August 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm #4524
Monday, September 30, 2013
I read the article that was mailed to me…what a great article…from the guy that knows.
My answer addresses some of the issues. I have been hunting all my life but only the last 20 years or so have I made an effort to “manage our place”. By the word managemant meant something different at different times. I started with very few deer …the deer were few, small, and young. The problem…road hunters, over harvesting by neighbors, and poachers. I secured the place by putting up fences and locked gates…this was the most important thing I did.
The security helped but…still no quality and low numbers…maybe. I began my acward way to count deer…not very good but it was a start. We were given 12 permits per 700 acres with few deer. We then cut back on doe harvest …one doe per 200 acres or less. The next three years our heard began to grow but I didnt know how much as my deer count was very shaky but did show an increase. My deer density grew from around 20 acres to the deer (or more) to a thriving something less than 8 acres to the deer.
Now came along trail cameras…what a change..I was able to capture a picture of most of the bucks and with keeping good records I had an idea of my buck to doe ratio..giving us a good idea of deer density. This was something I could hang my hat on. I added four more cameras and followed a procedure written by “QDMA” (Quality Deer Management Ass.) Not perfect but very accurate…in my openion.
The deer herd began to grow and we were harvesting older mature animals. Thing sgoing great …until the number of neighbors began to grow. We went from around 7 hunters to 30. Needless to say the herd density is droping and so is the age of the herd..all this work for nothing…now a new management issue emerges. My problem is to keep the deer on our place…with it being low fenced by the way.
I built two pens with feeders …this helped a lot but still loosing numbers and Parks and Wildlife are issuing many more doe permits based on spotlight surveys. I have shown my numbers to the biologist but no help. Still up to us and the neighbors. Some of the neighbors are interested and some are not but I still warn them of the doe numbers are droping out the bottom. The deer density is climbing back above 13 and heading to 20.
My next “management” process will be to meet with as many neighbors as possible and try to convince them to join in and have a plan we can all support.
Sooo…management means many things to me and a lot of work and disappointments. Still I will not give up..not now …not ever.
By the way we have harvested some mighty good bucks ( for our area) . An increase of 40 lb.s to 70 lb.s. on some of the animals..I am very proud of this acheivement …I hate that I am still loosing the battle after coming so far.
good luck to allAugust 18, 2015 at 7:08 pm #4525
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
dawg, you ARE managing my friend and I applaud you. You are living through the steps, both good and bad.
Management, as you point out, is a moving target and constantly changing. There are many, many factors outside your control but you are doing a great job doing what you can do.
State biologists have to manage a large population over a large area, they are concerned with county-wide deer numbers as opposed to ranch specific numbers. I worked as a state biologist for ten years and it was most difficult at times. So they do care about local specific numbers at a distance but their primary job is a much higher perspective managing county numbers or management unit numbers.
Since you are a proactive leader, as you visit with your neighbors, consider the idea of a forming a Co-op or a Wildlife Management Unit of sorts. You can do this on your own. With neighbor participation and buy-in, you can manipulate the population to make a difference.
After you visit with the neighbors, report back here and I will give you the next steps to take. Good luck and I appreciate your efforts tremendously. Pain is weakness leaving the body and leaders are made by those that show up so don’t be discouraged. Folks have different goals and objectives and this sometimes causes conflicts so keep a positive attitude and remind the neighbors you are simply trying to make it better for everyone.
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