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Old 04-19-2011, 10:14 AM
mattb78 mattb78 is offline
 
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Default How many clubs are harvesting more than 10 deer per 600 acres?

Deer density varies greatly in Georgia, but with an average density of 25-30 deer per square mile, a rule of thumb to keep a level deer herd is harvesting 33% to 40% of your deer herd every year. So that is about 10 deer per every 600 acres. More in some areas, less in others.

The density in Georgia is the lowest it has been in several years. That was by design as the state was above the carrying capacity and the lowered numbers have produced higher quality deer and sustainable browse lines.

But the population is lower now and it is up to landowners and club presidents to help preserve the deer herd. The DNR has given everyone the tools to manage their own land (that is why the doe limit is so high, to allow large property owners the ability to reduce their herd size). But that doesn't mean everyone needs to kill their limit of does! "It depends on your property" is the answer to any question about your deer harvest numbers.

These 1000 acre clubs with 15 members really need to be a thing of the past. I know alot of folks don't have the money to be in higher acreage clubs, but it is either less members or limiting members to 1 deer each. Neither of these is popular.

If folks don't want the deer herd to get smaller, its time to make some hard harvest decisions and club decisions.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:50 PM
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13,400 acres.
45+/- members.
100 +/- deer harvested for the last 5 years.

works out to around 5-6 deer harvested per 600 acres, or 1 deer harvested per 128 acres. not sure what the actual population would be, but there were many deer shot at and missed last year too.

on my 500 acre lease, we average 4-5 deer killed a year.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:37 PM
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bobby bond dnr agent out of fort valley came out to our club in crawford co. and told us we needed to kill one doe for every 100 acres of land. this was to keep the heard in check for our deer population. we have averaged 5 bucks a year over 3 years old. we have 2300 acres and 30 members seems to work for us.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:11 PM
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I maybe overkilling but on my small 150 acres, between 4 of us we have taken at least 7 Deer a year for last three years. And I believe there are more deer now than ever before.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:13 PM
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We have a small 270 acre lease and I will be surprised if we do not take more than 5 deer off of it.... that would be roughly 11 on 600 acres.

We have hunted the same farm in Bulloch County GA for 25+ years now - about 300 acres - and we often take 8-10 does off of it each year - and they just keep pouring back in there...

SC deer totals are at a low point right now... not sure if it is coyotes or what - because we are actually selling less licenses now.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:23 PM
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i usually take a buck (if its a shooter) and 2 does off my 140 acres every yr. has worked fine for me. see plenty of deer every yr
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Boyd View Post
We have a small 270 acre lease and I will be surprised if we do not take more than 5 deer off of it.... that would be roughly 11 on 600 acres.

We have hunted the same farm in Bulloch County GA for 25+ years now - about 300 acres - and we often take 8-10 does off of it each year - and they just keep pouring back in there...

SC deer totals are at a low point right now... not sure if it is coyotes or what - because we are actually selling less licenses now.
We saw more deer this season in the LC than we ever have..but heard rumors that yotes have moved back in. Trappers have been having great luck since end of deer season.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:28 PM
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We took 9 off of 300 this season. I think we took 12 off the same 300 the previous year counting the one I lost with my bow as a kill. That doesn't count the ones that a member we kicked out killed but didn't tell us about. We suspect there may have been several of those. Got a feeling that it may be a slow season on that property this year.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:31 PM
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The herd can recover from a 30% kill rate without considering yotes into the recruitment rates.

A kill rate in Georgia of anything more than 9 deer per square mile (640 acres) IS reducing the herd. Like it or don't, that is a biological fact...
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:42 PM
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Sounds like most folks on this thread know what they are doing..

Jeff you are absolutely right. There are some exceptions for high density counties in the eastern part of the state but otherwise your numbers are pretty close.

My worry is that tons of clubs out there are harvesting way too many deer, then blaming coyotes, the DNR, Florida hunters, etc. for the declining deer herd.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phillips View Post
The herd can recover from a 30% kill rate without considering yotes into the recruitment rates.

