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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnre/WLD_Deer_Management_Plan_FINAL_5.8_320639_7.pdf

This has probably been posted before. Deer density on page 13. Probably some other things of interest for most hunters.
It shows 9 counties with 40+ deer per sq. mile. If you look at the 2010 Harvest Report and look at those 9 counties, the total per harvest can be quite different. The deer killed per square mile in the top counties can also be quite different.

2010 Deer Harvest Report
http://deer.fw.msu.edu/docs/2010DeerHarvestSurveyReport.pdf


L & O
 

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Tornado Jim
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http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnre/WLD_Deer_Management_Plan_FINAL_5.8_320639_7.pdf

This has probably been posted before. Deer density on page 13. Probably some other things of interest for most hunters.
It shows 9 counties with 40+ deer per sq. mile. If you look at the 2010 Harvest Report and look at those 9 counties, the total per harvest can be quite different. The deer killed per square mile in the top counties can also be quite different.

2010 Deer Harvest Report
http://deer.fw.msu.edu/docs/2010DeerHarvestSurveyReport.pdf


L & O
Honestly, I have no idea what you are talking about. What does "different" mean? Too high, too low, what?

Are you saying that counties with high deer number estimates have very high harvest rates? Or are you saying they have lower harvest rates than you would expect? You really don't say what your conclusion is from your analysis of these two documents. You just post two documents and ask the reader to do the work that you have apparently already done.

Have you done some analysis and have some correlation to show us between deer density estimates and deer harvest estimates?

I would start by making a spreadsheet, and taking the light brown, medium brown and dark brown counties and list hem, then show the deer harvest for each county. Once you have done that, you might be able to tell us what the heck you are trying to say:confused:.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
.............
You really don't say what your conclusion is from your analysis of these two documents. You just post two documents and ask the reader to do the work that you have apparently already done.
........
That's correct, I did not say what my conclusions were. Why would anyone care ?
I posted 2 documents from the DNR website that some may not have seen and would be interested in looking at to see what the DNR estimates are for a county(s) that they hunt.

L & O
 

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Well I looked at two of the nine and they were pretty close. After that I decided it was too difficult to figure out the rest. I'm tired.

Any way Montcalm and Calhoun were not too much different in total harvest.
What I did notice is some counties seem to have higher deer densities than what some posters here have been saying. Newaygo being one and Roscommon being the other.

I did notice that there were 1000 anterless permits available on private land in Roscommon and 1002 anterless deer were harvested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If your talking about that map. Its junk.
Why ? Who would have better info regarding this number than the DNR ? Remind me, what county do you hunt the most ?

L & O
 

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Tornado Jim
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Why ? Who would have better info regarding this number than the DNR ? Remind me, what county do you hunt the most ?

L & O
It says right on the map they are "coarse approximations and may not accurately reflect...density...trends..." for the entire year or across the entire DMU.

Accurate population estimates are inherently difficult to achieve. Moreover, they do not follow straight lines as shown in the map.

The map is clearly meant to just show very roughly where densities are higher and where the are lower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...........
The map is clearly meant to just show very roughly where densities are higher and where the are lower.
Yep, I'm pretty sure a very high percentage of us reading these charts understands just what you are saying.

L & O
 

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Yep, I'm pretty sure a very high percentage of us reading these charts understands just what you are saying.

L & O
Correct, very rough, mostly incorrect, and 100% guess work.

Anyone in the DNR that thinks there are more deer in lake county then in kent county should released of duty immediately.

It shows a terrible misunderstanding of the circumstances of your job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
.......
Anyone in the DNR that thinks there are more deer in lake county then in kent county should released of duty immediately.

.......
I don't hunt either of those counties so I did not pay any attention to their coloring on the map.
After looking at that and then the harvest numbers from '09 and '10 for those 2 counties........something just ain't right here.
Kent Co. harvest more than twice the deer as Lake Co., but yet the colored map indicates fewer deer than Lake Co. ???? Maybe swampbuck is correct.....that map is junk.
BTW, for the two counties that I hunt, I believe the map is correct.

L & O
 

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Tornado Jim
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Tornado Jim
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I don't hunt either of those counties so I did not pay any attention to their coloring on the map.
After looking at that and then the harvest numbers from '09 and '10 for those 2 counties........something just ain't right here.
Kent Co. harvest more than twice the deer as Lake Co., but yet the colored map indicates fewer deer than Lake Co. ???? Maybe swampbuck is correct.....that map is junk.
BTW, for the two counties that I hunt, I believe the map is correct.

