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View Full Version : Deer density in your hunting area?


sandbur
12-03-2006, 02:06 PM
Just wondering what estimates are of deer density in your hunting area-let's use preseason, but fall estimates where the fawn crop would be counted.

My central Minnesota farm location is definitely less than 20. Probably 15 or so in our section this year, before season.

The northern area with more woods is probably 25 or so per section, before season.

biglakeba$$
12-03-2006, 02:18 PM
I don't think I could guess very accurately.

I am a bit frustrated though.
The MN DNR is saying we have too many deer in the state, and I havent seen a single deer since Nov 4(opening day of rifle season). I have hunted with bow, muzzleloader and rifle since that day. I am at a loss.

I know there are deer. I just don't think there are as many deer in the areas we hunt, that the DNR says there is. We can harvest 5 deer per person in the 2 areas I hunt. I would be happy to see a deer right about now, much less tag 5 deer.

Headed out this afternoon with the muzzleloader again. My luck has to change sometime I would hope. I am hunting another new piece near St Cloud, MN now. Lots of deer sign, but didnt see anything last night on my first trip out there.

I am starting to wonder about my hunting skills, or lack thereof..... :(

tayz588
12-03-2006, 03:09 PM
Hey man don't blame yourself, county (I am in SE MN) is ranked high for deer numbers, but the area I hunt has very low amounts. Its all about cover, food, water, and disturbance. The place I hunt has a highway bordering it, campground across the road. There are deer, but not many.

banc123
12-03-2006, 03:20 PM
< 15 per section for us

Trophy Doe
12-03-2006, 04:57 PM
I really don't know the actual numbers.
On a good hunt I average seeing 5 or 6 deer.
On a bad day I won't see any.

I'm am sure that my herd is within carrying capacity of the land,
which is more important to me than a number.
I do believe that the numbers are higher in our area than most
neighboring landowners believe. There is so much more food
and cover available now than in years past due to recent logging,
and the rising popularity of food plots. Instead of hunting strategically
in the woods and cutover, most folks around here hunt the same
food plots over and over (after riding a four wheeler all the way to it).
They complain about not seeing as many
deer as they used to, and assume the numbers are down...they fail
to realize that there are many more deer nowdays that just hole up
in the cover and chew cud till after dark. Used to, the deer had to move more to
fill their bellies. Now, they have food plots, cutover, and feeders (I dont use feeders) around every corner, no reason to move around during the day.

HabitatMD
12-03-2006, 06:01 PM
I just read that most Missouri counties 5 to 15 deer/mile. I believe ours is at least 20, but that is only a guess.

Bob S
12-03-2006, 06:03 PM
Don't know, don't care. It is a useless number. What matters is how the current deer density effects the winter browse.

For what it's worth, the DNR estimates for Missaukee county are below goal. That doesn't mean much either, since I don't hunt the entire county. Parts of the county near dairy farms will have a much higher population than those areas with no agriculture.

FloridaBoy
12-03-2006, 06:31 PM
I know you think I'm over-estimating, but my area of Central Florida has 60 to 75 per sq. mile. That's on private land. The public land has 20 to 25 (hunted areas). The non-hunted public land is overrun. Last fall I counted 34 does in a 2 mile ride through a closed area of public land.

Younghunter
12-03-2006, 08:16 PM
According to the dnr... In 80B, which is the management unit I hunt in, there are about 24 deer per square mile of total area... that would include all of the county... if they adjust that to square mile of deer habitat then the figure comes out to 71 deer per square mile. However, with their adjusted value they take out much of what I would still consider deer habitat. I would think the actually number would be more like 40-50 deer per square mile of deer habitat. Either way... too many deer! Shoot them all...

-Matt

leosusu
12-03-2006, 09:45 PM
Too dang many. You wouldn't believe me if I told you.

biglakeba$$
12-03-2006, 10:10 PM
I can only say I wish I had your problem.:o

ddhunt
12-03-2006, 10:25 PM
Good try guys! Not to tourqe anyone off, but NO-ONE knows. (well, maybe ONE,sorry) Good call Bob S. Try to improve your land, manage well, harvest the deer you can use/need, go from there. Just enjoy it! Merry Christmas! ddh

sboone270
12-04-2006, 10:34 AM
Way too many!!!!! Last night I saw 4 does, 8 yearlings, 5bucks and 6 turkeys in 20 mph winds. I like seeing deer, but my plots are getting hammered. I did shoot 2 more does this past weekend and would have shot another last night, but the bucks would not leave and I will not shoot a doe with them around.

sandbur
12-04-2006, 11:00 PM
Bob S and others. I always like to get a rough idea of the deer population when people refer to what the deer eat and like in their area. In areas of high deer numbers, it may not be what the deer LIKE but only what is LEFT.

