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Thread: Should we be shooting young bucks??? Discuss

  1. #1

    Should we be shooting young bucks??? Discuss

    I have just read an interesting article on effect of hunting particularly young males on lion populations and quality of trophy.

    For most of our culls we seem to focus our efforts on shooting lots of young bucks. Should n't we though focus more of our efforts on leaving the you gsters to grow and reproduce and instead concentrate on the older mature bucks that are past their prime.

    Not sure how this would effect the population dynamics and there will be a clear conflict with particulay forestry who take the view that fewer the better.

    There is probably not a correct answer, but an interesting debate.

  2. #2
    I think that the idea of culling young/ poor bucks is that you give more room for the middle aged and older bucks, thereby making it easier for them to realise their potential. I only cull poor youngsters which are either looking like they have low body weight or poor short spike heads. One of the problems with only shooting mature animals that are definitely going back, is deciding whether they are definitely going back..........

    If you consider a triangle. the base is number of young bucks and the point is number of going back mature animals. You have tens times the number of smaller bucks as you have mature ones..... Simplistic I know, but it illustrates the problem of locating enough mature animals.... A lot of stalkers have difficulty telling the difference between middle aged bucks and old bucks, let alone old bucks from old bucks going back.
    Last edited by Lakey; 10-09-2010 at 10:38.

  3. #3
    Be interested to hear the replies - certainly when it comes to fallow deer there would be merit in allowing more midle-aged bucks mature.

  4. #4
    If anything most people do not shoot enough young bucks.
    For the smaller deer you only need a ratio of 1 male to every 5-10 females
    and larger herding deer 1 male to every 25-50 females

    all this crap about 1 to 1 sex ratios is about trophys and not wood crop or eviromental management

    where do you get most damage from lots of young young mature and mature males cleaning marking territories and fighting or from females

    You will get much better quality animals by having less males as there will be more food larger territories less fighting and less stress

  5. #5
    I agree with Lakey,
    If you have been managing properly, you should have far more young bucks every year.
    You only take the older when necessary.
    More to the point is controling the Does.

  6. #6
    60% young 30% mature and 10% old used to be the formula for maintaining a good spread across the population.
    As has been said previously, the reason more young are taken is because they are the ones that will spread out and start to mark their own territories and fight for it, thereby causing stress among the other population and tree damage, which will not please the 'wood harvester'
    As for the numbers between male and female, that is something that each Deer Manager/Stalker must decide and varies considerably between each one.
    I feel that usually for every Buck taken there should be at least four Does taken and adjusted as the season goes on and with relation to what is being taken on surrounding areas.
    I have not been an active stalker for a few years now and am no longer involved in Deer Management, just the odd 'Fridge filler' outing now so things may have changed.
    I definitely agree with Bengal, Lions and Deer are certainly not in any way similar I certainly wouldn't be so happy trailing the blood spour of a Lion with as much ease as I would a Deer
    Last edited by EMcC; 10-09-2010 at 10:48. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    Cull as many young bucks as you can they MIGHT not reach expectations were as the middle age and older bucks unless in pour condition already have and it can cleary be seen. I have used this method for years and the quality of animal on my ground is very good. Beter useing the what you see is what you get rather than what you see is what you hope to get if thing go to plan over the next 4 -5 years.

  8. #8
    I once saw a fantastic book all about Roe deer. It was in german, and in the book a deer manager had kept all the shed antlers from a number of known bucks over the years.The antlers were from first heads, through the middle aged years and onto advanced maturity, even in some reaching the later years when the heads could be considered to be 'going back'

    Well reading this book (I mean looking at the pictures. as I dont speak german)it became obvious that deer antlers varied a lot even in the same animal often growing good and bad through the differnt years ,(eg.A buck say in year 4, grew a good set of antlers,but, the same animal threw a poor head in year 5, but then seemed to grow a much better head again in year 6 etc etc.
    In other words just because an buck grows an average head one year, doesnt mean that he cant grow a good head the next, and even a very good head the next. All depends on food source, peace and quiet, competition, weather and countless other variables

    Of course there was a general trend to indicate that usually heads improved on the whole throughout early and middle age, and then went downhill towards old age. Often more 'art' than 'science' in my opinion

  9. #9
    I suppose it all depends on what you are trying to acheive,
    If you hav CWD, then primarily the majority of yearling bucks will almost definately grow to make a medal at some point and as medals normaly would pay the bills and also puts a lot of xtra cash in your pocket then I don't see any benefit of culling yearling bucks
    unless sick or injured
    the same with Muntjac, culling yearling bucks serves no benefit if you are using them to supplement your income as you can't tell from the first head if they are going to grow into a rep head or not,
    As a rep head is usually worth something , where as a yearling wouldn't , unless charging set price per buck

    The rest are a lot easier to work out from first heads on the sort of quality of buck/stag you would be expecting it to acheive by the antler length and shape as a rule
    plus the fact older mature buck/stags would usually be in-line to mate first anyway, so culling of such young would not matter to much if left for a 2nd head, just to be sure of the quality of head they produce

    so if going on a more Antler quality basis management scheme, culling youngsters from Red/Roe/Fallow & sika
    should not really make to much difference to the over all eventually quality of heads produced if you hav an idea of what to take and what to leave
    as you still hav another year to asses the quality left on the ground before they would normally get a chance to pass on their genes

    But if you are thinking more on the lines of crop protection , then it don't matter what is shot as long as numbers are reduced to prevent damage

    and my favourite

    "what's the point trying to leave a decent buck about, if the neighbour intends to shoot it the moment it steps on to theirs "

    How can you compete with that

  10. #10
    we shoot more male animals that you might thing , half the calf/fawn cull will be male .

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