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I am really thinking hard about returning to the Western U.P. the weekend and a couple days before Thanksgiving. I have only been there once,2 years ago and absolutely loved it! What are the numbers looking like up that way? Thanks in advance for your input.
Shoot straight and be careful.
 

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I've spent a lot of time this fall in the U.P. and the winter we had last year seems to have resulted in a low fawn survival rate. It was the same last year too. According the the Deer Camp Survey, 2018s fawn rate in Nov. was about .51 fawns per doe. After mild winters its over .6 and when the winter is extremely severe, it dips to .4 fawns per doe. Law fawn numbers equate to low yearling deer numbers the next year, so following two moderate to severe winters in a row, one can expect fewer yearling deer in the herd. We have only had one mild winter since 2012 (2016), so the only real strong year class is from 2016, which are now three year old deer now. Of course in areas dominated by big woods the impacts of winters are more pronounced and less so in farm country or areas where winter feeding elevates winter stress. In my area, our fawn rates are usually lower than average. The good news though is that I've found very few winter killed deer, so it appears that carry over of deer was good.
 

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Last winter did have some impact due it it’s severity and length. Nothing terrible from what I’ve observed this year. We have been seeing yearling bucks and what suspect as yearling does. Good luck, it’s worth the drive.

3-1/2 and 4-1/2 year old bucks are in short supply from winter a few years back but they certainly are not non existent.
Most of the UP does not have available antlerless tags this year, check the hunting digest. The exemption for archery equipment may expire after this season if this winter is not extreme.
 
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Western up was hit the worst of all the UP winter wise. Based on camera sightings, very limited 1.5 year olds, a few 2.5’s, and limited 3.5’s with virtually no older class bucks. I would guess 30-40% less deer in our area of Ontonagon County. Given that, it’s still the UP and there’s something to be said about da UP. What part of the Western UP you looking at?
 

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Western up was hit the worst of all the UP winter wise. Based on camera sightings, very limited 1.5 year olds, a few 2.5’s, and limited 3.5’s with virtually no older class bucks. I would guess 30-40% less deer in our area of Ontonagon County. Given that, it’s still the UP and there’s something to be said about da UP. What part of the Western UP you looking at?
Iron County.
 

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I've spent a lot of time this fall in the U.P. and the winter we had last year seems to have resulted in a low fawn survival rate. It was the same last year too. According the the Deer Camp Survey, 2018s fawn rate in Nov. was about .51 fawns per doe. After mild winters its over .6 and when the winter is extremely severe, it dips to .4 fawns per doe. Law fawn numbers equate to low yearling deer numbers the next year, so following two moderate to severe winters in a row, one can expect fewer yearling deer in the herd. We have only had one mild winter since 2012 (2016), so the only real strong year class is from 2016, which are now three year old deer now. Of course in areas dominated by big woods the impacts of winters are more pronounced and less so in farm country or areas where winter feeding elevates winter stress. In my area, our fawn rates are usually lower than average. The good news though is that I've found very few winter killed deer, so it appears that carry over of deer was good.
Last years winter was incredibly tough in January and February. Fortunately the UP had a very mild december last year giving the deer a good start.. Ther was a 10 day warm up starting dec 8 that eliminated snow and had temps in the 40s and 50's for a good streatch. My son told stories of wearing shorts to exams at michigan tech before xmas break. Most of the UP had more snowfall in november than it did in December. The snow and cold came back with a vengence in January. The warm up gave the deer a good start to winter though.

I spent 9 days in the UP in october. I heard reports that bowhunters were seeing really good numbers of 2.5 yr old bucks.
 
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