Mature bucks on 131 acres

By GrowingDeer,

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I just recently checked out your website and was impressed.  I live in Florida but I own 131 acres in the Ozarks (Douglas County) for 3 years now.  I put a lot of hard work on my land and see no improvement (lime, fertilize, mow, disk and plant all types of seed).  I get lots of pictures of young bucks and does but no big bucks.  I have 3 ponds, mature pines, and hardwoods with good bedding.  I think the neighbors shoot anything brown.  What am I doing wrong?



Sounds like you have created good habitat.  Mature bucks will typically use the best habitat within their range disproportionately more than areas with lower quality food, cover, and water.  You may have the best habitat in the neighborhood, but the mature bucks are still probably spending some time on the neighboring properties.  If that’s the case and your neighbors aren’t of the mindset to pass immature bucks, then few bucks are probably reaching maturity at your farm.

You didn’t mention the creation of sanctuaries on your property.  Sanctuaries are critical for producing mature bucks on relatively small acreages.  I’d also visit with the neighbors about the benefits of allowing bucks to mature.  They may or may not be receptive at first.  However, it’s certainly worth a shot and I’d continue with the educational efforts.  Each buck that is passed will make the hunting in the neighborhood that much better!

Growing Deer together,