How many inches can a man add

Big7

Senior Member
I have but I want to know yalls opinions about proper management and how much it really helps.
Are you talking land that you/your club,
private property or state wide programs?

Looks to me like you would do about
as good as anyone over time.

The region has the same genetics as
neighboring states so if they have
the same nutrition and management
as the others, I don't see why they
wouldn't grow and breed at
similar rates.

So, yeah, I think you should be able
to gain inches as well as weight.
 

fountain

Senior Member
I will also go back and say money will not make a deer grow. Setting out to have better deer(whole herd) will take a good many years. It will not happen in just 2 or 3. It will take a good many. We fed protein hard for several years and managed the nest we could based on the deer given, and never saw any positive results.
I know some large landowners that did the ssme..several thousand acres..and fed 4+tons per week for many years. They had some really good deer. They also quit feeding and have went back to keeping nice plots now. They saw age and buck management as their best tools
 
Thread starter #43

SRShunter

Senior Member
Are you talking land that you/your club,
private property or state wide programs?

Looks to me like you would do about
as good as anyone over time.

The region has the same genetics as
neighboring states so if they have
the same nutrition and management
as the others, I don't see why they
wouldn't grow and breed at
similar rates.

So, yeah, I think you should be able
to gain inches as well as weight.
We own it
 
Lots of good opinions and info in this thread. I'll share some observations and personal opinions from 40 plus years of deer hunting with you.
A previous poster emphasized how difficult it is to grow a 'Booner' in the south due to our liberal gun seasons. Regardless of what you wish for minimums, if your neighbors don't agree then you're spinning your wheels. You can place minimums on your property but doing so will only enhance your satisfaction when you take a buck. It won't improve your odds.
Protein supplements and food plots. Every year half our members would argue for and the other half would argue against. We compromised/agreed on food plots but honestly, I don't know how much the antler size was effected by our expenditures and efforts. Clubs surrounding us did the same, however it seemed more of an attractant than a needed supplement.
Had a member who swore his last club saw significant gains in antler development but admitted that their large tract of land had no hardwoods and was all planted pine.
We killed several deer over the years in the 150's and a couple 160's. Nobody had seen these deer previously or had on camera. These deer were aged at 6 and above. We killed numerous deer in that age range over the years in the 120 to 130 range.
Point being, not all deer are going to make 150 plus regardless of how old they get.
Secondly, since we were only doing food plots in the fall we had little to no impact on their nutrition yet what accounted for those 150 plus bucks? They obviously had enough nutrition from their natural environment to grow large racks; my point being that you can pour a lot of money and effort into protein supplements but if the area has in the past grown 150 plus bucks then the answer is trigger control.
Year after year 130 inch 2.5's were taken. These were the bucks that needed to be protected but they proved irresistible.
Last point. You want 150 plus and a chance at Booners, spend your money on hunting the Midwest. Realize what the south and your property can realistically provide and enjoy the experience. If those hunting your property will hold off for 5 year old plus bucks, then you're taking the best deer your property can provide. That should provide all the satisfaction needed.
 
Thread starter #45

SRShunter

Senior Member
Lots of good opinions and info in this thread. I'll share some observations and personal opinions from 40 plus years of deer hunting with you.
A previous poster emphasized how difficult it is to grow a 'Booner' in the south due to our liberal gun seasons. Regardless of what you wish for minimums, if your neighbors don't agree then you're spinning your wheels. You can place minimums on your property but doing so will only enhance your satisfaction when you take a buck. It won't improve your odds.
Protein supplements and food plots. Every year half our members would argue for and the other half would argue against. We compromised/agreed on food plots but honestly, I don't know how much the antler size was effected by our expenditures and efforts. Clubs surrounding us did the same, however it seemed more of an attractant than a needed supplement.
Had a member who swore his last club saw significant gains in antler development but admitted that their large tract of land had no hardwoods and was all planted pine.
We killed several deer over the years in the 150's and a couple 160's. Nobody had seen these deer previously or had on camera. These deer were aged at 6 and above. We killed numerous deer in that age range over the years in the 120 to 130 range.
Point being, not all deer are going to make 150 plus regardless of how old they get.
Secondly, since we were only doing food plots in the fall we had little to no impact on their nutrition yet what accounted for those 150 plus bucks? They obviously had enough nutrition from their natural environment to grow large racks; my point being that you can pour a lot of money and effort into protein supplements but if the area has in the past grown 150 plus bucks then the answer is trigger control.
Year after year 130 inch 2.5's were taken. These were the bucks that needed to be protected but they proved irresistible.
Last point. You want 150 plus and a chance at Booners, spend your money on hunting the Midwest. Realize what the south and your property can realistically provide and enjoy the experience. If those hunting your property will hold off for 5 year old plus bucks, then you're taking the best deer your property can provide. That should provide all the satisfaction needed.
Thanks man very good info. Thank you GON
 