L & O
Lake and Kent county have the same number of hunters, but Kent county hunters spent 1.32 times as many days in the field at 215,729 vs. 163,110.

Kent county hunters harvested 2.1 times as many deer at 8203 vs. 3832. If you increment the hunting time, assuming the same success rates, it would bring the Lake cty harvest to 4891.

On top of that, Kent county hunters have the opportunity to harvest more does. They harvested 4429 vs. 1663 in Lake. If you add that difference to the 4891, you get 7657. Which is 93% of the Kent cty harvest. Pretty much a rounding error when you look at the fuzziness of the density data.

As far as how they could maintain the population with that higher harvest rate, all you have to do is consider better soils, better habitat, better fawn recruitment, and it only takes a small increment of fawn recruitment to keep the levels the same even in the face of a greater harvest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bump for the person looking for deer density per DMU.

L & O
 

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All I ever read in these reports is that the SLP is over the amount in deer population.

Is there anywhere that the DNR has a map that has the amount of deer the DNR would like to have in each DMU? I would think some counties could support more deer than others?

Also why are state game areas always over harvested? I understand hunter pressure and all that but it still seems they could be managed better. There used to be a day when you would see a lot of deer on state land. SO why was it possible to do once but not now? Why couldnt there be a number in between seeing 20 deer a day and 2 a day?

I have never seen a forest in Michigan that was over browsed even in the peek of deer population. I have seen it in Pennsylvania in different forests that looked like well kept parks because the deer ate everything could reach. Never seen a forest liek that in Michigan but have not been in them all.

With the amount of public land in Michigan we could easily be a destination state for deer hunting if the public land was managed at all. Just creating a draw unit within most state game areas could be enough to make things better. Think of the money that could come into this state if we had a DNR that gave a crap about whitetails.
 

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All I ever read in these reports is that the SLP is over the amount in deer population.

Is there anywhere that the DNR has a map that has the amount of deer the DNR would like to have in each DMU? I would think some counties could support more deer than others?

Also why are state game areas always over harvested? I understand hunter pressure and all that but it still seems they could be managed better. There used to be a day when you would see a lot of deer on state land. SO why was it possible to do once but not now? Why couldnt there be a number in between seeing 20 deer a day and 2 a day?

I have never seen a forest in Michigan that was over browsed even in the peek of deer population. I have seen it in Pennsylvania in different forests that looked like well kept parks because the deer ate everything could reach. Never seen a forest liek that in Michigan but have not been in them all.

With the amount of public land in Michigan we could easily be a destination state for deer hunting if the public land was managed at all. Just creating a draw unit within most state game areas could be enough to make things better. Think of the money that could come into this state if we had a DNR that gave a crap about whitetails.

I am agreeing with what you are saying, and if the maps are anywhere near correct with harvest vs density its obvious there is massive overharvest in Allegan. Only 1,000 more antlerless where harvested in Ionia Cty where there is a density above 40 psm, and Allegan under 20 psm. Thats a problem. If they believe these numbers they post, why dont they use them to adjust the harvests?

Mark
 

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Chuck if you want to see what too many deer can do to an environment come up to the UP's winter yarding areas and look around. In a couple of years we lost 600,000 deer and those numbers have never come back in the 2 1/2 decades since.

We have 6 million acres of public land open to hunting. The UP still has the best buck to doe ratio in the state, older average buck age class bucks than the LP, no TB, no CWD or no EHD. Too many deer on a range is not a good thing.

Is there anything else on the map that stands out? Compare the high deer density areas with the latest EHD map. Draw any conclusion you want from that.

Mother nature is a cruel bi+th. She will find a way to knock back over population problems.
 

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EHD has nothing to do with over population. Berrien county has never had a over population problem and EHD hit that area hard in 2010.

I dont think CWD has anything to do with over population either. It was started on a game farm and spread by game farms.

I have seen over browsed forests before.

I still would like to know though is there any map the DNR has made where they show what the deer per sq mile should be for the different DMU's? I find it strange that no one ever wants to answer this question. Even the state biologist I have talked to dont want to unless pressed.

I always read about deer populations are over goal but never read what those goals are? Dosent this seem like it would be an important part of a plan?
 

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EHD has nothing to do with over population. Berrien county has never had a over population problem and EHD hit that area hard in 2010.

