UP hunting.. horrible or just me?

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by alfred_in_cedar, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. johnIV

    johnIV

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    Thank you for that update. It's hard to keep track of who owns what public land up there annually. I knew Weyerhaeuser bought out Plum Creek but haven't heard a transaction since that one. Every so often I'll run into a regular C/O while I'm hunting. His name I'll not disclose but he's one of the best wildlife law officers I've ever dealt with. He typically keeps us up to date on changes. Haven't run into him in 3-4 years up there. At some point I'd think the logging would slow down as they've pretty much dessimated all the big woods that property has to offer
     
  2. onebad800

    onebad800

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    Small logging operation started this weekend in my sons spot it was a bummer but it happens, reflecting on my 14 days I’ve spent in the UP this season I had a big lack of does in my area compared to years past and the sign showed it, had few bucks around however the deer sightings were single digits which is bad looks like I need to roam further away next year to find more sign. Like many I’ve hunted this particular spot since 2005 but have taken a buck 50% (2.5yr or older) of the 15yrs and passed some smaller ones. I think once the rifle guys showed up and all the baiting started it sent the deer to night feeding least around us. I told myself to not bait this season because I’ve seen every year how the nice bucks either disappear or only at night on cam, but I caved in hopes of keeping a hot doe around. Next year it’s no bait for me , will see how that pans out up there can’t be any worse than this season. Until next season
     

  3. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    I may be wrong, but I think that the foot traffic only requirement is a State level statute for CFR lands.
     
  4. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    The recipe for restricted deer movement: abundant food sources and mild temps. combined with high winds. Your assessment is pretty accurate. Over the years I have come to view a mature buck having the mental abilities of a dog. They react very well to the stark changes of the territory they travel, particularly when Man shows up and his activity levels in the woods ramp-up.
     
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  5. johnIV

    johnIV

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    I'll look into it. I would have thought after almost 40 years of hunting this tract of land using quads for nearly 30 of them and spending numerous moments talking to DNR officers from the seat of my quad that it would have come up. They check us for ORV stickers and helmets each time we see them. I wouldn't think they'd let something like that slide. They don't in the Hiawatha lands.
     
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  6. Forest Meister

    Forest Meister

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    Vehicle access is at the option of the landowner. On some roads some timber companies do not seem to care, on others they put gates. FM
     
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  7. johnIV

    johnIV

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    Berms used by DNR when logging operations are in effect at times. Mostly open during logging. Logging isn't present during firearm deer season where I hunt.
     
  8. HuronView

    HuronView

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    It usually isn't present around our place (Houghton County) either. Our forester and logger had to delay our harvest by a year because road restrictions hadn't gone in effect soon enough to get all the logs out in one go. Still, this year, our neighbor was just finishing a clear cut of 80 acres AS rifle season started. Weird.

    Clearly, active logging impacts deer movement, but I understood that the deer would come back as soon as the loggers quit for the day to browse on the tops. His was mostly red pine plantation, which made me think the deer would not prefer it for anything other than bedding. Now I wonder if that played a role in our reduced sightings this year. I chalked it up mostly to the wolves.
     
  9. onebad800

    onebad800

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    We have had active loggers on opening day and week before, went right around our camp lucky for us we don’t hunt right next to camp, but they came in this year on thanksgiving day and worked all weekend.
     
  10. johnIV

    johnIV

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    Man that sucks
     
  11. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    On CFR lands, the MDNR is SUPPOSED to be notified of a planned cut at least a month in advance. MDNR riparian cuts policy is supposed to leave a minimum of a 150' buffer zone adjacent surface waters, a good place for the deer displaced by the logging to move and concentrate.

    Did you inquire whether he would replant in red pine or another species, or simply let regeneration proceed on its own pace?
     
  12. HuronView

    HuronView

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    Thanks for the reply! First, I am positive the land is not enrolled in CFR, and there is no way he left 150' between the last stick and year-round creek that goes through his property before it gets to ours. Sad for sure because the normally clear water was running orange like the Ontonagon River! I can't say whether a private harvest requires complicity with the same buffer standard that you cite.

    I have never met this neighbor, but he did keep some plantation standing. So, I assume he will replant, but I am happy with any new growth for the deer to browse. Our place is enrolled in QF, and we're targeting natural diversity as a replacement for what was destroyed by Spruce Budworm. We're in year two since our harvest, and the deer don't seem to have benefited meaningfully, but grouse, ermine, fisher, wolf and otter sightings are way up.

    EDIT: I did, however, put a note in his mailbox and all other adjacent landowners prior to our harvest, and offered them the opportunity to walk the marked timber--as pseudo-open house, just to be neighborly. No replies from any neighbors; must be the WI plates.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
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  13. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    If you manage for grouse, you manage for deer, so you are trending in the right direction based on those sightings. Canid predators don't do well when hunting in high stem count stands like clear-cut regrowth areas, so I hope your neighbor will allow natural regrowth, which should push aspen dominance.

    There are also some habitat management options via Forester contact within the UP Habitat Work Group's initiative, particularly if you're property is located near a Winter Deer Complex site. Here is the current map of active WDC's with their management plans for the U.P.

    DNR - Deer Wintering Complexes (michigan.gov)
     
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  14. HuronView

    HuronView

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    The aspen are vigorous, that's for sure. I hope the oaks and white pine we had the loggers leave regenerate as well.

    ~80 of our 190 acres falls within the Sturgeon River DWC. It's odd that in all the discussions I have had with our forester, the topic of UP Habitat WG, and management options never came up. I was (am) pretty ignorant to forestry, which is why I trust (pay) the forester to take my strategic objectives and recommend tactical strategies to get there. Given that most of our conversations are about improving habitat for all species, but mostly deer, I am concerned I may not be with the right consultant. I would definitely be interested in tapping into some of the grants that target improving DWC quality.
     
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  15. Cork Dust

    Cork Dust

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    You must be working with a private forester...

    DNR - UP Deer Habitat Improvement Grant Program (michigan.gov)

    DNR seeks applicants for $100K available in UP Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership grants (uppermichiganssource.com)

    Bill Scullon is now the Region 1 acting supervisor, after Minzey's 'sudden" retirement. The next meeting of the UP. HWG is scheduled for a ZOOM based session on Dec. 9th.

    I would encourage you to contact the MDNR office in Baraga and have a conversation with either the Forester or the Wildlife Biologist and inquire about deer improvement grant opportunities. You also have a parcel size and WDC proximity distance that qualifies for a consultant forester field contact to review your management plan free-of-charge as well as make some long-term recommendations.

    I used to own a camp north of were the Sturgeon crosses US-41, just south of L'Anse on the edge of the Menge Creek WDC complex, south of Bald Mountain-what you see in the distance as you drive south along Keweenaw Bay by the State Park up on the southern horizon. Sold it after the 1995-96 winter kill disaster.