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jerkin'm

How did your rifle seasons go? Haven't talked to the answer man ChuckieN to see what happened....Looking forward to the ML season up there for the first time.

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Mark Christianson

Argh!!!!

Horrible for us.

We went 0 for 4. I have already placed an order for 10 fawns that I am going to release next spring to boost the herd a bit. ooo.gif

We saw just a few baldies opening morning, and one tiny forky. After that, nobody saw a dang thing on our property.

Quite simply, I am at a loss. If anyone tells you food plots are the magic magnet, they are lying... confused.gifgrin.gif

I know there are deer. Dang it. I have upteen hundreds of pics of deer. No less than 10 different bucks on film!!!

I saw deer bow hunting. There are tracks everywhere.

Where they went, I have no idea. Probably all in peoples freezers now. Argh.

I am not sure what to expect for muzzy season. crazy.gif

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Gissert

We fared well.

I got one of my camera bucks about an hour into opening morning. He was a 10 all summer long, but scrubbed off one of his brow tines after he shed the velvet.

I had does come out that afternoon, but they were skylighted on a hill and the shot was not safe. Same thing happened the next morning with some does and fawns. A while later, a decent buck was about 5 yards from my shooting lane, but he turned back into the woods and bedded down. My brother jumped him about an hour later. Saw a spike later that day.

We did not hunt Monday, and I saw Mr. Spike again on Tuesday evening coming into a food plot. He came out again the next morning and I had my marching orders to get another deer, so I let him have it. Too bad he did not step out in front of the wife. I relly wanted her to get a deer this year. I was hoping for a doe, but they were just not showing up.

Odd year, really. Movement was kind of spotty. From what I could tell from my cameras, there were eight different bucks working this 50 acre piece, but only two doe groups. The spike made for a ninth buck.

Father in law got a great looking 8 pointer over on his farm. First deer he had shot in a long time. He went old school with a 30/30 and a peep sight that belonged to his father. The nice modern bolt guns stayed in the cabinet.

I will go ML hunting, but probably wont shoot any more. I am still making sausage, and don't feel like butchering another deer.

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ChuckN

I have no answers this year. Throw everything out the window for this season. Worst ever in the northwoods. I don't chase deer around OT area, but I wish I would have. Reports were good for some, and bad for others like BLB. At least there's hope around here...

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island guy

Curious to hear opinions about the increase of permits a person can buy and how it affects local populations of deer. I've talked to many folks who each year have bought as many permits as they can and fill out as many as they can. I know there are areas that maybe need that amount of herd thinning but I wonder if it hurts some areas.

Kinda reminds me of a comparison to ice fishing. Let it out of the bag that a certain small lake or honey hole is producing and the next thing you know you have a army of people taking limits of fish resulting in a "dead" lake for a few years.

Infinite numbers of wildlife don't exist. Ottertail County is a different ecosystem than say, vast forests of Northern areas. I guess my question is: can a rural, farmland ecosystem such as ours handle a 10 day season with multiple permits available without harming the size of the herd at some point?

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Mark Christianson

I for one agree with your thoughts on our local hunting area. We have talked to a couple groups neighboring us since we became an Intensive Harvest area, and we all seem to wonder how we got to be that. I have hunted the same farm since I was 12 years old. This is year number 25 there for me. In all those years, I can honestly say that I have never personally seen a season where deer were like flies out there. Surely not like reports of other areas I hear about. Most tracts of land around us average 80 to 120 acres roughly. The DNR says there are 20 deer per square mile in areas, with up to 40 deer per square mile in spots around Park Rapids.

Lets assume we have 25 deer per square mile. A square mile is 640 acres. That means that if someone owns an 80, they have on average only 3 deer living on the property. Heck, we have a group that had 8 people on 40 acres next to us this year. Averages say that 1.5 deer live on 40 acres....

Sheesh. 8 guys on 40 acres. They can shoot 5 deer each. They could harvest 40 deer on that property with legal licenses.

Lots of assumptions, I know, but I often wonder if the generalization of "too many deer everywhere" is a bit too general.

