Never has there been a response like GON received for this year’s Rate Your Deer Season. Not even close.
Almost 1,200 hunters took the time to fill out our surveys and get them to us. And what is absolutely stunning is the number of three- and four-page, heartfelt letters from hunters who have been on their clubs or owned land for decades. Their situation, they feel, is desperate. Many are asking for help.
The number and length of the comments was almost overwhelming. In the magazine, we had space for only a very small sample of the comments. However, we want everyone’s voice heard, so every comment we received is published here at www.gon.com. Our hope is that all deer managers and decision-makers take the time to read, and listen.
This is not a scientific survey. There is an inherited bias in any poll because the people who are passionate, or mad, are more likely to respond.
However, because it’s not a scientific survey, the passion of hunters should not be ignored, and this effort certainly should not be dismissed. We’ve been conducting the Rate Your Season survey for more than 20 years, and the methodology has not changed. What has changed dramatically is that year after year the most popular ratings were "excellent" or "good." Then, in 2002, the trend lines crossed, with "poor" ratings surpassing "excellent" ratings. Since then, the lines has grown farther and farther apart until this year when a record percentage, almost half the hunters, rated the season as "poor."
Before we get to the comments, here are the numbers.
For the Rate Your Season question, there were 1,190 responses, with 557 rating the season as poor (46.8 percent; 349 rating the season as fair (29.3 percent); 203 rating the season as good (17.1 percent); and 81 rating the deer season as excellent (6.8 percent).
For the question, “Should Georgia’s season deer limit by reduced from 12 per hunter per season?” there were 1,154 responses, with 994 (86.3 percent) saying "Yes, reduce the limit.” Only 149 (12.9 percent) answered "No,” and 11 had no opinion.
For the question, “Should deer hunting either-sex days be reduced in the county where you hunt?” there were 1,148 responses, with 742 (64.6 percent) saying "Yes,” while 390 (34.0 percent) said "No.”
For the county ratings below, the letters denote E-Excellent, G-Good, F-Fair, P-Poor, and the number next to each letter is the number of hunters who gave that rating to the county’s deer season.
Editor’s Note: These are the opinions of deer hunters who responded to the VOTES survey. We give each of them voice regardless of whether we as hunters or as publishers of GON agree or disagree with the opinions or comments.
Atkinson Co. G-2, P-1
Good: We have a huge coyote problem. Thank RFC Hutto for catching the poacher at Gopher Plantation. We don’t need people like that calling themselves hunters.
Poor: I have attended the yearly WRD Hunting Regulation meetings in my area for the last couple of years. More hunters need to attend these meetings to voice their opinions and concerns. There is a definite coyote problem in my area, and something has to be done to the coyotes so the fawns can survive.
Bacon Co. E-1
Excellent: I harvested two deer, one buck and one doe, and that’s about all we can use for venison in a year. I have observed many deer this season and can say there are plenty where I hunt. The problem we have in Bacon with the liberal limits is people harvest their limit and up to two times over and become venison suppliers selling dressed deer from $25 to $35 each depending on the size of the animal. There are individuals in this county who support their hunting hobby selling venison. This same thing happens somewhat during turkey season, and they will start turkey season two to three weeks before opening day.
Baker Co. F-1, P-2
Poor: I am 70 years old and have hunted deer for about 50 years, primarily in southwest Georgia and our property in Baker and Thomas counties. It is true that quality bucks are increasing in some areas, but this is not true for sure in Baker County. The overall numbers of deer are definitely down in the areas that I hunt.
Poor: We are not seeing many mature bucks anymore. Nor are we seeing the number of does. Not only do we have a coyote problem, but also a problem with overharvesting of deer that are not reported by out-of-state hunters. Many are on a lease where there are drawn for a specific week, and they feel they need to get their money’s worth. That being said, I believe your harvest number are a bit low. I realize there are Florida hunters with leases who don’t have the kill-everything-with-hair mentality, but they are few and far between.
Baldwin Co. G-2, F-3, P-4
Good: The deer population on our farm is definitely down. We only harvested two does, and I wasn’t real happy about those two being killed. I did take a 145-inch buck that was 4 1/2 years old this year and was the only deer I harvested. The coyotes are decimating our herd here. We plan to step up our means of eradicating them this year by whatever means we have to do so. Overall, a good year, but definitely less deer and more coyotes seen this year.
