ARs and Managing Deer Herds

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Replies

  • Dshaw94Dshaw94 Posts: 109 Deckhand
    H20dad said:
    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. 
    ^^^^ This guy, he must be trying to take benelli's title!
    "I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me"
  • etommy28etommy28 Posts: 310 Deckhand

    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!

    Woodsrunner, We hunt in Suwanee County very near the Madison County line. Unfortunately many years of farming has left our soil in a bad state. While we are rebuilding our soil, we have been feeding high quality deer chow with a lot of success. We did see a jump in the average antler size of our younger bucks. Our older bucks had what they had. but we did kill two deer over 120" last year(one was 5 years old the other was 7, the 7 year old was 130"as a 6 year old) and i passes on a 3.5 year old that was right there. But you are right the deer have the ability for the most part but poor soil is absolutely and issue. 


  • etommy28etommy28 Posts: 310 Deckhand
    bgeorge said:

    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. 

    Private land Doe tags are 1 per 150, and thats not nearly enough many places. 
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,371 Officer
    It may not be enough for some and way to many for others.  The key thing for me is if you are managing down to DMU then the DMU should have a set number for all.  In areas where they are thick give plenty to WMA users also. If it is so bad that WMA users get none then the surrounding lands should not get them either.  

    Let science and DMU preference set the goals and then make it all consistent.  

    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: 7,666 Admiral
    Having hunted many large private farms in florida, leave their land to them to manage...
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,371 Officer
    There is a process to do just that.  It is the 

    Private Lands Deer Management Permit Program

     http://myfwc.com/hunting/by-species/deer/private-lands/  

    It requires a true management plan with biologist and other strings.  It is not a guy with 500 acres who thinks they are going to "Manage".  There are several people who do just that.  

    IMO if you make everyone conform to one standard the standard will become less restrictive.  You may have a few years with a tight leash but the private land people will have more push back than the public land person who had most of their doe access removed to match "public desires".  Chess vrs Checkers
    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.
  • DayzGonByeDayzGonBye Posts: 80 Greenhorn
    Rich M said:
    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.  
    Maximum public experience?  What the heck does that mean?  ORV, equestrian, improved roads for cyclist and hikers?  Maximum public experience for hunting?  What does that mean?  Having more deer, seeing more deer, harvesting more does?  That is such a subjective metric that it really doesn't mean anything.  Do you want the most amount of allowable hunters in the WMA's?  If that is the case then be prepared to have your deer herd become very nocturnal.  You can have lots of deer but if you have lots of people in the woods during hunting season you're probably not going to have lots of daylight activity, ie. not going to see deer.  Nocturnal patterning is a well documented response to hunting pressure.  Although there can be exceptions to this, what's the point of having more deer if they won't be encountered by hunters?  

    Want to shoot more does?  Well...you better be prepared to decrease the total amount of deer in the woods.

    Want to compare Peninsular Florida to Georgia?  Good luck with that.  The largest agricultural activities in Florida are Citrus, Sod, Cow-Calf/Cattle, and vegetables.  Vegetable farmers shoot deer at night to keep them off their crops.  Citrus and sod offer little to no nutritional value to the deer herd, and cow/calf is almost always done on private lands with improved pasture management again providing very little nutrition to the deer herd.  Deer only consume about 10% of their diet from grasses.  This isn't cotton, soy, and corn like you see through the "true" deep south.  

    It's just funny to me how so many people use words like "laughable" and "crazy" to do describe what we do with our game when they're are simply too many dynamics at play for both the biologic systems to be managed with any certainty and then factor in the "people" factor.  It will always be a crap shoot.  All we can do is used the best available data to manage in a way that hopefully helps the biota as a whole.  Single species management has been proven to not be the "best" way to do things whether that's panther or deer.  
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    man that was a lot of info..
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    I've always said...maximum sustainability for the land..period That means habitat management mostly because if your habitat is not used properly you fail to achieve max sustainability. If you manage for QDMA and dont have the habitat you've failed again, and if you manage for more mature deer and not the habitat you've failed again... anyone see a trend here?
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 853 Officer
    binellishtr ... anyone see a trend here?
    No, it’s all cattails where the deer closest to me live. I can’t see anything including a trend....
  • DayzGonByeDayzGonBye Posts: 80 Greenhorn
    I've always said...maximum sustainability for the land..period That means habitat management mostly because if your habitat is not used properly you fail to achieve max sustainability. If you manage for QDMA and dont have the habitat you've failed again, and if you manage for more mature deer and not the habitat you've failed again... anyone see a trend here?
    That's just not correct.  Maximum sustainability for the land?  Another great sound byte that is meaningless.  

