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Old 10-07-2018, 11:34 AM   #1
Mexico
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Question ANYONE still trying to grow Huge NATIVE Low Fence Whitetails???

Or is it a thing of the past? I've noticed more and more huge whitetails that are posted on social media or TBH are high fence introduced genetics. Now before anyone gets their panties wound up I have no issues with high fence deer, heck I've hunted them. But to me personally a low fence giant is the cream of the crop...
And I realize there's a huge difference in growing native and introduced genetic high fence deer.
My question is who out there is still trying to grow em the "hard" way.... letting their deer reach full potential before harvest even if it means taking that chance he'll jump the fence and be hammered. What steps are you taking, improvements to your habitat, feed, water, age??
And I realize the term "huge" is relative to certain areas, my 160 could be someone else's 140 all depending on geographical location...

I'll give a little insight on one of my low fence places. 3300 acres with 3 trophy hunters, second year on protien and property so just now getting a feel for what are deer are doing... we've added 2 ponds and fixed a broken windmill to help supply more water across the ranch. We now have a protein station every 250 acres to help supplement their diet. All bucks that are caught on trailcams are cataloged and aged as best as we can, and our harvest age for trophies is 6/7.
I've seen a huge jump in our deer just in the last 2 years. Some growing 15 to 30 inches. Hopefully in 2 more years we'll be on fire.
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Old 10-07-2018, 03:59 PM   #2
freerhunter16
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Your goals and plans seem to fall right in line with ours. We have just shy of 3000 acres outside of Freer. My uncle owns 700 acres to our West and a good friend owns a 1400 acre pasture to our North. All low fenced. We all work together and implement the same practices. Share pics, discuss deer and try to make the best decisions we can on taking out inferior deer and keeping our total numbers in check. We all got our places in 2006, and they were shot out pretty hard. We feed cottonseed very heavily from Jan. - Sept. and are going to begin Double Down in January. (Not looking to debate that feed. I’ve done a ton of research and have several ranchers I know that are using it. We are testing the waters this year.) We do not hunt any of our top end deer until they are at least 6. However, many make it to 7+ and continue to add inches. In the last 5 years we have taken 8 deer over 160” between the three ranches. One of which was a 203” my uncle killed this past year that we believe was 9.5+ years old. Feel free to shoot me a message if you ever wanna talk low fence deer/practices etc. I love talking to folks with the same goals as us and learning new tricks of the trade!
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:01 PM   #3
elgato
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I am!

My farm in La. is game fenced and we have a couple of game fenced pastures in the brush country. But my largest property is partially game fenced but also has several miles of low fence. Yep, we lose a few bucks including a mid 180's 9 pt last year. But our neighbors are cool, on same page and program as us, and we all compare notes on the better bucks we know cross property lines.

We use the Vince Lombardi approach....fanatical attention to the basics. Food, water, age, herd, habitat.

Everything I am involved in is only native genetics with no TTT, DMP, or introduction of any kind.

It is interesting in that the low fenced pasture is adjacent to my high fenced pasture. I can speak with a lot of experience to the differences.

Last edited by elgato; 10-07-2018 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:03 PM   #4
txwhitetail
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We are the same way. 4 Sections with 4 hunters not hunted on 3 sides. The other side is frustrating as it seems 130"+ deer are shot regardless of age. We are able to get the deer on our north end to 6 and we should be in great shape with our age classes going into the next two years if we can escape another drought. Its just frustrating that really the lower 1/3 of our place is almost worthless in our grand scheme of managing other than just being a type of buffer with neighbors. All native genetics for us. Our overall goal is to try and raise 160"+ and 6 year old native bucks (A lofty goal in West Texas). Our ranch size is limiting for us but we do what we can.

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Old 10-07-2018, 09:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by freerhunter16 View Post
Your goals and plans seem to fall right in line with ours. We have just shy of 3000 acres outside of Freer. My uncle owns 700 acres to our West and a good friend owns a 1400 acre pasture to our North. All low fenced. We all work together and implement the same practices. Share pics, discuss deer and try to make the best decisions we can on taking out inferior deer and keeping our total numbers in check. We all got our places in 2006, and they were shot out pretty hard. We feed cottonseed very heavily from Jan. - Sept. and are going to begin Double Down in January. (Not looking to debate that feed. Iíve done a ton of research and have several ranchers I know that are using it. We are testing the waters this year.) We do not hunt any of our top end deer until they are at least 6. However, many make it to 7+ and continue to add inches. In the last 5 years we have taken 8 deer over 160Ē between the three ranches. One of which was a 203Ē my uncle killed this past year that we believe was 9.5+ years old. Feel free to shoot me a message if you ever wanna talk low fence deer/practices etc. I love talking to folks with the same goals as us and learning new tricks of the trade!

