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Old 08-14-2017, 06:26 PM   #1
2coolforschool
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Default Where does the obsession with "culling" come from?

Itchy trigger fingers/justification to shoot another buck? False assumptions that it improves genetics in a free range herd?
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
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Itchy trigger fingers/justification to shoot another buck? False assumptions that it improves genetics in a free range herd?
Yes! All of the above
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:54 PM   #3
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freezer filler
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:58 PM   #4
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Itchy trigger fingers/justification to shoot another buck? False assumptions that it improves genetics in a free range herd?
I think you pretty well nailed it. On small properties it could include the " if I don't shoot him the neighbor will " excuse also.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:02 PM   #5
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MTFreezers
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:08 PM   #6
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It certainly does not come from..."I'm not wasting my tag on a crap deer that is old & inferior...the monster is going to come out any second." & then "How come I never get to shoot any good bucks"??
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:10 PM   #7
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I would argue you CAN make a difference if you have the acreage and are aggressive with them and your older does. You can shift towards seeing less of them. That's a long commitment. I just don't want to look at an older 6 or deer with no brows or think of them taking over does when I drop a "better" management deer. Mostly it's taking mouths off of the place and why not be a crap buck at the same time
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:36 PM   #8
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Say what you want but the wife and I shoot crappy (relatively speaking) 4 and older deer as soon as we can unless we're hunting a specific big deer. Been doing that for 6 years. Are we changing the gene pool? Hard to say. But, we're on a 20K acre LF ranch and there are lots of 130's and up. Our culls were below 120 for years, but now are below 125 and the ranch manager has also raised the bar to allow more "management deer" that do not meet "trophy" caliber. I don't think he would have done that if we weren't seeing positive results in our culling process.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:41 PM   #9
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It is about numbers and anytime you pull the trigger you are culling a mouth. What it is called before or after is up the person pulling the trigger.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:49 PM   #10
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It is about numbers and anytime you pull the trigger you are culling a mouth. What it is called before or after is up the person pulling the trigger.
This.....^^^^
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:56 PM   #11
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It's not what you kill, it's what you keep.


For most places, it's more ROI on lease dues.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:35 PM   #12
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It is about numbers and anytime you pull the trigger you are culling a mouth. What it is called before or after is up the person pulling the trigger.
Yessir^^^

Other factors...like deer density and the overall carrying capacity of the land come into play but that's ultimately what it comes down to. More food...less tummies.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:03 AM   #13
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It is about numbers and anytime you pull the trigger you are culling a mouth. What it is called before or after is up the person pulling the trigger.
Excellent answer.


I've always said on most places/leases deer are put into 3 categories ..trophy, management, and culls

Trophy--- largest buck , 10pt or more that will score the highest

Management-- largest 8 or 9 point on the ranch that doesn't get thrown into trophy category.

Cull-- typically spikes and bucks with no brow tines or 7 pts
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:29 AM   #14
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It is about numbers and anytime you pull the trigger you are culling a mouth. What it is called before or after is up the person pulling the trigger.
Yep. I'm not sure why folks don't understand that. They wouldn't make a good cattle rancher with a bunch of extra crappy bulls hanging around eating.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:32 AM   #15
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Put too many bass into a pond and you get stunted bass. Why? Too many mouths and too little food.

We are on a large LF ranch and we have aggressively culled for years - both doe and inferior bucks. The less competition and mouths for the available food the bigger and better the deer. The results are hard to argue with.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:27 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by d_e_smith View Post
It's not what you kill, it's what you keep.


For most places, it's more ROI on lease dues.
"It's not how fast you cull, it's how well you cull fast"

just the way you worded it reminded me of the comercial...
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:45 AM   #17
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It all depends on the place. You cannot paint all leases/ranches with the same brush but generally speaking you really cannot change the genetics in a low fence/free range situation. The things that you can do to make a real different involve nutrition and age structure. It is hard to get a good age structure of bucks if everyone is shooting them at 2 or 3.

-john
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:27 AM   #18
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Ditto OP, I think you mostly nailed it.

