Bucks of the Institute by Ben H. Koerth
Ben has put together a beautiful slide show of our 2014 bucks. We had an exceptional year, and our bucks just seem to get bigger each year! In 2015, we will be updating antler development on the Member's Page on a monthly basis. Enjoy!
WILDLIFE NEWS now available in the Dr. Deer Reading Room! This is a MUST REAd enewsletter, presenting the latest information on all things DEER. Members Click Here for the latest copy. Back issues available on Dr. Deer's Public Reading Room.
Take a look at our Pea Patch! You can see cowpeas grow in seconds over the summer. Members Click Here for more deer in the pea patch. .
Want to become certified in White-tailed management?
Online courses now are available at www.drdeer.digitalchalk.com. Sign up today.
NEW! We have just uploaded our new course module, Record-Keeping, to the online courses. This module is a must for deer aspiring deer managers and landowners, covering everything you need to establish management goals, keep good records to assess progress toward your goals. Click here to find out more about the course.
One of the most talked about concepts in deer hunting is "Patterning." Dr. Kroll began writing about how to pattern deer back in the 1980s, but the topic has remained confusing to many hunters. Now, the second course offering in our online education program, The Art & Science of Patterning Whitetails, is guaranteed to make you a better hunter. Click here to find out more about the course.
If you ever wondered how deer came to be on this earth, how antlers developed as unique to deer species, or what makes antlers grow, this is the course module for you! We have included our latest findings on antler growth and genetics; information that can help you win a lot of arguments about topics such as "Are spikes genetically inferior?" Click here to find out more about the course.
Dr. Deer Addresses the Wisconsin Conservation Board on Implementation of the Deer Trustee's Recommendations
Since there has been some confusion or disagreement about implementation of the DTR, we have decided to make Dr. Kroll's comments to the Conservation Board available to the public. Click here to visit the Dr. Deer's Public Reading Room videos.
DR. DEER WADES IN ON CWD: The definitive word on this important issue!
One of the most contraversial issues regarding white-tailed deer in the last two decades has been chronic wasting disease (CWD) and its potential impacts on whitetail populations and hunting. Now, Dr. James C. Kroll has published a definitive white paper on what we know and don't know about the disease. In this report, Doc rebuts some of the many misconceptions perpetuated both by the press and professional wildlife biologists; and, offers hope for the future. The article is available both to members and non-members by clicking the following link: CWD White Paper.
DR. DEER TAKES TROPHY COUES BUCK AFTER 44 YEARS!
January 23, 2014 was a momentous day for Dr. James Kroll, as he realized a 44 year dream to once again harvest a magnificent Coues Whitetail buck on the Rancho Grande, near Hermocillo, Sonora, Mexico. As a young biologist in 1969, Doc harvested a buck not far north of the Rancho, so this was the first time in 44 years he has touched one of the most interesting whitetail subspecies. "It was a dream come true," says Doc, "and I have never been to a better place to hunt Coues (pronounded "cows") or Mule Deer than Rancho Grande." The Rancho has been a family-owned property of several thousand acres since 1975, and is managed under the careful eye of family member, Jesus Fimbres. "I have lived long enough, not only to harvest another Coues, but to visit a ranch that truly IS managed for both Coues and Mule Deer!, adds Doc. "This is a place where sustainable management is fully in play, ranging from habitat management practices such as contour terracing, ripping, grass seeding and water development to green charcoal production." Rancho Grande is the ranch where the last great typical Mule Deer was harvested in 2006, scoring some 210+ B&C points. In addition to managing for monster Coues and Mule Deer, Jesus has one of the largest Desert Bighorn breeding/recovery programs in the world. With more than 400 animals in residence, Jesus is poised to begin releasing sheep in the surrounding mountains in the near future, realizing HIS dream of huntable populations of Desert Bighorns for both Mexican and American hunters to enjoy.
The hunt was filmed for the Whitetail Slam TV program on NBC Sports, which Dr. Kroll will begin hosting later in 2014. "When Tom Miranda asked me if I was interested, I said you bet!" says Dr. Kroll. He long has supported the idea of a whitetail slam, which emphasizes experiencing the incredible variety of whitetail hunting, habitats and hunting traditions spread across the vast geographical range of the whitetail species. "It is my dream that deer hunters continue in the evolution of our sport," asserts Doc, "it is more than B&C or P&Y score, its about immersing yourself in the habitats, cultures and hunting traditions in the subregions recognized by the Slam." The awesome hunt, involving long stalks through mountainous terrain and water hole sits was filmed by one of the best in the business, Chris Douglas. "I am more confident when Chris is behind the camera, " smiles Kroll, "I always know he is on the buck when I need him to be!"