godogs57

Senior Member
You also have to add in the serious amount of money it takes to do this as well. Your average working man with average land will not achieve this. I will not take that away from those that do..please make that known. It is a hard labor to do and a very costly one. Anyone that says different is not telling the whole story. Constant food is key..constant food will naturally hold more deer(in theory) and I will rank age above everything. Deer are like people though. Not all of them will be a monster. That's fine too. A mature buck (4.5+) is very good, no matter rack size
Agree on all points. You may have misunderstood the spirit of my post. This 10" over the norm growth I mentioned is the best case, pie in the sky, scenario....not what you and I can expect to see on our small tracts. This is the effect of super genetics to start with, large tracts of land, an all you can eat buffet of high protein feed and yes...money. With all that, they are "only" showing a 130" buck can be a 140" buck, etc. Meaning that...the average Joe like you and I probably will not see +10" of growth. Don't expect, say, a 25% increase in antler size despite you may hear.
 
Thread starter #47

SRShunter

Senior Member
So basically I don't need to break the bank trying to raise a booner. Do what I can and forget about a booner unless I take a roadtrip. I love the outdoors and will continue to try and make it better for me and my son. I will be content with what I have and I'm proud to be a land owner!!! Thanks again GON for the knowledge 👍
 

spencer12

Senior Member
If that ws the ultimate goal, I wouldn't buy in Georgia either. There aren't that many B&C deer that come from Georgia either, relative to the number killed. I had a buddy that had a place in middle Georgia for years and killed some pretty good deer on it. Several years ago he went bowhunting with a friend of his that had bought a place in Missouri. On that first trip he killed one with the bow that grossed over 160" and saw "several others" bigger than anything he had ever grown on his place in Georgia. He sold his place in Georgia and hunts almost exclusively in the mid-west now. I guess it ultimately depends on what you goals are.
Relative to the number killed may not be too high, but overall B&C Records show georgia is like 15-17 all time for number of entries. For the "South" Kentucky is #1 followed by Arkansas, Mississippi, then Ga. Kentucky is more of a wildcard in the southern region though as its pretty much the midwest.
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Relative to the number killed may not be too high, but overall B&C Records show georgia is like 15-17 all time for number of entries. For the "South" Kentucky is #1 followed by Arkansas, Mississippi, then Ga. Kentucky is more of a wildcard in the southern region though as its pretty much the midwest.
There has been quite a bit of debate about this topic.

Much research has been done lately that dissects big buck trends for various periods of time.

The all time records are stamped in time but there have been some shifts, state wise, in the last several decades.

Suffice it to say, however, the Midwest is still king for big bucks.

When you leave the top ten states, regardless of recent shuffling and debate, the remaining states fall off precipitously in terms of numbers of giant bucks.

Basically, there is a core group of states and then there are the “also ran’s“.

I am of the opinion that the single biggest difference is the use of centerfire and the duration of these rifle seasons that drive this.

We had a thread about this recently and while no one is proposing any changes to the current GA season, little doubt remains that the numbers of giant bucks taken in GA would increase if alterations were made.

With that said, most all of us would still be delighted to hunt in the big buck areas in the west and south side of the state!

Alas, I have no access so I will piddle around in SC until November gets here and I will then head north.
 
There has been quite a bit of debate about this topic.

Much research has been done lately that dissects big buck trends for various periods of time.

The all time records are stamped in time but there have been some shifts, state wise, in the last several decades.

Suffice it to say, however, the Midwest is still king for big bucks.

When you leave the top ten states, regardless of recent shuffling and debate, the remaining states fall off precipitously in terms of numbers of giant bucks.

Basically, there is a core group of states and then there are the “also ran’s“.

I am of the opinion that the single biggest difference is the use of centerfire and the duration of these rifle seasons that drive this.

We had a thread about this recently and while no one is proposing any changes to the current GA season, little doubt remains that the numbers of giant bucks taken in GA would increase if alterations were made.

