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Massey135
05-31-2011, 05:42 PM
Went to the farm on Memorial Day (Thank you servicemen!) and counted 7 dead fawns in our 18 acre clover field. With all the rain we've had in Virginia, it seems the farmers couldn't cut hay until Memorial weekend. I watched as two does chased buzzards off their fawns all day. Wanted to puke.. I'm wondering if I should tell the guy that did this he can no longer lease the field. I'm torn because on my drive home, every farmer was out cutting hay. I know he needs to make a living but...It just makes me sick.. I hope the deer population doesn't crash..

TrademarkTexan
05-31-2011, 05:48 PM
Very sorry to hear. I doubt it will impact the population much, but it's something you hate to see anyway.

I'd have to think a little time spent walking the field prior to cutting would reduce a lot of that.

letemgrow
05-31-2011, 05:49 PM
They always mow down fawns every year in my area...with the numbers that get mowed down...I am surprised the pop is as high as it is.

KSArcher
05-31-2011, 05:56 PM
As the landowner, you can absolutely dictate a haying schedule to the farmer leasing your property. At least let them know that a 30 to 45 day window during your fawn drop is off limits. I do it on my place and the farmer has never had an issue with it.

KSArcher~~~

UGUIDE
05-31-2011, 06:47 PM
Dang said to hear about such loss but I expect the farmer doesn't like it much more than you do.

Not sure if it was this forum or another but the best idea I heard of to help prevent this was a flushing bar mounted on the front of the tractor. Also used to flush hens pheasants off nests and also get the little birds flushed out of way of mower.

I don't know why it would not work for fawns. What it consists of is a bar mounted on front of tractor that is as wide as implement and bar is about 2-3' off ground or so with chains dangling from bar that just touch the ground.

Will pretty much flush anything that holds tight. Gets it out of harms way. Just an idea.

Anybody heard of these working on fawns?

MDuffy
05-31-2011, 08:33 PM
I'm guessing the guy didn't have any idea what he was doing. I'd say you could have a very open conversation with him and he will understand. Don't go in upset. It was almost certainly an honest mistake.

ohio deer nut
05-31-2011, 09:03 PM
Wow how do you not realize you hit 7 fawns??? I've never hit one but I think I'd realized it. I have hit a nest of rabbits once mowing brush and noticed :( .

I'd just do like previously stated set up a time when he's allowed to do his cutting. Tell him your passion is hunting and you were not pleased. He'll probly understand and work with you.

OHBuck
05-31-2011, 09:46 PM
We used to cut 17 feet at a time. There is no way you can even see most of them not alone stop. Unless you can wait till they will even get up it is just a sad thing. I mow my clover early to they to avoid running them over, but have done it with my atv mower.

yoderj@cox.net
05-31-2011, 10:44 PM
Went to the farm on Memorial Day (Thank you servicemen!) and counted 7 dead fawns in our 18 acre clover field. With all the rain we've had in Virginia, it seems the farmers couldn't cut hay until Memorial weekend. I watched as two does chased buzzards off their fawns all day. Wanted to puke.. I'm wondering if I should tell the guy that did this he can no longer lease the field. I'm torn because on my drive home, every farmer was out cutting hay. I know he needs to make a living but...It just makes me sick.. I hope the deer population doesn't crash..

While I hate to see this as a hunter, from a farmer's perspective, in some counties in VA, he is killing 2 birds with one stone. He has just cut his hay and removed seven deer from the population of crop damagers. Some of the hardest choices I had to make was to shoot spotted fawns under kill permits for deer reduction. The biologists were telling us to first shoot the doe and wait and the fawns would return and then shoot them.

bigmike
05-31-2011, 10:55 PM
Its pretty tough pulling a 10' haybine and watching into the 3' tall hay and keeping an eye on everything you need to keep an eye on. I'm sorry you lost those fawns but i'm sure the farmer didn't purposely do it. This year is a tough year with all the rain. One problem is that on the first pass in a field you're driving thru 3' tall hay and you cannot see what's in front of the tractor.

