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Beechnut
02-03-2011, 12:26 PM
Anyone have any pictures of deer in yarding areas they could post? Personally never seen this before...read about it though.

Younghunter
02-03-2011, 12:38 PM
Google search it and you'll find some images.

It's more of a northern coniferous forest thing... you could expect to see deer yards in Northern Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Ontario Canada...etc. in areas of white cedar or hemlock swamps. I don't think they yard up anywhere else.

-Matt

Dogwood
02-03-2011, 12:53 PM
Here's an image taken on a snowmobile trail (in WI, MI, or MN, or something like that), that was floating around the web, a couple winters ago.

novacane
02-03-2011, 08:27 PM
http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h118/trouttrue/Dinnerju.jpg

bigeight
02-03-2011, 08:33 PM
In DogWoods pic, are those two people standing on the top of that hill one in a blue jacket, one in red? What is that?

Munsterlndr
02-03-2011, 08:41 PM
Neither of those are pics of yarding situations, those are both pics of supplemental winter feeding efforts, the second one is from the UP in Michigan.

Alpha Doe
02-03-2011, 09:01 PM
So...true yarding doesn't include feeding and just a gathering of deer naturally? When feed is included it becomes supplemental feeding program and not yarding? Is that correct? :)

Wayne
02-03-2011, 09:18 PM
Google search it and you'll find some images.

It's more of a northern coniferous forest thing... you could expect to see deer yards in Northern Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Ontario Canada...etc. in areas of white cedar or hemlock swamps. I don't think they yard up anywhere else.

-Matt

They yard up in Northern NY(Tug Hill,Adirondacks) VT, NH, ME. Before the CWD scare in NY most people supplemental fed deer in and around wintering yards. Mostly because historic yards have been over browsed but the deer keep coming there for thermal cover.

Younghunter
02-03-2011, 09:43 PM
Deer yards look like kinda like this...

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_axKEebFefSU/TSQCbESbs3I/AAAAAAAABew/ic4mIbU__jE/DSC03378.JPG

Usually a lot of white cedar, some hemlock, balsam fir...etc. More preferable ones would be expansive, maybe have a south facing slope or some open water caused by a spring or groundwater fed stream.

The area may look like marginal habitat and have a distinct browseline... but but come winter time when there is 2-3 feet of snow elsewhere and only 6 inches inside the cedar swamp... it makes a big difference.

The canopies intercept a lot of the snow, shield from wind, and provide thermal protection.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_axKEebFefSU/TSQCdnzjjvI/AAAAAAAABew/Mgg_hpm-1ec/DSC03381.JPG

They get browse from snow toppled trees and branches.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_axKEebFefSU/TSQCuOxr9jI/AAAAAAAABew/OCsvonJpZfk/DSC03407.JPG

So if you were to go to Northern Wisconsin and see a white cedar swamp surrounded by upland maples and oaks... you would be safe in assuming that that cedar swamp is prime wintering habitat and would be considered a 'deer yard'. The deer that otherwise spent their spring, summer, fall in the uplands or in other habitats will 'migrate' to that cedar swamp for the winter.

The term 'deer yard' doesn't necessarily have to imply huge concentrations of deer, but more of the fact that it's an area where deer travel to outside of their normal spring-fall home ranges to better cope with the winter conditions.

-Matt

Munsterlndr
02-03-2011, 09:44 PM
So...true yarding doesn't include feeding and just a gathering of deer naturally? When feed is included it becomes supplemental feeding program and not yarding? Is that correct? :)

My definition of yarding is when deer migrate from their normal home range into areas that provide thermal cover and protection from the elements. In Michigan's UP, for instance, during this migration, deer may move 50-60 miles from their normal habitat into areas wooded with conifers and white cedar. The purpose is less about seeking available food and more about thermal cover and protection from deer snow, at least that's my understanding. Yarding is a naturally occurring process, supplemental winter feeding may occur in a yarding area or it may occur before the herd migrates.

In less severe climates, deer don't tend to migrate long distances but their choice of cover changes to denser, more protected areas and they do tend to concentrate a little more then at other times of the year, in sort of faux yarding behavior.

One of the problems with artificially sustaining large densities of deer in these Northern regions is that the winter yarding areas become overwhelmed and can't regenerate enough browse to supply increased numbers of deer once they become concentrated in the yarding areas. Some people try to mitigate this impact by providing supplemental feed, to prevent yarding cover degradation, whether that is either a good idea or whether it accomplishes the goal is highly debatable.

Younghunter
02-03-2011, 09:47 PM
They yard up in Northern NY(Tug Hill,Adirondacks) VT, NH, ME. Before the CWD scare in NY most people supplemental fed deer in and around wintering yards. Mostly because historic yards have been over browsed but the deer keep coming there for thermal cover.

Yup. I just gave those few as examples of the habitat/climate where deer yard.

-Matt

Younghunter
02-03-2011, 09:54 PM
The purpose is less about seeking available food and more about thermal cover and protection from deer snow, at least that's my understanding.