With that said, most all of us would still be delighted to hunt in the big buck areas in the west and south side of the state!

Alas, I have no access so I will piddle around in SC until November gets here and I will then head north.
I disagree. Let me start by saying I'm not a "high fence" supporter, a proponent of "high fence" hunting, nor have I ever hunted behind a "high fence"for hunting purposes. With that being said, I have know some people who have been involved with them in some form or fashion. I know of one in the Southeast that has deer with "local" genetics. It has been high fence for years, has some big money involved, and they don't have a bunch of Boone and Crockett deer running around. I don't think they have ever even killed a deer that grossed over 170", and they have a biologist managing it. They have some good deer on the place, but the deer it produces aren't really any better than what you would find on a well manage large tract of free range deer in Georgia.

I know of another operation in the Southeast that buys genetics. That place isn't near as big as the first place, but they kill deer off of that place that are abnormally big comparatively speaking. Some don't even look real, and if they were free range they would be up there in the record books. In both cases the deer are living to maturity and fed well, but the deer aren't even close in terms of the differences in the racks between the two places. It is genetics.

The largest deer I have ever killed I shot years ago from a ~3000 acre that hadn't been hunted in years. A family friend acquired it and allowed a group of us to hunt it a couple of times a year. The number of good bucks on that place was crazy. I saw a bunch of mature deer in the 130, 140, and even a couple in 150" range come off of that place, but never once did a Boone and Crockett deer come off it. That is the only place in Georgia that I have had the privilege of hunting that I felt like there should have been a B & C deer roaming. It isn't simply a matter of hunting season lengths and having people hold off of the trigger. There are places in Georgia on which that happens.

An NFL player can indeed genetically result from a family with no professional athletes, but the chances of a professional athlete coming from that family are exponentially smaller than they are for a professional atlhlete coming from a family of professional athletes. Same genetics apply to race horses, bulls, dogs, and deer.
 

buckpasser

Senior Member
I disagree. Let me start by saying I'm not a "high fence" supporter, a proponent of "high fence" hunting, nor have I ever hunted behind a "high fence"for hunting purposes. With that being said, I have know some people who have been involved with them in some form or fashion. I know of one in the Southeast that has deer with "local" genetics. It has been high fence for years, has some big money involved, and they don't have a bunch of Boone and Crockett deer running around. I don't think they have ever even killed a deer that grossed over 170", and they have a biologist managing it. They have some good deer on the place, but the deer it produces aren't really any better than what you would find on a well manage large tract of free range deer in Georgia.

I know of another operation in the Southeast that buys genetics. That place isn't near as big as the first place, but they kill deer off of that place that are abnormally big comparatively speaking. Some don't even look real, and if they were free range they would be up there in the record books. In both cases the deer are living to maturity and fed well, but the deer aren't even close in terms of the differences in the racks between the two places. It is genetics.

The largest deer I have ever killed I shot years ago from a ~3000 acre that hadn't been hunted in years. A family friend acquired it and allowed a group of us to hunt it a couple of times a year. The number of good bucks on that place was crazy. I saw a bunch of mature deer in the 130, 140, and even a couple in 150" range come off of that place, but never once did a Boone and Crockett deer come off it. That is the only place in Georgia that I have had the privilege of hunting that I felt like there should have been a B & C deer roaming. It isn't simply a matter of hunting season lengths and having people hold off of the trigger. There are places in Georgia on which that happens.

An NFL player can indeed genetically result from a family with no professional athletes, but the chances of a professional athlete coming from that family are exponentially smaller than they are for a professional atlhlete coming from a family of professional athletes. Same genetics apply to race horses, bulls, dogs, and deer.
How many acre is the “local genetic” operation?
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Your points are salient and begin to touch on the gist of the matter.

What I said was, the top ten (Midwest) are king and no matter how you slice the top ten - they still stay in the Midwest.

At no point did I suggest that Georgia could hang (genetically) with the Midwest.

What I said was the single BIGGEST difference is the extended rifle seasons.

Now, I am far from an expert and have been wrong about a great many things, so I could be wrong here.

But, our debate is literally run flat over by the example that the bow only counties in the metro provide. If Georgia cannot provide or support the genetics for 150+, where do all these freaks come from?

Now, take the giant buck counties in SW Georgia with all the agriculture, vast swamps, etc. What would happen if, say, 75% of the rifle harvested bucks were not taken?

Can you imagine?

