Go Back   QDMA Forums > General QDM > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-07-2004, 01:50 PM
CPiper CPiper is offline
QDMA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 276
Default

Having lived and hunted in SC for the past 20 years, I have always been concerned about the “no limit on bucks” we have in the coastal plain. Couple this with a 08-15 opener, and deer hunters can hunt/kill buck deer without discretion for 4.5 months.
While I am not a biologist, Iv done enough reading and studying and have enough common sense to understand that this may have a negative impact on the deer herd.
One things that has always amazed me, was the high concentrations of deer in these same areas, more specifically buck deer – never seems to be a shortage.
Take the dog club I am in for example – we pound the deer. It is a smaller club, only 50 members, and we hunt only on Saturdays, and its doggin only – yet we kill a large number of deer. We usually kill more anterless deer, but this past season, we POLE-AXED the bucks. After years and years of killing deer, bucks and doe, with no sorts of size or weight limits, we continue to kill deer like crazy. This past season, we killed a higher number of bucks then doe deer, if memory serves me correctly.
HOW can this be??
I came across an article in a deer hunt magazine that tells of research and study done in Florida that suggest that nature takes over in high buck kill areas and compensates by doe deer dropping higher % of buck deer and the doe deer begin to seek out bucks when in estrus.
Do whitetails compensate for hunting?? What do you think?? Possible??

In this Florida study, it was shown that in areas where buck populations were heavily harvested, does compensated for this by dropping a higher % of buck fawns. IOW, if there were not many bucks in the local population, the fawn crop would be predominatly bucks, until the adult-doe-to-antlered-buck ratio approaches 1:1. If the harvest of bucks continued, so did the higher buck fawn dropping.

In balanced buck to doe ratio areas, bucks seek doe deer to mate. In these areas of skewed ratios, where bucks are heavily harvested, the doe deer began to seek out the bucks. They surmised this through radio collared research. The doe deer became much more mobile and ranged farther in search for a mate.
In buck deprived areas, doe deer often missed 1-2 estrus cycles, and often times these late breed does were breed late in their 60 hour estrus cycle – which influences fawn gender. The study found that does breed after the 48 hour mark were more likely to bear buck fawns. A research done 20 years ago in MI, showed that doe deer bred early in their cycle, the sex ratio of fawns is equal or slightly favoring females.

These study was conducted in part on Eglin Air Force base and included areas that were and were not hunted. More then 90% of the doe deer collected were pregnant.
Of the deer collected, on the hunted site 56% of the doe contained male fawns, on the unhunted site only 39% contained male fawns.

So they concluded, if you have a low density of males and they don’t service the females in the first 48 hours of their cycle, you get a preponderance of male fawns.

Research also noted the incidents of multiple births in the hunted and unhunted areas. In the unhunted area, 14% of the doe deer carried twins. In the hunted area, 38% carried twins.

This breeding behavior also affects fawn survival, since some of the fawns would be born late, further complicating this breeding behavior.

Another factor to consider is density stress, which occurs when there are too many deer that a doe deer's physical condition deteriorates due to poor browse and other effects of overpopulation. Research showed that if you have high density populations you risk the overall productivity of the herd. Too many deer competing for food resources limits annual growth of the herd all the way down to the individual deer. You will still have a annual growth, until that growth annihilates the forage, then you experience a stress-density related die-off. Research did not conclude if this type of stress had an impact of the buck/doe fawn dropped ratio.

Interesting!!!! [img]smileys/smiley10.gif[/img]
__________________
If you cant run with the big dogs, stay in the tree.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

South Carolina

QDM Member - Northern Piedmont Branch
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-08-2004, 03:35 PM
Chad Dauthier Chad Dauthier is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 157
Default

Sounds interesting, but you have to consider a few things. I would never, and I mean never take one "study" as being gospel for what can or does occur. For every study out there that may show that, there will be another that shows the opposite to be true. I think the bottom line here is that it never happens one way in all areas, and there are far more variables to consider than simply what they are summarizing happens. For example:

"Research also noted the incidents of multiple births in the hunted and unhunted areas. In the unhunted area, 14% of the doe deer carried twins. In the hunted area, 38% carried twins" While I am sure they found this to be the case, the summation that this was due to the fact that one area had high buck harvest may possibly be farthest from the truth, when in fact, it may simply be because the unhunted population was at or above carrying capacity and the deer were not healthy enough to carry twins.

I have seen and heard about a couple of studies that have "come to light" lately about doe deer being able to compensate for high buck harvests by a higher buck fawning. The general concensus I have gotten about these studies when asking many people in the research community stands the same...."whatever". There have been umpteen studies done on fawn percentages in hunted and unhunted populations, population with high buck harvest and high doe harvest, populations with aggresive habitat management (it was believed that higher doe fawns would result as the deer couldn't differentiate btw this and natural disaster), and many other scenarios. One thing remains the same...and that is that nothing remains the same. That very area you talked about, if the study were to be done again, may show something totally different. It sways back and forth and will never give you a positive and difinative answer.

