Tag Archives: doe management
Well we are clearing out some hard drive space for a bunch of cool up and coming projects involving theGunCaseBlanket, but we have hours of old footage from years of playin’ that just needs to be shown. So here is your first taste of what will no doubt be an entertaining pile of episodes of the new Patriot LWM Outdoors TV!
This video is the 1st in many short clips from our film vault that need to find their way to the interweb. It contains a rare double angle kill of a mature doe with a bow in our constant quest to reduce outrageous numbers of female deer in our area. Currently we are in the middle of an exciting filming season with our new product the GunCaseBlanket, preparing for some big plans in the realm of TV and video production, but we have years and years of entertaining film footage stored up from long before the GunCaseBlanket came along. We at Patriot LWM Outdoors have been tired of the same old BS hunting shows for a long time, so our Youtube channel is going to host some of the most entertaining outdoor related programing you can find. So sit back, relax and enjoy, and don’t forget to share with your friends!
Check out some members of the Patriot LWM Crew as they volunteer their time as part of the Western Chesapeake Watershed Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association. 2 seperate events were mentioned in the June / July 2011 issue of Quality Whitetails, a publication of QDMA. One being the first WCWB Lecture Series and the other being the 2011 Maryland NRA Show, both spreading the message of Quality Deer Management.
*This blog entry is a repost from the Patriot Land & Wildlife Blog*
When the idea of planting food plots for white-tailed deer rolls across your tongue in front of concerned community members or agricultural professionals fed up with deer damage, the response is often the same. “You want to plant what??? The last thing we need around here is more deer, and feeding them will surely do just that.”
This statement is not far from the truth but the reasoning behind why it’s a good management decision may surprise you.
The Origin of a Concept:
When Patriot LWM first began management efforts on a 250 acre tract with 132 acres of crop production agriculture and the remainder in timber and other cover types, the deer damage issue was at a breaking point. Hunter harvest practices were the first issue to get a facelift on the property including the increase in the reduction of adult female deer (does) and implementation of other techniques in line with the principles of “Quality Deer Management”. Initial population analysis identified the need for an extremely high number of female deer to be removed from the property, so much so that alternative harvest techniques needed to be considered.
Supplemental Food Plots:
A well rounded wildlife management program incorporates habitat and forage management into its population control measures. So as a wildlife manager I am somewhat partial to the idea of supplemental food plots as a way to create a year round nutritional program for the overall health of my white-tailed populations. Food plots of varying species (such as clover, chicory, cow peas, etc.) with varying maturation times can be installed to supplement existing food sources (row crops, acorns, etc.). They can also fill gaps in the deer’s diet after other food sources are exhausted, such as after crops are harvested or acorns are depleted. Depending on their intended use and location, it is very simple for supplemental food plots to double as a diversionary food plot as well.
Diversionary Food Plots:
My definition of a diversionary food plot is simply a plot installed for the purpose of diverting a deer’s feeding attention off of one source and onto another, such as off of row crops and into a clover mixture. Once again, your species selection along with its location will be the main determinate of the success of that diversion. Planting something deer have no intention of eating until late December will be of no comfort as the corn and soybeans get devoured in late summer.
For the purposes of our project, Patriot LWM worked with the farmer and
located a mutually beneficialsite on the property. 15-30 feet of field edge bordering existing tree lines were donated to the “diversionary food plot fund”, another fact which raises eyebrows in an agricultural community hesitant to give up tillable acreage to the wildlife battle.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of this technique.
Running the numbers:
- Low yield in these sacrificed rows already due to deer damage on edges and shading under the “drip line” of trees
- Reduced expenses on unused acreage
- Hunters gladly supplement the cost of food plot installation for own benefit
- Increased yield in the remaining acreage
- Increases recreational lease value of the property
- Supplemental food source for improved health of deer population
- Increased harvest opportunities
- Creates harvest location along edges when normal standing crops would hinder harvest
- Deer can be concentrated to particular areas for increased harvest
- Brings deer to the “staging areas” near fields earlier allowing for more harvest opportunities before light expires
- Keeps local deer populations on the property long after crops are harvested allowing hunters chances to increase harvest throughout the course of the regulated hunting season
- Attracts deer from neighboring properties which may not have effective management programs to allow their harvest during daylight hours instead of them entering onto the property to feed outside huntable hours.
- Provides space for hunter access to remove harvested deer while crops are up
In later blog entries we will take a closer look into the specific results of this project but initial findings are very positive. Diversionary food plots coupled with educated hunters practicing the principles of “Quality Deer Management” should be an option worth exploring for many landowners and farmers trying to win the war on deer damage. Stay tuned!
With the increase in development, a decrease in farm land and hunting opportunities around much of Americas growing suburban areas, deer populations have seemingly exploded. Contrary to popular belief, this increase in population does not necessarily mean more mature bucks are being harvested. Adversely, hunters are increasingly running into a syndrome we at Patriot LWM have deemed the “Drop in the Bucket” syndrome. The average hunter’s freezer will hold around 2 deer at a time and the suburban areas they are hunting in often holds upwards of 60-100 deer per square mile. Although the key to the reproductive potential of a population lies in its doe herd and its associated age structure, many hunters are so overwhelmed with their increasing numbers that they view their attempt at doe management as “A drop in the bucket”. This mentality has lead to a basic disregard for the harvest of does and those “2 deer a year” end up becoming antlered bucks. The mature bucks are quick to fall from the population with their 3.5 and 2.5 year old counterparts falling soon after. With the extreme level of reproductive age does, a varying percentage are being breed later in life, producing smaller fawns later that spring making 1st year bucks already behind the 8 ball. Increased competition for food stores and other resources only further reduces the overall health of the upcoming buck generations.
How do we fix a broken system?
Education, cooperation and culture change. These 3 things have and will change the lopsided herd dynamics of our nation’s suburban deer populations. In our next blog entry we will dig deeper into each of these 3 solutions.