How to Produce and Harvest Your Own Trophy Bucks with Dr. Keith Causey
How to Choose the Right Soil Type
Editor's Note: Dr. Keith Causey, a retired professor of wildlife science at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, has studied the habits and haunts of the whitetail deer for more than 40 years. Causey has used radio telemetry and penned-deer studies to gather much of his research on white-tailed deer. Causey, one of the nation's leading deer researchers and an avid bowhunter, tells us how to produce more quality deer on the lands you hunt and/or own and how to hunt those whitetails more effectively.
If you want to take a trophy deer with your bow, you have three options, you can:
* hope to get lucky on public lands and find an older-age-class buck all the other hunters who hunt that same land haven’t located for at least 3 years;
* pay the money required to go to a hunting lodge or a ranch that has implemented a high-quality deer-management program, and where the lodge manager has spent the years required to put stands in places he knows big bucks travel;
* lease land and develop a quality buck-management system on that land to ensure you have fine bucks to hunt every season.
But to take a trophy buck with your bow anywhere, you must first hunt where you know large bucks hold. You can spend your lifetime hunting for older-age-class bucks and never know for sure you have a monster-sized buck on the land you hunt or where to find it.
Certain soil types rarely yield trophy bucks. To manage land for quality bucks, you must choose an area in your state with fertile soils that contain the nutrients required for producing high-grade bucks. If you lease land with poor soil, you have only a small chance of generating superior bucks. However, if you lease land with good soil, you'll have an easier time producing big bucks.
The USDA Soil Conservation Service can provide you with a soil map showing you the most-fertile soils in the state. Use this map to determine the particular county where you want to hunt. If you pinpoint the best soils and then try and lease that land, you'll have bigger bucks more quickly and easily. The better land you have to hunt, the better deer you will find on that property.
You can improve the quality of the soil by using fertilizer and lime. However, this tactic may cost more than most hunters can afford to spend to have quality bucks to hunt.
Tomorrow: How Many Acres Do You Need to Produce A Trophy Buck?