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Old 12-03-2020, 04:18 PM   #1
TB80
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Default How Many Deer to Kill on 200 Acres

I know. I know. There are a lot of variables. The place is in Kerr County. We have three feeders going. No protein. No foodplots.

I have only hunted two feeders at opposite ends of the property. Consistently I am seeing around 10-15 deer at both feeders, with about 5-8 doe and the rest spikes/bucks/yearlings. I've seen as many as 10 doe at one feeder and 4-5 bucks at the same time.

How many bucks/does should we take off this place in one year to maintain a healthy herd.

Its also a low fence place. Technically high fenced on two sides but low fenced with two large properties (around 1k acres) on the low fenced side.

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Old 12-03-2020, 04:23 PM   #2
Shane
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They're not going to just stay on 200 acres, so I wouldn't worry too much about a quota. Shoot a mature buck if you see one and he trips your trigger. Kill a doe or two for every buck you kill. If no shooter bucks, let the young ones walk and kill a doe or two to eat.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:24 PM   #3
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May not be the most popular response but Your not going to maintain anything to a noticeable effect with 200 acres. I would just count your blessings on the lands location and enjoy you and your families hunting as it doesn’t look like y’all will shoot them out.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:25 PM   #4
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Double post.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:28 PM   #5
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1 trophy buck
5 doe
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
They're not going to just stay on 200 acres, so I wouldn't worry too much about a quota. Shoot a mature buck if you see one and he trips your trigger. Kill a doe or two for every buck you kill. If no shooter bucks, let the young ones walk and kill a doe or two to eat.
Agreed with Shane.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:44 PM   #7
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Thanks. We aren't strictly managing the place. However, we have some young hunters that we want to have a chance to shoot a deer. At the same time, we don't want to kill too many.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:49 PM   #8
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how many hunters?
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:53 PM   #9
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how many hunters?
Technically 7. But not everyone expects to shoot every year. It is all family and we work closely together. Really there are four kids that hope to shoot a deer, and then out of the three adults at least one "trophy." And we start the kids out small. First deer is a spike/4 point. Second deer is a 6 point. Etc...
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:03 PM   #10
AntlerCollector
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On 200 acres maintaining a healthy herd is irrelevant. Fill your freezer and don’t worry about it. I wouldn’t shoot everything I saw though. If you don’t pressure them too much you will keep deer around. That herd ain’t living on just your land anyway.
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:57 PM   #11
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On 200 acres maintaining a healthy herd is irrelevant. Fill your freezer and don’t worry about it. I wouldn’t shoot everything I saw though. If you don’t pressure them too much you will keep deer around. That herd ain’t living on just your land anyway.
This right here. I went from having 10,000 acres I was in complete control of where managing was very important to a very small place(400acres) for fun because it is close to home. On the small place I am much more concerned about the pressure I put on it than I am about how many deer get killed. The deer numbers on it are high with tons of immature bucks and good numbers of does and fawns. Your group is pretty large for just 200 acres imo. I have 3 hunters total. Our deer arent high strung and will normally just stand and watch you drive by. However, one of the guys brought 3 others with him for one evening and a follow up morning hunt and the deer responded accordingly from what I saw on the cameras. They became scarce in a hurry. Good luck, small places can be lots of fun if they arent abused.
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB80 View Post
Technically 7. But not everyone expects to shoot every year. It is all family and we work closely together. Really there are four kids that hope to shoot a deer, and then out of the three adults at least one "trophy." And we start the kids out small. First deer is a spike/4 point. Second deer is a 6 point. Etc...
There won't ever be any trophies if you shoot 4 young bucks every year. Not the end of the world if that's what works for your family situation, of course. But that's a lot of hunters for a small patch of ground if you did want to grow mature bucks (trophy or not, just old).
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:46 PM   #13
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One maybe two bucks, every one else kills a doe ,
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:48 PM   #14
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One maybe two bucks, every one else kills a doe ,
Being it's mainly for the kids I'd probably lean this way. Draw straws for a buck and shoot what makes the kid happy versus stair stepping points via young deer . Excluded from buck eligibility the following year.
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:53 PM   #15
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I wouldn't shoot anything to control numbers. Hold out for mature shooters and pass everything else.

