Growing Big Deer Without Importing Genetics is Possible

The thought that deer can not be as big in one area as other areas, is just one reason why more people do not do what it takes to grow bigger deer. They are defeated before they ever start. I am a professional land manager with 24 years experience. 10 years ago, I went to work on a property where I was only limited by my abilities. Among the goals that I set out to prove to myself was that a property that has never grown giant bucks could do just that- and we did it. 

When I told my team that I wanted to consistently grow 160” bucks, one of the guys laughed out loud. He said, “Bo, this is South Carolina, they don’t get that big.” I can tell you with absolute certainty, if you provide everything that a deer herd needs, they are capable of getting much bigger than what is typically seen. Most people do not control enough acres, do not have neighbors on the same program, are not willing to give up timber revenue, are not willing to see less deer (heaven forbid we look at forage availability to determine harvest rates), are not patient enough to do the work year-in and year-out (without any real results) for 2 generations, have no idea what deer eat (other than what comes out of a bag), and have no idea how to promote the native plants that deer THRIVE on.

Every buck is not a genetic lottery winner. Even after you provide everything they need, they do not all grow to 160”+ but the average can go much higher than what is typically seen and the genetic outliers will absolutely have a chance to get as big as deer in any of the states known to grow giants. Thankfully, here in South Carolina, the importation of deer and/or semen has always been illegal. This is one reason that CWD has not reared its ugly head here as of the writing of this note. Moving deer around is not the answer to success. Providing good quality habitat, which means ample food and cover for your herd is all it takes.

Thanks to Dr Craig Harper and the best team in the land management business, we were able to grow 3 bucks that grossed over 160", with the largest grossing just over 178" on one property in South Carolina over the last three years. The craziest part- these deer grew up primarily eating native vegetation. These are plants that typically do not have to be planted, fertilized, or limed. If you are a landowner or looking to purchase land to deer hunt and are interested in learning more about how we changed the game for one deer herd in South Carolina, give us a call 843-247-2009 or fill out the "Contact Us" page here on the site. 

We look forward to helping you achieve your land management goals.

Private Land Management

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