Sitka Mountain Gear
Is QDM a complete waste of time and $ ?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine 07-Dec-20
SteveB 07-Dec-20
wytex 07-Dec-20
Supernaut 07-Dec-20
RIT 07-Dec-20
Trial153 07-Dec-20
Toonces 07-Dec-20
Bake 07-Dec-20
Grey Ghost 07-Dec-20
JL 07-Dec-20
kakiatkids 07-Dec-20
Teeton 07-Dec-20
drycreek 07-Dec-20
Rupe 07-Dec-20
midwest 07-Dec-20
Dale06 07-Dec-20
Bowfreak 07-Dec-20
Matt 07-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 07-Dec-20
JTreeman 07-Dec-20
Old School 07-Dec-20
IdyllwildArcher 07-Dec-20
Rupe 07-Dec-20
Hackbow 07-Dec-20
Catscratch 07-Dec-20
Grey Ghost 07-Dec-20
Teeton 07-Dec-20
Scoot 07-Dec-20
Bou'bound 07-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 07-Dec-20
Missouribreaks 07-Dec-20
Aluminum Rain 07-Dec-20
JL 07-Dec-20
Missouribreaks 07-Dec-20
wildwilderness 07-Dec-20
Ollie 07-Dec-20
Cornpone 07-Dec-20
John in MO / KY 07-Dec-20
Bob H in NH 07-Dec-20
Vonfoust 07-Dec-20
Trophy8 07-Dec-20
Knife2sharp 07-Dec-20
Kodiak 07-Dec-20
t-roy 07-Dec-20
deerhunter72 07-Dec-20
12yards 07-Dec-20
drycreek 07-Dec-20
LINK 07-Dec-20
LINK 07-Dec-20
x-man 07-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 07-Dec-20
Cornpone 07-Dec-20
Knife2sharp 07-Dec-20
KY EyeBow 07-Dec-20
t-roy 07-Dec-20
Huntcell 07-Dec-20
hunt'n addict 07-Dec-20
Genesis 07-Dec-20
JSW 07-Dec-20
keepemsharp 07-Dec-20
JSW 07-Dec-20
Old School 07-Dec-20
spike78 07-Dec-20
SBH 07-Dec-20
Charlie Rehor 07-Dec-20
JL 07-Dec-20
t-roy 07-Dec-20
Lee 07-Dec-20
JSW 07-Dec-20
spike78 07-Dec-20
Rupe 07-Dec-20
Trial153 07-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 07-Dec-20
t-roy 07-Dec-20
Knife2sharp 07-Dec-20
Lee 07-Dec-20
12yards 07-Dec-20
jingalls 07-Dec-20
Bill in MI 07-Dec-20
Deerplotter 07-Dec-20
JB 07-Dec-20
kota-man 07-Dec-20
GF 07-Dec-20
Treefarm 08-Dec-20
DanaC 08-Dec-20
Zbone 08-Dec-20
Bou'bound 08-Dec-20
Kevin Dill 08-Dec-20
hawkeye in PA 08-Dec-20
Missouribreaks 08-Dec-20
Bow Crazy 08-Dec-20
x-man 08-Dec-20
DRR324 08-Dec-20
goyt 08-Dec-20
Habitat 08-Dec-20
SteveD 08-Dec-20
Kodiak 08-Dec-20
drycreek 08-Dec-20
JL 08-Dec-20
deerhunter72 08-Dec-20
APauls 08-Dec-20
Bow Crazy 08-Dec-20
wildwilderness 08-Dec-20
Grey Ghost 08-Dec-20
deerhunter72 08-Dec-20
JL 08-Dec-20
Bowbender 08-Dec-20
Sand man 08-Dec-20
Grey Ghost 08-Dec-20
DNEWER 08-Dec-20
Grey Ghost 08-Dec-20
Bowbender 08-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 08-Dec-20
Rupe 08-Dec-20
Grey Ghost 08-Dec-20
JSW 08-Dec-20
Steve Leffler 08-Dec-20
JL 08-Dec-20
t-roy 08-Dec-20
Bou'bound 08-Dec-20
Scoot 08-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 08-Dec-20
Grey Ghost 08-Dec-20
elkmo 09-Dec-20
LBshooter 09-Dec-20
goyt 09-Dec-20
bigdog21 09-Dec-20
wildwilderness 09-Dec-20
BigOzzie 09-Dec-20
bigdog21 09-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 09-Dec-20
XbowfromNY 09-Dec-20
t-roy 09-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 09-Dec-20
XbowfromNY 09-Dec-20
ohiohunter 09-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 09-Dec-20
XbowfromNY 09-Dec-20
Buffalo1 09-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 09-Dec-20
IdyllwildArcher 09-Dec-20
Rub Line 09-Dec-20
Catscratch 09-Dec-20
powder 09-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 09-Dec-20
powder 09-Dec-20
Sand man 09-Dec-20
Zbone 10-Dec-20
APauls 10-Dec-20
goyt 10-Dec-20
XbowfromNY 10-Dec-20
sticksender 10-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 10-Dec-20
MichaelArnette 10-Dec-20
olebuck 11-Dec-20
Grubby 11-Dec-20
Ollie 11-Dec-20
kscowboy 14-Dec-20
From: Pat Lefemine
07-Dec-20
Every year me and my hard-core deer hunting buds anguish about rifle season. Case in point. On my 312 acre NY farm, I passed exactly five rack bucks. They were all 2.5. I never saw a buck older than that this year.

Well, as of yesterday 5 (all) of those bucks are now confirmed dead during the rifle season. The last one was a 40" basket 8 that I filmed making a scrape. He was likely the biggest of the batch. So unless something older moves in, every rack buck I see next year will be 2.5.

In 10 years of owning the parcel, we have killed three bucks. My first year I killed a 3.5, then my son killed a 6.5 and I killed a 6.5. That's two bucks for me in ten years.

I pour lots of $ into habitat, food plots, and TSI and my neighbors love me for it. It seems all I do is grow deer for everyone else to shoot. They don't do crap.

They are all wonderful people. I consider them friends. They are respectful and never trespass. I am blessed in that regard. But they all complain about the deer quality anad tell me they are going to let the little ones walk "this year". But they never do. After ten years, I feel it's completely pointless. It truly is the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

I know a lot of you guys are hard-core land and habitat nuts here. I have an honest question for you - do you really think that QDM is working, do you feel it's worth it?

From: SteveB
07-Dec-20
It can be......but sometimes isn't a waste. WIth small parcels it certainly is a risk. See my post coming shortly about our small parcel that we manage in Ohio. It definitely depends on your neighbors.

From: wytex
07-Dec-20
Works great on big enough piece of property, not so much on smaller acreages with small lot neighbors.

From: Supernaut
07-Dec-20
I assume all 5 of those bucks were killed outside of your 312 acres?

I've hunted in PA my entire life. I don't own my own property to hunt but I do have permission to hunt on several pieces of property near my home. Antler restrictions in PA have allowed bucks to grow a little but most bucks still get shot before they ever reach full maturity either in archery or rifle.

I know folks who own or lease property for hunting and put a lot of time and money into it. They pass bucks waiting for them to mature or reach a certain minimum age or antler size. They kill nice bucks but sometimes those "smaller" bucks get killed on adjacent property. Although I can somewhat understand their frustration, short of high fencing your entire property I don't know how you could eliminate it. Bucks travel, bucks get shot.

I've heard guys refer to bucks on their property as "their bucks" and that mentality usually leads to frustration, anger or heartache when someone else shoots them.

Best of luck to you with the property and the situation.

From: RIT
07-Dec-20
No and no but damn do I like doing it. My cause is hopeless on the NW Ohio farm that I own. First I don’t have sufficient scale to make it work. We have the genetics but not the age structure. If it’s not the road killing young bucks it’s all the neighbors. Going on year 8 for me and if anything the hunting has become worse as people find out about the bucks that “used” to be. In part because several large parcels have recently changed hands and they are now getting pounded. Last year I probably saw 20 different bucks over the course of the season and exactly 1 of those deer would was older than 3.5. So far this year that number is down to about 10 bucks and only a pair of 2.5 year olds both with skinny racks. One of those bucks probably flirts with P&Y but just not what I am looking to shoot. I have poured 10s of thousands of dollars into the habitat not including the cost of the land, taxes, upkeep and time. I have 3 P&Y bucks to show for it in 8 years/9 seasons. There will never be a return on my investment but I have enjoyed myself. I love living on my property full time but I have really started looking to Southern Ohio. Pat I don’t know how you own land while living out of town that gives me heartburn just thinking about it but if all goes well I should own a nice chunk in a year or two. I have 57 fruit trees on order for my current farm set to be delivered in the Spring. The cost of those trees and the amount of time and energy needed to properly plant them surely don’t seem worth it to me after the season I just had.

From: Trial153
07-Dec-20
The only thing that has worked in my park of NY is antler restrictions and bow only zones. And just barely at that ....

Too much freaking pressure, to many hunters. With the right regulations NY west of I 81 would be as good hunting as a lot of better states. East of 81... not happening. Too many negatives in NY for QDM to over come. hunters per square mile, hunter behavior and traditions, terrible season structures, poor tag allocations. There is no over coming the negatives.

From: Toonces
07-Dec-20
If the only reason you are pouring. money, time and sweat equity into habitat improvement is to kill big bucks, then yes I would say you are wasting your time.

I would think however the work and improvements your making would have its own rewards above and above and beyond trophies.

From: Bake
07-Dec-20
I'm not a big time habitat and property guy. I own nothing. I do no habitat work, although it is my dream to be able to do so.

I guess I look at it differently, and wouldn't even call it QDM. I would look at all that work and money, as benefitting your hunting.

If it doesn't benefit your hunting and YOUR satisfaction, then I think it would be time to list that farm and look for something different. If you can't produce anything over a 2 year old (or very rarely), then no, I don't think that money and time is worth it. . . .

I have zero experience, but a lot of time to think. The main farm I hunt is pounded around the edges, and poor habitat, but will produce and hold a couple mature bucks a year just due to the amount of cover. If I could practice QDM there, and plant food, I think it would make very little difference in the quality of the bucks. It might make the quality of the hunt for them better.

I've hunted a property 35 miles away that will have great bucks pass through and spend some time there. If I could practice QDM there, I think it would be AWESOME! Again, I'm not sure the quality of the bucks would be better, but I'm very confident the quality of the hunt could be better.

