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Old 01-11-2019, 11:05 PM   #1
toledo
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Default Minimum acres to actually manage deer?

Looking at a property in Milam county. Post oak and cedar. With one neighbor that doesn't hunt, my blind would be the only one sitting directly in the middle of about 600 acres. What's the chance of actually getting bucks to 5 years old assuming the other neighbors shoot 3 year old, 13" bucks?

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Old 01-11-2019, 11:07 PM   #2
deerwatcher51
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What is your actual acerage going to be?
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:10 PM   #3
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You must provide more info?
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:12 PM   #4
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i say strong, to quite strong. i have science backing me.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:21 PM   #5
BolilloLoco
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You can have some form of management on an acre. But you’re gonna need 5,000 acres to “hold” some deer. How many 3 year olds are the other neighbors shooting each year? Could be done. But gonna be challenging.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:21 PM   #6
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If you have cover, water, and maybe 10% food plots I think the only thing to lose them to would be about 2 weeks of rut when they can go anywhere! I agree, strong property to manage.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:25 PM   #7
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My advice would be to just forget all about this whole management thing and hunt.
Dont shoot everything that walks and the rest will take care of its self
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:27 PM   #8
toledo
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Originally Posted by BolilloLoco View Post
How many 3 year olds are the other neighbors shooting each year?
The number of properties touching that 600 acres goes to about a dozen 10-40 acre tracts. I'm sure some aren't being hunted but I would make the assumption that any decent buck that leaves would have a high probability of being shot.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by toledo View Post
The number of properties touching that 600 acres goes to about a dozen 10-40 acre tracts. I'm sure some aren't being hunted but I would make the assumption that any decent buck that leaves would have a high probability of being shot.
From your answer, I am deducing that the place is 600 acres....if that is the case, high fence it and you don't have much to worry about.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:32 PM   #10
toledo
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My advice would be to just forget all about this whole management thing and hunt.
Dont shoot everything that walks and the rest will take care of its self
That's my general mindset. BUT when we are talking about buying a property you have to weigh the IS IT WORTH IT? If the best I can hope for on this property is to shoot does and watch 3 year old bucks then the answer is likely no. I can do that other places. If it's actually big enough to consistently see mature deer then that changes things. Very good population in the area so the supply is there. Just don't know if it's a pipe dream to hope to hold them on 600 acres in this part of the country.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:36 PM   #11
BolilloLoco
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The dozen small neighbors would be a deal breaker for me personally.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:38 PM   #12
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Some can survive. But that is not big enough in my opinion.

Sorry.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:45 PM   #13
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Tall fence
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:48 PM   #14
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Default Minimum acres to actually manage deer?

We had 535 acres with a 12 acre neighbor and 2 10 acre neighbors that shot everything that came across the fence. I managed it pretty strict and was able to shoot some decent deer off of it.












Ranch was my grandmothers and we leased it for about 7 years before she spilt it up last season. Now we have 270 acres that my dad owns and I still manage it and my uncles piece for a total of 400 acres. My uncle lets a few other folks hunt from time to time on his piece when Iím not there and my cousins hunt the other 135 acres that borders the smaller tracts.

I still passed on this deer all season and Iím hoping he makes it to next year.





Iím also a firm believer in not becoming part of the problem and shooting deer at 3.5 or 4.5 just when they start to really get your attention.


We also only take 1 Nilgai Bull or cow every year instead of letting everyone shoot them on site. What that has allowed was me to see 4 bulls and 4 cows almost every time I went down to hunt this year.

























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Last edited by Black Ice; 01-12-2019 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:50 PM   #15
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it all depends on location. 600 acres around me would be a gold mine. i chased a certain 160" deer for 5 years on my 50 acres with 15 different property owners on my boundaries, most of which hunt. i have 90 acres 20 mins down the road where i have had the same 2 deer on camera since 2012, and they were mature then, one is still alive and one got killed this year (181").
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:17 AM   #16
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It is all about location but have fun. For me, the fun part would be to manage the property. Grow different stuff, feed protein, log everything, 600 acres is big enough to old based on other's experiences I have read and listened too. You need cover, food, and water. Cover is most important, without bedding areas your place will just be a night time visit to eat at.

This program would be fun for you to use if you like to tinker with things. Great offseason and in season hunting tool.

thehuntersight.com - course I am biased but I included every feature that I could afford to include. Satellite maps, game photos, nutrition section, harvest(kill) section, lease postings, form clubs with people and share your information with each other.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:38 PM   #17
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I hunt my dads 106 acres with one really good bedding location. From what I can tell neighbor doesn’t hunt but others do around us. I put hardly any pressure on our place, have food and water. I’m seeing bucks grow and get mature. You will lose some but creating a sanctuary on that amount of land they will come with neighbors pressure.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:26 PM   #18
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It is more than possible. We leased 300+acres for years. We took several quality bucks and I took deer off of it every year(bow hunting only for me). We had private ground on 3 sides with a gun lease to the North. Never had a issue with killing deer.

