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The UP Deer Herd May Be Headed for Trouble

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Luv2hunteup, Mar 8, 2013.


  1. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup
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    The latest winter severity index is finally posted. I have been hoping that global warming may reduce our winter indexes but it looks like the next ice age may be a more realistic expectation. A one week index of over 11. :yikes: The SLP winter indexes make it look like it has been a balmy winter. A one week peak of just over 4.

    On a bright note there are a couple of days that it will make it above freezing temperatures in the forecast. I'll take it.
    http://deer.fw.msu.edu/docs/2012_Weekly_WSI_Report_2_25_13.pdf
     

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  2. sbooy42

    sbooy42
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    yep.. been trying to stay positive about it
     

  3. FINNyooper

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    Can't go too many years up here without getting socked... Weak deer is a plus for the wolves though... I am sure the packs will have full litters this year. One can only hope the deer faired well this winter.
     
  4. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist
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    This winter is considered mild for most of the U.P. There really wasn't much snow in most of the U.P. until after Jan 15, so winter got a very late start for sure, which helps the deer greatly. I was just up to my camp for a week and the snow there was about 18-20" on the level. The deer were moving about fine, but they were mostly staying on runways. I had a lot of deer on and around my property, so the snows are not bad enough to push them south of my place which does sometimes happen. The deer I saw looked to be in excellent shape too with lots of browse left untouched. I saw no signs of starvation browsing either where they eat balsam, bark, pine and other poor foods. Unless we get unseasonably cold weather and lots more snow that persists into the spring, the deer should be just fine.
     
  5. Mightymouse

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    ^^^

    Where is your camp at?

    We were up near Newberry a few weeks back snowmobiling and it was armpit deep and deeper in most places. It did start late but once it arrived it made up for lost time.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. hartman756

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    URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARQUETTE MI
    358 PM EST SAT MAR 9 2013

    ...HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE FOR CENTRAL UPPER MICHIGAN LATE SUNDAY NIGHT
    THROUGH MONDAY...

    .A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS IS EXPECTED TO MOVE
    THROUGH NORTHERN ILLINOIS SUNDAY NIGHT AND INTO NORTHERN LOWER
    MICHIGAN BY LATE MONDAY. ALTHOUGH THERE IS STILL UNCERTAINTY WITH THE
    TRACK AND STRENGTH OF THE STORMS...IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE A
    SWATH OF HEAVY SNOW FROM WISCONSIN INTO CENTRAL UPPER MICHIGAN LATE
    SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY.

    MIZ004>006-085-100500-
    /O.NEW.KMQT.WS.A.0003.130311T0600Z-130312T0100Z/
    BARAGA-MARQUETTE-ALGER-NORTHERN SCHOOLCRAFT-
    INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...L`ANSE...GWINN...MARQUETTE...
    GRAND MARAIS...MUNISING...SENEY
    358 PM EST SAT MAR 9 2013

    ...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH
    MONDAY EVENING...

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MARQUETTE HAS ISSUED A WINTER
    STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH
    MONDAY EVENING.

    HAZARDOUS WEATHER...

    * SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE SUNDAY NIGHT AND POSSIBLY BECOME HEAVY AT
    TIMES LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY...BEFORE TAPERING MONDAY
    EVENING.

    * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 INCHES OR MORE ARE POSSIBLE. STRONG NORTH
    TO NORTHEAST WINDS OFF OF LAKE SUPERIOR MAY BRING THE GREATEST
    SNOW AMOUNTS TO HIGHER TERRAIN LOCATIONS OF NORTH CENTRAL UPPER
    MICHIGAN.

    __________________________________________________________________-


    URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARQUETTE MI
    358 PM EST SAT MAR 9 2013

    ...HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE FOR CENTRAL UPPER MICHIGAN LATE SUNDAY NIGHT
    THROUGH MONDAY...

    .A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS IS EXPECTED TO MOVE
    THROUGH NORTHERN ILLINOIS SUNDAY NIGHT AND INTO NORTHERN LOWER
    MICHIGAN BY LATE MONDAY. ALTHOUGH THERE IS STILL UNCERTAINTY WITH THE
    TRACK AND STRENGTH OF THE STORMS...IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE A
    SWATH OF HEAVY SNOW FROM WISCONSIN INTO CENTRAL UPPER MICHIGAN LATE
    SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY.

    MIZ010>014-100500-
    /O.NEW.KMQT.WS.A.0003.130311T0600Z-130311T2100Z/
    IRON-DICKINSON-MENOMINEE-DELTA-SOUTHERN SCHOOLCRAFT-
    INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...IRON RIVER...IRON MOUNTAIN...
    MENOMINEE...ESCANABA...GLADSTONE...MANISTIQUE
    358 PM EST SAT MAR 9 2013 /258 PM CST SAT MAR 9 2013/

    ...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH
    MONDAY AFTERNOON...

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MARQUETTE HAS ISSUED A WINTER
    STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH
    MONDAY AFTERNOON.

    HAZARDOUS WEATHER...

    * SNOW WILL DEVELOP SUNDAY NIGHT AND POSSIBLY BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES
    LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY MORNING...BEFORE TAPERING OFF BY
    LATE MONDAY.

    * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 INCHES OR MORE ARE POSSIBLE.

    IMPACTS...

    * ROADS MAY BECOME SNOW AND ICE COVERED RESULTING IN HAZARDOUS
    TRAVEL CONDITIONS.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

    * A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
    SNOW THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.

    * PREPARE...PLAN...AND STAY INFORMED. VISIT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/MQT

    &&


    ________________________________________________________________


    On 2/20 snow depth at TAHQUAMENON FALLS was 30 inches


    On 3/8 snow depth at Trought Lake was 19 inches down from a high of 24 inches on 2/23


    On 3/9 the soo had 24 inches down from a high of 28 inches on 2/23


    On 3/9 Moron had 14 inches down from 17 inches on 2/27


    c hartman
     
  7. Trophy Specialist

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    My camp is in Delta County, but last week we hunted coyotes and otherwise played in Schoolcraft and Marquette Counties too. I didn't see much variation in snow depth all across the U.P. where I traveled, but I didn't venture north into the big snow country. When we experience heavy deer winterkill it's always due to a prolonged winter. The depth of the snow at any one time is not nearly as critical as the length of time that snow blankets the ground and the number of days where the temperature drops below average. I've seen it before where deer were dropping like crazy during March and even February. The cause was an early snow pack that didn't let up. We just didn't have much of a winter this year before mid-Jan. so that will ease the winterkill a lot.
     
  8. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup
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    TS I agree to a point but getting 18" of snow during ML season was a good start. Hopefully we will see a warm up and sunshine this month. I hate it when we go into to April with over 3' on the ground. When that happens I still can find snow/ice in my ravines in late May. :(

    Nothing we can do now but wait and see how long the deer stay yarded up. Hopefully they are able to start returning to the AG land in 4-6 weeks.
     
  9. Forest Meister

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    Even in relatively mild winters if you look long enough and hard enough you can pretty much count on finding some die off, for various reasons, by the time spring arrives in the snow belts that cover most of the UP. This year will surely be no exception and as things are shaping up there will be far more winterkill than there has been in a while. Why do I think that, because winter mortality appears to have started already.

    Not too long after Valentine’s Day, about two weeks ago, I noticed a couple of small dead deer while traveling through a short stretch of deer yard on the way to a project. Both these deer looked like they had recently died and both were button bucks. Didn't check the bone marrow in either animal to see if malnutrition was the culprit in their demise but the snow was deep and they were near the edge of small openings where warming sunshine could reach them. Both these factors are often common denominators consistent with mortality of undernourished deer.

    Some deer will have access to logging activity between now and spring breakup and others had tops to munch on for a month or so sometime during the winter. Generally speaking these groups of deer should come out of winter in good shape but for many animals spring cannot come soon enough. Five or six more weeks locked up in the yards will almost certainly have a devastating effect on the spring fawn crop and next fall's year and half old bucks too. C’mon spring! FM
     
    #9 Forest Meister, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  10. bersh

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    For the most part it's been a fairly mild winter up here, but there was a stretch of about 6 weeks starting in mid January that was pretty severe, thus the spike in the index. Considering the late start to winter, the fact that they were able to continue feeding in normal browse areas until mid/late January, and the fact they didn't yard up until much later than normal, I think they had a good head start heading into real winter. They can handle stretches like we've had without too much trouble.

    The worst thing is for them at this point is if winter drags on and/or we get socked with a bunch of late season snow.
     
  11. noshow

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    6+inches of heavy wet stuff isn't gonna help.
     
  12. Snowlover 77

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    I'm not a meteorologist, but I have spent a lot of time in the U.P., and this winter is not "mild" on the Eastern End. Our camp is in Luce County. The northern portion of the county has (or had as of 2 weeks ago) 4-5 feet on the level. Granted, the deer winter south of M-28 in our region, where there was only a couple of feet, but this has still been a pretty typical U.P. winter in our region. Temps were quite cold for a couple weeks too. I think the biggest issue arises when those areas that have 4-5 feet of snow don't melt off until very late in the spring, and severely hurts the fawning production. Just my opinion.
     
  13. GuppyII

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    Yes, but that is why the deer usually migrate out of that area even on low snow years. The areas where they yard aren't in too bad of shape. On the north side of Big Manistique lake and north of Engadine they didn't get much snow till mid January, they made it into the yards in excellent shape. The northern part of the county has deer that go to Grand Marais to be fed, or they head south or even towards Hulbert, they don't stay there...usually. The reports I've heard from several foresters and wood ticks up there Ave been pretty good so far.
     
  14. Snowlover 77

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    I agree with what you are saying, that's what the advantage of the migration is. And yes there is a lot less once you are south of M-28. My concern is that if spring like weather doesn't arrive until later, it is going to take a very long time to melt the snow in their summer range, and I feel that could definitely affect fawn survival.
     
  15. Trophy Specialist

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    I just checked a snow depth website and the deepest snow in the U.P. was 39" (Kewinaw and Grand Marais deepest). Most of the U.P. is under two feet of snow.

    I also just checked the 10 day forecast for the U.P. and after Wed. the temperature will be well above freezing for daytime highs for the foreseeable future and there are some 40s in that forecast too.