ARs and Managing Deer Herds

spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 651 Officer
Maybe it's too soon for this discussion, idk.  ARs was recently mentioned and being fairly new around here, I hadn't come across it, believe it or not.  Or I was confusing what people were saying thinking they were talking snapper and just glossing over it...

Anywhoo.. So I read an interesting thread from 2014 about it.  I guess just before AR went into affect.  Man, I'm even more late to the party than I had realized! Just missed the boat on that one....

So did antler restrictions only justgo into affect in 2015?  I saw some mention it would only take a couple years to see the benefits.  Is that true? if so, are they working?

Also, on a side note.. QDM vs ???  Is there a structured program for for increasing quantity instead of focusing on quality?  What other management philosophies are there in contrast to QDM?

Thanks ahead of time!!!
«13

Replies

  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 1,758 Captain
    edited June 5 #2
    The other 2 management philosophies are Traditional Deer Management (maximizing quantity at the expense of quality) and Trophy Deer Management (maximizing quality at the expense of quantity).

    QDM is the middle ground between these extremes and focuses on herd health and balancing density as well as demographics to varying degrees.

    The FWC's APRs are intended to protect the majority of yearling bucks from harvest while also protecting the minimum number of 2.5+ yr old bucks possible. It's one step beyond Traditional Deer Management but many steps away from the Trophy Deer Management/ego stroking philosophy that opponents like to paint it as.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 651 Officer
    Ah, ok, cool!  Funny I've been reading quite a bit on QDM but hadn't run across mention of alternatives. Didn't really find anything googling.  Read this and put in traditional deer management and first thing that comes up is QDM's website and an article discussing all three.  Sometime you just gotta know 'what' to search for!  THanks!!!

    Being a middle of the way guy, QDM might strike a chord with me.  It'll be interesting to learn the other aspects regardless of where I end up on the fence.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 937 Officer
    In states like Florida where antler growth is rather pathetic compared to the rest of the country anything other than maximum sustainable harvest is a waste of deer dying and not being harvested.  Lots of hunters would be very happy with a spike out of places like the big cypress. 
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 1,980 Captain
    Hopefully the Deer Management Units will help level out the ARs as per local situations...the DMTAG should get an update on what is known after these first few years of the new rules...Ocala, June 28.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,794 Admiral
    How can they measure results if they didnt have any data to benchmark against?
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 1,758 Captain
    Not sure I can agree that antlers potential in FL is pathetic. Maybe less than most other places but There are still some pretty nice bucks harvested in FL. Regardless, the goal of QDM isn't to grow bucks with larger.antlers.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 1,867 Captain

    Let me tell you something about antler size-----I've beat my drum and pounded my tambourine about this many, many times before, but no one will believe what I say or either not pay any attention, But----

    Our old Wildlife Biology Professor, Dr. Ernie Provost, taught us this 55 years ago when I was in undergraduate school, and it is just as prevalent now as it was then. ANTLER DENSITY IS DIRECTLY CORRELATED WITH THE AMOUNT OF P2O5 IN THE SOIL! Florida soils are generally lacking in this element, and if you farm you know this. Increase the P2O5, and over a 3-4-5 year span you'll see an increase in antler density and overall size.

    Deer need to browse on plants that are high in nutrients, and that's very understandable. Notice I said BROWSE. Deer are not grazing animals like cattle. Deer need browse plants like hardwood scrub, bushes, etc. that they can eat the leaves and tender buds off of. You will do far more to attract deer--and increase antler size--by cutting down scrub hardwood species then fertilizing the areas cut down with fertilizer. This will attract deer better than a food plot 10 to 1. The higher the fertilizer is in N-P-K the better, and about 12% of each of these elements is about minimum. Its best to get a local agricultural fertilizer company to blend a 15-15-15 mix and use that. Even an 18-18-18 if you can get it blended that high. And remember---its the high P2O5 that is going to show up in the antler size! (after 3-5 years. don't expect miracles the first 2 years!).

    There are isolated areas in north Florida, maybe down to the Ocala area, where soils are much better and higher in nutrients than the state overall. You'll occasionally see a rack that came out of the northern parts of Jefferson and Madison counties (Ashville-Cherry Lake-Pinetta) that point this out perfectly). Its the P2O5 level in the soil that does this!

