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All:
My father just got back from Cheboygan County. In three days, he saw zero deer. All the motels in the area had vacancies. I remember the days when you had to make your hotel reservations six months in advance to get a room. All the towns had an army of men in orange. Now, it is almost deserted. A lot of the hunters have moved down south to hunt. The nostalga of hunting up north is quickly diminshing. As far as shots, my dad herd very few. In days past, it sounded like WW III out there. He refuses to hunt anywhere else because he has hunted there since the 60's. He is a hardliner and he figures that his days are numbered, so why change now. We hope every year that the population changes. But it is evident that it will not anytime soon. It's kinda like expecting the Lions to win a Superbowl. Does anyone know or guess the reason for this drastic population change in deer numbers? How could it change so drastically??
RS,
JAS
 

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I realize your in a different county but do a search for a thread called "where are all the deer in Roscommon County" It's pretty extensive and gives a lot of opinions on the number of deer in Northern Lower Michigan or should I say the lack of deer in Northern Lower Michigan.
 

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I hunt in Clare County and we saw more deer this season then we ever have eventhough we only took one deer it was a very successfull year when it came to sighting. Really the activity never did lighten up from Oct.-Nov. 20 we saw deer every time we went out. I hunt public land.

fulldraw
 

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I hunt in the Northern part of Alpena county/Southern part of Presque Isle County. The "shots" heard opening day were definetly down, not like the already mentioned "WWII" sounds of the past years, however the number of deer sightings on our property were way up over the past two years. I saw more deer on opening day this year then all of last year, connected on a really nice 9 point the second day. When I dropped it off at the local processor up there they mentioned that the number of nicer racks and overall total number of deer dropped off to them the first week had already surpassed the total for the entire firearm season last year. Who knows?
 

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doe numbers are low around me but buck numbers are high. W/ no doe permits and less hunters up here(for now) the numbers should rebound quickly. Next year should be interesting.
 

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from my experiences with the shop and all i can tell you in northern alcona county deer numbers have been going south ever since the dnr allowed the first early doe hunt in tha area. it was crazy that year. people purchased doe permits then drove up here with no where to hunt. they just drove around looking for does to kill. add that to some land owners, myself included, who thought if i just shoot three of four does off my property it will be ok. problem is at least around us most parcels are 40 to 80 acres in size. so if you just have say 10 different owners in a section and each takes four does off his property thats 40 deer out of that section. it does seem to be getting a little better where we are, but i know some folks who hunted state land that took 10 or more deer a year. that is going to take some time to rebound. that alng with the fact the dnr doesn't want near the number of deer that the area used to have.
 

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I also hunt cheboygan just south of town. I have 80acres that we hunt, We're having a real hard time with the deer being very nocturnal. I'm not sure why that is. I know its not becasue of hunting pressure becasue I'm 1 of 4 people that hunt the 80 acres and nodbody in surrounding area's hunts very much. I know the deer are there because we see a rediculous amount of tracks and sign all year long.
 

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I hunt in Ogemaw county and from friday morning until sunday at noon I saw 93 deer. Atleast in my area, the deer are still there.
 

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While it it true that the DNR made those permits available, they did not force anyone to pull the triggers. Now, NLP hunters are paying the price for that. The DNR/NRC is not without blame, afterall they are the experts and told us that we needed to shoot more. But, the ultimate management decision is made by the hunter and the hunter alone.

Dan
 

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Too many doe tags for too many years in a row plain and simple ask Rod Clute with the DNR he'll give you a real enlightening answer to your question I bet :dizzy:

AW
 

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Seems to me that there are still alot of deer, but the # of hunters was definitely down. Personally I think this is a sign of the times.With the economy being so soft and most wives working it's very hard to get away for any length of time.10 years ago I took the whole season off and hunted everyday, now I'm lucky to get 3or4 days. I sure miss the good ole' days. I think the opener falling on a Tuesday may have also had something to do with the low # of hunters.
 

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Schopie,I don't knoow where you are hunting in Ogemaw,but up in the n/w corner the numbers suck.I'm a year round resident and spend a lot of time in the woods and believe me in some areas the numbers are well below carrying capacity.
 

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i started hunting in kent county this year as a matter of fact it was the 3rd week of bow when i stopped hunting in newaygo county, but i am still under the impression that for some reason in areas of newaygo ie. up in white cloud in the manistee forrest where ive hunted for 10 + years i would see 20 to 30 does every day yet the buck numbers well most guys hunting the area have moved onto different areas due to the fact that it was basically a waste of time unless you wanted to kill does or 1.5 yr old bucks and even then they where few and far between, but the dnr insists that there arent that many does in the area, but then i start hunting in kent county and it seems i have seen way more bucks than does and at least 3 of these bucks where at least 2.5 yr olds which i was happy to see, now im not sure how big an area that i hunted in newaygo is all i do know is that it goes from six mile and evergreen to seven mile and then a few more spaced pieces of property, now this area is a perfect habitat for deer there are swamps open field areas and mostly open hardwoods.

ghsthnter/larry
 

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One Eye said:
While it it true that the DNR made those permits available, they did not force anyone to pull the triggers. Now, NLP hunters are paying the price for that. The DNR/NRC is not without blame, afterall they are the experts and told us that we needed to shoot more. But, the ultimate management decision is made by the hunter and the hunter alone.

