I think you know what you are doing here... :)
By Steve S
#279990
Jack instead of pointing out where your wrong on what's important to the deers habitant and nutrition needs, I'm going to ask you do a search on the topic and I'd like for you to look at the sources on the screen of who supplied the reports, I'd ask you try to find UGA, Auburn, U of Alabama and U of Tenn deer studies, I have no doubt you and I are working toward the same goals and I have no doubt if I can get you to read what studies have learned from deer in the wild, you'll learn about things that you haven't heard of before, for example, what happens in the woods when it has a hard killing frost or a hard freeze? I think we can agree it kills the natural browse and to me, that makes our plots that much more needed and important to the herds and plots were intended as a food source in late winter, Dec, Jan, Feb and into early march when things start greening up again but along the way people started planting attractants for shooting plots instead of food plots, since you brought up protein needs did you know a bucks velvet antler consist of 80% protein and the harden antler consist of 45% of protein, that a doe feeding a fawn needs 18% of protein in her diet to be able feed her fawns enough milk and that protein is a major building block for muscle and bone and what's a fawn other than a bundle of growing muscle and bone? Since the buck shed and start new growth just after shedding that kind of pokes a hole in what you currently believe about when protein's needed. Fawns grow into yearlings then grow into adults and that's not seasonal growth either. These are only a few of the reasons I want the highest protein diet for my herds I can provide, another reason I ask you to do the search is it removes all doubt the knowledge you"ll gain comes from an accredited source instead of some guy on a forum
By yoderj@cox.net
#280037
Steve,

I have seen many of those studies and I'm well aware of a deer's nutritional needs. Perhaps you missed my point. I did not say that protein was not important or that food plots were not important. My point was that a few points difference between varieties in one particular nutrient is of little consequence in the big picture.

Your arguments demonstrate the same flaw in logic:

Deer need protein for antler development ....Therefore if I plant brand A variety which is a few points higher in protein (pick your nutrient) instead of brand B variety I will be helping my deer develop bigger/better antlers...

You have the marketing down pat.

Keep in mind that most of the nutrient levels advertised are under the best conditions. Do you think WI improved clovers grow equally well everywhere on every soil and will always produce those levels? Is it better to have a lower peak protein level but be producing for more months of the year?

In the end, you have to consider all the factors, and cost is an important one. As I said, BOB mixes have their place, but they make no sense for my situation.

It is fine to agree to disagree. If you believe the BOB mixes are the best answer for you, by all means use them. I for one would go bankrupt trying to use BOB mixes on significant acreage.

Thanks,

Jack
By Steve S
#280047
Steve,

I have seen many of those studies and I'm well aware of a deer's nutritional needs. Perhaps you missed my point. I did not say that protein was not important or that food plots were not important. My point was that a few points difference between varieties in one particular nutrient is of little consequence in the big picture.

Your arguments demonstrate the same flaw in logic:

Deer need protein for antler development ....Therefore if I plant brand A variety which is a few points higher in protein (pick your nutrient) instead of brand B variety I will be helping my deer develop bigger/better antlers...

You have the marketing down pat.

Keep in mind that most of the nutrient levels advertised are under the best conditions. Do you think WI improved clovers grow equally well everywhere on every soil and will always produce those levels? Is it better to have a lower peak protein level but be producing for more months of the year?

In the end, you have to consider all the factors, and cost is an important one. As I said, BOB mixes have their place, but they make no sense for my situation.

It is fine to agree to disagree. If you believe the BOB mixes are the best answer for you, by all means use them. I for one would go bankrupt trying to use BOB mixes on significant acreage.

Thanks,

Jack

and I agree we should agree to disagree and your not answering the questions about the herds nutritional needs in deep winter really disappointed me, and skimmed over the need for year round protein just the few example's showed, while your right, there's no one perfect seed, that's why we as deer managers have to find what works best for us in our own situations and that the thing that has always appealed to me about the QDMA their the first to say nothing in a management plan is written in stone but the same needs are always there and means the difference in a strong healthy herd and a average one or worse a below average one, I have the marketing down??LMAO Nope, I found out its better and also less expensive to roll the wheel instead of trying to re-invent it!!!!
By yoderj@cox.net
#280075
Steve,

I have seen many of those studies and I'm well aware of a deer's nutritional needs. Perhaps you missed my point. I did not say that protein was not important or that food plots were not important. My point was that a few points difference between varieties in one particular nutrient is of little consequence in the big picture.

