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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Deer kill down across the state

http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/statewide/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1132692003129700.xml&coll=1

Sunday, November 27, 2005 By Bob Gwizdz

What state wildlife officials had predicted -- that the deer kill would most likely decline this year from last -- appears to be the case, according to early firearms season reports from around Michigan.

And something the Department of Natural Resources has stated was a long-term goal -- a smaller herd with a larger percentage of bucks in it -- appears to be coming to fruition, as well.

"They're just not seeing the deer at the check stations that they have in the past," said Rod Clute, the DNR's deer specialist. "We are getting reports that the bucks that are being taken are very nice. We're seeing fewer spikes, fewer broken racks and the yearling deer that are coming in are very nice."

The decline seems to be statewide, but more in the northern two-thirds of the state, as the DNR had predicted.

In addition, foul weather -- high winds, rain and more snow in the Upper Peninsula than was wanted -- kept hunting pressure down in some places.

"Weather had a major impact," Clute said.

In the eastern Upper Peninsula, biologist Rex Ainslee said bad weather kept people out of the woods. On the west end, biologist Bob Depkar said the heavy snow toppled trees and made it impossible for many hunters to get into their camps. Depkar said the deer kill was down, though hunters reported seeing as many or more deer as last year, with a larger percentage of bucks among them.

After the first four days of the season, the count at the Mackinaw Bridge was down 46 percent from last year.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, biologist Glen Matthews at Gaylord said the kill from the first few days was significantly lower than last year. At Cadillac, biologist Penny Melchoir said hunters reported seeing more bucks than usual in comparison to the overall number of deer and that antler development was average to better, but the kill was down slightly.

Jack Millikin at Skip's Sport Shop in Grayling said the kill was fair to good and the quality of the bucks was "up a sliver."

"The quality is definitely there," Millikin said. "There's a few less deer -- that's keeping the hunters in the woods a little longer."

Check stations at Clio and Big Rapids reported fewer deer overall, but a lot of really nice bucks being taken.

Biologist Tim Payne of Livonia said hunters reported a higher percentage of bucks being seen this year than last in southeastern Michigan. In southwest Michigan, biologist Sara Schaefer said they were checking fewer deer, antler development was good, and hunters seemed to be taking a good number of antlerless deer.

In the Thumb, biologist Tim Reis reported most hunters blamed the weather for the decline in the kill. The number of deer checked was down, but hunters reported seeing good numbers of bucks.

Tom Knutsen, at Knutsen's Sporting Goods in Brooklyn, said the kill was about what had been expected -- down, but pretty good considering the weather. The store had about 20 fewer deer brought to the buck pole on opening day than last year.

But, Knutsen said the bucks that were being taken were in excellent shape.

"We're seeing very good deer, a lot of good-sized racks," Knutsen said. "We had one that green scored 188 6/8ths -- a monster 14-point from the Pleasant Lake area.

"I've seen two or three 160-class deer and a lot of 140s."

Firearms season ends Wednesday (Nov. 30) but muzzleloader season begins Friday (Dec. 2) in the Upper Peninsula and southern Michigan. The season runs for 10 days in the U.P., 17 days in southern Michigan.

The 10-day black powder season in the northern Lower Peninsula begins Dec. 9.
 

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Hamilton Reef said:
After the first four days of the season, the count at the Mackinaw Bridge was down 46 percent from last year.
I guess this guy didnt read my thread about the bridge count and how the TTT (troll token takers) dont even ask :lol:

Hamilton Reef said:
In the northern Lower Peninsula, biologist Glen Matthews at Gaylord said the kill from the first few days was significantly lower than last year.
Of course numbers are going to be lower around Gaylord Mr. Mathews, you've been issuing unlimited permits for almost 10 years now with an early doe season starting on Oct 10th, what did ya expect :dizzy:

Hamilton Reef said:
"Weather had a major impact," Clute said.
Outta be a boomer next year then, eh?
 