Sound like you guys are almost directly in line with us . And your hard work is paying off tremendously to say the least!! We actually have a scenario close to what you guys have, our east and south fence is completely fenced off so in all reality we only have 2 LF neighbors.
Our west neighbor is a 4k acre ranch with 2 trophy hunters, both young but beyond their years in patience trying to grow young deer, and are on the exact same page we are at letting our good deer roll to 6/7. They dont feed protein but feed the heck out of Cotton Seed.
Our other neighbor to the NW and North have a 5k acre place with 5 trophy hunters, they feed protein as well but how much total a year I do not know. They are also on the same plan as we are on the killing of mature deer, ( they did make a mistake last year and shot a 5 yr old in the 50s but it happens to the best of us), so the sky should honestly be our limit. So in all we are managing together around 12k acres.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by elgato View Post
I am!

My farm in La. is game fenced and we have a couple of game fenced pastures in the brush country. But my largest property is partially game fenced but also has several miles of low fence. Yep, we lose a few bucks including a mid 180's 9 pt last year. But our neighbors are cool, on same page and program as us, and we all compare notes on the better bucks we know cross property lines.

We use the Vince Lombardi approach....fanatical attention to the basics. Food, water, age, herd, habitat.

Everything I am involved in is only native genetics with no TTT, DMP, or introduction of any kind.

It is interesting in that the low fenced pasture is adjacent to my high fenced pasture. I can speak with a lot of experience to the differences.
Rusty I had no idea you were trying to grow LF deer. Your management practices are second to none, and I would really enjoy if you could enlighten me with some of the differences of your low and high fence pastures. Especially some of the struggles you may have faced on your LF side.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by txwhitetail View Post
We are the same way. 4 Sections with 4 hunters not hunted on 3 sides. The other side is frustrating as it seems 130"+ deer are shot regardless of age. We are able to get the deer on our north end to 6 and we should be in great shape with our age classes going into the next two years if we can escape another drought. Its just frustrating that really the lower 1/3 of our place is almost worthless in our grand scheme of managing other than just being a type of buffer with neighbors. All native genetics for us. Our overall goal is to try and raise 160"+ and 6 year old native bucks (A lofty goal in West Texas). Our ranch size is limiting for us but we do what we can.
Very frustrating scenario, and I've hunted a ranch just as you've described. Unfortunately I was hunting one of the buffer pastures ... ugh. What was amazing to me was if you went into the middle of the ranch were all the pastures were protected how much difference it made in the deer.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:25 PM   #8
TXhoghunter94
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We have a place in the hill country where we grow low fence all natural deer. It's 1700 acres with 6 hunters. We have protein feeders in most pastures (about 1 for every 200 acres). A lot of our good deer do get shot across the fence but we wait until they have peaked at 5 or 6. 2 years ago we killed a 176 11 point and several deer in the 160s, this year our best buck is right around 150.

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Old 10-07-2018, 10:14 PM   #9
elgato
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Rusty I had no idea you were trying to grow LF deer. Your management practices are second to none, and I would really enjoy if you could enlighten me with some of the differences of your low and high fence pastures. Especially some of the struggles you may have faced on your LF side.
Actually have far more experience lf vs hf. Decades. Have faced all the typical problems everyone else has struggled with. That said we have grown one of the biggest net typicals [ if not the biggest ] ever in Mexico,one of the widest net typicals in the world as well as a bunch of other B&C bucks lf.

Over time though it became apparent we were becoming a feeder program for all the ranches around us and unfortunately broke from our original goals and started building fence.I must say that it has paid off big time and while resistant at first it has proven to be a great decision.

For our lf pasture roughly 3 sides of it are fenced with it open to a good friends lf ranch leased by quality hunters. The scale is big enough to be effective for both ranches. Interestingly before some of the fence was built on that pasture we had a 5000 acre 'buffer' pasture . The neighbors hunted our fence line and all the classic problems. We only took one nice buck off it until we finally built fence around 3 sides of it. Now it is outstanding after only 4 yrs though still open to the rest of the lf pasture.

