Quality Deer Management: Do You Know How Many Deer Are on Your Property?

Chad HensleyCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2010

Many deer hunters say that they have too many does on their property, but do they really know?  And if they do have too many, do they have an idea of what the excess is?  Most likely not.

Most hunters rely on what they see in the field as an indicator of the population density and buck to doe ratios.  While this is better than nothing, it isn’t much better (than nothing).

With the advent of the trail camera as a scouting tool, it is easier than ever to count your deer.  Trail cameras can be there when you are not, which includes getting glimpses of that gnarly, monster buck you never even knew was on your property, as well as all the other bucks that are more active when the moon is out and the sun is sleeping.

This article will show you how to use HuntersClub.com’s W.I.S.E. to quickly import the data that your trail camera has captured and analyze it.  You will be able to determine deer density (acres per deer), acres per buck, acres per doe, buck to doe ratio, and fawn to doe ratio on your property.  It will even tell you how many does you need to harvest to meet a set buck to doe ratio. 

NOTE: All calculations by W.I.S.E. are based on the latest research done by leading white-tailed deer experts.


Why should I care how many deer I have?

If you care about the quality of the deer on your property, you must have a pretty good grasp on the quantity.  Deer density is a key variable in many of the decisions you make as a quality deer manager.  

For example, if you have too many deer for the carrying capacity, you may need to increase your harvest, increase the natural resources, or a combination, depending on the situation. 


What is the best deer density for my property?

There are a lot of variables that determine the optimal deer density for a property, but 20-30 acres per deer is a relatively safe goal to start out with.   That number will fluctuate, depending on your location's resources and many other variables, and will actually fluctuate across all four seasons.  

Kip Adams, a Director of Education and Outreach for QDMA, and certified wildlife biologist, wrote a fantastic article in QDMA’s Quality Whitetails magazine for August/September 2010.  The title is “What’s the Best Deer Density?” and it goes in depth about this subject.   I highly encourage you to read it.

Read the rest of the article on HuntersClub.com


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