Reply
Go Back   TexasBowhunter.com Community Discussion Forums > Topics > Game Management/Age & Score/Trailcam Pics
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #1
Raideranch
Four Point
 
Raideranch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lubbock
Hunt In: TX, NM
Question Population management: Animals per Acre or Animal Units

Which of these is the best estimate of how many deer your property can support? They can give you completely different numbers for the same area.

Example based off the Hill Country, High Fence, deer only:

Biologists claim that ideally you would have a deer per every 10 acres. So in 640 acres you would have 64 deer.

The NRCS allows one animal units per 20 acres in the Hill Country and a deer is .15 animal units. So 640/20 = 32 animal units, 32/.15 = 213 deer based off animal units. 640/213 = 3 acres per deer.

This is a little oversimplified but either one of these is completely off or both are off. Actual deer populations in the Hill Country are closer to the animal unit model than the recommended 1 deer per 10 acres.
Raideranch is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-12-2011, 11:55 AM   #2
tommy allen
Four Point
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: canton tx.
Hunt In: america
Default

1 per 10 acres at the most, and i would still say that supplemental feeding would be required
tommy allen is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-12-2011, 11:58 AM   #3
PSD Ryan
Pope & Young
 
PSD Ryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Richland Hills
Hunt In: Where I can
Default

The way we estimated it for our land was based upon estimates of the poundage of food sources available on the land, surveys of what and how many animals are on the land, how much they all eat, and some other factors. I think both the simplified methods are off, and 3 acres per deer seems pretty dense. Our land came out to 14 acres per deer, partially due to the hogs.
PSD Ryan is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-12-2011, 02:23 PM   #4
Bodey
Ten Point
 
Bodey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Caldwell Co.
Hunt In: TomGreen & Sterling Co's.
Default

So many variables to look at like annual rainfall, brush and forage populations, water availability, soil types, competition from other wildlife and livestock. One ranch can have a significantly different carrying capacity than even the ranch right next door. Some places want to manage for larger quantity of deer and sacrifice some quality, while others are focused on quality only.

On our place, West of San Angelo, we try to keep a deer to 18-20 acres and maintain a 1-1 buck doe population. Cattle are grazed 6 months out of the year, March thru August and there are no hogs yet to compete for food. No sheep or goats, so most of the forbs and browse are available to the deer. In recent years, the axis population has exploded. We like them there but don't want them to overwhelm the whitetail.
Bodey is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-15-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
toowhitty4u03
Nubbin' Buck
 
toowhitty4u03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Beaumont
Hunt In: Woodville
Default

Hello Everyone and I am new to the site and I am also semi new to food plots. I have lined it all out and would love to hear any advice or comments. The property is 168 acres outside of Woodville, TX.

I planted one acre of oats last fall and they did OK, but nothing spectacular. I did manage to get a couple of does for sausge out of it but the growth of the plot was discouraging.

I have all ready tilled up 2 - 1/2 acres plots that will be my Summer annuals going forward. Soil test showed I need a ton of lime per acre, and 300 lbs of fertilizer.

This is steps and timeline I am taking.

Mid Jan 2011 - Tilled both half acre plots
This Week - Ag lime being delivered and spread, will sit till late march so it can work its magic
Mid March - Herbicide both plots to kill spring bloom and re till once again
1st of April - Plant LabLab plus (Double seed rate to fight early pressure) along with fertilizer.

This should feed until Late Sept and is strictly for feeding, not hunting.

The Acre where the Oats are is also getting limed. This will be Moster Mix (Tecomate) and is a perinnial that will supposedly come back for the next three years.

Mid Sept - Herbicide Summer Growth
Late Sept- Re-disc
Mid October - Plant Monster Mix (Legumes, Chicory mix) and fertilize. This will be my hunting plot.

I am also putting up two feeders tomorrow and I guess running corn ( Anything better?, they are not protien feeders) all year.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance
toowhitty4u03 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-15-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
Coach W
Pope & Young
 
Coach W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seagraves
Hunt In: Dickens, Kent
Default

Take the Average between the two and call it good.
Coach W is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-15-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
KactusKiller
Ten Point
 
KactusKiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Midlothian, TX
Hunt In: Coke Co
Default

The ideal is somewhere between 15&20 acres per deer. You need to keep your herd to a number where the population can sustain itself during the worst of droughts without supplimental feeding. Protein and other supplimental feeds should be used for antler production and body mass not carrying capacity.
KactusKiller is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-15-2011, 01:42 PM   #8
thorthunder
Pope & Young
 
thorthunder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston
Hunt In: Mainly Guide Now
Default

We were at 1 to 20 and then started a protein program. Over the next 3 years we made 1 to 15.
On 2000 acres that is a nice jump............
thorthunder is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-16-2011, 12:12 PM   #9
SFAthumper
Six Point
 
SFAthumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nacogdoches/Athens
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raideranch View Post
Which of these is the best estimate of how many deer your property can support? They can give you completely different numbers for the same area.

Example based off the Hill Country, High Fence, deer only:

Biologists claim that ideally you would have a deer per every 10 acres. So in 640 acres you would have 64 deer.

The NRCS allows one animal units per 20 acres in the Hill Country and a deer is .15 animal units. So 640/20 = 32 animal units, 32/.15 = 213 deer based off animal units. 640/213 = 3 acres per deer.

This is a little oversimplified but either one of these is completely off or both are off. Actual deer populations in the Hill Country are closer to the animal unit model than the recommended 1 deer per 10 acres.
being a biologist, i know what you mean about "biologists claim", but each biologist has thier own personal view (whether they admit it or not).....

I think that your problem may lie in what a true animal unit is..... I would consider a true animal unit a measurement of grazing pressure using cattle as the standard of measurement. Then if you take cattle diets and compare it to deer diets, you are comparing apples and oranges. The math that you worked out was correct, but it was used in the wrong circumstance. Deer eat entirely different things than cattle. There will be a little overlap in their diets, but not enough to categorize them together.

I saw some other posts where others mentioned alot of variables to consider (ie current habitat conditions, rain conditions, etc.). These are very important to consider in terms of carrying capacity.

So the take home message I would leave you with is that 1 deer per 10 acres is not full proof, and should not be used as a "fix it" number for any scenario. The same goes with the animal units. They are not full proof either. Perhaps the best answer is that carrying capacity in white-tailed deer management is scenario based. Not only are the variable listed above (current habitat condition, rain fall patterns) important, but what about these:

Fawn recruitment % annually
Adult deer mortality % annually
Buckoe ratio
habitat overtory and understory vegetative species
habitat manipulations and alterations
feeding programs (protein)
long term and short term management goals

maybe this might help ya out
SFAthumper is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-17-2011, 01:30 PM   #10
SFAthumper
Six Point
 
SFAthumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nacogdoches/Athens
Default

anyone else have any ideas on this?
SFAthumper is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-17-2011, 01:55 PM   #11
Raideranch
Four Point
 
Raideranch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lubbock
Hunt In: TX, NM
Default

I guess we need to consider both. Kind of answered my own question with that Ranch Management program.
Raideranch is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2012, TexasBowhunter.com