If a buck is 6+ yrs, why not take him if you like him or if offered a great hunt? But if you want to hold out for something with more antler, Giddy-up. In LF situations, leaving a smaller antlered buck to die of old age or natural causes has no negative consequences to the quality of the other deer or the habitat. While taking a buck does remove 1 mouth off the habitat, killing bucks is a totally ineffective means of population control and therefore a totally ineffective means of maintaining quality natural food. This is because the doe keep making babies and population growth can continue unabated despite the removal of cull bucks.

So, if you want abundant quality food, manage the doe numbers first, and think of the surplus of bucks as icing on the cake.

To you meat hunters - doe eat really good.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:12 AM   #19
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Ditto OP, I think you mostly nailed it.

While taking a buck does remove 1 mouth off the habitat, killing bucks is a totally ineffective means of population control and therefore a totally ineffective means of maintaining quality natural food.
Good lord
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:21 AM   #20
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Biggest problem I see is one buck counties on smaller places with no MLD no one wants to burn their one tag on a "cull". Unlike cattle the state sets the limit.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:32 AM   #21
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I would argue you CAN make a difference if you have the acreage and are aggressive with them and your older does. You can shift towards seeing less of them. That's a long commitment. I just don't want to look at an older 6 or deer with no brows or think of them taking over does when I drop a "better" management deer. Mostly it's taking mouths off of the place and why not be a crap buck at the same time
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:34 AM   #22
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Yessir^^^

Other factors...like deer density and the overall carrying capacity of the land come into play but that's ultimately what it comes down to. More food...less tummies.

This really applies to high deer density areas. In areas where there is low deer density I believe the OP point is true, people start using the "cull" name to justify killing a 2.5-3.5 buck when there really isn't a need because of the low deer density in the area.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:47 AM   #23
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I think you pretty well nailed it. On small properties it could include the " if I don't shoot him the neighbor will " excuse also.
Winner!
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:22 PM   #24
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Good lord
Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:35 PM   #25
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Thanks!
Lol
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:55 PM   #26
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Its the same as eliminating certain kinds of people from this world....one at a time
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:08 PM   #27
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freezer filler
You called?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:21 PM   #28
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Ditto OP, I think you mostly nailed it.

If a buck is 6+ yrs, why not take him if you like him or if offered a great hunt? But if you want to hold out for something with more antler, Giddy-up. In LF situations, leaving a smaller antlered buck to die of old age or natural causes has no negative consequences to the quality of the other deer or the habitat. While taking a buck does remove 1 mouth off the habitat, killing bucks is a totally ineffective means of population control and therefore a totally ineffective means of maintaining quality natural food. This is because the doe keep making babies and population growth can continue unabated despite the removal of cull bucks.

So, if you want abundant quality food, manage the doe numbers first, and think of the surplus of bucks as icing on the cake.

To you meat hunters - doe eat really good.
I know you are a wildlife biologist - But......

So you have a 4 year old, 8 point buck that is obviously inferior - talking about a very large, LF place where you have 3-4 year old bucks that score 160-180 and have 10-18 points with kickers, splits, drops, etc. You let that inferior 8 point buck walk so he can breed your does and eat your protein and browse? I think not.

We also cull does hard - but to say that culling inferior bucks does no good on a ranch like this is simply mistaken. We have done it for years with proof in our results.

Culling deer does not change genetics but it sure as heck works if done on the right ranch, at a high level, and on a long term basis.

Last edited by TKK; 08-15-2017 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:48 PM   #29
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Why do ya'll keep spelling "shoot whatever you are happy with regardless of someone else's opinions as long as it doesn't violate the terms of the lease agreement" C U L L / M A N A G E M E N T / G E N E T I C S ?
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:27 PM   #30
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Oh I guess I'll play... First, I didn't realize there was an "obsession" with culling. It's been around a while. Every property is different and will have different criteria for bucks to live, or not live. I look for reasons to NOT shoot a buck. If I have to talk myself into shooting it (whether for a cull or trophy) then I probably shouldn't shoot it and most likely won't.

It is possible to help the gene pool on a LF place to some degree. We've been doing it for years. Way back when we started, a 135" buck would really get my goat and was a rarity. Well, it's not a rarity anymore. Now, I have no interest in shooting one that size myself. Although I get a kick out of taking people that do.

