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If a buck on my property is not symmetrical by 3 years of age he is going to taken out, I prefer that a symmetrical genes breed and pass on genetics, if you let know bad genes continue, then your going to contradict what your trying to accomplish with your doe heard with fixing and maintaining the up to 70 % of the antler genes you are trying to protect and carry on, I would prefer to have a 8 point 3 year old rather than a 3 year old 6 pt without brow tines. Which one do you want putting genes into the gene pool? I’m not only trying to fix the genetics on my property, I’m trying to help fix the one off my property also, if a cull 3 year old walks through my property he will be taken out, so he will never breed, I have plenty of good genes on my property now due to the program that i have been implementing, I’ve also talked to neighbors and they have seen an increase in the antler size and better genetics. What part of Mississippi do you hunt? I’m on the line of Greene and Perry, where deer have not been managed properly of for the past 40 years or more, dog hunting had ruined the ratio and aloud bad genetics to run wild. Would you allow this deer to breed? I also have more bucks with great genes than I’ve ever had on the property and less cull genes and my food has not change since the beginning, so what I’m doing is working!
I hunt Hinds currently and have hunted all over MS with and without dogs. I agree with getting the buck/doe ratio in order and increasing nutrition. Both of those generally help reduce stress on the herd. I don't really care for a buck with no brow tines and if they are mature, I shoot them. But, I am under no illusion that taking out that 4 point is any more changing the genetics of the herd than pissing in the ocean raises the sea level. My goal is to shoot mature bucks - might be a 4 point or it might be something larger. The deer you posted would be safe on my place. This one wasn't. As for seeing bigger deer, most anyone that isn't in a location where agriculture was removed to plant pine trees sees larger deer now than they did 30 years ago. Everybody and their brother puts feeders out, plants foodplots and many let deer reach older age class. That is a recipe for larger deer for at least as long as it takes for the carrying capacity to be exceeded.

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Culling in a free range will affect your phenotype, but not the genotype. So, when you cull for a couple years, what you see can be different. You shoot that 3 year old imbalanced buck, he isn't there to be seen the following years. However, taking him out of the gene pool hasn't made any significant change to the genetic pool of the herd.

You seem quite passionate about it and that's great. Culling deer isn't going to harm anything and you like it, so have at it. I saw above where you referenced Dr. Kroll being one of the few people you truly believe. Like you, I also believe only a handful of those claiming to be deer experts. Dr. Deerpen isn't one for me. If I wanted to hear about the captive cervid industry, I would listen to him because that is where his research has been directed for the past 10+ years. If I want to hear about what happens with wild deer populations, I listen to folks like Steve Ditchkoff, Harry Jacobson, Lindsay Thomas, Steve Demarais, Bronson Strickland or Grant Woods.
Well, here is some food for thought, you can’t change the phenotype without changing the genotype. If you take out a bad phenotype then that recessive or dominant gene does not pass on to offspring therefore, allowing good phenotypes to reproduce which in turn helps change the genotypes that reproduce. Go to the good old punnett square and change the genotypes. When you change the genotypes you get a change in the phenotypes and vise versa. If a phenotype has changed then the genotypes have changed.
I hunt Hinds currently and have hunted all over MS with and without dogs. I agree with getting the buck/doe ratio in order and increasing nutrition. Both of those generally help reduce stress on the herd. I don't really care for a buck with no brow tines and if they are mature, I shoot them. But, I am under no illusion that taking out that 4 point is any more changing the genetics of the herd than pissing in the ocean raises the sea level. My goal is to shoot mature bucks - might be a 4 point or it might be something larger. The deer you posted would be safe on my place. This one wasn't. As for seeing bigger deer, most anyone that isn't in a location where agriculture was removed to plant pine trees sees larger deer now than they did 30 years ago. Everybody and their brother puts feeders out, plants foodplots and many let deer reach older age class. That is a recipe for larger deer for at least as long as it takes for the carrying capacity to be exceeded.

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if my lease that I’m hunting and managing was in Hinds County I would have 150’s or greater on my property by now, the deer pic that just posted today is a 3 year old 3 point, you wouldn’t shoot him huh? That’s why you have a 4 year old 5 point laying there, by the time a deer reaches 3 or 4 he should be at the least a symmetrical 8 or 10 if you are managing correctly. This is 2 year old 10 pt that I just posted, these genes have not been seen on this property in many many years, and still wouldn’t if I didn’t allow good genes to breed, you should see him this year! I’ll post another his pick later when I get a good one of him.
 

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Point me to a single study written in the last 10 years demonstrating that selective culling positively impacts the genetics of free range, wild deer populations. Actual studies, not casual observations.
 

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Unless you are killing hundreds of deer a year in a small area, you aren't affecting the herd's DNA one iota.
Better nutrition and age structure are 100% why you are seeing improvements.
 
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