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Improving the Quality of the Bucks on the Monarch Ranch


Editor’s Note: Les Motheral has been a Mossy Oak Pro for the last 4 years, lives on the north side of Fort Worth, Texas, and has been hunting whitetails for 30 years. He’s a whitetail guide at the Monarch Ranch. When we asked Motheral to name his favorite Mossy Oak pattern, after a long pause, he said. “I wear different patterns, depending on where I'm hunting, the time of the year and the game I'm hunting. Each Mossy Oak pattern is really designed for a different purpose and a different type terrain. Probably, the pattern I use most often is Break-Up, because it’s a more-versatile pattern than some of the other patterns.” 

The ranch has been working hard to improve the quality of the bucks that it’s producing. Apparently our management system is producing fewer non-typical racks, we’re feeding a lot of protein to the deer, and we've increased the number of does that we have on the property. Primarily in the past, you would see bucks and no does on the Monarch Ranch. 

Motheral_day5To increase the quality and the number of bucks we produce, the manager of the ranch believes we need to reduce the amount of does that we are harvesting and increase the number of does on the property. When the ranch first started its management program, our wildlife biologist told us we had about five bucks for every doe, and he suggested that we increase the number of does on the property. Reducing your doe population is easy. But since much of our hunting takes place during the rut, the bucks need to have chances to breed does. So, by reducing our doe harvest, we believe we can increase our buck harvest, until we have a more balanced herd of one buck per doe. We believe our herd now is up to two bucks per doe. We also take about 10 to 12 cull bucks each season. However, most of our hunters want to have the opportunity to take bucks that will score 150 B&C or better. 

My personal hunting is done on private land in Del Rio and Kerrville, Texas. Although I like to call in and watch my hunters at the Monarch Ranch take big trophy whitetails, I'm more of a meat hunter. My biggest buck with a bow was an 8-pointer that scored 125 Boone & Crockett. My best buck with a gun was a 140-class buck. I had much rather go out and harvest a doe than a buck. Although my personal preference is taking deer for meat, as a guide, I'm a trophy hunter. I get to see big Texas whitetails come in to my rattling and guiding, and I get to watch my hunters take those monster whitetails that most hunters only dream of taking. So, I guess I've got the best of two worlds. I'm a trophy hunter who doesn’t squeeze the trigger on trophy bucks, and I'm a meat hunter who prefers to take a doe rather than a large trophy buck. 

Day 4: Calling Deer on a Trophy Whitetail Ranch

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