There are several factors you should take into consideration if you want to be successful in deer herd management. One of the biggest is the fact that whitetail deer move freely and anybody can hunt them on their own property.
Just like any other wild animals, they will migrate to locations where there is plenty of food and shelter. If you are looking to attract more deer to your property, then you should brush up on your deer herd management skills.
The key is to ensure the deer have access to lots of food, less predators and an area they can use as shelter to protect themselves against harsh weather conditions. Do you know anyone who is successful in deer management, have you ever asked yourself why they are that successful?
7 Keys to Whitetail Deer Herd Management
1. Deer Management on Private Property is Local
Unlike other activities where you get local government assistance, managing whitetails on private land will depend on your personal resources and capabilities. If you own a large plot of land, you could potentially support thousands of deer on your own. The government allows you to hunt the deer at any time provided you manage the land where the deer live.
It is a crime for you to enter other people’s property and hunt the deer without their permission. It is also against the law to hunt outside of the hunting season, so manke sure that you do your research and are prepared for your next deer hunting season. For the best returns, you should keep just enough deer depending on the amount of food and the area of your ranch.
2. Balance Amount of Land With Deer Numbers
You should balance the amount of land you have and the population. Keeping too many deer on a small farm can lead to the collapse of the population. Remember they need plenty of food and shelter.
If you decide to keep them on a congested environment, it will lead to small fawns and unhealthy deer which is something you will not like on your farm. Congested bucks can lead to starvation and even death during winter. Overpopulation is as dangerous as keeping very few bucks on your property.
3. Count Your Fawns
It is important that you to count the fawns each year so that you know the number of new deer coming on to your property. If you have ten new fawns, then you know that you need to hunt ten if you want to maintain the balance. It is a good idea to always count your bucks as well because it will become easier for you to take control of the herd.
4. Set Better Deer Food Than Your Neighbor
The best way to attract the most deer in your area is to have the best food. Deer will move around looking for quality food, if they discover your property has the best food in the neighborhood, then they will have shelter in your property. Cases where you will lack deer to hunt will be no more. There are different types of food which deer love; you should invest your time in having that vegetation in place so that your property will be like a deer dining table.
5. Don’t Forget About Cover
Deer will depend on cover for bedding and protection. If you don’t provide cover, it doesn’t matter how much high quality food you provide. They will come eat and return to your neighbor’s property for cover.
It is imperative for you to balance quality food and ample cover if you would like to keep the deer on your land. You can even combine cover and food so that they will take cover as they eat. Cover also works both way, for you and the deer. When you are hunting, you will want that cover to hide in as you site in your crossbow for a shot. If you have been concentrating on improving food without paying any attention to providing cover, then it is time for you to switch it up. It plays a great role in helping you spot a big buck in your property.
6. Keep Predators Out
Depending on where you live, there will be a whole list of predators that you will need to watch out for. You should try and keep predators numbers down if you want to keep your deer numbers up. The predators depend on the deer for food and will thrive if they keep getting it. They will hunt and kill all deer, from young fawns to big bucks.
Your other deer herd management efforts will be a waste if you allow the predators to roam free and kill the herd. There are numerous predator management strategies to chose from. You will need to decide which method works best for you and implement it effectively.
7. Be Better Than Your Neighbors
Keeping the deer on your property is always a competition and you can lose at any time. If your deer wander for just a day because you ran out of food, they might never come back. They might find a neighbor that has more food and cover, deciding to spend the rest of their lives in the more bountiful location.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can also attract wondering herds to stay if you have the room. If your neighbors don’t stay on top of their deer herd management efforts, you can steal their herd and make them never want to leave! Just make sure that you have enough land and resources to be able to support them so you can watch them grow.