From: Grey Ghost
07-Dec-20
I think it all depends on the property and the neighbors. My cousin has been battling this for years in Kansas. He's got about 100 acres, surrounded by neighbors who rifle hunt over corn piles. He's got good cover, water, and he also plants a small 6-10 acre food plot. Every year he passes on 3.5 year olds, hoping they'll survive to reach their full potential. And every year his neighbors shoot those same bucks, even though they claim they won't. In the 25 years my cuz has been there, he's only killed 2 bucks that I'd consider true mature trophies, and one of those was on a different property.

I get that some hunters just want to kill deer, and they don't give a crap about antlers, and that's fine. But, If you're into horn porn, you better make damn sure your neighbors are into it too.

Matt

From: JL
07-Dec-20
I'll say up front I'm not a QDMA type of a guy. I do bait plots just to have some deer around....big or small. I'll let deer pass only because I know something else is around that has my interest. That is my choice and shouldn't be dictated to by the special interest groups.

All that said.....here in northern Michigan where there is alot of private/public checker-boarding....I think it can be a challenge for someone wanting to employ the QDM big horn/older deer philosophy on their private land when the next parcel is public land. Or in your case where the adjoining neighbors bust anything moving around.

In our case, last year I was feeding some bigger bucks on the plots. There was a big 10pt I was watching and had a close encounter with on one of the plots. He ended up getting shot by a hunting-season only neighbor on their 20 acre parcel. Kinda felt like I was feeding the deer and they were shooting them (sound familiar?). They said they were QDM types but seem to do a lot of shooting. I think 2-3 guys hunt that 20 acres. Last year some of the shots seemed like they were on our property (~360 acres). The deer went nocturnal after that. This year we put up No Trespassing signs around the perimeter of the 360 acres. First time the property owner ever did that (Plus we had a cam thief making the rounds). Anyway good deal those guys got a dandy deer, but ya....it is a little frustrating.

Unless you're surrounded by other private land owners and do a co-op and everyone has the same definition of QDM and a "shooter".....I don't think it works well.

From: kakiatkids
07-Dec-20
Unfortunately Pat QDM is only as good as your neighbors. I am from NY and see the problem you speak of first hand. I am lucky to hunt an area (400+ acres) where there is little to no hunting pressure from neighbors. There is the occasional trespasser but we are lucky that the people around us simply do not hunt. Also we only bowhunt and let a lot, and I mean a lot of bucks walk.

From: Teeton
07-Dec-20
The only thing I could say is if you know one of the neighbors that a little like minded as you, start with him first and talk to him about starting a management cooperative to start passing up smaller deer. Then if he's on board, both of you go to the next neighbor, maybe have you and the first guy you chatted with and the next or 2 or 3 neighbors over to your place for a winter barbecue and chat with him about a management cooperative to start getting bigger/older deer around all your properties. A lot of folks feel that if they don't shoot, it the next property owner will and there will just never see bigger deer. Try to change that mind set and get the cooperative snow ball rolling. Other than that it's going to just stay the same. Tell them It will take a few years to get to the golds you all set. Keep in contact and have a meeting or two to chat about it and how everyone is doing. Have one meeting late summer and mid winter. That keeps it fresh in their mines and excited about what your trying to accomplish. Ed

From: drycreek
07-Dec-20
Wytex said it all, but I’ll elaborate. Your 312 acres is comparable (for deer) to a 3,000 sq. ft. home on a large lot for humans. I tried it for ten years on 217 acres with not a whole lot of hunting around me, had the only food plots for miles according to google earth, did the TSI, the sanctuary, low pressure enrances and exits. The property was just too small.

I now hunt 80 acres out my back door and a 350 acre lease with 4 other guys, 3 of which don’t hunt much. I do just as good there as I did on my place, maybe better. There is a certain satisfaction that I miss from doing the work on my own place, but the hunting, (and killing), was no better there.

From: Rupe
07-Dec-20
The issue is no one but you is truly practicing QDM, so I don’t think you can say it’s not working. What’s not happening is your neighbors embracing the concept. They’re taking advantage of the situation.

Personally I would sell the farm and maybe buy more land in Ohio. You’ve given the experiment 10 years and have little to show for it. Life is short. Sell it and move on to a place your hard work will pay off. Why be frustrated?

That’s my opinion on the matter.

From: midwest
07-Dec-20
Location, location, location.

From: Dale06
07-Dec-20
I have 640 acres in Ks. I have about 25 acres of small food plots on the land, plus two small ponds, and a solar well that pumps into a small ground level tank. I’ve owned this property ten years and have not killed a big buck off it. I’m not an inches guy, but guessing that my biggest is 130 or so. During rifle season, “its down if it brown” mentality is rampant. So, I’m not likely to kill a big deer. So yes QDM is of no value to me. But I’ll still plant the food plots.

07-Dec-20
Pat, this will not be popular but I have not done habitat improvements solely for deer for a very long time. I wanted to say something when you commented on Higgin's video thread about habitat guys doing too much and running mature deer off of their property. I guess that is true if that is all I were interested in.

Your thread, but do other guys do habitat work because they enjoy it and undertake habitat projects for a diverse wildlife represented on their property?

You have had some neat experiences and I enjoy watching your videos where you harvest truly wonderful specimens. I have had very limited time to get out this season for a variety of reasons. Made it up to our farm for a Saturday evening hunt in MO. Post rifle, I paid close attention to the wind and put a stand as close to a known bedding area as possible. 10 minutes of legal shooting light left, a three year old came in like a phantom. 10 yards, stopped on my left, broadside. Came to full anchor and my old eyes could not see thru my peep. It was still a huge victory to me, and he would have scored maybe 120-125". If I ever lose that thrill, I will quit hunting. And, I would rather do habitat work than hunt anyway today.

No criticism, we all do things for different reasons. I buy into QDMA if it helps me achieve my goals, but big, mature antlered bucks scoring at the top end are not a priority.

But, I am jealous of your OH property! Good luck!

From: Bowfreak
07-Dec-20
I think there are also a bunch of other factors. Some we know and probably some we can't really put our fingers on. On the other side of the spectrum....my buddy owns about 200 acres and in reality it hunts much smaller, but it has a bunch of cover on it. I am shocked at how many bucks are on his property. Every year there are a bunch of good bucks on his place. He does absolutely nothing to his land. Sometimes I think it is just the right piece of property in the right location. People hunt all around him too.

From: Matt
07-Dec-20
There it is.

From: Pat Lefemine
07-Dec-20
I appreciate the comments and insight.

I did the discussion thing with the neighbors. Unfortunately, they say they are all in and then they shoot a 2.5.

The worst part is they are all thrilled at how 'awesome' the deer hunting is up there now. They would never seen anything except spikes and forks, now they see racks. They may be 60" but it makes them happy. It's 100% because of our practices. The prior landowner had 5 old guys that filled their two buck tags plus a couple of illegal bucks. One of the shooting houses has the proof as they are all written down. One year some guy named scooter killed 2 spikes, a crotch and an 8. They would kill 10 bucks a year, minimum on 312 acres. Every buck died. Doing the math, that's 100 bucks saved minus the 3 we killed. So the hunting is way better than ever - again, thanks to all the hard work we do on my farm.

I get immense satisfaction out of doing the plots and having the best property in the area. Unless I sell the property I will likely continue. I know, insane. The one saving grace is that nobody, and I mean nobody sees bucks that are 4+ on their property except me. If one buck happens to escape all those hunters, he will likely be camped on my land. Like I mentioned, we shot two 6.5 year olds in an area that has a 6 week rifle season and two buck tags. Nobody even knew those bucks existed.

So it begs the question, if 300 acres isn't enough, what is? The guys that own the Box Ranch in Kansas have 9000 acres. They are trying to buy up the neighboring ranches now because it's not enough. I swear this QDM stuff is making all of us crazy.

From: JTreeman
07-Dec-20

JTreeman's embedded Photo
JTreeman's embedded Photo
—Jim

From: Old School
07-Dec-20
Bowfreak x2

07-Dec-20
Sell your NY property and buy a Cessna and hunt your Ohio property more.

From: Rupe
07-Dec-20
Pat if you keep the property maybe you should clear cut 60 to 70 acres or do a TSI to make a bedding jungle. If you increase security cover it should help a lot. You know where that might work on your property. Once it’s cut, plant what is recommended for your area to provide a thick, nasty, security zone. Make it a sanctuary. Bucks will stay there during the day and hit your food when hungry. Might add a small pond for water too unless you have one already.

300+ acres should be enough to allow you to hold mature deer.

From: Hackbow
07-Dec-20
Pat, your practices have saved 100 bucks in 10 yrs, minus the 3 you've killed. Assuming your neighbors have killed approximately the same number of bucks they did prior to your efforts - regardless of size - is it possible that the genetics just aren't there? Also, if a good number of bucks start leaving the area when they mature, is it possible that there is something lacking that would cause them to move upon maturity?

On our 115 acres in IL, we've done practically nothing extra except a couple food plots over the years. We are surrounded by parcels that are leased to outfitters and most of those hunters are not shooting small bucks. My brother and those my dad let hunt usually see some pretty nice bucks. The genetics and the neighbors' self control definitely help without any extra effort on out part.

From: Catscratch
07-Dec-20
Habitat work is joy in and of itself. I have the ability to separate it from hunting in satisfaction and enjoyment.

From: Grey Ghost
07-Dec-20
I mentioned this on the thread about Don Higgins 220" buck, but my post was mysteriously deleted. It's the second 200" plus buck that he's killed on his 120 acre farm. I commented that 120 acres seemed like such a small property to grow bucks like that. I heard that at least one of his neighbors does hunt. So, what is Don doing differently than others with much larger farms aren't? Is it all purely about the location, like Midwest said? Or are there dozens of other variables that factor into it?

Matt

From: Teeton
07-Dec-20
If they are having the best hunting they have had. Time to try and convince they what if they stopped shooting 2.5 year olds? How would the hunting get if they had 3.5 year olds? At 3.5 years old, the deer them self will be harder for them to kill, as the deer have some life experience.