Your area, by your own admission, under heavy and equal buck and doe harvests always has an ample supply of bucks. Could this be that they are only compensating for the buck harvest and having a much higher rate of buck fawns drop? Possibly, but it could also be simply that by your hammering the deer so hard, you are leaving a very healthy herd with ample nutrition, who are able to provide a maximum amount of fawns, which are dropping at around an equal rate. I know after hunting many areas in the past with very heavy buck harvests and very little harvest, it was VERY evident that there were not many bucks in the woods, before or after season. If they were compensating, someone should have told them about it, because they sure weren't doing a very good job of it.

On another note, I have to ask about this...

"It is a smaller club, only 50 members" Huh? 50 members is a small club for you guys? If I had 50 members, I think I would not have it for very long....I would have killed a few of them. [img]smileys/smiley15.gif[/img] That is alot of people to keep up with!!!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-10-2004, 08:30 AM
CPiper CPiper is offline
QDMA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 276
Default

I know of several still hunting clubs here in SC with 75+ members. One club had 130+ last season.
Even though we have 50 members, we dont always have 50 people there on hunt day, and we only hunt ONE (1) day per week - vs most clubs that allow hunting 7 days per week.
Dog drives take more folks to cut an area off. We may have 20 standers and 6 dog drivers. A typical hunt day has 30-35 people show up - makes for alot of fun and fellowship.

No matter which way you split it, it is very interesting. It "seems" as if "Nature" may have made a way to compensate if you buy into this theory!!
__________________
If you cant run with the big dogs, stay in the tree.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

South Carolina

QDM Member - Northern Piedmont Branch
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-16-2004, 04:52 PM
bigdave bigdave is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 42
Default

Talk to anyone who lives/lived in PA to find out what happens with this type of system in place. There is a browse line about five feet off of the ground through most of the state, and over forty thousand deer are killed by vehichles there yearly. Think about what that means for insurance rates in the state. This dismal policy should be abandoned quickly. It will lead to even more problems if continued to run its course. Does the term bluetongue mean anything to you southern guys ? It could !!!!
__________________
Canadian Born
Southern Bred
Livin in the Show me State
Huntin Every Chance I Get
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-17-2004, 08:42 AM
CPiper CPiper is offline
QDMA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 276
Default

SO, what is you saying BigDave??? Kill more, kill less? I dont understand what your trying to communicate? That no limit on bucks is bad and leads to diseases and such??
__________________
If you cant run with the big dogs, stay in the tree.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

South Carolina

QDM Member - Northern Piedmont Branch
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-18-2004, 07:23 PM
bigdave bigdave is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 42
Default

Piper, I should have been more complete in my reply, so sorry. What I should have said is that this type of harvest results in way too many deer for the available forage, wether natural, or manmade. You will have way too many does which leads to an overall lopsided deer herd. In addition, the deer that are in the area will not be as healthy (body weight, milk production, rack size) as they would be if they were in balance with the land. In addition, you usually wind up with an extended rut, and the resulting pressure on already pressured bucks who get run down further than normal due to stress and injury because of the longer than normal rut.
In a normal rut, bucks are actively chasing does for only a few weeks each year, and are able to recover quickly with adequate forage available. Since you all don't get snow down there, they shouldn't have any trouble getting to food, but it they are chasing does for months instead of weeks, they can be so run down that they do not recover. Those that make it to spring must put all their nutrition into building back lost muscle, and not building a rack which is not desirable. This results in many older deer which should be carrying a nice heavy rack under normal cir***stances having only marginal or even sub par racks. I have seen this in MS when I hunted there . Most of the clubs there would always shoot too many bucks and not near enough does unless the lease owner threatened to revoke the lease unless they killed a certain number of does for the year. Most of the bucks harvested in the area were underweight and carried spindly racks even though some were mature 3-5 year olds. To stay with a normal herd , you should be taking 2 does for every buck. I doubt that with unlimited bucks that this is happening. Good luck trying to change it . The bucks only guys will be screaming and moaning if you even whisper something that will cut down on their buck shooting so I don't look for anything to change unless the deer start dying from disease or something like that.
__________________
Canadian Born
Southern Bred
Livin in the Show me State
Huntin Every Chance I Get
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-19-2004, 10:21 AM
CPiper CPiper is offline
QDMA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 276
Default

10-4.

I understand now and agree. Things are SLOW and HARD to change in SC. The no limit on bucks has been around for 3-4 decades and the "Good Ol Boy" politicians help keep it in place.
Funny thing is, even in these no limit on bucks area, where the season is 4.5 months long (GUN), the area abounds with deer, bucks and historically, the biggest racked bucks in SC come from these areas - funny!!

