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Old 05-09-2018, 06:47 AM   #51
Sticks&Strings
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Are some of you guys serious? Do you have any experience managing a low fence or high fence place large enough to have a true impact. The statement " I wish the state of Texas would allow me to shoot a deer that walks out in front of me because I like it" is exactly why many of us LOVE that law. If you aren't smart enough to not shoot babies, then maybe you are enough of a law abiding citizen that prevents you from doing so.

My goodness folks, you can definitely alter the genetics of deer on a place. Not 180 degrees, but you can definitely push it up or down the bell curve a little.

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Old 05-09-2018, 12:32 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by elgato View Post
Iím going to shoot that Ďinferior Ď buck to improve the genetics on my ranch. But Iím shooting that trophy cause...heís a trophy. Hmmm seems counterintuitive to me.


Every study without fail I have ever seen showes culling a genetic impossibility.
Rusty, that is not always the case. Year before last we killed right at 50 mature slick 8's and below. 1 trophy was killed that year.
Last year we killed around 30 mature slick 8's and below. 1 trophy.

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Originally Posted by Sticks&Strings View Post
Are some of you guys serious? Do you have any experience managing a low fence or high fence place large enough to have a true impact. The statement " I wish the state of Texas would allow me to shoot a deer that walks out in front of me because I like it" is exactly why many of us LOVE that law. If you aren't smart enough to not shoot babies, then maybe you are enough of a law abiding citizen that prevents you from doing so.

My goodness folks, you can definitely alter the genetics of deer on a place. Not 180 degrees, but you can definitely push it up or down the bell curve a little.

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It's just a 5 yr study, offspring haven't even matured yet.
Just shake your head up and down and say "OK" to the "experts"
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:00 PM   #53
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On our place when we say "Cull" we are not implying that we are trying to genetically modify our herd. That's not a feasible task. We have lots of deer with lots of variety across the gene pools. When we "Cull" something, we are simply saying that the deer being killed is garbage and we believe it will always be garbage. We kill him in hopes that something with more desirable antlers will move in to fill his place. Its a never ending battle that we enjoy fighting!
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:12 PM   #54
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On my low fence place I'm trying to improve habitat and food sources and let the bucks reach maturity. When I shoot a "cull" I'm not kidding myself that I'm changing the quality of my deer herd. That's what the habitat improvement, food sources and letting deer mature is for. When I shoot a cull all I'm doing is taking a mouth off the place and that's good enough for me.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:21 PM   #55
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A doe contributes 50% of the genetics. No more, no less. To assert a fawn will receive more than 50% of its genetics from any one parent isn't true. However, mom will have a greater influence on the health of the fawn, as the fawn lives with her for the first year.

True culling is the removal of mouths to feed on the land so that way each animal gets adequate food, water, and shelter. With those three things, even small bucks will become big fast. How a person determines which deer are "culls" is up to the individual landowner though.
The article posted, according to their study, the doe has more to do with antler genetics or at least as much as the buck. Something about DNA link or chromosome size and length....yeah, I don't know about all that. I just want to hunt and take the best deer I can. It is however interesting be it true or false.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:34 PM   #56
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I have no plans to enter this fray. All I will do is regurgitate what our real life experience over 11 years on a 16,000 acre LF ranch and what it has produced.

If left totally alone, I believe the 8 point genetic will rule. Look at the Hill Country before protein and management. I grew up hunting that area 40-50 years ago when protein, cottonseed, or management was not even a thought. Most every deer was an 8 point or less. That is nature doing what it is designed to do without manipulation.

I agree that culling does not change genetics. But if I have different sets of genetics in a herd, both good and bad, and if I consistently remove the "bad" genetic deer (8 points and under) so that they do not breed, then over time it seems I am leaving the better genetic deer (10 pts and up, stickers, splits, drops) to breed then eventually it has to improve the overall herd for the better. We have seen so many bucks over the years that are clearly off spring of a previous trophy we killed.

We are very aggressive with our culling (when I say cull I include management deer too - 8 points or less and 3-4 years old and under 140 inches) We have so many 2-4 year old multi point bucks with kickers, stickers, etc. and score high even at young ages that there is zero reason to let an 8 point or less walk.