Like has been said, it's a numbers game. Yes, we have to shoot our does. But we need to thin out the bucks a little also. We try to remove the bottom end of each age class. Call them culls, management deer, whatever term you like. It dang sure isn't an excuse to just pull the trigger. Like I said, I (we) try to always find a reason not to cull one.

For example, if most of our 4 year olds score 115"-125" (this is the hill country), and a couple knuckleheads score around 90" then they will likely be on the chopping block. But we NEED to get buck numbers down. Guys on places that have very low buck numbers probably don't need to even think about culling.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:43 AM   #31
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I know you are a wildlife biologist - But......

So you have a 4 year old, 8 point buck that is obviously inferior - talking about a very large, LF place where you have 3-4 year old bucks that score 160-180 and have 10-18 points with kickers, splits, drops, etc. You let that inferior 8 point buck walk so he can breed your does and eat your protein and browse? I think not.

We also cull does hard - but to say that culling inferior bucks does no good on a ranch like this is simply mistaken. We have done it for years with proof in our results.

Culling deer does not change genetics but it sure as heck works if done on the right ranch, at a high level, and on a long term basis.
Man, this sounds like I'm calling you out, but I promise I'm not. I would relish the chance to see some data (survey, weights & ages, B&C, when intro feed, culling criteria, when implemented, etc). If you wouldn't mind sharing I'll send you a PM with my contact info. I'm always open to learning.

The difficulty in adding validity to culling is isolating its effects from doe mgt, good habitat mgt, allowing high quality bucks to peak in age, past fawn crops, and of course protein feed. Which, by the way, you did hit an item that makes economic sense to me, if you offer protein, yeah, it'd be tough to watch a little guy munch up the feed bill.

Anyway, so regarding that isolation issue, where all else is equal, and having something to compare, is what makes scientific study important. The King Ranch is a pretty big ranch, as is the Faith. The studies have pretty strongly demonstrated that culling bucks does not increase overall antler size nor their abundance, but it can skew the sex ratio. Very long term studies.

Also, there are examples of large ranches that don't cull or feed that consistently produce top quality deer.

The 2 things that make culling ineffective. 1) A buck sires only 1.5 fawns per year, on average. 2) Young buck dispersal

TKK, I'm serious about the data if you and hunting buddies and landowner don't mind.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:10 AM   #32
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Oh I guess I'll play... First, I didn't realize there was an "obsession" with culling. It's been around a while. Every property is different and will have different criteria for bucks to live, or not live. I look for reasons to NOT shoot a buck. If I have to talk myself into shooting it (whether for a cull or trophy) then I probably shouldn't shoot it and most likely won't.

It is possible to help the gene pool on a LF place to some degree. We've been doing it for years. Way back when we started, a 135" buck would really get my goat and was a rarity. Well, it's not a rarity anymore. Now, I have no interest in shooting one that size myself. Although I get a kick out of taking people that do.

Like has been said, it's a numbers game. Yes, we have to shoot our does. But we need to thin out the bucks a little also. We try to remove the bottom end of each age class. Call them culls, management deer, whatever term you like. It dang sure isn't an excuse to just pull the trigger. Like I said, I (we) try to always find a reason not to cull one.

For example, if most of our 4 year olds score 115"-125" (this is the hill country), and a couple knuckleheads score around 90" then they will likely be on the chopping block. But we NEED to get buck numbers down. Guys on places that have very low buck numbers probably don't need to even think about culling.
I agree with everything that is said here ^^^^^. We have to do the same thing. We have too many deer and a lot of bucks. In order to keep the herd below the carrying capacity of the land, we have to shoot a certain amount of does and a couple of the lesser bucks in each age class. We can't just shoot does because our we have about twice as many bucks on our place, so we are forced to shoot "culls" every year until we get the herd down to about where we want it - 1 deer/7 acres. For us, we just want to reduce the herd to increase the amount of food available for other deer.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:12 AM   #33
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Man, this sounds like I'm calling you out, but I promise I'm not. I would relish the chance to see some data (survey, weights & ages, B&C, when intro feed, culling criteria, when implemented, etc). If you wouldn't mind sharing I'll send you a PM with my contact info. I'm always open to learning.