__________________
If you cant run with the big dogs, stay in the tree.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

South Carolina

QDM Member - Northern Piedmont Branch
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-19-2004, 10:26 AM
CPiper CPiper is offline
QDMA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 276
Default

Oh, and keep in mind, while we do see a case of this or that in SC such as bluetounge or some parasite or disease, SC has never (knock on wood real hard) ever experienced any big outbreak of anything!!!!
__________________
If you cant run with the big dogs, stay in the tree.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

South Carolina

QDM Member - Northern Piedmont Branch
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-21-2004, 09:33 PM
ridgerunner ridgerunner is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Default

killing bucks isnt the problem in sc - its not killing does that is the problem - if you have a field full of 222# does and a spike walks out, he is dead - because he is a "BUCK"...... you get the politicians to change the law if you can, the dnr supports changing the system but it has to be done in the legislature - we support no limit on does and go to buck tags / that will increase the kill and increase the chance of a quality buck - but it is hard to tell the difference in a 50 # doe and a 12 pt buck when being chased by 15 walker hounds at 40 mph in the brush / shoot them go see shat you shot - hard to manage for quality deer this way...........................................
__________________
RidgeRunner

"Let him go,... so he can grow"
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-22-2004, 12:58 AM
VaArcher VaArcher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 902
Default

If the landowner that leases property to you mandates that you kill any and all deer, I can understand why clubs would do it, but, lets be honest. I do not know one hunter that would not love to go into the woods and harvest a monster buck. Not one. I know guys that are " meat hunters " that if there were 3 140 lb does in a field, and an 80 lb. 4 pt with them, they would shoot the 4 pt. instead of the does in a heartbeat. I guess there is an " allure " to killing a buck, any buck, but to me, why not take the does and shoot that buck 2 or 3 years later ? If you have that many bucks on your lease, imagine what you would have in just 3 years !

I killed 12 deer here in Va. last year with my bow, 2 more with my rifle. Only one of them was a buck, a 9 pt. I got during archery season. The rest were does. I saw 5 different 8 pt. and several 4 and 6 pt. bucks as well. I don't mean to sound as if I am insulting anyone, I just don't understand why someone with a pile of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 year old racks would want to lessen their chances of taking a big buck every year, and keep killing the little ones.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-22-2004, 08:50 AM
THETOOLMAN THETOOLMAN is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 59
Send a message via Yahoo to THETOOLMAN
Default

On my club in ga the rules are 2 bucks 4 pts on 1 side antlers outside the ears.Does pop them . seemed to work . now the state has opened doe season ALL deer season .. the hunters around us have worked on the does HARD ... NOW ALL WE SEE IS BUCKS !!! the does are getting scarce!! state law 2 bucks 10 does.... toolmans club [untill we get some does] 2 bucks 2 does .. I can't imagine any one needing more than4 deer!!![img]smileys/smiley5.gif[/img]
__________________
visit me atTHE DEER CAMP. click on the link in my profile!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-22-2004, 10:11 AM
ridgerunner ridgerunner is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Default

patterrns change / if you are seeing a lot of bucks and few does then you are accomplishing what you want, you are leveling the playing field - the reason you are seeing more bucks is because there is more competition for does they have to look harder, therefore be seen more - dont fool yourself that the does are no more / that is the first mistake in returning to the way it was / always remember this........... "if you start with only 1 doe and say that doe has only 1 fawn each year (most have 2) for 11 years and each of her fawns has only 1 fawn each year then in only 11 years you will have 1024 deer" - go ahead and try to kill them all, you cant do it no way possible - the only way is disease and if you keep the deer numbers up and it will correct its self .you are right you dont need more than 4 deer, 3 fat does and a nice 19" 8pt to hang on the wall
__________________
RidgeRunner

"Let him go,... so he can grow"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-22-2004, 09:38 PM
VaArcher VaArcher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 902
Default

I don't need more than 4 deer, but I donate to hunters for the hungry, and have 2 needy families that I donate directly to.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-24-2004, 10:34 AM
Chad Dauthier Chad Dauthier is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: United States
Posts: 157
Default

bigdave, we have blue tongue a round here every year. I would venture to tsy that it occurs EVERYWHERE in the couthest every year, but the problem is they die at a time that most people aren't in the woods, and predators and the like clean up the carcasses. About every 15 years or so we have a pretty bad outbreak locally. Two season ago we lost around 405 of our herd just before the start of hunting season..... That is the extreme, but it happens to some level everywhere in the state every year. No real big deal, and no way to combat it. Nature taking it's course, I say.

We are backing down on our doe harvests this year on our club, though. Some of it has to do with that. I would say we may end up with around 2 bucks/doe harvested this year. We will re-adjust next year.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.