Is there such thing as a "cull buck"? | Mossy Oak Gamekeeper
Gamekeepers Magazine

Is there such thing as a “cull buck”?

By: Mossy Oak GameKeeper

Learn if there is such thing as a “cull buck” with the Gamekeepers of Mossy Oak. Be sure to subscribe to our channel, and catch GameKeepers each week on the Outdoor channel. Tuesday nights at 8pm CST.
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So what can hunters do learning, you know from our results here. Well, the bottom line is what hunters shouldn’t do. And what hunters shouldn’t do is make harvest decisions, thinking that they are going to call a buck or a group of bucks and think that they are going to improve the genetics of the herd. And so, it is definitively been shown with this experiment that that is not happening. And there’s a lot of different reasons why and some of it gets pretty complicated with a population level genetics. But, but the bottom line is, is that the environment, plays a really big role. So from year to year what’s going on with, with the environment, whether it be rainfall temperature all sorts of different conditions. Secondarily. The heritability of antler size, you know the genetic heritability of those characteristics being passed on to offspring that heritability value is pretty low. So meaning there’s not this one to one correspondence between a buck, a father that has big antlers that does not mean that his son is going to have big antlers. And even translated further than that is what’s called the breeding value, meaning that there’s a lot of differences from buck to buck in, the ability of them to pass on those genes to their male offspring. And so that differs from every individual buck some bucks have what we call a higher breeding value, meaning that their offspring are going to resemble the father, a lot more. And there’s some bucks you would look at and it may appear to be a trophy buck, a buck that you would want to stay in the population that you would want to breed a bunch of does, but he may have a very low breeding value, meaning that his sons are not going to resemble him whatsoever, his sons aren’t going to have antler characteristics correlated to the father’s antler size, and a hunter can never make that assessment. A hunter just looking at a buck and deciding whether to keep it or cull it. You have no idea what that bucks breeding value is. So, what can a hunter do is basically do not harvest a buck or cull a buck, thinking that you are going to improve the antler size of offspring in subsequent years. It’s just not gonna work. Now, there’s a lot of different reasons you may want to harvest a particular buck, in terms of population control. There’s a lot of different reasons for selective harvest, there may be a particular buck that has below average antlers. And I may want to harvest that buck. But I’m not doing anything whatsoever to improve the genetics of the herd. I may want to remove that buck simply because I can see that he’s not does not have the antler size or antler quality I desire, and I need to control population numbers, so I’m going to harvest that buck. It’s that’s a very, very big difference there in the reason that you’re harvesting the book.

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