Our mgt. practices are identical on all properties now. Quality is consistent across hf and lf. The hf properties do carry a slightly higher density of bucks. The biggest difference I see is that the lf pasture is grazed by cattle with no cattle on hf. Year in year out I think that makes a difference.

The issue is really simple. To grow the best bucks all the bucks with potential have to have the opportunity to age on quality nutrition. Has nothing to do with wire. If bucks are being shot prematurely it compromises.

I'll also add that there is absolutely no difference in the quality of the hunt ,nor the challenge of chasing a specific buck in our country lf vs hf. None.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TXhoghunter94 View Post
We have a place in the hill country where we grow low fence all natural deer. It's 1700 acres with 6 hunters. We have protein feeders in most pastures (about 1 for every 200 acres). A lot of our good deer do get shot across the fence but we wait until they have peaked at 5 or 6. 2 years ago we killed a 176 11 point and several deer in the 160s, this year our best buck is right around 150.

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Amazing hill country deer to say the least! Wow! I'm wondering why the decline this year though? Drought? Sounds like for several years you guys were killing very top end hill country bucks!
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:49 AM   #11
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Well I am no where near the level of you fellows. The little Hill Country lease that we are on is somewhat limited in what it can produce. We do feed lots of protein and we also let the young ones walk. We are strictly bow hunting and try to let the bucks get to at least 4 1/2 before releasing an arrow. The oldest bucks that we have taken were somewhere in the 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 range. I know there are a few big deer in the Harper area but for the most part it is more of a target rich environment more than a trophy type of place. Still it is painfully to watch a 3 1/2 year old 10 point that scores 125 jump the fence and then you hear a gun shot shortly after. I have no problem if someone wants to shot a HF deer but I respect a 140 inch LF deer way more than I do a 200 inch HF one.

-john
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by elgato View Post
Actually have far more experience lf vs hf. Decades. Have faced all the typical problems everyone else has struggled with. That said we have grown one of the biggest net typicals [ if not the biggest ] ever in Mexico,one of the widest net typicals in the world as well as a bunch of other B&C bucks lf.

Over time though it became apparent we were becoming a feeder program for all the ranches around us and unfortunately broke from our original goals and started building fence.I must say that it has paid off big time and while resistant at first it has proven to be a great decision.

For our lf pasture roughly 3 sides of it are fenced with it open to a good friends lf ranch leased by quality hunters. The scale is big enough to be effective for both ranches. Interestingly before some of the fence was built on that pasture we had a 5000 acre 'buffer' pasture . The neighbors hunted our fence line and all the classic problems. We only took one nice buck off it until we finally built fence around 3 sides of it. Now it is outstanding after only 4 yrs though still open to the rest of the lf pasture.

Our mgt. practices are identical on all properties now. Quality is consistent across hf and lf. The hf properties do carry a slightly higher density of bucks. The biggest difference I see is that the lf pasture is grazed by cattle with no cattle on hf. Year in year out I think that makes a difference.

The issue is really simple. To grow the best bucks all the bucks with potential have to have the opportunity to age on quality nutrition. Has nothing to do with wire. If bucks are being shot prematurely it compromises.

I'll also add that there is absolutely no difference in the quality of the hunt ,nor the challenge of chasing a specific buck in our country lf vs hf. None.
Absolutely agree it's all about letting them age and supplementing their nutrition. Doesn't matter if its HF or LF the deer are going to react the same, only disagreement I might add is the level of hunting for me is somewhat elevated in LF. Not each deer is named and you always have that chance a "surprise" buck might show that no one has ever seen.. I realize though this can also be accomplished through a large HF ranch.

Also its very eye opening that you had such a large buffer pasture (5k acres) and it didn't seem to help that much. Just goes to show that one bad neighbor can do a ton of harm!
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:35 AM   #13
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We actually had a neighbor that high fenced his ranch and left 50 acres outside the fence surrounded by us on 3 sides. He built an irrigated food plot, protein feeder , and heavily corned. Put a pop up blind in the middle and darted the bucks putting them inside his fence .That practice alone had a material impact on a very large area.