I can - and IMHO, it would drive monster bucks through the roof.

I know this cannot and will not happen but I def can imagine.

I am not arguing for or against changing the seasons but an area like SW Georgia that can and does produce Booners... what do we think would happen if we killed less of the 2-4 year old bucks?

Yes, high fence areas can fall flat without genetics (or without proper management, which is what “without genetics” would qualify as) - I doubt you will get any argument on that. That is why straws can and do cost thousands of dollars.

For the record I am no fan of high fence but I know what can be done inside the fence. Whoever ran the one that failed missed the mark or had holes in his game, again IMHO.

Best of luck.
 
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Dean

Senior Member
My .02 on genetics. Yes, no doubt genetics is a factor. Some folks are born to be 5'8", some 6'8". It is 'generally' accepted that genetics is one of the non manageable factors - we can control age with restraint, we can control available food, we can control hunter pressure (stress), and even predator induced stress. My point earlier based on recent research is that perhaps hunters can indeed have some influence on genetics - and that is soil based. Healthy soil yielding proper forage for multiple generations of deer births is the key element. Now, with regards to Booners, GA actually produces more than we may think - I personally know of MULTIPLE true tape measured BC bucks killed in just the last few seasons, but they are no where on these type forums, social media, officially logged in the BC book (same goes for P&Y for that matter) etc. My point here is that I don't believe broad strokes of generalizations can be made about "big bucks" in GA because there is no mandatory reporting of antler measurements. Heck, go back and look at the BC bucks killed in Harris Co on the comedians farm. It's not high fence, and genetics weren't imported. On other properties located in Harris Co., they are not killing BC bucks every few years - same genetics. So what is different? All of the human controllable factors involved with year around management of whitetails coupled with the long term vision and patience to do it.
 

MikeyD6

Senior Member
Genetics do change due to environment, sometimes faster than expected. One good example is human height. Human height is a good way to gauge the overall health of a population because it responds rapidly to nutrition and health. I read somewhere that the average colonist height was 2 inches taller than the average Englishman height, despite being direct descendants. Especially in the northern colonies, clean water and ample nutrition changed their genetics in just a few generations. So the idea that deer genetics can influenced by sound management is very plausible, even if the original herd appears genetically inferior. Consistent nutrition and management will create big deer genetics if applied over several generations. And with an increased average deer size, the occurrence of huge outliers increases as well.
 
Look at the Boone and Crockett map for SC. In the history of the State, I don't think they have a single county that has more than a couple or three B&C entries at most. You don't have a good chance at all of growing a Booner, regardless of what you do. Statistically, you chance of growing a Booner is very close to zero percent.
I think only about 10 percent of big bucks get registered. Most people don’t care about noterity outside of a few close personal friends. I know a guy in Clarke county that has deer on his wall that would fill up 80% of the top ten list for that county. None are registered in anyway. I see more big deer shot from text messages in my hunting buddy network than anything that is public, and I only have 4 friends that hunt. Record books are not that end all be all on county potential.
 
Genetics do change due to environment, sometimes faster than expected. One good example is human height. Human height is a good way to gauge the overall health of a population because it responds rapidly to nutrition and health. I read somewhere that the average colonist height was 2 inches taller than the average Englishman height, despite being direct descendants. Especially in the northern colonies, clean water and ample nutrition changed their genetics in just a few generations. So the idea that deer genetics can influenced by sound management is very plausible, even if the original herd appears genetically inferior. Consistent nutrition and management will create big deer genetics if applied over several generations. And with an increased average deer size, the occurrence of huge outliers increases as well.
You are confusing genetics with environmental variables. In your example, genetics was not changed in a few generations, they had better nutrition so they could realize there genetic potential that was always there, just depressed by nutrition. This is an issue in many impoverished countries today. Those same kids may grow to be 6 inches taller with adequate nutrition, but still possessing the same genetics.
 