Massey135
05-31-2011, 10:57 PM
I can kind of understand the guy's dilemma.. He usually cuts his first hay starting in late April and our farm in eary may. He's got 800 acres under cultivation and it (hay cutting) appears to be his only money maker aside from the county cutting he does. It's been so wet, you couldn't possibly cut any earlier this year. The clover field in question was about waist high- there woulld be no way to walk it or scare the fawns out. They were all days old and wouldn't move if you touched them ( I know this from finding them myself) I always put humans above animals, but this just bothers me incredibly. I'm going to ask him to leave a cutting "window" open, but I know it costs him ton of money to move all that equipment. It ruined my weekend, Knowing that all the work we've done to promote a thriving deer herd was just, suddenly scratched...And I know that the population won't be irrevicably harmed.. It just gets at my very core....:mad:

paleopoint
06-01-2011, 10:28 PM
Much ado over nothing. Fawns in the hay chop has been going on since tractors & cutting bars. To be sure, with bigger, wider, faster choppers there are gonna be plenty of fawns that become carrion.

Yet, we still have plenty of deer.

One local dairyman informed me several years ago that he asked his chopping crews to keep a tally. They chopped 132 fawns that year.

It is always a minimum of 75 fawns every year. Some years over a hundred....some years a bit less than a hundred.

We, as hunters, can wince at that.....but it may not be very much higher than what has always been. In the case of the dairyman I reference above ---and other big operators locally---he simply acts as a consolidator. Meaning, he is now working alfalfa fields that used to be worked by up to 10 or 12 seperate farm families. All them ran cutting bars or choppers or rakes.....and ALL of them killed fawns too.

But today, one operator cuts all those fields--either he purchased 'em or he leases 'em.... and he happens to keep track of fawn deaths. So now we know. And the number is larger than we thought....but maybe not larger than it has always been.
................................

Here, in my part of Michigan, it has been generally accepted that the vast bulk of the fawn 'drop' occurs about 10-days before Memorial Day....and 10 days after. About a 3week window....for the vast majority. Well, that 3weeks generally corresponds with the first alfalfa cutting. Hence.......fawns in the alfalfa can easily become crow food.

This next is gonna sound heretical for a hunting website.....but here it is: Hunters ain't getting the job done in keeping our herd in check. But, the combination of hay choppers (and the bumpers of SUVs).....AND.....guys with guns (and arrows).....we manage to keep the herd from eating us out of house and home.

...............................

Lastly, and quite coincidentally, I spoke of this very phenomena last night with a contract chopper. He informed me that with his high speed rig he seldom has any inkling that he just killed a fawn. He becomes aware of it when he sees crows or turkey vultures concentrating on a spot after his passes.

BeaverCreekhunter
06-02-2011, 07:02 AM
Happens alot. Farmer around here ran 24 thru last year but he only chops around a thousand acres. I wish the geniuses in the WDNR would consider adding this into there flawless SAK formula when the figure deer populations.

M.Magis
06-02-2011, 07:27 AM
I think a lot of folks would be shocked to learn how many fawns die every year. Not just from cutting hay, which in unavoidable, but from all sorts of things. Come fall, no one even thinks about it because the deer appear to be everywhere.
I can't help but chuckle at those that think the DNR doesn't know that deer die from other means than hunting. :rolleyes: Maybe they should hire some armchair biologists to run things. :D After all, those are the real experts. :rolleyes:

BeaverCreekhunter
06-02-2011, 09:40 AM
I can't help but chuckle at those that think the DNR doesn't know that deer die from other means than hunting. :rolleyes: Maybe they should hire some armchair biologists to run things. :D After all, those are the real experts. :rolleyes:

If you are to do a job correctly you need as much info as possible to get the best results.

The WDNR does calculate in other fawn death factures in there fawn recruitment estimates.
Predators, car kills, winter severity.

What they don't use is the poachers, disease, and fawns run thru haybines.

A couple years ago the first accounted for 90,000 deer deaths. About 76% of what hunters harvested in the same year.