We get surprise bucks on all the pastures every year. There are also bucks that disappear for a couple years , given up for dead then reappear. I see hunting pressure, hf or lf a choice excepting of course perimeter pressure which can only be encouraged thru cooperatives.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TX_Hoghunter View Post
Well I am no where near the level of you fellows. The little Hill Country lease that we are on is somewhat limited in what it can produce. We do feed lots of protein and we also let the young ones walk. We are strictly bow hunting and try to let the bucks get to at least 4 1/2 before releasing an arrow. The oldest bucks that we have taken were somewhere in the 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 range. I know there are a few big deer in the Harper area but for the most part it is more of a target rich environment more than a trophy type of place. Still it is painfully to watch a 3 1/2 year old 10 point that scores 125 jump the fence and then you hear a gun shot shortly after. I have no problem if someone wants to shot a HF deer but I respect a 140 inch LF deer way more than I do a 200 inch HF one.

-john
Yea but YOU'RE not the one killing the 3.5 yr old deer. Sounds to me like y'all are doing everything in your power that you can do to grow big hill country bucks, and that's all you can do. Keep up the good work and it'll pay off!
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:38 AM   #15
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I'm not wild about the genetics stuff, but we have 930 acres high fenced, and it's that way because the neighbors reneged on the wildlife cooperative from the word go. It also allowed us to protein feed successfully, which, in our area, is absolutely necessary to grow big deer.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:45 AM   #16
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I only have small properties and its in East tx. Several years ago I decided that i couldnt control what people on other places did but that if i killed them they sure woudnt get any older. The hunting pressure around me is crazy so i made sanctuaries for the deer where they could have everything they need. We started pouring the nutrients to them. It didnt take the bucks long to start spending the majority off their DAYLIGHT hours on my places where they were safe from the idiots.

Year after year, i see and have pics of the same bucks. Sure some get killed and some just drop off the Earth. Thats just part of it whether I like it or not. The net result though is that we have a mature class of bucks as well as a pipeline full of studs on their way up.

Im gonna grow me a Booner some day right here in the middle of this mess.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:07 AM   #17
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I’d like to. Our lease has usually 15 people (it can go up or down a couple people a year) on 18,000 acres.. out of the 15 me and maybe two other guys are trophy hunting.. the other guys will shoot young deer that don’t even brake 100”.. I would like to see everyone on the same page of what is shot and not but they did tell me before I got on that this is a lease where they like to have fun and shoot what they want. No one is going to get in any kind of trouble for shooting a 3 year old 10 point. So I’m not going to complain or try to change that but I would be on board and willing to pay my share of protein if they did want to.. id love to get a giant one.. this lease was day leased before they got it and they picked it up in the drought.. the last 4 years has gotten way better. Last year the only hunting time I got was two weeks straight around thanksgiving and shot a 10 that was 148”, saw 3 more deer in the 130s and one that looked to be in the low 140s.. I guess with there being so much land maybe some will make it long enough to be a true trophy, there is usually around 12 bucks taken a year.. I’ve shot two in 4 years and besides mine nothing has gone over 130.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:13 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by GarGuy View Post
I only have small properties and its in East tx. Several years ago I decided that i couldnt control what people on other places did but that if i killed them they sure woudnt get any older. The hunting pressure around me is crazy so i made sanctuaries for the deer where they could have everything they need. We started pouring the nutrients to them. It didnt take the bucks long to start spending the majority off their DAYLIGHT hours on my places where they were safe from the idiots.

Year after year, i see and have pics of the same bucks. Sure some get killed and some just drop off the Earth. Thats just part of it whether I like it or not. The net result though is that we have a mature class of bucks as well as a pipeline full of studs on their way up.

Im gonna grow me a Booner some day right here in the middle of this mess.
You made me bust out laughing " safe from the idiots " .
You're doing it the right way, if you kill 'em you know they're dead. No more what if?

Even though we have more land than you that's exactly what I'm trying to do, pour the nutrients to them and give them very little hunting pressure with only 3 hunters on 3k acres. It seems to be working.

When I first obtained this ranch the first I noticed was our numbers weren't what they should be with a ranch that had such low hunting pressure in years past ( we had all age classes of deer), then it hit me.... WATER! We had ONE place for them to water with consistency if there was a drought. Now we have 3, and if it rains we have 5. So like you amigo I'm trying to give them everything they could ever want on my place so at least MOST will stick around, and I realize that a few will just drop off the earth but the reward is worth the risk.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:16 AM   #19
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I'm not wild about the genetics stuff, but we have 930 acres high fenced, and it's that way because the neighbors reneged on the wildlife cooperative from the word go. It also allowed us to protein feed successfully, which, in our area, is absolutely necessary to grow big deer.
It's funny how fast a 4.5 year old 160 will make your neighbors change their mind or completely forget the co-op.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:57 AM   #20
Razrbk89
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Good post! Seeing the management strategies some of you guys have going is my favorite thing to read on this site. It’s a lot different (and more intensive) than what I have going on, no doubt.

