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I have three questions about deer ratios. Here they are:

1) Whats the ratio of bucks to does that are born?

2) Whats the ratio of bucks to does over all?

3) What is the ideal buck to doe ratio for a good deer herd?


Thanks for all replies in advance.

*DAN*

[This message has been edited by a_ball4u (edited 10-09-2000).]
 

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I have three questions about deer ratios. Here they are:
1) Whats the ratio of bucks to does that are born? Pretty close to even 1:1.

2) Whats the ratio of bucks to does over all? Difficult to say. Varies by area. Others may have some specific guestimates.

3) What is the ideal buck to doe ratio for a good deer herd? For mature animals (defined as 2 years +, I'd be happy with a buck for every two does. (Let's keep in mind that the ratio of yearling and fawn bucks & does is pretty close to even prior to the hunting season) Ratios may sound pretty good but you need to know what age group of deer are being included in the ratio and the time of the year. Suffice it to say we certainly don't have a surplus of 2+ year old bucks and the an improved ratio would be welcomed.


Thanks for all replies in advance.

*DAN*

Just a few of my thoughts Dan. Let's hear from others!

Boyd

 

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Just to offer some other perspectives to your questions:

1) Boyd is correct they are born pretty much 1:1

2) The ratio of bucks to does varies throught the country and is largely dependent upon the managgement that is being used. It seems that it ranges from 1:1 to as much as 1:5 throughout most of the country. It seems that I have read where it is significantly higher in states such as PA where it may run as high as 1:9. Some of the best managed ranches in TX may even approach 2:1 but that is exceptional.

3) In my opinion, 1:1 is ideal and 1:2 is acceptable on open land.

As Boyd mentioned, you need to concern yourself not only with the buck/doe ratio but also the age structure of your bucks and does.

These are just my opinions nothing I can produce to back these up but are based on data I have seen in the past.

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Managing today for a better tomorrow, let him go so he can grow!

[This message has been edited by Laturkeyhtr (edited 10-09-2000).]
 

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Sex ratio governs a natural mating competition between males, and the long term future of a species (at least it has proved efficient throughout time), as such it looks most important to me.
Your whitetails management problems are strikingly similar to that of all antlered deer meet, especially including red deer ones in Europe, namely density and sex ratio, this is why I am posting this : namely sex ratio in favour of females (hence density problems too).
The natural scheme is that only biologically mature males are supposed to mate : from what I read in this forum and elsewhere, your buck reach maximum body and antler weight anywhere between 6 1/2 and 8 1/2 years old, both weights are bound together, both determine the pecking order.
Thus the goal is to have enough such males to do the job without being exhausted, left without enough fat reserves to survive to the following winter.
It must also be added here that, when enough such males are present, they will keep younger ones away from the females, at rest, which will allow them to enter winter in good conditions, to pursue their normal body and antler growth and to ultimately reach their full genetic potential,for the herd (and hunters) benefits !
To protect yearlings males, one way or another, is a right step in the good direction (except if this protection address mostly to the weakest...), yet it is far from being sufficient : if shot the following year, or the next one, they would not have really improved the needed male herd structure (enough biologically mature ones as defined above).
It is obvious the cause of all the problem is trophy mania(called here "trophy-itis").
I learned from a world wide recognized deer expert, from your continent, that the caves deer paintings of the Stone Age had been painted by young men "Who painted their dreams" (trophy wise).
This strengthened my imposed opinion, trophy mania was there to stay endlessly !
From there it became obvious to me the only way to reach a good male population structure by class of age to garanty a natural mating competition, was to neutralize the noxious consequences of a totally artificial male predation by another opposite artificial one : the sex ratio must be strongly skewed in favour of males, up to the point there will exist a full year cull of males above a 1 / 1 sex ratio.
Of course this can only be done by decreasing the male or increasing the female cull (also in favour of an easier density control), or both at the same time.
This would impose hunter's "sacrifices" for several years : these might seem long in a hunter's life, but they would only be a dust of time for the species biological and social welfare.
Furthermore,the gathering of numerous large racks,which would not penalize deer, would become a just reward and testify of hunter's good management.
friendly yours,
Jack.



 

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Jack, it seems that the trophy-itis is here to stay and from what you say has been here for a looong time.

"This would impose hunter's "sacrifices" for several years : these might seem long in a hunter's life, . . . " I personally just hope that all of my sacrifices wind up producing a "buck of a lifetime" for me. I have taken enough of the little spikes and such that almost any sacrifice is not enough sometimes.

But I too suffer from an -itis I suppose. I can't truly pass them until they reach trophy status, but then QDM is not about trophys, it is about producing quality deer in balance with their habitat.
 

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To Laturkeyhtr,
Stone Age trophy mania has been demonstrated by Prof. Dale GUTHRIE, University of Alaska in "Paleolithic Art as a Resource in Artiodactyl Paleobiology". I hold this from Prof. Valerius GEIST.
I am in total agreement with you about the fact that QDM is "about producing quality deer in balance with their habitat", however the point is that ENOUGH REALLY mature males to insure a normal mating competition and males social well being, are needed to this effect.
As long as they will not be on the hooves, one has no right to speak of a quality herd !
As trophy mania is there to stay, the only way to get enough mature males is to let young ones grow, up to the needed age !!!
The more young ones shot, the less will grow to reach full maturity !!!
This is why the only way out is to generally lower the male cull up to the point, a full year male cull will have been spared.
This obviously IMPOSES ALL hunters to play the game, inside the whole range of a given herd whatever it is (I have no idea about how large it may be).
Once the above goal is reached, trophy mania will have been neutralised, hunters will be able to gather nice large racks, WITHOUT penalyzing the species, there will always be the needed number of true dominant males, mating competition will keep as Nature intended it to be, at the appropriate density there will be a quality herd, and the gathering of numerous "bucks of a lifetime" will not only have become legitimate as a just REWARD, but they also will testify of a good management.
Enjoy yourself in the coming days, "go out" a lot, the more you do, the more chances you will get to find the buck of a lifetime, you most likely deserve.
I almost forgot : the more little spikes the higher the density above the quality producing one, as long as this problem is not solved, you will keep meeting them, and the more shot, the less bucks will grow.
Cheers,
Jack.


 
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