If 24 fawns are killed per 1000 acres every spring and there are how many acres of farm land in the state in hay=????

Yes the WDNR does know this but does not include it in there estimate.

SJWhitetail
06-02-2011, 11:31 AM
I'm sorry you lost those fawns but i'm sure the farmer didn't purposely do it. This year is a tough year with all the rain. One problem is that on the first pass in a field you're driving thru 3' tall hay and you cannot see what's in front of the tractor.

Agreed. I hate to see it or be the reason behind it, but it is going to happen. We killed 4 in one field this year and picked up and moved 3.

M.Magis
06-02-2011, 11:38 AM
If you are to do a job correctly you need as much info as possible to get the best results.

The WDNR does calculate in other fawn death factures in there fawn recruitment estimates.
Predators, car kills, winter severity.

What they don't use is the poachers, disease, and fawns run thru haybines.

A couple years ago the first accounted for 90,000 deer deaths. About 76% of what hunters harvested in the same year.

If 24 fawns are killed per 1000 acres every spring and there are how many acres of farm land in the state in hay=????

Yes the WDNR does know this but does not include it in there estimate.

Because only you realize that deer die from poaching, disease, and other causes? You honestly think they don't already know this? You anti DNR folks get more arrogant, or delusional, every day it seems.

MNBowhunter
06-02-2011, 11:50 AM
It happened to me about a week ago after putting in my food plots . I was parking my disc just off my field road. Before I could do anything a little doe fawn came out from under my front tire and went under my back tire. It was brutal!! I jumped off my tractor and ran back to check her out and she was bleeding out of her mouth and not doing so well so I put her out of her misery. If I would seen the mom I never would have parked there. It was right next to my shed on top of it. It was a real bummer. I was proud of myself for busting my a$$ to get down to the farm and get my plots in and then this happens. Talk about counter productive.

SJWhitetail
06-02-2011, 12:13 PM
It happened to me about a week ago after putting in my food plots . I was parking my disc just off my field road. Before I could do anything a little doe fawn came out from under my front tire and went under my back tire. It was brutal!! I jumped off my tractor and ran back to check her out and she was bleeding out of her mouth and not doing so well so I put her out of her misery. If I would seen the mom I never would have parked there. It was right next to my shed on top of it. It was a real bummer. I was proud of myself for busting my a$$ to get down to the farm and get my plots in and then this happens. Talk about counter productive.

Reading this thread makes me think about anti-hunters. Maybe if some of them read this thread it might enlighten them. Here we are grown men and women talking about how sad it is to see an animal dying. I have never had an issue with hunting, but has always saddened me to see any deer killed by other means...cars, mowing etc... Of course they would find away to turn it around and still think we are ruthless and barbaric.

BeaverCreekhunter
06-02-2011, 12:23 PM
Because only you realize that deer die from poaching, disease, and other causes? You honestly think they don't already know this? You anti DNR folks get more arrogant, or delusional, every day it seems.

Wisconsin DNR
Yes they DO know this. Do they use it in there population goals and estimates. NO! Why not?
It's not anti DNR it's a fact.

M.Magis
06-02-2011, 12:26 PM
Yes they DO know this. Do they use it in there population goals and estimates. NO!

Unless you are involved, you have no way of knowing that. That's my point. I will guarantee you that there are many things involved that you don't know about. That's their job.

E_308
06-02-2011, 01:03 PM
We used to kill a lot more fawns and turkeys with the old sickle bar mowers when I was a kid. When we switched to disk mowers with the canopy it seemed to flush more in front of the blades. The worst part of sickle bars is that alot of the time it would just wound them so you had to get off the tractor in 100 heat and deal with that, with the disk mowers there was no suffering. If your current guy is using a sickle bar (which would be a dinosaur these days) you might want to find a guy with more up to date equip.

Redonthehead
06-02-2011, 01:09 PM
A local farmer cuts about 30 acres of hay on me. I asked him to delay it as long as he could -ie: cut mine last, if he could. Mainly for the turkey nests. He didn't have a problem with the request - of course I didn't put any specifics on it.