The quality of our deer has improved over the past 11 years dramatically. We take 170 to 200 inch deer consistently year after year. We also take a significant amount of does each year if range conditions are good.

So I am no expert on the studies - all I know is that if "it ain't broke don't fix it" as far as our ranch goes.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:40 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Sticks&Strings View Post
Are some of you guys serious? Do you have any experience managing a low fence or high fence place large enough to have a true impact. The statement " I wish the state of Texas would allow me to shoot a deer that walks out in front of me because I like it" is exactly why many of us LOVE that law. If you aren't smart enough to not shoot babies, then maybe you are enough of a law abiding citizen that prevents you from doing so.

My goodness folks, you can definitely alter the genetics of deer on a place. Not 180 degrees, but you can definitely push it up or down the bell curve a little.

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if you can alter the genetics on a low fence place then you are doing something all of the top whitetail experts in the world have not been able to do
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:47 PM   #58
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if you can alter the genetics on a low fence place then you are doing something all of the top whitetail experts in the world have not been able to do
Who are these "experts" you speak of? You can't change a deers genetics, but you can modify/improve the genetic profile of your deer herd. If you killed all the short people in a city, do you think the majority of babies made by only tall people will be tall or short?

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Old 05-09-2018, 09:18 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Sticks&Strings View Post
Who are these "experts" you speak of? You can't change a deers genetics, but you can modify/improve the genetic profile of your deer herd. If you killed all the short people in a city, do you think the majority of babies made by only tall people will be tall or short?

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I have been trying this argument for years, and nobody seems to agree.

If you wanted a professional basketball player, would you bet on the son of Danny Devito crossed with a Mayan women. Or, the son of David Robison and a 6'2" volleyball player?

I mean, duh!!!!
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:25 PM   #60
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I have been trying this argument for years, and nobody seems to agree.

If you wanted a professional basketball player, would you bet on the son of Danny Devito crossed with a Mayan women. Or, the son of David Robison and a 6'2" volleyball player?

I mean, duh!!!!
Lol, well the three biologists we have used also agree with this. They also said this.

If I was given the best nutrition in the world, I still wouldn't be 6'5" because it's not in my genetic makeup, but I can be a pretty good looking 5'11". So nutrition is important but genetics determine the most. However, it also is a bell curve just like anything and everything else. Remove the far left end of the bell curve, and it shifts. Pretty simple logic.

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Old 05-09-2018, 09:38 PM   #61
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Lol, well the three biologists we have used also agree with this. They also said this.

If I was given the best nutrition in the world, I still wouldn't be 6'5" because it's not in my genetic makeup, but I can be a pretty good looking 5'11". So nutrition is important but genetics determine the most. However, it also is a bell curve just like anything and everything else. Remove the far left end of the bell curve, and it shifts. Pretty simple logic.