That's very true. The yarding areas have very little to do with food. In fact, there really isn't much food to be had. White cedar and hemlock... but I've yet to see a wintering area where there isn't a distinct browse-line and cedar is readily available. They are lucky when the snow topples some over. In addition, the canopy is so dense there is little undergrowth....

So really it's about reducing their energy expenditure. They have to exert less energy in wintering areas because it is easier to move around (less snow) and spend less energy to keep themselves warm (thermal protection).

-Matt

Munsterlndr
02-03-2011, 09:56 PM
Here are some pics of the "yarding" area on my property in Northern Michigan. It's not true yarding since these are local deer that have not migrated from out of the area but many of them do concentrate in my Cedar swamp, as you can see from the tracks. By late December the deer move into this part of the property for most of the winter. This is in an area with a density of about 12-15 DPSM.

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc112/Munsterlndr/yard1.jpg

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc112/Munsterlndr/yard2.jpg

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc112/Munsterlndr/yard3.jpg

Younghunter
02-03-2011, 10:02 PM
There. Those are some better pictures. I didn't have any taken from my property that show much activity or anything.

Notice the browse line on that cedar in the second picture as well as the lack of virtually anything edible within the deers reach. Definitely not there for food.

We have just a little portion of a cedar woods. That area is void of deer sign for most of the year, but in winter it usually has the highest amount of sign.

-Matt

Munsterlndr
02-03-2011, 10:18 PM
There. Those are some better pictures. I didn't have any taken from my property that show much activity or anything.

Notice the browse line on that cedar in the second picture as well as the lack of virtually anything edible within the deers reach. Definitely not there for food.

We have just a little portion of a cedar woods. That area is void of deer sign for most of the year, but in winter it usually has the highest amount of sign.

-Matt
What do you mean, there is plenty of nice tasty cedar bark to munch on! :D

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc112/Munsterlndr/yard4.jpg

Fortunately, most years if the snow does not get too deep they can still find some turnips or winter wheat to munch on in some of my plots for most of the winter months. This year is going to be tough, though, we have a good two feet on the ground in the areas that are not protected by cover.

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc112/Munsterlndr/plot2.jpg

qdm4me
02-05-2011, 09:32 AM
my 200 acre property is part of a known winter yarding area (NY).. most yarding is done inside the designated sancuary, where there is an abundance of browse like : bayberry, beach plum, buttonbush, highbush cranberry, dogwoods (silky's and red stems), red cedar and witch hazel..

most groups consist of 7 - 13 deer as you can see in the pic.. feeding the deer is illegal in NY, so durring winter's like these we like to do our hindge cuttings now to help them along ( however - identifying particular trees in the winter can be difficult).. with that being said i do know several people that feed them illegally and most winters the feeding areas look like the previous pictures posted, up to a hundred deer standing around fighting and eatn each others crap when the food is gone..

snow has been too deep to get the polaris ranger around, so i have been packing my gear onto a sled and pulling it through the woods.. most groups of deer stand there and watch as i make my way by them.. yesterday i stopped counting around 60 deer, and they were forming trails in my footprints.. most deer looked healthy, but i could tell the smaller animals were having a hard time..

qdm4me
02-05-2011, 09:39 AM
these are the ones to watch out for.. the single, lone doe which has been isolated from the other deer groups for several weeks now.. this young doe will likely not make it through this severe winter..

On_Point
02-05-2011, 10:32 AM
This guy I know that does logging up in the UP for Cedar logs told me that in the winter when he is logging its not uncommon to see 50-100 deer show up to eat the toppings from the fallen Cedars. Said he'd fire up the chainsaw and it was like a dinner bell for deer. Within 5 minutes he'd see deer standing within 50 yards waiting to pick over the toppings. Deer sure must be hungry to lose all fright of man and machinery in the dead of winter.

Beechnut
02-07-2011, 01:04 PM
Thanks for all the input everyone and for the pictures. I had a feeling the pictures with all the deer wasn't a true yarding area. Down here in South Carolina, we don't have to worry about yarding areas.

What I found interesting with my latest reading is that it's not a good idea to drive/snowmobile into yarding areas because it gives predators (coyotes, wolves, dogs) a trail to get into the areas and prey on the deer.

I just found this subject fascinating since it's so out of the norm from all the other talk about deer and their movement. I also read that in winter, their metabolism slows some. Just seems to me a difficult time on the deer when bucks are recovering from the rut and does are with fawn.

684
02-08-2011, 01:57 PM
In the first 2 pics...i think they have a ratio issue!?! lol.

Wonder if those properties are for rent?

How come deer don't come to my corn piles like that?

Just a few questions...haha

Plot Magnet
02-08-2011, 02:51 PM
What do you mean, there is plenty of nice tasty cedar bark to munch on! :D

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc112/Munsterlndr/yard4.jpg

Fortunately, most years if the snow does not get too deep they can still find some turnips or winter wheat to munch on in some of my plots for most of the winter months. This year is going to be tough, though, we have a good two feet on the ground in the areas that are not protected by cover.

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc112/Munsterlndr/plot2.jpg

Dont think i've seen a person on any forum as knowledgeable, about deer and speak the truth. I enjoy and am learning alot here.
Would you consider moving to PA. and running for the PGC BOC?
Thanks.