Dogwood
06-02-2011, 01:42 PM
The WDNR does calculate in other fawn death factures in there fawn recruitment estimates.
Predators, car kills, winter severity.

What they don't use is ... fawns run thru haybines.
Fawns are not, typically, considered to have been "recruited", until they reach 6 months of age. Thus, fawns that die, prior to that age milestone, are not typically considered a recruitment loss.
Prior to 6 months of age, fawns are so vulnerable, that counting them in the population is essentially like counting eggs, before they hatch. You know you are going to have substantial losses, so, just don't bother, until they make it to through that first half-year. The death loss of the 6-12 month age group will be significantly lower, than the pre-6 month death loss.

buckdeer1
06-02-2011, 02:26 PM
Plant it to NWSG and use it for cover,unless you are getting pretty good money from the hay you may do better with some CRP plan of grass,shrubs,food plots etc.

Dogwood
06-02-2011, 04:20 PM
Plant it to NWSG and use it for cover,unless you are getting pretty good money from the hay you may do better with some CRP plan of grass,shrubs,food plots etc.
Most hay ground won't make the crop history requirements, for CRP. But, agreed; if it does, that would be a good option, for some.

Tap
06-02-2011, 05:10 PM
Are you sure that farmer really cares about killing fawns? I know a few that despise deer and want them all dead. This is in no way meant to be a rap on farmers, but I know a couple that are happy when any deer dies.

M.Magis
06-03-2011, 06:57 AM
Are you sure that farmer really cares about killing fawns? I know a few that despise deer and want them all dead. This is in no way meant to be a rap on farmers, but I know a couple that are happy when any deer dies.

There's a huge difference between being happy to see one less adult deer, and happy to see a fawn run through a mo-co. :rolleyes:

Tooln
06-03-2011, 07:09 AM
Farmers are also hunters. He may not have even known what happened.

Dogwood
06-03-2011, 07:14 AM
SOME...Farmers are also hunters. He may not have even known what happened.
I would wager that is is probably not even a majority of "farmers", that are active hunters. I'm sure the percentage of farmers, that are also hunters, varies, dependent upon location, but, in my area, I would say most don't. I could make a list of probably 200 farmers, that I know very well, and probably only 75 of them would, also, be hunters. That might be considerably different in your area, but don't assume that it is that way, everywhere in the country.

BeaverCreekhunter
06-03-2011, 12:07 PM
Unless you are involved, you have no way of knowing that. That's my point. I will guarantee you that there are many things involved that you don't know about. That's their job.

I'm not involved. This info comes from a post by Ron Kulas our WBH board member who's main job is dealing with issues in the state legislature. He posted that they don't use this info. He also stated, That is why they are doing a fawn survivability study and a buck recovery rate study to better understand mortality to better apply to SAK.

So involved no, informed, yes. Willing to listen when anybody has something to say on how to manage widlife. Yes. Chuckle and ignore and call them arm chair experts. No.

hardwood11
06-03-2011, 03:26 PM
I am not sure exactly where you live and what would work for planting, but I would much prefer to have a small clover food plot with the balance corn and beans. Rent is usually higher for corn/soybeans and no worries about hitting fawns.

The 2-3 acre clover plot if managed correctly will last you for several years and wait until after fawning to mow it.

I couldn't stomach the site of all those fawns dead, on the other hand, man you must have a lot of deer on your property which is good!!

Bnhpr
06-04-2011, 07:49 AM
I'm on my third farmer in 10 years for various reasons. All related to them not caring about the land. I now have some folks that run a family operation and seem to care. I suggest you start looking for someone. If someone did that to the fawns in my field, they would not be back. You may not be in a situation you can do this, and that would be unfortunate. The deer take enough beating with deep snow and coyotes, they don't need disc mowers thinning the herd here at least. I was upfront with these people that the deer take the priority on my land, and they also know I have a rotary cutter and don't mind using it.

Ben

mgatley
06-04-2011, 08:57 AM
Glad I logged on this morning. Was headed up to mow my trails. Think I'll wait.