I was one of them, once. Now I'm having the most fun hunting deer I ever had. It's pretty much if I'm not going to mount it I don't shoot it. I pass up a lot of deer waiting for the right deer. Where I hunt the hunting got really good the last 7 or 8 years. Lucky most of my neighbor feel the same as I do now. Yes there's some that if it's brown it's down. I just think you need just one of the locals on board, big time to really get the ball rolling. One thing I read in your last post was you can shoot two buck, if so thats not good as guys will shoot the first buck they see and then maybe hold off for a bigger buck. Now if your really not enjoying hunting there because your not meeting your golds, then maybe it time to think of other options. Ed

From: Scoot
07-Dec-20
This is an annual frustration for me in MN too. Everyone in the area use to make deer drives in all of the woods in the area, my MIL's land included. About 8 years ago I started posting it and kept the 10-20 person parties out of her woods. I have put in a couple plots and I do what I can with the land. In spite of this, damn near everything with horns gets shot by the big parties all around the edge of the woods my MIL owns. Just like Pat said, they say "gonna let those small bucks go next year", but the following year I see the same dead deer in the backs of their pickups. Since I kicked off the trespassers and have made it clear I'll throw the book at them if I catch them on her land, the trespassing has been cut down to virtually nothing. So... there's nothing I can do about it. It's legal and it's frustrating. I've mellowed regarding this over the past few years somewhat. If it's on someone else's land, it's really none of my damn business what they shoot. In fact, it's no more my business what they shoot than it is their business what I shoot. I want the bucks to get older and bigger, but the fact of the matter is that I have little control over it given the circumstances. If shooting a huge buck was that big of a deal to me, I'd move on and not hunt there. However, I have a million fond memories there and it's where I live. Although it's not exactly how I wish it was, I'm happy to say that I have a lot better perspective on the matter now than I did a decade ago and I simply accept it as it is. Things could be a hell of a lot worse than to have almost 500 acres of land to hunt on and to be picking between this deer and that deer to shoot with my bow...

From: Bou'bound
07-Dec-20
I have found, generally speaking, most times when people start questioning the value in something, or doing something, they really already have made up their mind in the direction they are going.

As Bill Parcells once said, when someone contemplates retiring they in essence already have retired.

If you are not sure you are getting a good return on time effort and and money.........you're probably not.

From: Pat Lefemine
07-Dec-20
That’s an excellent perspective. Thanks

07-Dec-20
I improve my lands and habitat, but only because I enjoy it. I do not do it to kill larger bucks, that is my goal. I do however have plenty of deer, turkeys, squirrels etc which makes my outings exciting.

07-Dec-20
In WI, my experience is that for 95% of the folks that claim to practice QDM, shooting a 2 yr old (16" wide, 90-100" score) is their expected outcome. You're in the 5%. The math isnt in your favor.

From: JL
07-Dec-20
Ya might have to manage your expectations a little better for the property and have a different outlook for it. Bait plotting is fun in the short time I've been playing with it. I enjoy running the tractor, tilling, fertilizing, seeding and then watching things grow. Seeing the deer on the cams feeding in the plots lets me know it's working. That is good enough satisfaction for me. I don't expect to see monster bucks behind every tree and that's ok. Just seeing something works for me. Between the neighbors killing habits and the owner of the property who likes to walk around and "kick the deer up" when he gets bored sitting....it ain't happening. Again...no worries.....I'm just glad to be able to still hunt, enjoy the peace and quiet and maybe get a poke at something.

07-Dec-20
I meant to say killing larger bucks is not my management objective. I simply like seeing animals and somewhat limit myself with an osage selfbow.

I do not think it is a waste of money but I clearly do not invest in QDM the way some others might.

07-Dec-20
Probably need at least few thousand acres to make a difference.... Things you can't change that probably have a greater impact than anything you do are Genetics, soil composition, mineral content, overall herd health, deer densities/population in your area, other available feed, government regulations, weather, and all other Acts of God ;)

That's why location trumps just about everything else..... as you have seen in Ohio.

From: Ollie
07-Dec-20
You can only control what happens on your property and 300 acres is not enough to ensure the deer don't wander elsewhere to be shot by neighbors who are unwilling to pass younger deer. It will not make you feel better to start shooting your younger deer just so your neighbors don't get them. If you pass, they at least have a chance to live another year. I suffer similar frustrations as a major hunting show films on property adjacent to mine and it hurts to see deer that I have passed end up in their show.

From: Cornpone
07-Dec-20
I've attended several of the late Charlie Alsheimer's seminars. His property was/is down in the Avoca area. I believe his farm was in the 250 acre area. Anyhow, he practiced QDM but his neighbors didn't. But, due to his efforts, they came aboard and, upon seeing better deer, finally quit shooting the younger bucks. Everyone isn't that fortunate...too many of the "if it's brown, it's down" mentality out there. Just the way it is. To a lot of guys a 100" 2.5 YO is a trophy buck.

07-Dec-20
Murphy GSP, i didn't shoot a buck over 100" until I was in my early 20's. That sure was a trophy buck to me and I was thrilled to shoot it. I'd pass a deer like that 99 times out of 100 now, but back then there was no chance I'd let it walk.

From: Bob H in NH
07-Dec-20
You've improved the hunting for them, and on your land. That was step 1. Now that they are happy, time to change the story line. Point out how happy they are, and swing them around to "imagine what it could be in another 2 years...."

Maybe...

From: Vonfoust
07-Dec-20
Try bordering a heavily hunted gameland in PA.

From: Trophy8
07-Dec-20
Pat...312 acres, you plant food and provide cover...yet all 5 bucks were shot off your property. Seems a little odd all 5 bucks left the property? I could be totally wrong, but I think someone is BSing you in more than one way. Sounds like they hunt the farm cause that's where all the deer are...or maybe drive it?

From: Knife2sharp
07-Dec-20
I didn't read all the posts, but there was a great episode on Deer and Deer Hunting about managing small parcels, which to me, can be somewhat subjective and can be different based on the region and geography. But the point is, unless everyone around you is on the same page, you can't prevent deer from wondering onto other properties and managing for +3.5 yr old bucks consistently, will be tough and you'll likely have many dry seasons.

I'm in the same dilemma, but on a much smaller scale, as well as being in suburban/rural area with multiple pieces of public land spread about. Plus, I don't/can't control the crops that are planted every year. But, we've learned to only hunt field edges and avoid staying out of the timber where deer tend to bed and foregoing morning hunts. Now, we know 4-6 year old bucks are going to be rare, and actually two were taken on the public land in the last two years, the one last year was gross 170" and the one this year will likely be in the 160" range. However, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of 2-3 year old bucks that made it through this year and my cell cams showed multiple deer feeding in the field during daylight hours, right in the middle of gun season and only being a couple hundred yards from public land. I tend to hunt the gun season on weekends, just to have a presence so people don't come on it to drive it. That one 170" buck was a rarity for our area, in the sense that he's the only mature buck, starting at 3.5 yrs old, that we have 3 consecutive years of cell cam photos of. The year he was taken, what was previously an alfalfa field for 5 years, was now corn, and he became very confident.

For 312 acres, is it worth putting the time and effort into food plots, or is it better to create more bedding/sanctuaries? I don't think it's a 'complete' waste of time and money though, but in some cases, less is more, and expectations may need to be reassessed. I'll also add, that I think the doe control is a bit overstated IMO, when it comes to QDM. We don't shoot any antlerless deer, and you'll be amazed at what that does to their sense of security on our property. Now, there are other hunters around that do shoot them, so it's not out of control, but we don't benefit by shooting them ourselves. You have to evaluate what's happening on a macro level, as opposed to a micro level (312 acres). Do people around us benefit from our efforts, sure, but we wouldn't have the opportunities we've had if we did what everyone else does either.

From: Kodiak
07-Dec-20
In this part of SE Minnesota 312 acres is a pretty darn big sanctuary. Here you could undoubtedly grow some big deer and hunt them.

It's strange you haven't seen a better outcome.

From: t-roy
07-Dec-20

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
This kinda captures what you’re feeling right now. It certainly does for me! ;-)

A Christmas card from one of neighbors, at least once in awhile, would be nice, too! :-(

Good luck in getting the neighbors bought into letting the 2-3 year olds walk, let alone a 4 year old! All of the guys that bowhunt the properties that adjoin me (at least 15-20 of them) all want to kill big bucks (which they’ve stated) yet not one of them has the self restraint to let an up-n-comer walk. Same lament from them every time “the buck I killed was pretty nice, but I’m just not seeing any big ones”. My response is always the same. “ you shot him a year (or 2) too soon, before he had a chance to get “big”. Same song and dance the next year. Half the time, I can pull my phone out and show them a video of the buck they just shot, walking past me in a stand. I KNOW if I shoot that deer, he will never get any bigger, so I let him walk and cross my fingers he makes it.

Like stated above, IMO, the biggest factor in QDM, is having enough acres for, at least a few bucks stay on your property the biggest majority of the time. The biggest downfall to most younger age class bucks getting killed, is they are way more visible and prone to cruise a lot during daylight hours, vs older bucks.

I am very blessed, in that I have a decent amount of land that I own or have total control of, as far as hunting goes. (my dads land) It isn’t, however in one solid piece, so there are a bunch of guys that hunt smaller adjoining parcels (as well as right on the fence lines), so it sees plenty of pressure, contrary to what some may think. I LOVE doing the TSI, habitat improvement, food plots, etc. Not nearly as much as killing a good buck, but pretty close! Not a single neighbor does any of the aforementioned things (which is fine). The extent of their preseason prep is hanging a couple of stands.

I know they’re not my deer, but it can be a bit frustrating to see a buck you let walk, going down road in the back of the neighbor’ pickup, a year too early, and the neighbor is almost apologetic, repeatedly saying “ yeah, I wish I’d have passed on him, now”. Then he does the same thing the next year:-(

From: deerhunter72
07-Dec-20
I don't know of anyone doing any QDM in my area. Most of the ground is owned in 40-80 acre parcels. A "large" land owner here owns 200-500 acres and most of them are farmers who would be happy to be rid of all of the deer. I am the guy that has shot many 120-150" deer because I know that if I don't then the guy over the next fence certainly will. I don't regret shooting any of those deer because I get great enjoyment looking at the antler mounts and remembering the hunts and time spent with my dad and kids.

Now that I own my own 50 acres I've thought about doing some food plots just because I have an interest in seeing how the deer will react to it. I'm not under any delusions about holding the deer on my ground because it's just not possible. I've been a firm believer for many years that it would take owning 2-3 thousand acres to make QDM really worth the while in terms of growing and holding big deer. But it's all about what you enjoy. Just my opinion.

