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Twas the night before Bow Opener

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Twas the night before Bow Opener

Postby BigfknJay » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:14 am

Well ladies and gentlemen, Its is the day before bow opener and the trusty old Hoyt is ready for some skewering. The weather seems to be cooperating for some movement. Time for this cat to get High , In a tree, and go shopping for some fast food. Good luck to all of you heading into the woods this weekend, and stay safe. Now if I could only find my charging cables for my handy cams I could do some videoing while I am out there.
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Re: Twas the night before Bow Opener

Postby BigfknJay » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:08 am

Well, I had a lot of fun Friday night. Went and hung my climber and place one of my blinds out. My step son wanted to come out and sit Saturday night so I put the blind up for him. I then went home and proceeded to go through every stitch of hunting gear I own. Cleaned all my guns just because. Looked over my bow one last time and then brought out the cross bow to make sure it was in operating condition as well. All of this while watching old hunting dvds on the tv for a huge hunting overload. I was giggling at how insane I went when I hit the rack and thought about it.
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Re: Twas the night before Bow Opener

Postby Fitter » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:13 pm

I'm the same way with hunting. Actually I'm the same way with everything. Check. Double-check. Triple-check. And I use to haul along way more gear than I needed...just in case. And forget sleeping the night before. I'm a 51 year old hyper kid waiting for Christmas morning.

I've been eye-balling a fat doe eating the clover I frost-seeded in the spring. It's like lush pillows of green right now and deer are eating and bedding right in the clover. The doe is safe in the yard but I suspect I'll see her near the back of the 40 where I have another small clover plot for hunting. I did a brief article about it if you're interested http://deerfever.com/2015/08/inexpensiv ... t-options/ There's a small buck, and couple other does, and some yearling coming around. They don't even bother running away anymore when I walk outside. No challenge to hunt them let alone shoot them.

But back to gearing up, self-sustained bike touring taught me to pack wisely and buy good quality gear. When you're on the road in the middle of nowhere everything depends on your physical condition and everything you can possibly strap to a bicycle. In comparison, packing into the woods for a hunting trip is very similar. I literally use the same essential gear for a few nights of hunting as I do for a few nights touring. So for everything from my shelter, cooking, and electronic media, I'm always organized, packed, and ready to go. No need to double check that gear. I could toss three packs into the truck right now this minute and rest assured knowing I have everything I need for a few nights in the woods except my clothes and some food. And that preparation makes a big difference for me personally.
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Re: Twas the night before Bow Opener

Postby BigfknJay » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:25 am

Speaking of the doe you have been keeping an eye on. I tend to use both lol. A co worker of mine who leases some land in Tigerton, Wi told me he saw 20 does opening day of bow season. And I responded with " what time will the back straps be done?" He said he didn't shoot them because it was too much work in the heat. " are you kidding me" was my reply. But on to my point. They are paying 3000$ to hunt this land that is supposed to me managed for trophy bucks. MY question to our fellow members is, why arn't they managing the doe to buck ratio? I dabble in a self taught version of QDM on my land along with all of my neighbors in Washburn county but everything I have read of been told is you need to keep the doe numbers now or they will dominate the heard. Am I wrong in this?
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Re: Twas the night before Bow Opener

Postby Fitter » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:04 pm

I wouldn't say you're wrong. Dominate might not be the best word.

Managing deer goes hand in hand with managing land. You cannot effectively manage the deer, especially when you're looking at nurtrition, if the herd exceeds the carrying capacity of the property.

Genetics of a monster buck might be present in many bucks but they lack the nutrition to really become that true trophy. And when that nutrition is already a premium, and your deer herd consists of mainly does, someone isn't going to get enough to sustain without looking elsewhere.

We had a deer management cooperative between myself and the neighbors. After 5 years we got the doe to buck ratio down to 4:1. The first year, all 6 of us, each took a doe. And the ratio then was something like 10:1. And that was probably on a good day. I believe it was closer to 12:1. Lot's of deer. Even at 4:1 we still had too many doe in the herd because the properties could not support the total number of deer. So we planted clover, rye, and whatever else I don't recall. And we're only looking at 400 acres here.

10 years in we were no longer seeing 4 pointers like we had previously. Bucks seemed to jump from spikes to 6 pointers regularly and continue to grow from there. But while the herd seemed to have leveled off the mortality rate for the fawns began to change. More fawns were surviving and it's likely due to the added nutrition. So that opened a new page but unfortunately that's where it all ended. New neighbors bought a little 10 acre patch nearly in the middle of our cooperative. They marched 8 hunters and tons of bait into that patch as well as tresspassing onto our properties. Year one they had 10 deer hanging on the pole. Bucks myself and the neighbors all recognized. And they weren't interested in deer management.

In 5 years the local herd was decimated so much so that they put the property up for sale and disappeared. Good riddance.

Now I would love to see the 20 deer and 2 bucks frolicking around the property like I did 20 years ago but today I know better. This property cannot sustain that many deer. So the question regarding the buck to doe ratio you mention, Jay, might be more of a land holding capacity.

If they have expanses of food plots, fruit trees, and nuts, etc. the herd might very well be suited for the large number of doe they reported. But you said they reported 20 doe. No bucks? That number doesn't even have a ratio to work with.

If I had the option I would probably again look to around 4:1 here for this property. It only takes one wicked winter to take out a few deer and throw a wrench in the equation. Having some sort of buffer for that occassion could be the saving grace of your herd. You can always shoot more to manage the herd while waiting for them to grow is a different story.
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Re: Twas the night before Bow Opener

Postby BigfknJay » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:22 pm

The guys that they lease from own about 800 acres there. Parceled into 10- 80 acre areas to lease. Lots for corn and bean fields, I didn't see any other food plots. And it may be that the bucks just were not moving. I am going to video One night and hunt the second this weekend.
I also had a problem happen in our co op up on my land. We have 1500 acres of corn fields across the tracks that run along our land. Plus 280 acres that I and my neighbors own, and an 80 that was between myself and the next neighbor. We kind of left that as a sanctuary. It wasn't worth the money the owner wanted per acre, too much low land and swamp. But we had permission to hunt it along with a local hunting club. It has since been sold to a man from Iowa who only goes up there to fish. He has 5000 acres of farms in Iowa. I wouldn't want to hunt there either if I was him.
Anywho, we were managing the heard and the bucks we were starting to see were great. One of my neighbors showed some of his trail cam pictures in town at the local pub and sure enough. The hunting club drove the land back and forth for two days. They shoot 10 bucks all above 8 points. I could have thrown up. They haven't been back since. Luckily the game farm 20 miles away allows them to hunt there in their non leased areas. But then we had that bad winter that killed off a lot of the heard. So now we are under a wall hanger or nothing hunt. We estimate our heard to be too small to do anything else. Trail cameras that once were full of pics now show next to nothing. I did get a look at a buck with what looked like an ok rack last opening day of gun. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good enough look to see if it was a shooter.
It was headed toward my brother and his daughter. Hoped they would get a better look , But to no avail as it turned away from them. All he saw was the back in some tall grass.
Thank you for the insight. Have a good evening.
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