The difficulty in adding validity to culling is isolating its effects from doe mgt, good habitat mgt, allowing high quality bucks to peak in age, past fawn crops, and of course protein feed. Which, by the way, you did hit an item that makes economic sense to me, if you offer protein, yeah, it'd be tough to watch a little guy munch up the feed bill.

Anyway, so regarding that isolation issue, where all else is equal, and having something to compare, is what makes scientific study important. The King Ranch is a pretty big ranch, as is the Faith. The studies have pretty strongly demonstrated that culling bucks does not increase overall antler size nor their abundance, but it can skew the sex ratio. Very long term studies.

Also, there are examples of large ranches that don't cull or feed that consistently produce top quality deer.

The 2 things that make culling ineffective. 1) A buck sires only 1.5 fawns per year, on average. 2) Young buck dispersal

TKK, I'm serious about the data if you and hunting buddies and landowner don't mind.
I think you know the valid reasons for taking out bucks in several age classes that you can call culling, mgmt, meat deer whatever. But you still want to have some type of a disagreement with that?

If you need numbers/mouths out are you saying that the top end of each age class should be taken??? What criteria do you recommend for harvest???
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:27 AM   #34
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Man, this sounds like I'm calling you out, but I promise I'm not. I would relish the chance to see some data (survey, weights & ages, B&C, when intro feed, culling criteria, when implemented, etc). If you wouldn't mind sharing I'll send you a PM with my contact info. I'm always open to learning.

The difficulty in adding validity to culling is isolating its effects from doe mgt, good habitat mgt, allowing high quality bucks to peak in age, past fawn crops, and of course protein feed. Which, by the way, you did hit an item that makes economic sense to me, if you offer protein, yeah, it'd be tough to watch a little guy munch up the feed bill.

Anyway, so regarding that isolation issue, where all else is equal, and having something to compare, is what makes scientific study important. The King Ranch is a pretty big ranch, as is the Faith. The studies have pretty strongly demonstrated that culling bucks does not increase overall antler size nor their abundance, but it can skew the sex ratio. Very long term studies.

Also, there are examples of large ranches that don't cull or feed that consistently produce top quality deer.

The 2 things that make culling ineffective. 1) A buck sires only 1.5 fawns per year, on average. 2) Young buck dispersal

TKK, I'm serious about the data if you and hunting buddies and landowner don't mind.
We have tons of data over many years - my landowner however is not going to share that with someone he does not know I assure you.
I can tell you this though - our results are all that matter to us and they are top end. As my Dad told me "if it ain't broke don't fix it" - thanks for your input
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:32 AM   #35
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I think you know the valid reasons for taking out bucks in several age classes that you can call culling, mgmt, meat deer whatever. But you still want to have some type of a disagreement with that?

If you need numbers/mouths out are you saying that the top end of each age class should be taken??? What criteria do you recommend for harvest???
I don't want to speak for him and I don't know much about anything but from reading his post I think he is saying take does to manage population vs food not bucks regardless of if they are cull or trophy. If you take a buck you have done just that, take 1 deer. If you take a doe you have taken a doe plus offspring to come.

As an example start with 10 deer 5 does and 5 bucks and look at 3 scenarios (all the next year would be the same year, not cumulative).
  • If you shoot no deer the next year you will have 5 does, 5 bucks and 8 fawns (~1.5 fawns per doe) or 18 deer.
  • If you shoot 1 buck the next year you have 5 does, 4 bucks and 8 fawns (same criteria) or 17 deer.
  • If you shoot 1 doe the next year you have 4 does, 5 bucks and 6 fawns (same criteria) or 15 deer
From a strictly mouths to food standpoint culling bucks doesn't make sense compared to shooting does.

I'm not saying I agree or disagree with any of you as every place is different but I think this is what he is trying to say along with the fact that there are so many factors/variables (ratio, age structure, supplemental feed, etc) that it is tough to say culling does any good to improve gentetics. Do any of you cull but not do anything else to make that the only variable? If you are doing multiple things, I think he is saying culling is going to have the least affect (maybe none) out of all the things you are doing.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:39 AM   #36
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I don't want to speak for him and I don't know much about anything but from reading his post I think he is saying take does to manage population vs food not bucks regardless of if they are cull or trophy. If you take a buck you have done just that, take 1 deer. If you take a doe you have taken a doe plus offspring to come.