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ccarlson

Only my second year hunting Ottertail County after growing up hunting zone 1 but here is what I saw.

Last year I was amazed at the number of deer I saw mid day. This year I hardly saw a deer mid day but saw a good number in the first and last 40 minutes of light each day. I'm sure the moon and clear skies had a lot to do with that this year. The first weekend, the bucks I saw were not chasing. Just wandering. I didn't see a lot of doe action and when I did, nothing was chasing them.

The second weekend we saw a lot more does and fewer bucks. Couldn't peg what status the rut was in either weekend.

Ended up getting a decent 8 pointer with a 16" spread on the first Saturday morning. Saw a monster 10 or 12 the second weekend and had a good bead on him as he ran in front of my stand through the woods. Wouldn't you know that tree was right there as I pulled the trigger! He had just winded my nephew who was bowhunting just down the ridge from my stand and was moving at a good clip.

When I retire (in 20 years crazy.gif) I will definitely be looking at a move over to your area. I really like it over there.

ccarlson

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Mark Christianson

Can I hunt with you??

We never saw a deer after Saturday morning(opening day). We hunted sun up to sun down Saturday. Most of the day Sunday.

Dad hunted 2 evenings during the week. 3 of us hunted second weekend.

We never saw a single deer after opening morning on our land. It was crazy. I had to have ticked off the deer gods for something, cuz I know there are deer. Or at least there were deer.. smirk.gif

PS - even though we have no deer I need to retire up there too. Hopefully in 20 years there isnt a retirement home on every 10 acres of land though. ooo.gif

Amazing how many new places are showing up out in the middle of Gods Country over the last few years......

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island guy

I too have a long history (20+ years) of hunting the same piece of property. I spend a lot of time in this woods scouting and hiking. I've lived in the same area for 54 years. In talking to neighbors and friends the past few years it would seem to appear we are experiencing a much smaller deer herd each year. Most in my area hunt acreage averaging 80-200 acres. I'm not a wildlife biologist but common sense tells me that if each of these areas take multiple deer each season, something has to give.

I've talked with multiple parties this year who stated they have seen fewer deer this year than they have in many years. This in spite of mild winters.

It's an interesting topic for sure.

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ChuckN

ccarlson,

Talking with Gissert Sunday evening he drove down a road in the vicinity of the property you hunt and he saw a big buck standing in front of a deer stand along a field...during the later afternoon and nobody was on the stand. crazy.gif

Thought I would share... grin.gifgrin.gif

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Mark Christianson

Whatta guy!

Now if you could just post directions to this said property, that would be great. grin.gif

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ChuckN

cc would hunt me down. lol blush.gif

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McGurk

Not to hijack, but to add. We hunted NW of Parkers Prairie on private land that we have hunted for 25 years, and had a relatively good 2nd weekend. 7/8 on 240 acres: 5 does, 1 male fawn, 1 LARGE buck. 4 years ago I remember seeing 17 deer on opening morning, and now have dropped some but still saw about 12 deer on the last 4 days w/ no food plots. Funny how since I started hunting 16 years ago we have moved from applying early for doe permits and picking 1 weekend to practically being begged to take 5 deer during 9 straight days. Good Luck Muzzleloading!

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ccarlson

Hey, leave my deer alone. I saved him for next year. Besides, after listening to you guys, it might be the only deer left in the county wink.gif

I do think the bright moon and clear skies had a lot to do with the deer getting done what they wanted to get done at night and then hiding and holding tight during the daylight.

ccarlson

One more thing: quit making fun of me for being the guy that has to head back to reality on a Sunday afternoon! I've been making fun of that guy my entire life. I can't help it that the Brainerd area has turned into St. Cloud or Maple Grove! Has it been 20 years yet?

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jerkin'm

Not good BLB....For us it was pretty good as far as seeing deer but no real monsters down. We all saw bucks hot on the trails of does the first weekend..Even while doing drives, they seemed oblivious to us. We shot one nice wide 8 the first weekend and another the second weekend. We did fairly well at holding off on the basket rackers this year with only two of them going down..(as compared to 8-10 normally)The amount of deer seen seemed a little down for us this year as well. We got rid of the goofballs that were hunting the property the second weekend for years so there is hope for some to survive and get big. Looking forward to ML season as I personally haven't whacked one yet..

