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Discussion Starter #1
The herd is in for a looooooong winter .
With the amount of snow currently in the region a nd the prediction of possible record snowfall this season, the deer herd will have a tough way to go in not only the UP but the NLP as well. I would expect fewer permits next season.
Gaylord already has 2 feet and at my place near Higgins Lake there is 14 inches on the ground with this to follow today and tonight :

... A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM EST WEDNESDAY.
SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO OVERSPREAD THE AREA... AND LAST THROUGH MOST OF THE DAY. THE SNOW WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES... ESPECIALLY SOUTH OF A LINE FROM TRAVERSE CITY TO ALPENA. BY THIS EVENING... SNOWFALL TOTALS WILL RANGE FROM AROUND 6 INCHES IN EXTREME NORTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN... TO AROUND 10 INCHES NEAR AND SOUTH OF M- 55.
 

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If anything, we may see more. If a lot of deer die this Winter, it's an indication that there's possibly too many deer for available habitat in many area's.
They should have issued more tags this year, that way we'd have less deer to go thru the Winter. I hope everyone who got NLP antlerless tags filled them. That will help all the other deer this Winter.
 

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I disagree on the "we may see more permits". If the winter continues as it has started, the natural reduction of the herd will take place thus eliminating the need of hunters to do their part. If the DNR issues more after a harsh winter, it is case in point that they want the entire herd eradicated in the UP and NLP.

I do agree that we needed more permits in in all areas of the NLP this season. State and Private

Just my 2 cents
 

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:SHOCKED: The deer herd in NW Michigan are in for tough sledding.
I cant remember this much snow this early. If we dont get a
thaw or an early spring were gonna have to find a differnt hobby
next fall cause there wont be many deer left. Our QDM is working well
in Leelanau but the total deer numbers need to go up and this is NOT helping. Plus Im getting tired of snowblowing once to twice a day.
 

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We need to keep numbers at even, sustainable levels. The boom, bust, boom cycle often based on hunters demands to see more deer doesn't work when we get a Winter such as this.
There are NLP DMU's below goal, but there's NLP DMU's above goal too. DMU's like Newaygo, Mason, Montcalm and Mecosta should have increased permits in 2009, IMHO.
The NRC can also ditch the NLP lottery system they invented for this past year. IMHO It's just another hurdle for aggresive doe killers to jump.
 

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The snow in Gaylord is a bit much but east of there it isnt that bad. I took a walk out to my hunting spot (Hillman area) last weekend and the deer could easily get to the grass under the snow. If we get a winter thaw that will help them a bunch. I'm more concerned about the turkeys than deer right now.
 

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Our deer are already struggling here in the NLP, I have been bowhunting and the deer are acting like they do in Feb. Our deer are no longer going to ag fields, all the deer I am seeing are simply walking in circles browsing on dead grass, red pine, cedar etc etc.

We already have enough venison in the freezer, and I have an un restricted tag left and a doe tag. The girlfriend also as well as my father. we are seriously thinking of filling these tags for the simple fact that it should benefit the herd.

Probably kill doe fawns as they will have a higher mortality rate than some of the big ol matriarchs I have been seeing. :sad:
 

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.............
There are NLP DMU's below goal, but there's NLP DMU's above goal too. DMU's like Newaygo, Mason, Montcalm and Mecosta should have increased permits in 2009, IMHO.
..........
??? Did someone move Montcalm Co. ? Also, part of Newaygo and Mecosta are in Zone 3.
Montcalm has this year and has had thousands of left over private land antlerless permits in past years. What good does it do to offer more ?

L & O
 

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None of us are biologists so how do we know for sure whats bad and whats not when it comes to any given winter? Sometimes I wonder if the biologists even know.. Isnt it possible that lots of snow with mild temerpatures could be better because they can reach higher browse lines as opposed to a long, cold winter with not much snow? Yes, we are getting hammered with snow early this year but I remember having winters like this many years ago but hunting the following year was still very good. If your want to control the herd size based on a severe winter and the habitat in the yards combined, you might as well eraticate all of them.

Here's the wierd part, even though we keep getting more and more snow AND colder temperatures, the DNR winter index shows a drop in severity for the NLP. How does that work?

DNR Winter Index
 

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One thing that is saving us is the fact that all the snow is powder and pretty easy to dig through. IF we get a one or two day thaw than cold temps that crust is what creates the problems, not only for deer but also for turkeys.
 

