October 29, 2015 at 7:26 am #4789
When we have a mature buck less than 13 inches how do we deal with this deer if we cant harvest him? With time.. we will have more deer with this type of rack if this buck is not dealt with. We could take this buck illegally but we need a process for taking those animals out of the heard in a legal way.
We don’t have a lot of them but we do have more than two mature bucks on a lease of 700 acres. We cannot continue with rules that hinder the hunters to manage the deer heard in a responsible way….and more that are not mature…probably two more. I don’t know of a legal process and can’t think of anything we can do short of harvesting an illegal deer. Seems though we could take a picture of the buck to our biologist and receive a permit for that animal only. Even if we get one permit a year that would help.
thanksOctober 29, 2015 at 7:25 pm #4790
I hunt 3 counties that have the ARs and hear this discussed every time we get around a campfire. The more I read about genetics and serious experiments on low fenced properties by reputable biologists, the more I am convinced that “culling” on small properties is a lost cause and is primarily something that just makes hunters happy because they get to kill deer. Seriously, with the low number of does that a buck breeds with during a season, I believe that those narrow bucks are not a problem. In high fenced properties there is no doubt that there can be some genetic control but I believe it is generally limited to them.
Macy may have an entirely different opinion and I would love to hear him discuss this interesting subject.October 29, 2015 at 7:35 pm #4791
I would let him breed, don’t forget the gals have genetics as well.October 29, 2015 at 11:08 pm #4792
I agree with you 100% Paul. Those one or two bucks on that property are only successfully breeding a handful of does. It has been proven time and again that culling has almost zero affect on changing genetic makeup of a herd over time.
But, if you want more flexibility in what and when you harvest, then MLD is the way to go. There are no antler restrictions on MLD property. Therefore you could legally harvest those bucks that you normally couldn’t in AR counties.
I wish you the best!October 30, 2015 at 10:17 am #4793
Kegan, good thinking, I had forgotten about the MLD program that eventually can resolve what ducky sees as a problem.
We entered the MLD program this year with the 3 properties I mentioned at Level 1. Of course this first year required a lot more effort and paperwork in the initial set-up than will be required in future years. I do not anticipate problems in the future and look forward to moving up to higher MLD levels as time passes. Even at Level 1 we got a limited doe harvest allocation from the TPWL biologist which was not possible prior to getting the permits.November 3, 2015 at 9:09 pm #4811
Yes sir, MLDP is the answer to legally removing those bucks that need it. The program is free but the requirements may cost some money and certainly some time. But it is a great program and I recommend it often. The rules will get easier in 2017 and things will just get better.
AR are a great idea when managing a COUNTY WIDE deer herd and that is exactly how and why they were created. They were created to force hunters to stop slaughtering immature bucks. In every scenario and situation in life, there are exceptions to every rule and AR are no exception. So the AR is a great and wonderful tool to manage large populations under public control but they certainly have disadvantages to individual landowners and their specific goals and objectives. Thus the MLDP exceptions and permits.
MacyDecember 9, 2015 at 9:15 pm #4832
How will the MLDP change in 2017?January 3, 2016 at 8:52 am #4844
The changes will be positive in the sense they become easier to qualify and maintain. From a biologists’ perspective, I do not like the lack of data collection. The previous data collection took mere minutes or even seconds to record and it was extremely useful under most conditions. But with the new changes, less data is collected and so less information will be learned and/or used to help manage the herd. I have many client ranches that fully and completely appreciate the harvest data use and value so they will continue to gather the data as always and simply turn in to TPWD the limited and useless data they are now requiring.
Managing a wild herd of animals is not easy. Data collection only helps and confirms progress (or lack thereof) and so I do not support reducing the data collection efforts at all. The MLDP program was originally designed as an incentive program to encourage positive actions. Today, it is being gutted simply because they don’t want to use or store the data and that does not sit well in my stomach and now creates more guesswork instead of fact work. I prefer to deal in facts and data and not opinions so I will continue to encourage folks to gather the data we need to make informed and correct decisions to manage and protect their investments.
MacyJanuary 3, 2016 at 10:24 am #4846
Thanks Macy. As always your response was thoughtful and made good sense to me. I can’t imagine that recording the data was that big of a deal though maybe I don’t grasp accurately the workload that county biologists face. I know when I applied for my three places last year all it took for a “site visit” was me providing the biologist with Google Earth fence boundaries for the sites. Perhaps that is actually from a practical standpoint adequate but lack of a site visit was a surprise to me. I will continue to keep the data that I believe necessary to focus on progress in management.January 4, 2016 at 12:29 pm #4849
I was a TPWD regulatory biologist in five counties for ten years and I can say with certainty that the amount of data handled is incredible. It is not only for deer but also quail, turkey, dove, waterfowl surveys and much more. But the issue at hand should not be the volume of data but the management of that data. Storage these days should not be an issue. Prior to computers being so common and user friendly, we had boxes and boxes of papers of data. So much so in fact, TPWD used to have an airplane hanger FULL of boxes of survey and harvest data that they maintained. One of my jobs was to discard those boxes and clean out that hangar and let me confess to you that it was not an easy chore!!!!
So data handling and storage is indeed a big issue but that comes with the territory these days. If you want to do a job and do it well, expect some pains and suffering along the way because I have never found anything truly good and worthy that did not involve some level of discomfort.
MacyFebruary 11, 2016 at 6:18 pm #4857
I collect all the data I can get…I find that many things are uncovered by doing that. Since I don’t know much about deer I learn something new almost every year. I have been collecting data for more than 10 years…some good data …some doesn’t tell me anything so far…but if you collect enough over a long period …some thing will be exposed. When ya plot enough numbers ..it either supports old information or uncovers new info. When the numbers correspond to other numbers that gives you a feeling of doing it right. I have made data a hobby..I spend all year long feeding deer and using trail cameras to collect information. I see bucks grow each year…you are around the deer enough that they accept your presence and welcome the feed wagon…my truck…they stage up near the feed pens when they see me come in the gate.
During deer season when I throw corn in the pen early in the mornings …the deer jump in ..one at a time …then two…then tree..before I get out to the blind. They are not pets…they are just used to me and what I do. Rest assured I know how many deer at all times all year…I count the deer by a proven process that is more accurate than most. The count relates from year to year. My fawn count takes place from May to November by taking pics of each side of the each fawn. All kinds of data comes from this fawn census.
So I agree with you Macy..not enough data comes not the best practices…with computers now days storage should be easy and accessible….no reason not to collect the needed info.
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