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It tickles me that every year, no matter what, the weather always enters into the picture. Just like at the voting polls! Bull. Hunters will hunt no matter what and deer will be deer no matter what the weather (baring tornadoes and such which only last minutes). I may agree to just a little of that this year because the weather has certainly been different, but I've seen much worse.

Next year they pick out what ever the weather turned out and blame it on that. Too warm, too cold, too windy, started in mid-week, etc., etc.
 

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:lol: :lol: You guys crack me up. Like you gauge your hunting season and experience on a press release. :lol: You really need to get out in the woods and discover things for yourselves. I have never read any outdoor report, be it fishing or hunting provided by anyone, be it state or private that I had influnce my own observations. Face it, that press release does nothing but give some something to gripe about regardless what it said, someone would find fault. I don't ever put confindence it those things put out by anyone. :dizzy: :bash: :xzicon_sm
 

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Alibi said:
:lol: :lol: You guys crack me up. Like you gauge your hunting season and experience on a press release. :lol: You really need to get out in the woods and discover things for yourselves.
Been there done that but still the same old song and dance my friend :yikes: . I don't know where you hunt but lucky me is in the NE deer hunting arena and I can tell you the report is pretty much right on for my area. Don't go with the habitat thing cause I already did that as well. :sad:

Cody Bear don't forget about all the button bucks that got picked off cause
" It looked like a nice doe to me" statement from hunters. If they'd make them use their buck tag for the little guys hunters would be a bit more picky than just shooting the first deer they see.
'

Be interesting in a year or two when the poor DNR finds the pocketbook a little lighter than before but they wanted a smaller herd to pacify the powers to be. As they old saying goes. Be careful what you wish for you just might get it :tdo12: .........m
 

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Seriously,
Can anyone tell me how the DNR gets their numbers of deer harvested?
Not asking for "estimates".
 

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marty said:
Been there done that but still the same old song and dance my friend :yikes:
Since you quoted my statement about gauging hunting on a press release. I will tell you, you shouldn't. Like I said, no matter what a press release said, someone will have something to gripe about. :)

jakeo, all you will ever have is estimates, even in states that have mandatory registration because no matter what, not everyone will register, regardless if it is mandatory or not. :dizzy: As far as how Michigan does it, it is posted on this site.
http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/hunting_articles/mdnr_estimating_deer_numbers.htm
 

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I do not agree with the bridge count at all. If the rack or hoofs are'nt showing I guess they don't count those deer. Our camp just got back, we took 6 deer,butchered them ourselves up at camp before they got hard as rocks from the temps. Crossed the bridge, not a word from the guy in the toll booth.
 

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Any Michigan Hunter who can take a buck once every 5 years is a great hunter!

A hunter with better production than that is an excellent hunter! Especially if you are on state land!

Put a Michigan hunter in a less pressured state like Iowa, and he should get a nice wallhanger about once every 2 years!

Put one of those cable tv hunter "professionals" in the Huron National Forest, and he's going to get skunked! Not even find a turd!

The paranoid ultra-pressured deer we have here forces us to hone our hunting skills to a razor shap edge in order to be routinely successful.

Michigan is the ulitmate hunting "school of hard knocks."
 

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Kdogger, We all know darn well you are absolutly correct especially about them penned up deer TV specialists that talk a great story then at the end advertise about the guide, outfitter and the ranch they were on.

Oh wait lets not forget the add sin the middle of it such as every time they grab an item it becomes an advertisment then back to the scene.

State land is tuff in Michigan, but then some private lands are too. Like those that do not hold deer but are just an area they pass through.
 

