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bigboarstopper
06-27-2012, 10:32 PM
So heres my thought and question. I have a ranch where the land owner says no deer are to be taken unless they are 3 points are better (A zone costal blacktail).

There are plenty of forked horn bucks on the ranch. Many are quite "mature". My thought would to shoot the "mature" forked horned bucks. These bucks should have had their third antler 2 years ago if they had the genetics. I believe they simply dont have the genetics for bigger racks and are simply breeding more forked horned bucks. Thin out the forked horn bucks out, breed in more 3 point or better deer in.

Yes? no?

wjc
06-27-2012, 10:58 PM
I think it also depends on other factors as well.

Nutrition is a big factor in horn development as well as injury. Genetics can also be a factor but I'm nut sure it's strictly a genetics problem.

Thinning them out might help. I'd try it as an experiment for a couple of years.

There's a pretty good magazine called Deer & Deer Hunting that discusses these types of topics from a scientific standpoint. You might want to see if you can find a copy.

taperxz
06-27-2012, 10:59 PM
So heres my thought and question. I have a ranch where the land owner says no deer are to be taken unless they are 3 points are better (A zone costal blacktail).

There are plenty of forked horn bucks on the ranch. Many are quite "mature". My thought would to shoot the "mature" forked horned bucks. These bucks should have had their third antler 2 years ago if they had the genetics. I believe they simply dont have the genetics for bigger racks and are simply breeding more forked horned bucks. Thin out the forked horn bucks out, breed in more 3 point or better deer in.

Yes? no?

Yes and no. The theory you are talking about is excellent. Problem is having an experienced hunter decide how mature the buck is.

Many older bucks lose their mass and points and revert back to forked horns because they just won't be as active during the rut. However they will when they mate produce what they originally had, they just wont mate with as many does. My understanding is that to keep a "good herd of deer" the ones you want to cull from the herd are the 3x2 management bucks. They tend to have their genes dominant on the fork side of things and not really produce actual 3 pointers. In my experience i say shoot em all. If you see them during the season then they are a dumb azz deer for showing their face.:D

chicoredneck
06-28-2012, 5:18 AM
So heres my thought and question. I have a ranch where the land owner says no deer are to be taken unless they are 3 points are better (A zone costal blacktail).

There are plenty of forked horn bucks on the ranch. Many are quite "mature". My thought would to shoot the "mature" forked horned bucks. These bucks should have had their third antler 2 years ago if they had the genetics. I believe they simply dont have the genetics for bigger racks and are simply breeding more forked horned bucks. Thin out the forked horn bucks out, breed in more 3 point or better deer in.

Yes? no?

Yes. Game managers who are trying to improve the genetics of their herd do exactly what you described. By continuing to shoot the 3 point + deer and never shooting the forked horned the forked horn genetics become more disirable from a survival standpoint. Under a well managed ranch a mid-aged deer who is still a 2x2 or 2x3 is culled. Even 3x deer are often culled. Under ideal conditions many game ranchers expect their deer to be a 2x by their first or second independent summer and a 4x by their 3rd summer. Young deer who are already a 4x4 are left alone to mature and reproduce.

Management bucks sold on high end ranches are usually a deer (and often nice mature ones too) that does not have the rack that the game managers expect it to have at it's age.

jmonte35
06-28-2012, 7:44 AM
Coming from a whitetail background and managing a property with my family...................We only shoot mature bucks. We have seen a lot of young bucks with goofy racks that grow up to be relatively nice bucks. Putting a point limitation on deer is just someone trying to manage a population of bucks not genetics...IMO.

Also....food/stress plays a huge factor in antler growth. Less time spent searching for food and type of food will play a big factor. If you are really trying to manage a good population start with food plots and shooting mature bucks.

The last thing is just something I believe....not sure if it's backed by data or not........but I believe you either have good genetics on your property or not......can you make the best of what you have??? Absolutely but if you don't have it you don't have it. You have to remember also that does give half of the genetics to their offspring...believe it or not does are a very important part of large bucks.....that's the tough part....you can't tell if a doe has good genetics.

So with all this my opinion would be to first start off by supplementing their food with food plots (since I just found out you can't use feeders). Than try to only shoot mature bucks. Of course if you see a mature buck that has a ****ed up rack don't pass it...shoot it so you can hopefully keep him from breeding more does.


Edit:....also deer management doesn't happen over night.....it takes years and years and years.....and money, money, money. The property we have in NY has been managed for 18 years now and I would say in the past 3-5 years we finally expect to shoot one book buck every year. It's literally a year round job for my family.....you have to worry about predators, food, water.....It's rewarding though. So if you get in the mindset that you're doing it for your kids...than you'll be in good shape. :)

duckman1
06-28-2012, 7:54 AM
^^^ I agree it's more important to shoot mature deer than worry about the point count for now. You also need to look at the carrying capacity of the land and buck to doe ratio's. Doesn't matter what you let walk if there is not enough feed for the population.

