How many acres can a bully buck control?

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by MN Slick, May 17, 2018.

  1. MN Slick

    MN Slick PMA Member

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    Question for the buck managers. Buddy has 140 acres in North MO that he has owned 1 year. It's about 40% timber and 60% CRP but less than half of that is WSG. There are a few draws that connect to it but overall very little connecting cover and it has roads along 2 sides of it. There is a big bodied 8 point on it that was mature and all over it last fall. It's not Iowa so there aren't as many mature deer but this farm lacked even 3 year old bucks. Unfortunately, he didn't get him killed and it seems reasonable that if he was truly a bully he could have easily controlled 140 acres with fairly limited cover. Reason tells me if there was a lot of connecting cover to this farm the up and comers would still at least use the farm. Reason also tells me that if they got pushed off 2 or 3 times they would just head for the next block of cover and not come back.
     
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  3. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    When I read the title of this post 160 acres came to mind - so I think you're right, one bad bully buck could do what you've said. Also depends on the farm, a 140 acre thicket with more cover vs fields and you'd be more likely to hold more bucks of course. The bully buck might not clean out as large of an area.
     
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  4. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    EXCELLENT POST & QUESTION!!!!
    Few thoughts of my own...
    Personality is big. Not just the fact that he’s a bully but some deer have smaller or larger territories. Often dependant on habitat. Like you said- not a massive amount of cover.... with that said & the fact it’s not Iowa and not near the density of mature bucks - absolutely think he could dominate that place. For sure. If it was Iowa - our mature buck density is higher than surrounding states on average & if bucks get pushed off - there’s another mature buck to push them back sometimes. In other places this won’t happen. He’s the king of the castle & other bucks can find other areas without bullies like this. Or fewer on average.
    I’d say that buck could be the main dominant buck on that 140 acres if that’s his core & he utilizes it all. Will other bucks overlap or move through at other periods? Of course. But- saying, in a situation like that, one buck is the dominant buck of 140 acres is sure not crazy. Good luck on catching up with that smart old bully!!!
     
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  5. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    Interesting question and very good answers so far. FWIW, my thoughts would align with Skips' and Jordans'. What I would add, based upon our experience over the years where we too have had dominant "bullies" on the farm...is that if you have another target buck besides the bully then you better get on him quick when the season starts, because by the 1st of November'ish the bullies will have wrecked his rack about 80% of the time. :)

    Now if you were going to pass him anyway, it is a bit of insurance that no one else will shoot him that year as a 1/2 rack, etc. :) But the impact of bully buck or two cannot be underestimated. 140-200 acres seems about right to me.
     
  6. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 PMA Member

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    Not sure the answer, but do what you can to get rid of him. I think more emphasis should be on taking out the bully on the block.
     
  7. Tmayer13

    Tmayer13 Active Member

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    Just a thought cruising through my mind would be i wonder what the doe density is? If low I could see him running the whole place trying to be the main "breeder" but likewise if doe density was high I would think this more dominant deer would have less time to cause a ruckus because he would be too busy chasing the hunnies! Now maybe im wrong but i would sure think the total doe density would come into play some how...fun topic but im not sure if there really is a true. Only one way to find out, kill him and see who shows up to take his place
     
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  8. jkratz5

    jkratz5 Super Moderator

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    In 2006 I killed a bully buck, which was a giant that had actually ran nearly every buck off our farm (440 acres, 160 timber, 220 tillable, 60 CRP). from late Oct. until November 18th we did not see a buck older than 2 years old on our farm. We historically will hold a handful of 4 and 5 year olds and a slew of 3 year olds on the farm, but the place was a ghost town that year. In summer and early fall we had several mature bucks on cam, etc. but once 20th or so of Oct. hit they were all gone. I shot the deer the 18th, and two weeks later it started to normalize. Late season we were back to normal numbers and mature deer so I really do feel this deer had ran everything off.

    The deer was scared top to bottom from the tip of his nose almost to his ass, broken main beam on his left (3-4") definitely had been in some good fights. Pic of him below IL-Booner-2006.JPG
     
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  9. MN Slick

    MN Slick PMA Member

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    Great info guys and certainly backs up our thoughts on it. Great story and buck Jkratz. He looks like a warrior.

    The doe density thought is very interesting and makes a lot of sense. I think the doe population is fairly low based on few tracks when I pulled cards for him in December after a skiff of snow. He had plenty of food on there too. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up this season. I'll try to remember to post an update.
     
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  10. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    Sounds reasonable that one buck could control that amount of ground. So many variables at play with habitat, population/density, buck temperaments, etc.
    I've hunted places where one year there are 4 shooters and the next year there is only one. It drives me nuts trying to figure out why or what is different from year to year. Whether it's a bully buck or EHD or something happening on the neighbors farm, it's hard to say sometimes. Hope that bully gets an arrow!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
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