Vintage Sakos and Deer of a Lifetime

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by stonecreek, Nov 8, 2021.

  1. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Spaher. Congratulations! It sounds like you have developed an outstanding program to maintain the highest level of gene quality possible. It is a program that no doubt also improves the gene quality for many miles in every direction from your properties. I wish that your methods could be taught to State game biologists in other areas (such as Oregon) where the numbers and quality of deer has diminished terribly due to the overriding need to sell as many tags as possible for revenue. When it takes a 100 page booklet to describe the hunting regulations in Oregon, something must be wrong, especially when there seems to be more hunters than game animals. Sakojim.

     
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  2. bigcountry4me

    bigcountry4me Well-Known Member

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    And the inability to control the frappen wolf population, especially on the East side. They are indiscriminate killing machines and they have been allowed to proliferate beyond reasonable management levels. The department isn’t even honest regarding their range.
     
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  3. Spaher

    Spaher Well-Known Member

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    I'm fixing to get on a soap box, first, Bigcontry4me & wolves, your concern is well placed.
    Valerius Geist, recently deceased this past summer on Vancouver island, father of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation had repeatedly said that the successes and proliferation of wildlife on our continent would not have been possible without the elimination of the wolf. Val, a good friend with whom I spoke with on a weekly basis, expressed and wrote on a regular basis that it is a mistake to reintroduce wolves in N America and Europe. He wrote 50 plus books on wildlife in N America and was very familiar with the "Predator Pits" beginning to emerge from the proliferation of wolves in Canada and Russia, meaning they are such an efficient predator that they can eliminate all wildlife in areas where allowed to propagate. He had hunted areas rich in wildlife, specifically mule deer in Alberta and recently returned to his old hunting grounds there and in 7 days saw a mere single doe and a fawn, although the habitat was specifically beneficial to mule deer but devoid from usage. The contributing cause being wolves and cougars. Once a wolf pack is done and prey scarce they will migrate to more prey rich areas. The predator pit regions with little hope of recovery for many, many decades as non-predators do not migrate for the large part.
    Yellowstone now is headed in the same course as the elk population has declined by a reported 60-70% and the bighorn sheep are now seen along paved roadways, areas wolves avoid. Video has been taken of virtually an entire group of approximately 60 bulls in a group being wiped out by a single pack of wolves with every kill verified on video. Germany is being swamped by wolves, the state of Brandenburg has 47 packs of wolves and 10 separate pairs to further spread the population. There have been reports of human fatalities, which is expected but the formal response is that it cannot be proven that they were the attackers versus just feasting on the carcasses. One needs to read WOLVES IN RUSSIA, by Will N. Graves to see the eventual consequence of wolf presence among people. What is never discussed is the scariest disease carried by wolves, Hydatid Disease, a tapeworm that can infect other animals and humans and usually fatal as this tapeworm comes from wolf feces and easily absorbed with cyst forming in the human abdomen by the tens of thousands and a painful and virtually incurable fatal disease once it becomes symptomatic. Eastern Russia is suffering from predator pits as many huge areas (thousands of square miles) are now devoid of wildlife directly attributable to wolves, the most efficient predator when allowed to increase. Wolves also have the ability to breed with coyotes, creating a Coywolf, a super smart large hybrid that can also wreak havoc in a non-pack situation.
    Wolves have no place anywhere near urban areas and will decimate wildlife rich environments, after all, that is their historical nature. In Napoleon's retreat form Russia in 1812, his Grande Armee was followed closely by packs of wolves feasting not on the dead but on the retreating wounded with unspeakable horror thru the winter by these efficient predators. Should caribou, bighorn sheep, elk, deer expect any less?
     
