Like most aspects of managing wildlife, having a plan will help you to make smart, accurate assessments. Herd management decisions can often have the biggest impact on the amount and size of the bucks you have to hunt. Killing the right deer and the correct amount of specific deer will have a huge impact on the density, buck to doe ratio and age structure of a herd. Often referred to as “trigger finger management,” it’s about a harvest strategy, not just letting small bucks walk. Some hate the use of the term “hit list,” regardless of what you call it, we should have a plan as to which deer and how many we want to, and need to harvest during this hunting season.
Killing the right does and the proper amount of does will be important not only for seeing more bucks, but also producing larger bucks too. Managers need to have an inventory of which animals should be harvested. A “hit list” should include the bucks you have seen on your trail cameras that are worthy of your arrow and either a list of specific does, or a general guideline of how many females should be removed. Sitting in an opening day treestand is the wrong time and place to ponder these important details. New information may come your way throughout the course of the season and it may require you to change your plans, but you should have a plan before you step foot afield. The ScoutLook Deer Log App will help keep track of all your info.
This tip is courtesy of the GameKeepers Field Notes, a weekly wildlife and land management email newsletter produced by the Mossy Oak GameKeepers.
A GameKeeper by definition is someone who truly loves AND lives the land, the critters and nature…not just during hunting season but all the time. A GameKeeper wants to be outdoors every day and work the dirt while living their personal “obsession”.
Find out more about what makes a GameKeeper by visiting our website.