For example, right now, the brassica in my farm country location is still not being used. Of course, there are almost no deer around either.

Trophy Doe
12-04-2006, 11:43 PM
Way too many!!!!! Last night I saw 4 does, 8 yearlings, 5bucks and 6 turkeys in 20 mph winds. I like seeing deer, but my plots are getting hammered. I did shoot 2 more does this past weekend and would have shot another last night, but the bucks would not leave and I will not shoot a doe with them around.

You need to change that theory soon.. I have shot does out from under bucks before.
Gotta do what it takes to get the does down...

USFWC
12-05-2006, 12:08 AM
We have higher deer densities during the hunting seasons on my main properties as the time of year changes. From green-up until the crops are harvested in the early fall, the deer per square mile is around 25. After the crops are harvested and the acorns begin to fall, we have around double that number. The deer are healthy and there are no significant problems with the native vegetation being overbrowsed, so we try to keep the population steadily at that level. We are a little behind on our doe harvests this year, but we still have a lot of season left in archery and an extra doe rifle season, so we should still easily reach our harvest goals. The people that usually don't adhere to the same standards of harvest that the rest of us do shot bigger deer than normal this year, so recruitment of younger bucks into the older age classes should increase this next year. Hopefully we will come out of the drought we've been in so the antler size will respond as well. lol...I just answered a bunch of questions you didn't even remotely ask. :)

bamabuck
12-05-2006, 09:43 AM
Yep, where and when to shoot does has been our problem for a while. I do not like to do it in the plots but that is really the best way to do it. After Christmass I am going to put down a bunch. I would rather be buck hunting....

sboone270
12-05-2006, 11:23 AM
Trophy Doe-

I will just have to find other ways to kill does, but I will NEVER shoot a doe in front of a buck. I have been working very hard to get my bucks to use food plots during daylight hours and I am not going to ruin that now. This has been the first year that I have consistently had 2.5 and 3.5 yr old bucks coming into my plots before 5pm. This past Sunday all 5 bucks were in the plot by 4:15 and 4 of the 5 were 2.5 and 3.5 yr olds. If I miss out on a doe on one hunt, I'll just have to work a little harder to get 2 the next hunt.
Also, I only shoot 1 doe per plot, so I should be able to find a time in each plot when there are does around and no bucks.

USFWC
12-05-2006, 12:10 PM
Don't know, don't care. It is a useless number. What matters is how the current deer density effects the winter browse.

For what it's worth, the DNR estimates for Missaukee county are below goal. That doesn't mean much either, since I don't hunt the entire county. Parts of the county near dairy farms will have a much higher population than those areas with no agriculture.

Why do the dairy farms have higher densities? Is it because of food sources or just a lack of hunting pressure?

Bob S
12-05-2006, 01:16 PM
Food sources USFWC. My property is 2 miles from 2 dairy farms. Both of those farms grow corn and alfalfa. I am only a mile from the nearest alfalfa field. In March and early April, before green up in the woods, the fields are the place to see deer at dusk. I have seen as many as 125 deer within 3 miles of my place. I have also seen as many as 300 deer within 10 miles of my place by driving roads with dairy farms. There doesn't appear to be any cash crops grown in eastern Missaukee county. All of the farms are either cattle or Christmas trees.

sandbur
12-05-2006, 04:02 PM
USFWC- Usually to grow alfalfa, the dairyman has to pay very close attention to his soil. It probably produces the sweetest and best food sources. Throw in some corn for cover and you have the potential for lots of deer.

I think we have hammered our farm country deer pretty hard for the last two years in the central parts of the state. Probably it is for the best in the long run. You no longer see many, if any deer tracks at the traditional crossing on the gravel roads.

There is lots of feed left in my foodplots. Standing corn, beans, brassica, and rye.