Fair: I remember cruising Cedar Creek WMA in the 90s in the early mornings before deer season started taking pictures. I would take 24 pictures with my 35 mm camera. Now because of the decrease in the deer population, it would take 24 trips to take 24 pictures. After talking to Tommy Keys of the Ga. Trappers Association, I am convinced that coyotes have an effect on the deer population as well as the over-killing of deer by hunters.
Fair: We have nine hunters in our club. We killed five bucks and 10 does. I believe the warm weather played an important role in deer movement and hunter participation this season. I had rather see the deer limit decrease more so than either-sex days decrease. I would to know that if I went hunting and wanted to harvest a doe, I would be able to.
Fair: I shot two nice bucks this season. I had gone six seasons passing up bucks, and it had been around 15 years since I had shot two bucks in one season. I rate this past season as fair. I saw twice as many bucks as does. For most folks this would be a good thing. For the past 10 to 12 years, I have seen an average of 20 to 25 different bucks and twice as many does. In the 2012 season, I only counted about 10 to 12 does and yearlings. On my four trail cameras that were out all year on feeders, licks or plots, I only saw one set of twin fawns and one single fawn. This is a drastic reduction in the number of fawns seen in past years. I think we have a coyote problem. I do not think reducing the number of doe days or reducing the amount of antlerless that can be harvested will help our problem.
Poor: This deer season was truly unique for us in Baldwin/Wilkinson counties (my small farm straddles the line). While coyotes have decimated the fawn crop of 2012, the super abundance of acorns kept the deer close in to their tight cover, thus limiting their need to move around very much. We saw far fewer deer in our traditional hunting areas of food plots and fire-break lines. This truth is, we have gotten used to the deer coming to us instead of us going out and hunting for them. If GON readers limited themselves to one doe per season as a freezer deer, we would see a better fawn population the following spring. It can’t hurt.
Banks Co. G-2, F-5, P-4
Fair: Limited number of doe days; limited number of food plots and other food for deer; adjoining property hunters shooting everything that walks.
Fair: The coyotes are bad; we have lots of them. The deer limit is too high, and there are too many doe days. The deer population for 2012 was down.
Poor: Deer numbers have been dropping constantly over the last six years. Very few fawns are making it past the first six months. Too many coyotes; lower bag limits.
Poor: I have not see that QDM has helped the quality at all, but I don’t have a problem keeping it. Coyotes have greatly reduced the deer herd, and I have not seen a turkey in three years. As little as five years ago, it was not uncommon to see 15 to 20 turkeys at a time.
Poor: This year was very bad. I saw more coyotes than deer. DNR has too many doe days and too many tags per hunter. Killed five coyotes, one deer. Somebody needs to wake up.
Fair: I think the regulations in the Northern Zone are a JOKE! The population numbers we are given are actually higher than what really exist. I also think that it is unfair for us hunting in the Northern Zone to have to pay the same amount for our hunting license. We do not get to bait, and we do not get an extended season except for metro archery-only.
Barrow Co. F-1, P-2
Poor: I primarily hunt in Barrow and Oconee counties. This season was the worst I have ever experienced. The primary reason for this opinion is directly due to the SEVERE reduction in deer sightings. I am not sure if this decline is due to over-hunting, high bag limits, coyotes or is a cycle that we are experiencing. Almost every hunter that I have spoken to experienced the same observations. In my work, I spend many hours riding country roads, and I can say that the population of deer is at an all-time low.
I have been deer hunting for 40 years and strongly believe we need to consider some drastic measures for deer management: reduce the bag limit, reduce doe days, implement statewide QDM, etc. One hunter, one buck works for me. And on another subject, raise the price for out-of-state licenses. There are too many Florida hunters killing Georgia deer at a ridiculously low charge.
Bartow Co. E-1, G-4, F-4, P-17
Good: Professionals set the limits for what is needed to manage the state’s herd. That is their job. Satisfying hunters should not be the top priority! Absolutely, giving the DNR officials the time, resources and manpower to enforce and maintain the laws needs to be stepped up! Illegal actions of hunters has hurt the sport much more over the years than our liberal bag limits!
Good: Need to extend season for archery at the beginning or end after rifle. Keep QDMA practices.