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Poor "little" Danny must not have had a never empty pellet feeder.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:59 PM   #62
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Great discussion! As a meat hunter I don't only desire the big antlers. I'm looking for good venison and time outdoors. That said, if a buck with a big rack walked into range I'd not hesitate to kill and harvest. The "improving genetics" discussion probably needs some philosophy applied. Is good genetic based on the hunters preference or the deers superiority in the breed? I've seen 6 points kick the poop out of big 10points because of how the tines are positioned and the agressive attitude level of each buck. Typically we're talking about antler size when discussing superior genetics. The deer just don't see it that way. I've also seen an "inferior" antlered buck one year sprout a huge rack the next year because the pervious year he sustained an injury during growth season. I only hunt low fence because that's what's available and have found the antler restrictions are working for the most part. There are cases of old narrow spread antlered bucks not being "culled" but mostly seeing more mature bucks and more 8points making it to 3 or 4 year status, as far as I can tell, as a result. The longer doe season is helping as well I think. I've had the pleasure to hunt high fence ranches for "management bucks" and that's a totally different ball game because there is far more control of not only the deer population but other predators like coyotes and wildlife that might compete with WT for food (no goats!). So to argue genetics managment between low fence and high fence will get you nowhere because they're just too different.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:13 PM   #63
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Great discussion! As a meat hunter I don't only desire the big antlers. I'm looking for good venison and time outdoors. That said, if a buck with a big rack walked into range I'd not hesitate to kill and harvest. The "improving genetics" discussion probably needs some philosophy applied. Is good genetic based on the hunters preference or the deers superiority in the breed? I've seen 6 points kick the poop out of big 10points because of how the tines are positioned and the agressive attitude level of each buck. Typically we're talking about antler size when discussing superior genetics. The deer just don't see it that way. I've also seen an "inferior" antlered buck one year sprout a huge rack the next year because the pervious year he sustained an injury during growth season. I only hunt low fence because that's what's available and have found the antler restrictions are working for the most part. There are cases of old narrow spread antlered bucks not being "culled" but mostly seeing more mature bucks and more 8points making it to 3 or 4 year status, as far as I can tell, as a result. The longer doe season is helping as well I think. I've had the pleasure to hunt high fence ranches for "management bucks" and that's a totally different ball game because there is far more control of not only the deer population but other predators like coyotes and wildlife that might compete with WT for food (no goats!). So to argue genetics managment between low fence and high fence will get you nowhere because they're just too different.
Agreed
We kill narrow, short tined, short beamed deer. They usually have decent mass and good brows.
These are the bucks that will get on the inside of our good bucks in a fight.
Their antlers fit inside the "pretty" deers antlers. Once they start removing eyes, the bigger buck will usually take off and the crap deer(to us anyways) gets the doe.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:48 PM   #64
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Who are these "experts" you speak of?

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QDMA leaders that are hell bent on smeering and ending deer breeding, for their (and the King, Bass and Kenedy Ranches) survival and Prosperity!!!
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:27 PM   #65
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I've seen it work on high and low fence ranches. Does it ever end---no. I think it helps to improve the top end even though you will always have the less desire able deer.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:47 AM   #66
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Iíll stick to killing bucks I donít like and you guys continue to feed them lol.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:44 PM   #67
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I have read many of this same type of thread. Seems there is a group focused on "you cannot change the genetics of a deer herd". With that I agree.

There is another group who states they are not trying to change the genetics - they instead are trying to limit/restrict the breeding of the bad genetics in a herd. Huge difference between the two.

So for me culling has nothing to do with CHANGING genetics - all species, including humans, have different genetics. We are all a result of our parents, grandparents, etc. Tall humans versus short humans. Blond hair humans versus red hair humans. It is the same with deer.

If the "better" genetics are allowed to live and grow and breed and the "lesser" genetics are taken out of the equation, then there has to be an impact on the off spring over time.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:59 PM   #68
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I have read many of this same type of thread. Seems there is a group focused on "you cannot change the genetics of a deer herd". With that I agree.

There is another group who states they are not trying to change the genetics - they instead are trying to limit/restrict the breeding of the bad genetics in a herd. Huge difference between the two.

So for me culling has nothing to do with CHANGING genetics - all species, including humans, have different genetics. We are all a result of our parents, grandparents, etc. Tall humans versus short humans. Blond hair humans versus red hair humans. It is the same with deer.

If the "better" genetics are allowed to live and grow and breed and the "lesser" genetics are taken out of the equation, then there has to be an impact on the off spring over time.
If you're high fenced absolutely, but low fence it'll never happen. I spent several hours discussing the same topic with Dr. Kroll just this December. Through his studies which they've spent thousands doing it takes 12 years just to turn the corner on less desirable deer in HF. In LF they never altered genetics at all. The bell curve never shifted.

These are not my opinions, but factual statements I can back up with my links with many different biologist. I wish it were that easy to alter genetics, but if that was the case there wouldn't be a cull buck in Texas.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:07 PM   #69
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If you're high fenced absolutely, but low fence it'll never happen. I spent several hours discussing the same topic with Dr. Kroll just this December. Through his studies which they've spent thousands doing it takes 12 years just to turn the corner on less desirable deer in HF. In LF they never altered genetics at all. The bell curve never shifted.

