Ask QDMA: What’s the Best Doe:Buck Ratio?

doe buck ratio ask qdma

Jonathan Dendy of Tennessee sent in this Ask QDMA query: “I have a question about keeping a good doe:buck ratio. What is the ideal doe:buck ratio for my hunting area?”

Kip Adams, a certified wildlife biologist and our Director of Education & Outreach, supplied an answer for Jonathan in the Facebook video shown below. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about deer sex ratios, but Kip provides sound guidelines and practices in the video. One of the key points: Don’t get caught up in trying to reach a one-to-one ratio. It’s probably not possible to reach, and if you could, you won’t be able to hold it there for long.

Kip has written on this subject before. For a thorough explanation of doe:buck ratios, the best way to estimate them, and how to set your goals accordingly, read Kip’s article, The Reality of Doe:Buck Ratios. For a quick overview, watch the video.

What’s the Best Doe:Buck Ratio? Ask QDMA“Don’t get too caught up in trying to reach a one-to-one doe:buck ratio.” In this #AskQDMA video, Kip Adams answers a question from Jonathan Dendy of Tennessee about doe:buck ratios and how to manage them.

Posted by The Quality Deer Management Association on Tuesday, September 6, 2016


  • Jim Stickles

    Great video Kip! I would like to add a caveat that in areas where fawn production is poor (like much of FL) or areas where unpredictable severe winters occur (like in New England and the North Central US), trying to balance the deer herd by increasing doe harvest is usually not recommended. Harvest regulations in such areas often do not allow much for doe harvest, meaning young bucks often “take it on the chin.” In such areas balancing sex ratio is best accomplished by allowing more young bucks to survive into older age classes while keeping doe harvest minimal. Those practicing in QDM are likely already letting a majority of young bucks go, which is a great first step to balancing sex ratios regardless of location.

    • Kip Adams

      Excellent comments. Thanks Jim.