I would not be killing more than a couple bucks/year on 200 acres...
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:02 PM   #16
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Depends TOTALLY on the surrounding properties..... habitable acreage/habitat/location/deer numbers/herd balance/pressure/food sources, etc etc etc etc

BIG difference between 200 acres in the middle of the King Ranch or in between two large and well managed ranches or 200 acres surrounded by small heavily hunted properties or 200 acres surrounded by housing developments, etc etc etc

200 acres of great habitat in some urban areas of TX could be as good as hunting anywhere in TX.

Last edited by Slicefixer; 12-03-2020 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Being it's mainly for the kids I'd probably lean this way. Draw straws for a buck and shoot what makes the kid happy versus stair stepping points via young deer . Excluded from buck eligibility the following year.
That’s what my grandparents did , every hunting grandkid got a trophy buck one time and were on doe patrol till the rotation
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:14 PM   #18
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If neighbors are hunting and killing deer, kill one or two mature bucks and three or four does. If there is no hunting around you, kill 1 or 2 mature bucks and every single doe you can.

We hunted a place in Kendall Co in the 80s and 90s owned by a rancher who was "managing" the deer herd back before anyone had ever heard of deer management. He always said you have the deer numbers where you want them once you have to really hunt for a doe. We killed bucks 10-20 inches higher than anyone around us.
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
They're not going to just stay on 200 acres, so I wouldn't worry too much about a quota. Shoot a mature buck if you see one and he trips your trigger. Kill a doe or two for every buck you kill. If no shooter bucks, let the young ones walk and kill a doe or two to eat.
I agree.

The only variable would be how much natural browse you have on your property. If no cedars but lots of good food for deer then you can probably hold more deer. If lots of cedar then as mentioned just kill what floats your boat.
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:58 PM   #20
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You don't have to have 1000+ acres to have a QDM program.

Our biologist certainly doesn't think QDM on less than 200 acers is a waste of time but you can't make decisions about harvest without knowledge of how many bucks, does and fawns are utilizing the property.

You can still conduct a census and figure out approximately how many unique does and bucks are utilizing your property, the density, sex ratio and fawn recruitment.
If you are feeding heavy and drawing lots of deer from your neighbors your density will be high. You may be calculating densities like 5 acers per deer or less. These deer come and go but they are still utilizing the resources available on your property on a regular basis.
A good rule of thumb is to harvest 20-25 percent of your does every year. If you count 30 unique does , shoot 6. Identify those bucks 5.5 or older and focus on hunting them.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:26 PM   #21
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I'm really curious because I don't know but everyone advocating to killing all these doe, won't that lower the total buck numbers in the future? I hunt east Texas and I try my best to protect my doe because I want a sustainable herd. We already have more bucks than doe.

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Old 12-04-2020, 12:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sika View Post
You don't have to have 1000+ acres to have a QDM program.

Our biologist certainly doesn't think QDM on less than 200 acers is a waste of time but you can't make decisions about harvest without knowledge of how many bucks, does and fawns are utilizing the property.

You can still conduct a census and figure out approximately how many unique does and bucks are utilizing your property, the density, sex ratio and fawn recruitment.
If you are feeding heavy and drawing lots of deer from your neighbors your density will be high. You may be calculating densities like 5 acers per deer or less. These deer come and go but they are still utilizing the resources available on your property on a regular basis.
A good rule of thumb is to harvest 20-25 percent of your does every year. If you count 30 unique does , shoot 6. Identify those bucks 5.5 or older and focus on hunting them.
Just curious, what do you mean by “ unique” does ? I have never heard of this.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:26 AM   #23
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This is all good info. I’m taking it all in. Thanks to all and keep it coming.


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Old 12-04-2020, 12:31 AM   #24
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Just curious, what do you mean by “ unique” does ? I have never heard of this.
Maybe I should have said “individual.”
If you’re doing a camera survey, you can use the ratio of individual bucks identified to the total number of bucks photographed as the population estimate multiplier. For example, if you get 36 pictures of bucks but you determine there were only 11 individual bucks photographed during that survey period, 11/36=.31, multiply total pictures of does (say it’s 100) by .31 and you get 31 individual does. So your estimated population consists of 11 bucks and 31 does.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:47 AM   #25
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I’ve hunted my grandparents 537 acre place in Mason my whole life. 2 big ranches that are 4K each border us south and west. East and north are 300ish acre places. Used to have neighbors blast everything. They got off 3-4 years ago. I fed and didn’t hunt for the last few years out there. I have now seen many mature bucks this year. Not big trophy deer. But many mature deer. I killed 2 5+ year old “culls”. A big 6 and a small racked 9 point. My dad killed a 130” 10 point. That was the trophy this year. My wife ended up killing a 4 year old 8 that was hurt real bad and likely wouldn’t have survived the winter.