These are not my opinions, but factual statements I can back up with my links with many different biologist. I wish it were that easy to alter genetics, but if that was the case there wouldn't be a cull buck in Texas.
Plenty of reasons there are culls in Texas. One big one being the top end of most leases is shot off every year. Leaving lots of less than desireables doing more breeding.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:15 AM   #70
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Plenty of reasons there are culls in Texas. One big one being the top end of most leases is shot off every year. Leaving lots of less than desireables doing more breeding.
There will always be less than desireables... antler size falls on a curve in every deer herd...
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:33 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Sticks&Strings View Post
Who are these "experts" you speak of? You can't change a deers genetics, but you can modify/improve the genetic profile of your deer herd. If you killed all the short people in a city, do you think the majority of babies made by only tall people will be tall or short?

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Right, but your comparing apples and oranges. You analogy in this case is correct if you only killed the tall males in a city.

And yes, there would still be short babies. Both from bad genetics, inability to kill all the short males (Because some would hide), migration of short males back into the city, and poor nutrition.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:49 AM   #72
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There will always be less than desireables... antler size falls on a curve in every deer herd...
Yep until the end of time.
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:28 PM   #73
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Point is, they aren’t the same. I don’t share Other folks’ hostility towards the existence or the practice of breeding. My animus is exclusively reserved for those folks who irresponsibly move deer.

Trying to put them in a category they don’t deserve to share with other deer is just annoyingly dishonest, and I know you’ve worded your posts just to for that purpose since you consider us “haters” to stir the pot. No sweat. What I’m not sure of though is if you actually are observant enough of your own animals to be able to tell (and being intentionally misleading) or just not that observant.
Well ,you should focus your energy on people that illegally transport untested and unaccounted for deer. Not the everyday hard working law abiding breeder.

I didn't post anything to stir a pot. I just semi- agreed with the original post. I agreed that on low fence places it could take forever. Now high fenced places like yours, where you can control movement and keep any neighbors from killing any of "your" young deer, it is much different.
Where you are going to see a Huge difference, is high fenced ranches with Superior(I mean different) genetics brought in. They can be pure Texas if anyone wishes.
I apologize if I compared the two( I don't recall doing that, but if you say so) because I agree with you, there is no comparison.

I was just giving my opinion and an option for folks that think genetics matter and want to improve their antler quality.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:13 AM   #74
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Most of the argument is correct, but not all. Being on many differant ranches in Texas several times a week for many years, there are ranches that have drastically increased the antler size of deer by shooting all inferior deer and leaving the largest antlered deer.
This can not be done on most ranches due to the limitations described in the article. Shooting just a few culls and a few trophy's from a small place with neighbors that hunt will never move the needle.
On a large low fence place, under MLD, with hunters that have a good plan and can age, judge, lay down and clean a lot of deer; and most of all can let the good ones walk, can make a huge change in a short time. I have been on a ranch that increased the average score of the 5yo deer by over 35 points in just 5 years. It takes a lot of variables to come together. I agree it can't be done on most places, but when done right it can make a drastic change quickly.
Just take a small town and kill every male over 20 years old who is under 6'4 and make all the remaining males breed every woman in the town for 3 generations. The average height of the men would be much taller after 3 generations. Luckily with deer 3 generations happens in a very short time. Some tall males will move away. Some short males will move in and be shot and not allowed to breed. End results will be taller people.

Again, most ranches and leases can't do enough to make a real change, but it can be done, I have seen it many times.
Hunting is suppose to be fun, so don't get so caught up in the size of the deer, but enjoy the experience. Most of my life I have had a great time hunting small deer.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:00 PM   #75
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Most of the argument is correct, but not all. Being on many differant ranches in Texas several times a week for many years, there are ranches that have drastically increased the antler size of deer by shooting all inferior deer and leaving the largest antlered deer.
This can not be done on most ranches due to the limitations described in the article. Shooting just a few culls and a few trophy's from a small place with neighbors that hunt will never move the needle.
On a large low fence place, under MLD, with hunters that have a good plan and can age, judge, lay down and clean a lot of deer; and most of all can let the good ones walk, can make a huge change in a short time. I have been on a ranch that increased the average score of the 5yo deer by over 35 points in just 5 years. It takes a lot of variables to come together. I agree it can't be done on most places, but when done right it can make a drastic change quickly.
Just take a small town and kill every male over 20 years old who is under 6'4 and make all the remaining males breed every woman in the town for 3 generations. The average height of the men would be much taller after 3 generations. Luckily with deer 3 generations happens in a very short time. Some tall males will move away. Some short males will move in and be shot and not allowed to breed. End results will be taller people.

