Drakenstien wrote:Having enough does and bucks to have a healthy population, but not to many so that the land takes a hit( by being overgrazed).
Just remember there are two questions.
1. Carrying capacity of the land - basically number of deer per acre regardless of sex (may need to adjust a little if buck eat more than doe)
2. the sex ratio of that population
Drakenstien wrote:It is also my belief that clear cutting and thin cutting has had a positive impact on deer. I believe this because more food is able to grow on the forest floor to support them and more places to feel comfortable because it is so thick.
No doubt about it. The carrying capacity of old growth unbroken forest is far less than broken farmland.
Drakenstien wrote:The trick is finding that happy medium.
There is a tradeoff between total number of deer harvested and the number of mature buck harvested. My argument is given that it is crystal clear that the large majority of hunters care far more about the number of deer they can harvest, it should be the management approach, especially in places like PA where the number of deer harvested per year is far lower than the number of hunters. Reducing the total number of deer harvested in order to get some better bucks means that a large number of hunters get no deer at all. However, it places like GA where the number of deer harvested exceeds the number of hunters wanting to harvest deer, I don't have as much of a problem. And there are some places where it is necessary to impose an earn-a-buck type program to ensure enough doe are killed, so there I really don't care whether they apply antler restrictions or not.
Think of it like a cattle herd. You can have 100 head of cattle in a particular pasture. Would any farmer every have a 50/50 ratio? It would be a very low number of bulls. Deer breed differently, so you need more buck, but still not a large fraction to maximize your sustainable harvest. If you want to produce old bulls for some reason, you can't produce as many steers for beef.
Drakenstien wrote:Also the control of does is very important to hunters because if you had a lot of does the bucks would not move( no need).
The young bucks would move because they don't know any better. This is another problem with antler restrictions. The number of deer seen while hunting goes down as the number of mature buck goes up, especially if your season is after the rut like it is in PA.
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