Fair: Due to the lacking deer population. I strongly believe the rising numbers of coyotes has had an overwhelming impact on fawn recruitment. Over the last five years, I have seen a fewer number of fawns; this year I saw one! It is ironic that the number of coyotes I took during deer season far surpassed the deer harvested.
Poor: Yotes, deer limits and QDM. All three are not helping a million-dollar industry. They will cause it to go under. I’ve been a hunter since I was big enough to carry a gun. I started hunting in the 60s, but I have gone to seeing a deer every time I went into the woods to not seeing a deer. Let’s not forget about poachers and these clubs that say we have too many deer because of trail cameras. Get real. Unless you put a number of that deer, you are taking a picture of the same deer day in and day out. I would like to see a four-deer limit, one buck and three does; doe days closed after Thanksgiving; make turning a poacher in worthwhile. Yotes need to be wiped out before they wipe out the deer because they hunt deer 365 days, 24 hours. I have seen yotes hunting in packs—three yotes, one doe. They were after her in a clearcut.
Poor: Worst season ever, even worse than last year. DNR giving farmers permits to kill deer and leave them laying. Way too many being killed in Bartow County.
Poor: I do not know the exact reason why, but I am seeing drastically fewer deer on property that is hunted less now than in the past. I don’t believe it is hunting pressure or killing too many—we’re killing one or two per year compared to five to 10 or more in the past. It seems that when we killed deer in the past it didn’t affect deer seen or shot the next year.
Poor: Cut the gun season down to four weeks. Open too long. Also open baiting in north Georgia. The deer hunting now sux.
Poor: Did not see hardly any deer during the whole hunting season.
Poor: DNR gives out too many crop permits. Farmers killing deer and leaving them lay. Every year fewer deer.
Poor: If changes are not made for 2013, by 2014 there will not be a huntable deer herd. Then when my 12-year-old son goes deer hunting and does not see deer, he will get to the point that he won’t go hunting any more, which will kill our efforts to get our kids out in the woods hunting and fishing. I hate to see our heritage die.
Ben Hill Co. F-2, P-2
Poor: Due to the high number of road hunters and night hunters. I’ve contacted the DNR only to hear they are overwhelmed with calls like mine and can’t keep up. In a conversation with my processor, he explained to me the “mind set” of these individuals. He asked one of them why they didn’t join a club and hunt legally, and his response was, “Why would I join a club when I can just hunt at night where I want to and kill big bucks easily. If I get caught, then I’ve just paid my hunting-club dues.” In fact this man has been night/road hunting for 15 years and has only been caught once. I feel like the penalties for such actions should be MUCH MORE SEVERE.
Berrien Co. G-2, F-3, P-2
Good: Got a nice 8-point with my .270 and a good 6-point with my PSE bow, doe at Chickasawhatchee. Did not see any coyotes this year, so don’t know if they are that big of a problem. Bag limit of 12 is TOO many. It needs to be lowered and enforced.
Good: Did not see a lot of deer. Did kill a nice 200-lb. buck with 5-points on one side. The other side was broke off. Looked like he had been in a fight. Only saw three does all year.
Fair: Hunting seasons should be shortened in the southern counties. Many friends refuse to bowhunt because of temperatures too hot. I’m really seeing fewer deer each year. We need to save our deer for future hunters.
Poor: Lot of food in the woods, which was good. But deer movement was not good. Saw a lot of yotes and dog tracks. Had a feeder out with corn, but coons and squirrels were on camera and one yearling showed twice over a week, very few birds. Corn started to sprout. Peanut field showed very little sign of deer or hogs. Looks like they just moved out of the area.
Poor: I have not seen a deer this season while in a stand. There needs to be a way to determine that hunters are not taking over the limit. There are too many unethical hunters which will take every deer they see. Maybe more game-warden presence.
Bleckley Co. E-1, P-2
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer and harvested a big 12-point along with several does. Even in January I was seeing deer.
Brantley Co. P-4
Brooks Co. E-1, F-3
Excellent: I felt like I had a good to excellent season. Very few trips yielded no deer seen. While I had only one shooter on camera, I was able to harvest him in November; a unique deer with a double main beam on one side. Most of my neighbors had similar experiences with deer sightings. For them the abundance was down, but they mostly have hardwoods, and the acorn crop had deer not moving as much. Collectively we have about 1,000 acres we hunt.
