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The Importance of a Harvest Plan

deer herd managment

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. “Trigger finger” management is about a harvest strategy, not just letting small bucks walk. This harvest list should have a plan as to which deer and how many we want to and need to harvest during the 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. Managers need to have an inventory of which animals should be harvested. This 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 (if you can identify them), 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 strategy before you step foot afield.

For more on making a harvest plan, read “Harvesting The Right Antlerless Deer.” There is no question that the harvesting of antlerless deer is part of a solid deer management plan. With that understood, there should be some logic in which antlerless deer should be removed from a herd.

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