The Big Buck Project began in the fall of 2012 in Marengo County, Alabama. This initiative is creating waves throughout the hunting industry in Alabama and beyond. Check in for updates on this revolutionary initiative to restore “Record Book Genetics” to the local Whitetail Population in Marengo County, Alabama.
Marengo County Landowners have conducted both a 5 year controlled research project and a 17 year free range research project in Marengo County that yielded significant results in both herd health and quality antler growth by introducing new trophy genetics to the native herd, promoting better selection of harvested deer, and habitat improvements. Big Buck Project Partners are taking this research, along with data collected from similar studies and wildlife biologists, and applying it to all of Marengo County. Landowners began purchasing whitetail deer with 200” genetics and releasing them at various locations throughout Marengo County in the Fall of 2012. Landowners decide if they want the breeder deer tagged or unmarked . With enough support, this revolutionary approach could yield amazing results throughout the whitetail population of Marengo County for years to come.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is the purpose of this project?
To enhance the quality of Marengo County’s deer herd! Big Buck Project intends to promote the great natural resources of Marengo County by assisting landowners and hunters with information to help enhance the deer herd on their property.
Is it legal to release deer from an Alabama Deer Breeder on my property?
According to the Alabama Game and Fish department, it is perfectly legal to purchase a deer from a state licensed deer breeding facility and release it on private property.
How do you see the project enhancing the quality of deer?
By creating a platform to promote proper deer management and educate hunters. Our data shows that 1 breeder buck or 1 breeder doe can impact thousands of offspring during that deer’s lifespan. If 1 breeder buck breeds 5-10 does per year, then the math adds up to literally thousands of deer over time that can be impacted in varying degrees from this breeder buck in a 6-10 year life span. Landowners will implement regulations for their hunters to allow younger bucks to grow older as they realize the positive impacts this can have on their deer herd.
How many deer are Marengo County landowners going to release?
Landowners will utilize deer from state licensed and inspected breeder facilities and release them at various points across Marengo County as funding levels are achieved. Currently, landowner interest suggests a sustained yearly release of both bucks and does in large enough numbers to have a significant impact.
What if Big Buck Project does not work?
As proven by in the field studies, educating and assisting landowners on how to enhance the quality of their deer herds will positively impact the Marengo County Deer Herd.
How much do deer cost from Alabama Breeding facilities?
Rates for bucks and does vary greatly depending on the breeding facility and the genetic line. Our data suggests that the average price of bucks and does is currently between $2,000 and $20,000. Recently, a breeding doe sold for $90,000 during a public auction in Huntsville, AL which was attended by Big Buck Project Partners.
What if a landowner does not want a breeder deer on his property?
The landowner has every right to harvest one of these deer under current state regulations. Big Buck Project recommends that Marengo County landowners allow these released breeder deer to live and help provide the intended results of improving the Marengo County deer herd.
Will landowners import deer from other states?
No, this is not legal under current Alabama regulations.
What happens if these breeder deer bring in a disease such as Chronic Wasting Disease?
All deer that will be released will be purchased from State Licensed, Inspected, and Regulated breeding facilities in Alabama. Deer have been released in Marengo County for over 25 years on both free range properties and in high fence enclosures. Big Buck Project will not release a deer unless it is delivered from a state licensed and inspected facility. Alabama’s state licensed breeding facilities currently release thousands of deer on private properties throughout the state and in Marengo County. This practice has been going on for over 20 years. To date there have been no documented reports of Chronic Wasting Disease in Alabama. Information found on the Alabama Department of Conservation website www.outdooralabama.com :
Chronic Wasting Disease –What You Should Know
- CWD is not known to be transmissible to humans or domestic livestock.
- CWD is a fatal disease of white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk.
- CWD is not known to exist in Alabama or any other southeastern state.
- CWD will not likely be found in the Southeast unless it is transported here.
- It is illegal to import any deer or other cervid into Alabama.
Who owns the deer that are released from Alabama Breeding facilities?
According to state wildlife officials, all deer released from state licensed breeder facilities become state property and fall under state hunting regulations once they are released on any property in Alabama that is not a state licensed breeding facility.
Can you name any fish and wildlife projects that are similar to the Big Buck Project?
Deer Stocking in the Southeast in the 1950’s and 1960’s
Turkey Stocking by NWTF
Releasing Quail in Alabama
Stocking F1 Tiger Bass (northern, southern bass)
Copper Nose Bluegill
Elk Project in Kentucky
Stocking of trout for yearly fishing throughout the US
Releasing of Pheasants in Alabama for hunting
Releasing of Ducks in Alabama for hunting