INSTITUTE'S DR. DEER'S WHITETAIL WORLD FIELD DAY BIG SUCCESS
The Institute for White-tailed Deer Management & Research held its annual field day on March 8, 2014 at the Instiute Research Facility near Nacodoches, TX. More than 100 landowners, managers and hunters attended the event, where participants learned about:
The event is held the second Saturday in March of each year, so put the day on your calendar for next year.
Doc supervises a prescribed burn at the Institute.
NATIONAL TRAIL CAMERA STUDY SEEKS PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
As you may know, The Institute for White-tailed Deer Management & Research conducted the first R&D work on trail cameras, much of which led to the huge variety of these devices now available to the public. Our published research led to the use of trail cameras in census and demographics studies by managers and scientists. Our studies have shown these devices not only are a critical component to hunting, studying and managing deer, but also have tremendous potential for obtaining more accurate information on a geographic level. Hence, in 2014 the Institute will implement a national database which collects standardized information from cooperators in each state. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A LONG-TERM PARTICIPANT/VOLUNTEER IN THIS STUDY, PLEASE CONTACT US.
Scientists at the Institute are convinced a Nationwide annual inventory using trail cameras could help management decisions, as well as assess the state of the national deer herd. The new research program will incorporate standardized methods and data from volunteers across the nation.
Your contact information will be placed in our email database and you then will receive a cooperators data collection protocol document and agreement.
Dr. Deer Scores Another Great Buck for Whitetail Slam TV
Dr. Kroll just returned from a fantastic late rut hunt at the AC Ranch, near Eldorado, Texas. "The AC Ranch is one of the best kept secrets for great hunting ranches in Texas," says Dr. Kroll, "with first class accommodations, great guides and a fantastic management program it's just about as good as it gets!" The hunt was filmed by Chris Douglas, a renowned videographer with a long list of credits and well-known TV hunters to his credit. "This is the second time I have worked with Chris and he is a very talented artist and a heck of a lot of fun to hunt with," adds Dr. Kroll. The AC Ranch is owned by Charlie Nicholas, a dedictated conservationist who offers thousands of acres of both low-fenced and high-fenced hunting, not to mention a state-of-the-art venison processing facility to send you home with a variety of venison treats. Allen Spence guided the team. "The thing that most impresses me about Allen," smiles Dr. Kroll, "is his obvious preparation for the hunt." Doc gets frustrated with outfitters who who do not do their homework, keeping a close tab on what deer are doing today, rather than last month! The first step was to spend some time scoping and studying where the deer were and what exactly was going on. That is time well-spent the first day of a hunt, but hunters seldom want to do this. Doc and Allen quickly figured out the deer were into a trickle rut that moved sporadically over the landscape. "Once we found where what I call the 'moving party' was," offers Doc, "all we had to do was find a well-traveled corridor, set up a popup blind, brush it in and get into position. The homework payed off, because in less than an hour after getting into position, Doc killed a beautiful 8-pointer around 3:00 pm. Doc points out, "This has been a very tough year for all hunters, and it was nice to hunt a place where you can get the job done!" Check out achuntingranches.com for more details.
Guide, Allen Spence (left) and Dr. Kroll show off the great 8-pointer they took at the A C Ranch near Eldorado, Texas.
Dr. Deer's Ten Point Crossbow Strikes Again in Kansas for North American WHITETAIL
Dr. Kroll's trusty Ten Point Crossbow struck once again on December 30, 2013 at the Buck Forage Research and Demonstation Ranch near Hutchinson, Kansas. The mature 5X5 (with 3 kickers) was moving along a travel corridor from feeding to bedding area, when Doc and cameraman Rob Hughes spotted the giant slipping along a woody edge. At the 35 yards, the buck was no match for the Muzzy broadhead, running only 50 yards before piling up in a staging area. Look for this exciting hunt and others on next season's NAWT TV Serices on the Sportsmen Channel. "I am falling in love with the Ten Point," says Doc, "it is going to become a regular part of hunting gear!"
Dr. Kroll and Landowner, Tim Lindsey, show off the bruiser five year old buck they harvested on a travel corridor leading to a staging area on Tim's land near Paxton, Nebraska. Dr. Kroll was hosted by Jim Martinosky, owner of Central Nebraska Outfitters. Jim is one of the most successful outfitters in the Corn Husker State.