Make at least 10% of your property as a sanctuary/off limits. The deer will flock to it, especially if you have food always available to them.

Last edited by lovemylegacy; 01-12-2019 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:49 PM   #19
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I am managing the **** out of my 25 acres!
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:59 PM   #20
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I dont know about out west but in East Texas deer roam a good distance. I have a friend that hunts a mile and a half from me and we had the same buck on camera for most of November A few years ago.. he would be on my place every 3 days then back to theirs. Neither of us killed the deer and I haven't had cameras out in a couple years..
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:25 PM   #21
steve morton
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If i had 600 acres, you better believe it would be a h/f in the making!
That being said, i would start with all the food plots and feeding program to hold as many critters until the last fence tie was in place.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:31 PM   #22
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We have cam pics of a buck traveling 1.5 miles within 12 hours. This was during the rut in Mills county.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:32 PM   #23
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We have 460 acres with a nearby 100ish acre tract that day leases and a bunch of other 100 acre tracts that receive moderate hunting pressure from their owners. We have high fence neighbors on two sides, so essentially half our perimeter is fenced. Several of our nice 3.5 year olds go missing each season. We feed heavily (protein, cottonseed, corn), provide water, and have more bucks in the summer, but watch what seems like half of them disappear and/or become infrequent visitors when they shed velvet. Some reappear after the season and/or the following spring for the groceries, some are never seen again. We have three regular bucks 4.5 and older that survived the season. I’m sure there are several more that made it whose home range is primarily on neighboring tracts.

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Old 01-12-2019, 08:55 PM   #24
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You could probably have several mature bucks every year on 600 acres if there is good cover. Some bucks will travel and end up getting killed but others may never leave except for a short period during the rut. If you provide them a safe place with plenty of food then that is plenty of land to manage. I only hunt 240 acres in Bosque county that is fairly open and other people in the area will shoot anything close to 13". Some bucks still make it to 5 years old and sometimes older.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:05 PM   #25
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A consideration, you don't always have to high fence the whole place to fence out those 10-40 acre plots. Sometimes fencing just one side will keep the (still wild) management animals where they need to be.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:15 PM   #26
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If you have the ability to buy anywhere you want then don’t settle. Make things easier on yourself. Find a place with as few neighbors as possible. Or something that is already fenced.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:02 PM   #27
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We hunt 3k acres and see young bucks killed by neighbors every year. We also have big deer that are never seen during the season and seem to never leave the heavy cover.

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Old 01-13-2019, 09:34 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo View Post
That's my general mindset. BUT when we are talking about buying a property you have to weigh the IS IT WORTH IT? If the best I can hope for on this property is to shoot does and watch 3 year old bucks then the answer is likely no. I can do that other places. If it's actually big enough to consistently see mature deer then that changes things. Very good population in the area so the supply is there. Just don't know if it's a pipe dream to hope to hold them on 600 acres in this part of the country.
You would just need to try it and find out. I have nearly 600 acres with nearly no hunters around me. HF on one part to the north and a 5,300 acre State Park to the south. I figured it would be easy. It didn't work as I thought. I can feed and get 100's (literally 200-300) on the property but being in San Saba I think they just roam too much as seasons change. Drought they move maybe towards the river 1 mile away, Spring their are huge farmers fields 2-3 miles away, during rut they run everywhere. Almost never see repeat bucks and we have tons of pictures year after year. Pros/cons LOL Can't beat the deer away with a stick but can't really watch the same bucks grow year after year either. But I never know what we will see which is great also.

If I was you I'd for sure feed the crap out of them starting a month before the rut right in the middle of your property. And don't pressure them at all. Don't clear brush so your place stays the safe place.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:55 AM   #29
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High fence is a horrible idea. You should only run around 40 (preferably 30) deer at most on that acreage in that country. That means something like 10-15 bucks. You would know every one of them by name, where to find him, what time he comes to the feeder, what he's going to score, etc. Not much fun to 'hunt' really.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:23 PM   #30
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High fence is a horrible idea. You should only run around 40 (preferably 30) deer at most on that acreage in that country. That means something like 10-15 bucks. You would know every one of them by name, where to find him, what time he comes to the feeder, what he's going to score, etc. Not much fun to 'hunt' really.


