I have been shooting deer for 22 years now and during that time have noticed a significant drop in the number of quality trophies being shot.
There are of course a number of different reasons for this but primarily it is due to us, i.e. stalkers.
Many of my permissions that I have, border Forestry, Estate or Farms all of which are stalked over. It is clear what the forestry policy is on deer however any of the significant changes in quality have always come from the estate or farm boundarys. Whereas before you would watch the deer on your land and then of course look too at what was on the neighbours, there was always previously a good head of deer. When managed correctly you could then always rely on certain pieces of land producing one or two medal bucks per year. And this would be every year.
Let me give you an example. One farm I have managed for 14 years.
Year 1. Heavy fox population, noticeable lack of young animals, cull lots of foxes, took 1x small buck
yr 2. population at about 14x animals, cull 2x bucks 2x does
yr3. population 16x animal, cull 2x bucks and 3x does
yr4. now we start to get trophy animals cull 1x gold 1x good buck and 3x does population now stable
yr5. 1x gold and 1x silver+ does
yr 6 2x gold +does
and so on ......until
yr10. high seat appears next door. 1x gold + does
yr11 where have all the animals gone? no cull
yr14 yet to find out but I think I already know
Should I take line of "I'd better shoot them before he does?" NO. Why because I am a Deer Manger NOT a Deer MANGLER.
When I arrived on this ground there were deer her and when I leave there will be deer here. My job was never to shoot them out but merely to manage them, I refuse to come down to his level.
Just because someone shoots on your boundary doesn't mean you should shoot every animal. Where is the co-operation? For the benefit of the deer. If your proud to display your photo's of young 4pt bucks in velvet then do. Just don't come crying and saying why won't my ground produce good heads? I bet they were there when you first arrived.