How much land is necessary to manage deer for older age class bucks?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersDeer Management
To be honest, I would be somewhat disappointed if I invested time and money in producing mature bucks to see/hear it was harvested on another property.

So, although there is no hard or fast rule here, how much land ownership is ideal to keep deer localized if managed correctly and it contained food year round, a water source and bedding areas?

Also, if one can’t afford, let’s assume your answer is very large track, this size of a property what main habitat (food, water or bedding) should be #1 on a buyers mind when searching a smaller track of land?


The home range size of deer varies significantly based on the quality of habitat.  The better the quality of habitat the smaller deer home range sizes tend to be.  

Unless the property is several thousand acres most of the deer will have home ranges that overlap on neighboring properties.  

Deer spend most of their time during daylight hours in cover. So cover or the ability to create quality cover is a priority.  An even larger priority is studying the neighborhood.  I like to consider the sources of quality food, cover, and water throughout the neighborhood.  

It’s also important to visit with neighbors and discuss their deer management goals.  I suggest asking if they have or have an in interest in forming a deer management cooperative!  Good deer management cooperatives make small properties much easier to manage for mature bucks.

Enjoy creation,


December 10, 2015