cattle and deer

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neb
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Joined: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 12:00am
cattle and deer

How does cattle effect deer in the same area. Will the deer put up with the cattle. If cattle are moved out will the deer come back in the area. Any info helpfull.

Vexilar
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Joined: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - 12:00am

I don't think that it matters a whole lot to the deer. I have seen lots of big bucks hiding in coulees where there is cattle. It seems like the older bucks know that you cannot shoot at them with the cattle around. I have also known people who bow hunt in pastures with cattle and have good sucess.

eyehunter
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Joined: Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 12:00am

All I can say is get the cattle out. I don't think the deer like the cattle to well. And if the cattle are in there now, they will come back when the cattle are gone

neb
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Joined: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 12:00am

Thanks for the reply. I really don't know for sure but I think the deer hate the cattle being around. Like you said some have had good luck with cattle around. I have been told both ways so maybe there will be some more suggestions on it.

rutbuster
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Joined: Thursday, December 4, 2003 - 12:00am

I've had people tell me deer avoid cattle and will stay out of the wooded draws and such,,,,

but I don't believe that ,,,Of all my years of deer hunting,,,,

cows or no cows the deer are hanging out in the coulees,,

I have not seen this to matter much at all

heck many years ago my dad had to wait for a whitetail buck to seperate from the cows so he could get the shot at him,,,,

the buck was standing right with the herd

hilt
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Joined: Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 10:18am

for several years down by canton SD there was a sitka blacktail deer in with a herd of cattle he'd go right up the chute onto the truck with them when they moved from pasture to pasture.. that was 3 or 4 years ago

Deermeister
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Joined: Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:00am

We have seen that the cattle do affect the deer a little bit in our coulee/pasture. They come back when the cattle are gone. The thing I don't like about the cattle is that they trample/eat all the cover. The bushes are bare by the time they get out. All the grass is short as heck, which I think taller grass holds more deer.

TW
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Joined: Tuesday, February 5, 2002 - 12:00am

If the deer have a choice they will avoid being around cattle. When the cows move into one section of the pasture, the deer will move to another providing there is similar habitat for them. Late in the year and through winter deer will move in and eat right beside cows but usually they are out of other options at that point. TW

dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm

It's not that deer fear cattle or avoid them, but cattle can quickly destroy deer habitat and that will drive the deer out. We have prime deer habitat on our land. Several miles of creek bottom land surrounded by wheat and corn fields. Deer will be everywhere when we are setting up our stands in July and August. However, my grandpa turns cattle loose from September to October and they trample every single blade of grass inside and outside the woods until nothing is left but a thousand piles of cowsh!t. You will not see a deer for miles until about a week or two after the cattle are taken out. Slowly the deer move back in but they are never as thick as they were before the cattle destroyed all the undergrowth.

rutbuster
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Joined: Thursday, December 4, 2003 - 12:00am

that is true ,, the cattle do raise a lot of heck in the brush , or draws,,

especially if the summer and early fall theres a lot of hot weather,,,
then the cattle live in the shade and around water holes ,,,

during the day,,,, but I guess I have not notice it bother the deer much,,, thats my .2 cents

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DecoyVC
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Joined: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 9:42am

Walked around in a pasture for 2 hours yesterday looking for a good spot for my stand and camera and kicked up 4 deer. This pasture had cattle in it.


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Tim Sandstrom
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Joined: Monday, July 14, 2003 - 12:00am

Diddo on dirty's post.


 

 

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rngesci
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Joined: Friday, October 24, 2003 - 12:00am

I dont' want stir up a hornets nest here, but it sounds like overgrazing is the problem dirty. If all your seeing is dung piles, then there are too many cattle. Dung piles should deteriorate within about 2 1/2 weeks time, if not, they are eating the regrowth and getting too much fiber.

Under a good grazing program, deer will typically follow cattle to eat the regrowth anywhere between 3-9 days time. That is what some of our studies showed.

Remember that cattle are grazers and deer are browsers. Cattle will open up heavily grassed areas exposing broadleafs and other plants that deer will readily eat.

They should compliment each other under the right conditions. We have some land that is all woods and hasn't seen cattle in probably 15 years. The trees have gone through a succession and the plants just can't breathe anymore. Either cattle or a good fire was needed to straighten things out to make it a better habitat for deer. It was grazed this summer. Looks very good in there and evidence of more deer is definitely visible already.

Hope this information helps.