Your arguments demonstrate the same flaw in logic:

Deer need protein for antler development ....Therefore if I plant brand A variety which is a few points higher in protein (pick your nutrient) instead of brand B variety I will be helping my deer develop bigger/better antlers...

You have the marketing down pat.

Keep in mind that most of the nutrient levels advertised are under the best conditions. Do you think WI improved clovers grow equally well everywhere on every soil and will always produce those levels? Is it better to have a lower peak protein level but be producing for more months of the year?

In the end, you have to consider all the factors, and cost is an important one. As I said, BOB mixes have their place, but they make no sense for my situation.

It is fine to agree to disagree. If you believe the BOB mixes are the best answer for you, by all means use them. I for one would go bankrupt trying to use BOB mixes on significant acreage.

Thanks,

Jack

and I agree we should agree to disagree and your not answering the questions about the herds nutritional needs in deep winter really disappointed me, and skimmed over the need for year round protein just the few example's showed, while your right, there's no one perfect seed, that's why we as deer managers have to find what works best for us in our own situations and that the thing that has always appealed to me about the QDMA their the first to say nothing in a management plan is written in stone but the same needs are always there and means the difference in a strong healthy herd and a average one or worse a below average one, I have the marketing down??LMAO Nope, I found out its better and also less expensive to roll the wheel instead of trying to re-invent it!!!!


The answer is deep winter is not important to my program, summer is the stress period here not winter. This further goes to support my point; everything has to be taken in context and balance. Focusing on something as narrow as few percentage points one nutritional element in one crop is well below the least significant digit for most programs.

I was not trying to be pejorative when I said you have the marketing down. I'm just saying that you are arguments are the exact same ones the companies use to convince folks to buy their products. And by the way, they didn't invent the wheel, farmers did. They just took the wheel, painted a big buck on the bag, improved it by .05% and convinced folks it was 10x better than the old wheel. When you put that fancy wheel on a race car with all cylinders firing in perfect unison, it may be the difference that wins the race by a bumper length. But for most of us driving old pickups, that expensive wheel doesn't get us there any faster than the wheel we have been using for years.
User avatar
By slay
#280094
I do read through these threads though truthfully a lot of it is way over my head and taken to a level that I will never experience. I know very few people that can call a square mile of land as their own in the area I live in. So I guess realistically for the vast majority of us at least, the local co-op is a far better way to go any way.

But I did have to look up the word "pejorative" Jack. So all is not lost. You can learn something every day if you try hard enough. :P
By Steve S
#280107
I do read through these threads though truthfully a lot of it is way over my head and taken to a level that I will never experience. I know very few people that can call a square mile of land as their own in the area I live in. So I guess realistically for the vast majority of us at least, the local co-op is a far better way to go any way.

But I did have to look up the word "pejorative" Jack. So all is not lost. You can learn something every day if you try hard enough. :P

Slay, I read your other post on QDM, you practice it and grasp the concept of it more than some do who proclaim to and I believe you said your on a 30 acre tract of land
By yoderj@cox.net
#280113
I do read through these threads though truthfully a lot of it is way over my head and taken to a level that I will never experience. I know very few people that can call a square mile of land as their own in the area I live in. So I guess realistically for the vast majority of us at least, the local co-op is a far better way to go any way.

But I did have to look up the word "pejorative" Jack. So all is not lost. You can learn something every day if you try hard enough. :P


Slay,

You don't necessarily need to own a square mine. However, if you don't have some level of control or influence over the home range of a deer, you won't see any measurable results from QDM. You can plant anything you want, but if your neighbors are shooting anything with antlers, you are not going to see more mature bucks. Age becomes the limiting factor in this area.

I don't own a square mile. We own a little less than 400 acres, but we do have some neighbors that don't permit hunting, others who are cooperating in QDM and others that at least have restraint on buck harvest. All told, I'd say we have about 800 acres of influence. Is that enough? I think it depends.

Unless you own huge acreage, bucks will leave your property during the rut and you will lose some. You can minimize how many leave and how long they leave by managing your property, but you can’t prevent it. So, it is a question of whether your gains are more than your losses.