Bulloch Co. E-1, F-2, P-1
Excellent: My family and I have had an outstanding year due to, we believe, hunting legal over bait and QDM. Just for those who care, the laws will only be followed by the persons who want to conserve the future of hunting for the next generation. I’ve got two that love to hunt.
Poor: I am retired and bowhunt four to five times a week. I had a terrible season compared to past seasons. It is no fun to hunt all day and not see a single deer. I did much better when I worked and hunted on Saturdays. I would like to see the limit changed back to three does and two bucks with no antler restrictions. I would also like to see a bonus buck tag for the five weeks of primitive-weapons season. Another suggestion would be to delay the doe season for two weeks. Tagging each deer is another suggestion. I surveyed 10 members of our hunting club, and all but one had a poor season. I am 75 years old and will probably not live to see the deer herd back to the 90s level. My only hope is to be drawn for the Ossabaw archery hunt in 2013.
Burke Co. E-1, G-2, F-8, P-2
Excellent: I had a wonderful season! Killed three does, saw several nice bucks, shot at a buck—hit a vine! Spent more days walking, sitting, slipping and looking than most seasons and really enjoyed myself.
Good: Killed two decent bucks and two does. QDM helping. Saw a good many through Thanksgiving but only a handful since. Had one doe and one buck with puss pockets in meat. Had to throw away deer meat.
Fair: I’ve been hunting in Georgia since I was a teenager. I would consider myself to be in average Georgia hunter in the sense that I am not strictly a trophy hunter nor am I strictly a meat hunter. I simply enjoy being in the outdoors and doing what I love to do, which is hunting. But I can honestly say within the years that I have been hunting I’ve definitely seen a decrease in the amount of deer as well as the quality. I strongly believe that this is a direct correlation to the DNR regulations on the deer-harvest limits.
Butts Co. P-3
Poor: Deer limit is the main cause of no deer.
Calhoun Co. P-3
Poor: People who lease land around us think they have to kill a limit each year. QDM is helping in Randolph, but still too many does are being killed. Most people’s mindset is “if it’s brown, it’s down.” This must stop. Ten years ago we would see 15 to 20 deer from one stand. Now you are lucky to see one deer.
Camden Co. E-1
Carroll Co. G-3, F-6, P-10
Good: I only took four deer. All were does and no bucks. I do not think my area was affected by the coyotes; however, I did manage to shoot one with a bow on our 50 acres. We do QDM. We seem to have many deer on our property, but we do not take a lot of deer. Our group of three hunters only took five deer off of our property. We do have two mature bucks on the property that we know of, and to our knowledge they did not get shot this year. We saw a fair amount of deer, but again, we do limit our deer kills.
Good: I would like to see Carroll go to QDM as Harris is and some other counties. In my area of Constellation Road we have several yotes, and we harvested three this past season. Yotes are a big part of not seeing as many deer and young turkey in my hunting area. We use food plots and protein feed in May through August for the new fawns and does. I harvested two does and a 100-class 8-pointer, and I only hunt with a crossbow.
Fair: Hunting clubs around me are shooting everything they see. Add coyotes to that; it’s hard to see a good buck.
Fair: I would like to see our county go back to limit of three, two does and one buck of any size.
Fair: Go back to two bucks and three does statewide. Alternate every other weekend as buck-only statewide.
Poor: It’s because of yotes.
Poor: I was in the woods deer hunting no less than 25 times and saw not one shootable buck and only 10 or less does. This season and last were literally the worst I’ve ever had. My father, who has been deer hunting since the early 60s, says it’s the worst as far as deer numbers he has ever seen. We went on several WMA hunts with the same results—Joe Kurz, B.F. Grant primitive-weapons, parent-child Clybel, West Point’s sign-in hunt and Paulding Forest—with all the same results. I myself did not have one chance at a deer, and we are mostly meat hunters. Georgia needs to do something now, or the hunter numbers will drop considerably over the next few years.
Poor: Reducing the deer season is an awful idea! It lessons the time we can be in a stand away from the crazy world we live in!
Poor: Our problem is coyotes. We have five coyotes for every deer. All coyote droppings have deer hair in them.
