Top-5 Factors Causing Deer Population Declines

Hunters throughout the whitetail’s range are complaining of declining deer populations. Not all hunters, of course, but enough to draw newspaper headlines, DNR deer management plan audits, and legislation aimed at growing deer herds. Are these declines real, and if so, what are the driving factors? We can look at current antlered buck harvests and compare …

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Who Controls Your Fawn Supply?

In the classic Clint Eastwood movie Pale Rider, prospectors fall on hard times when an evil industrialist chokes the flow of creekwater that allows them to pan for gold. Luckily, the “Preacher” is handy with pistols. The prospectors aren’t forced to dry-pan or migrate, as they had feared. Where am I going with this? You …

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Have We Killed Too Many Does?

With all the recent hubbub in the general outdoor media about deer harvests being down, as well as within the pages of the newly released 2015 QDMA Whitetail Report, I’m confident there are literally thousands of deer hunters out there right now asking this very question: “Have we killed too many does?” This query is …

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Break the Patterns Trespassers Use Against You

Hunters pursue their prey by identifying predictable patterns. We try to locate a buck’s core area through sightings, trail-camera photos, or sign like rubs and scrapes. Similarly, trespassers use many of the same techniques. While I wouldn’t categorize a trespasser as a hunter, trespassers do possess a predatory mentality. Their prey just happens to be …

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Is Late Rutting Activity an Indicator of Problems?

I have been asked many times about rutting activity during December and January and whether this signals a problem. Rubs, scrapes and chasing behavior during December and January are common sights to deer hunters and managers in the South. Deer in southern latitudes are afforded the luxury of breeding during several months, even though this can …

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