Thursday, July 5, 2012
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Roger Johnson killed this 170+ buck in the second week of December 2010. He saw the buck the evening before and let it go. Thinking about it that night, he realized the deer was actually a deer he should have shot. Fortunately the next morning a "hot" doe came scampering by and he was close behind. This deer is one of many that have went down in Walker County over the past 10 years. Taking deer management seriously, without buck limits, without feed, and without intervention, Roger and his buddies created a piece of property that is consistent in 160 plus deer.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Buck management is always a hot topic. It is something that every deer hunter talks about and works for. Over the last few years the theory has been, shoot your does. The bucks get better quality feed and chase harder during the rut. Having fewer deer to breed, the biggest bucks must come out to chase around the few does that are left. Everyone liked the thought of having so many does we could shoot them at will. Even the term, "Just go kill you a doe if you want some meat," was born. I have noticed problems with this theory and I'm not alone. Starting with the fact there has never been research on this issue. Just copy cat tactics of other states. Quite honestly I've hunted these other states and wouldn't personnally follow their management practices, but we have. I am hearing reports now from hunters who say, "I just aint seeing any deer." Well according to the proponents of the three buck limit who told me 4 years ago, to give them 3 years to prove their point, big bucks should be behind every tree. So far I'm still waiting. The buck limit laws have not created the atmosphere it was sold on. I was talking to one of the biggest farmers in Autagaville just the other day who happens to run a hunting operation. He related to me that he has 200 cows in a pasture and 21 bulls. The ratio of cows to bulls is almost 10 to 1. If he went out tomarrow and shot 150 cows, next year his bulls wouldn't be any bigger. He would have a whole lot less cows in the pasture and a whole lot fewer calves but the effect on the bulls would be zero. What does have to do with the size of his bulls is genetics and age. Alabama has good genetics. You go to Eutaw Bait and Tackle and look around. These deer were grown when southern counties had corn and soy beans. Crop prices fell, timber companies stepped in and all these hundreds of deer had to eat was pine trees. Thus people began to see skinny deer with poor horns. Here is where the supplemental feed guys step in. They claim the answer is feeding or baiting to off set the losses. Well, if that was going to make a difference, it already would have. It is not illegal to bait or feed right now. It is just illegal to hunt it. If you wanted big deer, feed them, right now. But people will not do that. In order to get those big horns, deer have to be fed in May, June, July and August when deer hunters are elsewhere. No one feeds during those times. If you have checked the cost on a bag of feed lately you will see that's not a bad idea. It is to expensive for the average man to keep up year round. Therefore most hunters would go out two weeks before bow season and throw out 50 lbs of feed near their favorite treestand. This would do nothing to grow horns or manage deer. It is a lazy mans way of getting by. What is happening under the current management practices is that our "local" does, our breed stock, is depleated. Does do not roam very far from the place they were born unlike bucks. So when you shoot them out. All you have is a whole lot less deer, which is what we said in the beginning that the masses are beginning to complain about. All I'm sayin is without the research it is just an opinion by an Advisory Board, one of which whom stands to gain direct financial dividends, and researchers taking a shot in the dark. Deer hunters, you and I, know what we see in the woods. We know if the plan is working or not. Look at you club or your property. Where are you? Is the current system what they said it was going to be by now? Or do we need changes? Do we need research? Do you and I need to step in the ring and right the ship? Send me your comments bro's. It is not greater restriction we need, it is greater freedom to manage the land. I believe it is a shorter doe season and a more liberal buck harvest. Those practices only created the largest, healthiest deer herd in the United States of America. I find it very simple but....but it is not what everybody else is doing. I think my momma warned me about that.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
A couple buddies and myself finished off an excellent 2011 squirrel season at the Demopolis WMA, now know as David K. Nelson WMA. I hope David K. Nelson was a good man because the greatest hunting spot in the world has his name on it. We took down 19 squirrel and this big boar coon. At the end of the day, some friends made a nice soup out of this old coon. No, No I didn't eat any of it. As a matter of fact, I didn't even hang around for the feast, I headed to Parrish Alabama for some much needed rest. Hunting behind a squirrel dog will walk you down. As my buddy says, P90X hunting. Had a great day anyway as I always do. The thing is, as wonderful as this property is, and you can see by the picture it is some of the best, it's future is temporary. What you and I call our back yard is a foreign land to many senators and legislatures. In my head funding for these area's is a no brainer. Anybody can see.......not so fast. They don't know and don't share our same understanding and passion for these places. They don't know how vital these places are. They've got a huge timber company in one ear promising campaign donations and perks for just a "little timber" harvested on an old remote piece of forgotten land. They've got others promising silver and gold and diverted funds from wild lands would make our schools the greatest in the nation and fill budget shortfalls. It's money, money, money. I have been on the phone fighting for our Forever Wild funding that makes these places posible. I am pleased to announce that so far not one single senator has voted against the funding. Yet, that was not so in the preliminary talks. Some questioned the need to put money into hunting and wild lands when this program and that program were under funded. It took many phone calls and persuation from a lot of people to make them understand what needed to be done. The fight is not over. We cannot rest until Forever Wild is refunded. Certain legislatures are trying to attach amendments that cannot win passage alone to a bill they know must pass and that is dead wrong brother. It is underhanded. Legal, but underhanded. Let Forever Wild pass and push your amendments on a stand alone basis. Right is right and I pray the dealings will be above board. Unfortunately, I smell a rat. One bigger than this coon I'm holding.