My rule of thumb is 1,000 acres. That is not a hard number. It largely depends on habitat. In quality habitat a deer’s home range is smaller and in poor habitat it is larger. If you put 1% of that home range in quality foods you can have a measureable impact on your herd using body weight and antler size metrics. At 3% that impact becomes significant. Once you get past 5% you start to hit the law of diminishing returns. Does that mean you need to plant 10-30 acres in food plots? In some cases, the answer is yes, but in many it is no.

If you are next to ag, overall quality food may not even be an issue for you. It could be a seasonal issue where food plots are targeted at specific periods after farmers harvest. It could also be that you have lots of quality native foods. On our pine farm, Japanese Honeysuckle has almost become invasive, yet it is a great quality deer food. You may have neighbors that are planting food plots.

I actually like to draw two concentric circles centered on your property, one is the 1,000 acre circle and the second is the 3 mile circle. I like to then inventory the quality foods and when they are available in those circles. I focus on the 1,000 acre circle for herd nutrition, but deer will search for several miles if food gets lean. I use the 3 mile circle to see if I will be drawing deer from other areas. If so, shooting does becomes an even bigger focus with my deer densities.

Once you do this, you have the tools necessary to decide if you can really impact your herd. In some situations, a 30 acre property could be perfect and plenty to have an impact on the herd depending on the surrounding properties.

The idea that many new folks have that if I just buy a bag of SuperFantaticWhitetailMonstorMix and plant an acre, I'm gonna grow big bucks does need to be dispelled, but that shouldn't stop anyone from doing an honest assessment of their property, deciding if QDM is realistic, and developing realistic expectations of what they can do.

Also keep in mind that food plots are just as much fun when they are done for attraction as when they are done for QDM.

Steve has his heart in the right place and I wish him the best and he is saying nothing that I did not believe at some point in the past.

This stuff is fun to talk about but much more fun to do. I've got 400 persimmon seedlings on my deck right now just screaming to be watered...

No vocabulary lessons in this post :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jack
By Steve S
#280123
Also keep in mind that food plots are just as much fun when they are done for attraction as when they are done for QDM.
Steve has his heart in the right place and I wish him the best and he is saying nothing that I did not believe at some point in the past.
This stuff is fun to talk about but much more fun to do. I've got 400 persimmon seedlings on my deck right now just screaming to be watered...
--------Jack, we were right that we do agree on something's, the difference is in our goals, while I have no idea what yours are, mine is to do what I can to supply the best food source I can for all wildlife including improving the health and development of our herds,. Yes, I say I plant for the deer but the bottom line is, all critters benefit from a plot. I see everything from honey bees to bears to turkeys, to coons in them, still haven't figured out what the draw there is for the coons though, going back, I couldn't find where you stated you'd tried the raw seed route. Oh I did see you said You disapproved of only being able to buy IWC from WI, thought I'd let you know, Gander Mountain, Cabala's , Bass Pro Shops and Dicks Sporting goods carry it and have for quite sometime.
Last edited by Steve S on Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By yoderj@cox.net
#280133
Steve,

I think you misunderstood my point. I wasn't disapproving of anything. I was saying that I can buy straight Durana which is happens to be an improved variety that is exclusive to Pennington. It turns out that the characteristics that Durana has fit my situation very well and I'm willing to pay a reasonable premium for those characteristics over a common Dutch white or ladino clover. I have been able to buy it in 25 lb bags from Poudre Valley Coop shipped to me in VA for $125 which is $5/lb. WI has some improved clover varieties that have some great characteristics. They may or may not be a good fit for me. The problem is that I can't buy a single variety for a reasonable premium. They don't sell it. It is only sold as a mix of clovers. Let's presume that one of the varieties in their mix has characteristics that fit me better than Durana. The only way for me to get that clover is to by the mix (regardless of where I buy it).

Think about it. The WI mix is sold all across the US. Do you think all 5 of those clover varieties perform equally well in all climates and soils? Of course not. Plants are not just bred for a target animal, but they are also bread for performance in a particular environment. Focusing on things like marketing protein numbers really misses the big picture. Do you think all of those 5 varieties produce "Up to 35% protein"? Note the "Up to" caveat. Of course not.

I'm simply arguing that if I can select the individual clovers based on their individual characteristics, both for deer needs and for the environment they will grow in, as well as for the specific application I'm using them for, I end up with a much more efficient use of limited funding in my QDM program. If I could buy one of WI improved varieties by itself for a reasonable price and its characteristics matched my application, I'd be happy to try it. The fact is I can't. The only way they sell their varieties is in a mix. They have a perfect right to do so.