From: 12yards
07-Dec-20
Unless you have good neighbors, you are barking up a dead dogs rear end IMO. You'll have an occasional success, but past that, it's a crap shoot. I'd manage it to kill deer for the freezer and hunt Ohio for trophies.

From: drycreek
07-Dec-20
Pat, why don’t you just go hunt with T-roy, he doesn’t really need all those big bucks he’s been killing ! ;-)

In answer to how many acres you would need, I think that’s variable to your location. Here, I would say a minimum of 500 acres would probably triple my chances over the 217 acres that I had. Trouble is, I ran out of discretionary funds before the 200 joining me and the 50 joining that and me came up for sale. If I could have doubled my acres I think I could have done pretty well. As it was, I killed three bucks in 10 years, nothing over 130”, but all were 4.5 or older. Only myself and one friend hunted there and he only killed two bucks, but he was hell on the hogs, as was I. For the money I spent I could have took a guided hunt each year for a decent buck. All in all I don’t regret buying the property because I don pursue inches of antler, I just like to kill something 4.5 or older and see multiple deer per hunt. Besides that, the place sold at about a 35% profit and I remind myself of that the 20th of each month.

From: LINK
07-Dec-20
QDM is worth it IMO but with small parcels it’s only as good as the neighbors. Pat I can’t imagine you getting much joy out of shooting a 2.5 year old so seams the alternative is to sell that piece and invest somewhere else.

From: LINK
07-Dec-20
QDM is worth it IMO but with small parcels it’s only as good as the neighbors. Pat I can’t imagine you getting much joy out of shooting a 2.5 year old so seams the alternative is to sell that piece and invest somewhere else.

From: x-man
07-Dec-20
At least 25% of your land must be off-limits thick bedding area, or you will forever chase your tail.

From: Pat Lefemine
07-Dec-20
Trophy8, nobody is BSing me. I have a photo of every buck killed in the neighborhood. I received ten pics this year, five were the 2.5 year old rack bucks that I passed. The other five were deer I’ve never seen. Of the 10 bucks, only one of them was 3.5 (pic above) that I passed last year and he was killed over my border.

NY’s north zone has a two week bow season that starts in September, followed by a one week muzzleloader season the 2nd week of October and then the rifle season starts the third week of October and runs SIX WEEKS into December when deer season ends. There’s no late bow season. NY state sucks at just about everything except snow removal.

My guess is we’d have to put T-Roy on Thorazine if he had a 6 week rifle season that began in October!!

;-)

From: Cornpone
07-Dec-20
I've already posted once to this post, but it's a conundrum. Now...I'm hunting here in NY. I hunt, primarily, on my bud's 72 acres. If I wait for a 3.5 YO or greater chances are pretty good I'll never kill another buck the rest of my life. I don't kill 1.5 YO bucks. About the only way in NY you can hunt big bucks is if you have a lot of ground, plus your neighbors are in total agreement regarding the same. Otherwise you're kidding yourself.

From: Knife2sharp
07-Dec-20
Wow, rifle season starts in October and goes through December - I digress.

From: KY EyeBow
07-Dec-20
+1 Scoot

From: t-roy
07-Dec-20
That doesn’t react negatively with Ritalin, does it??

From: Huntcell
07-Dec-20
you need trade them their NY season for a paid outstate hunt, as in send them all to a Texas ranch and pay for them to shoot the ranches management bucks which will be bigger than they shoot in Ny and after couple annual trips to Texas, then they can hunt NY and bigger bucks that will be there now that they haven't been shot off the past two years. you finally have them in the program.

but really dump it and add to your Ohio or go Iowa or Kansas or anywhere but New York!

07-Dec-20
Pat, you need to create cover that the bucks want to live in during daylight hours. Then create obstacles/barriers that consume time after the bucks get up to move. There was a guy in southern MI 10-15 years ago that did this on a small 80 acre piece The mature deer would travel off his property on to the neighbors, but after dark. The neighbors would get night time trail camera photos, but would never see the bucks during the day.

From: Genesis
07-Dec-20
I believe it is if you do not control more than 5,000 contiguous acres through yourself or other like minded landowners doing the same thing.

I’ve actually participated in consortiums where we had the nations best whitetail biologists calling our shots ,and did such for 20+ years and all I ever saw was a slight increase in body weights .

1.Get to an area/State that has big bucks

2.Hunt areas with similar mindsets between landowners on buck harvest

3 Shoot does religiously to decrease habitat stress

4.Reduce pressure on your property

Forget GROWING BIG BUCKS let the soil and nature do it for you as you limit pressure

From: JSW
07-Dec-20
Yes, it's working and Yes, it's worth it, on my land. There are places where it works well and obviously places where it's a waste of time, like your NY property.

I have 3 separate properties in Kansas. 680 acres, 348 acres and 240. I spend a lot of time improving each of them. Each of them are worth the effort but they are all 3 different. The 680 acres has very low hunting pressure on 3 sides and a certain amount of poaching on one side. I do everything I can to make the deer want to stay on my property. It has been getting better each year and my efforts have made it easier to ambush one of the big bucks. I don't hunt food plots or feeders, I hunt the travel routes on the fringes. I do all I can to keep from pushing deer off the property. They do leave during the rut and run around like idiots but the are still hard to kill so most live through it.

My other 2 properties have way more pressure around them, way more, but you can only shoot one buck per year and most of the surrounding areas only have a couple of guys who can access them. If I have 6 or 8 P&Y bucks on a property we only average killing about 1 1/2 bucks per. That leaves quite a few that can be killed by the neighbors but some still survive. There are probably 4 or 5 good bucks on the neighbors property and they don't kill them all.

QDM works because so many other hunters are practicing it. You can have one piece of ground where they kill every deer the see but if 80% of the other ground has selective and honest hunters, and relatively low numbers of hunters you will be successful. The deer will learn to stay mostly on the safe properties.

I've found that the more I do, the better the hunting is whether it's food plots, creating trails or adding habitat for bedding areas. Every year gets better and easier to hunt.

I'm lucky that most neighbors either don't take it all that seriously or are really serious and only kill older bucks and does. Most of them get it and we all benefit.

I'm not sure I would go to the effort in an area where the gun season lasts all fall. I can't imagine the frustration. Nebraska is bad enough, where they put the rifle hunt in the middle of the rut. At least it's only 9 days long.

From: keepemsharp
07-Dec-20
Could everyone just please stop the .5 crap?

From: JSW
07-Dec-20
Keepemsharp,

We probably could but I doubt we will. Keep trying though, I like the idea of typing 2 less characters.

From: Old School
07-Dec-20
With the $ I’d save in NY taxes, I’d sell the property and buy more adjoining land in Ohio. Travel down as often as I wanted to and hunt good ground - just my .02

From: spike78
07-Dec-20
Pat, if your after mature deer buy land in the Berkshires of MA. Sure the Berkshires don’t have a ton of deer but geez honestly if it’s too easy it ain’t hunting.

From: SBH
07-Dec-20
Leave NY. I don’t know how you guys tolerate dictator coumo and the like much less the hunting situation. Plus...no elk? That’s just crazy! :)

07-Dec-20
Re-read Genesis’ post. Soil, genetics and does must go. I see number 3 as must do.

From: JL
07-Dec-20
An open QDM question. If all the neighbors on all sides of your property are QDM-ers and let the small bucks pass, who determines who gets to shoot the 5.5+ buck(s) (pick an older age)?

I can see some hurt feelings over that situation. You and your neighbors have been watching some of the young bucks get older, feeding them, protecting them and when they hit the 5.5+ age, one of the fellow QDM neighbors pop it. That neighbor is happy he shot that biggun, the other 4 are pissed off because they wanted to shoot it. They might not admit it, but I bet they're PO'd because they are in a one buck state and have to eat tag soup because they can't shoot a 2.5, 3.5 or 4.5 because of the QDM co-op agreement.

From: t-roy
07-Dec-20
Tastes like victory, Thwacked!

You did, however, add a tremendous amount to the QDM discussion.

From: Lee
07-Dec-20
Pat, I’m a biologist and consult with a lot of landowners. Some properties set up better than others, some have better neighbors but the best ones are the large ones! One tract is 1100 acres - even then we STILL lose bucks to the neighbors who sit the fence as hard as they can! All it takes is one good smelling doe to cross the line and it’s all over. Pretty frustrating. What kills me is the fence sitters know they will not get shot on our side but they kill them anyway.

Personally, if three deer in a decade is all I shot off the property I’d cut my losses and move on. A guys only got so many seasons in him! Maybe beef up that Ohio property with some additional acres.

Lee

From: JSW
07-Dec-20
Good habitat is capable of holding several good bucks per 80 acres. I've seen as many as 15 P&Y bucks on a section of ground that only has about 40 deer total. That makes for enough good bucks for everyone if managed properly.

You really just need to get them to lay off of the bucks for a year or two and they start shooting 4 year old's instead of 2 year old's.

In response to the "you can't eat the antlers crowd". That may be true but the steaks are gone in less than a year. I get satisfaction out of a mount every time I walk into the room and for decades to come. I'll take the big ones any day. Plus, you get more meat.

From: spike78
07-Dec-20
Pat, another thing to consider is land that is thick. Meaning swamp and the nastiest thick land you can imagine. If your dealing with open oaks and fields then the deer don’t have a chance.

From: Rupe
07-Dec-20
I agree Lee.

From: Trial153
07-Dec-20
None of that is happening NY during the regular season. The gun hunters are shooting the first buck they see and hanging their wives or uncle Joe's tag on it. Then they are hunting the rest of the season "for horns" that is until they fill their own tag with the first 6 or 8 pointer that walks by.

As bad as NY dec regulations are they pale in comparison to hunter habits, behavior and traditions. And with 15 hunters per square that's a lot behaviors that arent changing.

From: Pat Lefemine
07-Dec-20
I want to be perfectly clear that I am not upset with my neighbors. They like shooting bucks - of any age, they are hunting legally and they are respectful of my borders. I question my own arrogance thinking I could someone influence them.

The biggest/oldest bucks ever killed in that area were either killed by us, or they walked off my property and were killed over the border. We demonstrated that our program of food plots, habitat diversity, and passing young animals worked. They all admit it. They are appreciative that the deer hunting has improved in the area. The only difference is they won't practice it themselves.

