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Old 09-28-2022, 03:37 PM   #1
Gumbo Man
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Default Culling On A Drought Year

So I’m curious as to how some hunters determine a cull on a drought year. Even year round feeding doesn’t help in some cases to allow a deer reach his full potential during a dry season. I remember in Carrizo Springs we chose to shoot no trophies or culls during a drought around ‘97 or ‘98. All mature bucks were down 5-10 inches because of it. We only shot does and pigs. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t happen……just wondering what the criteria will be. In for replies.
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Old 09-28-2022, 03:46 PM   #2
Hills of Texas
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More importantly, I’d say the deer population density would be the determining factor. For our area the deer population is extremely high and can make the effects of a drought even worse. More mouth mean less available resources.
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Old 09-28-2022, 03:49 PM   #3
S-3 Ranch
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Just shooting deer we have history with and probably no trophies ? Drought and freeze hurt fawn recruitment last couple of years .
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Old 09-28-2022, 03:50 PM   #4
buck_wild
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We are still going to take the bottom end out of our 4+ yr olds. They will be down also but they would have gone in a wet year also being the bottom of each age class.
IMO people now use Cull as a reason to shoot the biggest 8 pt or less they can find instead of the bottom of every age class regardless of year.
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Old 09-28-2022, 03:56 PM   #5
PoppinPiggies
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We will probably just focus on culling funky ones without brow tines, weird racks for multiple years, and any bucks over 2 that are less than 8pts.
We got 7 MLD tags for bucks and so some will have to go.
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Old 09-28-2022, 04:04 PM   #6
Smart
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We shoot junk....especially stuff that was mature borderline junk we couldn't get killed last year and stayed a lesser junk this year. Gives us something to pursue/shoot and takes a mouth off the feedbill....mother nature's and our's.

Try not to shoot "next year's" deer from last year that are down some. I'd rather see them get another year on hopefully a good rain year next year than shoot them just to shoot a deer. Gotta be careful not to shoot your future trophies.
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Old 09-28-2022, 04:04 PM   #7
texasdeerhunter
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Our plan is to shoot mature 5.5+ yr old bucks less than 125” for our management deer. Regardless of drought, the lower end bucks need to go, we gotta remove mouths from the protein feeders
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Old 09-28-2022, 04:44 PM   #8
panhandlehunter
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We run a lot of cameras and keep tabs on deer. In spite of the drought, it seems the majority of our deer have done well and added inches. Borderline trophy/management deer will get passed by me. I have some 5-7yo deer that aren’t breaking 125, and that’s what we’ll focus on. I’ll shoot a trophy too if I find the right one.
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Old 09-28-2022, 05:24 PM   #9
txtimetravler
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I don’t.

I shoot mature deer regardless what’s on their head.

No brow tines…who cares. That buck will be a lot better with age, regardless of brow tines, spread, time length, etc.
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Old 09-28-2022, 05:31 PM   #10
BayouCat
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Drought hit our place hard, and there's nothing I would even consider taking right now. Rut might bring something in worth shooting. As of now, it will be does and hogs.
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Old 09-28-2022, 05:34 PM   #11
trophy8
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Excuse me sir. We do not cull. We skim. Culling doesn’t work on low fence. Skimming does!
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Old 09-28-2022, 05:53 PM   #12
MAP
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Culling isint the same as it was decades ago. So many guys are hunting ranches with heavy protein feeding programs. Droughts still suck and they still hurt but when it comes to horns, the effect is not always bad. We kill some of our best bucks on drought years bc of heavier protein use. On drought years i worry more about future age classes of bucks and possible the lack of mature deer in the future, who where born this season but didnt survive bc of the drought.
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Old 09-28-2022, 06:49 PM   #13
Texas Grown
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I only cull what I kill.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:12 PM   #14
Chase4556
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We are seeing some of the biggest numbers of quality deer this year than we have in a while. A few real nice ones, but when we used to see a number of spikes and 4 points, they are now all basket rack 6s and 8s.

Drought seemed to have helped us this year. Maybe has pushed them more to the protein than in years past? Who knows.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:44 PM   #15
Shurshot
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We will still shoot our lower end bucks. Probably 20-25. There are two trophies we are going after, one is a 7yr the other is an 8 yr.
Surprisingly they both got much bigger than last year.


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Old 09-28-2022, 08:23 PM   #16
MASTERS
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Hill country we will shoot our numbers the same as we do in a wet year. Dry years let us catch up on what deer we didn’t get killed last year. Trophies will be killed the same as a good year...

Overall antlers look good. Thank goodness L&E delivers by the semi truck load. Ready for rain though hauling water gets old.
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Old 09-28-2022, 09:10 PM   #17
doghouse
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With 6 or 7 Grandkids wanting to shoot a buck it's going to be a tough year. I have 2 older nice bucks to kill. Might move down to older 8 points.

Last edited by doghouse; 09-28-2022 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 09-28-2022, 09:26 PM   #18
88 Bound
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I’m only culling bucks I have history with this year that are known targets, along with does, pigs and a few Axis. We will likely not shoot a trophy buck this year. I’m ok with that.
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Old 09-28-2022, 09:50 PM   #19
Low Fence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck_wild View Post
We are still going to take the bottom end out of our 4+ yr olds. They will be down also but they would have gone in a wet year also being the bottom of each age class.
IMO people now use Cull as a reason to shoot the biggest 8 pt or less they can find instead of the bottom of every age class regardless of year.
Amen
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Old 09-29-2022, 07:49 PM   #20
asu-indian
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We see better horn and animal health in drought years because the deer are forced to eat plants that are higher in protein but less palatable. Long term drought conditions are a different story.
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Old 09-29-2022, 09:14 PM   #21
Ætheling
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I had a bachelor group of babies with some heavy headgear but its creek bottom so think the browse was still plenty. They ate the heck out of the greenbrier this year. It never stopped growing. They found my garden corn rows also haha.

Im covered in wild oats. Do the deer eat it? It would be high protein. Something eats it all.


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