Dr. Deer Takes First Buck in Nebraska for WHITETAIL SLAM
Thursday, November 21, 2013 will go down as an eventful day for Dr. Kroll, as it marks the day he harvested a mature eight pointer on a private farm near Paxton, Nebraska—the last state in the Great Plains he had not harvested a buck! Doc was hunting with Tim Lindsey, who purchased his farm in 2003 from the Jorgensen family who homesteaded the property back in the 1800s. Tim has been managing the property for mature bucks, employing many of the management recommendations and principles developed by Doc. His program centers on the most important aspect of deer management: nutrition, using food plots and supplemental feed to improve recruitment and antler quality. Tim works closely with one of the best outfitters in Nebraska, Jim Martinosky, who was kind enough to invite us to film a show. For many years, Jim has operated Central Nebraska Outfitters (www.centralnebraskaoutfitters.com), and enjoys a loyal clientele who come to the area annually to hunt big game, game birds and waterfowl. “These two men embody the spirit of private conservation I have espoused for years,” says Doc, “it was an honor to be invited to hunt with these guys, especially considering the commitment to quality management they have demonstrated.”
Mrs. Deer Bags First Buck of the 2013 Season at Research Facility
Susie Kroll (a.k.a. “Mrs. Deer”) took the first buck harvested this season at our demonstration/research facility near Nacogdoches, Texas. “This was a buck we had been hunting for two years,” says Dr. Kroll, “and, believe it or not he was a management buck!” It was the fourth hunt of the early Texas season, when the buck suddenly appeared on a Buck Forage Oat plot named “Damon’s Plot” after the Kroll’s son-in-law, Damon Register. “It was last light,” notes Susie, “and I was concerned there would not be enough camera light to document the hunt. Fortunately, the buck stopped long enough for me to place a shot.” That exactly is what Susie did, placed a shot perfectly as the bruiser wheeled to run. He dropped right in his tracks from the .270 WSM bullet. The buck scored 152-3/8 B&C gross, hardly what most would call a “management” buck. But, after 30 years of management, the herd at the facility is producing world class bucks every season. We still have a few spots left, so if you wish to hunt with Dr. Deer, get with us quickly.
Susie Kroll (a.k.a. "Mrs. Deer") proudly shows off her 150 class management buck, the first of the 2013 season at our research/demonstration facility. She dropped the monster with one shot as it was wheeling around to run!
84 Feet of Antlers!
Each year, we remove the antlers from research bucks at our facility near Nacogdoches, Texas. It is an exciting time, not unlike opening a Christmas package, when we finally get and hands on this year's antlers and finally measure them. 2013 was no exception, as students got to take part in the process, as part of their training. "Getting to touch a live deer, look him in the eyes and smell him gives you an experience you never will forget," says Ben Koerth.
These are the antlers removed from only three of our bucks, each four years of age. Antler removal does not hurt the bucks, since antlers are non-living material composed of the same elements as bone. Bucks are suspended in a cradle to prevent injury and their antlers are removed with a special cutting device. When measured, the three bucks scored 307-7/8, 323-6/8 and 376-3/8 inches Boone & Crockett! That’s a total of 1,008 inches or 84 feet of antlers from only three bucks! The big guys also sported a combined 79 antler points (26.3 average). Longest beam length was 29-6/8 inches; and, greatest antler circumference was a whopping 10-2/8 inches! Hands-on experiences for our students like these make them well-qualified to become deer managers after they graduate. “Few education programs today provide such experiences,” admonishes Dr. Kroll, “and our students are among the best.” For more information on
Hunt With Dr. Deer?
For over 30 years, the Dr. Deer Team have been conducting research and testing at the Institute facility near Nacogdoches, Texas. A significant part of that work has been on nutrition, genetics and techniques to produce monster bucks. Now YOU can share in the progress made during 3 decades of work. In the past, we have controlled the deer population at the facility by inviting special guests and family to hunt. This fall, we are opening the gates of the facility to a handful of serious hunters who wish to come and hunt with Dr. Deer and Ben Koerth, and receive personal instruction in deer hunting. Below is a sampling of our bucks. Depending on when you come, we will teach you how to rattle and call bucks in for harvest, or maybe even the art of decoying. The property has been landscaped for whitetails and hunting. This is no easy hunt! Although high-fenced for research purposes, these deer are some of the most difficult to outwit. They have all the high nutrition foods they need and more than enough cover to move undetected through our forests. If you are interested, please use the “Contact Us” tab on the site. Have a great season and please send photographs of bucks you harvest this season. Watch for new material about to come on line in "Dr. Deer's Reading Room" under the "On Line Education" tab.
Damon Register (right) shows off his 180 class buck taken on the "Dr. Deer" TV program at the Research Facility near Nacogdoches, Texas. With Damon are: Cameraman, Wayne Trimble (left), Spencer Johnson and Dr. Kroll. The buck was 5.5 years old.