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snow
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Joined: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 12:00am

Good feedback rn,I've always thought of this same question.This is another example what makes this site so good and fun,lots of hands on folks here.And now I no the answer.

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dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm

rngesci,

You are 100% correct actually. There are WAY too many cattle in there. They are still in there right now. It's pretty much impossible to talk my grandpa out of putting them in there because he gets pretty good coin for allowing them in (they aren't our cattle, they are some neighbors herd). There are several hundred head of cattle and our creek bottom is not very wide. It is unbelievable deer habitat when it has been left alone and is thin enough that the whole bottom is a natural funnel for deer. It gets good during the rut again when the cows are out, but when they are in the completely destroy the undergrowth. That's the only description I can give. During the hot weather they spend a lot of time in the trees and down at the creek that runs through the trees. If you are standing in the woods in late August you can't see 5 feet in front of you becasue of all the cover and grasses. If you are standing in their right now you can see all the way through the trees, one side to the next (100 yards or so). I'm sure this is an extreme example and maybe under normal circumstances deer and cattle can coexist, but not on our stuff. It's a repeat phenomenon every year and I am fortunate this year to have some other prime stuff to bowhunt on. Before, I was just plain old SOL for the first 2 months of the season.

neb
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Joined: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 12:00am

It's really good when you get so many replys on a topic. I guess I have to believe that cattle do make a diff. in the deer surroundings. My thought on it is the cattle move around and disturb the deer. They like there isolation time and cattle just take over there area. Thanks neb

NEB Field Staff...
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Joined: Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - 4:56pm

In western Nebraska I have seen time and again where the deer will start to come out of the hills to the hay fields and would change their trail to avoid moving through the cattle unless the cattle were widely scattered. I have sat in haystacks and watched the cattle to tip-off when the deer were coming to the stacks from my back. Had a nice 5x5 eating out of the stack I was sitting in, but couldn't get turned around for a shot with my bow, all the while the cattle were staring at the deer eating their hay.

Deermeister
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Joined: Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:00am

Our pasture holds cattle until around the end of October, which is too close to deer season I think. If we could get the renter to take the cattle out like around the end of September, we probably wouldn't have a happy renter, but do you think that would move the deer in better before gun season?

rutbuster
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Joined: Thursday, December 4, 2003 - 12:00am

that depends on if the draws have tons of cover ,,,

if its shorter heavier brush like bullberry and that ,,

like where I hunt the cattle disturb it very little,,, depending on the height,,,

cattle do not get down on their bellys and crawl like deer do ,, and of course deer are a lot smaller,,,

calves might go through but not a great deal they don't meander away form the mom to far anyway,,

the farmer I work for off an on when we check cows we are always seeing deer in the draws ,,, whitetails or mulies....

dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm

I have a feeling the type of land you are talking about is going to weigh in heavily on whether deer are affected by cattle. On our stuff, the cattle simply have nowhere else to go to cool off other than the heart of the creek bottom where the deer are. If the area has a lot of draws, maybe there is enough cover for the cattle and deer to coexist easier.

rngesci
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Joined: Friday, October 24, 2003 - 12:00am

This is such a touchy subject. We are talking about a farmer/rancher's income, but I'll try and share some rule of thumb information.

Cattle should be grazed typically from June 1st to around the 2nd week of September. All of this can change due to precipitation. Typically from a wildlife perspective, you want cattle to take about 65-70% of the plant material. No more or technically you are overgrazing the desirable plants. This also prevents a monoculture of plants and helps with diversity. Remember that deer are browsers, so they need a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Our native plants really hold their best nutritional value for cattle between those two dates listed above. In drought conditions, it is much less time.

Whether a freeze or snow comes it really doesn't matter, our native plants and trees change based on sunlight and are triggered by the amount of sunlight. So even if a freeze doesn't happen until late October, most of our plants have already stored their carbohydrates and have gone dormant. Hence why you see all the cowpies now that are not breaking up. Too much fiber.

It won't matter if you pull the cattle in July or September, it really depends on how much forage or in this case "habitat" is taken away before you take the cattle out. I have seen some pastures so overgrazed by the middle of July that even if you pulled the cattle then, you wouldn't see anything besides a few meadowlarks.

I have a friend near Washburn. He cell grazes along the Missouri River. On three quarters he runs about 16 head of cattle. Definitely undergrazes his pastures/grasslands, but he has been able to extend his grazing period because of that. He also has more dang deer on there than he can shoot. It seems like after he has moved his cattle from one cell to another, the deer will be found feeding in the pasture the cattle were moved from about 3-4 days afterwards.... depending on precipitation.