As for my goals, we are managing for multiple species. Deer and turkey are our primary species, but quail, small game, and non-consumptive wildlife are also in our plan. For example, we have a long open pipeline ROW that includes much of our destination food plot acreage. I use bicolor lespedeza to divide it into smaller fields to encourage more daytime use by deer. While deer don't generally eat bicolor, it produces millions of tiny seeds and is used heavily by quail, song birds, and small game.

Thanks,

Jack
User avatar
By slay
#280178
Slay, I read your other post on QDM, you practice it and grasp the concept of it more than some do who proclaim to and I believe you said your on a 30 acre tract of land
Steve, if you keep this up people will start to think I am more than just a man who bitches when cameras do not work as advertised........ :P

Well, I do get the basics and I do own 30 acres. Unfortunately it is mostly open fields. But the neighbors are are more than delighted to utilize them for hay, corn, and oats. This year they planted some wheat. Not so sure it is all that beneficial. I want them to sow soybeans, yet they raise beef cattle so the focus is on their herd. I will eventually have to exercise control over a portion of it for peas, sugar beat experiments, and other stuff when I can afford the implements to do it myself. I have a 31 HP John deere tractor and next year plan on getting a tiller and a brush hog to start making a few inroads. My funds are all wrapped up in other plans this year, so I will have to take baby steps.
By Steve S
#280190
Slay, I read your other post on QDM, you practice it and grasp the concept of it more than some do who proclaim to and I believe you said your on a 30 acre tract of land
Steve, if you keep this up people will start to think I am more than just a man who bitches when cameras do not work as advertised........ :P

Well, I do get the basics and I do own 30 acres. Unfortunately it is mostly open fields. But the neighbors are are more than delighted to utilize them for hay, corn, and oats. This year they planted some wheat. Not so sure it is all that beneficial. I want them to sow soybeans, yet they raise beef cattle so the focus is on their herd. I will eventually have to exercise control over a portion of it for peas, sugar beat experiments, and other stuff when I can afford the implements to do it myself. I have a 31 HP John deere tractor and next year plan on getting a tiller and a brush hog to start making a few inroads. My funds are all wrapped up in other plans this year, so I will have to take baby steps.

Slay you said you let does walk when the herds down, I'll tell you quick that's a wise move, others would say but your neighbor's will take her for sure, I learned years ago nothings for sure in hunting. A man I know went and talked to the folks around him about doing some sort of QDM he was pleasantly surprised to learn they had been wanting to do it for a while but they didn't think others would. Since beef is being raised, why not ask them to give alfalfa a try? Great for deer and they love it when newly sprouted and just after being mowed and the new growth is tender, it grows well in the northern states, and it can be cut for hay, alfalfa hay is big seller down here but next to impossible to grow here in the South, I plant WI Alpha-rack, its a hybrid and does well. Sugar beets won't make it here either, too hot and not enough really cold weather for them, I've love to plant them but they just can't survive here. I have a J D 4500 with 4 wheel drive and its more than enough for whatl I do, paired it with a J D mark V brush hog. 6 ft roto- tiller,cutting harrows, all purpose plow, 55 gallon sprayer and some other toys 500 lb spreader and such, most the implement's I have were bought used and I got some off craigslist, saved a bunch of money buying used instead of new stuff, I did buy the tiller new but the used ones I was finding were either worn out or they were priced so high I was better off buying new, Slay, if your ground hasn't been worked before, I highly suggest plowing it up first with a set of all purpose plows to bring up rocks roots, etc before putting a tiller to work on it
User avatar
By slay
#280194
Oh trust me, the fields have been worked many times oer these many years. The rocks and such are long gone. It is just a matter of me having the equipment. Thanks for the heads up on the alfalfa. I am not a farmer so I will discuss it with the neighbors. I do not mind footing some of the bill if it benefits their goals as well.

As for not shooting does and letting the lesser bucks grow, it is a personal decision. I always believe that my personal decisions may indeed benefit the game. If that result benefits someone else...so be it. A risk worth taking despite the moments of regret I wrestle with.

