We published an article in February of 2020, “Food Sources to Grow Trophy Bucks Begins in Winter”. I would like to expand on that topic, as we are again in that difficult time of hard winter for wildlife to find food. Winter patches are much needed sources for winter food. Many different assortments of food plots can be utilized that will provide benefits to many wildlife species.
Our focus on this article is more on herd health. The obvious goal of most hunters is horns: big and lots of them. Let us look a little deeper into how to achieve this, and even better, harvest one of these monster bucks. You have the land, you plant excellent food plots, and your natural habitat is perfect. Your stands are all located in the perfect locations. What are you missing?
Management Concerns that Promote Good Herd Health
The first thing is to put aside the hunting aspect and understand that you need a healthy deer population if you plan to harvest the monster ghost buck of your dreams. As humans, we take extra care of mothers and their babies, unborn and after birth. We make sure they get the best care possible. This is not so easy with deer, but there are things we can do to
enhance their health and the best wellbeing. A few of these are listed below:
- Keep a handle on predators
- Maintain a good population level of animals based your land’s seasonal food source
- Maintain proper buck/doe ratio
- Implement sanctuary areas where the herd will be safe and undisturbed
- Keep unnecessary human pressure off your herd
- Prevent social pressure in herd caused by overpopulation and poor buck/doe ratio
- Promote supplemental protein feed for bucks and does
All the items above, working together, help provide the best circumstances for herd health. Studies show that all these things are critical in managing the best outcome for a healthy deer herd. If your herd is healthy and coyotes take most of your fawns, your goal is not accomplished. Overpopulation creates inadequate food. Poor buck/doe ratio causes excessive competition among bucks and causes does to cycling several times before they get bred. Bucks get rutted down and in poor health. Does not getting bred in first cycle cause late fawns, which will always be a little behind because of age. With these factors prevalent in your herd, there is a social pressure on the herd. Too much activity by humans, for whatever reason, interrupts the system. Sanctuary areas and limited pressure from people allow for herd to move more naturally, enabling them to utilizing their habitat better.
Using a Proven Protein Feed Supplement
The use of protein supplements is also a fantastic way to help your herd get what they need. There are many varieties of beneficial supplements. We have a clients who has implemented all these tools and adhered to them for the past several years. They have developed a feed that models what one might implement with cattle, have low pressure in feeding areas, Limited human traffic, and have sanctuary areas available for the deer. Although the pictures in this post are of bucks, does utilize this protein as well.
This approach promotes herd health and wellbeing. The protein supplements work and are very necessary in promoting healthy bucks and does. To harvest the monster ghost buck on a regular basis, your chances are better when implementing a comprehensive plan for success. We, at Green Hill Land & Timber are happy to help you with your timber, wildlife and habitat management. If you are interested in the providing the supplemental protein fed to these bucks, email us and we will send you contact info for their manager. Give us a call and find out how we can help you.