From: t-roy
07-Dec-20
If you had read my post, thwacked, you would have read that my neighbors all bitch that they never kill a big buck. It may be a reach on my part, but the way I interpret that statement is their desire is to, indeed, kill a big buck, not just fill their freezer. We can also shoot does here. They’re delicious. No leasing going on in my area, and all but a couple of them own exactly zero acres of the ground they’re hunting. All local guys, as well, so they get lots of seat time to hunt.

I’ll reiterate, they all complain about not killing big bucks, NOT that they can’t seem to fill their freezers.

From: Knife2sharp
07-Dec-20
I think for a lot of people it's hard to pass on bucks when one finally presents itself. It's easier to give a buck a pass, until he's standing there and it's the best buck they've seen, or had within range for some time.

From: Lee
07-Dec-20
Pat, I’m a biologist and consult with a lot of landowners. Some properties set up better than others, some have better neighbors but the best ones are the large ones! One tract is 1100 acres - even then we STILL lose bucks to the neighbors who sit the fence as hard as they can! All it takes is one good smelling doe to cross the line and it’s all over. Pretty frustrating. What kills me is the fence sitters know they will not get shot on our side but they kill them anyway.

Personally, if three deer in a decade is all I shot off the property I’d cut my losses and move on. A guys only got so many seasons in him! Maybe beef up that Ohio property with some additional acres.

Lee

From: 12yards
07-Dec-20
JL, if a buck makes it to 5.5 and the neighbor shoots him, I'd be ok with that. It might sting a little, but the buck was out there to be hunted. I'd rather have some 4.5 and 5.5 year old bucks out there. It adds excitement to the hunt over if there were none that age. I'm sure Pat would feel that same way.

From: jingalls
07-Dec-20
Pat, managing lands for wildlife is worth it. But everyone has to be on board. Sell your NY property and buy my place in KS. 1120 acres!

From: Bill in MI
07-Dec-20
The answer Pat is simple, location location location. QDM in your part of NY would require the control of a much larger block AND require genetics AND winter carrying capacity (health potential regardless of capacity). The same efforts in better soil, less pressure, and better genetics would yield better results IMO. 4-5 hunters from the Bowsite could CO-OP and put the Drury's and Lakosky's to shame ;^) ...and I like the Drury's and Lakosky's

From: Deerplotter
07-Dec-20
I have experienced first hand the same situation as Pat. Had 70 acres adjoining a bow only hunting refuge. Unfortunately the refuge had lots of other private land in it. 20 years ago it was a haven for being able to grow older bucks. I am an avid food plotter. Even do consulting work for other hunters. Love it. The last 5 years were absolutely terrible for my neighbors bow hunting on the fence lines. They would shoot anything with antlers. Talked with them about buck management Same results as most on this thread. Frustration with it all led to selling the property. Here’s what I found out. What I really missed was the farming, food plotting, and land management. Then I got lucky. I found an out state land owner who wanted his farm Managed for deer. Habitat improvement food plots, etc. He bought me a new JD tractor, and all the attachments. I food plot and manage deer for him on his 160 acres. I can bow hunt there and we are trying to manage for mature bucks. Neighbors are a problem but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I take the the money from my land sale and go to several states every fall and hunt the rut for mature bucks. Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, SD, etc. No more frustration. Sell it Pat. Tell the guy you will farm it for him! Go hunt somewhere that has provides opportunity at mature deer. No more frustration.

From: JB
07-Dec-20
We take an annual trip up north. For us it's the predators. Northern MN means wolves and they don't practice QDM. Now we are lucky? enough to have a mountain Lion roaming our woods too. I hunted for 4 days and saw 3 deer.

From: kota-man
07-Dec-20
QDM works here. IF you have about 7500 acres. A half section on its own? Not a chance and I don’t care how good the habitat is...

From: GF
07-Dec-20
This thread pleases me.

“ If the only reason you are pouring. money, time and sweat equity into habitat improvement is to kill big bucks, then yes I would say you are wasting your time. I would think however the work and improvements your making would have its own rewards above and above and beyond trophies.”

And I’m good with that thought, Toonces.

Should I ever become fortunate enough to own a decent sized piece of property, I am sure I will try to improve it for The Wildlife; focusing only on deer makes no sense to me, and focusing entirely on antler growth…? Don’t get me started! So much more to life

I just hope more people will have the same revelation that Pat seems to be having. And I thought Genesis was making a lot of sense.

From: Treefarm
08-Dec-20
There is so much more to QDM than big bucks. QDM is a philosophy that can grow and mature on surrounding property owners.

I very much dislike gun hunting as many gun hunters are in it for one reason, to kill deer. In WI, we now have inclusion of scoped crossbows during archery season. These gun hunters, and other non-disabled hunters are now killing record numbers of bucks.

My advice, keep amiable relationships with neighbors, continuing QDM. However, go hyper on thick bedding areas and leave these areas isolated so the deer have a refuge. Convert a foodplot into a thick spruce bedding area.

I have been successful keeping deer, ensuring good habitat: Security, food/water. Small inter-dispersed clear cuts to regenerate aspen will provide exceptional food and shelter.

Again, teach landowners importance of TSI. TSI should be stressed that it is for successional health of woodlands and a bonus is that it helps deer habitat. Unfortunately, private land management is an old mans job. Too many younger folks work at jobs, and TSI just comes in last. Remember, the best time to plant a tree was yesterday!

From: DanaC
08-Dec-20
Pat, is any part of your acreage a 'sanctuary' where nobody hunts, nobody ever walks, at all, ever, full stop? Because it's easy to run deer off even 300 acres. Unless your surrounding neighbors are playing by the same 'rules' you need to walk softly.

From: Zbone
08-Dec-20
As discussed in the other thread, mature bucks travel and 300 acres isn't going to hold a free ranging mature buck 24 hours a day, 365 days a year... Sure 300 acres may contain him/them in a core area of either their summer or winter range, but not year round... Maybe okay for huge ranches out west but personally was never a fan of QDM in my area simply due to the fact it takes such massive amounts of land for it to work and the greed of leasing to control that much property displaces so many locals in the densely populated state I live... QDM concept is European type hunting where only the wealthy have the privilege to hunt and believe it'll be the demise of the hunting heritage the way I know/knew it...

From: Bou'bound
08-Dec-20
Maybe what this says is that the vast majority of hunters practice their own version of QDM ..........and that stands for a quick dead meat.

Those people choose to enjoy the sport and consider it a success when they take an animal and that’s what makes it a special pursuit for them

If they were more concerned about trophy quality and Rack size they would practice the other type of QDM

but in the end people choose to do what excites them and brings them the same level of joy others may get from big antlers and older age deer

it’s clear across the country what excites the vast majority of people in the end is filling a tag and enjoying the fruits of that. if that is not what the vast majority of hunters valued then we would not continue to see 80% of the annual buck harvest being 2.5 year olds or less with the majority of those at 18 months.

if Every so often one of the majorities tag ends up on a bigger animal that’s just gravy.

It normally doesn’t work when one person tries to convince another what they should be happy with or excited by.

From: Kevin Dill
08-Dec-20
My best analogy would be growing a garden which has the best vegetables in the area. In reality it's a community garden where the neighbors often pick the best before they're ripe. And the vegetables get up and walk around. You spend the money and do the hard work. You seldom get a truly ripe big anything. But you keep gardening because....

You hope for better?

You love gardening?

You can buy bigger vegetables elsewhere?

08-Dec-20
My take on QDM is it's great if your fortunate enough to own very large parcels and have the available income and resources to achieve your goals. The down side it is promoting hunting for the above average hunter. I don't think the original intent of the record books was for private home grown animals that not everyone could access. But it is legal so be it. This has also promoted an extreme amount of posted land helping fuel the down trend in hunting numbers. IMHO its been great for ego's but not for hunting in general.

08-Dec-20
The most successful I know never enter the land in the fall except to bow and arrow hunt, and only when wind and weather is perfect. The land is a quiet sanctuary during gun and late seasons.

From: Bow Crazy
08-Dec-20
Do you really think that QDM works? YES

Do you feel it's worth it? YES

I think we need to clear some things up, Quality Deer Management (QDM) and Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) are not the same thing. QDM is a management strategy and QDMA was (no longer in existence, now the National Deer Association) a non-profit conservation organization that was founded on promoting QDM. QDM is not Trophy Management, QDM (as promoted by QDMA) suggests protecting young bucks of 1.5 years and younger (it suggest a ton of other stuff as well.)

You can't control genetics, you have great genetics, you just have allowed the bucks to fully express their potential by letting them get older. Sure, there are other things involved, but by letting them get older is a great place to start.

Pat, it sounds like you need to reach out to other neighbors. Focusing on your next door neighbors in a common mistake. Yes, you start there, and you move outward from your property. My first mailing in 2014 was to 150 of my neighbors in a block of 20 sections, 4 miles x 5 miles. My property was in the center of this block. My response was 35 or so, which was awesome I thought. There was a lot more interest than I thought. I held our first meeting in March of 2015, and the rest is history! Neighbor relations are at an all time high, hunter satisfaction is also at an all time high. 2020 has been the best deer hunting year ever. Our next door neighbor, with a lot of land, doesn't practice QDM. They try to fill every tag which is he right as the landowner. Has it hurt our hunting? Maybe? I don't really know because our hunting, and a bunch of our QDM group, is better than ever.

Long story short, it takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, dedication, and some money as well for it to work at least in my case. Mailings, emails, signs, meetings, meet-n-greets, contests, field days, workshops are the best ways to get your neighbors involved.

Anyway, a brief conversation with a few neighbors may work, but there is usually a lot more to it than that. BC

From: x-man
08-Dec-20
Bou's best post ever.

From: DRR324
08-Dec-20
Sell the NY ground, roll the proceeds into adding more acres to your Ohio piece. Think of the hours spent in NY and those are now focused on Ohio. Use the "free time" to get your Ohio neighbors on board, help them with scouting, food plots, knowledge, etc. Those extra hours spent with them may be your best use of the hours and ultimately lead them down the path of QDM practices. Time spent "growing" your relationships with them will be the most important piece of the puzzle. Good relationships result in not fence sitting, tresspassing, watching over your piece when your not there, etc etc.