Yotehnter
06-28-2012, 8:26 AM
Some of those bucks can be forks all their lives.A guy shot this old looking buck with very thick heavy fork on his ranch also A zone . The buck was 9 years old and they believe it always had a fork horn.

Rusty_Buckhorn
06-28-2012, 8:55 AM
I think it's a good idea to shoot mature forks, get them out of the bloodline. BUT, if those fork genes are the only genes on the ranch, it'll always be a fork ranch. I've been whacking a fork or 2 off the same ranch for 20yrs(mostly mature bucks), still never anything more than a fork... maybe a crab claw or 2. Over the yrs, I've watched bucks reach their potential, then nosedive to a weird scraggly spikes. IMO, nutrition doesn't play much of a role here in the west, it's more of a genetic thing. There's always plenty of brush for browsers to feed on. I've never killed a skinny deer in my area.

jmonte35
06-28-2012, 9:16 AM
Rusty....I agree with you on all fronts...but nutrition will play a factor in antler growth.....Just because a deer is well fed doesn't mean that it is getting the right nutrition for its full potential. There is tons of documented proof that the less stress and less work a deer has to do to get food will significantly help antler growth. Types of forage are just as important.

Just because a deer gains weight doesn't mean its reached its full potential for antler growth. I'm not saying that it means you will grow monsters in a year but food plots do help.

Like everyone has said it's very hard to "cull" genetics but you can maximize the potential of your herd.

Yotehnter
06-28-2012, 10:03 AM
If i had land That held deer i would throw out some trace mineral blocks they are the brown one's Then plant some red clover.Also throw some beef cattle out thier.

DirtyDave
06-28-2012, 10:07 AM
Shay, seems like you need to explain to the owner whats really going on with the Mature forkys needing to be taken out. Do you have ANY 3x3's on the ranch?
CA is a tough place to manage deer due to not being able to take Does in most zones.
Sounds like your hands are pretty tied on this one.

Rusty_Buckhorn
06-28-2012, 11:24 AM
Just because a deer gains weight doesn't mean its reached its full potential for antler growth. I'm not saying that it means you will grow monsters in a year but food plots do help.

I agree, good nutrition will give you bigger racks.... but it will not add any points or change the genetics of the deer.

MJB
06-28-2012, 2:17 PM
Have you talked to a bio......sometimes they have good info for your area on genetics and feed and how they both play a role for antler growth.

Good luck sounds like a good problem to have!!

bigboarstopper
06-28-2012, 3:25 PM
Sounds like my thoughts aren't too far off. Like I said, it's the land owners rule so there isnt much I can do about it.

Without reading every comment back here's a few extra facts. The valley this ranch resides in used to hold some pretty impressive bucks from mounts and photos I've seen from the 50's through the 70's. There is plenty of food for these deer. From the acorn crop to the dry ground farming the deer are well fed.

PS. Too many Damn lions.

chicoredneck
06-28-2012, 3:39 PM
Sounds like my thoughts aren't too far off. Like I said, it's the land owners rule so there isnt much I can do about it.

Without reading every comment back here's a few extra facts. The valley this ranch resides in used to hold some pretty impressive bucks from mounts and photos I've seen from the 50's through the 70's. There is plenty of food for these deer. From the acorn crop to the dry ground farming the deer are well fed.

PS. Too many Damn lions.

There was a ranch we used to hunt that had some great bucks, but the lions seemed to take some of the nices ones every year post rut. There was a high buck to doe ratio and the bucks spent a lot of time fighting each other during the rut. The big bucks would get tired and weak and the lions would pick them off.

toby
06-28-2012, 4:39 PM
Some areas just cant produce big deer, even if genetics were superb Nutrition and nutrients are just as important if not a major importance, PS I have never heard of or seen a large deer from the A zones tho I have seen 1 good small frame 4x5 but it looked like a Whitetail rack. I am sure there have been a few good ones so if anyone has some pics please share.

taperxz
06-28-2012, 4:59 PM
Some areas just cant produce big deer, even if genetics were superb Nutrition and nutrients are just as important if not a major importance, PS I have never heard of or seen a large deer from the A zones tho I have seen 1 good small frame 4x5 but it looked like a Whitetail rack. I am sure there have been a few good ones so if anyone has some pics please share.

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab131/taperx/IMG_0264.jpg

BLACKTAIL!! Dressed out at about 150lbs

toby
06-28-2012, 5:02 PM
^^^^Ya das o goood un!

pieeater
06-28-2012, 7:44 PM
Some areas just cant produce big deer, even if genetics were superb Nutrition and nutrients are just as important if not a major importance, PS I have never heard of or seen a large deer from the A zones tho I have seen 1 good small frame 4x5 but it looked like a Whitetail rack. I am sure there have been a few good ones so if anyone has some pics please share.