Poor: I started hunting in Georgia at age 14. We had a short season the mid 70s, maybe one to two weeks at or around Thanksgiving. Not many deer, but everyone looked forward to opening day, and it was fun for everyone. As time passed, the DNR had it right. More and bigger deer were being harvested. The limits were raised accordingly. Then when 2001 approached, DNR caved in to the insurance companies and the farmers. Now they have been over-harvested, and we as hunters will probably never pass on this legacy to our youth and future of hunting. Hunting is supposed to be fun. You can’t get a child interested if they can’t get a visual of what they are hunting.
Catoosa Co. G-1, F-1 P-1
Good: I hunt Catoosa and Walker counties. Deer numbers are down, but quality is better. If we could cut back either-sex days during November, it might make quality hunting better. Extend deer season for the Northern Zone into January like the Southern Zone with buck-only regulations. Wish I was deer hunting (Jan. 10)!
Charlton Co. E-1
Excellent: My daughter and I hunted on a hunting club of 3,000 acres with 26 members. Collectively last year, we started reducing the number of does we as a club shot, and this year it started to show the dividends. This year I think only a handful were shot. Also last year we put a hurtin’ on the hogs, and between two stands/feed plots we did not have a single hog on camera or have sign. Also, coyotes have and are actively being pursued. I think the dog hunters shot six this season alone. Although there are plenty of them out a howlin’, we are actively pursuing them with electronic calling in the off season. Approximately 60 percent of the time I hunted, I saw deer, although the big one did not show this year, but that is OK cause we saw a lot of deer—button bucks, spikes and 3- to 5-pointers along with a good number of does and yearlings showing a good fawn success rate. My daughter’s stand routinely has three does and two yearlings, and mine has four does with three yearlings eating almost every evening. My daughter Shayla Hendricks, of Kingsland, shot her first deer this year, a nice 8-point on the second day of muzzleloader season. On my camera, 45 minutes after she shot hers, while we were celebrating there was a 10-point at my stand, but it never showed while hunting this year. An over-aggressive work schedule and my daughter’s purchase of a new home limited the available hunting trips this year, but if you are seeing deer, then it is a good day hunting. I think if you actively pursue the hogs and yotes and control the number of does that are shot, most deer populations will start to thrive. Call it QDM or just common sense, but it works for us and would work for all of the state. That’s why we think limit either-sex days/dates and number of deer. Limit of one antlered 4-inch spike or larger per hunter and two does per hunter is plenty of meat for the freezer and would sustain a healthy deer population.
Chattahoochee Co. E-1, F-1
Excellent: I rate my deer season as excellent because my granddaughter Jamie shot her first deer this season and my grandson Mason has shot two does this year. I also have shot my biggest deer ever, an 8-pointer scoring unofficially 147 and hope to have him officially scored and send pictures to GON soon.
Chattooga Co. G-1, F-4, P-2
Good: I am an avid hunter. I am 60 and have hunted all my life, but in the last few years I have gotten to where I don’t want to hunt that much anymore. Thinking about quitting. When it comes to me paying the same license fee as the south Georgia hunters and get less privileges, it is time to quit. I think we should get to hunt over bait like south Georgia does, and we should have the same open season dates. All of Georgia should be the same.
Fair: Chattooga is a tough county due to rough mountains.
Fair: Let us bait in north Georgia because we have feeders out with trail cameras and all of our deer don’t come out until 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., which I like. That keeps our does and our big bucks safe, so they can grow older. Wish everybody would let deer go like we do on our property.
Fair: Y’all need to remind hunters to shoot every yote they see. Maybe even put some type of bounty on them.
Cherokee Co. E-2, G-1, F-5, P-9
Excellent: This year was the best yet. Hunted about 20 days and saw deer 95 percent of the time we hunted. Grandson was able to kill his first doe and second deer so far, and I was able to kill two does this year. On average, we had at least three deer in sight, and one morning we had 11 in sight. Only a couple of small bucks were seen this year after taking some 8s, a 9 and an 11-pointer the past couple of years. This was the best year for seeing does. We and surrounding neighbors try to practice QDM by killing the older, mature and non-desirable deer and by killing any predators. Next year, we are going to plant a food plot to help increase our odds for bigger and better deer and more opportunities for the kids to kill themselves a good trophy buck.
Excellent: I killed five deer. Two were real good bucks. Opening day of bow season killed typical 8-point, 130- to 140-class. Got him on a 5-acre tract of land for sale. Then Nov. 17 killed a non-typical with nine countable points but stickers and broken tines all over. Plus three does spread out through the season.
