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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sucker Creek QDM Cooperative is located about 5 miles north of Lincoln, situated directly south of Lost Lake Woods Hunt club. We currently have 2111 acres in our core area, with 20 participating landowners.

This past season was our 2nd year with voluntary AR's, though many hunters had previously passed on young bucks.

These are the results for the 2003 hunting season.

We harvested 24 bucks and 23 does.

BUCKS: Total Points

1 - 3 point (accidental- mistaken for a doe)
1 - 4 point
6 - 6 pts
4 - 7 pts
9 - 8 pts
3 - 9 pts

BUCKS: By Age

1.5 year olds (yo) = 4 3,4,6,8 pts
2.5 yo = 11 4-6pts, 2-7pts, 4-8pts, 1-9pt
3.5 yo = 4 2-8pts, 2-9pts
age unknown = 5 1-6pt, 2-7pts, 2-8pts

DOES: By AGE

1.5yo = 2
2.5yo = 2
3.5yo = 2
4.5yo = 1
5.5yo = 1
11.5yo = 1
age unknown = 14
 

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Britt Homer
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Excellent and congratulations!! In only the second year well over half the bucks (at least) harvested have “graduated” to see age 2 and beyond. Not sure if you have good baseline data on age, antler development etc from the pre coop days, but it sure looks like you have a DMU 118’ish trend starting, that’s great!

Letmgro, if I may add and correct me if I am wrong, folks in the coop have different antlered management practices based on their own preferences, such as 3 on a side, 4 on a side, 6 pt or better, etc.

I know last year was a “weird” one with the lack of mast, any complaints so far from any of the coop members?

Hope to be sharing similar data/ results in the future from about 15 miles WSW of you as the crow flies!

Keep up the good work!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Benelli, I would almost have to consider this year as our baseline year for data. Last year landowners were much more reluctant to share their harvest results, which in turn, I didn't get very much data. Maybe they're starting to see the value of cooperation?

Approximately 1/3 of the 2100 acre core area is participating at 4 points to one side or greater, the other 2/3 is at 3 points to one side or greater. Surprisingly, many of those who participate at > 3pts to one side, almost always hold out for a 7pt or larger. I guess it is a comfort factor, set their standards lower just in case they accidentally harvest a 5 or 6 point.

I know that some landowners who are deadset against harvesting does, are going to give me an ear full about our doe harvest. Many of these hunters complained about not seeing that many deer, but I know for a fact, that the lack of mast crop really reduced the numbers of deer travelling the oak ridges, which turn reduced the deer sightings.

If you want a better breakdown, we shot one buck per 88 acres, and one doe per every 92 acres. I would have to believe that that is pretty good!

Archer, I don't know the exact number of hunters off the top of my head, but it's somewhere between 60-70, and to answer your question about ageing, it's tooth eruption. We are fortunate in that regard, because the vast majority of deer harvested get taken down to the Lincoln DNR field office for ageing, which is only a few miles down the road.
 

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Between LLWC and your co-op that's a pretty sizable chunk of land.

I think LLWC has 10,151 acres and has been practicing some form of QDM harvest restrictions since '97. Typically there is less than 400 hunters on opening day of firearms and less than 100 by day 4.

I can't seem to find the paper with the harvest stats but if I do I'll post it here.
 

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Letmgro:

Just wanted to know how many does were harvested to compare against what we are doing. I am involved with 1500-1600 acres. Our last two seasons doe harvests totaled up to be 153 (82 & 71) and we wish that we could a lot more but with limited licenses and hunters, plus some bad weather last year, we can only do so much.
 

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Britt Homer
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Letmgro, I consider “baseline” just west of you as what I have seen / harvested over the past several years. I’m guessing that only 5-10 years ago, there were probably less than 20 –30% of the bucks in the 2.5 yo plus age class in the population (and that may be a generous estimate!). Perhaps it was a little different in your area? It will be interesting for you to compare from here on out now that you have an “official” baseline, but it still looks like a 118’ish trend to me.

The lack of deer sightings had some grumbling in our area too, some blamed too much doe harvest, some had some other “conspiracy” theories. Fact is the deer were there, just looking for alternative food sources with the lack of mast and not in the traditional hunting spots. My summer observations, camera data and activity / oblivion around some new food plots would support that contention. Hope we have a bumper crop of acorns this year!

On an interesting side note, in 2002 one of my brothers took a nice 3.5 yo 8 pt that dressed around 165#. In 2003 another brother took a bigger 3.5 yo 8 pt that dressed out around 170#. My personal best from 1994 is a 3.5 yo 9 pt that dressed out around 140# (TB discovery year and initiation of “liberal” doe harvest).

My brother who got the buck in 2002 took it into a processor down in the Detroit area (SCS). The processor commented that it was the biggest deer he had seen all year (he probably had a pretty diverse sample from across the State). That same year I laid a headless (TB testing) 3.5 yo doe on a scale at a processor in Kazoo (110#), that "little" doe made the next two local bucks weighed in look pretty small.

Bigger and healthier deer in Alcona Co?? One guy at work calls Alcona the "home of the runts" and I beg to differ. Not as many deer in the area as in the past, but I am encouraged about how the “new herd” is shaping up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just recieved a late landowner survey, which now puts our co-op at a 100% participation level for the year, on a total of 2111 acres.

This landowner sent a picture of his heavy-beamed 4.5yo 8 point, as well as another 2.5yo 8 point.

Revised grand totals: (changes are denoted by an asterick)

We harvested 26* bucks and 23 does.

BUCKS: Total Points

1 - 3 point (accidental- mistaken for a doe)
1 - 4 point
6 - 6 pts
4 - 7 pts
11* - 8 pts
3 - 9 pts

BUCKS: By Age

1.5 year olds (yo) = 4 total; 3,4,6,8 pts
2.5 yo = 12 total; 4-6pts, 2-7pts, 5*-8pts, 1-9pt
3.5 yo = 4 total; 2-8pts, 2-9pts
4.5*yo = 1 total; 1*-8pt
age unknown = 5 total; 1-6pt, 2-7pts, 2-8pts

DOES: By AGE

1.5yo = 2
2.5yo = 2
3.5yo = 2
4.5yo = 1
5.5yo = 1
11.5yo = 1
age unknown = 14

What really sticks out at me is that 54% of our total buck harvest was at 8 points or larger!

We averaged one 6 point or larger for every 88 acres of our co-op.
 

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Britt Homer
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That’s Great Letmgro!

So there are some mature bucks in the area?

As I indicated when you stopped by our camp on Saturday, the last 4.5 yo buck documented at our place was that 10pt rack hanging on the wall taken in ’74.

30+ years of traditional management couldn’t graduate many deer at our place to those older age classes. I’m sure a few were there, and I saw a few over the years, seems as if it was one “old” buck every 10 years or so.

You have accomplished a lot with your coop in a few short years and I wish you guys continued success. I hope to follow in your “footsteps” in our neighborhood.

Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the support Benelli!

Your camp and surrounding property was extremely impressive as well! You should be really proud of all the efforts that you and your family have put into it. There's no doubt in my mind that it's only a matter of time that you and your neighbors start seeing the benefits that we're enjoying 17 miles to your east.


You're definately on the right track to start seeing more of those 3.5 and 4.5 year olds! If your property produced them once, then there's no reason that it couldn't do it again.
 
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