As an example start with 10 deer 5 does and 5 bucks and look at 3 scenarios (all the next year would be the same year, not cumulative).
  • If you shoot no deer the next year you will have 5 does, 5 bucks and 8 fawns (~1.5 fawns per doe) or 18 deer.
  • If you shoot 1 buck the next year you have 5 does, 4 bucks and 8 fawns (same criteria) or 17 deer.
  • If you shoot 1 doe the next year you have 4 does, 5 bucks and 6 fawns (same criteria) or 15 deer
From a strictly mouths to food standpoint culling bucks doesn't make sense compared to shooting does.

I'm not saying I agree or disagree with any of you as every place is different but I think this is what he is trying to say along with the fact that there are so many factors/variables (ratio, age structure, supplemental feed, etc) that it is tough to say culling does any good to improve gentetics. Do any of you cull but not do anything else to make that the only variable? If you are doing multiple things, I think he is saying culling is going to have the least affect (maybe none) out of all the things you are doing.
Were not comparing how many deer are produced from a buck or doe. You have to maintain a buck/doe ratio and that includes taking bucks. Common sense would tell you when you have to take mouths (that includes bucks and does) that on the buck side other than your trophy class that you would take the worst of each age class. Whether you want to call those culls, management bucks, sausage bucks, whatever I don't care what its called.

Most ranches with any deer population at all are normally overpopulated versus carrying capacity. Many hunters want to see a buck behind every tree and it just isn't sustainable. Buck harvest is very important just as doe harvest is. Its a numbers game.

Making the argument against taking inferior bucks using harvesting doe as being more effective is very short sighted at best.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:46 AM   #37
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I think this is what he is trying to say along with the fact that there are so many factors/variables (ratio, age structure, supplemental feed, etc) that it is tough to say culling does any good to improve gentetics. Do any of you cull but not do anything else to make that the only variable? If you are doing multiple things, I think he is saying culling is going to have the least affect (maybe none) out of all the things you are doing.
Goes back to the old bull argument...Do you go to the sale to buy the cheapest bull you can find to put on all your cows or do you buy a quality bull that will put weight on your calves? Genetics do play a role however small it is in the overall scheme.

Point is when working on population management taking what we would deem "inferior" genetics out first along with doe makes a LOT of sense.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:06 PM   #38
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I don't want to speak for him and I don't know much about anything but from reading his post I think he is saying take does to manage population vs food not bucks regardless of if they are cull or trophy. If you take a buck you have done just that, take 1 deer. If you take a doe you have taken a doe plus offspring to come.

As an example start with 10 deer 5 does and 5 bucks and look at 3 scenarios (all the next year would be the same year, not cumulative).
  • If you shoot no deer the next year you will have 5 does, 5 bucks and 8 fawns (~1.5 fawns per doe) or 18 deer.
  • If you shoot 1 buck the next year you have 5 does, 4 bucks and 8 fawns (same criteria) or 17 deer.
  • If you shoot 1 doe the next year you have 4 does, 5 bucks and 6 fawns (same criteria) or 15 deer
From a strictly mouths to food standpoint culling bucks doesn't make sense compared to shooting does.

I'm not saying I agree or disagree with any of you as every place is different but I think this is what he is trying to say along with the fact that there are so many factors/variables (ratio, age structure, supplemental feed, etc) that it is tough to say culling does any good to improve gentetics. Do any of you cull but not do anything else to make that the only variable? If you are doing multiple things, I think he is saying culling is going to have the least affect (maybe none) out of all the things you are doing.
WOO-HOO! I knew there had to be a few out there! I appreciate the post.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:13 PM   #39
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I know you are a wildlife biologist - But......

So you have a 4 year old, 8 point buck that is obviously inferior - talking about a very large, LF place where you have 3-4 year old bucks that score 160-180 and have 10-18 points with kickers, splits, drops, etc. You let that inferior 8 point buck walk so he can breed your does and eat your protein and browse? I think not.