Fair: Deer sightings down. Less deer than ever before. Too high a doe limit!
Fair: I based this rating primarily on bow season. Several factors have been talked about, including a higher-than-average mast. The first month of bow season is before acorns start hitting the ground in my area. I hunted hard and only saw two deer. If not for ending the season with 6-point in November and 8-point in December, the rating would have been poor.
Poor: The deer population is way down. I blame the coyotes for that. I would like to see the quantity of does cut back to around two and keep the bucks as is. Keep doe days as is.
Poor: My club is the textbook example of what coyotes can do to a large deer herd. In past seasons, we have harvested 90 to 110 deer a year. Then our harvest numbers started to decline, and we weren’t seeing the numbers of either young bucks or does we had in the past. We knew there were coyotes on our lease, but like other hunters we had no idea of the damage they were doing to the deer. As pointed out in your article, some of the bucks harvested the last two years are some of the largest taken in over 10 years I’ve had the lease. Our lease owner suspected what the problem was and brought in a trapper. The number of coyotes he caught was really an eye opener. Since then we’ve started shooting coyotes on sight, encouraged members to hunt them during the off-season and started a trapping program. Now, based on the deer tracks, trail-camera pictures and members’ reports, I feel our herds are beginning to rebound. I also put into place a two-doe limit two years ago. What I’d suggest the DNR do is go back to a three or even two-doe limit, re-install the doe days county by county or Northern and Southern Zone, and cut back on the days WMAs are open to deer hunting—all depending on what the rangers feel the coyote population is in their area. Also, at least for two or three years, put in place a bounty on coyotes statewide. I feel the deer can survive the coyotes or the 10-doe limit, but not both.
Poor: Not as good as last year for a lot of reasons. Weather was strange this year, and I think deer numbers were down some. We feed deer year-round in two counties just to get photos to track the herd. The does were about the same, but buck numbers were way down, especially big bucks. Horns this year had smaller mass and more deformities than years past. While hunting we saw a lot less deer, and we have hunted the same land for 20-plus years, and this was worst year we’ve had. We didn’t harvest a single deer, but again it’s more about the blessings of getting to see the world as you only can from a stand. But it’s nice to see a few deer.
Poor: Everyone has a theory on why they are seeing less deer. We are not overkilling does on our club. We only killed about 25 on 5,000 acres. I think the does have just learned to be way more nocturnal now that they are hunted every day of the season. The vast majority of my trail-cam photos of deer during hunting season were at night.
Clarke Co. P-3
Poor: Coyotes are a problem, but PLEASE don’t ask for a state bounty on yotes. Are you kidding? Give the government more money and trust them to solve your problem? Would you let them handle health-care with taxes and public-safety with gun control? If you want a coyote bounty, have your hunters pool their own money.
Clay Co. E-2, F-2
Fair: How can the state get a true harvest number—each harvest record is not sent to state? Make it so you can’t get a harvest record for next season without returning previous one. Give out a free one-year all inclusive license in a random drawing of returned harvest records.
Clayton Co. F-2
Clinch Co. G-3, F-1
Fair: Deer numbers continue to drop in our area at a steady rate. Bigger bucks are being harvested, but way less deer have been taken in the last two deer seasons. We actually enforced a “no doe” rule this year to maybe help the herd come back on our leases. Usually there are two yearlings with does on our lease, but now it’s good to even see one. Traveling trails seem to be less traveled every year, and the actual sign has continued to decrease. Coyote sign is visible almost on a daily rate. It seems with the laws in place and kills by predators that the deer herd is unable to make a comeback. As a lease holder, members come and go every year due to the lack of deer, and it’s getting very hard to pay these leases.
Cobb Co. F-1, P-1
Fair: Deer limit too high and yotes.
Coffee Co. E-1, F-4, P-2
Excellent: Deer hunting is better than ever. The inbred deer are finally gone, and the bucks are the best in 40 years.
Fair: I have hunted on family farm land and numerous hunting clubs in and out of Coffee County my whole life. Lands that I’ve hunted practice strict QDM and have neighboring hunters also following the same practices being conservative in their deer harvest. Neighboring hunters and myself saw dramatic improvement in deer herd and quality over just a few years, and it was very much worth every deer passed up. While on another farm, I hunted conservatively but no progress in deer herd or quality was noted because every deer that left the property had a very poor chance of making it back as