    Fact...  managing for the maximum amount of deer on the landscape will limit habitat for ground nesting birds like quail and turkey.  

    If you don't care about the upland birds, turkeys and those hunters than fine.  If you're a private land manager do what you will allowable by the law, but expecting a state wildlife agency to manage each species and each habitat to "MAX" sustainability is literally an impossible task.  Wildlife ecology doesn't happen in a vacuum.  

    What we can do is ask questions, protect our legacy from anti-hunters, respect all users, and be critical of the FEDs, State, and WMD's when they are actively allowing landscapes to be degraded through poor management practices.  Again picking out one critter and saying cool things that sound good on the internet like, "Max sustainable land management" just doesn't work as an actionable plan.  Sounds great though.  




  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    Your train is off track.. where did I ever mention single species management?

    And for the record dont tell me land cant be managed for max sustainability for each and every natural species living off of it.. that's just not true!
  • DayzGonByeDayzGonBye Posts: 80 Greenhorn
    Your train is off track.. where did I ever mention single species management?

    And for the record dont tell me land cant be managed for max sustainability for each and every natural species living off of it.. that's just not true!
    The thread is about AR's and deer.  The discussion is about deer.  You don't seem like the kind of person to be interested in the ecology discussion so I'll make it a simple as possible.  No one species can live at it's MAX capacity, sustainably or not, without having an impact on another species; plant, animal, or other.  So what I'm saying is true.  The max amount of long leaf pine won't allow the max amount of hardwoods, the max amount of wire grass won't allow the max amount of beautyberry.  The max amount of turkeys wouldn't allow the max amount of bobwhite and so on and so forth.  So keep on with that "Fake News" politico non-sense of "MAX SUSTAINABILITY FOR ALL" and I'll just apologize for my statement not fitting your assumption of truth.  
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 619 Officer
    I was going to let Binelli speak up for himself before I responded.  And he did.  But I think you're still misunderstanding him.  Yes, he has a proclivity for being suspect of agencies.  Maybe unfounded.  But maybe not.  Regardless.

    I have no doubt he was not promoting single species management.  Pretty sure he meant max sustainability, all things considered, and considering all species.  He's a big advocate for habitat.  Habitat for deer works for all the others.

    Yeah this thread is about deer and deer management, which he was speaking to.  Not exclusively.


  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    Spangler, you can also tell him to read as much as possible about #fakenews - SLM plenty of it on the WWW

     https://www.esa.org/esa/science/reports/managing-land-use/
  • Egreen cobraEgreen cobra Posts: 226 Deckhand
    I don’t mind the AR’s so much as the the short time frames you get for a quota.  Would love longer “seasons” for quotas. 
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    lets go back to the first week being quota and thats it
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,868 Moderator
    One WMA I hunt I spend 10-12 days on per year. I see plenty of bucks and had several years where I could've killed a deer on every other trip to the woods. Since the second year we had APR's implemented statewide I began to see a difference in the strength of the rut. I also saw a few more bucks. This past year in about 10 days of hunting I saw over 15 different bucks with 10 of them being legal.

    So many complaints about not being allowed to kill any deer were met with claims that you would be able to shoot just as many deer and they would be bigger and the rut would be stronger. For me those claims played out exactly how I figured they would. The science is sound.

    One thing that won't help you is if you aren't hunting the rut. Don't buy into the voodoo that FL doesn't have a rut. Yes we do and you better know when it's happening and hunt accordingly. This is one of the problems with the quota hunt system. Just because they're holding a hunt doesn't mean it's anywhere close to the rut. You may be wasting your time entirely.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    So...?
  • DaveNJaxDaveNJax Posts: 108 Deckhand
    james 14 said:
    One WMA I hunt I spend 10-12 days on per year. I see plenty of bucks and had several years where I could've killed a deer on every other trip to the woods. Since the second year we had APR's implemented statewide I began to see a difference in the strength of the rut. I also saw a few more bucks. This past year in about 10 days of hunting I saw over 15 different bucks with 10 of them being legal.

    So many complaints about not being allowed to kill any deer were met with claims that you would be able to shoot just as many deer and they would be bigger and the rut would be stronger. For me those claims played out exactly how I figured they would. The science is sound.