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I have said this since early oct. deer #'s all over the state are low. I talk to hunters all over the sate on private and state land, butchers, taxidermist, deer on cars, deer along side of road dead, police officers, delivery people, deer in my back yard (have a feeding station and when i'm home at night I check it all night with spot light), dnr field officers, buck poles, I'm a pumpkin farmer and this year deer in my field was almost none!!!! All these front line facts all say the same thing deer #'s are DOWN!!!!:confused: :rant: :rant: The facts speak for themselves. You are always going to have a small % of guys say they are seeing deer all over and how they shot big bucks and that is great and I'm happy for you. But way more people see very low # of deer then people how do. The herd is way down and we need to do something now!!!!:help: :grouphug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hunters say herd is smaller this year
In first week, Gaylord station sees 400 deer

http://www.record-eagle.com/2005/nov/26deer.htm

GAYLORD - Snow fell at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer check station as Dale Sprague wheeled his pickup truck into the parking lot.
He stopped on his drive home to Mount Pleasant after hunting in the Upper Peninsula and had a big, eight-point buck under the camper shell.
"It's the first time I've ever hunted the U.P., and I'll definitely be going back," Sprague said.
He killed the deer near Tahquamenon Falls and decided to stop by the deer check station in Gaylord to have the animal's age determined, he said.
State wildlife biologist Glen Matthews looked at the teeth and measured the antlers, judging it to be about 3 years old. Sprague is one of hundreds of hunters to stop at the DNR station to share information about where they made their kills.
Even successful hunters said the deer herd appears smaller this year.
Tom McKenna of Boyne City carried an eight-point buck in the back of his truck; he shot it in a pine grove near his home.
"I don't shoot everything. I let a four-point go the other day. Hopefully, he makes it," McKenna said, adding that he can tell the herd has been smaller in recent years.
Matthews said high winds and rain over the first week of the firearms season hampered many hunters, but recent snowfall helps.
"I think our numbers are very close to 2004, slow in the beginning, but it's caught up," Matthews said.
Butchers at Great Lakes Meat in Cheboygan kept busy, said Kathy Simmons, who owns the business with her husband. They've processed more than 60 deer this year, she said.
"What the hunters are saying is it's been down, but I think it depends on the area. We've seen some nice bucks with nice racks coming in. It's not just a bunch of does," Simmons said.
Michigan hunters took an estimated 453,000 deer last year, a drop of almost 10 percent from the 2003 total. About 135,000 of those were killed in the northern Lower Peninsula.
Nearly 400 deer came through the Gaylord station after one week of this year's rifle season and more than 5,000 at other stations across the area. Not every hunter sacrifices the head for the DNR's annual bovine tuberculosis tests.
Matthews said some "suspect deer" with lesions on their lymph nodes were identified at DNR stations in Alpena, Mio and Curran, but not northwestern lower Michigan.
Firearms season continues through Wednesday.
 

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This is a great thread to decide the future of the herd that you will hunt. If you read the initial article that gave actual COUNTS and QUOTES by people in areas one thing should jump out at you! They consistenly report "BETTER BUCKS.... FEWER DEER..." What I have said over and over on these forums is that hunters need to decide what is more important to them. If you like venison in the freezer, a herd managed for high doe numbers and high yield could be for you. If you want a CHANCE at better bucks and don't mind a few seasons with an empty freezer, QDM may be your cup of tea.
<----<<<
 

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marty said:
Been there done that but still the same old song and dance my friend :yikes: . I don't know where you hunt but lucky me is in the NE deer hunting arena and I can tell you the report is pretty much right on for my area.

Be interesting in a year or two when the poor DNR finds the pocketbook a little lighter than before but they wanted a smaller herd to pacify the powers to be. As they old saying goes. Be careful what you wish for you just might get it :tdo12: .........m
Marty, I couldn't help but look up good old Alcona County in the new DNR DMU-based population density estimates and goals. By gosh, before the 2005 hunting seasons began, DMU 001 (Alcona County, excluding the portion within DMU 452) had about 30 dpsm. That's still above the midpoint of the desired range (25-30 dpsm). So it looks like you need to take a few more does out to bring things into line.

Not only that, but DMU 001 has deer density nearly the same as where I hunt (2005 estimate of 32 dpsm down in DMU 030). Yep, I'm well familiar with what it's like to hunt a deer herd with a density just like yours! And you know what? It's still my favorite hobby. :cool:


http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10363_10856_10905-129948--,00.html
 

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FL,you otta come up and hunt w/MARTY at his deer ranch near Greenbush in SE Alcona co., lot'sa foodplots,an apple orchard,a clearcut,oaks,and ground blinds to hunt from.All road accessable too.