In this case it was the opposite of what usually happens. The downfall is we have lost the turkeys now. They moved on us. we are trying to figure out why? Has the wooded areas become too thick now? more habitat for predators? If there are more predators, how come he has so many deer? Lots of questions still to be answered.

Sorry about the long post. Just trying to help out.

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dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm

rngesci,

I'm sure Yotecallr will be all over me after this post so I'll be careful how I word it:

Very good posts you've had on here about this topic. You obviously have a lot of info on the subject. Thanks for the insight.

rngesci
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Joined: Friday, October 24, 2003 - 12:00am

Dirty:

Thank you. Hopefully I helped out a little.

My call name is actually my bachelors degree...Range Science.

Finding the happy medium of too much plant material and too thin plant material is probably the biggest key to wildlife management. Then add all the outside variables (predators, climate, hunting pressure, etc..) and things get really fun.

Dan

Take a Kid Hunting instead of hunting for your kid.

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DecoyVC
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Joined: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 9:42am

rngesci,
Thanks for the educated information. I'm actually going through the same problem. I got permission to hunt a good draw for the first time, but there are cattle in the pasture. I'm trying to locate the best spot for my stand. Still having trouble, but that info has helped some. The draw runs down to a highway and across the highway is a river with a chopped corn field. I spooked 4 deer in there when i was looking for a good stand location but didn't find much for rubs and scrapes. The top of the draw doesn't have much for trees to hang the stand just a long open way that leads to a sunflower field and single rows of trees. Any advise would be great from anyone. There is also a bare draw between two wooded draws but there is a stand in that area so i don't want to intrude.


Deermeister
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Joined: Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:00am

I agree with Dirty. Great information and thanks for sharing. I was actually going to ask you where you got all your information, but you already told us. Again, GREAT information.

rngesci
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Joined: Friday, October 24, 2003 - 12:00am

DecoyVC: I am not a bowhunter, but my first thought is put the stand next to the salt block. :) just kidding.

Sounds like you have a good location, even with the cattle in there. With sunflowers up top and corn down below, I would think there has to be deer moving between the two. Things may change once the flowers come off, but I would think with the tree row up above, there is a natural channel down through the draw.

There are some others on this site that are much better informed on stand placement than myself. Hopefully they will give some good feedback.

Thank you fellow sportsmen for the compliments. Funny thing is I don't work in my field of study anymore. Now it is just a hobby. I am working on a 450 acre project South of Devils Lake right now. It is located right next two 2 quarters of the heaviest CRP you have ever seen.

Take a Kid Hunting instead of hunting for your kid.

archer
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Joined: Friday, June 28, 2002 - 12:00am

Why would a free ranging deer want to stand inside the confides of a grazed pasture when they can freely eat anywhere they desire? Why do cattle want out of their pasture and into the tall lush grasses? I can see where deer might bed with cattle and use them as a sound off for approaching danger or even hide amoung them. I read that deer eat seven different food sources per night on average. Pretty tough to do that in a heavily grazed pasture.

 

dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm

archer,

I'm sure Yotecallr will be all over me after this post so I'll be careful how I word it:

I kind of have the same questions as you but no answers. As much as I hunt deer, as soon as I think I understand them or have them patterned, their behavior throws me another curveball. I sat my stand two weeks ago and must have seen about 40 deer or so. Lots of does all night long and some nice bucks that actually came out after shooting time. I sat a week later in the same stand on a night with the same wind, about the same temp and barometric pressure and I only saw 8 deer. I guess that's why hunting never gets boring. I have heard something somewhat similar though about deer foraging for several food sources every night. Where I hunt they start with acorns, graze through the alfalfa fields and then disappear into the corn. Who knows where they go from there.

deerslayer55
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Joined: Sunday, April 3, 2005 - 1:28pm

I seen a nice buck where cattle were hanging out and eating
in a coulee!

Deer Hunting has a name and thats Buckmasters!

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DecoyVC
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Joined: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 9:42am

what is a coulee?


rngesci
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Joined: Friday, October 24, 2003 - 12:00am

DecoyVC:

A coulee is a draw/small valley. Typically leading down into a river, pond, or lake. Usually it is wooded, but can sometimes be more brush and grasslands.

Some people will say "Let's go work that draw over by Coal Lake. It always holds some deer." Others will say, "Let's go work Coal Lake Coulee. It always holds some deer".

Take a Kid Hunting instead of hunting for your kid.