Again, most ranches and leases can't do enough to make a real change, but it can be done, I have seen it many times.
Hunting is suppose to be fun, so don't get so caught up in the size of the deer, but enjoy the experience. Most of my life I have had a great time hunting small deer.
You just described our lease.

It is a very large ranch (16K acres), Low fence, and we cull VERY aggressively. Our hunters are all very experienced, patient, and we let deer walk until they are mature (6 or older). Our land owner also helps with the aggressive culling.

I have been on the place 11 years and witnessed continued and substantial improvement in our herd. The result is top end trophy deer on an annual basis.

Again - IMO there is a huge difference in "changing genetics" (which I do not believe can be done) versus "manipulating genetics" (which is what we have done on our place).
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:04 PM   #76
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Most of the argument is correct, but not all. Being on many differant ranches in Texas several times a week for many years, there are ranches that have drastically increased the antler size of deer by shooting all inferior deer and leaving the largest antlered deer.
This can not be done on most ranches due to the limitations described in the article. Shooting just a few culls and a few trophy's from a small place with neighbors that hunt will never move the needle.
On a large low fence place, under MLD, with hunters that have a good plan and can age, judge, lay down and clean a lot of deer; and most of all can let the good ones walk, can make a huge change in a short time. I have been on a ranch that increased the average score of the 5yo deer by over 35 points in just 5 years. It takes a lot of variables to come together. I agree it can't be done on most places, but when done right it can make a drastic change quickly.
Just take a small town and kill every male over 20 years old who is under 6'4 and make all the remaining males breed every woman in the town for 3 generations. The average height of the men would be much taller after 3 generations. Luckily with deer 3 generations happens in a very short time. Some tall males will move away. Some short males will move in and be shot and not allowed to breed. End results will be taller people.

Again, most ranches and leases can't do enough to make a real change, but it can be done, I have seen it many times.
Hunting is suppose to be fun, so don't get so caught up in the size of the deer, but enjoy the experience. Most of my life I have had a great time hunting small deer.
You do realize that the bigger 5 year olds were already born when they started right?


Year 1 1.5 Years Old

Year 2 2.5

Year 3 3.5

Year 4 4.5

Year 5 5.5

This is the kind of stuff that people just need to think through before they claim to have evidence of a genetic shift.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:13 PM   #77
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:03 PM   #78
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I often wonder if improvement in herd quality is attributed to a change in genetics when in actuality it’s just a positive response to mgt particularly nutrition and creating an environment where full expression of the genetic potential already present

I am unaware of any scientific research verifying culling changes genetics. If anyone is aware of such research it would be great to post for us all.

I am aware of research where there was extensive purposeful culling for years eliminating certain genetic traits. However once the culling stopped within a few years the ‘undesirable’ traits returned with the same statistical frequency as before culling was initiated. This was on the Comanche ranch best I recall .

There has been significant scientific study verifying improved nutrition improves genetic expression over time thru epigenetic responses to the environment.

There has been extensive research showing many...most..deer herds are on inadequate nutrition to fully express there genetic potential.

With all that for most management situations it makes all the sense to remove lessor quality deer from the herd and let the better bucks age. At the same time do everything possible to enhance the nutritional plane. This includes population control of which culling is a part, improved feed sources such as pellets, food plots, habitat manipulation etc. Many of us do these things with predictable improvements in top end quality as well as the entire bell curve improving

Have we really changed the genetics or simply allowed full expression of the genetic potential already present? Does it matter? A simple test is to stop culling , let nutrition revert back to pre management levels and observe the outcome.

