Thx for all the input guys! Cutman...To your point - I've hardly run cameras this year which is unusual for me. Just didn't happen. Here's the short version of what I think has happened - In 10 years, we've killed about 10 doe. We've killed 12 bucks over 10 years, none last year and only 1 in 2018. In 2017, we had so many bucks during the summer that we just knew all of our hard work on habitat improvements and trigger control on younger bucks was paying huge dividends. 2018 - fewer buck sightings. 2019 - fewer buck sightings with none killed. Each passing year the doe numbers have increased.
I'm buying in to the old adage that the matriarch doe dominates the best habitat and will run the bucks off during non-breeding season. Enough matriarch doe(s) spread over 300 acres and suddenly, here we are in 2020 with doe everywhere and what seems to be fewer bucks than at any point since owning the property. I remember 2014 as the year when we felt like we saw one buck for every doe. Seems every hunt you encountered bucks and often times, multiple bucks. We killed 3 really nice bucks in 2014.
We simply have let the herd size using our property to get out of hand in my opinion. 300 acres is not that big but it is comprised of great habitat with plenty of year-round browse, cover and mast producing hardwoods. Deer population has exploded but where in the heck are the freaking bucks???
I am committed to killing a bunch of doe(s) this year during firearms season. We are inviting several guests with kids down for a Saturday afternoon shooting fest and make sure that every food plot has a dad and son in a stand with instructions to shoot doe.