    One thing that won't help you is if you aren't hunting the rut. Don't buy into the voodoo that FL doesn't have a rut. Yes we do and you better know when it's happening and hunt accordingly. This is one of the problems with the quota hunt system. Just because they're holding a hunt doesn't mean it's anywhere close to the rut. You may be wasting your time entirely.
    Yes and this is where people that just want to take a kid out and shoot a deer with them are screwed. Hope you get a quota, hope its in a good area, hope it during the rut, hope theres no storm blowing it out, hope its not on your weekend to work for some (like me). All this means is I have to go to Ga to show my kid how to deer hunt.

    I dont give a rats behind about antler size. In fact we would rather have a younger deer because they taste better. On top of that, Buck + Rut = TERRIBLE to eat compared to young buck or Doe any other time. My wife and kids would rather not eat an older buck at all especially on killed during the rut. I just wish you could take at least 1 doe when you have the chance to ...where you have the chance to. Then dealing with the AR would be far more “palatable”
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 4,232 Captain
    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. 
    Why would a poacher only kill bucks? I mean he is a poacher, he is killing the deer for meat illegally, what difference would it make to a poacher what sex the deer is?

    I don't think many deer in Taylor county make it past 3 years old, or at least they didn't used to, personally.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,551 Captain
    edited July 19 #53
    surfman said:
    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. 
    Why would a poacher only kill bucks? I mean he is a poacher, he is killing the deer for meat illegally, what difference would it make to a poacher what sex the deer is?

    I don't think many deer in Taylor county make it past 3 years old, or at least they didn't used to, personally.
    Its 40% practical and 60% cultural. At the turn of the last century when whitetails were nearly wiped out in Florida, it generally came  to be understood that it was better to kill bucks of any size and leave producing does along to replenish the population because it took few bucks of any breeding age to service a bunch of does like one bull among a herd of cows. 

    That very practical outlook became a cultural imperative among the Crackers. It became immoral to kill a doe. Even many hardened meat poachers wouldn’t kill a doe unless she was past bearing age. In North Florida where some sustinance poaching continues, young, fit, does are passed over for bucks of any size. That’s the way grandpappy did it so that’s the way Jr. does it now. 

    So what you’re left with is sustinance poachers who won’t kill a doe because they perceive to do so would adversely effect their own personal resource, and horn poachers won’t kill them just because they aren’t trophies. In between are a few that kill whatever. The younger the poacher, the more likely he either poaches for antlers or shoots whatever. 
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 4,232 Captain
    Well it is good to know that even poachers have some sense of conservation. :)
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,868 Moderator
    DaveNJax said:
    james 14 said:
    One WMA I hunt I spend 10-12 days on per year. I see plenty of bucks and had several years where I could've killed a deer on every other trip to the woods. Since the second year we had APR's implemented statewide I began to see a difference in the strength of the rut. I also saw a few more bucks. This past year in about 10 days of hunting I saw over 15 different bucks with 10 of them being legal.

    So many complaints about not being allowed to kill any deer were met with claims that you would be able to shoot just as many deer and they would be bigger and the rut would be stronger. For me those claims played out exactly how I figured they would. The science is sound.

    One thing that won't help you is if you aren't hunting the rut. Don't buy into the voodoo that FL doesn't have a rut. Yes we do and you better know when it's happening and hunt accordingly. This is one of the problems with the quota hunt system. Just because they're holding a hunt doesn't mean it's anywhere close to the rut. You may be wasting your time entirely.
    Yes and this is where people that just want to take a kid out and shoot a deer with them are screwed. Hope you get a quota, hope its in a good area, hope it during the rut, hope theres no storm blowing it out, hope its not on your weekend to work for some (like me). All this means is I have to go to Ga to show my kid how to deer hunt.

    I dont give a rats behind about antler size. In fact we would rather have a younger deer because they taste better. On top of that, Buck + Rut = TERRIBLE to eat compared to young buck or Doe any other time. My wife and kids would rather not eat an older buck at all especially on killed during the rut. I just wish you could take at least 1 doe when you have the chance to ...where you have the chance to. Then dealing with the AR would be far more “palatable”
    And that's why there's in a youth exemption in the law. With some planning and (unfortunately) intricate knowledge of the system you can get your kid on on a buck.

    I'll agree with you that the quota system has problems but it's a necessity until such a time as we can manage the herd rather than the hunter. APR's are a step in the right direction but as you can see there are many who can't see the forest for the trees and cry foul anytime an attempt at managing the resource comes around.
    BTW - APRs aren't about antler size. They're about protecting 1.5 year old bucks to tighten up the rut period and allow more fawns to survive due to most of them being dropped at the same time. Predators have less of an effect on fawn recruitment when more of them drop at the same time. It's a proven tactic that has already been used successfully across the state.