Last edited by elgato; 05-16-2018 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:36 PM   #79
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I often wonder if improvement in herd quality is attributed to a change in genetics when in actuality itís just a positive response to mgt particularly nutrition and creating an environment where full expression of the genetic potential already present

I am unaware of any scientific research verifying culling changes genetics. If anyone is aware of such research it would be great to post for us all.

I am aware of research where there was extensive purposeful culling for years eliminating certain genetic traits. However once the culling stopped within a few years the Ďundesirableí traits returned with the same statistical frequency as before culling was initiated. This was on the Comanche ranch best I recall .

There has been significant scientific study verifying improved nutrition improves genetic expression over time thru epigenetic responses to the environment.

There has been extensive research showing many...most..deer herds are on inadequate nutrition to fully express there genetic potential.

With all that for most management situations it makes all the sense to remove lessor quality deer from the herd and let the better bucks age. At the same time do everything possible to enhance the nutritional plane. This includes population control of which culling is a part, improved feed sources such as pellets, food plots, habitat manipulation etc. Many of us do these things with predictable improvements in top end quality as well as the entire bell curve improving

Have we really changed the genetics or simply allowed full expression of the genetic potential already present? Does it matter? A simple test is to stop culling , let nutrition revert back to pre management levels and observe the outcome.

I agree totally and as I stated several times - there is a difference in changing genetics versus enhancing/manipulating them - other than culling the feed program, age, water access, good habitat, etc. all contribute to creating a healthy herd of deer that produces top end bucks - culling is just one tool IMO
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:03 AM   #80
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You do realize that the bigger 5 year olds were already born when they started right?


Year 1 1.5 Years Old

Year 2 2.5

Year 3 3.5

Year 4 4.5

Year 5 5.5

This is the kind of stuff that people just need to think through before they claim to have evidence of a genetic shift.
You do realize that after the intense culling started, very few of the already born deer ever made it to 5yo. Thus the few that made it to 5yo were much bigger than the 5yo from five years previous.
As I said in my previous post, and has been said by many people on this thread, no one is claiming to have changed the genetics, but many believe you can manipulate the herd.


This is the kind of stuff that people just need to think through before they Make claims.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:42 PM   #81
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Most people are claiming you can change genetics.

It’s exactly what you said after 3 generations.

Problem is the claims you are making coincide with other management practices that cause antlers to get bigger ... so you falsely attribute your observation to shooting work.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:32 PM   #82
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Great link
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:41 AM   #83
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Most people are claiming you can change genetics.

It’s exactly what you said after 3 generations.

Problem is the claims you are making coincide with other management practices that cause antlers to get bigger ... so you falsely attribute your observation to shooting work.
Let me ask you a question. If herds cannot be manipulated by culling, why are deer so much bigger now?

Oh, pen raised deer. Pen raised deer is just making sure that superior genetic deer breed with other superior genetic deer. Which have fawns with superior genetics.

If genetics cannot be manipulated, what are we doing with all these 400 inch deer? We did not start with two 400 inch deer and bred them to make a 400 inch deer. Over time we just took out the bad deer and made sure the elite deer only bred with other elite deer.

Proof is in the pudding. There are thousands of ranches in Texas that have deer dramatically bigger than 40 years ago. They have not feed them any different, they have not introduced new deer of any kind. They have just culled the bad ones and left the good ones to bred.

Just look back at the history of Los Cazadores low fence category over the last 35 years to see how much bigger deer are in Texas.

Obviously shooting the bad ones and leaving the good ones has worked. That is what you call culling. Looking at the growth of the antler size of deer in Texas, you cannot rationally argue that culling properly does not increase the size of deer antlers.

With that said, most agree that culling properly is very hard and does not work on many ranches in Texas, due to size of property, limited tags and neighbors who shoot everything.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:59 AM   #84
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Let me ask you a question. If herds cannot be manipulated by culling, why are deer so much bigger now?

Oh, pen raised deer. Pen raised deer is just making sure that superior genetic deer breed with other superior genetic deer. Which have fawns with superior genetics.

If genetics cannot be manipulated, what are we doing with all these 400 inch deer? We did not start with two 400 inch deer and bred them to make a 400 inch deer. Over time we just took out the bad deer and made sure the elite deer only bred with other elite deer.