We also cull does hard - but to say that culling inferior bucks does no good on a ranch like this is simply mistaken. We have done it for years with proof in our results.

Culling deer does not change genetics but it sure as heck works if done on the right ranch, at a high level, and on a long term basis.


Culling free range and large acreage only makes a visible difference if you have two or more subsets of genetics... say... DMP or are releasing deer from a breeder...

Then... obviously culling native animals makes more of a difference, because you are increasing the percentage of that smaller subset with a higher scoring antler potential genetic baseline, which can then expand (and deteriorate as you go farther away from selective breeding) and give your herd a different, blended genetic baseline that will rapidly fall from the released genetic baseline, but settle over time on a baseline slowly approaching your baseline from before.

Make sense? heheh
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:16 PM   #40
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I don't want to speak for him and I don't know much about anything but from reading his post I think he is saying take does to manage population vs food not bucks regardless of if they are cull or trophy. If you take a buck you have done just that, take 1 deer. If you take a doe you have taken a doe plus offspring to come.

As an example start with 10 deer 5 does and 5 bucks and look at 3 scenarios (all the next year would be the same year, not cumulative).
  • If you shoot no deer the next year you will have 5 does, 5 bucks and 8 fawns (~1.5 fawns per doe) or 18 deer.
  • If you shoot 1 buck the next year you have 5 does, 4 bucks and 8 fawns (same criteria) or 17 deer.
  • If you shoot 1 doe the next year you have 4 does, 5 bucks and 6 fawns (same criteria) or 15 deer
From a strictly mouths to food standpoint culling bucks doesn't make sense compared to shooting does.

I'm not saying I agree or disagree with any of you as every place is different but I think this is what he is trying to say along with the fact that there are so many factors/variables (ratio, age structure, supplemental feed, etc) that it is tough to say culling does any good to improve gentetics. Do any of you cull but not do anything else to make that the only variable? If you are doing multiple things, I think he is saying culling is going to have the least affect (maybe none) out of all the things you are doing.
How many deer will you have the next year if you kill 5 bucks in October?

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Old 08-16-2017, 12:46 PM   #41
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I have no intent of telling anybody whats best for their place, especially a big place that's got it all going on.

My concern is for the large bulk of forum users, who are not in that situation, who see posts and photos of monster deer, want to have monster deer, and then implement practices that have the potential to fail or make matters worse. For example, cull bucks to manage natural forage quality. For an average guy in TX, that's a misnomer.

I want to see people succeed, I love it, and that's a sliding scale, some with large ranches and some whose only option is the public draw, and all between. My mgt posts are attempts at spreading factual, science based, information that can have broad, though not all inclusive, application in a way that improves the reader's outdoor experience in some fashion, either now or in the future.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:08 PM   #42
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I think semantics plays in to a lot of these conversations.Culling, management deer, trophy buck....it's all relative.

The path we stick to and have had good luck with { both high fence and low fence properties } is not to shoot any buck before he is 4 yrs old and frequently older. Starting about 4 we will remove bucks that are obviously inferior to our norm . We have a lot of bucks and feed heavily. Been doing this a long time. We don't start taking the top end trophies till at least 6 and usually much older. This creates the appearance of having shifted the genetics by leaving more of the higher quality bucks roaming the ranch for more years. In fact many die of old age.


What we find is that even the lessor quality bucks frequently make someone really happy and are a trophy in their eyes. Many folks rarely get to see fully mature bucks. I see no reason to ever shoot a 3 yr old or younger buck on our properties.

I do view removing the bucks we do as part of population control though it is not significant excepting it's effect on ratios. It is the overall program ...bucks, does and habitat mgt. feed, that all add up. In no way do I consider harvest as having any impact on genetics. The pool is way too deep for that. However I do consider nutrition as the key to unlocking genetic potential and evolving herd performance over time.

