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 The Real Truth About Does Part Two 
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Post The Real Truth About Does Part Two
The Real Truth About Does Part Two
by: Albie Berk

The deer, being elusive and wild, could not be inoculated as a mass. Successful immunization is impossible in 97% of the herd. Unlike cattle, which develop the same diseases from overcrowding, deer cannot be supplementally fed and medicated.

If we do not hunt and kill does, nature will find a way to perform the same function. The wolf and the panther, the deer's natural predators, are all but extinct. Efforts to replace these predators are limited to rather small locations in relation to the extent of the whitetail deer ranges. Coyotes are not efficient enough predators since they kill only fawns or crippled deer. That leaves man alone for efficient herd management.

If we allow nature to control deer populations, we wind up with big numbers of deer one season and a big dieoff the next. Nature's way is not compatible with our desires for good hunting seasons yearly and long-lived bucks producing mature antlers.

After the success of methods to increase deer populations, instituting hunting controls and regulations, refuges, and stocking, what remains for the management of herd quality is to promote doe hunting to prevent devastating overcrowding.

While some areas have much higher or lower deer populations, the carrying capacity of the land on a national average is one deer to 32 acres of habitat. The ratio of does to bucks should not exceed six does to one buck, or 6:1. On game ranches, which are managed for sport buck-hunting, does are maintained at 3:1 or 2:1.

Does which have outlived their own fertility at eight years or so consume forage yet no longer give birth to fawns. In areas where does are not hunted, some of these animals are as old as sixteen. This means that for eight years those does consumed food, produced no offspring, and were never utilized by man. Having a doe season in these locations would actually increase the deer numbers by making way for younger does, more fertile ones, to give birth to more fawns, since most hunters shoot larger does in preference to smaller ones for their freezers. Proponents of the "more is better" philosophy should realize that for this reason doe seasons do not necessarily reduce herd size or their chances of obtaining deer.

The most serious threats to deer herds are:

habitat destruction such as bush and bogging, land clearing, grass pasture improvements, rural subdivisions, new lake impoundments, expanding cities, surface mining, and sloppy timbering.

poor range or inadequate food supplies due to overpopulation of deer or overgrazing by domestic livestock, resulting in large scale deer dieoffs.

disease and parasitism.

illegal hunting.

The methods to eliminate these threats are:

supplement feeding (preferably with deer pellets).

augmenting natural browse with food plots.

maintaining the herd within carrying capacity, the least expensive method.

It is best for hunters and best for deer as well to selectively take does from the herd where deer are plentiful. Does provide both good food and attractive trophies. Yes, a doe makes a very nice wall mount next to a buck.

Hunters intent upon the preservation of their sport to assure good hunting for future generations should become a part of the solution. It is a generalization yet a truth that the majority of outdoorsmen would rather hunt and fish than work. Paper work, communications, research, and other such endeavors are what they hunt and fish to escape from. This results in hunters having a reduced voice in legislation. A large number of hunters are unable to read or write. Even though they may have viable plans for game management, they are unable to share them with those who could turn them into reality. It seems that the animal lib people are by and large well educated, and since they spend most of their time indoors, they have plenty of time to write to their Congressmen. If we want to ensure the future of deer hunting, then we must do our share.

Conscientious outdoorsmen can make a difference by doing the following:

Contact your state's Fish and Game Department to offer your assistance in volunteer work during deer surveys and habitat improvement labors.

Discourage poachers.

Write your Congressmen.

Become personally involved in encouraging stripmine owners and timer industry personnel to preserve or restore habitat.

Contribute money to conservation organizations.

Join hunt clubs and lease land which will be left in thickets and kept forageable.

Encourage ranchers and farmers to provide adequate deer habitat and forage.

About The Author
Albie Berk enjoys hunting and sharing what he has learned and any successful tips he can with others. He enjoys South Carolina hunting and usually stays at Carolina Buck and Boar.

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Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:57 pm
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