Question: “Looking for some advice on how I can improve the deer hunting at my deer lease located just outside of San Antonio. I have a ton of does, but very few bucks. However, I do see some bucks during the rut even though I don’t know where they are coming from. It’s not many, but my game camera photos before deer season show nothing but does. Can you offer any advice to attract more bucks to come onto the property. Have does. Need bucks. Thanks!”
Texas Hunting: Your situation is not an uncommon one when it comes to whitetail deer hunting in Texas. Many areas are buck only and most hunters want to shoot bucks. This tends to create higher harvest or over-harvest of buck deer, but leaves the does. Balancing the adult sex ratio is critical to improve daylight buck activity. From what you have written, it tells me that you have so many does that the few bucks in the area have no competition for breeding rights.
This means the bucks can move when and where he wants to. In fact, the bucks can probably stay brushed up and let the does come to them. This out-of-whack sex ratio is causing problems from a deer herd management perspective and for your deer hunting. The short answer is to shoot more does and less bucks right now. Depending on the size of your deer lease, this may even involve working with your neighbors to get the job done. Within two to three years the area will most likely have a fairly balanced sex ratio. This will create additional competition among the bucks, causing them to move during daylight hours.
Their search for receptive does will make bucks more visible. Now whether you choose those particular bucks is up to you. The best thing about a tight buck to doe ratio is that the does will bred on their first estrus cycle. This means more fawns on the ground earlier, increased fawn survival, and more bucks for the following year. And that’s how you improve the deer hunting on any property is Texas. But again, if your deer lease is less than 1,000 acres it will take coordination with your neighbors.
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