Michigan Sportsman Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do we really know how big the deer herd is in your area? I'm talking more of a localized area maybe a 10 square mile in the area you hunt.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,596 Posts
Pretty large area to make any sort of a reasonable estimate unless you have some observations from a number of adjacent property owners. On an individual property basis, a properly configured photo census will give you a pretty good estimate of the number of unique bucks and a pretty reasonable estimate of the local density.

Use the search function and search BSK & photo census in the whitetail forum for how to do a proper photo census.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
How do we really know how big the deer herd is in your area? I'm talking more of a localized area maybe a 10 square mile in the area you hunt.
Good question. I can only make a logical guess when there is fresh snow on the ground. Have not made an attempt this year, but in years past I would drive miles of road and two tracks and walk miles and push pines and woods and not see tracks. When we would bait (glad the bait thing is done), there would not even be a track in the bait piles. So at that time, my best guess would be zero deer at times at a 5-10 square mile area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Good question. I can only make a logical guess when there is fresh snow on the ground. Have not made an attempt this year, but in years past I would drive miles of road and two tracks and walk miles and push pines and woods and not see tracks. When we would bait (glad the bait thing is done), there would not even be a track in the bait piles. So at that time, my best guess would be zero deer at times at a 5-10 square mile area.
if your talking about antrim and your waiting for snow it's too late imo. by me they bolt for the river and yard up pretty early, down by the jordan that is. i might see a couple tracks in the first couple snows but then they are gone for the season.:mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,246 Posts
How do we really know how big the deer herd is in your area? I'm talking more of a localized area maybe a 10 square mile in the area you hunt.
I think that you can come up with a reasonable estimate if you drive the roads in that area during the evening in the month of July. For sure the deer are out feeding heavily during daylight hours then. I think the month of July works better than other summer months because the antlers on the bucks are big enough to be seen with or without binoculars and bucks seem to be out feeding in the ag fields more openly before it gets dark. From my experience, I see more bucks in July than Aug. or Sept. Been doing this for a lot of years and I would guess that I see about 3 does for every buck during July, but by late Sept. maybe 6 does for every buck. Talking about adult deer, not fawns of course. We don't do a lot of spotlighting, but guys that do say that they see the bucks in the usual alfalfa or bean fields after dark.

L & O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
if your talking about antrim and your waiting for snow it's too late imo. by me they bolt for the river and yard up pretty early, down by the jordan that is. i might see a couple tracks in the first couple snows but then they are gone for the season.:mad:
I know what you mean. They leave the area completely once the snow comes in any large amount. I think the deer population was on its way back up (until last winter), but I was referring to a time probably 4-5 years ago when we had maybe 2" of snow on the ground. Hardly enough snow to push deer to the river. This year however, my grandfather either disked or rototilled 2 areas. One was about 200 yards next to his food plot and the other was 300-400 yards across the road. He did this before rifle season began. Now one would think that a deer would have been pushed from another hunter (because Michigan has such an enormous amount of hunters shooting their guns at everything that moves--sarcasm), or a hungry doe would wander into the food plot, or a buck would chase a doe.... Not one track all season long. Yes deer can move from different areas next to where he disked and not crossed his path (and probably did), but come on.. not one track!
I had the opportunity to bowhunt in Southern Michigan the past few years. Wow! I know its not the case everywhere, but it seems like you could sit anywhere and see tracks. One more reason to divide the forum up into different zones..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
my dad and i were up for the rifle opener and we did not see a deer in the 6 days we were there, but i regraded all my roads and trails on the 3rd day, and i saw lots of fresh tracks the next morning. they are there but they are moving in the dark. my trail cam showed 3 bucks but they were between 9:00pm & 4:00am :mad: gunna go back up for ml and hope for some nasty weather. i think this year was way too warm and there is still way too much standing corn for them. it was the most quiet week of rifle season i have ever heard, 15 shots on the opener all day:confused:
 

·
Tornado Jim
Joined
·
19,989 Posts
I think one of the most useful methods for the average non-professional land manager is to examine the browse intensity. Over-browsing is a sure sign of overpopulation.

The worst is personal observation while hunting. Almost meaningless.

Spotlight surveys and camera surveys are considered to be fairly reliable if done in a very refined way. I believe there are articles on the QDMA site that cover how to do accurate camera and spotlight surveys. Most people do not have adequate numbers of cameras though, and do not do the spotlight surveys in a very defined manner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,973 Posts
I think one of the most useful methods for the average non-professional land manager is to examine the browse intensity. Over-browsing is a sure sign of overpopulation.
I agree wholeheartedly with this.

Put in some deer exclosures across the area of interest. If there is an observable difference between whats growing inside and outside the exclosures after a couple of years you have too many deer.

-na
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
I have read where they estimate 13 deer per square mile where I hunt in SLP. I'd say that is pretty close due to the # of different deer I do see in the square mile I hunt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
How about a truly simple easy plan that will get the job done?

Count the deer that are not there.:idea:
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top