BTW,might wanna bring a live deer or two as well. He hasn't got any of those!

P.S.Forgot to mention his pond
 

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If you look beyond the boom years of the 90's, the population seems to be settling into the traditionally normal range. I do agree that the overall buck to doe ratio has gotten better and VARS combined with antlerless permits in areas that can sustain doe harvests seem to be helping create a better balance.

My experience was less deer sightings, but more buck sightings and a better age structure to the bucks I was seeing.

I also feel that as we enter a period of normality with the herd population, the old 'toss out the feedbag for the deer' method of killing will become less effective. With a herd coming into better sex balance and better age structure, hunting skill and due diligence is going to be the key to taking deer, imo.
 

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jimmyboy said:
FL,you otta come up and hunt w/MARTY at his deer ranch near Greenbush in SE Alcona co., lot'sa foodplots,an apple orchard,a clearcut,oaks,and ground blinds to hunt from.All road accessable too.

BTW,might wanna bring a live deer or two as well. He hasn't got any of those!

P.S.Forgot to mention his pond
Well, I just came back from the heart of TB country. Spent some time in the public land near my folks' place. Saw more deer in less time in the woods, than relatives hunting private land with food plots. Then again, I'm not hunting the same stand that I hunted the past 30 yrs because the deer used to be there. Fact of the matter is, if you aren't seeing deer, it's because they have better habitat to be in and you might need to relocate. Another thing that paid off for me was being in the woods at mid day when most guys were back at home watching the game. Also, saw dozens of deer in the fields along the M65 corridor on the way home yesterday evening.
 

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An all this we've been told 'bout QDM, killin' does an baby bucks, plantin' plots, improvin' habitat, providin' water, clearcuts,etc. is only good fer movin' deer onta public land. :yikes: WHODATHUNKIT!
 

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farmlegend said:
Marty, I couldn't help but look up good old Alcona County in the new DNR DMU-based population density estimates and goals. By gosh, before the 2005 hunting seasons began, DMU 001 (Alcona County, excluding the portion within DMU 452) had about 30 dpsm. That's still above the midpoint of the desired range (25-30 dpsm). So it looks like you need to take a few more does out to bring things into line.

Not only that, but DMU 001 has deer density nearly the same as where I hunt (2005 estimate of 32 dpsm down in DMU 030). Yep, I'm well familiar with what it's like to hunt a deer herd with a density just like yours! And you know what? It's still my favorite hobby. :cool:


http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10363_10856_10905-129948--,00.html

Hmmm :confused: You mean to tell me hillsdale county has the same dpsm as here :tdo12: I'm sorry but if you believe those numbers that bridge is up for sale. Anyway if we got the same numbers I'd be more than happy to trade hunting spots next year. If you think more does need to be taken come up here and fire away.Tell you what I'll go to your spot where there's only 32dpsm and hunt your spot next year. What'ca say?......M ;)
 

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brdhntr said:
Well, I just came back from the heart of TB country. Spent some time in the public land near my folks' place. Saw more deer in less time in the woods, than relatives hunting private land with food plots. Then again, I'm not hunting the same stand that I hunted the past 30 yrs because the deer used to be there. Fact of the matter is, if you aren't seeing deer, it's because they have better habitat to be in and you might need to relocate. Another thing that paid off for me was being in the woods at mid day when most guys were back at home watching the game. Also, saw dozens of deer in the fields along the M65 corridor on the way home yesterday evening.
The heart?? Where are we talking about 452??. Yes there's still deer at the heart cause of big tracts of land and of course lots of hunt clubs who refuse to shoot everything that's brown :evil: Also did you notice that the ( heart) also has the most positives for TB?? Wonder why that is??

I love to relocate but I fell for the crap about build it and they will come.. It's great when you got a big chunk of land and can manage it the way you want but you have to look around all areas are not the same. Why can't people figure this out??? ...........m
 
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