Vacation at Lake Ontario Cottage Rentals, Sandy Pond, New York

Vaction at Sandy Pond NY, Lake Ontario cottage rental, near Salmon River Pulaski, NY

NY Lake Ontario cottage rental

Comfortable lodging 10 minutes from Salmon River, Pulaski, NY

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Quality Deer Management   

 In the area along Lake Ontario between Pulaski's Salmon River and Watertown, in upper state New York it wasn't too long ago when New York deer hunting was poor and today's quality deer management principles would have  been irrelevant.  But times have changed.  The NY deer herd though recently reduced is overpopulated in some sections  and the land still  shows signs of over browsing.  Although the deer are healthy, the habitat has become damaged.  In an attempt to help create a healthy balance between the deer and their environment we practice quality deer217 lb. buck, Lake Ontario NY deer hunting management QDM principals as a part of our deer hunting strategies.  There are many articles and a few excellent books on quality deer management.  We have a few acres of our own and vigorously practice quality deer management.  No, we don't have enough land that we can control the deer herd to any great degree but responsibility begins somewhere.  We talk to our neighbors and friends and anyone who will listen about quality deer management and we find most deer hunters are really interested in improving the deer herd, but few are willing to give up the way they hunt deer.  However, some deer hunters have taken up the quality deer management banner and the proof is in the taking.  We took this 217 lb. buck on our land after having passed him up the previous two NY deer hunting seasons.  Yes, bucks do roam, but if they're not hassled they just may decide to hang out rather than move to an area where "trouble might be a lurkin'."  The following is our synopsis of quality deer management.


The Problem: In order to hunt a trophy whitetail buck it needs to first grow to maturity.   In order for it to grow to near maturity it needs to live at least 3 years.  This sounds simple and it is but it isn't easy.  Why, for two reasons.  First, most bucks taken are harvested at one and a half years old, therefore many potential trophy bucks don't survive to maturity.  Secondly, a greater emphasis is placed on shooting bucks over does.  This causes the deer herd to become out of balance resulting in a poor buck to doe ratio.  The old mindset of not shooting the does, correctly developed when deer were scarce, is bad for bucks and the deer herd of today  in general.  Lake Ontario NY deer hunting Not shooting does results in a disproportionate ratio of bucks to does.  And since  a buck desires to breed every available doe, he will end up worn down beyond what he should be normally after the breeding season.  If the winter is particularly hard he may not make the winter.  Secondly if he does make the winter he is in a diminished state.  Without the proper nutrition (large herds cause an over browse condition) growing healthy antlers and a decent body weight is difficult.  As long as the buck to doe ratio and the deer population condition does not change for the better, the cycle becomes a downward trend for all the deer, especially the bucks.

The Solution:  Change your deer hunting mindset and help others to do the same.  The state's DEC is very forward thinking and has established deer hunting regulations to better balance the buck/doe ratio and control deer population.  Therefore, harvest as many does as your license permits following the DEC's rules.  This creates a better buck to doe ratio.  

mature deer, Lake Ontario NY deer hunting    Make it your hunting  goal to harvest bucks that are a minimum of  3 years old.  Try your best to harvest only 3 year olds or better.  This goal is difficult and aging mistakes will be made but for the most part withyoung deer, Lake Ontario NY deer hunting education and patience it is doable.  I know it's hard at first  to let that young buck walk, especially if you are thinking....' If I don't get it someone else might'.  This may be true  but no one said this would be easy and the payoff is that someone might not get it and next year he'll be 1 year older and bigger.  If you want the meat it is better to harvest a doe and let that young buck walk. 

     Make QDM believers.  Talk to your friends or anybody else that is interested in hunting big whitetail bucks.  The more hunters with the same goals, the more successful the project.  

    Don't shoot the coyotes just for the sake of "saving the deer herd" unless you are in an area of an overabundance of coyotes. An overabundance of coyotes is rare in this area.  Coyotes  help control the deer herd.  Coyotes are indiscriminate hunters.  They'll take bucks and does at a more or less equal ratio to population therefore not worsening the buck/doe ratio.  Don't disturb the land, particularly the buck sanctuary.  For more on this subject see Dave's hunting tip #3.

    Wildlife biologists and thousands of hunters support these quality deer management ideas across the country.  If you practice quality deer management you will experience higher quality whitetail buck hunting and deer hunting in New York will continue to improve.  

*We recommend the book Quality Deer Management, the Basics and Beyond by Charles Alsheimer.  

If anyone in the eastern Lake Ontario region has questions about our quality deer management program and our experiences with it, just call or e-mail me at:

Tel: 315-465-3345

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Our Lake Ontario cottage are three waterfront cottage rentals in New York State.  Guests return each year to enjoy family vacations, family reunion vacations, fishing NYs famous Salmon River, fishing Lake Ontario and Sandy Pond, hunting New York Deer, ducks, geese and wild turkey and to photograph diverse scenery of NYs Salmon River, Sandy Pond and Lake Ontario.  We New York!

Copyright 2004

Last modified: January 31, 2009