  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,794 Admiral
    Do the antlers taste better with that p205? asking for a friend whose a meat hunter :)
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 1,758 Captain
    I guess you could eat a few and get back to us. Most could care less because that don' plan on eating the antlers.

    I hear they are popular with some in Asia. Maybe head there and look into it for your friend.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 937 Officer
    Or you can just allow shooting spikes and eat more deer. 
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 651 Officer
    Well I'm def in the eat deer camp.  I could give a hoot about a trophy.  But that doesn't mean there isn't good reason for letting bucks live longer.  Not saying there is either.  I have no idea.

    If QDM improves herd health and that translates to better sustainability, then it's a no brainer.  I don't want a bunch of starving tiny deer struggling to survive in the herd, just so I can say there's more of them.  Plus I want to eat healthy deer.

    Anywhoo... I just want to learn about the specific practices for each of the philosophies.  I'm tryin to learn something here.

    Anyone care to share opinions on how the ARs are playing out so far?
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 Posts: 4,147 Captain
    It’s pretty simple the older the deer the bigger the body the more meat you get . Not hard to kill a spike at all . 
    living life as i like
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 937 Officer
    It’s pretty simple the older the deer the bigger the body the more meat you get . Not hard to kill a spike at all . 
    Hard?  So we should recruit new hunters to harder hunting?

    If big buck were easily double or triple the size of spikes like fish are capable of doing I’d agree with your assertion but young deer taste better and you aren’t losing that much meat. 
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 Posts: 4,147 Captain
    It’s hunting not a sport that you get a participation trophy . Kids should be raised to enjoy the woods first and foremost . Then the kill when earned . More bucks in the woods increases a kids enjoyment and time in the woods anyways . 
    living life as i like
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,794 Admiral
    More harvest-able deer per acre no matter the sex makes for a more enjoyable experience.
  • MCSHunterMCSHunter Posts: 364 Deckhand
    I kinda agree with the principle of the AR's, and have seen a slight difference in the Cypress. What really gets my goat is the WMA's that have a 4pt on one side rule and nothing in place to take the mature, TROPHY, six points with no brow tines. We are seeing more and more of these deer and despite asking FWC to come up with a plan to take them, they are once again sitting on their hands. I sure hope we don't pay the price for this inaction down the road by knocking off the 8's and having the six's doing all the breeding. They must need some P205 :wink:
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,035 Officer
    edited June 7 #18
    Binelli and I agree on something!  Public land should be managed for the maximum public experience.

    ARs in FL are laughable.  For me I have enough trouble just seeing any deer, never mind having to worry about 3 pts per side or 10 inches.  

    The crazy part is that I usually see deer in GA, can always get a license to hunt, has a 4 month season, and it is only a couple hours drive a couple times each year.
    As opposed to only hunting special quota areas for 3 or 4 days every other or third year, driving an hour or more each way to fight with folks over spots, and usually not see anything.  
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 Posts: 4,147 Captain
    It’s hunting not a baseball game that you get a PARTICIPATION TROPHY FOR  raise your kids to enjoy the woods and earn the kill .
    living life as i like
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,596 Captain
    In my neck of the woods the ARs aren’t stopping harvest of spikes and forkies. Hunters like me who follow the law are just putting more in the freezers of the neighbors who don’t care about the law. 

    I’ve come around to agreeing with light ARs in principle. But they’re useless where they can’t be practically enforced. 
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,596 Captain
    edited June 7 #21
    Actually more than useless. They’re having the unintended consequence of handicapping honest hunters for the benefit of dishonest hunters (poachers). That’s a big deal. 

    Chances of seeing a buck in my area are nearly zero because the local poachers kill all bucks. Its so bad that even the local FWC officers gave up their leases in my area because two locally known poachers account for nearly 100% of the local buck take and they’ve wiped the bucks out. 
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 1,758 Captain
    spangler said:
    Well I'm def in the eat deer camp.  I could give a hoot about a trophy.  But that doesn't mean there isn't good reason for letting bucks live longer.  Not saying there is either.  I have no idea.

    If QDM improves herd health and that translates to better sustainability, then it's a no brainer.  I don't want a bunch of starving tiny deer struggling to survive in the herd, just so I can say there's more of them.  Plus I want to eat healthy deer.

    Anywhoo... I just want to learn about the specific practices for each of the philosophies.  I'm tryin to learn something here.

