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4747 Views 41 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Sometimer
Several years ago I bought a 650 acre ranch and high fenced it. This property is all native South Texas brush and is very thick and dense. After killing 95% of the native deer I brought in both bucks and does with superior genetics to try and improve the quality of deer on the ranch and have had tremendous success. All of these deer were just turned loose in the 650 acres. The original bucks (3) and does (9) that I bought were turned loose with tags in their ears so we could identify them from any native deer that may have escaped our initial harvest. These 3 bucks are now beyond their prime breeding and antler growing years and contribute nothing to the ranch because now there are much better deer of prime breeding age. In your opinion would you pay to shoot a 150 to 160 class wild deer that happens to have a tag in his ear or should I just eliminate them from the property on my own? These deer are wild animals and difficult if not impossible to find except during the rut. It would be nice to recoup some of my investment if possible but I just want to know how other people feel about this before I make my descision. I am split right down the middle and can see both sides and would like to hear other peoples honest opinions without this turning into a high fence low fence, pen raised bashing issue.
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I do not think you would have a problem selling those bucks. As far as a management issue, you need to start shooting some of your deer before things get out of hand. 70 deer on 650 acres is way to many. I hunt on 7500 acres and we have around 350 deer with a buck to doe ratio at 1:1.5. You should probably sell those buck and throw in a few does along with them. People will pay to hunt, especially if they can kill multiple animals. I would get some advice from a biologist on what your numbers should be and then let your heard grow.
Rack Ranch said:
I really don't see how you can make this comment without knowing anything about the property..they have 1 deer per 9.2 acers..how can you say thats out of control?? do you know what his browse line look like?? what type of volunteer forbes does the land have?? prescribed burns?? do they plant food plots, spring or winter?? maybe both..how many protien feeders are on the 650?? how many tanks are there?? By his post it doesn't sound to me like he is stumbling around in the dark guessing at his management plan... Walker

I made a comment regarding the particular ranch that I hunt on and my past experience. The ranch where I hunt is a total of 125,000 acres and has been strictly managed for 15 years. A professional biologist recommends our deer harvest every year on a game survey done in October. We do not harvest trophies until the age of 6 1/2 and we are not allowed to shoot these deer until after Dec. 20 to allow for breeding potential. I know what the brush in south texas is like and how much protein is in it. When times are good, life is good. You do not need food plots or protein in wet years, but in a drought you better have food and water or the deer will not make it. We have to kill an average of 150-200 hogs a year just to keep up. I have seen some pics of deer that you have posted and they are nice. But, I hunt on free range land that allowed me to harvest a true record book deer in 2003 that netted 172 1/8 B&C. The same morning I shot my B&C, a 187 and 175 gross were shot within a hour. This was not a coincidence. We did this with a lot of hard work and taking time to shoot all recommended does and cull bucks. Being one of the youngest guys on the lease, I had the duty of shooting and cleaning most of these deer for the last 15 years. I posted a deer last year on this site and the comments I received since you could see feeder legs was it is a breeder buck in a pen. This particular buck was a 5 1/2 year old that would score between 185-190. He is still alive and probably will be harvested by my dad and hopefully he will make B&C. So, don't get all bent out of shape from me putting my .02 in. I am speaking from years of experience.
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