“Harvest Big Bucks Every Year by Marty Prokop”
Big bucks are getting harder and harder to find for some deer hunters.
What if you had so many deer on your deer hunting land that you could pick and
choose which deer you wanted to harvest?
Sounds like a fantasy?
I believe it is much more real and possible than many deer hunters imagine. How? By
implementing Quality Deer Management, here’s what I mean.
If you are finding deer hard to come by or if you are seeing mostly does or younger
deer, and the more mature deer and big bucks are hard to come by, your deer herd may
need some help.
Quality Deer Management Secrets by Marty Prokop
QDM means the opposite of “if it’s brown, it’s down.” It means to selectively harvest
mature deer after they have been allowed a few years to procreate in their peak.
This means to pass on shooting the younger deer so they can grow and have offspring. Consider passing on the nice bucks approaching their peaks so they can procreate
for a few years and increase the quality of the deer herd on your deer hunting land.
If I have my eye on a buck for harvest, it is because I have watched this deer for
several years. I will harvest the chosen buck after it has had two years or more of great
antler growth.
Because I want that deer to procreate offspring during its peak so my deer herd has
great antlers for years to come.
Since deer breed basically once a year, by leaving this deer in the herd for a few years
to procreate, I have increased the quality of the deer herd offspring for years to come.
Believe me, it’s not always easy.
I have passed great shots on monster bucks on my deer hunting land. It was hard.
But now I see more large bucks with racks that look like their monster buck
grandfather’s rack. I see does that have the strong body structure of the monster buck.
This really gives me a great deal of pleasure and comfort knowing the deer herd is
doing well and the strong gene pool is being passed on.
Marty Prokop Answers, “But Which Deer Do I Pass On?”
What I recommend is to let the young deer have offspring. Let those bucks in their
prime have a few years to procreate and pass on their genes. Consider harvesting the big
buck in about the third or so year of great antler growth. It helps to know your deer herd.
Usually bucks get their first set of antlers at about 1½ years old. Nice racks start
appearing at the age of 5½. If I waited until the second “nice rack year” the buck will
have procreated at its peak for two years. This means the buck will be in the 6½ to 7½
year old range when harvested.
Before their peaks bucks will generally have smaller racks and smaller bodies. Young
does will have smaller features as well.
You can see the difference between a mature doe and a young doe in my trail cam
pictures at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com and in the blog post where I answered
Alyssa’s question on how to age a deer in the field. You can find the blog post here on
the blog under the category of “Age a Deer” by looking to the right for the list of
To see the pictures go to http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/deer_cam.htm and
click on the link that says Deer Cam Photos From October 9 to October10, 2006 .
The second photo in the series will show you a mature doe standing next to a yearling
deer. Pay close attention to the mature doe's face and head compared to the yearling.
Look at the top of the doe’s nose. You will notice it is slightly rounded. Also look at
the overall length of her whole head. The doe in that picture is estimated to be six years
A mature deer, whether it is a buck or doe, will have an approximate measurement of
six to seven inches from the inside corner of the eye to the tip of its nose. Use this
guideline to age a deer while in the field.
One of the best ways to get used to age a deer in the field is to study as many deer as
you can throughout the year. Study the photos here on the website, live deer or deer
hunting videos.
With a little time and practice you can guesstimate the age of deer while you are out
deer hunting.
Good Luck and Great Hunting!
Marty Prokop
Find Deer Games and Hunting Fun at: www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com
Great Pictures and Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: www.Marty-Prokop.com
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