That really isnít true. Depends 100% where the property is located. Carrying capacity in Val Verde County is a lot different then Fayette County. If you can put in food plots that actually grow, you can carry a hell of a lot more then 1 deer per 20 acres. You could run more like 75 deer on 600 acres. Plenty of diversity in age across 75 deer to make it fun. It also depends what the terrain is like. Certain areas, 600 acres feels and hunts huge. Others, not so much. I wouldnít hesitate to high fence 600 acres in the right circumstance. Big enough to be fun small enough to control.


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Old 01-13-2019, 02:57 PM   #31
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That really isnít true. Depends 100% where the property is located. Carrying capacity in Val Verde County is a lot different then Fayette County. If you can put in food plots that actually grow, you can carry a hell of a lot more then 1 deer per 20 acres. You could run more like 75 deer on 600 acres. Plenty of diversity in age across 75 deer to make it fun. It also depends what the terrain is like. Certain areas, 600 acres feels and hunts huge. Others, not so much. I wouldnít hesitate to high fence 600 acres in the right circumstance. Big enough to be fun small enough to control.


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I agree with that statement. You can for sure run more if you feed and/or have good native veg. Also you will not see every deer on 600 acres unless it has no brush or cover. I know places that are similar size and have multiple deer on game cam that only come out at night. The bigger the deer get the smarter they are. They didn't get big by being dumb.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:01 PM   #32
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Looking at a property in Milam county. Post oak and cedar. With one neighbor that doesn't hunt, my blind would be the only one sitting directly in the middle of about 600 acres. What's the chance of actually getting bucks to 5 years old assuming the other neighbors shoot 3 year old, 13" bucks?
What part of Milam county? We live in southern Falls and have property in Milam. Also is the property 100% cover or does it have grass or cultivation on it? And I think it would also matter if there is pasture or farm land around your property or if it is brush/cover also.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:19 AM   #33
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Pretty sure I would love to have 600 acres. A very good problem to have.

Make the property appealing to the deer. Food, water, cover. You should have plenty deer to shoot. Goodness that's a square mile! We have 1500 acres and several bucks that frequent our lease get taken off lease, its hunting. That's why we hunt. Bucks roam, nothing you can do about that. Some bucks are home bodies, nothing you can do about that. Just enjoy the 600 acs you have.

The 3year old 13" assumption is a big assumption. If those neighbors live there then they may be like you. If they hunt one or two weekends a season, yeah they might shoot anything. Visit them and introduce yourself and get an idea of what their goals are. Remember its their prerogative to do what they want on their property. They don't have the priviledge of having a larger property, so don't be critical of them. They are probably happy to have that little slice of heaven, don't ruin it.

Get rid of the cedars and replace it with something better.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:38 AM   #34
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Lots of great Info here. Let them get old!
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:20 PM   #35
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600 is enough
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:29 PM   #36
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I saw deer on the cam that I had not seen all year , They move get pushed , just over 400 on the lease . But So many thing effect it what works for one area may not for another .

I let young legal AR deer walk that should turn out very nice if they survive , I cannot control what others do , Just my thoughts good luck
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:11 PM   #37
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What Part of milam county?
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:16 PM   #38
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I don't think you can do much of anything on 600 acres unless it's HF.

I say that because the ranch my land is in is about 1500 acres and I get game cam pics of all kinds of deer that my buddy who is almost a mile away also gets. And that same buddy shot a drop-tine buck that spent all summer another mile past me, so close to 2 miles from him. You start drawing those "home ranges" in all directions and envision the bucks moving in both directions and you've got bucks coming and going from probably closer to 4000 acres.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:18 PM   #39
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Add to that the genetic material of does breeding with wandering bucks you may never even see, etc., it's just really hard to envision anything beyond basic population control.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:32 PM   #40
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pretty sure i would love to have 600 acres. A very good problem to have.
ditto!
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:56 PM   #41
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I don't think you can do much of anything on 600 acres unless it's HF.

I say that because the ranch my land is in is about 1500 acres and I get game cam pics of all kinds of deer that my buddy who is almost a mile away also gets. And that same buddy shot a drop-tine buck that spent all summer another mile past me, so close to 2 miles from him. You start drawing those "home ranges" in all directions and envision the bucks moving in both directions and you've got bucks coming and going from probably closer to 4000 acres.
Yeah, that's part of it. You will not get every mature buck in the area to stay on your property no matter the size of property. But, you can give them something that they don't have at their home, prompting them to hang around a little longer.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:56 PM   #42
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That really isnít true. Depends 100% where the property is located. Carrying capacity in Val Verde County is a lot different then Fayette County. If you can put in food plots that actually grow, you can carry a hell of a lot more then 1 deer per 20 acres. You could run more like 75 deer on 600 acres. Plenty of diversity in age across 75 deer to make it fun. It also depends what the terrain is like. Certain areas, 600 acres feels and hunts huge. Others, not so much. I wouldnít hesitate to high fence 600 acres in the right circumstance. Big enough to be fun small enough to control.