Nutrition and age are the most important variables in my area. Cover & water aren’t really issues. The two adjacent counties I hunt in have similar terrain for the most part, but one has better soil and fewer, but much bigger deer (borders the delta and not as rocky). It’s all rolling hardwood hills and ridges with some pastureland and grown up pastures/cedar brakes. It is top notch deer habitat, and the population reflects that.

We have tried to do what we can for habitat through timber stand improvement, burning, bush hogging, letting fields grow up, minerals, and discing/putting in plots. AR has a 3 point (on one side rule) so spikes, forks, etc. are safe. While not a perfect rule, very very few yearling bucks get killed, so we have tons of bucks getting to 2. We have a 4 point and outside the ears (+15”) “rule” on our places that we try to use to save those 2 year olds. So basically all of our bucks make it to 3 IF no one else shoots them, natural attrition, whatever. We try to shoot plenty of does and have a good ratio on that farm of probably 1:1.5. We have tons of bucks, but nothing huge. They just seem to top out around 135-140”. Limiting factor has got to be nutrition due to soil quality, because there are book deer killed with regularity in the county with the better dirt (though many may not be entered).

We have good neighbors at both places and not a ton of hunting pressure, in fact pressure seems to drop by the year.. I’m afraid we’ll be (if not already) overpopulated in many areas.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by elgato View Post
We actually had a neighbor that high fenced his ranch and left 50 acres outside the fence surrounded by us on 3 sides. He built an irrigated food plot, protein feeder , and heavily corned. Put a pop up blind in the middle and darted the bucks putting them inside his fence .That practice alone had a material impact on a very large area.

We get surprise bucks on all the pastures every year. There are also bucks that disappear for a couple years , given up for dead then reappear. I see hunting pressure, hf or lf a choice excepting of course perimeter pressure which can only be encouraged thru cooperatives.
Now that would probably get my blood boiling!
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:13 AM   #22
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Good post! Seeing the management strategies some of you guys have going is my favorite thing to read on this site. Itís a lot different (and more intensive) than what I have going on, no doubt.

Nutrition and age are the most important variables in my area. Cover & water arenít really issues. The two adjacent counties I hunt in have similar terrain for the most part, but one has better soil and fewer, but much bigger deer (borders the delta and not as rocky). Itís all rolling hardwood hills and ridges with some pastureland and grown up pastures/cedar brakes. It is top notch deer habitat, and the population reflects that.

We have tried to do what we can for habitat through timber stand improvement, burning, bush hogging, letting fields grow up, minerals, and discing/putting in plots. AR has a 3 point (on one side rule) so spikes, forks, etc. are safe. While not a perfect rule, very very few yearling bucks get killed, so we have tons of bucks getting to 2. We have a 4 point and outside the ears (+15Ē) ďruleĒ on our places that we try to use to save those 2 year olds. So basically all of our bucks make it to 3 IF no one else shoots them, natural attrition, whatever. We try to shoot plenty of does and have a good ratio on that farm of probably 1:1.5. We have tons of bucks, but nothing huge. They just seem to top out around 135-140Ē. Limiting factor has got to be nutrition due to soil quality, because there are book deer killed with regularity in the county with the better dirt (though many may not be entered).

We have good neighbors at both places and not a ton of hunting pressure, in fact pressure seems to drop by the year.. Iím afraid weíll be (if not already) overpopulated in many areas.
Do you have any deer that are making it to 6 or 7? If so what are those deer looking like score/health wise? Also overpopulation is a nightmare for a ranch and range conditions. I'd much rather be under populated than over, and so would my bank account
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:48 AM   #23
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Do you have any deer that are making it to 6 or 7? If so what are those deer looking like score/health wise? Also overpopulation is a nightmare for a ranch and range conditions. I'd much rather be under populated than over, and so would my bank account
Iím sure there are a few getting to that age, but Iíve always been told that our deer top out around 5, and that seems to be the case (not a scientific observation, admittedly).

