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Do you have a designated route?
I presume you have run it in previous years? If so, would be interesting to see how the numbers stack up.

BTW, shining is a blast! (No gun, and no pun intended.)
I was in the UP Monday- Wednesday for work and had time to kill in the evenings.

I took my spotlight up hoping to find someone to shine with. No takers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Volunteers are given a route by the biologist which can be modified. The routes are about 12 miles in length and are the same from year to year. Annual data is compared per route and graphed. It does produce a noticeable trend. Some routes produce up to a few hundred sightings while others into the low double digits. Mine is usually 100 plus. I’ve been posting my results for 4 years now. My route ends at a M-S members driveway so he always gets a heads up on what is in the fields by his property, two years ago they got one of the bigger bucks I would see.

A friend saw 5 wolves last weekend while out with the spotlight. Woodcock, Fox, coyote, skunks and owls are common sighting.
 

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Anything promising to report back? How's the deer population looking this year? What about the wolves? Going to stop at a friend's camp north of Newberry the week before the opener on the way to the west end and we'll bow hunt a few days. I'm sure we won't see a lot but it's always a great time. Just doesn't seem to be many deer up that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I ran my route for the first time this evening. 102 spotted over my 12 mile route. Deer were scatter with no larger groups. I started at 8:00 finished by 9:00. No bucks observed most were bedded in the open fields. Weather permitting I run it again next week starting at 9:00. I will probably run it a total of 4 times. I usually start at 10:00 near the end of the month.

Unfortunately I didn’t see many by camp but I’m sure 9+ acres of a brassica blend is keeping them busy until well after dark. Wheat, rye and clover is also part of the plantings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I ran my route starting at 8:30. 134 deer spotted. 2 decent bucks were bedded near the road with 2 smaller buck. Near the end of my route. 3 coyotes and an owl were also spotted. There was a slight haze in the air which may have impaired visibility past a 1/4 mile.
 

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Anything promising to report back? How's the deer population looking this year? What about the wolves? Going to stop at a friend's camp north of Newberry the week before the opener on the way to the west end and we'll bow hunt a few days. I'm sure we won't see a lot but it's always a great time. Just doesn't seem to be many deer up that way.
I spent 10 days in the UP mid oct. I was bird hunting and saw a few deer and plenty of sign. One thing I will say is radio stations tend to have daily hunting and fishing report shows up there. They bring in different people and get the word on the street for what deerhunters or grouse hunters are seeing. You can take them for what they are worth but I found that their grouse reports were spot with what I saw on the west and east end of the UP.

The deer report was consistently saying bow hunters were seeing a nice uptick in deer numbers particularly 2.5 year old deer. They also said that survival rates from last years winter were above avg due to the warm december last year and late start to heavy snow.....despit really cold temps and well above avg snow in jan and feb.
 

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I ran my route starting at 8:30. 134 deer spotted. 2 decent bucks were bedded near the road with 2 smaller buck. Near the end of my route. 3 coyotes and an owl were also spotted. There was a slight haze in the air which may have impaired visibility past a 1/4 mile.
Do you have to report all the different animals that you sighted or just deer. Looks interesting to see a pattern from year to year
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This one is for deer only. The UP deer camp survey has a spot for other wildlife observed while hunting.
 
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I ran my route for the first time this evening. 102 spotted over my 12 mile route. Deer were scatter with no larger groups. I started at 8:00 finished by 9:00. No bucks observed most were bedded in the open fields. Weather permitting I run it again next week starting at 9:00. I will probably run it a total of 4 times. I usually start at 10:00 near the end of the month.

Unfortunately I didn’t see many by camp but I’m sure 9+ acres of a brassica blend is keeping them busy until well after dark. Wheat, rye and clover is also part of the plantings.
That’s a great service that you provide for the DNR. Is there any way to find out who is running a route in my area. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That’s a great service that you provide for the DNR. Is there any way to find out who is running a route in my area. Thanks
Give your local biologist a call. If a spotlight survey is going on he will know. The volunteers on this end are Coalition members.

As long as you have the biologist on the phone ask about the Coalition meetings. They are a wealth of information along with CAC meetings.
 

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My son and I went shining this past September for the first time in a long time. We spotted 3 deer along the 5 mile section that I hunt in the NeLP; 2 fawns and a doe. :(
<----<<<
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Are you seeing low fawn numbers like I'm seeing in my area?
I have never observed low fawn to doe ratios like you see in your area. Generally speaking the ratio of doe/fawn is 1:1 It has been for as long as I’ve been keeping track. There is enough AG land aka hayfield and fallow hayfields to allow them to live long enough to make hunting season. Zero winter complex areas near the route.

My route is probably split equally between active hay operations, fallow hayfield, some up to 50 years fallow and forested land.
 

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My dad and I have a camp between Pickford and Rudyard. Best year on cameras since we bought the place 12 years ago. 1 buck I would say is 5 1/2 years old and 2 may be 4 1/2. Many other smaller bucks! Looks so good I took 11 days off this year for bow/gun season!
Willing to share pics of these 4 and 5YOs please?
 

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My dad and I have a camp between Pickford and Rudyard. Best year on cameras since we bought the place 12 years ago. 1 buck I would say is 5 1/2 years old and 2 may be 4 1/2. Many other smaller bucks! Looks so good I took 11 days off this year for bow/gun season!
Where's the pics?!?! Always like seeing the UP bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My dad and I have a camp between Pickford and Rudyard. Best year on cameras since we bought the place 12 years ago. 1 buck I would say is 5 1/2 years old and 2 may be 4 1/2. Many other smaller bucks! Looks so good I took 11 days off this year for bow/gun season!
The Townline spotlight survey route always has the highest number of sightings. I would not be surprised that it will be well over 250 this year if the volunteers pick the right night.

I will run my route tonight. Visability will not be good tomorrow night.
 
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