And one thing I believe firmly... it is not the bucks you remove that make the difference, it is the bucks you leave in the herd that become the trophies.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:56 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by txwhitetail View Post
Were not comparing how many deer are produced from a buck or doe. You have to maintain a buck/doe ratio and that includes taking bucks. Common sense would tell you when you have to take mouths (that includes bucks and does) that on the buck side other than your trophy class that you would take the worst of each age class. Whether you want to call those culls, management bucks, sausage bucks, whatever I don't care what its called.

Most ranches with any deer population at all are normally overpopulated versus carrying capacity. Many hunters want to see a buck behind every tree and it just isn't sustainable. Buck harvest is very important just as doe harvest is. Its a numbers game.

Making the argument against taking inferior bucks using harvesting doe as being more effective is very short sighted at best.
Doe harvest is the only means of population control. Do the math. Use pencil and paper or Excel spreadsheet.

Starting population: 100 buck 100 doe.
Add in Fawn crop 50% (just for easy math) 50/50 buck/doe.
Subtract natural mortality annually: 15% buck 10% doe.
Subtract Annual harvest: 30% buck (just for demonstration), 0 doe.
Use surviving populatuon each year and run that for 10 years.

You'll notice the population will grow exponentially. This is because bucks don't have fawns.

Now run the same beginning numbers, for 10 years, but this time harvest 25% of doe population and only 10% of buck population annually.

You'll see the difference. Killing bucks does nothing to curtail population growth and therefore is an ineffective means of maintaining quality natural food.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:01 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by elgato View Post
I think semantics plays in to a lot of these conversations.Culling, management deer, trophy buck....it's all relative.

The path we stick to and have had good luck with { both high fence and low fence properties } is not to shoot any buck before he is 4 yrs old and frequently older. Starting about 4 we will remove bucks that are obviously inferior to our norm . We have a lot of bucks and feed heavily. Been doing this a long time. We don't start taking the top end trophies till at least 6 and usually much older. This creates the appearance of having shifted the genetics by leaving more of the higher quality bucks roaming the ranch for more years. In fact many die of old age.


What we find is that even the lessor quality bucks frequently make someone really happy and are a trophy in their eyes. Many folks rarely get to see fully mature bucks. I see no reason to ever shoot a 3 yr old or younger buck on our properties.

I do view removing the bucks we do as part of population control though it is not significant excepting it's effect on ratios. It is the overall program ...bucks, does and habitat mgt. feed, that all add up. In no way do I consider harvest as having any impact on genetics. The pool is way too deep for that. However I do consider nutrition as the key to unlocking genetic potential and evolving herd performance over time.

And one thing I believe firmly... it is not the bucks you remove that make the difference, it is the bucks you leave in the herd that become the trophies.



Right on!
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:14 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
Doe harvest is the only means of population control. Do the math. Use pencil and paper or Excel spreadsheet.

Starting population: 100 buck 100 doe.
Add in Fawn crop 50% (just for easy math) 50/50 buck/doe.
Subtract natural mortality annually: 15% buck 10% doe.
Subtract Annual harvest: 30% buck (just for demonstration), 0 doe.
Use surviving populatuon each year and run that for 10 years.

You'll notice the population will grow exponentially. This is because bucks don't have fawns.

Now run the same beginning numbers, for 10 years, but this time harvest 25% of doe population and only 10% of buck population annually.

You'll see the difference. Killing bucks does nothing to curtail population growth and therefore is an ineffective means of maintaining quality natural food.
I'll agree to disagree but some of what your posting is BS. Every buck you shoot takes a mouth off the natural food and allows more for others.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:44 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
Doe harvest is the only means of population control. Do the math. Use pencil and paper or Excel spreadsheet.

Starting population: 100 buck 100 doe.
Add in Fawn crop 50% (just for easy math) 50/50 buck/doe.
Subtract natural mortality annually: 15% buck 10% doe.
Subtract Annual harvest: 30% buck (just for demonstration), 0 doe.
Use surviving populatuon each year and run that for 10 years.

You'll notice the population will grow exponentially. This is because bucks don't have fawns.

Now run the same beginning numbers, for 10 years, but this time harvest 25% of doe population and only 10% of buck population annually.

