Harvest Recommendations

     Harvest is the key to managing a deer population.  It maintains deer numbers

   within the carrying capacity, or food supply produced by the range.  Harvest also

   is used to obtain and maintain a desired adult sex ratio and a desired age structure

   of the population by adjusting both the buck and doe kill.  Harvest

   recommendations area made annually based upon that year’s census data. 

   Composition of the herd plays a vital role in this determination as well as your

   personal goals.


     Bucks: Buck harvest will primarily be based on your goals for the property.

   Depending on your desire for quality or quantity, buck harvest will differ. If your

   deer management objective is to produce bucks with larger antlers, then they

   must be allowed to reach older ages.  This means that the harvest of young,

   immature bucks should be restricted.  Restricting hunters to mature bucks along

   with the harvesting of bucks with undesirable antlers  is a good management



     Does: The recommended doe harvest will depend upon the overall deer density,

   the estimated carrying capacity of the range, the observed sex ratio, and fawn

   production and survival.


     With the knowledge of approximately how many bucks, does, and fawns are

   present on your ranch at any giving time, the decision about how many deer

   should be harvested during the upcoming deer season can be made. Buck to

   doe ratios and fawns to doe ratios are also good indicators of your progress 

   toward obtaining your goals and objectives.


    The Real World Example

     Take the example of two similar ranches with 200 deer on each ranch. Ranch A has a

   buck/doe ratio of 1:1 while Ranch B has a 1:3 ratio. Ranch A has 100 bucks and 100 does

   while Ranch B has 50 bucks and 150 does. If both ranches have a 50% recruitment rate,

   Ranch A ends up with 50 fawns and Ranch B ends up with 75. Therefore, the population

   of Ranch A is 250 deer the following year while it is 275 for Ranch B. Obviously a more

   intensive effort will be needed on Ranch B to maintain the desired deer density.


     Let us help you develop an excellent white-tailed deer population on

 your ranch through sound management.



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