When I say overpopulated Iím not talking about skinny deer and browselines, just probably over the ideal carrying capacity for ďtrophyĒ production. You donít really see deer with ribs showing and stuff like that around here. If you were having to feed deer to maintain them Iíd imagine that would get expensive. Iím donít feel the need to feed a deer that has a layer of fat on his back. That being said, I can really produce a lot of deer grub with a disc and some fertilizer. Exponentially more than I could pour out of a sack. Thatís not the case everywhere, though.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:55 AM   #24
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Iím sure there are a few getting to that age, but Iíve always been told that our deer top out around 5, and that seems to be the case (not a scientific observation, admittedly).

When I say overpopulated Iím not talking about skinny deer and browselines, just probably over the ideal carrying capacity for ďtrophyĒ production. You donít really see deer with ribs showing and stuff like that around here. If you were having to feed deer to maintain them Iíd imagine that would get expensive. Iím donít feel the need to feed a deer that has a layer of fat on his back. That being said, I can really produce a lot of deer grub with a disc and some fertilizer. Exponentially more than I could pour out of a sack. Thatís not the case everywhere, though.

Gotcha... man its hard got me to think 5 yr olds are the top deer in any area buy I'm obviously familiar with your deer. And amen on the disk, unfortunately in Mexico that's not as feasible unless you have access to irrigation which we do not. Good luck!!
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:16 PM   #25
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One other thing. We have a rule that no deer gets shot under 5 years old. Several of our deer either evaded us or we just didnt have the right hunter in place to kill them at five even though they didnt amount to much.

Now for the point.. over and over i have had those deer turn into BIG deer(relative I know 140-150) at 8 years old. Also our two top shooters at 7.5 last year made it through and are HUGE this year at 8.5.

If i didnt have exact history on those deer, i would age both at 5.5 by their body.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:38 PM   #26
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I spend a ton of money each year trying to grow bucks that make 13Ē!
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:58 PM   #27
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Been doing it here on our place for the last 20 years. 3- 150 gallon protein feeders, 3- 200-300 gallon cotton seed feeders, minimum of 1- 500 gallon water trough, all per 250 acre pasture with 5 total pastures. All feeders are filled every 2 weeks to keep from ever being empty. Bucks are not killed unless have history of being a freaky looking cull or older buck with small rack. Never killed a trophy off the place with at least 1 buck being over 160 every year, due to wanting them to have every chance to spread their genes. Does we usually sell 12-18 a year to day hunters after we have filled our freezers.

This year will be the first year ever we kill a trophy, in which we decided had to be at least 6.5 and known with previous years tracking and photos. my dad got first dibs and I am second. Those plus 2 other cull bucks are the only ones we have on the hit list.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:19 PM   #28
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One other thing. We have a rule that no deer gets shot under 5 years old. Several of our deer either evaded us or we just didnt have the right hunter in place to kill them at five even though they didnt amount to much.

Now for the point.. over and over i have had those deer turn into BIG deer(relative I know 140-150) at 8 years old. Also our two top shooters at 7.5 last year made it through and are HUGE this year at 8.5.

If i didnt have exact history on those deer, i would age both at 5.5 by their body.

I have to admit we tried killing a 6/7 yr old last year that never hit the dirt. Honestly thought he was about as big as he'd ever get at that age. This year he's 7/8 and put on 30 inches, sometimes they just make you scratch your head
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:20 PM   #29
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I spend a ton of money each year trying to grow bucks that make 13Ē!
Lol bubba I hear ya, it's all relative. At least you're doing your best, that's what counts
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:25 PM   #30
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Been doing it here on our place for the last 20 years. 3- 150 gallon protein feeders, 3- 200-300 gallon cotton seed feeders, minimum of 1- 500 gallon water trough, all per 250 acre pasture with 5 total pastures. All feeders are filled every 2 weeks to keep from ever being empty. Bucks are not killed unless have history of being a freaky looking cull or older buck with small rack. Never killed a trophy off the place with at least 1 buck being over 160 every year, due to wanting them to have every chance to spread their genes. Does we usually sell 12-18 a year to day hunters after we have filled our freezers.

