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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
reading NJ's post on does/qdm, I recalled my doe sightings this year. I hunt private in SLP, total 210 acres in two different counties. Heavy agricultural, etc....great deer habitat.

I have never seen such few does since I have hunted in the SLP (6 years).

Is it just me, just these locations, or have we really already cut the heard dramatically?

I have not heard of mass doe sightings from many hunters I speak with in these two counties either.

Also, way less deer/car victims than usual this year as well...

This year was also the first year I have seen coyotes in broad daylight several times on stand as well..

Any one else seeing these doe numbers?
 

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I hunt northern Livingston CO and I have not seen a buck yet! I see does on every outing between 1-7 ......
WHeres my bucks? SIghn everywhere and hardly no pressure on our 100acres
 

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greatprohunter said:
I hunt northern Livingston CO and I have not seen a buck yet! I see does on every outing between 1-7 ......
WHeres my bucks? SIghn everywhere and hardly no pressure on our 100acres
where abouts are you hunting?
 

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Areas vary, hunters who are responsible will try to whats right. In eastern mason cnty, next to the lake county line our doe numbers are low so I dont shoot them. During muzzle loader season last year I and a buddy went to to his grandmothers in southern mich to harvest does. The deer numbers looked like our area did ten years ago. I dont look for any radical changes from the dnr so I beleive if hunters want change, more or less deer, antler restrictions ect, it will be self imposed. The dnr rules are broad and should be only one consideration in chosing what deer to kill. Some people will always take whatever the law will allow thats just the way it is. All you can do is make the best management decisions your experiece dictates.
 

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Just depends on where you are and every area is so site specific. In general, the NLP and U.P. are under, and some areas of the SLP are way over..but there are lots of exceptions in all 3 areas. If you aren't seeing does...don't shoot them. If you consistantly see way more does than bucks..shoot some does. A great way also is to go by hunter observation, and then get a biologist to come out to your property to survey the browse. If you aren't seeing does, and a biologist tells you the browse is good...probably a couple of good reasons not to shoot any does, or at least limit yourself. If you are seeing lots of does, not very many bucks, and a biologist tells you your browse is still good, maybe take a few does but use some cameras to tell you as well how many bucks you actually have using the property because buck observation by hunters is typically 50% or less of actual numbers.

Anyways, it's all site-specific and I know for me, if I'm not seeing any does, I'm not shooting any.

By the way...I saw my first antlerless last night while hunting for the season, in that blizzard(2 mature,1 fawn)..must be why my DMU doesn't have doe permits this year! ;)
 

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During the course of this firearms seasons I've hunted three different parcels of land in three completely different areas, all near home, all private, but far enough apart so the deer I'm seeing are not the same.

In each parcel I've been seeing 5-6 does and fawns. There isn't an exceptionally large or medium largedoe among them. Except for the size of the does, this is somewhat below, as was last year, "normal".
 

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I agree with the area that you hunt. In Nothern Newaygo the doe numbers are way down. It's getting bad when you have to watch hunting shows on TV to see what a deer looks like. :lol: I have seen more small bucks this year than does,and I mean the bucks were small spikes and a few small 4 points. Tonight was the first time during gun season that I raised my gun on a couple of deer, and I have been out a lot.
 

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I hate to say it , but where i hunt we could take some more. I don't say it to anyone because people will anything that moves then including button bucks. My problem is my property is next to some mich-con property and their employees hunt it. Well they have a contest every year to see who can shoot the most legal bucks so they won't shoot does right now because they want to be known as the buck slayer by killin numerous bucks :mad:
 

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weatherby said:
I hate to say it , but where i hunt we could take some more. I don't say it to anyone because people will anything that moves then including button bucks. My problem is my property is next to some mich-con property and their employees hunt it. Well they have a contest every year to see who can shoot the most legal bucks so they won't shoot does right now because they want to be known as the buck slayer by killin numerous bucks :mad:
Each can only kill 2 "LEGAL" bucks, with one having at least 4 points on one side. If you believe they are taking more than this you owe it to all the real Sportsmen to contact your local CO.
If they are staying within the law then all you can do is talk to them and try to educate. Good luck.
 

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The parts of S.W. Mi. we hunt are much different than even 5 years ago.... doe sightings are WAY down. Not just that, but you almost NEVER see a mature doe. I guess the 'take the big ol' doe' signal has been heard loud and clear...way too often.

Last year a couple nicer bucks were taken on the properties... all private land, total of 320+ acres, agricultural, crp-type, swamp, and woods. I've seen two bucks this season and no does.. . NOTHING. Hubby saw one small doe. It was really sad last year when all that we'd seen were the few yearlings and fawns of the year... no mature does at all. And the fawns were small! Needless to say, I didn't take a deer.

It seems too many deer have been taken out of the herds. I do so wish the (IMO) overkill would cease. It's disheartening to keep going out and realize it's probably fruitless.... but then I guess hunters are the ultimate optimists.
~ m ~
 

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Are there really too many does?

In my area the answer to that question is a big yes, I've seen 3 antlered deer while hunting this year, the rest are does or button bucks.

Not to say there aren't bucks in the area, I saw dozens during the summer, and I've seen a lot in my headlights since the rut kicked in, but the does definitely outnumber the bucks, this is in Van Buren/Cass Counties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tsmola said:
Are there really too many does?

In my area the answer to that question is a big yes, I've seen 3 antlered deer while hunting this year, the rest are does or button bucks.

Not to say there aren't bucks in the area, I saw dozens during the summer, and I've seen a lot in my headlights since the rut kicked in, but the does definitely outnumber the bucks, this is in Van Buren/Cass Counties.
I am also in SW MI, Cass and Allegan. Seems to be less in Allegan, but I did see 16 today in Cass. They were carrying the mail across an open cut corn field, and 4 turds in tower gun blinds on neighboring property corners emptied on them each at well over 200 yards. Not a hair was hit and they all slid past me single file once they got to my side of the fence. I didn't have a Cass doe tag!!

Those were however the only does I have seen on that property with the exception of 3 I saw during all bow season..
 

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In adding to this, on Sat night on my walk out there were at the very least 20 or more does eating in the small beanfield my uncle has on his property, as I spooked em they ran every which way, too many to count.

It's been this way in our area for years, as gun season winds down, we almost always see HUGE groups of does, but little to no antlered deer.
 

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In Southern Roscommon County, I have noticed more and diversified vegetation growth coming back somewhat, but have also seen thousands of baby trees eaten down to nubs by the deer.

I think the doe numbers still are a bit too high.

I am seeing a more balanced number of does to bucks while hunting this year. Though I'm not seeing the groups of 7-15 doe coming through like 6 or 7 years ago, I'm seeing more bucks than ever before.
 
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