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I don't intend to hijack the thread, but I can't let that one go.

While it is true different regions can support greater or lesser populations of deer, all regions do have limitations. That limitation, known as "carrying capacity", is the number of animals a piece of land can support without damaging the growth or reproduction of the natural high-quality forage plants.

It has been proven that supplemental feed and food plots do not reduce forging pressure on the high quality plants. Therefore supplemental feed and food plots do not increase the number of animals that a piece of land can support. However, they will allow you to continue to grow large antlers while the high quality plants are being degraded and/or eliminated.

Large antlers can be produced in the Walmart parking lot.

I don't know of any where in TX where carrying capacity is 8 acres per deer. Although there are plenty of places where the density is that high, and it shows in the deer.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:03 PM   #43
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I don't intend to hijack the thread, but I can't let that one go.

I don't know of any where in TX where carrying capacity is 8 acres per deer. Although there are plenty of places where the density is that high, and it shows in the deer.
I think the survey in our area reflected a density of 1 per 4.5 acres. It's generally regarded as the highest density area in the USofA though if you believe the QDMA is accurate, and it's not a good thing. My neighbor's record in 1 photograph was 57 deer at the feeder.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:05 PM   #44
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I don't intend to hijack the thread, but I can't let that one go.

While it is true different regions can support greater or lesser populations of deer, all regions do have limitations. That limitation, known as "carrying capacity", is the number of animals a piece of land can support without damaging the growth or reproduction of the natural high-quality forage plants.

It has been proven that supplemental feed and food plots do not reduce forging pressure on the high quality plants. Therefore supplemental feed and food plots do not increase the number of animals that a piece of land can support. However, they will allow you to continue to grow large antlers while the high quality plants are being degraded and/or eliminated.

Large antlers can be produced in the Walmart parking lot.

I don't know of any where in TX where carrying capacity is 8 acres per deer. Although there are plenty of places where the density is that high, and it shows in the deer.
I am aware of carrying capacity. You can't tell me that 40 acre food plot of peas or whatever crop a deer decides to eat won't take pressure off some of the other natural browse that is available to them. A deer only eats so much and if they are eating 3lbs of protein or food plot or whatever a day, they are not going to be hitting the natural food. Some deer will hit supplemental feed and some wont. We have had 1 deer per 8 acres for 15 years and have had ZERO adverse effects. We feed a ton of protein. Actually had a biologist out about a month ago to look and make some recommendations and he said our brush looks as good as he has seen. I don't say that to brag and I don't own the ranch, my parents do. I just say that because you can certainly run a high deer density and push your carrying capacity with supplemental feeding. There are limitations but we haven't hit it at 1 deer to 8 acres.

Now I agree with no supplemental feed, I don't know of anywhere you can run 1 deer to 8 acres. But you absolutely can with supplemental feed. We have been doing it for 15 years.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:15 PM   #45
Top Of Texas
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The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute in Kingsville published some research on the subject. Deer fed supplement not only continued eating browse, but ate more than deer with no supplement during different seasons. Potential explanations for that are numerous and complex. Deer fed no supplement ate more mast than deer that were fed supplement, most likely because energy needs were met with supplements. Study did not look at food plots.

I cannot address your first hand experience. I can say, I've been on numerous HF properties with high densities that feed and have food plots. The browse does not look good.

I don't know where your property is located. What are the 3 top choice browse plants on y'alls place?
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:35 PM   #46
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We hunt milam. Its hit or miss. Neighbors shoot some we shoot some but u ain't growing nothing in milam county unless u own a high fenced property! U have to shoot them during archery or get lucky during the rut if its going down during rifle season which it usually is
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:05 AM   #47
KactusKiller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshouse View Post
it all depends on location. 600 acres around me would be a gold mine. i chased a certain 160" deer for 5 years on my 50 acres with 15 different property owners on my boundaries, most of which hunt. i have 90 acres 20 mins down the road where i have had the same 2 deer on camera since 2012, and they were mature then, one is still alive and one got killed this year (181").
Same in my area, 80-100acres is a large ranch300-600 is huge. I still see mature deer but our numbers arenít huge. I have some mature deer and a high percentage of young deer.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:36 AM   #48
Tshelly
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600 isnít small. We grew and managed a section like that in east Texas for 25 years. The last 10 years we took over and managed hard. My dad killed 2 160ís, we grew a 184 the neighbor killed. It can easily be done on 600 acres.

Weíve killed 2 150Ē deer the last 3 years on 20 acres in Montgomery co.

You can manage ďanything!Ē The results may vary but itís possible

My cousin owns 250 acres in lee county. After 15 years of management we killed a 160Ē this year.


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