    Your concerns about killing a buck during the rut will, unfortunately, not be resolved on public land. The main solution would be heavy access restrictions which keep pressure down so that bucks move around during daylight hours during non-rut times. This defeats the purpose of public land. Another solution would be to hunt the western panhandle where they have a mini-rut period in November. The bucks aren't all stinky and run ragged but they're definitely out and about more rubbing and scraping. It's quite an odd phenomenon actually.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    James, you seem very up to date on AR's respectively.. can you advise us S Zone guys who have had them for many yrs how it has helped our deer herd?

    Thanks
  • wayviswayvis FloridaPosts: 34 Greenhorn
    bgeorge said:
    It may not be enough for some and way to many for others.  The key thing for me is if you are managing down to DMU then the DMU should have a set number for all.  In areas where they are thick give plenty to WMA users also. If it is so bad that WMA users get none then the surrounding lands should not get them either.  

    Let science and DMU preference set the goals and then make it all consistent.  

    I can agree some what, but even in DMU's you may have a lot more deer in some areas and not so many in others. So making every thing the same in a DMU may not work out very will for some clubs and WMA's.  Besides WMA's for the most part have always been managed different than private lands. I would say WMA's are like the private lands deer management program; because most WMA's are large enough to have their on management plan just like the private lands deer management program.



     
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    great to see people finally speaking up..
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,371 Officer
    wayvis said:
    bgeorge said:
    It may not be enough for some and way to many for others.  The key thing for me is if you are managing down to DMU then the DMU should have a set number for all.  In areas where they are thick give plenty to WMA users also. If it is so bad that WMA users get none then the surrounding lands should not get them either.  

    Let science and DMU preference set the goals and then make it all consistent.  

    I can agree some what, but even in DMU's you may have a lot more deer in some areas and not so many in others. So making every thing the same in a DMU may not work out very will for some clubs and WMA's.  Besides WMA's for the most part have always been managed different than private lands. I would say WMA's are like the private lands deer management program; because most WMA's are large enough to have their on management plan just like the private lands deer management program.



     
    wayvis said:
    bgeorge said:
    It may not be enough for some and way to many for others.  The key thing for me is if you are managing down to DMU then the DMU should have a set number for all.  In areas where they are thick give plenty to WMA users also. If it is so bad that WMA users get none then the surrounding lands should not get them either.  

    Let science and DMU preference set the goals and then make it all consistent.  

    I can agree some what, but even in DMU's you may have a lot more deer in some areas and not so many in others. So making every thing the same in a DMU may not work out very will for some clubs and WMA's.  Besides WMA's for the most part have always been managed different than private lands. I would say WMA's are like the private lands deer management program; because most WMA's are large enough to have their on management plan just like the private lands deer management program.



     
    If they set dmu goals based on "hunter prefferance" and not what is biologically acceptable for a dmu then they should be consistent for all of dmu. If you want to separate WMA plan from dmu then it should also separate hunter prefferance out with surveys at the WMA from people actually using it. Once certain people start having their access reduced they may answer surveys a little different in the future  
    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.
  • wayviswayvis FloridaPosts: 34 Greenhorn

    bgeorge said:
    If they set dmu goals based on "hunter prefferance" and not what is biologically acceptable for a dmu then they should be consistent for all of dmu. If you want to separate WMA plan from dmu then it should also separate hunter prefferance out with surveys at the WMA from people actually using it. Once certain people start having their access reduced they may answer surveys a little different in the future  
    If we manage for maximum sustainable yield, which is biologically acceptable then we could go back to what we had. Not that I'm advocating that, just making a point that deer are not just managed on biological data. A few DMTAG meeting ago when bag limits was first discussed I asked the question...….is there a biological need to change the bag limits? The answer was pretty much no. It is being done because of hunter preference, distribute the harvest more, and help build the herd in some areas. This is what has been asked by hunters in many DMU's because they are not seeing many deer, which would include where I hunt in NE FL. 

    Access to WMA's is a whole different issue and need to be discussed in a whole different tread as it has been done many times before. I don't see how you are going to lose much more deer hunting access then what we have already. Most wma's are quota and only have 9 days of gun deer hunting with very limited quotas in order to provided the hunters with a so call quality hunt; according to the FWC. This is why I no longer hunt wma's and have not bought a wma stamp for over 5 years now and plan on never again to buy one until things are changed.   
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,868 Moderator
    James, you seem very up to date on AR's respectively.. can you advise us S Zone guys who have had them for many yrs how it has helped our deer herd?

    Thanks

    We've run this rat race for at least 5 years. What you're hinting at has nothing to do with this thread and I have no desire to dive down that rabbit hole.
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