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Thread: An off topic question

  1. #1
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    Default An off topic question

    I cant help but notice on every white tailed deer hunting show I watch on tv everyone is always talking about this perfect buck to doe ratio for healthy herd management. I always hear the experts say the ideal ratio is one buck to one doe. I was wondering if anyone out there knows anything about this and could shed a little light on it for me. I can not help but think that keeping a herd healthy would depend more on making sure an area has enough food for the deer that inhabit it, not the amount of bucks to does in that area. I think that the ideal 1:1 ratio is probably ideal for hunters more so than the deer. I could be completely wrong though.

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Arky: percentages are everything according to those who know everything....

    I hope they can help you kill everything in sight.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

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    What do you mean help me kill everything in sight?

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    Default Deer Ratio

    Yes you are wrong. I will PM you the info on this later. We have two
    ranches in West Texas with a 1:1 ratio and it is very hard to keep this ratio because no one wants to kill does. More Does=More Deer=Alot of your deer dead in a dry year

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    Member alaskaarcher's Avatar
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    From what little I understand about it, the ratio is more for the genetics piece of management. Supposed to be able to keep the in-breeding down. And if you minimize the total number by keeping the ratio (1:1 or 1:2 etc) then it is easier on the habitat. I am no expert on this, but this is what was explained to me.

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Sorry.. I'm in the middle of several disussions alotting percentages. ... I might have stepped on your thread in my angst.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

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    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Soggy
    Why did you roll in hot? It seems like a legit question.

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    Never-mind

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    Default alaskaarcher

    And if you minimize the total number by keeping the ratio (1:1 or 1:2 etc) then it is easier on the habitat. I am no expert on this, but this is what was explained to me.[/quote]

    This pretty much explains it.

    and if you keep the ratio correct the does will be bred by the bucks with best genetics, leaving no does for the inferior bucks

  10. #10

    Default just my thoughts

    I also have read that the 1:1 ratio equates to a stronger/longer rut--because if you have one buck per 2 does--well then they don't need to fight as much as there is plenty of loving to go around

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    A big reason why is because a close buck to doe ratio creates more genetic diversity within the herd, which helps prevent huge outbreaks of diseases that are genetic in nature.

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    A 1:1 ratio allows for superior genetic selection and does not allow breeding to occur beyond the carrying capacity of the area.

    If there are 100 deer in an area and it is 1:1 then there will be a natural selection where only the most physically dominant males will breed, maybe it will be the top 10% of the bucks that will breed. A single dominant buck will breed several doe while most buck will not be superior enough to breed any. Now 50 does will get pregnant giving birth to about 100 offspring, 50% male and 50% female. Note the 1:1 birth ratio. In a perfect world the herd has just doubled. But factor in good hunting management (both does and buck), disease, accidents, and predation, the herd will average out to 100 animals year after year for that property.

    Take a scenario of 100 deer and a 1:10 ratio, buck to does, 10 buck and 90 doe. Now even all the inferior bucks will breed not allowing for a natural selection of dominant genes. If 90 does concieve and have 180 offspring, now the carrying capacity of the land will be exceeded, you will have unhealthy animals because the natural mortality rate will not bring the herd down to the correct size. Nature probably knows what she is doing when on average the natural birth rate is 50%, 1 male and 1 female.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed M View Post
    A 1:1 ratio allows for superior genetic selection and does not allow breeding to occur beyond the carrying capacity of the area.

    If there are 100 deer in an area and it is 1:1 then there will be a natural selection where only the most physically dominant males will breed, maybe it will be the top 10% of the bucks that will breed. A single dominant buck will breed several doe while most buck will not be superior enough to breed any. Now 50 does will get pregnant giving birth to about 100 offspring, 50% male and 50% female. Note the 1:1 birth ratio. In a perfect world the herd has just doubled. But factor in good hunting management (both does and buck), disease, accidents, and predation, the herd will average out to 100 animals year after year for that property.

    Take a scenario of 100 deer and a 1:10 ratio, buck to does, 10 buck and 90 doe. Now even all the inferior bucks will breed not allowing for a natural selection of dominant genes. If 90 does concieve and have 180 offspring, now the carrying capacity of the land will be exceeded, you will have unhealthy animals because the natural mortality rate will not bring the herd down to the correct size. Nature probably knows what she is doing when on average the natural birth rate is 50%, 1 male and 1 female.
    Excellent answer t his question, don't think I have seen it explained better, especially about the natural birth rate.
    Old Cowboys never die, they just keep riding the Range.

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    Thats alot WV Cowboy, I understand it a lot better now.

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    Next time I am back in Arkansas deer hunting I will be sure to smack as many does as I legally can.

  16. #16

    Default What are the ideal bull:cow ratios for Alaska moose and caribou?

    If the ideal ratio for a healthy deer herd is 1:1, then does anyone have any idea of what the desired ratios are for our Alaskan game animals? I've heard that bull:cow ratios for moose should be a minimum of 20 bulls per 100 cows and for caribou it should be 30 per 100. I don't know how far off the mark that really is but it seems to be quite a difference between these two species and deer.

    I can see why we might want to keep more cows in a given population. Our moose and caribou have harsh climates to contend with and must face many more predators. Thus, each spring they would need to produce a greater number of calves each year than a typical deer herd in TX might need to just to keep their numbers in check.

    Are we jeopardizing the genetics of moose and caribou by allowing the bull to cow ratios to fall this low?

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongShadow View Post
    If the ideal ratio for a healthy deer herd is 1:1, then does anyone have any idea of what the desired ratios are for our Alaskan game animals? I've heard that bull:cow ratios for moose should be a minimum of 20 bulls per 100 cows and for caribou it should be 30 per 100. I don't know how far off the mark that really is but it seems to be quite a difference between these two species and deer.

    I can see why we might want to keep more cows in a given population. Our moose and caribou have harsh climates to contend with and must face many more predators. Thus, each spring they would need to produce a greater number of calves each year than a typical deer herd in TX might need to just to keep their numbers in check.

    Are we jeopardizing the genetics of moose and caribou by allowing the bull to cow ratios to fall this low?
    Its my understanding that those ratios maximize yeild of the resource because every bull will breed, I'd assume that the 1:1 ratio is primarily to produce as many large bucks as possible and not nessisarily to have a maximum deer population. Also a typical deer herd in TX has very few predators, no snow to deal with and a generally low mortality rate, none of which can be said for Alaskan game. This explains why you can shoot just about as many whitetails as you want in TX and only one moose in AK so basically you hit it on the head... As for genetics I think that because of the amount of habitat connectivity in Alaska animals can breed with individuals from different populations so I really don't think its a huge deal also the game management here is primarily for numbers, ie subsistence whereas game management in many parts of the lower 48 is primarily for trophy value
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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