My cousins used to hunt out there. They’d absolutely stack up young bucks. They wanted meat but refused to shoot doe. 1-2 year old bucks and they’d kill 3-6 of them every dang year. Needless to say I rarely pulled the trigger unless it was a junk buck. They’d come in for one weekend and stack em up. They are not allowed anymore. Deer have made huge improvements.

Those 4 bucks we killed this year didn’t put a dent in them. I’d prefer 1 trophy and any mature management deer shot up to 3-4 of them. But I’m stopping where we are for the year. I basically only hunt about 200 acres of the place.

I said all this to show every property is different. Be selective. Don’t kill young bucks. Keep dies in check(I haven’t seen enough to start shooting yet and I know our neighbor does a good job of killing them). Our deer bounce from my neighbors to us. It’s a team effort now and I think everyone is finally on the same page.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:29 AM   #26
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4 points , 6 points , just to "Get em started" is a bad idea..
Shoot a mature buck or two, and a Doe for each kid....
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:43 AM   #27
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We have 20 acres in Kerr county and the deer are like rats. We have shot 2 bucks in 5 years (one was wounded and our 13yo shot the other) but have probably shot 20 does. We've had 31 does at the two feeders at one time. I never see any bucks I want to kill, so I don't shoot them and I put does in the freezer. I also get an axis or two every year as they pass through
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:59 AM   #28
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Ive deer hunted on the same 200 east tx acres all 43 years of my life. Those that say you cant keep the same deer on the property are full of it. I have 1000s of pictures to prove you can keep bucks on the same dirt for years without a fence at all. 4 of the last 5 bucks that have come off the property were known deer with good history. And 3 of those where 3 inches or less from 150". I realize the bucks will move during the rut but ours come home every year

We try and put as little pressure as possible. We drive around instead of thru the property, feeders (7 corn, 2 protein) get filled on sunday afternoons when needed and cameras are checked on foot. There are 4 of us that hunt with myself, wife and son strictly bow hunting the deer. My dad is the only one that consistently kills a buck with a rifle. We've taken 3 does and a buck so far this year and my wife and I arent interested in shooting a buck. She and I been stacking swine
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:11 AM   #29
kerrbow
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I would have sanctuary areas that are not hunted or even ventured into during the year adjacent to the 2 low fence ranches your property borders if possible, They can be just a few acres in size if they have good cover. You would be surprised what might show up on the rest of your property.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:18 AM   #30
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I don’t think they are saying you can’t keep a buck around your property, they are saying they don’t solely live on your property.

One big thing that may be missed is you said it is high fenced on two sides. If you your property is 400yd wide and 2000yd long but the long sides have the high fences that can def hurt you if you are putting 7 hunters worth of pressure on them.

I def wouldn’t shoot a buck under 4 yr old and I would base my doe kills off surveys or simple observations.

If your worried about any kind of management and want everyone to be able to kill a deer every yr 4 is probably max number of hunters I would put on there. And that’s if it’s in a really high deer populated area like the hill country around llano area.

If your in it just for fun and not looking long term shoot what you like but the herd probably won’t sustain it self very long.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:36 AM   #31
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I manage my tiny 16 acres as I would manage any other big lease I was on. I shoot does for meat, kill 2 to 3 does for every cull buck, and trophy bucks have to be 5.5 or older. That being said between myself and my family we take about 6 a year (the deer numbers up there are ridiculous). We'll go several years without shooting a fork horned buck...mainly does and the occasional spike. I just wish my neighbors would do the same thing. They say they are management minded, but all they seem to manage is to shoot 2 1/2 & 3 1/2 year old 8 points every year and no does

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Old 12-04-2020, 08:37 AM   #32
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It does not really matter on 200 acres
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:40 AM   #33
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Your not going to control anything on a 200ac low fence, so don't worry about it.
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:00 AM   #34
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Really appreciate all the replies guys. Kind of interesting to hear the mixed advice but I am reading it all and taking it into consideration.

