My wife Tes and I began our Quality Deer Management journey over 15 years ago with the purchase of a small farm in east-central Alabama. It had been in her family for over 20 years, and much had been done to improve it for native wildlife.
When we took the reins we decided to implement the Four Cornerstones of QDM with the end goal being more mature whitetail bucks. Life had taught us that the best way to accomplish a goal was to have a plan. Our plan was not created in one day or a simple discussion. Like the land we manage, our plan is a living, breathing, ever-evolving strategy.
First, we had to decide what a mature buck was and the odds of growing and holding them on a small property. After much debate, we decided to adopt the formula used for determining “shooter” bucks at Tara Wildlife, one of the South’s premier bowhunting destinations. That formula is:
- 15-inch inside spread
- 185 pounds live weight
- 18-inch main beam length
- 4 inches of mass carried throughout
- Good tine length
Tara had proven most bucks that checked at least three of these five boxes were at least 3½ years old.
Another part of our plan addressed habitat. In our opinion, 60 acres of bahia grass pasture offered little benefit to deer or other wildlife. The other 155 acres consisted of hardwood ridges and draws, tupelo and oak swamp, and 25 acres of loblolly pine planted in 1995. By 2000, these planted pines provided excellent bedding for deer. Continue Reading – https://www.qdma.com/a-buck-called-trespasser/