Two of my friends have killed deer in the mid 150s in A zone. One in the SF Bay area the other in Mendo. Ive got video of a lake county buck that was later poached that had to be low to mid 140s. But they are few and far between compared to B zone.

pieeater
06-28-2012, 8:02 PM
Not monsters but these two I killed in B zone very close the A zone border
http://www.fototime.com/BA4BCD03D158383/standard.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/7E86C9E694BD36B/standard.jpg

My best A zone buck barely 115 but for public land A zone I wasnt gonna pass it up.

http://www.fototime.com/7772FBAD5D45303/standard.jpg

pieeater
06-28-2012, 8:13 PM
157 Bzone that i didnt kill
http://www.fototime.com/1C0B0E35507D474/standard.jpg

145 Bzone my best blacktail
http://www.fototime.com/9CCCC7F634BC742/standard.jpg

chicoredneck
06-28-2012, 8:37 PM
Nice bucks!

Whiterabbit
06-29-2012, 8:57 AM
public land A-zone... Still great.

VFX_man
06-29-2012, 12:30 PM
Sounds like you need to accidentally spill a few bags of this on the property ;)

http://www.trophysunlimited.com/excel_.html

jmonte35
06-29-2012, 1:35 PM
157 Bzone that i didnt kill
[]

145 Bzone my best blacktail
]

Seems like some pretty generous numbers on those bucks....just for comparison sake take a look below....this is a 155 green scored buck that finally scored with deductions at a 152 which made book in NY. The pictures could be decieving but those are some pretty big numbers for those bucks. It's very hard for an 8 or 9 point deer to make it even close to the 150's. The upper picture has the points but not the width....I would have guessed 120's - 130-s on the lower and 140's on the upper one.....Never shot a deer in velvet maybe this year a nice one will cross the bow path but they are already starting to shed their velvet where I am....NY we don't have seasons in velvet....maybe that's the difference....getting a little more mass because of the velvet?? Very nice bucks none the less.....I would love to shoot a true blacktail in the 120's that would be wallmounter in my book.....nice bucks.



http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g440/jmonte35/Timbobsbuck.jpg

Rusty_Buckhorn
06-29-2012, 1:53 PM
I don't know jmont, in that lower buck I see more mass than your whitetail, just as many scoreable points, and maybe 4 more inches in width? Doesn't look like a 'generous' score to me. I am not a certified scorer, though... so maybe you're right, just going by what I see :shrug:

ckprax
06-29-2012, 2:40 PM
Mendocino and lake county have some big deer. The ranch I hunt consistently produces 130-150" deer every year; seeing them in season and harvesting them is a challenge but they are certainly there.

The tough part of managing deer in CA is that we can't take does. In the OP's case, they shoot most of the 3 points in the area and the forks are left to breed. Even if you start taking the forks, there are does with the same genetics and you can't do anything about that. It would take a long time to bring things back after the damage has been done.

chicoredneck
06-29-2012, 2:42 PM
Mendocino and lake county have some big deer. The ranch I hunt consistently produces 130-150" deer every year; seeing them in season and harvesting them is a challenge but they are certainly there.

The tough part of managing deer in CA is that we can't take does. In the OP's case, they shoot most of the 3 points in the area and the forks are left to breed. Even if you start taking the forks, there are does with the same genetics and you can't do anything about that. It would take a long time to bring things back after the damage has been done.

How are you supposed to tell which does carry the genetics for a forked horn?

Whiterabbit
06-29-2012, 2:52 PM
I think the idea is that season after season, year after year, the 3's are taken out. That would imply that over a few years (after all the 3pt buck progeny does die of natural causes) the only does left are naturally fork horn gene carrying does.

presumably, undoing the damage is breeding the 3pt or better genes back in then letting the fork genes die out. Sounds like that could take years.

ckprax
06-29-2012, 2:53 PM
How are you supposed to tell which does carry the genetics for a forked horn?

You can't, that's the problem. But if you could harvest does than you will get some of them. The damage has been done.

If 90% of the deer population has fork genetics, and 75% of the population are does, most will have it. You can't take does so even if you get some larger bucks to breed you still have a lot of the genetics. That is why it is stupid to take x-point or better.

VFX_man
06-29-2012, 3:32 PM
So heres my thought and question. I have a ranch where the land owner says no deer are to be taken unless they are 3 points are better (A zone costal blacktail).

There are plenty of forked horn bucks on the ranch. Many are quite "mature". My thought would to shoot the "mature" forked horned bucks. These bucks should have had their third antler 2 years ago if they had the genetics. I believe they simply dont have the genetics for bigger racks and are simply breeding more forked horned bucks. Thin out the forked horn bucks out, breed in more 3 point or better deer in.