As for the neighbors, a lot of them have stopped shooting as many does now. They are tired of not seeing deer any more and their children and grandchildren not enjoying hunting due to hours of watching empty woodlots in gun season. It is refreshing.
By yoderj@cox.net
#280204
Slay,

One of the things I've learned recently is just bad we hunters are in estimating dee populations. We get tiny observation samples when we hunt. We share them with each other and develop a consensus. When we first got our property you would see deer everywhere. I'd plant a clover plot a couple hundred yards long. I'd be mowing one end and deer would be feeding in the other. When I got down to their end, they would reluctantly go into the woods, but by the time I got to the other end, they would be back feeding again.

We started shooting every doe we could as we a have increased our QDM efforts over the years. Our hunters have significantly fewer deer sightings now than ever before. Each year, they see fewer deer. We must be shooting too many does...Right?

Wrong! We need to shoot more than ever, our populations have been climbing each year. How do I know? My wireless black flash camera network running 24/7/365. While our deer densities have always been high, when we first started, there was so little quality food available that deer would expose themselves and tolerate a lot to get it. As we have improved our habitat, deer have better cover and are forced to leave it much less to get the nutrition they need. Hunting pressure (although we don't hunt with dogs, we are in a dog count and folks run dogs across our property all the time) causes deer to go nocturnal. You can pretty much mark our hunting season boundaries in my camera data. Pictures switch from day to night.

So, not seeing deer could mean you are shooting too many does, or it could mean you are improving the habitat, or it could be a combination of both. I have found hunter data to be the least reliable in determining population trends in a small area. I'm sure it has value at a county level but not as much on an individual property.

The nature of my place demonstrates this. The state biologist gives us as many free doe tags as we want. We are really the only significant agriculture for quite some distance. During the summer when native foods dry up and the pasture clover goes dormant, deer travel quite some distance to find quality food. When they get to our place, they have everything they need. If we killed a doe the previous fall and left a hole in the social structure, another will take its place.

It is hard to convince our hunters that populations continue to increase sometimes when they aren't seeing as many deer when they hunt. Even when they see the data, here it from the game department biologist for our area, it is hard to for them to accept.

Deciding when to shoot does is not always easy.
User avatar
By slay
#280206
Jack, I assure you I spend enough time afield to make my determinations. It is never based solely on population fluctuations throughout the year. But I do agree....most folks dont know how to hunt, and they certainly spend far less time doing it than I do so they. Believe me, their assessment of the deer around here is even lower than mine....LOL
By Steve S
#280225
Slay I read several different forums and from what I read on some of them posted by hunters and trappers on the east side of the Mississippi there's a new player in town and he's devastated the deer herds in some states already, I can guarantee they have here in some areas in GA to the point the GA DNR has reinstated Doe Days, he's even moving into the metro areas and feasting on dogs cats garbage any thing else he can catch or find, Meet Mr Coyote. He has a special taste for fawns and deer meat. Here in Ga they just kinda showed up, Like most people here who spend time in the woods we knew they were here but knew nothing about them and sadly we founded out almost too late to stop him before he'd just about wiped out the deer in many areas, I knew our deer population was down but didn't know why, I blamed it on people taking too many does, poachers , night hunters, a long list of reasons and all wrong, bottom line, I didn't have a clue why. I had noticed I wasn't seeing field mice or rabbits in the plots when I was cutting them like I had always seen them, then when scouting, I wasn't seeing many fox or bobcat tracks along with turkey tracks and we had always had a high turkey population and the cameras I had out were only getting photos very few deer ,no spring fawns and many of crows or hawks, the land owner had released around 4000 quail on my lease about this same time period in an effort to restore them here and they just disappeared, in a short period of time, like me, he blamed it on everything but the real problem, the coyotes. Now for the so far so good ending, he's who figured what was going on, he gave me a call and then brought in a professional trapper, I showed him around the property and turned him loose to do what trappers do. I was still skeptical, that changed in four days, I saw the trapper coming up one of the roads, we stopped and I ask if he had caught anything, he just grinned and pointed to the back of his truck, he had 15 coyotes in it, fast forward to now, we've killed and trapped about 200 in the last 18 months off 3200 acres, our fawn recruitment seems to be on the rise now and why I decided to join here, to learn as much as I can about using trail cameras thier placement and what type camera is best for different situations so I can get a good idea where our herds recovery is at
Last edited by Steve S on Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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