From: goyt
08-Dec-20
I find that practicing some sort of QDM results in having more meat, not less. If the habitat is healthy it produces a lot of deer. To keep the population in control about half of the 1 1/2+ year old does must be harvested every year. That can be a lot of deer! Plus a mature doe is a lot harder to kill than a 1 1/2 year old buck when the does are actively getting hunted. My freezer is always full and I give away some deer every year.

Pat has improved the hunting and the habitat in both NY and OH. Unfortunately in NY the result have not met expectations. I suspect that his results will be much better in OH. I think that QDM works and I think that for me it is worth it. Managing for big bucks may be a different thing. It requires passing mid class bucks, controlling access and hunting pressure which for some people may not be the way they want to hunt. Plus there is no guarantee that you will be successful! It is worth it to me because I love hunting mature bucks and we are able to have a few in my area. I could not imagine only hunting younger bucks that are relatively easy to kill.

From: Habitat
08-Dec-20
The issue is 100% neighbors as it really doesn't matter if you have 40 or 400 unless it's a piece that has nothing around it and the deer just stay there.Every property has a property line and when your patch of timber butts up to your neighbors that buck doesn't know.He could love to bed 100 yards on your property but only has to travel 100 yards to get to the neighbors and he will do it no matter how good you have it during the rut.

From: SteveD
08-Dec-20
I think Hawkeye in PA made valid points that need to be discussed. He's spot on about about the cause and effect of it.

From: Kodiak
08-Dec-20
Remember though that a good property that holds cover food water and does will also draw in good bucks from other areas.

It's not a one way street.

From: drycreek
08-Dec-20
I know most everyone on here hates high fences, but most of you have made the point of why people put up fences whether you realize it or not. To keep the neighbors from killing the deer that you have spent so much time and money to grow.

From: JL
08-Dec-20
"IMHO its been great for ego's but not for hunting in general."

I've been saying that type of thought for years to our own DNR regarding social APR regs. The DNR bios said we didn't need them for herd health but the special interest groups led the charge for APR's and now we're stuck with them. I think most regular hunters just want to see something they can shoot....or at least have the choice of shooting it. When that choice is taken away......IMO it hurts hunting and what the hunting traditions are about. The hardcore hunters might like them but many of the Joe Opener types who only can hunt for a short period before going back to work don't. No doubt that gets frustrating for them and the taste of tag soup lasts a long time. They either stop hunting in their state or go somewhere else.

Another IMO.....the solution to that is stop with the unlimited OTC deer tags. Set up realistic quotas to spread out the hunting pressure (and harvest) and go to a draw for the tags. I wish Michigan would do that. I don't know if NY is unlimited OTC tags or a draw.....but if they are unlimited OTC....I'd push to stop that. If you look at some of the better hunting quality states, they don't need APR's....they use some type of draw system for the Res's or NR's to control the hunter/harvest numbers.

From: deerhunter72
08-Dec-20
I think Hawkeye makes some really good points. We watch these deer on cameras now and we get to thinking of them as "my" deer. I've only been using cameras for 2 seasons now and I find myself doing it. It does distract from the fair chase aspect of record books. I used to not like the idea of cameras because I wanted to be surprised at what might be walking under my stand. I don't think there's a thing wrong with QDM and cameras as long as we keep the right perspective and it gets hard to do.

From: APauls
08-Dec-20
I can’t believe you’ve held on for 10 years. You’re a patient man.

I hate saying it like this but if you want to hunt big bucks you have to hunt where big bucks live. If you read the Wensels books you see what they did, and I imagine the not even one complete season of owning Ohio ground has you questioning the New York land. That land in NY is a SERIOUS upstream battle man.

What is the best case scenario you ever realistically see there? It’s been 10 years...add another 10 and ask yourself if what you “reaped” over that 20 basically prime years of your life was worth it. If you just enjoy farming that’s fine, but something tells me you want to see big deer come off it, and something tells that will rarely, if ever, happen.

In contrast to hunting places where they ALREADY exist, and you can simply accentuate something that’s already happening instead of creating it from nothing. In New York you’re trying to create an Olympic hockey team by starting with training a group of random 5 year olds. Go somewhere where you can choose a crop of 18-20 year old excellent hockey players and put the finishing touches on em.

From: Bow Crazy
08-Dec-20
It took me 19 years to finally get out and talk to my neighbors about QDM. I used all the above excuses, all the reasons above, on why QDM won't work in my area. 19 years of blaming my neighbors, using the excuse of - I didn't own 1,000 acres, questioning whether or not is was good for our area/good for hunting, what if it fails - will I be laughed at, will it make my neighbors mad, etc. It's like anything else, if you want it and are willing to put in the time, you will be successful. The benefits are awesome: our freezers are fuller than ever, are neighborhood is more connected than ever before, bigger (and possibly healthier) deer, our hunters are having more fun than ever, all kinds of benefits to all kinds of wildlife... I could go on and on... BC

08-Dec-20
Time value of money. - How much money have you spent on that property over 10 years? And what has been your return? What would it be if you had invested it in the stock market instead? Has the hunting been worth that opportunity cost?

Lots of reasons to stick with it though, is this your primary local hunting property? Can you go there any day after work? Get a quickie in the morning? If not you are definitely spending more time and money than needed. Try doing nothing on it this year and see how it hunts, probably see the same size 2 year old deer again :)

08-Dec-20

Anything outdoors 's embedded Photo
11/28 /20
Anything outdoors 's embedded Photo
11/28 /20
I hunt western pa.and southern Ohio. I have 200 acres in pa.that I plant with a few small food plots. With the outside pressure of other hunters. I try to keep my goals realistic. If I can get a 3.5 year old every 3 years.I feel it's a success. When I go to ohio there are realistic expectations of a 4 1/2. Every year. It's like comparing apples to oranges. The best thing to do is accept what is your best scenario. And be happy with what you have. Plenty of people out there with a lot less

From: Grey Ghost
08-Dec-20

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
This thread kinda makes me pine for the good old days when most bowhunter's mantra was "any deer with a bow is a trophy".

This was my first bow-killed deer ever in Kansas in 1993. We called it the "Tea Cup Buck" due to the way I was holding his antlers in the pic. LOL!

QDM wasn't even a thing back then. Even if it was, I doubt it would have mattered to me at that moment in my bowhunting career. I was so proud of that buck.

Matt

From: deerhunter72
08-Dec-20
Matt, I still have all of those "monster" racks like that lined up on my mancave wall! My wife mentioned once that I'd "have a lot more room if i got rid of all of those dinky racks". She was invited to never give her opinion again about antlers;) I can still look at each rack and remember where I shot it and with what weapon. Don't know how much longer that will last!

From: JL
08-Dec-20
^...that! Ever deer should be a trophy.

From: Bowbender
08-Dec-20
Amen, Matt. Amen,

Read back over this thread. When you're done, read it again. I'm a member of a group on HuntingPA Facebook group. Since rifle season has started a lot of folks are posting their kills. Some real nice ones being taken. However, there are quite a few that post almost apologetically "it's not the biggest", "it's only a 5 pt", "it's only a doe", OR one of my faves " you need to score him. You'll be really happy once you know the score." Really? Like if it doesn't score as high as you think, you'll be less happy? WTF.... Is this what our chase of inches and horn porn has made hunting into?

From: Sand man
08-Dec-20
Watch some of the habitat improvements videos Jeff Sturgis puts out (whitetail habitat solutions). Might change some outlooks. I do believe a person can influence movement so the majority of daylight movement is within a 100 acre parcel. That’s my opinion. Give up? Give it a look? Each individual has to decide what’s best for them...

Dream big. Aim small. Miss small.

From: Grey Ghost
08-Dec-20
If it wasn't obvious to some, my point was most of us go thru a progression in our hunting careers. Just like the old saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure", I think the same applies to bowhunting for many. I'm long past the days when a dink buck "twists my gizzard", but I recognize that some hunters still get great satisfaction out of killing any deer, especially with a bow.

My young friend that I mentored in bowhunting is a good example. When I cut him loose on my property for the first time, I told him he could shoot any antlered buck that gave him an opportunity. I've never seen a kid so excited when he shot a 2.5 yr old 3x3. I think I was equally excited for him. After that, I made it clear that he'd have to up his standard to at least a 3.5 yr old the next year. He still hasn't killed one that meets that standard, but he's had a blast trying. That's just my version of QDM on my property, but I don't expect every one to do the same.

Matt

From: DNEWER
08-Dec-20
Every deer I kill is one hour 5 year old isn’t going to kill with a crossbow old son! I let some pretty good bucks walk over the years where I hunt. But I have came to the realization that I never see the same buck two years I a row so now my goal is shoot everything I can do your kids can’t.

From: Grey Ghost
08-Dec-20
Trax said:

"I am the only one hunting this property of mine."

"Backslapping yourself for being a "mentor", well that's just precious!"

Does anyone else see the irony in these two sentences? First, he complains that his neighbors allow multiple friends and family to hunt, and they kill whatever they want to, which compromises his QDM efforts on his property that only HE hunts. Then, he claims I'm being full of myself for mentioning that I mentored a young bow hunter, and proceeds to lecture us on what we should be doing to help young hunters. Talk about "precious".

Matt

From: Bowbender
08-Dec-20
"...we can do with young people entering the hunting world is to also teach them respect for other people they may encounter..."

Seems that messge is lost on some older folks as well. Just sayin... Respect just isn't a noun. It's a verb as well.

From: Pat Lefemine
08-Dec-20

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
6.5 year old 12 my son shot.
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
6.5 year old 12 my son shot.
I never said I was trophy hunting. QDM is not about trophy hunting. I’m not even really talking about 5-6 year old bucks. There’s better odds of Andrew Cuomo donating to the Trump election fight than shooting a five year old buck (although we’ve shot two that were 6) My goal is realistic: have an honest chance at a mature buck.

Is it worth the cost and frustration? I think so. Has the hunting improved in ten years? Absolutely.

When I show NY guys the bucks I have on my property they can’t believe it’s NY. We have the ability to have some great bucks there. I’ve got the best food and cover in the area. And 1/3 of my property is sanctuary.

This is the buck my son shot there. It’s the only time I let anyone use a rifle. He was a six year old buck we watched for three years. We’ve had four more as big or bigger.

From: Rupe
08-Dec-20
Pat, that’s a great buck. And yes QDM is not all about big antlers. It’s a healthy deer herd with balances in age structure as buck to doe ratios. It’s also a biologically sound philosophy to let immature deer live and harvest older age animals that have already contributed their DNA to the herd. It also entails harvesting the surplus of does.

