Archery season has been in full swing since September here. And firearms starts in a week. With this going on it causes me to think about the management of the Whitetail herd. I have not taken a buck since 2003. But I have harvested several does. I am lucky to live in an area where they are abundant. Even though I live in an area that has an antler restriction I have an self imposed restriction. I can say the states antler restriction is causing more of the mature bucks to be harvested. Thought you still see younger bucks that qualify under the 4 point on one side restriction. But this would be cause alot a hunters do not know how to age a deer. I've seen alot of real nice 8 and 10 pointers in our area. But they are ones I'd have to pass cause they are only in the 2-3 year old range. These younger bucks still have growing to do. My main focus is on the harvest on does. Our family lives on the meat for the year. Alot of people do no harvest does cause they are out for the trophy bucks. If I did not use the meat for my family I would donate the meat to the states "Share the Harvest" program or to a family I know that would eat it.
Our region in Missouri has such a deer density that both residents and nonresidents can purchase unlimited amounts of antlerless tags for $7 each. The only prerequisite to the purchase is buying an any deer tag. This applies to both archery and firearms. Starting this year Missouri made the $7 tags available to the youth hunters. Our youth tags are $17 in which they get 1 spring turkey, 1 any deer and 1 fall turkey. This is for both resident and non resident youths. And Missouri this year also has a second youth season in January. So my out of state friends who hunt Missouri bring your kids with you too.
It is important to the quality of your herd to harvest does. As a personal belief one needs to at least harvest a doe for every buck harvested. In some areas where the deer density is high harvest more. And if at all possible pass on the button bucks. I know from personal experience sometimes it is hard to tell from a distance if your aimed at a button buck.
I got the following information from Missouri's DNR site:
Identifying Button Bucks
* The nubs on a button buck often are visible with careful examination, especially through binoculars.
* A button buck's head is flat on top between the ears, while a doe's head is more rounded.
* Button bucks are more likely to be by themselves than other antlerless deer.
* If more than one fawn is present in a group, the larger of the fawns is likely to be a button buck.
* Button bucks are often the first to enter a field or feeding area.
I know in just the little bit I have been writing this I have looked out the window and seen 10 does and young ones. There has been times I've looked out the window to see over 20 deer in the field in front of the house.
My recommendation is to go online and research the state you live ins recommended doe to buck kill ratio.
Remember all I have written is just my opinions on the matter. All the pictures in this blog are ones I have taken myself.