    Anyone care to share opinions on how the ARs are playing out so far?
    You're on the right track. First gain an understanding of what the different approaches are and what their pros and cons are and then advocate for whichever approach you believe is best.
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 1,758 Captain
    ARs can be effective in improving buck age structure and adult sex ratios. Both have positive effects on herd health.

    I don't doubt that there are isolated areas where non-compliance/poaching/etc. are significant enough to substantially impact their effectiveness but, on balance, I believe they are benefiting the resource and the resource users.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 937 Officer
    It’s hunting not a baseball game that you get a PARTICIPATION TROPHY FOR  raise your kids to enjoy the woods and earn the kill .
    How can you earn the kill when you are only able to get into huntable areas every 4-5 years?  That’s moronic. 

    I will outhunt anybody on a level playing field. The Fwc stacks the deck for poachers and people with large groups who can manipulate the point system to gain annual access. That works to effectively exclude most hunters and all new hunters by statistics. You will of course disagree but I’m not writing this for you to be persuaded but the rest of the people reading along. 
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,378 Officer

    I can tell you that I have seen more pictures of nice bucks in the last few years.  There are some big antlered deer in areas of Tampa bay due to not being open to hunting. 150 class bucks.  They are harvested solely by poachers and cars.  We will never be a Midwest state but we will see more with a little age. 

    I did not find the APRs that restrictive in the ways they were implemented.  I worked to try to ensure that kids could still harvest the smaller bucks allowed for them to be successful earlier.  I have heard issues with people claiming kids shot smaller bucks when the adult did it.  If we were to get a tag system I would be for allowing a youth to only kill one lesser buck a year and the rest need to meet the DMU goals. 

    The key thing to me is if we are going to manage by DMU than all aspects of every harvest needs to be aligned with DMU goals.  Private land doe tags need to be reduced at the same rate as public land.  If doe tags are being issued at 1 per 500 acres on private lands then a WMA should have them available at that same rate.  We should not be operating under different standards in the same DMU. The only exception is the few people with over 10,000 acres that truly have an individual management plan and it is usually more intense than what a DMU is anyways. 

    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,794 Admiral
    Nice bucks in Fl have been here well before any of this stuff started. I can assure you of that. people kept it more of a secret as well. They were hard earned not patterned on game cameras either.
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,378 Officer
    Nice bucks in Fl have been here well before any of this stuff started. I can assure you of that. people kept it more of a secret as well. They were hard earned not patterned on game cameras either.

    Do not disagree on they were here before.  Just that now I think there is more and are being take by people who have not put in as much sweat.
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,794 Admiral
    Absolutely, more are being taken because it is so much easier. As in the case of big gators being baited and in the day time.
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 Posts: 4,147 Captain
    H20dad said:
    It’s hunting not a baseball game that you get a PARTICIPATION TROPHY FOR  raise your kids to enjoy the woods and earn the kill .
    How can you earn the kill when you are only able to get into huntable areas every 4-5 years?  That’s moronic. 

    I will outhunt anybody on a level playing field. The Fwc stacks the deck for poachers and people with large groups who can manipulate the point system to gain annual access. That works to effectively exclude most hunters and all new hunters by statistics. You will of course disagree but I’m not writing this for you to be persuaded but the rest of the people reading along. 
    PLENTY OF PLACES OPEN TO HUNT ACROSS THE STATE THAT KILL PLENTY OF DEER
    living life as i like
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 937 Officer
    When you live south of lake o those places are a geographical distance that makes better hunting places like other states a wash. 

    Most of the places you are referencing are 5-7 hours driving from 1/2-1/3 the population of the state. So day hunting is out. Driving another 5-7 hours (overnight) puts you in states that have more deer, bigger deer, better antler growth, and much easier access (fewer bs rules open season is open season) and cheaper hotel rates, food, gas etc. 

    We have tons of acreage in south Florida that we are excluded from hunting (quotas and/or vehicle access) and then when you get a chance to hunt the qdm levels are another huge barrier. 
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 1,758 Captain
    So is it the 10 inches that you're finding to be a huge hurdle? How short are your legs?

    I'm beginning to see why some might equate protecting yearling bucks with a government conspiracy to grow massive FL 109 trophy 8s all across the state.
«13
Sign In or Register to comment.