We who practice QDM are an asset to the deer herd.

From: Grey Ghost
08-Dec-20
"Is it worth the cost and frustration?"

That depends if you only value the property for the age, or antlers, of the bucks you kill on it. If that's your only criteria for owning it, then 2 bucks in 10 years wouldn't make it worth it for me. However, if the property has been a good financial investment, factoring in all the capital improvements, and it's a beautiful place to nurture, stay, and recreate at, then hell yes it's worth it.

Matt

08-Dec-20
"But they never do. After ten years, I feel it's completely pointless. It truly is the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. "

"Is it worth the cost and frustration? I think so. Has the hunting improved in ten years? Absolutely."

those seem pretty conflicting but I guess you answered your own question.

From: JSW
08-Dec-20
Getting back to the OP. QDM is absolutely worth it and is is working.

Studies show that across the country we are shooting more and more older bucks every year. It just keeps trending up. (as soon as I find that study, I'll post it) This doesn't mean that we are killing fewer deer, although in some areas we are. Because of EHD and CWD populations are down and we naturally will kill fewer deer. In spite of that, we are killing older and bigger bucks all over the country. QDM has allowed populations to get older, and older always means bigger. It only takes one year of not shooting any 1 and 2 year old bucks and you suddenly have 3 and 4 year olds available to shoot. If you even cut in half the number of young bucks you shoot and do that for a couple of year, bingo, more older deer from now on.

Does it work in every single area, no, but it is working on a national level and that will gradually improve everyone's hunting. Selective harvesting, or trophy hunting, is good for the overall health of the herd and makes for a better experience for everyone.

08-Dec-20
Pat, Great question. I would look at it slightly differently. It seems that based on 10 years of experience you are not going to have the opportunity to kill a mature buck every year. It appears that some years you wont even have a mature buck to hunt. Are you enjoying it? Is it worth the time (most important) and energy you are investing? If yes continue. If no then move on. I own 136 acres in VT around my house. It is not great deer hunting by any stretch of the imagination. i have to travel to hunt mature bucks which I enjoy doing every year. My land allows me to hunt after work, hunt with my son and get out on days that would be otherwise impossible. On my land, getting a 2.5 year old buck is a big trophy. Even a doe isn’t easy. I adjust my expectations when hunting my land and enjoy it. Deer that I shoot here I would pass when I am out of state every time. On your NY property I would either adjust your standards, accept what it is or sell it.

From: JL
08-Dec-20
IMO....QDM does not work well where you have checker-boarding....and a lot of states have checker-boarding. The other thing with the older deer claims. When the harvest pressure does not apply across all age classes......folks that do happen to make a harvest fill their tags on these "older" deer. If you look at what age classes make up the total buck harvest, I suspect you'll see 2.5's and some 3.5's make up the biggest percentage of the total buck harvest. That means the 2.5's became the old 1.5's. Same problem....just shifted it to the next age class up. As I recall from my notes on this subject....PA's 2.5's and some 1.5's made up something like 87% or 89% of their total buck harvest. They have been experimenting with the QDM/APR thing for a while too. The 3.5's make up something like 5% or 6% and the 4.5's and up are a very small percentage of the total buck harvest. In addition to that....the total buck harvest numbers trend downward after some QDM/APR rules are implemented. I think it was only around 17% or 18% of hunters are successful there. Granted that is just one state but you can see some of those trends in other states. That doesn't sound like a success to me.

I mentioned it in an earlier post and I truly believe this....IMO states that do unlimited OTC tags across the board (R's and NR's) have some negative effects on deer management and the hunting experience. It's probably good for the DNR coffers, not so for the herd or hunter in the long run. I like the targeted quota approach better. The DNR can control where the harvest pressure needs to be reduced or expand it when numbers get too high in an area.

From: t-roy
08-Dec-20
“Sell your NY land and buy more ground next to your Ohio farm”. Chances of being able to do that are pretty slim, I’m betting. I’m also betting one of the biggest determining factors is your NY farm is relatively close to your home, so being able go crawl in a stand, or work on plots, etc , without having to drive a half day or more, has a lot of sway.

From: Bou'bound
08-Dec-20
Maybe what this says is that the vast majority of hunters practice their own version of QDM ..........and that stands for a quick dead meat.

Those people choose to enjoy the sport and consider it a success when they take an animal and that’s what makes it a special pursuit for them

If they were more concerned about trophy quality and Rack size they would practice the other type of QDM

but in the end people choose to do what excites them and brings them the same level of joy other get from antlers and age

and it’s clear across the country what excites the vast majority of people in the end it’s filling a tag and enjoying the fruits of that

if Every so often that tag ends up on a bigger animal that’s just gravy.

It normally doesn’t work when one person tries to convince another what they should be happy with or excited by

From: Scoot
08-Dec-20
See Ricky's post above... seems like you're arguing in circles. Also, t-roy's post is spot on too- proximity to the land is so nice. I have that here- I live at the MN land we hunt. Low odds of a big buck, but lots of deer and opportunities. Like you, Pat, I'm also spoiled and get to hunt a couple pieces of land in ND where there's always a chance at a big one. Pat is even more fortunate in that he goes on many other hunts and shoots some giants on those hunts. Given all that, I think keeping land that is close/easy to hunt would be what I would do. That, and a change in perspective. Check out Paul's recent perspective building post- things could be worse than to have to make these kinds of decisions. I don't say that to be rude either- I genuinely mean it... what good fortune for you to even be able to consider these things. Good luck whatever you decide.

From: Pat Lefemine
08-Dec-20
T-Roy that’s correct. My NY property was the closest, affordable hunting property I could find. It’s 3.5 hours from our CT home. Ohio is 9 hours and was a strategic purchase as I start thinking about my retirement.

Our NY land was a phenomenal buy and it’s worth 3x what we paid for it. We also have some of the best turkey hunting I’ve ever seen. It’s got a few bears as well. We have no interest in selling it. And if NY’s political climate continues the way it’s going all the rifles will be confiscated and then I’ll have zero competition. ;-)

From: Grey Ghost
08-Dec-20
And there you have it.

From: elkmo
09-Dec-20
I didn't read a single post after the OP...yes came to that conclusion many years ago. I am from a state with rifle hunting during the rut. Without 3-5k acres it ain't happening without favorable rifle season dates or a group of neighbors/landowners "honestly" on board with the process.

From: LBshooter
09-Dec-20
A complete waste of time and money? No, certainly not for your neighbors, for you, money yes, time , no. Qdma gives the Hunter/property owner something to do in the off season and something to look forward to the next season. The anticipation of growing big deer and then getting them within range has got to be fun. The downside is when you hear or see the neighbors killing the deer you've work hard to grow or at least help grow. I'd suggest as I did to a friend is grow farm Craigslist p's that will pay you back and those crops, corn, bean etc... Will be your QDMA, along with some thick cover on your property. QDMA is a industry money maker, hence the tv hunting shows pushing it. Keeping the deer I check with good numbers is a good thing, buck to doe ratio, but spending money on special seed plots and all the equipment needed forget. Meat should be the primary reason your it hunting, the challenge of the hunt and antlers should be the last thing. However, it's America and your free to waste your hard earn money to grow rack bucks for neighbors.

From: goyt
09-Dec-20
We are all different which is a good thing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with meat being your primary reason for hunting. I hunt for the enjoyment and pleasure I get from being in the woods and from trying to figure out what a mature buck will do. I see it as no different than golfing for the pleasure of hitting some nice shots. I do like the meat and we eat it as our primary source of red meat however I give away more deer than I eat and it is not my primary reason for hunting. However if my wife says we need meat it may be my primary motivation for awhile. Now that we are retired we were spending a fair amount of money traveling before the virus. I am willing to spend money to travel for entertainment and I am willing to spend money to develop good hunting for entertainment w/o considering it a waste. The nice thing is that we can all make our own decisions on where and how to spend our money.

From: bigdog21
09-Dec-20
start a 50 to 100 acer sancuary no hunting and no entering not even you...it works good keep and holds deer all year round. do some logging about 5 acres here and there and it will grow up thick and plenty of cover. and dont hunt the edge of it stay away.

09-Dec-20
My suggestion is to work on the neighborhood- you’ve put all the work into your property and the neighbors have greatly benefited . To get them to buy in to your QDMA philosophy help them improve their land. A little skin in the game on their part will make them more committed.

Offer to help them plant a food plot, fruit trees that they pay for. Hopefully they get on board, and shoot their own deer. It can only help improving more habitat around your property.

From: BigOzzie
09-Dec-20
I often ponder, how can I hold deer on my property? your acreage, as well as mine, should be large enough to hold deer that do not need to leave the property.

The main thing that makes deer leave my property is does. If I can hold enough does on my property that the bucks do not need to roam, I can keep older larger bucks.

How do you keep the girls on your property, and enough of them the boys don't roam?

let me know when you figure it out, I would like to incorporate the same strategies.

oz

From: bigdog21
09-Dec-20
I will say agin sanctuary you gave them food now give them a home . if your neibor has the home and you have the food they have travle routs and easy for neibors to figure out.

From: Pat Lefemine
09-Dec-20
I have a 100 acre sanctuary. I never go in there. Every buck is killed during the rut. They follow a doe across the border into a series of open fields where guys sit in blinds with rifles.

From: XbowfromNY
09-Dec-20
Something doesn't seem right. I assume the 40" 8pt is a typo? How can a 40" buck be the biggest of the 2.5's? There are 4 pointers that 60"+. Anyway, 312 acres is a lot of land. But Northern NY isn't great genetics, so maybe that is the bigger issue? IMO, you should sell and put your resources into a different part of NY. If bow only, you have to look into Westchester (3S). I got access to 6 acres (not a typo, just six) in Westchester this year and made a mock scrape. I had two 10's, two 8's, and nice 7pt. all come to my piss. Does and smaller bucks as well. Point is, no guns obviously helps. But again, 312 acres is massive for NY. There are guys in Western NY with 312 acres that are taking 10-15 deer per year off their properties including a few good mature bucks every year. You are likely in the one of the worst areas of NY for bucks. I suggest you put your resources and great food plots, etc. to be better use in another part of the state and you would dominate.

