Deer & Deer Hunting

GENETIC Realities

Many years and deer seasons ago, long before camo was cool, and technology and social media took the hunting community by storm, I can recall watching a hunting show where the hosts were discussing how a hunter could get rid of inferior antler genetics on his or her property. The process, known as selective culling, seemed simple. The gist of the theory was that if a buck’s antlers were small with undesirable characteristics, the buck should be selectively targeted and removed from the herd, preventing him from passing his lackluster antler genetics on to future generations.

Frankly, the idea sounded a bit illogical; but then, I’ve always been of the mindset that ultimately, there’s a much larger hand residing over nature, and we are in no way meant or supposed to look that hand in the eye, much less try and surpass it. These days, the advances in technology and social media have introduced many positive changes for the hunting community. But, from my vantage point, there have also been causes for concern.

In many circles, antlers have nearly become the sole focus of hunting, prompting some wildlife managers to take inventory of their own methods and compare them to that of media personalities. However, what the average hunter sometimes fails to realize is that there are a ton of experts out there. Not only do hunters often set their personal goals according to this “expert” advice, but they forge head-on into practices that may do more harm than good. The difficulty is deciphering between which ones are qualified to hold expert status and which “experts,” are merely self-appointed


Good intentions aside, will our attempts to manipulate DNA for personal gain by targeting specific bucks

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