This year will be the first year ever we kill a trophy, in which we decided had to be at least 6.5 and known with previous years tracking and photos. my dad got first dibs and I am second. Those plus 2 other cull bucks are the only ones we have on the hit list.
Man that is tough that you guys are 20 years in and you've never killed a trophy. What are your neighbors like? Any communication with them at all?
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:11 PM   #31
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Very frustrating scenario, and I've hunted a ranch just as you've described. Unfortunately I was hunting one of the buffer pastures ... ugh. What was amazing to me was if you went into the middle of the ranch were all the pastures were protected how much difference it made in the deer.
Yep night and day from south to north on us.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:00 PM   #32
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I do a lot of culling for a ranch here in the hill country. 100% native genetics age and protein. Year in and year out we have a couple of 160 plus deer and every few years will break the 180 mark
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:12 PM   #33
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I do a lot of culling for a ranch here in the hill country. 100% native genetics age and protein. Year in and year out we have a couple of 160 plus deer and every few years will break the 180 mark
On how many acres are you guys able to accomplish that size of deer. That's an awesome accomplishment.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:15 PM   #34
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Man that is tough that you guys are 20 years in and you've never killed a trophy. What are your neighbors like? Any communication with them at all?
Itís been by choice not taking a trophy more so than anything, we could have all had BC bucks on the wall but just kinda want to get the most out of all of them. Neighbors on east hunt 400 acres and are from Alabama and hunt a week and a half and thatís it all year so you can imagine how that goes haha The west they are high fenced and the north is hunted some but not heavily. I think weíve built our herd up to now being where we will take a trophy or 2 every year.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:18 PM   #35
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Itís been by choice not taking a trophy more so than anything, we could have all had BC bucks on the wall but just kinda want to get the most out of all of them. Neighbors on east hunt 400 acres and are from Alabama and hunt a week and a half and thatís it all year so you can imagine how that goes haha The west they are high fenced and the north is hunted some but not heavily. I think weíve built our herd up to now being where we will take a trophy or 2 every year.
Passing up B&C bucks regularly ??? Interesting with that size ranch and neighbors.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:20 PM   #36
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Itís been by choice not taking a trophy more so than anything, we could have all had BC bucks on the wall but just kinda want to get the most out of all of them. Neighbors on east hunt 400 acres and are from Alabama and hunt a week and a half and thatís it all year so you can imagine how that goes haha The west they are high fenced and the north is hunted some but not heavily. I think weíve built our herd up to now being where we will take a trophy or 2 every year.
I bet them boys from Alabama light it up! Lmao! Sounds like east Texas opening morning?
That's what I'd really like to accomplish myself, if we could take one trophy (160 plus) every year or 2 I'd be ecstatic!

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Old 10-08-2018, 08:22 PM   #37
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The property is about 1900 acres high fenced. I will also say for about the last 8 years more of the big bucks have died from old age than from us. Typically do not harvest more than one trophy a year.

Culls are never younger than 4.5 and typically 5.5 plus with most trophy’s being harvested at 8.5 we will typically have them on our radar for three or four years before hunting them
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:24 PM   #38
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Or is it a thing of the past? I've noticed more and more huge whitetails that are posted on social media or TBH are high fence introduced genetics. Now before anyone gets their panties wound up I have no issues with high fence deer, heck I've hunted them. But to me personally a low fence giant is the cream of the crop...

And I realize there's a huge difference in growing native and introduced genetic high fence deer.

What youíre seeing online this time of year is not new. The outfitters that released bucks in September have to kill them now because they die in a natural habitat. Most of the 300Ē+ bucks will be dead by the end of the month and posted online or entered in deer contests.

High fenced native deer are SOL in deer contests because of the ďpasture bornĒ bucks.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:24 PM   #39
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Photos wouldnít upload

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Old 10-08-2018, 08:28 PM   #40
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What youíre seeing online this time of year is not new. The outfitters that released bucks in September have to kill them now because they die in a natural habitat. Most of the 300Ē+ bucks will be dead by the end of the month and posted online or entered in deer contests.

High fenced native deer are SOL in deer contests because of the ďpasture bornĒ bucks.
Agree completely, they've ruined the HF contest across the river because they throw those white horned freaks in with the native HF whitetails. It's a joke. Not even worth entering...

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Old 10-08-2018, 08:29 PM   #41
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Agree completely, they've ruined the HF contest across the river because they throw those white horned freaks in with the native HF whitetails. It's a joke. Not even worth entering...

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I havenít entered a contest in 4 years.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:33 PM   #42
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The deer inside my fence may not be ďcream of the cropĒ, but Iím happy with them. If we didnít have 16 Cajuns on 800 acres to the North and a huge commercial ranch to the West and South, I wouldnít have a fence. I cringe to think what it would be like without it.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:40 PM   #43
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The deer inside my fence may not be ďcream of the cropĒ, but Iím happy with them. If we didnít have 16 Cajuns on 800 acres to the North and a huge commercial ranch to the West and South, I wouldnít have a fence. I cringe to think what it would be like without it.
16 cajuns to the north . You know them boys gonna eat ! Ha! Understood completely, I'd do the exact same... but that's what makes LF so special because everything has to go just right, and even then it's still a dam* tough road...