Proof is in the pudding. There are thousands of ranches in Texas that have deer dramatically bigger than 40 years ago. They have not feed them any different, they have not introduced new deer of any kind. They have just culled the bad ones and left the good ones to bred.

Just look back at the history of Los Cazadores low fence category over the last 35 years to see how much bigger deer are in Texas.

Obviously shooting the bad ones and leaving the good ones has worked. That is what you call culling. Looking at the growth of the antler size of deer in Texas, you cannot rationally argue that culling properly does not increase the size of deer antlers.

With that said, most agree that culling properly is very hard and does not work on many ranches in Texas, due to size of property, limited tags and neighbors who shoot everything.
Protein Feed and trail camera aging have accounted for nearly 100% of the antler size increase on low fence SoTX the last 30 years. Antler restrictions and deer aging education have helped the rest of the state immensely as well.

And you can’t double speak. You can’t say thousands of ranches have bigger deer from culling, then say culling is hard and can’t be done correctly on many ranches.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:35 AM   #85
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Protein Feed and trail camera aging have accounted for nearly 100% of the antler size increase on low fence SoTX the last 30 years. Antler restrictions and deer aging education have helped the rest of the state immensely as well.

And you canít double speak. You canít say thousands of ranches have bigger deer from culling, then say culling is hard and canít be done correctly on many ranches.
Double speak?

There are probably well over 100,000 ranches in Texas. So to say that thousands, maybe 2 or 3 thousand ranches have much bigger deer and have not introduced new genetics or any supplementle feed and still have much bigger deer is a fact. That would still leave 97% of ranches not able to see results of culling due to the limitations discussed on this thread.

Just to be clear on your statement 100% of growth of antler size on low fence Texas ranches over the years is due to feed, age and trail cams.

But growth on high fence ranches is due to those factors and breeding big deer with other big deer.

But culling, leaving big deer to breed and shooting bad deer, does not work.

Then I just don't understand how all these giant deer got to these Texas ranches.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:45 AM   #86
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Double speak?

There are probably well over 100,000 ranches in Texas. So to say that thousands, maybe 2 or 3 thousand ranches have much bigger deer and have not introduced new genetics or any supplementle feed and still have much bigger deer is a fact. That would still leave 97% of ranches not able to see results of culling due to the limitations discussed on this thread.

Just to be clear on your statement 100% of growth of antler size on low fence Texas ranches over the years is due to feed, age and trail cams.

But growth on high fence ranches is due to those factors and breeding big deer with other big deer.

But culling, leaving big deer to breed and shooting bad deer, does not work.

Then I just don't understand how all these giant deer got to these Texas ranches.
It certainly has an impact if you are actively breeding deer... for those deer’s offspring... and an even bigger impact when you breed back over and over again.

That’s impossible in low fence and normal high fence settings. People that aren’t putting their hands on deer aren’t having a noticeable genetic impact on their deer herd.

Also... you implied South Texas by using Cazadores. There aren’t 100,000 ranches in South Texas.

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Old 05-18-2018, 09:54 AM   #87
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you cannot see genetics. What you can see is the effects of environment. Genetics are not as simple as a 4 square punnett square. Horn growth is not just one or two genes. It is complex. Big horns dont always mean that deer will produce big horned offspring. Then you take the doe into account which contributes at minimum half of the genetic makeup of the offspring.

What we can see and control is population balance, food, water, cover and space. If we give our deer the best environment to live in, the best food and keep our overall numbers under the holding capacity of our land and keep the age and sex structure correct in our herd we will produce great deer.

If we have too many bucks then take some bucks out. However they are not "cull" bucks in the sense that by taking them out you are not doing anything to change genetic makeup, you are limiting mouths to feed and keeping your age structure in check.

Personally I would not take any buck until 4.5 years old and at that point if you want to take some of the smaller 4.5 year olds and let the larger ones get to 5 or 6 great.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:07 AM   #88
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Dr. Harry Jacobson had a buck in his pens at Ms. State...Charlie was his name though don't trust my memory.....that at the time had sired most of the biggest bucks in the country. He was a legend and many breeders bought his off spring. Whats interesting is that the buck was just an 'average' 150" class 8 pt most of his life.Yes, genetics are a complex matrix especially when you consider how few legitimate clues we have from only observation of antlers and no insight into the mother.

