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Every year this topic annoys me. Maybe you guys, in all your infinite wisdom, can straighten me out.

Let's assume we aren't talking about 1000 acres of land. Most Arkansas hunting is done on much much smaller plots.

Is there any evidence to suggest shooting a "cull buck" actually does any good? Is there any real way to influence a herd without a significant amount of property?

I just see it all the time when a guy shoots a small antlered or misshapen antlers deer and then follows it with, "Yeah, he needed to be culled!" Sounds like an excuse to shoot a small buck to me.

And just to be clear, I couldn't care less if you shoot a 1.5 yr old basket 8pt. Just own it and be proud if you do, don't excuse it.
 

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I don't know how accurate the figures are below. I copy/pasted from the internet, so I assume it's true if someone published it... on the internet. Regardless, we all know that a doe will produce multiple young through her life. If she throws a wonky horned 5 point that you kill at 3 years old, that dead 5 five point still has probably 15-25 brothers and sisters in the same woods, carrying the same genetics. Now, let's talk about the sire. If the little wonky horned 5 point's daddy is where the genetics came from.. no telling how many does he bred with those genetics.

Like I always tell people... you got two buck tags. You can shoot an 8 year old 3 point or a 3 year old 8 point. Makes no difference to me. But you ain't modifying the genetics of an entire herd of wild deer with your two tags. That's called a fool's errand.



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Not to mention that 3 year old wonky 5 point has likely already bred does himself. Unless you are in a controlled high fence...you aren't likely to affect things much.

Shoot what makes ya happy (and is legal)
 

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You would need control a lot more than a thousand acres or at least a high fence to positively manipulate the gene pool of a resident deer herd. Add about 6 to 8 years of regimental monitoring and a controlled harvest then you can label and remove a “cull” deer.
 

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You would need control a lot more than a thousand acres or at least a high fence to positively manipulate the gene pool of a resident deer herd. Add about 6 to 8 years of regimental monitoring and a controlled harvest then you can label and remove a “cull” deer.
We have 3200 acres on one lease maybe killed one deer 3.5 or younger in the last 5 years haven’t killed anything smaller than a 8 point 16” buck I’m over 10 years and still don’t think you have much control. Lots of deer we let walk get killed by neighbors as well. Does seem to be a lot easier to control than bucks for sure.
 

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On a small place it doesn’t matter. On a big place, you might not change genetics, but if you shoot a “ cull” then you ( or the habitat ) don’t have to keep feeding him and the calories can go to another animal. We start shooting “culls” at 4 yo on our place, but it’s almost 6k acres and the neighbors are bigger.
Most of what people call “culls” are just young. I don’t think you can really tell until at least 3 1/2 what a buck is going to turn out like.
Even on a big place, age and nutrition need to be right to even consider “culling”
 

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On a small place it doesn’t matter. On a big place, you might not change genetics, but if you shoot a “ cull” then you ( or the habitat ) don’t have to keep feeding him and the calories can go to another animal. We start shooting “culls” at 4 yo on our place, but it’s almost 6k acres and the neighbors are bigger.
Most of what people call “culls” are just young. I don’t think you can really tell until at least 3 1/2 what a buck is going to turn out like.
Even on a big place, age and nutrition need to be right to even consider “culling”
Exactly. I use the word “cull” to indicate a genetically inferior buck - in my opinion. I have a small property - 300 acres or so - with several of us hunting. Our management goal is to attract or grow quality bucks for harvest - realistically in the 130 to 150 range. Never will we have that many quality deer on the place in one year for all of us to take one - yet we all like to kill a deer. The “cull” bucks - or inferior antlered bucks, or old bucks - fill the gap. I have an old 8 pt with a 17” spread and 3” tines that falls in this group. There is a big, older 4 pt, pictures below that falls in this group. There will be a few others show up. We all like to eat deer. There arent enough 145” to go around, and we reserve the does for the grand kids. Removal of these cull bucks satisfies an itchy trigger finger, puts some fine meat on the table, reduces competition for the available food supply, and it cant hurt to remove them from the gene pool

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Every year this topic annoys me. Maybe you guys, in all your infinite wisdom, can straighten me out.

Let's assume we aren't talking about 1000 acres of land. Most Arkansas hunting is done on much much smaller plots.

Is there any evidence to suggest shooting a "cull buck" actually does any good? Is there any real way to influence a herd without a significant amount of property?

I just see it all the time when a guy shoots a small antlered or misshapen antlers deer and then follows it with, "Yeah, he needed to be culled!" Sounds like an excuse to shoot a small buck to me.

And just to be clear, I couldn't care less if you shoot a 1.5 yr old basket 8pt. Just own it and be proud if you do, don't excuse it.
Why do you let something you couldn't care less about annoy you?
 

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I'm thinking if you really wanna 'control' your deer herd, you need to cut gun season at least in half, and make bow hunting year round.

Right???

If you shoot a deer, good for you. Glad you are a hunter. Just stay inside the law. That's the only thing I care about, or am interested in. That said, there ARE cull bucks. I have no idea if it does the least bit of good to take him out. For all I know he had a bad year, got injured, and his sucky antlers this year are an outlier. Beats me.

When it comes to deer, I have one rule I've learned over 60 years. Those who think they know a lot about deer, and claim such, are wrong. I ain't even sure if deer could talk, that you could find one that was accurate in telling how it all works.
 
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I'm thinking if you really wanna 'control' your deer herd, you need to cut gun season at least in half, and make bow hunting year round.

Right???

If you shoot a deer, good for you. Glad you are a hunter. Just stay inside the law. That's the only thing I care about, or am interested in. That said, there ARE cull bucks. I have no idea if it does the least bit of good to take him out. For all I know he had a bad year, got injured, and his sucky antlers this year are an outlier. Beats me.

When it comes to deer, I have one rule I've learned over 60 years. Those who think they know a lot about deer, and claim such, are wrong. I ain't even sure if deer could talk, that you could find one that was accurate in telling how it all works.
Very true br, but you have seen first hand what killing all the does do you’ve said it many times after y’all did it. Also usually the same folks kill big bucks consistently. Some is great hunting spots but there’s a few that can go on a given piece of land and kill a big one of their is one there. All that being said I thing their is always a lot to be learned. That’s the main reason I joined here to learn some stuff about deer hunting.
 
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