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Old July 14, 2012, 08:26 AM   #12
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,158
The original premise is flawed. The makeup of a population of whitetail has had this same argument applied.

It is just not possible to clean a pasture/woods of mature bucks. Even so, the genes are passed on during the rut. If not by Ol' Biggie, then by his son, Ol' Biggie-to-be, who has the same genes.

That said, harvesting only the bucks can create a surplus of does and a population which grows beyond the carrying capacity of the land. That leads to a reduction in average body size of the entire herd. (Gee, sounds like central Texas, to me, Martha. )

When I moved back to the old family place outside Austin in 1967, there were way too many deer on the place. In those days, I could get one doe permit for each fifty acres. Yuck. I ignored the law and went on a culling campaign. Does, mature spikes, and scraggle-horn bucks. Gutting a deer in August in Texas ain't no fun. But, all were eaten.

After three years the average body weight was up 20 to 30 percent. The bucks had decent horns. What I'd done was reduce the herd back toward the carrying capacity of the land. Just like my grandfather had explained to me some twenty-five years before.

Poaching? No. Call it jury nullification. Rational agricultural practice in ranching--for deer instead of cows, sheep or goats.

A few years and many tax dollars later, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission publicized that they had also learned about carrying capacity after controlling the numbers in one high-fence pasture and not controlling the numbers in another high-fence pasture.

I have no problems with obeying rational law. But when a law contradicts known and sound agricultural practice, I go with reality. I'm not going to plant row crops up and down a hillside, either. The land comes first.
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