Historically (before kids got to hunting age) we would go years with killing no bucks or only one buck (if it was mature) and then shooting does only. This is over about a 20 year period. The quality of the deer really didn’t change. A “trophy” was an 8 point 18” wide deer with average mass. Ironically enough, we’ve seen better deer the past three or four years, even with the kids shooting some of the younger bucks. This is the best year for bucks on our place and last year one trophy was killed and two young bucks for the kids.


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Old 12-04-2020, 09:00 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sika View Post
You don't have to have 1000+ acres to have a QDM program.

Our biologist certainly doesn't think QDM on less than 200 acers is a waste of time but you can't make decisions about harvest without knowledge of how many bucks, does and fawns are utilizing the property.

You can still conduct a census and figure out approximately how many unique does and bucks are utilizing your property, the density, sex ratio and fawn recruitment.
If you are feeding heavy and drawing lots of deer from your neighbors your density will be high. You may be calculating densities like 5 acers per deer or less. These deer come and go but they are still utilizing the resources available on your property on a regular basis.
A good rule of thumb is to harvest 20-25 percent of your does every year. If you count 30 unique does , shoot 6. Identify those bucks 5.5 or older and focus on hunting them.
This is what our bio told us with our two 200 acre ranches. Thats why Ihave procured 2 other ranches that neighbor us to hunt on as well. So now I have about 1000 acres around our place to do more of a management program.
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:00 AM   #36
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A lot of the above information is wrong, assuming you want to try and make things a little better. Just because you only have access to 200 acres doesn't mean you should continue to do the wrong thing when when making at least some effort in managing the deer herd. Thats why the deer herd over much of the area sucks. If the age structure of the buck herd is lower than you'd like, minimize buck harvest to increase it. Granted deer are being killed all around you, but, if you shoot too many or the wrong (immature) deer, you just contribute to a worsening problem. The higher the age structure (the percentage of bucks estimated to be 4.5 or older), the larger the deer you will have. Just decide on what quality of buck you want to harvest and go from there. Until you have a developed age structure in place, I'd harvest no more than 1 buck off the place, and that deer most likely will be a cull in most years. If a 'big' one walks out that you're happy with, take it instead of a cull. The biggest problem you will always have is does. While you want to be restrictive on bucks, there is no danger at all in overharvesting does on 200 acres in Junction. There are just too many. Keep shooting them as long as you have people that are willing to do so. A good maximum deer density for that area is 10 acres per deer (should actually be closer to 15, but most dont want to go that low). You have too many deer now, so you need to shoot more deer (does), than the number of fawns coming into the population each year. And remember, the deer that you are 'seeing' is not the only deer you have (you have more than you think you do). Once the density is good, and the sex ratio is good, along with doing what you can to increase the age structure, you will be doing what you can to improve the deer herd and the habitat, rather than just thinkin =g you can't improve anything.
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:08 AM   #37
Sika
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Deer management on a small LF property isn’t about control. Trust me, we realize we have zero control over where deer go and what the neighbors kill. For us, it’s just about being good stewards of the land.
As a bonus we get to increase hunter opportunity by letting guests take does or a management type buck or two.

Practice good management and take mature bucks and a few does.

Your goal should be to keep things at or under the capacity the land can support. Your deer will be healthier and that’s the best we can do as stewards of the land.
The challenge on small properties is balancing appropriate harvest with minimal disruption.


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Old 12-04-2020, 09:08 AM   #38
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Ask yourself what are your goals. If trophy bucks are the priority, you have to protect young bucks. However, letting the kids shoot spikes, then 4pts, then 6pts, then 8pts is a great way to get kids excited about hunting. I’d rather let my kids shoot every spike and like hunting than restrict them early and they get bored with it. If you have a management mindset, your kids will pick up on it.

If everyone killed a doe plus kids shot a buck every year, eventually you will have problems. I hunt 300 acres in Louisiana and we don’t feed at all. We have shot 6-8 does and 2-3 bucks every year for two decades. Large landowners around us barely shoot. With 200 acres, your neighbors control your fortunes.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:47 AM   #39
Texas452
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No more than 2 mature bucks no young bucks and a few doe as needed to control numbers
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:14 PM   #40
wtr2019
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We've got a similar setup, and luckily, the surrounding property owners have game management in mind as well. We let young bucks age, knowing that we may or may not end up being the ones who stick them. Outside of that, not really management per se, we get a few doe for the freezer and gifts, and shoot spikes
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