Beagler282

Senior Member
My .02 on genetics. Yes, no doubt genetics is a factor. Some folks are born to be 5'8", some 6'8". It is 'generally' accepted that genetics is one of the non manageable factors - we can control age with restraint, we can control available food, we can control hunter pressure (stress), and even predator induced stress. My point earlier based on recent research is that perhaps hunters can indeed have some influence on genetics - and that is soil based. Healthy soil yielding proper forage for multiple generations of deer births is the key element. Now, with regards to Booners, GA actually produces more than we may think - I personally know of MULTIPLE true tape measured BC bucks killed in just the last few seasons, but they are no where on these type forums, social media, officially logged in the BC book (same goes for P&Y for that matter) etc. My point here is that I don't believe broad strokes of generalizations can be made about "big bucks" in GA because there is no mandatory reporting of antler measurements. Heck, go back and look at the BC bucks killed in Harris Co on the comedians farm. It's not high fence, and genetics weren't imported. On other properties located in Harris Co., they are not killing BC bucks every few years - same genetics. So what is different? All of the human controllable factors involved with year around management of whitetails coupled with the long term vision and patience to do it.
Your comment about the genetics being the same in Harris county is not true. I wish it was but depending on the area you are does play a huge part. The genetics in that large area that Foxworthy,Realtree farms, Rocky Branch and some other undisclosed names have the best genetics around. Just drive down the road away from these folks and it changes. Even with other large tracts providing the same nutrients to the deer can't grow them the way they grow in that area. Genetics plays the biggest part. Food and nutrients help as well. My .02 cents on supplemental feed is that it adds more mass and body weight than it does actual inches in bone length.
 

buckpasser

Senior Member
Your comment about the genetics being the same in Harris county is not true. I wish it was but depending on the area you are does play a huge part. The genetics in that large area that Foxworthy,Realtree farms, Rocky Branch and some other undisclosed names have the best genetics around. Just drive down the road away from these folks and it changes. Even with other large tracts providing the same nutrients to the deer can't grow them the way they grow in that area. Genetics plays the biggest part. Food and nutrients help as well. My .02 cents on supplemental feed is that it adds more mass and body weight than it does actual inches in bone length.
You don’t think it’s mostly just an age structure difference from the big money guys to the others?
 
The problem with growing big bucks in the southern states is pressure from gun hunting..Even the vast majority of clubs that say they are managing for "trophies" are shooting the best genetic 3 year olds in the herd, which is the biggest mistake you can make. One of the reasons the Midwest is so good for upper end bucks is because guns are very limited(rifles are not allowed at all). Even in the Midwest most of the biggest bucks are shot during the limited shotgun seasons. Look at Fulton county Georgia in the suburbs..Bow only and probably the best county in the state for big bucks. You would have to have a huge tract of land in the south to grow "trophies" on a regular basis under current gun regs.
Everybody seems to forget that the deer in the midwest are also a different subspecies of whitetail from the ones in the southeast. Just like our normal Virginia whitetails dwarf Key or Coues whitetails, the Northern whitetails dwarf the Virginias.
 

buckpasser

Senior Member
Your points are salient and begin to touch on the gist of the matter.

What I said was, the top ten (Midwest) are king and no matter how you slice the top ten - they still stay in the Midwest.

At no point did I suggest that Georgia could hang (genetically) with the Midwest.

What I said was the single BIGGEST difference is the extended rifle seasons.

Now, I am far from an expert and have been wrong about a great many things, so I could be wrong here.

But, our debate is literally run flat over by the example that the bow only counties in the metro provide. If Georgia cannot provide or support the genetics for 150+, where do all these freaks come from?

Now, take the giant buck counties in SW Georgia with all the agriculture, vast swamps, etc. What would happen if, say, 75% of the rifle harvested bucks were not taken?

Can you imagine?

I can - and IMHO, it would drive monster bucks through the roof.

I know this cannot and will not happen but I def can imagine.

I am not arguing for or against changing the seasons but an area like SW Georgia that can and does produce Booners... what do we think would happen if we killed less of the 2-4 year old bucks?

Yes, high fence areas can fall flat without genetics (or without proper management, which is what “without genetics” would qualify as) - I doubt you will get any argument on that. That is why straws can and do cost thousands of dollars.

For the record I am no fan of high fence but I know what can be done inside the fence. Whoever ran the one that failed missed the mark or had holes in his game, again IMHO.

Best of luck.
I listened to a podcast the other day speaking of the differences in states and their deer regulations and the effect it has on trophy hunting. In my opinion GA is a Michigan or Missouri type state. We could have much better big buck hunting, but it would make it less fun to some and less desirable to others. Instead we just have a long, brutal rifle season that many (including our bordering state neighbors who suck even worse than us for trophy hunting) enjoy and the big money, big acreage folks show us what we could look like with Iowa type regulations in place. There would be pros and cons to both state types, so I’ll just play with the cards dealt.
 
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