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Old 10-08-2018, 09:00 PM   #44
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Passing up B&C bucks regularly ??? Interesting with that size ranch and neighbors.
We usually have 1 or 2 bucks a year that go low 60ís. I meant weíd all have a B&C buck by now if we each shot one alternating years. I think what really helps out is the deer from neighboring places come to ours to feed cause we are the only ones who do any sort of supplemental feeding at all. Everyone else only feeds corn maybe 3-4 months a year. I can tell you the bigger bucks are always in the pastures furthest from the neighbors that shoot any decent buck or high tail it to the other side of the ranch when the shooting begins.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:12 PM   #45
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I bet them boys from Alabama light it up! Lmao! Sounds like east Texas opening morning?
That's what I'd really like to accomplish myself, if we could take one trophy (160 plus) every year or 2 I'd be ecstatic!

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Haha oh itís like New Years or the 4th of July! Luckily all they feed is corn and only during the season so that definitely helps with keeping the better deer from ending up in their sights.

Itís do able just takes time and patience, I bet you get there. honestly I feel that a lot of Texas itís not an unrealistic expectation with decent circumstances. My Goal is to one day be in the stand and have a 170 come wandering through. Something about low fence and that 170 number is what I think keeps us from giving up and not high fencing or just saying forget it and not supplement feed.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:17 PM   #46
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Haha oh itís like New Years or the 4th of July! Luckily all they feed is corn and only during the season so that definitely helps with keeping the better deer from ending up in their sights.

Itís do able just takes time and patience, I bet you get there. honestly I feel that a lot of Texas itís not an unrealistic expectation with decent circumstances. My Goal is to one day be in the stand and have a 170 come wandering through. Something about low fence and that 170 number is what I think keeps us from giving up and not high fencing or just saying forget it and not supplement feed.
170 inch LF deer is a dream, I've been blessed to take several in the 60s but have never killed a 70s LF deer. I did take a HF native 70s deer a few years ago.

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Old 10-08-2018, 09:50 PM   #47
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Low fence hill country. Lampasas County. Get lots of deer to 6-8 years old, just not always the correct ones. Mostly 8 points. But every now and then I get that special deer. When it comes together it is a special thing. I did kill a mid 70s deer last year on my LF lease near Menard but nothing that big on my family place in Lampasas. 163 is biggest I have taken in Lampasas. Have killed 4 bucks in the 150s over last 12 years as well. Usually about every 3 years we will get one to sneak into the 50s.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:01 PM   #48
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Low fence hill country. Lampasas County. Get lots of deer to 6-8 years old, just not always the correct ones. Mostly 8 points. But every now and then I get that special deer. When it comes together it is a special thing. I did kill a mid 70s deer last year on my LF lease near Menard but nothing that big on my family place in Lampasas. 163 is biggest I have taken in Lampasas. Have killed 4 bucks in the 150s over last 12 years as well. Usually about every 3 years we will get one to sneak into the 50s.
That's what I'm talking about!! Any pics of these deer?

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Old 10-08-2018, 10:16 PM   #49
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We have no control of our herd. We border the Waggoner 530,000 acres on 70 % and the another 20,000 acre place is the other 30%. Neither hunt much. The Wag just started last year and it was 35 miles from us.We have about 2400 acres total.
The deer are rarely pressured and get to 7-8 yrs old and older. We have wheat and oats that draw deer when the weather turns really cold. The deer are very transient
We try and shoot mature deer with a good deal of success. We see 140-50 class deer regularly.
I don't know where the closest high fenced place is to us. From our back fence its 40 miles across the Wag to the next ranch.

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Old 10-08-2018, 10:22 PM   #50
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We have no control of our herd. We border the Waggoner 530,000 acres on 70 % and the another 20,000 acre place is the other 30%. Neither hunt much. The Wag just started last year and it was 35 miles from us.We have about 2400 acres total.
The deer are rarely pressured and get to 7-8 yrs old and older. We have wheat and oats that draw deer when the weather turns really cold. The deer are very transient
We try and shoot mature deer with a good deal of success. We see 140-50 class deer regularly.
That's absolutely 100 percent without a doubt..... UNFAIR!

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