Whitetail Management - Yes, Virginia. There Are Trophy Bucks

Tucker301

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I've known these folks for a good number of years now.
A few years back they purchased several adjoined properties here in Virginia and went to work. Hard and expensive work.

They have been selectively clearing, planting, and managing the acreage for maybe 7 years now, taking cull bucks and does, and leaving the boys that have shown potential.
Hours and hours of hard work. Planting, replanting, controlling unwanted weeds and grasses developing areas where the deer feel safe and comfortable.
You just don't see deer like this in most of our area. We have clubs that run deer with dogs and indiscriminately shoot nearly anything that is brown and not barking.

The land purchase itself was brilliant.
The property is bordered by the Interstate on one side and a big wide river on the other.
The club hunters don't want their dogs getting ran over by semis, and they don't want to drive 30 miles around to get to the other side of the river, so they stay away as much as possible.

They have tinkered with different kinds of planting combinations, but I think they've hit the sweet spot now with the right combination.

Here's what he sent me the other night.

"I mix Eagle soybeans with 50/50 Ag beans. Then mix in about 2 pounds of corn.
When the leaves begin to yellow I sow wheat into the standing beans and corn."

The corn gives the Eagle beans a vertical structure to climb, and it makes the deer comfortable with spaced cover while feeding.

Last year's big boy was taken by his wife.

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Last weekend the son scored his best buck to date, eclipsing two nice bucks he'd killed in Illinois on previous trips.
I don't think he needs to go to Illinois anymore.

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Same deer with last year's shed

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Today momma struck again with this brute
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Here are those two together from the game cam last summer
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One of the plots after the wheat got some rain

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Tucker301

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These lines aren't exact, but it's close.
~175 acres total. The son's house and pond occupy some and his shop and offices a little bit down at the bottom.
That largest plot near the house is about 5.5 acres.
The others are either small plots or strips they've cleared and planted.
The deer have all they need there and the geography of natural boundaries and neighborhoods makes leaving even less attractive to them.




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shields shtr

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Wow. 175 Acres. Speaks to how tight a whitetails home range can be. Out here, I fantasize about being able to manage elk in a similar fashion. Unfortunately, I haven't won the lottery because you need about 10,000 acres to be able to have a place big enough to fulfill all their needs. Where I hunt, the elk frequently travel 5 miles one way just to feed, then turn around and go back another 5-7 to bed. Then repeat. Then, if the wolves move through (as they frequently do) all bets are off.
 

Tucker301

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Wow. 175 Acres. Speaks to how tight a whitetails home range can be. Out here, I fantasize about being able to manage elk in a similar fashion. Unfortunately, I haven't won the lottery because you need about 10,000 acres to be able to have a place big enough to fulfill all their needs. Where I hunt, the elk frequently travel 5 miles one way just to feed, then turn around and go back another 5-7 to bed. Then repeat. Then, if the wolves move through (as they frequently do) all bets are off.
That big bull I saw in Estes Park with 40 cows seemed intent on being where he was. I'm guessing they stay right around town pretty close.
I think you can do it with far fewer acres, but you have to provide everything they want. Food, cover, water, and elk pussy.
 

Lapuapalooza

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That big bull I saw in Estes Park with 40 cows seemed intent on being where he was. I'm guessing they stay right around town pretty close.
I think you can do it with far fewer acres, but you have to provide everything they want. Food, cover, water, and elk pussy.
You should have hit me up if you were in Estes Park. I thought you were only on the western slope.
 

Dewey7271

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Nice plot of land and program they have there. Nice looking bucks also.
Wife and I spent the 4th of July in Grand Lake 6 or 7 years ago. Pretty cool fireworks over the lake.
 
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Tucker301

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Did you come down Hwy 34 into Loveland then onto I-25 toward Denver? If so, you were 15 minutes from my house.
I think that's the way we went. We thought we left the park with a good time buffer, but by the time we got through construction delays, accident delays, and general Denver traffic clusterfuckery we just barely made the flight home. We didn't even have time to stop and refill the rental, and we literally arrived at the gate at final call.
 
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Lapuapalooza

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I think that's the way we went. We thought we left the park with a good time buffer, but by the time we got through construction delays, accident delays, and general Denver traffic clusterfuckery we just barely made the flight home. We didn't even have time to stop and refill the rental, and we literally arrived at the gate at final call.
Yep. Welcome to Colorado. Too damn many people. Bet you were glad to get home though.
You probably drove right by Mile High Shooting too.
 
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deersniper

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Surprised they don’t have poachers.
Surprised the deer don’t wander onto adjoining property’s and get smoked as soon as they have spikes.

That’s the problem with the east if you like big bucks.
You have hunters that don’t respect property boundary’s. I’ve heard of hunters stealing stands off adjoining property’s “because I don’t want them shooting my deer”
And you have mouth breathers that will have a fat doe and a spike in view and they will smoke the spike every time.
 

Tucker301

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He had a trespasser on one of his cams last season. Cell cams with instant notification.
GW was waiting for him at his vehicle when the goober walked out of the property.
 
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Stooxie

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I'm not sure what the point is here. So if you buy 175 acres, plant the perfect deer food plots and scrupulously manage what gets hunted you'll develop some trophy bucks? Don't think you'll find anyone who would argue with that. I wouldn't, however, extend that to being some kind of attribute of the state. My understanding of states the produce these record breaking bruisers is that they often in the corn belt, or similar, feeding off all the soy, corn, and whatever crops they can eat.

I hunt the Northern VA deer and the biggest ones are definitely in the burbs where they can eat all the hostas they like and local ordinances mostly won't let you hunt them. I shot a pretty massive 11 point buck in my friend's back yard in Vienna (closer to Reston). 1/4 acre, he had just walked by the swing set with his doe.

-Stooxie
 
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Tucker301

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I'm not sure what the point is here. So if you buy 175 acres, plant the perfect deer food plots and scrupulously manage what gets hunted you'll develop some trophy bucks? Don't think you'll find anyone who would argue with that.
I wasn't looking for an argument. :rolleyes:
 
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