I hunt Marathon, Taylor, Chippewa, & Clark counties and there were a lot of corn fields left standing all winter. I have to believe that the deer wintered and fed heavily on these fields. And should result in a healthier spring herd in these areas. The deer do not have to get back to their "summer weight" and more of their energy this spring/summer can be used for horn growth. In 45 years I never saw even close to the # of fields left standing and there are everywhere in this area. Do you think this will impact the rack size this fall? I personally think this could be a really good year for big bucks in the ag areas.
2020 banner year for big racks?
AGE, NUTRITION, HABITAT, GENETICS.... Land managers can influence three out of the four. The more you can do to positively influence the first three, the better your results will be in maximizing the potential on your property. Easy concept . Lots of (FUN) work!!
Redhook I googled what you said but none of it supports culling.
s.s esox got it. Only way to manage bucks in wild populations is by age, not antler size. Even if antler size is the goal.
Whitetail antler facts-Big Game Logic google and read
Culling, food, genetics, is all just diversion away from the truth and an excuse to justify pulling the trigger on a smaller younger bucks. Its very simple, Its all about AGE. In the vast majority of this state If hunters in WI want larger bucks they need to stop killing the 1.5 and 2.5 yr old bucks and kill more does.
One last point on culling. Using the same logic wouldn't killing the biggest trophy be doing the reverse and taking the best genes away from your herd?
I'm totally crushed!!!
Some seem to look at deer like your cow herd in your pasture with nowhere to go. Deer are territorial, and typically fawn bucks have to move away to establish their own territory. They are the ones supposedly getting the genetics from your culled herd. Also like many have said 50% of genes come from does. Also you cannot control who breeds with who in the first place. It's just impossible to have any influence. The only way I could see it having any influence at all is if many connecting landowners all did the same thing and they had enough guys to shoot most of the "inferior" bucks but that would involve using tags on deer and you only get 1 per licence so it's not happening. The whole culling craze is a Texas high fence tactic involving unlimited buck tags and constant monitoring, and even with that those operations always seem to have more cull bucks to sell the next year.
I've found most people discuss culling as a way to half apologize for not shooting a "trophy". Don't apologize and shoot what you want.
Why would you block him? He was civil, and did provide some good information. He is right, culling wild deer has been proven time and time again that it doesn't work. Unless you can control areas that are fenced, or control multiple square miles of land with aggressive harvest, you cannot make any measurable impact on genetics. Even then you will never be able to see much impact - remember does carry 50% of the genetics. Guys that are culling bucks off their 80 acres are not doing anything to increase antler potential quite frankly.
BLOCK USER really works, no more mdfls.
I'm surprised none of this string of comments touched on the need to "manage" the population if you want good horn growth. Over-browsing brings the deer into the spring weaker, and it does affect horn growth. Also, if the doe population is too high, the genetically superior bucks don't get to do all of the breeding. Sometimes the scrawny buck just happens to be in the right place at the right time (sounds like high school years). We have had the same land since 1979. Central WI. Big cedar swamp surrounded by corn fields. All private land. 35 years ago, we'd each see 50-75 deer on opening day. 5-6 of those would be bucks. And in those days, if it had horns it got shot. All crap horns. Even the older bucks (175 lbs dressed we figured to be a 4'ish year old. Then the days of earn-a-buck, plus our area's farmers started to get alot of ag tags. Deer sightings went way down - horn growth significantly better. We see better bucks today than ever before. Some of it fewer/healthier deer, some of it QDM. I don't have an opinion on the culling of bucks because we didn't it, they were all bad. Until E-A-B and Ag tags....So...Will horn growth benefit from all the corn standing...I think yeah. But don't overlook the need to manage the total herd if you and your neighbors can collaborate. PS - interesting note - friends land in Crawford county had tremendous bucks for years. Now with CWD - no one wants to shoot/eat the does. Deer herd up significantly and they are seeing fewer giants. A three year old over there would score a good 150 or so. Genetics also plays a big part. Shoot more. Sorry 3 beers - I rambled.