From: t-roy
09-Dec-20
You can’t force them to stay within the confines of the sanctuary at all times. It’s definitely advantageous to have one, or several, but if a hot doe comes through it, all bets are off.

From: Pat Lefemine
09-Dec-20

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
This buck lived on my land for 3 years before he was killed by a road hunter during lockdown.
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
This buck lived on my land for 3 years before he was killed by a road hunter during lockdown.
Xbow, not a typo. I may be exaggerating but no way do they go above 60".

I hunt Greenwich CT, right next to Westchester. I kill good bucks there. It's fun, but its not what I consider a quality hunting experience. Some people don't even consider it hunting.

Genetics are not the problem. It's entirely age. If my bucks can make it to 4.5 they are damn close to PY minimums. Getting a buck to 3.5 is hard. Interestingly, if they can make it to 4.5 they understand the game and they are really good at evading all the rifle guys. Like I mentioned, we killed two bucks that were 6.

The single biggest problem is that ridiculous 6 week rifle season that starts the 3rd week of October and runs until December. And guys get 2 buck tags. It's madness.

This buck was killed at 7.5 when he was in lockdown. Probably the best buck we've had on the property.

From: XbowfromNY
09-Dec-20
Pat - I agree the gun season is way too long in NY, but I still think your issue is being in Northern NY. In the Finger Lakes, Western NY, etc. guys with properties of your size and much less are killing multiple giants every year. I've been a member of the huntingny.com forum for 10 years and see it year in and year out. I rarely ever see good bucks killed from the Region 5 zones (which i assume is where your land is). If you were in the 7, 8, or 9 zones with your land management skills, you would have way bigger bucks.

From: ohiohunter
09-Dec-20
You can only do what you can. When smaller bucks get a free pass they’re more likely to “core” an area. Encourage neighbors as much as you can, when there is a large co-op the deer quality can excel. But at the end Of the day you can only vouch for you and hope for the best, they will and always do slip through the cracks. It’s a marathon, not a sprint

From: Pat Lefemine
09-Dec-20
I'm not in 5, that area was not even considered. I'm in 6K. It's mostly farm country, rolling fields, and it's not big woods ADK like 5. It should be in the Southern zone, not the NZ. It could be just as good as Western NY if they got rid of 2 buck tags, and we had the SZ season structure.

From: XbowfromNY
09-Dec-20
Gotcha - I took a look at this > https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/2019deerrpt.pdf and saw that 6K is still only 3.9 deer killed per square mile in 2019. Whereas, many of the region 8 units are 11-14 deer killed per square mile in 2019, so 3-4x more deer had to lead to more mature bucks. But i feel your pain, i mostly hunt unit 3N (Putnam County) which has even lower numbers than your 6K.

From: Buffalo1
09-Dec-20
Unless you own, have control of or in a cooperative agreement of like minded landowners/ or folks who lease the land, no it does no good.

In theory it is a valid program (under the right conditions).

From: Pat Lefemine
09-Dec-20
I have a 100 acre sanctuary. I never go in there. Every buck is killed during the rut. They follow a doe across the border into a series of open fields where guys sit in blinds with rifles.

09-Dec-20
There's nothing a buck can do about that.

I've hunted Nebraska public 4 years, IA public once, and KS public once and there's just plain and simply far more older bucks where there are no rifle guys hammering the 2 year olds during the rut (IA/KS vs NE).

There's just not many rifle hunters that are going to pass a 2 year old. Especially from a long ways away.

From: Rub Line
09-Dec-20
Yes

From: Catscratch
09-Dec-20
Considered hunting the edges of your property for does? Kill as many as you can that would drag a buck across the line. Hope they stay home with the locals that want to stay in your refuge.

From: powder
09-Dec-20
Just imagine how old some bucks could get if hunting over corn feeders was banned?

From: Pat Lefemine
09-Dec-20
Powder, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Catscratch, not even the NY residents can get doe tags in our zone.

From: powder
09-Dec-20
Pat, in many of your responses on this thread the thing that sticks in your craw is the age of the bucks that partially inhabit your NY farm or am i wrong? Nation wide laws and method of take varies from state to state and no doubt different laws can somewhat "protect" the harvesting of buck deer. Banning hunting over bait is one way to reduce buck harvest no matter if its a 2 yr old or a 5 yr old. Somebody across the fence might only want 7 yr olds. Antler point restrictions is another method to increase age structure. Rifle seasons during rut for a given area increases buck harvest and in the big picture no doubt tempers buck age structure. I understand the frustration as i had a similar situation with a farm in missouri, it was great for awhile and then the realization dawned on me that everybodys definition and passion or lack there of deer hunting is vastly different. A hot doe will always win over fancy foodplots, super forest deer management practices, sanctuaries, ozone machines, "cooperating" neighbors and on and on and on. Them hot does will cross the property lines with not a care in the world as nobody owns them!

From: Sand man
09-Dec-20
Spent my younger years in Missouri. Used to go sit at the local check in stations as a kid. Man was there some big bucks! 30 years later...not so much. They also have firearm/rut season. Moved to Kansas in 1993, had to apply for a firearm tag as a resident. Season generally starts the 1st Wednesday of December. Glad I crossed the state line! I’m sure it won’t be the most popular statement..now XBows are considered archery so I feel this is our biggest threat to the age structure of our herd. I know I posted in this thread already, but I would highly suggest those that are in the Eastern part of the county, google WHITETAIL HABITAT SOLUTION and watch a few videos that Jeff Sturgis put on youtube pertaining to the subject of conversation. Habitat improvement without a true purpose...your neighbors will continue to “thank you”.

And no, I don’t know Jeff nor do I have any affiliation. I do however modify my improvements to maximize daylight movement on the parcel I hunt which absolutely minimizes it “across the fence”. The goal is not to keep deer from leaving your area, that IS unrealistic! But having them do so after last legal shooting hours..doable at a higher consistency then one would imagine!

Dream big. Aim small. Miss small.

From: Zbone
10-Dec-20
"as I start thinking about my retirement."

Who was it Pat that said,,, maybe Bill Parcells - "If you're thinking about retirement, you already have...8^)"

I'm not far behind ya...

From: APauls
10-Dec-20
So if the question was "Is QDM working" it seems to me you've answered your own question in that it does. You've got more deer, and a healthier herd, and a better age class than when you started. Is it Ohio? No, but you've eluded to your issues with neighbours and what they are shooting as essentially the one and only reason your deer are not making it maturity. Of the few that do, some bear some impressive racks. Seems on par with any other place on the continent as not every deer even at maturity has a large rack, which you already know.

So I feel like you've answered your own question of whether or not what you are doing is working. I guess next question is whether or not you think your neighbours have the propensity to change their ways? And if they don't change their ways does that impact what you want to do with the property? If things stay status quo - are you willing to continue?

Your efforts have given the area a marked boost. But after 10 years it sounds like you've reached your "new normal" all things remaining equal. Is that good enough for you?

From: goyt
10-Dec-20
WOW! So the area or maybe more precisely the State management unit has very few deer so shooting does is off of the table but they allow two bucks per season with a 6 week rifle season which includes the rut! If you want meat you need to shoot a buck. If you shoot a buck you still have a tag left. All of the pressure is on the bucks and there are few deer to start with. Mature bucks are pretty much nonexistent so most hunters just fill their tags with any buck they can. I think I get the picture now. By comparison, in OH you can shoot up to 6 deer but only 1 buck per season. If you want meat there are plenty of does in a lot of areas. If you shoot a buck you can not shoot a second and a mature buck is a possibility in most areas. Unless you can get the harvest quotas changed it is hard to believe that much is going to change from what you are experiencing now.

From: XbowfromNY
10-Dec-20
Powder - You cannot legally bait deer or bear in NY

From: sticksender
10-Dec-20
I thought our Indiana regs were far too liberal, with 16 days of rifle season centered on the November rut. But after hearing those NY rifle season dates and multi-buck bag limits, I'd say we've got it made here. It'd be near impossible to "let 'em grow" under that season structure, short of high fences.

From: Pat Lefemine
10-Dec-20
Goyt, bingo.

I’ve hunted some messed up states regarding deer regs before. Nothing compares to NY.

10-Dec-20
Yikes! I though Oklahoma was bad with 9 days of muzzie and 16days of rifle both during the rut but man 6 weeks of guns!?

Yeah, QDM has not been achieved if it was the goal. That being said there’s something to be said for being able to drive to an area to hunt after or before work and just enjoy the sights and sounds of the woods regardless of age class and QDM ...do what feels best

From: olebuck
11-Dec-20
i hunt in Mississippi. we have 90+ day rifle season. a very large number of hunters. No tagging system, and we still allow hunting with Hounds. i would say we have the most liberal bag limit and high pressured state in the country..... we pass young deer and only shoot 4.5+ year old deer. for every 10 3.5 year old bucks we pass - we get 1 on camera the following year as a "mature" buck... the other 9 get shot, move one, break off a antler, or just aren't big enough...

I have adapted my hunting strategy for mature deer to harvest them Early in the season. by the time our rut starts - Dec 22 - jan 10th our deer are so pressured its hard to even see A deer.

i generally concentrate my efforts in late season looking for deer that are survivors ( or will be) and will more likely be there next year, then I Plan Accordingly for the next 7 months.... i have been successful year in and year out killing 4.5+ year old bucks the first week of October here in the south....

From: Grubby
11-Dec-20
I’d be really happy if every one of my neighbors shot a 1 or 2 year old buck. As it stands most shoot multiple bucks..... all sort of legal under our party hunting laws. I just do what I do and hope it catches on even though I know it probably won’t. Shooting yearlings doesn’t excite me so I won’t . I don’t understand why they are so set in their ways but I try not to let what they are doing change what I am.

From: Ollie
11-Dec-20
If you are fighting a 6 week gun season with neighbors that gun hunt you are likely fighting a losing battle. After all these years they have not changed their ways. Either accept the status quo as as good as it gets or spend your time in a state with regulations more friendly to what you want.

From: kscowboy
14-Dec-20

kscowboy's embedded Photo
kscowboy's embedded Photo
The rising star who was baited into a feeder and hit and lost with a crossbow next door and eventually found in a creek a couple of days later. “Well, I wasn’t sure about killing him or not because he was young but when I saw all those points, I couldn’t pass him up!”

There used to be some big deer on this property. However, it’s not what it was. There used to be B&C quality but nothing over 160” in years. Sucks.

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