Deer Herd Management for Georgia Hunters
Establish Herd Objectives
To obtain the most enjoyment from hunting, you and your hunting partners should decide upon one of four objectives for the deer herd and then take the necessary steps (presented later in this publication) to reach your objective. See the list of objectives, with advantages and disadvantages, below:
Maximum Population Objective
This objective provides a large deer population.
Maximum Harvest Objective
This objective provides the highest long-term deer harvest per unit area.
Quality Deer Objective
This objective is very similar to option 2 except that hunting pressure is reduced on the buck portion of the herd to produce some older animals for the next year. Large tracts (over 1,000 acres) are usually required for successful management.
Trophy Buck Objective
This objective provides for production of trophy antlers.
Once an option is chosen, a harvest strategy must be designed to move your herd toward the objective. Three approaches are possible:
How do you know which approach is necessary to reach your objective for the deer herd? First of all, you must know the current status of the herd relating to certain key condition and population indices. Even though there are several rules of thumb which may get you started, this status can best be determined by accurate record collection and interpretation of these records by a trained wildlife biologist.
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