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  4. Spaher

    Spaher Well-Known Member

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    Sakojim, you are on point on State Game Department's that are supposed to make decisions based on biological science rather than political science or social science, a branch of social science being economic science. These state institutions have good intentions but are guided by political, economic and social pressures. They are complicit in allowing the spread of CWD by allowing the movement of cervids although the USDA declared Chronic Wasting Disease an emergency in 2001, 20 years ago. I have seen departmental decisions inappropriately made on the income generated by license sales and fear of their decline and impact on their budgets, a gravely misplaced priority with devastating decision consequence on the pressure brought to bear on wildlife populations in many states. By analogy, I hunted the same ranch in Colorado for 18 continuous years and saw a huge mule deer population decline, meaning early on seeing 40- 50 bucks in a morning hunt and as many in the evening, to eventually seeing a mere 2 to 3 and coinciding with seeeing a mountain lion every day regardless of the area on the ranch in the later years. Elk numbers increased but then declined greatly as well. Much of the deer number crash being related to discouraging predator population harvest . On 2 mtn lion hunts on the same ranch, one we cut tracks in the first 20 minutes and on the second we had the luxury of choosing which track to follow, the larger one. Mismanagement would be an appropriate term.
    Shifting to deer and their management, we have become too efficient in locating and harvesting different species of deer via field cameras, long range shooting, etc. with "top-shooting", that is taking of every animal that is a trophy and leaving the rest to breed, breed down. The same scenario exists in African buffalo and elephant, gone are the days of 100 pounders and 50 inch buffalo.
    Management should include the discipline of not removing all the biggest and the most preferable of a specie since a generation in deer for example is 3 years, birth to relative young maturity or reproductive age, and to make a difference both up and down should take 5 generations, that is in 15 years you can significantly improve or crash a population. This was studied in Germany in the 1800's and thru the 1930's.
    Look at what has happened to the monster Alberta bighorn populations that were being harvested. Excess top shooting with additional and continual pressure has seen a huge decline in the trophy population quality, that backing off for a given number of years would take care of itself as wild sheep are possibly more susceptible to predator or hunting pressure.
    Once again, the keyboard has few limits and apologies if off course. Cheers!
     
  5. bigcountry4me

    bigcountry4me Well-Known Member

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    Extremely profound writing Spaher. Well done…. We are really seeing the effects of the many uncontrolled packs, named and unnamed on both sides of the Snake River. Idaho allows limited hunting with a quota but anyone knowledgeable will tell you it remains out of control. On my side of the river, hunts are not allowed, control is only allowed during verified predation. The big game species you’ve mentioned are all being negatively affected. Some of our outcast wolves are being located in California and probably Nevada. I appreciate your insight.
     
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  6. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Well said Gentlemen!
    In my small farm area I see the danger of selective harvesting. The general hunting population has not heeded the advice of many conservation teachers. Buck deer are harvested leaving numerous does to go unbred thru several estrus cycles. It is not uncommon to see fawns with spots well into the late hunting season. Result is fawns born late are not getting the benefit
    of good fresh food & get off to a poor start in life. In the 15+years I have seen the numbers of does increase greatly and good management practices
    falling on deaf ears. If we do not learn from past failures we are doomed to see history repeated! Passenger pigeon, Bison,!! I have seen Coyotes & large Coyote looking animals increase greatly in our area. Wake up American Hunters. Again, greed is the greatest human failing, and Gluttiny follows closely behind it. B/T
     
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  7. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    To all of my fellow SCC members. Today My "Sweetie" and I are celebrating my big 90th birthday. (We are on our 66th year of of a wonderful marriage) I am reminiscing a long life and many memories. This discussion has touched on some very sad deteriorating conditions that we realize are reaching the point of loss of species all over our planet. Laying blame is very easy, but in truth we are all to blame. It took me many years to learn that 'big horn soup' did not go nearly as good as fat prime game meat for table fare. We do know that all species on this planet must maintain an ecological balance to keep our planet sustainable. Spaher has said it all as best it can be said. We have all witnessed the decline and yet there is very little that we can do individually to change the path that are we headed down. Our descendants face a worsening future unless we do more to change the way we use our natural resources. Unless we the citizens replace our leadership with highly qualified conservation experts, we can expect no better results. In my lifetime I have seen the loss of many species and the decline of all others. I have enjoyed hunting from the Au Sable National Forest of Michigan to the west coast, from California to northern British Columbia and other places in between. I quit hunting several years ago due to disgust of the way Oregon and other states are managing hunting. I believe that the only way to improve the status quo is to organize a movement for a change in management. I wish that more dedicated folks like Spaher (with his eloquent means of stating facts) would get involved in a national movement for improvement in our country. I apologize for going off topic in this discussion but I hope to see an organization similar to this group that would form to fight for improvement of the problems. Sakojim.
     
  8. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Spaher, I have to ask a couple questions. With a 1:1 ratio, does that mean a lot of your bucks don't pass their genes on. With a buck for every doe does that mean the rut is over more quickly? Does that mean that the bucks fight less during the rut, why would a buck leave one hot doe to chase another hot doe that probably has another buck already on her? Hope these questions don't come across silly, but I've always wondered about the 1:1 that is always preached. BTW, our rancher in Crockett county says the deer haven't started the rut yet, even though it's usually underway by now. We have 17 hunters on our lease and hunters have been out every weekend and no one has seen a buck chasing a doe.
     