I continue to propose that enhanced nutrition is the reason we have seen the dramatic increase in deer quality from the early days of buck mania . Culling does contribute to that.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:52 PM   #89
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Funny how there is always two sides on all topics and people have made up their mind and they are not changing it. I rarely get pulled into these back and forth discussions, I just have seen the results of proper culling.
At the end of the day, I am a fan of all hunters and think deer hunting needs to be more about the experience and less about the size of antlers.

Of the many ranches I have been on over the years. Everyone that consistantly produces big deer has some sort of culling program for what they call an inferior deer on their ranch.
If allowing the best deer to breed and not allowing the subpar deer to breed, did not manipulate the herd, then Texas would not have so many ranches with deer that scored over 250.

But if you don't agree, we can still be buddies.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:59 PM   #90
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Deer and Deer hunting magazine in the current issue just posted an article on culling. Interesting read with significant scientific literature quoted.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:54 PM   #91
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Funny how there is always two sides on all topics and people have made up their mind and they are not changing it. I rarely get pulled into these back and forth discussions, I just have seen the results of proper culling.
At the end of the day, I am a fan of all hunters and think deer hunting needs to be more about the experience and less about the size of antlers.

Of the many ranches I have been on over the years. Everyone that consistantly produces big deer has some sort of culling program for what they call an inferior deer on their ranch.
If allowing the best deer to breed and not allowing the subpar deer to breed, did not manipulate the herd, then Texas would not have so many ranches with deer that scored over 250.

But if you don't agree, we can still be buddies.
Texas doesn't have many ranches at all that produce deer that score over 250.

Deer herds that have the potential to throw 250's have been produced and put on a lot of Texas Ranches.

Last edited by Encinal; 05-18-2018 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:58 PM   #92
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Texas doesn't have many ranches at all that produce deer that score over 250.

Deer herds that have the potential to throw 250's have been produced and put on a lot of Texas Ranches.
I have to agree - 250 inch deer on TRUE LF ranches are very rare if at all
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:05 PM   #93
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Dr. Harry Jacobson had a buck in his pens at Ms. State...Charlie was his name though don't trust my memory.....that at the time had sired most of the biggest bucks in the country. He was a legend and many breeders bought his off spring. Whats interesting is that the buck was just an 'average' 150" class 8 pt most of his life.Yes, genetics are a complex matrix especially when you consider how few legitimate clues we have from only observation of antlers and no insight into the mother.

I continue to propose that enhanced nutrition is the reason we have seen the dramatic increase in deer quality from the early days of buck mania . Culling does contribute to that.
This is very interesting to me. That deer would have been "culled" on most big buck ranches.

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Old 05-18-2018, 09:21 PM   #94
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Texas doesn't have many ranches at all that produce deer that score over 250.

Deer herds that have the potential to throw 250's have been produced and put on a lot of Texas Ranches.
Texas has easily over 1,000 ranches with deer over 250. Yes, they are ranches that have manipulated the herd by ensuring that big deer only breed with other big deer.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:35 PM   #95
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Texas has easily over 1,000 ranches with deer over 250. Yes, they are ranches that have manipulated the herd by ensuring that big deer only breed with other big deer.
Texas does have over 1,000 ranches with deer scoring over 250 when they kick them out of the breeder pens. Thatís the only way to have big deer guaranteed to breed with big deer period.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:58 PM   #96
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Texas does have over 1,000 ranches with deer scoring over 250 when they kick them out of the breeder pens. Thatís the only way to have big deer guaranteed to breed with big deer period.
Agreed.
So it is GENETICS?. From putting a big buck on big does, then taking their biggest offspring buck and putting them back on big blooded does, then taking the biggest offspring buck and putting them back on daughters to these big bucks, etc etc. Etc.
Over and over and over and over and over, year in and year out.
Lol

I will admit, it is a little strange that these studies show No improvement at all in antler quality from culling. But yet in the pens we have made huge strides from controlling breeding. Wierd! !!!

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