Yes? no?

BBS, are you hunting near FHL? We were on a nice 4x4 trip through zone 18 at FHL [was suppose to be a wild boar hunt - haha in that zone]. And we saw 5 nice mature bucks - 3 were Forks and the others were Spikes. Now maybe the more endowed bucks were not showing themselves, or were hiding from the mountain lions. But we were surprised that we did not see more points on them. :confused:

pieeater
06-29-2012, 3:33 PM
Heres another picture. my buck is over 26 inches wide. And I am a official measurer for SCI.

http://www.fototime.com/C12273B5F15BF1D/standard.jpg

theseacow
06-29-2012, 3:45 PM
here's my buddies record A-zone buck.

http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/9579/record4.jpg

jmonte35
06-29-2012, 4:03 PM
I don't know jmont, in that lower buck I see more mass than your whitetail, just as many scoreable points, and maybe 4 more inches in width? Doesn't look like a 'generous' score to me. I am not a certified scorer, though... so maybe you're right, just going by what I see :shrug:

not my buck I wish the right side is completely palmated....that buck also dressed at 230 lbs that rack is monstous pic is a little decieving..........It's amazing the difference once they shed velvet...that's why I say I wonder how they score a velvet buck....I'm going to have to look it up. We have some pictures of that buck above in velvet and I have no doubt if you could score in velvet that buck would have been every bit of 165-170.....something I'm going to have to look up now....I wonder if drying times are the same for a book buck. What are the minimums for California Black tail for book anyone have that info Bow/Rifle?? Just from a curiosity stand point. I haven't seen anything even close to 120 on the properties I hunt but curious. It looked like only 9 points....

jmonte35
06-29-2012, 4:04 PM
[QUOTE=pieeater;8843862]Heres another picture. my buck is over 26 inches wide. And I am a official measurer for SCI.

Looks a lot different in that picture...is there different scoring for velvet? Velvet makes a big difference..

Edit: I think I got my answer.....to be official it would have to be scraped to the bone...but I wouldn't do that....I would rather have the mount, not the books unless I knew it was a record breaking buck..

VFX_man
06-29-2012, 4:05 PM
You can't, that's the problem. But if you could harvest does than you will get some of them. The damage has been done.

If 90% of the deer population has fork genetics, and 75% of the population are does, most will have it. You can't take does so even if you get some larger bucks to breed you still have a lot of the genetics. That is why it is stupid to take x-point or better.

Yep, I remember watching a show on The Outdoor Channel and they were discussing the isolated deer herd on one particular island in Canada [I think]. They had only forks and spikes. In this case, it was all about the genes.

taperxz
06-29-2012, 4:12 PM
How are you supposed to tell which does carry the genetics for a forked horn?

Thats easy, you look at their tits.

Rusty_Buckhorn
06-29-2012, 4:20 PM
Killing forks can be fun, too.... you just have to let them get REAL mature. This guy never hit a scale, but I'd bet he was every bit of 250# on the hoof. 24" wide and rutting HARD, in A zone

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=156813&stc=1&d=1341011449

pieeater
06-29-2012, 6:26 PM
Nice! Those are the forks you want to kill. The big ones that are capable of chasing other big bucks off the does.

pieeater
06-29-2012, 6:28 PM
[QUOTE=pieeater;8843862]Heres another picture. my buck is over 26 inches wide. And I am a official measurer for SCI.

Looks a lot different in that picture...is there different scoring for velvet? Velvet makes a big difference..

Edit: I think I got my answer.....to be official it would have to be scraped to the bone...but I wouldn't do that....I would rather have the mount, not the books unless I knew it was a record breaking buck..

You lose about 5 % when you scrape the velvet. If the animal was really huge and you wanted in the book you could scrape it and have it artificialy velveted. Ive seen a couple done that looked pretty good.

theseacow
06-29-2012, 7:07 PM
Nice! Those are the forks you want to kill. The big ones that are capable of chasing other big bucks off the does.

I saw this fork the other week which was much bigger than the 3 pointers it was with and was thinking the same thing.


http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/9831/forkb.jpg

pieeater
06-29-2012, 9:30 PM
Those big *** forks will definatly beat the crap out of smaller bucks with good genetics. I would never judge a buck by a point system. You can tell by looking at it what genes it will spread. Both of the last forks posted would probably beat up this guy. Thats why giant forks should be culled.
http://www.fototime.com/A28DCBC07245EA4/standard.jpg


http://www.fototime.com/6EFB7BEF5A958D8/standard.jpg

chicoredneck
06-30-2012, 8:21 AM
This has turned into a great thread. Good advice for the most part and good pictures. I think big fork horns are cool personally. I wouldn't mind bagging one of the big forkies posted in this thread.