. So, by killing the adults you may have a larger impact on reducing the herd.
 

ELKCHSR

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Stick um all in my freezer....
There is really plenty to go around!!!
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Whiskers

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The fawns are done milking so I don't think that killing the mature doe will have much of an effect on them. We usually don't have real harsh winters that take a toll on our deer. I think if we kill yearlings, and fawns we may be affecting next years small buck. The problem we have here is no one wants to shoot doe (except me). I think its Schmaltz has the signature "meats meat and a mans gotta eat" that's the way I feel about it. But the number of deer also impacts there size. We don't have farms (I know..Garden State?), we have pine woods and scrub oak, and front yards. No real good food plots.
 

schmalts

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I love deer meat, and practice QDM all the way. They have a very imforitive video tape you should try to get and show your hunt camp it. A few things to remember is this;
Half of the doe fawns will get bred in december and fawn in the spring.
The more doe you kill the more bucks you will see, regarless of the notion that they make little bucks.
If you have any kind of winter food shotage you will be better killing off doe because they will come back the next year anyway because of the fact that the ones with more food in the winter (after you thin them out)
will be more likely to produce 2-3 fawns instead of just 1 if they had to compete for food. Doe start out usually with 2-3 fawns in them and will regurgitate one if they are in need of food.
We killed 15 antlerless deer off of 160 acre we hunt, and didnt see too much of a difference the next year. But the little difference did make the bucks move a lot better.
Even though you dont have a hard winter you still may not have the food you think you do in the woods. Unless you have ubundant brows and greens for them you are shorting them by having an overpopulation. Deer wont eat dead leaves and ferns, and if they are they are starving and stressed already.
Thinning the heard will produce better antler growth. Antlers are greatly affected by winter food availability
The one thing to keep in practice is to identify you target well. If you cannot see if it clearly has no nubs on its head dont shoot. Passing a shot because you cant tell isnt the end of the world, if you have that many doe you will get more chances.
If you orphan a button buck you will see him next year as a 1 1/2 year old buck. Otherwise they come from other areas because the doe lead them off to a different area. The bucks you see are usually not ones you passed up as a button buck.
If your seeing more than 10 doe a day in the woods start killing. Get busy
 

tnctcb

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a mature doe will usually drop 2 fawns but a yearling will drop one if any, therefore if you shoot a mature doe you reduce the herd by 3 and if you shoot a yearling it 1 or 2. if the buck doe ratio is out of whack then the button buck may stay in the area thinking he wont have to hunt for does next year.i say shoot the mature ones and thin the does and save your button bucks but shooting a yearling is better than not shooting any. if you dont have a limit shoot all the does and fill your freezer just look closley for buttons before you shoot.
 

dgibson

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The problem we have here is no one wants to shoot doe (except me).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Same problem here, Whiskers. Everyone's ate up with Big Buck TV.
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When given a choice, I usually shoot the biggest doe in the bunch, but that's more out of habit than any grand scheme. Tim's right about mature does dropping more fawns, but then if you pass on the yearling does for two years and they drop one each year, they've caught up. One hard fast rule: whack 'em and stack 'em.
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BbarC

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What about culling 1 1/2 yr old spikes?? It is highly encouraged here. We took out two yesterday with only about 1 1/2" spikes. Would they ever amounted to much?/ Not likely. I have two yearly plus bucks that hang around here that are a 4x3 and a4x4 that are about 12" wide and pretty heavy. I think that's the minimum kind that you want to keep breeding for the genetics. We have bout a bazillion deer around here and because of control by the different ranchers and cooperation of most of the hunters , we have pretty good genetics in this area. and produce a goodly number of 160-170 B&C deer on these "jackrabbits". Bob
 

schmalts

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studies show that is not a wise thing to do. When a deer is only 1 1/2 years old you cannot tell its potential. A spike mostley means it is a late born deer from a late breeding the year before. This happens often in areas of poor buck/doe ratio often because the does go into heat the same day usually and there isnt enough bucks to get the job done. Then the does unbred go into heat a month later and so on. You end up with does breeding in dec and even january if the ratio is way off.
Doe Fawns sometimes do not go into heat until later in the breeding season just because of there age.
Those late born fawns are behind in all growth including antler growth, but usually catch up by the time they reach 2 1/2 year. Those 30-60 days difference in age can be the difference between a spike and an 8pt.
The old myth once a spike always a spike is so false it is almost stuipid. I know it does happen but its very rare. How often does anyone shoots a spike that is over 150lbs showing it is actually a deer over 1 1/2 years old ? sometimes its a buck past its prime. A friend of mine has a deer farm and had a breeder buck that went from a 7 1/2 year old 160 inch buck to a massive spike in one year. He was just old.
So the short of it is NO i wouldnt shoot spikes. If you see adult deer (3 year old)with genetic abnormalities like missing brows, and things like 4X2 frames, now those are cull bucks big time.
 

dgibson

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So that buck TE and I saw that had 3 or 4 points on one side and a spike on the other was a shooter...shucks.
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I let that one go, too.
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Whiskers

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BbarC that is the main problem. We aren't seeing small buck. We aren't seeing big buck. All we are seeing this year are doe,and fawns. Not even seeing a whole lot of buck sign. Darren your right about the big buck TV mentalitiy. Schmaltz,and Tim you seem to be in my camp with the mature doe. I love deer meat too. I eat more venison in a year than beef. Have two doe in the freezer now. We have a 5 day break in the archery season this week. (I don't know why, nobody does but that s the game commission) It comes back in on Thanksgiving day, then Muzzleloader. I guess I am gonna have to get another freezer, or start making jerky.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 11-24-2003 18:29: Message edited by: Whiskers ]</font>
 

1_pointer

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Just because the deer are done milking by the fall and you have mild winters doesn't mean that the yearlings aren't still learning to survive from mamma. That was my point. You could always pop a few and donate them to the hungry, the processing fee is tax deductible to help take some of the sting out of it.
 

Nut

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I have no problem with "brown is down".
I am totally happy with taking does of almost any size. err I am trying to stay away from the small ones now that I have taken a few deer.
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My does are worth any trophy buck to me and I still have plenty of room in my freezer with growing boys who love wild game.
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Funter

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I saw a study that said that a doe will drop a buck most of the time on her first breeding then she will drop does more often than bucks. So kill the mature does.
 

schmalts

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if your seeing lots of deer and no bucks i think you are right, the bucks are living life too good. Hump one doe, walk 50 yards, lay down with another. why move in daylight hours?
Yes the rut is way more intense with a better buck to doe ratio. You will see a lot more scrapes with less doe around.
Beef??? whats that??
 

JB Florida

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":beef, whats that"

I'm with you schmalts!
We have been pounding the does on our place for 13 years, we have whacked 35 to 45 for the last 6 years and we see more and more bucks all the time now.

Doe killing .....I mean hunting is a lot of work though. During gun season, I shoot EVERY one that holds still, until the rut at the end of the season. Big little it does not matter, it getting a good pile started early ...THAT is the key
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GOT BULLETS and ZIPLOCKS! I'll start Thursday

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 11-24-2003 21:04: Message edited by: JB Florida ]</font>
 

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