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Building A Better Buck

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Building A Better Buck

An Alabama group’s plan to improve a local deer herd’s genetic structure is seen as an innovative project by some, but has also drawn harsh criticism from wildlife biologists.

The Big Buck Project has announced plans, starting this fall, to release captive trophy class deer into the wild in Marengo County, Ala., in an effort to produce genetically-superior bucks in the region.

The program is being led by Walter Tutt, owner of Tutt Land Company in Linden, Ala., and Hale Smith, one of Tutt’s sales associates and land managers. Smith said the plan was formalized this summer after seeing the results of a five-year study Tutt oversaw with deer inside a 1,300-acre enclosure as well as 26 years of work by a client on free-range land in the area.

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  • James Thomas

    One of the best ways to build a large “Big Buck” population is not to introduce genetically engineered stock, but to do as was done in California’s Sturgeon fishing rules. If a Sturgeon is over a certain size it cannot be harvested as it is apparent that is breeding stock, or under a certain size as the small ones need time to grow and increase the population.
    If Bucks have two or three points (counted on one side) they can be harvested, but racks larger or old guys with only a spike on each side (meaning they are very old and have reverted) and the young spikes cannot be.
    Of course this precludes hunters from hunting trophies. It is these trophy hunts that have created problems with the Elk herds in the west and the herds ability to weather harsh winters. Think about it, you’ll get the picture.

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