You'll see the difference. Killing bucks does nothing to curtail population growth and therefore is an ineffective means of maintaining quality natural food.
I'm probably doing the math wrong, but using your example...it appears to me that the number of does decreases every year, and the buck to doe ratio widens (more bucks than does). This assumes the 50% recruitment every year.

This would seem to support selectively harvesting some bucks (along with does) to maintain the population and ratio (assuming one was happy with the 200 deer population and a 1:1 ratio).
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Old 08-16-2017, 04:54 PM   #47
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You guys should check out the buck to doe ratio that ELGato is running. He talks about it in depth on his day in the life of a farm thread. Not going to try and quote his exact numbers but I know it is like 2 bucks for every doe. Which in his experience has made the rut very intense but very shortened and has improved his buck mortality rate.

Not sure if that even matters in this argument but I figured since we are arguing in circles we might as well add fuel to the fire.
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Old 08-16-2017, 04:56 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by sweetinlow660 View Post
You guys should check out the buck to doe ratio that ELGato is running. He talks about it in depth on his day in the life of a farm thread. Not going to try and quote his exact numbers but I know it is like 2 bucks for every doe. Which in his experience has made the rut very intense but very shortened and has improved his buck mortality rate.

Not sure if that even matters in this argument but I figured since we are arguing in circles we might as well add fuel to the fire.
I apparently missed Elgatos post or I wouldn't have even wasted my time typing that out.
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Old 08-16-2017, 05:58 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top Of Texas;12655228[B
]Doe harvest is the only means of population control. Do the math.[/b] Use pencil and paper or Excel spreadsheet.

Starting population: 100 buck 100 doe.
Add in Fawn crop 50% (just for easy math) 50/50 buck/doe.
Subtract natural mortality annually: 15% buck 10% doe.
Subtract Annual harvest: 30% buck (just for demonstration), 0 doe.
Use surviving populatuon each year and run that for 10 years.

You'll notice the population will grow exponentially. This is because bucks don't have fawns.

Now run the same beginning numbers, for 10 years, but this time harvest 25% of doe population and only 10% of buck population annually.

You'll see the difference. Killing bucks does nothing to curtail population growth and therefore is an ineffective means of maintaining quality natural food.
Run one where you kill 85% of your doe fawns every year and your population explodes exponentially (if you correctly put in the equation that 3+ year old does have a much higher propensity to have twins/recruit fawns)

To the bolded:

No it's not. The fact of the matter is, people that are trying to get the right number of deer on their place usually have two or three times the number of deer they want.

If you have 3 times too many deer and you only shoot does, in a 50:50 scenario you aren't going to get enough deer shot.

Yes, does are the engine of the population, but what you are describing is a situation that isn't that common...

Even if say someone starts on a place with a 1:5 buck to doe ratio... whats the best way to get to 1:1 or 1:2? kill half your does right away?

What about kill all your doe fawns and some of the does and use the benefit of the does you have to RAPIDLY increase your buck numbers, then slowly bring the number of does in line instead of just hammering does to get to a ratio?

Hunting quality is a VITAL part of deer management. What works on a spreadsheet may be absolutely HORRIBLE for hunting a deer herd (and the fun)... which is why we all do what we do.

All this stuff has to be taken into account.

If people need to shoot something to have fun, carry a few extra does more than you need to put some extra trash out there for people to pull the trigger on.

If you only need 1 or two deer a year, go bare bones... knowing that it isn't as much fun to sit in a deer blind to see 1 buck every 2 sits as it is to see 10 at once.

There are so many answers for different scenarios, and each one is right or wrong depending on the situation.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:22 PM   #50
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I agree with Encinal - every ranch and place is different. We have no introduced genetics or breeding. Totally a large, LF ranch - we try to approach management from many angles. Water is huge - we have plenty of water spread across our property.

Feed is important - we feed protein, cottonseed, corn.

Controlling population is key - we kill does based off of fawn survival each year and range conditions. We kill inferior bucks when they reach age 4 or older. We let our promising bucks grow to be mature - much restraint when you watch 4 year old 180 inch bucks walk by.

We use a number of other management techniques. But culling does and inferior bucks is part of it. And all I can gauge it by is the results we get

Last edited by TKK; 08-16-2017 at 06:28 PM..
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