I dont think CWD has anything to do with over population either. It was started on a game farm and spread by game farms.

I have seen over browsed forests before.

I still would like to know though is there any map the DNR has made where they show what the deer per sq mile should be for the different DMU's? I find it strange that no one ever wants to answer this question. Even the state biologist I have talked to dont want to unless pressed.

I always read about deer populations are over goal but never read what those goals are? Dosent this seem like it would be an important part of a plan?
The DNR produced worksheets for the 2006 to 2010 seasons showing what the estimated densities were then and what their goals were, as well as what the reasoning was. I am not sure if this information is going to be updated.

You can find them for almost all DMUs by entering the following words into google and putting the name of the DMU of interest in place of XXX

WORKSHEET FOR ESTABLISHING DEER POPULATION GOALS – DMU XXX, 2006- 2010


It is far more detailed than a map with different colors would be, although a bit dated. But it gives you some idea of what the relative goals were for 2006-10, and it gives you a lot of information about the reasoning behind the decisions. For example, for some counties there are concerns about winter kill and biological carrying capacity, whereas for others the main concern is social issues like crop damage and car accidents.

So, let's take a look at Allegan and Ionia counties.

Allegan: In 2005 the DNR estimated that they were over goal at 24,600 deer, and proposed reducing them to between 15,000 to 18,000, or 18-22 dpsm. They explain that population goals are largely related to issues of grower tolerance. The area can support more deer but crop damage and relief to farmers is the main reason for the goals.

Ionia: In 2005 the DNR estimated that they were over goal at 31,000 deer, and proposed reducing them to between 17,000 to 20,000, or 29-35 dpsm. They had a higher goal in Ionia because they feel the habitat will support it. They point out it is much harder to control numbers because there is a lot less state land (compared to Allegan county for example) and private land owners were tending to not harvest antlerless deer effectively at the time.

So, at that time at least, there was a difference of only asbout 6000 deer between the two counties. Let's take a look at bullrush's comments and see if there is another explanation.

I am agreeing with what you are saying, and if the maps are anywhere near correct with harvest vs density its obvious there is massive overharvest in Allegan. Only 1,000 more antlerless where harvested in Ionia Cty where there is a density above 40 psm, and Allegan under 20 psm. Thats a problem. If they believe these numbers they post, why dont they use them to adjust the harvests?
You canot be sure if there is an over-harvest in Allegan county or an under-harvest in Ionia county. The DNR struggles with getting hunters to harvest antlerless deer in some areas, such as Ionia county, as they point out in the worksheet:

"It is difficult to impact deer numbers by adjusting the number of available antlerless permits in DMU 034 as private landowners will determine deer densities by their willingness, or lack thereof, to harvest antlerless deer. While hot spots of extremely high deer densities occur, populations are high throughout the county. It appears that in some locations, individual land owners that allow little or no antlerless harvest on their property are contributing significantly to the problem by providing refuges where antlerless deer are unavailable to hunters during the hunting seasons."

At best, the map with the brown colors is an extremely rough estimate, and they say so very clearly in the notes in the figure.

I wouldn't make too much of it.
 

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Thanks for the break down Bio that makes it more clear.

Allegan County is a perfect example as to why making unit 486 is wrong to me.

Allegan county is almost divided in half by HWY 40 and 30th street. West of this the county is pry 70+% public land (im guessing really I dont what the percentage is). Its also made up of sandy loam soil for the most part as is the west side of the sate along the coast. Nutrients and minerals in the soil are much lower in this section. This also affects the deer body weight and size and also bucks antlers. Average 2 1/2 year old bucks are around 20 pounds lighter. Also deer are around 15 per square on average. Course some woodlots hold more and some less.

East of this divider the topography has much richer soil with a higher mineral and nutrients and also has more farm land and more private. Very little state land on the other side comparatively. Bucks have larger racks and bigger body weights. Deer are pry more around 30-40 deer per square mile.

Now I havent pulled this outta my rear end this is knowledge from talking in great lengths to the DNR Biologist for Allegan County.

So if I was managing this county I would allow less doe tags for drawing on the public (they did drop the amount this year) and allow less doe tags over all on private also. Then if a farmer needs block permits try to control the spots with a lot of deer that way.

Instead we have unit 486, its a killem all and let god sort it out kind of attitude dont you think? This is just one county in the unit 486. Every county could be broken down this way at least the counties I hunt and scout every year.
 
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