View Full Version : This is not the time to hunt for monster bucks in Alabama
July 29, 2001, 12:45 AM
Trophy hunters in Alabama need to wake up. There are so many young does coming into heat this year that there are not enough good bucks around to breed with all of them. Instead, they are breeding with the less desirable bucks, who would overwise not get many chances to breed. Perhaps this year you could kill some does, and maybe some of the less desireable bucks. If you don't, there will be fewer and fewer "monster" bucks to shoot at in the future.
But nooooooooo! You're still looking for the monster bucks. Meanwhile, the Barney Fife of bucks is mating with all the does, producing future Barney Fife bucks.
Last year, I knew some fellers who hunted in an area that was infested with young does. That county had a 75 day doe season (for a reason--duh), and they still only hunted for trophy bucks and left the does alone. They wanted something on their wall that they could brag about. Fine! But your children will never know what it is like to shoot a twelve pointer because they will become too rare. If they only hunted ten days this year, there is no reason why they can't take out twenty does. On any given day in December, you can count as many as twenty, and that's when you're not paying attention. And if you can't handle that much meat, and who can, there are plenty of poor folks in Alabama who could use some free meat.
July 29, 2001, 07:41 AM
Getting hunters to smack more does and less bucks is a slow process. I've had the same discussion with others about trophy management and it takes a long time for the logic to soak in. Keep at it.
July 29, 2001, 10:13 AM
In 1968 I moved back to the old family ranch. I went out spotlighting one night and counted around 50 pairs of eyes. Way too many deer!
So, me bein' me, I embarked on a herd-reduction program. I killed does and mature spikes and "scraggle-horned" deer all year around. All very sub-rosa, of course. Fortunately nobody asked me whence cometh all the venison I was serving at weekend barbecues.
I can tell you that you can get thoroughly fed up with gutting out deer--particularly in Texas in July and August!
Anyway, within three to four years, the average body weight was up by around 30%, and I was seeing bucks with decent racks.
About ten years later, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department instituted a population control program in a deer-fenced pasture. I thought it was nice that they reached the same conclusions that I had: The health of the herd is a function of its population and the carrying capacity of the land.
Most any rancher could have told them that, had those biologists ever thought to ask.
The "Duh! Factor" is alive and well.
July 29, 2001, 02:37 PM
don are you familiar with the guntersville, al area? my wife is living in that area while i'm stuck here working in st louis. when i can get back, which might be soon, i'd like to get in touch with you to do some hunting.
anyway, the skyline wma is nearby, and is a fairly successful wma to hunt. crowded, though.
August 1, 2001, 10:29 AM
Old prejudices die hard. When does are legal I'll shoot them. I enjoy the hunt and the meat, whether it's from a large buck or a smallish doe. I do take a lot of flack from the trophy hunters though, they just don't realize there is a limit to the number of deer a given habitat will support.
A private lease in western AL has a well healed (wealthy anyway) bunch that will only shoot "trophy bucks" and look down on "doe shooters". The fellow running the lease allows me to hunt during the week (no fee!) as long as I only shoot does. I'm more than happy to oblige.
Even though it may mess up my free hunting, hunter education is the key to a healthy heard.
BTW, you are right about Skyline WMA, pretty country but too many hunters for me.
August 1, 2001, 09:12 PM
I'm hoping to spend a couple of days hunting this year with my brothers in AL. Haven't hunted there in years.
I'm only a meat hunter. I don't care about racks, other than thinking they're darn pretty.
The little buck I shot last year, I had believed to be a doe. (Nubs only visible at VERY close range.)
August 2, 2001, 10:18 PM
I hope you will enjoy yourself deer hunting in Alabama this year. The cost for a non-resident license is rather high. It is $75 for a 3-day hunting trip, $125 for a 10 day hunting trip, and $250 for an annual non-resident license. In my opinion, they should pay you that much to come to Alabama to hunt this year. I'm almost serious about that! :rolleyes: Georgia only charges $118 for a non-resident annual license.
Check this out: http://www.dcnr.state.al.us/agfd/deerden.html
All of the counties in the Black Belt of Alabama (named that for the color of the soil) are shown red, meaning that there are "More than 30 deer per square mile". The operative word is "more". I do most of my hunting in Sumter County (which is red), although I have hunted in Marion County. The problem with Marion County is that it is a "dry" county, meaning you can't down a few brews at the end of your hunt. :(
August 3, 2001, 12:29 AM
I was told that GA residents pay a lower price for license? I understood there was some type of reciprocal agreement. (Just repeating one of my brothers, here; I haven't looked it up myself, yet.)
If it's really that high, I reckon I'll just be visitin' in AL. :(
August 3, 2001, 08:18 AM
I used to hunt in Sumter County. Is the Southern Sportsman still operating down there?
When I hunted there (Late 70's, early 80's) the emphasis was on managing the heard. We had a game biologist that would prompt members to take does in certain areas.
Hope they haven't gone to "Trophy Hunting" only. That would only result in poor quality deer in the future.
Is the Brass Monkey still operating? I used to go there after hunting.
August 4, 2001, 12:20 AM
There's a Brass Monkey in Livingston. Is that the one you're talking about? I've never been there myself, but it's there.
I hunt on private property in Emelle. It's owned by three brothers, great guys for letting me hunt there, but I wish they would take out some does. They have a six-point rule. They might need to drop that too.
August 4, 2001, 06:23 PM
Well, I'm with Art on this. It's a problem of changing hunters's habits. For the record, I think Alabama (maybe Tehas) was the first southern state to increase the "doe days" and also do away with tags and allow one deer per day (in effect).
Here in GA, we have seen the "doe days" (either sex) grow to almost the entire season. Back in the early '90s we had an outbreak of "blue tongue" due to over population. The next season the "doe days" jumped to double what they were. Of course the "blue tongue" epidemic passed, but it came along about the same time a herd count showed an imbalance of sex in the population ... waaaay too many doe. There is some discussion about what the ratio of buck-to-doe should be, but 8, 9 10-to-1 is way out of kilter. These doe that don't get bred, and consequently don't contribute to the gene pool still have to eat. And eat they do.
Without hunters taking buck, the ratio would probably even out naturally. But when you get a hunting harvest that is oriented toward taking buck, the doe eventually outnumber the buck.
So much for the tutorial. :) Take the doe. Do yourself a favor. If you are hunting for a trophy, look into some of the quality management programs sponsored by the various states. IF you have enough acreage, they will give you some valuable, free, advice.
August 9, 2001, 04:32 PM
Yep, the Brass Monkey is in Livingston. Guess it is still going strong.
Our club used to have a lease in Emelle. I have a fraternity brother that has a lease in Emelle now.
He keeps inviting me down to hunt, but I never get the time. I plan on trying to make it a priority this year.
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