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2020 banner year for big racks?

4/27/20 @ 7:43 AM
User since 3/15/08

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.


5/3/20 @ 11:46 AM
User since 12/20/12

Well Redbook, here are a few you can take a look at;

-  University of Texas- Kingsville. Comanche Ranch study

- Texas A&M Wildlife research Institute 

- University of Missouri

- More local flavor, try Deer and Deer Hunting magazine.

Search any of these and many more with keyword "culling" and you'll have plenty of reading material.

Of note is the fact that nearly all research on culling effects take place in the Southern U.S. as these are the only locations with  LARGE high fence operations that simulate as close as possible free ranging deer herds. Studies done without a control group (no culling) are essentially worthless.

FWIW, I wasn't "calling you out". I was disagreeing with what you were stating as fact. Called you by name just like you did on the previous post so maybe time to put on your big boy pants...

5/3/20 @ 8:01 AM
User since 12/25/09

Please tell me about these studies. I will research anything you can come up with as I have not seen any of these many conclusive things you speak of. Believe me I have dealt with many so and so said and my friend told me things while I was on the Conservation Congress and I usually found no truth to them. But if you can give me some info as to where I can see these studies I will more than be glad to change my thinking on culling. But also realize the property I hunt and cull on is farm country and we all talk about what we see and yes some farmers don't tell about the big deer they see but most in this small community (people that is, large in land) do talk and show trail cam photo's on their phones when we see each other at various places we meet. So I do have a good feel about what deer we see and harvest each year. I took four deer last gun season off the property I cull on and one on November 10th at our north country cabin. Not to brag but when I die there will be a lot more deer and fish for the rest of you.   Really you need to call me out by my handle, how insecure and small, just state your opinions or FACTS about the topic and go on with your life. I tire of the JV attitudes on Lake Link but if I offended any of you please except my heart felt apologies.

5/3/20 @ 6:37 AM
User since 12/20/12

Actually Redbook, science holds true on only half your argument.  Yes, without a doubt, genetics play a HUGE part in a bucks potential  development.  Few would argue that point. However,  several extensive university studies have conclusively proven that culling has no appreciable impact on the "quality" of bucks in a free ranging deer population. "Culling" bucks is just a "feel good" management plan providing no benefit to a herd other than rationalizing your kill decisions. 

5/1/20 @ 6:25 PM
User since 12/25/09

Sorry dude but you are wrong, opinions are just that an opinion. One holds no more credibility that another. Science is on my side thou.

5/1/20 @ 11:48 AM
User since 1/10/03

redhook - I'm glad you read up on genetics.  Now read up on "culling."  IMO, "culling" is the single biggest excuse people use for shooting undersized deer.  Culling should be your absolute last deer managment tactic, and should be deployed with extreme care.  This involves following the same deer year after year.  Not determining off this year's picture that "this deer has to be at least 3.5 and is only a basket six."  In my 20 years in the game, I've learned these things to be true:

1. Most people have no idea how to age deer, especially not on the hoof.

2. Culling is talked about WAY more than it should be.  As mentioned, it is nearly impossible to impact genetics in a free range heard.  

3. Those that talk about culling, aren't deploying the practice correctly.  You CANNOT determine a "cull buck" without tracking that deer for multiple years.  

4. I would venture to guess, 90% of "culled" bucks in Wisconsin are immature deer.  9% have unimpressive racks due to injury, and less than 1% were mature deer that somehow had "inferior" genetics.  JMO.

I'm guessing most of the "cullers" would have called my gun buck this year a cull buck as an excuse to shoot him.  Lucky for me, I don't require any reason beyond holding the proper tag.  Largest bodied buck I've shot post rut.  I HIGHLY doubt his rack has anything to do with genetics.  My guess is an injury/irritation on the right side during growth.  Then of course he broke the right brow tine fighting.

4/30/20 @ 8:59 PM
User since 12/19/10

And don’t forget that half of the genetics come from the doe. Blue ribbon buck breeds with an inferior doe and no telling what you’ll get. You see it in people, one kid takes after the mom and the other may take more after the dad?  But anyway, yeah a well fed deer herd will always fair better than an under fed one. 

4/30/20 @ 7:28 PM
User since 5/17/11

"Culling" inferior bucks to improve genetics has been proven impossible in wild populations. Has no effect.

To the original post, harsh winters and spring snow limit antler growth. Mild winters and early springs help antler growth. But they cannot boost a bucks antlers above its genetic potential. Focus more on harvesting mature deer and less on the weather.

4/29/20 @ 9:33 PM
User since 6/6/10

Certainly cant hurt the deer health for surviving winter... but when theyre actually starting to develop anlters is when imo they could ceratainly use an extra boost in diet to really help antler growth, so although it got them through winter.... spring summer/late summer is when theyd really need it to help.. again imo and also im leaving out the other factors and just focusing on the question at hand..

4/29/20 @ 6:35 AM
User since 12/25/09

I am not trying to stir the pot but if you don't believe genetics play a large part in antler/body size please read up on the subject, why do breeders pay large sums of money for large bucks with massive racks? I have seen many 3-4 year old bucks with small basket racks that disprove that age = big rack because the genetics for a large rack isn't present so those deer will never have a large rack no matter how old they are. Granted if you kill an animal before it achieves its maximus you never know what it may become. On the property I hunt we try and cull older deer that have small/deformed racks to improve the overall genetic diversity, we check trail cameras before season so that we know what to shoot for the desired effect preferably during the archery season before they pass on their poor genetic code for future herd health. My FFA teacher (48 years ago) was the first to enlighten me on genetics, if you breed inferior stock don't expect to get blue ribbon results.

4/28/20 @ 7:48 AM
User since 6/9/08

The food availability might help antler growth this year but  my guess is that with all the snow and bad weather the last half of gun deer season there will be a good carry over of last year's bucks. This will mean more mature bucks running around this coming hunting season.

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