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None of us are biologists so how do we know for sure whats bad and whats not when it comes to any given winter? Sometimes I wonder if the biologists even know.. Isnt it possible that lots of snow with mild temerpatures could be better because they can reach higher browse lines as opposed to a long, cold winter with not much snow? Yes, we are getting hammered with snow early this year but I remember having winters like this many years ago but hunting the following year was still very good. If your want to control the herd size based on a severe winter and the habitat in the yards combined, you might as well eraticate all of them.

Here's the wierd part, even though we keep getting more and more snow AND colder temperatures, the DNR winter index shows a drop in severity for the NLP. How does that work?

DNR Winter Index
What makes it bad is when the snow comes early and stays late. This forces the deer into the yards early and they starve in late February into March if they can't get out and get to food. By that time they usually have browsed everything then can reach in the yarding areas.

If this winter keeps up the way it is, go into the deer yards in April and take note of what you see. This one year you could see the deer trails in one yarding area I went into by the droppings that were left. The droppings were literally a foot wide and at least an inch deep in paths. Everything to about 7 feet was gone from any trees that were there. The weird part is that I didn't see any dead deer in the immediate area that year.
 

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Deer at my camp left for the yards prior to the end of firearms season. The snow was well above my knees prior to 11/22/08. We had poor fawn recruitment the last 2 springs so not as many deer will head to the yards this fall. I can only hope that Mother Nature doesn't make it 3 years in a row. :(

I saw more 3 1/2 year old bucks than 1 1/2 old bucks this hunting season. Next fall we will be missing 2 age classes of deer.
 

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We need to keep numbers at even, sustainable levels. The boom, bust, boom cycle often based on hunters demands to see more deer doesn't work when we get a Winter such as this.
There are NLP DMU's below goal, but there's NLP DMU's above goal too. DMU's like Newaygo, Mason, Montcalm and Mecosta should have increased permits in 2009, IMHO.
The NRC can also ditch the NLP lottery system they invented for this past year. IMHO It's just another hurdle for aggresive doe killers to jump.
I hope you are right Pinefarm, and please do not up the required acreage. Lots of people got screwed with the (do not apply twice rule) make it clean and simple evenyone gets a chance to purchase one then after a specific date open it up to multiples
 

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George,
I'd contact MDNR and let them know that you'd like to see a higher quota for Newaygo. Last year was 6000, I believe. It seems like they could double that, as long as they have the current drawing system that otherwise limits nearly every Newaygo hunter to pretty much only 1 antlerless tag. Raising the quota would help that.
 

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i agree on newaygo county throw in a few public land antlerless tags. none this year or last if i remember correctly. saw alot of does this year on public land in newaygo county. doesn't newaygo county have tons of public hunting land? but no tags baffles me.
 

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Flip,
From talking to my local biologist, he told me that since Newaygo has the highest deer hunter numbers in the state, that they felt that enough doe's were taken from Newaygo public land during archery season.

Now, with the demographic shift south that we're all seeing, that could change eventually. But take a look at the bottom of the MDNR survey and you'll see that 062 still has the most hunters, by far.
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/3485_236922_7.pdf
 

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I am curious as to why in Michigan every one is concerned about snow and harsh winters yet every year people pay big bucks to hunt in Saskatchewan, Alberta etc. to go shoot the big one, yet in Michigan there is panick when the snow flies. Anyone ever tried to figure out the difference in the deer or is it just the Michigan mentality that we have to see 10 deer every hunt to call it a success. May be we better wake up and smell the coffee.
 

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I am curious as to why in Michigan every one is concerned about snow and harsh winters yet every year people pay big bucks to hunt in Saskatchewan, Alberta etc. to go shoot the big one, yet in Michigan there is panick when the snow flies. Anyone ever tried to figure out the difference in the deer or is it just the Michigan mentality that we have to see 10 deer every hunt to call it a success. May be we better wake up and smell the coffee.
Alot of times it's a panic device used by people that want us to lower the deer population. As soon as the snow flies there talking about how many deer were going to lose because were carrying too many. Nobody but god knows right now how bad our winter is going to be. I certainly don't want to see deer starve to death , but if god decides to take them, than so be it. I don't think we need to kill every deer in the state because they (might) die in a bad winter or they (might) catch a disease. Thats like selling your farm to save your crop.

The deer I shot this year had a heavier than normal fat layer. I don't mean a little. I think sometimes we forget nature has it's own way of doing things despite our ideas and agendas.
 
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