  9. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations Sakojim & wife,
    Like you I have enjoyed a long & happy marriage. My wife & I were married 63 years Nov.23 rd. Hunting has been a way of life for my family & at 83 I still make an effort to plant food plots & manage wildlife as best I can. Our right to hunt, keep & bare arms is under siege as never before. Educate every young person possible, to the ways our history survived by making itr hard for tyrants to get the upper hand. Elect pro 2nd ammendment leaders & strive to have term limits.
    But now, sadly, many have become complacent & lazy.I hope things change for the better soon. I hope our decendants can enjoy the beauty & ownership of our Sako Rifles for years to come. B/T
     
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  10. Spaher

    Spaher Well-Known Member

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    douglastwo, my opinion or view in response, as follows:
    the 1:1 buck to doe ratio is based on the post-harvest numbers of year before or the non-fawn numbers at the beginning of the season. Our rut in S Tx starts on Dec. 7, however with a Managed Lands Permit the season starts earlier and we try to begin knocking down our least preferred bucks age 4+ y.o.'s that some refer to as culls starting after October 15. Last year we identified about 89 that were too old or old enough but not the type we wanted to breed. The long-term plan is that the higher the removal percentage rate that for all years following there should be less of them and younger age classes. Round about point is that by Dec 7, we have removed 60-70 mature bucks from the potential breeding pool so the ratio for that snapshot of time is different. The 1:1 is for the rest of the year and to try to estimate habitat carrying capacity. I call the younger bucks getting all riled up the pre-rut but the matures 5.5+ yo's get involved around Dec 7 and it lasts for about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks with the second rut in January. With this ratio, there are lots and lots of broken tines and beams and the most dominant rule the roost, although the young ones get in on the breeding as well which is why we shoot all spikes. Why? Well studies at the Kerr Wildlife Mgmt Area predict they are less likely to have potential than forked horns at age 2 and it is a numbers game of deer per acre and gender, so by doing this we should not have deer older than 2 that are spikes and what we see with great exception. What is rewarding is seeing 2 1/2 y.o.'s that are small 5X5's, 6X6's at times. Also, part of the next years 2 1/2 year olds not doing as well as others is partly because in the second rut female fawns born early may get bred and these fawns are born later and usually smaller that you see in field come September. I feel that a buck will stay with a doe in estrus for about 2 days and if you see buck in an area with a doe you need to get there quick as he will move on. Keeping in mind that does stay within a short acreage distance from where they are born and later as does will run off or push any buck fawns to other areas, so removing adult does offers some respite for the buck fawns. The rut does not get any shorter as this is determined by the ovulation of the does which vary and not their availability.
    As to what is happening on the ground this year, we are having a hard time seeing mature bucks and only in the last few days have they begun showing up even if for just at dusk or leaving at daybreak. I do not understand why except the lack of rain and hot or warm temps have kept them in the brush as does the full moon. Deer do not have good radiators, meaning they pant like a dog to dissipate higher body temps and if hot prefer to stay in the shade of brush rather than burn fat they have accumulated in late Sept and October. I don't think a buck on a hot doe will leave her unless the second is from the same social bunch that runs together during the year, i.e., you see groups of 3-5 does and later with their fawns on a regular basis
    Crockett County has always been earlier in the rut date wise but I am not surprised that changes or delays are occurring. A really sustained cold front might trigger the rut and it will be like turning a light switch on and the bucks will be out chasing all day and night and not care about nourishment, the reason they lose so much body weight. What helps greatly is to have them restore some of this weight and body condition post rut as the cold winter in February takes a toll that is usually reflected in the 5 1/2 yo age class the next season by some of them digressing or not making big jumps in antler inches and why we have moved our harvest of "trophies" to 7 1/2 yo's for the most part. We have also seen old deer that become "shirkers", meaning no longer breeding much, solitary bucks and not fighting still in good body condition make crazy jumps in their antler growth after having gone down with post-maturity. I hope this answers your questions. Thanks for asking my opinion but it is just that, my thoughts based on what I have seen over the years.
    Many scientists may disagree, but I look at my wall and say "sure"..... imagine what could have been if I had listened to them rather than to old smart experienced ranchers and field giants like Valerius Geist..
    Addition/Edit, Doug2, I did not mention that for breeding purposes even though the 2 1/2-3/12 year classes can and do breed on occasion based on DNA, they are for the most part non-participants as dominance plays a large factor and the older and heavier bucks are usually more dominant in the rut leaving the youngsters as bystanders. What we do not want is the less desirable middle age or older bucks around in the rut and why we remove as many as possible during the earlier hunts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
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  11. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate how you share your knowledge and your great common sense. We've had our 6000 acre low fence family and close friend lease for 27 years and so far, this is the most unusual year we've had. We're seeing slightly less than the normal amount of does, more than normal spikes and less mature bucks. Last year was typical for us. But due to our local extreme drought, coupled with the terrible February cold spell, I'm worried we had a severe die off. Time will tell. Good hunting and thanks for your input.
     
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