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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As many of you hunters are also fishermen, you're probably well aware of the STAR Tournament each summer. You're also well aware that our bays are stocked year in and year out with thousands upon thousands of fingerlings.
I just had a crazy thought pop in my mind, and figured I post it up...
Why isn't there an organization (such as CCA or SEA for fishing) that promotes/supports hunting? One that would "stock" the state with deer (preferably deer with great genetics)? One that would release "tagged" deer for annual tournaments such as the STAR tourney?

I think it would be pretty darn great! Instead of ranches fencing in great genetics, an organization such as the one I'm describing could spread great genetics all across the state!

With a STAR type tournament, the end result would probably even mean fewer and fewer poachers... and many more legal hunters buying licenses and what not. Your thoughts?
 

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I am haunted by still waters.
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Not a bad idea, but you already have plenty of competition.

Almost every county has a deer contest and then there are the big contests like Muy Grande and Los Cazadores.

Texas has nearly 4.5 million deer too, more than twice the amount of any other state.

Success rate is over 60% in Texas for all licensed hunters which is in the area of 1.5 million hunters, yet we still have a over population issue regarding whitetails.

Then you have the public vs private land issues on the stocking.

There would be a pile of stipulations and plenty of legislation to make the stock programs happen or be "shot" down.
 

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Theoretical Ecologist
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The main problem in most areas of Texas is too many deer, something that stocking more would just make worse.

If you had areas with great whitetail habitat, but no deer, then stocking would work. But that would be a most unusual find.

Great genetics is a good start, but that quickly gets diluted if there are too many does and inferior racked bucks existing in the stocking area. You also must have great nutrition, minerals, etc. available.

The only way this works in today's world is inside a large high exclosure fenced area where you can do intensive management and keep deer from outside the fence from coming in to pollute the genetics and overpopulate just like existed before the fence was built.

To manage the whole state like a high fenced property, it would take everyone's cooperation to remove inferior racked bucks and take out lots of does to correct the severely out of balance buck/doe ratios to exist in more areas.

To "force" everyone to be on the same page would take some sort of tag system where a hunter has to bag a certain number of does and/or cull bucks and have them checked by a warden before being awarded a tag that would allow them to take a trophy sized buck.

Enjoy...

 

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It would be great to have a state sponsored program like that, but it would get shot down a million times before it got off the ground...

First off, you have folks that want to hunt native, natural deer that have not been touched by man's hands.... You see these arguments pop up all the time when High Fences are brought up....

Secondly, the ranches would fight this tooth and nail (mainly high fenced places). They would lose customers as the deer herd started producing deer with larger racks and they would benefit ZERO. They are a business and they dont like losing money... I dont blame them though... its just like any other business that the government would stick their nose in...

The list could go on and on.....


I wouldnt mind some better genetics, but it would never fly..... dangit
 

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Theoretical Ecologist
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Contrary to what some would think, I doubt high fence ranch owners would join together to mount any objection to this idea. They certainly wouldn't have any sway with TPWD over the 650,000 deer hunters in the state.

Introducing better genetics outside a managed high fence environment would be a massive waste of time and money unless drastic improvements were first made in habitat and existing herd population numbers and to greatly reduce the buck-to-doe ratio imbalance.

There more deer in Texas now than ever existed, and more deer than many habitats can properly support. The biggest failure in deer management is failure to control excessive deer numbers.

Stay with me here...

Pick any spot in the Hill Country where deer with small bodies and small racks are the norm. High fence that property and run as many deer out as possible when you close the last section of fence. Then have TPWD do annual surveys and follow their recommendations as to how many surplus deer need to be removed. Practice selective management by removing excess does and inferior antlered bucks. Try to get the buck/doe ratio as close to 1:1 as possible. While doing all that, make sure you have good water and food plots and as well as supplemental feeding as needed.

In just as few years, those same deer will have dramatically higher body weights and more than double the B&C score.

As stated in my previous post, the only why this could be accomplished statewide would be for every single one of us to be in the page and in full agreement about it. Of course, that's not going to happen, and there would remain problem areas that aren't ever hunted.
 

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PURE SOUTH TEXAS
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In some areas smaller land owners form wildlife co-ops. They have a biologist from that area donate his advise to the co-op. TPWD could require that you have a certain # of acres or cover under a co-op to apply for these genetically superior deer.Then maybey a lottery system or something. I don't know, but I have thought of this before, and think it could be a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Why would this be against any current laws?
If a high fence rancher decided one day to take a few of the great deer on his property (or their fawns) and drop them off down a lonely FM road, what's to stop him? If he decided to attach a tag to a legal buck and offer a prize to the hunter that killed that buck and returned the tag to him, what law says he can't do that?

As for statewide management... my thought wasn't for there to only be superior bucks in all of Texas... I know the effect wouldn't be overwhelmingly noticeable, but with a few genetically superior deer being introduced here and there around the state, they're presence would definitely make it's way into the gene pool.
 

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Theoretical Ecologist
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As for statewide management... my thought wasn't for there to only be superior bucks in all of Texas... I know the effect wouldn't be overwhelmingly noticeable, but with a few genetically superior deer being introduced here and there around the state, they're presence would definitely make it's way into the gene pool.
warcat, I want to commend you for bringing up the idea. It shows that you're thinking!

But once again, genetically superior deer aren't the magic bullet by themselves unless you can isolate them in an area where you have killed out out all of the existing herd and can take measures that exclude the surrounding existing deer herd from coming back in and overpopulating the place with too many does and inferior racked bucks.

But you can double the B&C score in three years just by practicing sound scientifically proven management with existing deer without fooling with genetics at all.
 

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good looking single member
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OK like fishing kill tournies we would go by weight. And just chunk the meat when a winner is found or go to shoot and release with drugged darts? Lets keep this sport traditional hunt and not have a ESPN King Ranch Classic where Canadians and Team Monster energy drink pays more than you to have the right to hunt. Here's a beter sugestion........take a child from your area hunting who may otherwise never hunt out to your lease and you will have a better time than winning a kill the most and biggest contest.
 

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OK like fishing kill tournies we would go by weight. And just chunk the meat when a winner is found or go to shoot and release with drugged darts? Lets keep this sport traditional hunt and not have a ESPN King Ranch Classic where Canadians and Team Monster energy drink pays more than you to have the right to hunt. Here's a beter sugestion........take a child from your area hunting who may otherwise never hunt out to your lease and you will have a better time than winning a kill the most and biggest contest.
X2
couldn't have said it any better myself
 
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