A kill rate in Georgia of anything more than 9 deer per square mile (640 acres) IS reducing the herd. Like it or don't, that is a biological fact...
Again you cannot paint with such a broadbrush and be accurate for every locale within the state. We have averaged 30 does a year for the last 8 years off of my 1325 acres and yet we still have more numbers every year to the extent that late in this past season I saw my first evidence of what I considered to be overbrowsing of less than desirable foods. Analyzing our kill records shows that our does weights have been declining also. Our goal this season is 45 does.

The 10 doe limit gives us the ability to manage the herd in our area even though we bring in guest to kill most of the does. We will be planting additional acres of late season food plots. Each locale needs to be managed according to its actual herd dynamics.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laman View Post
Each locale needs to be managed according to its actual herd dynamics.
Biology is based on facts.

You may have started with high doe numbers, higher overall population, or you may have large unhunted properties around you. If you kill 30% of the herd your population is stable, any more than that and it is declining.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phillips View Post
Biology is based on facts.

You may have started with high doe numbers, higher overall population, or you may have large unhunted properties around you. If you kill 30% of the herd your population is stable, any more than that and it is declining.
Actually, like any other science, it is based on the scientific method, which is based on hypothesis and experimentation.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:18 PM
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over the last three seasons we've avg. 5 doe and 2 bucks per year,...that is on 1280 acres in Butts co. with 8 hunters...but we do have yotes
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:40 PM
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Not us, we've been very conservative with our harvest. And it's paying off per trail cameras pictures we're getting.
We averaged about 7 deer per 600 acres for the last two years. Most of our members pass on does and young bucks.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:37 AM
mattb78 mattb78 is offline
 
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I know of clubs averaging 50 acres/member or less, with membership rights allowing the member, spouse and kids to all harvest deer under the membership.

Their 50 acres averages to about .78 deer for that membership. Less than one deer per membership would be a sustainable harvest, but instead each membership takes several deer wiping out the population quickly. Clubs like that need to be a thing of the past or the deer herd will continue to fall.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:30 PM
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Stats for the last three years are 9, 20, 18 on 900 acres. No sign of decline. You just can't tell how many deer leave or enter your property.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:59 PM
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Deer don't recognize property lines. It is not unusual for at least 1 of the neighboring properties to be underhunted while another may be overhunted.

IMO the 30% harvest goal has to be calculated based on the entire range of the herd and not just your club property...impossible in most cases.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phillips View Post
The herd can recover from a 30% kill rate without considering yotes into the recruitment rates.

A kill rate in Georgia of anything more than 9 deer per square mile (640 acres) IS reducing the herd. Like it or don't, that is a biological fact...
No its not.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:02 AM
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We have 2400 acres 15 members and usually take right at 40 deer a season which comes out to about 6 per acre harvested.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ted_BSR View Post
Actually, like any other science, it is based on the scientific method, which is based on hypothesis and experimentation.
Data and methodology are the route to conclusion. There is no standard which will apply to every acre of the State. There is too much variation. There are acres of land that can support zero deer. And, there are zero acres which will support unlimited deer.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:00 AM
mattb78 mattb78 is offline
 
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It is a general rule folks. If you are taking a few more deer than 10/600 acres you aren't doing too much damage. It may not be enough in some parts of the state that can sustain a higher harvest because they have more deer.

The point of the post was really the 1000 acre clubs that kills 30 deer.. or the 300 acre club taking 15 deer. Its the clubs who aren't trying to manage their harvest related the deer density.

The clubs that are killing way more than their density allowed, these are the ones that are really causing the decline.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmahunter View Post
IMO the 30% harvest goal has to be calculated based on the entire range of the herd and not just your club property...impossible in most cases.
I was talking about the cumulative effect on the statewide deer population, not just one individual club. Yes, its difficult to shoot up a small club because deer will fill in from other areas, but all of this does take a toll on the herd.

My point was that all clubs need to keep deer density in mind regarding their harvest goals. I don't think alot of clubs realize exactly how many deer they have and how many they can actually harvest to keep a level population.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:39 AM
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Obviously, the 30% rule is not and will not be popular. But it is the truth and it applies to all properties.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:44 AM
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I think the 30% rule was ok 10-15 years ago. With the increase in coyotes and their predation on fawns, I think any property using the 30% rule will see a drastic decrease in their herd.
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