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Gissert

cc -

That buck I saw was a real good one. Could not tell how big the rack was really, but the back and belly were sagging. I've seen one in that area a couple times this summer and fall and it was a beaut!

One issue that hast not been brought up has been the coyote issue. I hunt about 3 miles from you, and on opening Saturday morning I had coyotes running all over.

Sunday morning, they were singing all around the lake, and every local dog seemed to join in. 'Yotes, plus the full moon = odd deer movements.

I saw good numbers of deer, but a lot got shot too. I had two doe/fawn groups on the 50 acre piece I hunt this year, and one old single doe. I picked up 8 different bucks on my trail camera. One buck, and a doe and fawn were killed on the highway as well in the last few months in a 400 yard section.

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jerkin'm

Gissert sounds like we need to have a yote blast....Never done it before. Maybe ChuckieN could work a little yote fur collar onto some of his stylin' duds...We didn't see any sign of yotes, tons of red fox... Last year they were howling it up behind my grandparents place during rifle season.

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roosterslayer

yotes were cheering it up over the gut piles for us near staples this year. another month, with some snow and the yotes will be fun hunting till March!!

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CabinBoy

Well, for those of you who read the Battle Lake Review, I understand there is going to be quite a picture in there this week. It's a picture of a group of hunters that shot 11 bucks second weekend - supposedly off of the same 240 acres. This woods is connected to the 44 acres that I hunt in which I took 2 respectable 8 pointers off of. So that's 13 bucks in 280+ acres. Seems unrealistic but I guess it happened. Never saw a doe where I hunt and I hunted all 9 days. Not sure if that other group took any does or not. I'm looking forward to seeing the picture to see if any of the bucks they took are the ones I had on my trail cam. I never saw any of the bucks I had on film during the season.

What do you guys think - is it typical for 240 acres to hold 11+ bucks?

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B. Amish

typical, maybe not

but very possible, thats for sure

this time of year i really wonder how far some of these bucks will travel in 24 hours

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Mark Christianson

Geez!!!!!!!!!!

I don't even know what to say about that.

My guess would be that if its true, they probably all didnt call that 240 acres home all year. Certainly bucks move very long distances during the rut.

I'll be looking for that pic for sure. Wow.

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CabinBoy

Supposedly there are 2 BIG 10 pointers, but other than that I'm not sure what the "Other 9" are like. Their property does border the only 2 corn fields that are in the area - next nearest are a few miles away. Funny how those fields seemed to get picked after the first weekend of the season shocked.gif!

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Gissert

From what I saw on my trail cameras, it think it is quite possible.

I have my cameras on a 50 acre patch with two small food plots and mineral stations. Over the course of the summer and fall, I had six different bucks show up repeatedly on camera. Two others were more intermittent. One other one got shot on the propertey that I had not yet seen. That makes for 9 bucks transitioning a small parcel on a regular basis. Two doe/fawn groups used this area as a home base, and one solitary older doe without a fawn showed up at times.

This piece of ground has some fairly heavy cover, and has a ton of ag land in the vicinity. The bucks far outnumbered the does in this localized area this year.

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ccarlson

Gissert,

Like I said before, I am relatively new to hunting this area so I don't know what is normal with coyote numbers, but, we also had coyotes yipping all around us at night at very close range. My nephew saw two off his stand and didn't know if he should shoot the first time he saw one and the second time he saw one, he went to draw back his bow and the coyote spotted him and bolted. I know that the gut pile to my deer dissapeared pretty quickly. Not a drop left.

I plan to get over there and do some predator hunting this winter if it works out.

I'll be thinking about that buck you mentioned until next fall! I know the one I missed the second weekend had a huge neck and heavy body also. He stopped in just the wrong spot. All I could see was his breath against the sunrise between two trees. When he started moving again and came out from behind a clump of trees, it was at a run and I thought I had a good bead on him but I hit another tree just as he passed behind it.

ccarlson

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