Is Ohio's Big Buck Potential Decreasing?
...social tolerances for deer, rather than biological considerations have largely driven individual county deer population goals. However, our deer program goal was written when Ohio’s deer herd was small and high quality habitat was everywhere.
A Healthy Herd
The healthy herd includes a wide range of genetic diversity and high biomass. Full coats and advanced body growth only happen when resources are met, getting high nutrition plentiful food is the best way to keep the herd local and body size growing.
Looking at the extended data below, you can still see these changes but note the timelines of sampling. The impact was much more subtle which is why it's commonly overlooked.
The immense population is strained due to a lack of resources. The lack of forage and good habitat causes the population to make changes as the carrying capacity is reached. The double edged sword for the whitetail is also one of it's best attributes. They've adapted well to urbanization. Instead of lacking resources and simply not surviving like a cold water trout colony the whitetail population bends and adapts to the resources at hand which includes smaller biomass, browsing the suburban backyards, and existing in urban settings. The whitetail deer is a resilient bunch...
What it Means for Trophy Hunters
Everyone wants to harvest the big buck. I can't say I'm any different. But maybe it's time to stop ignoring biological data and make room for long term improvement. I know I'll never forget the morning the tall 10 point bucked walked out, and our grandchildren need to experience that as well. Everyone needs at least one mounter but maybe we should congratulate the larger doe's a bit more and graciously pass the torch to a younger generation.
If you really want the full picture check out the link to the actual article published by clicking here.