Dan
Your right Dan .....

In these areas where the numbers are down and they're still giving out permits, , who know the numbers are down, are still buying and using as many permits as they can and we all pay the price! There aint nothin you can do about it accpet pull together and dont buy licenses but I dont see that happening. If their still giving out permits in your area, the numbers are still above their goals and you can bet its only going to get worse.

Ogemaw county near Mio seemed to have good numbers and my buddy who lives near Fairview said he seen alot of deer at the check station off 72 and heard alot of shooting the first week.

The central portion of Makinac county near Moran is the same way, no deer. Other portions of the county are plenitiful (according to some land owners than hang here) but the permits cover to broad an area and many of them are and were being used in areas that didnt need the reductions. The resorts and stores around Moran, Brevort and Mackinac Trail are pretty furious with the loss of revinue. We went from a camp of about 25 guys (5 cabins) with at least 7-10 deer hanging to ZERO 3 years in a row. We then packed it up and headed elsewhere whch is the only thing you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
All:

Just to add a little more to my original entry. I talked with my father a little more today and since he is a socialable person, he has got to know many other hunters in the local area who also hunt public land. Primarily, the Pigeon River Forest area which is a very, very big area. From his report from them, he told me that many other hunters are experiencing the very same thing. Very low deer sightings. These are hunters who generally in the past have done fairly well. But still, very low deer sightings compared to the past. The questions that I have now are this. Is this population going to remain where it is or is there a possibility that the trend will turn for the better? Does the DNR have a plan to aid in the problem or do they find the current population levels to their liking? I don't know the answers to these questions. From what I have gathered, most of you are in agreement with me that the population is noticeably down there. I understand that we live in a big state, but I am primarily inquiring about state land in the Northern Lower, not private land. There at least you can attempt to manage your area with some cooperation from your neighbors. Concerning the gentlemen who seen 93 deer, I will bet a dime to a donut that he is hunting in area that is well managed and far away from public use. Take care.

JAS
 

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

Not sure if you've all seen the recent draft of the DNR's DMU-based 2005 herd estimates and population density goals. Generally, most northern Michigan DMU's are pretty close to their density goals, which is, I believe, a positive development. That means, expect future antlerless tag allocations to be consistent with maintaining deer densities near where they are now.

In the southern lower, circumstances are much worse. 2005 densities are roughly 60% above goal overall, and it will take a lot of work to remedy this; unlimited antlerless tags and extended late seasons have barely made a dent. Creative measures will be needed, particularly in DMU's that are 100% or more above goal(Montcalm, Lapeer, Barry, Oakland, Genesee; Jackson is right behind at 99% above goal).

There are five DMU's currently missing from this report; other than them, the northern lower looks to be very close to goal right now. DMU 452, at a current level of 31.6 dpsm, is still about 15% above goal. Bottom of the heap is Lake, at 40% below goal.
 

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I had a great experience in Presque Isle County. I saw 23 deer of which 9 were Bucks. The Buck break-down is as follows:

1 Eight Pointer (I estimate at 1.5 years old)
1 Six pointer
2 Forkhorns
5 Spikes

It really doesn't break my heart that Hunters as well as the corresponding shots were way down. If these guys want to innundate the SLP in search of deer, so be it! I am sure Farmlegend won't mind a few meat hunters lining up on his fence-line. :lol: Personally, I only saw a couple of camps and ran into three hunters (net of our Camp Members) in seven days. Now that's paradise!
 

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Bwana said:
I am sure Farmlegend won't mind a few meat hunters lining up on his fence-line. :lol:
Nah, we got things under control. According to the report, we've got an average of 32 dpsm in Hillsdale County, one of the lesser densities in the southern lower, roughly the same as DMU 452, in fact, and we're only 17% above goal.

Bwana said:
Personally, I only saw a couple of camps and ran into three hunters (net of our Camp Members) in seven days. Now that's paradise!
Sounds pretty good to me. My farm lies in a sparsely populated spot, on a little-travelled road. I've seen days when not a single vehicle goes down it. But starting around November 10, it resembles Woodward Ave., as guys creep along, looking for opportunities for mischief.

You know, Bwana, a contrarian investor like yourself ought to take a serious look at some hunting land in the NE lower, especially once the automotive meltdown gets into full swing.
 

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This has been the best deer season ever...and I haven't even shot a buck!

While most are complaining about a lack of deer in the NE Lower, I'm seeing more than ever.

I've seen 16 bucks in 5 days of hunting and on Nov. 16th I saw 8 bucks and 22 deer total through hell and high winds.

So far to date I have shot 2 does and liberated 3 button bucks, and hopefully 2 more does will be hanging by seasons end!

Create the habitat and you'll have the deer.

No deer in NE lower....B-O-L-O-G-N-A!
 

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hunting land in alcona county is going for between $2300 to $3000 an acre. so there are no bargains to be had that i have seen. i looked at a 40 for sale with a 1950's mobile home that the owner was asking $147,000. i will save my money and go out of state for that price.
of course the price of land almost never goes down.

letmgro, i think you are in the minority not the majority. most people i have talked to and the results of the area buck poles makes me think numbers are not as great as they are on your property.

as far as i can see it will not get better only worse.
 
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