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Shoot2Kill

Where are the deer in this state!

34 posts in this topic

Hello all - I've got some questions, this might end up being just a rant, but I figured somebody on here can offer some insight. I live south of St. Augusta (south of St. Cloud) - just moved there this past summer. I am not a rookie when it comes to bowhunting and just want to say that this deer season has been exremely frustrating to say the least because of the severe lack of deer around my area. I have bowhunted 23 days since the bowhunting opener (parts of 23 days) all on private land and I have seen TWELVE deer total the entire season on over 800 acres!!! 2 small bucks, the rest does and fawns. It just dumbfounds me that there are not more deer around here. I just spent 18 hours in a treestand with the shotgun this past weekend and I did not see a SINGLE deer. I know there are a lot of yotes around, but are they 10 times worse than I think and they've slowly destroyed the population within 20 miles of my house? I put on over 500 miles on my truck in August with the spotlight trying to locate something of some quality to chase this fall and came up completely empty. In one month of driving around at night I saw a total of about 30 deer. I rarely see them at night on the roads, there are very few road kills, and I drive 60 miles a day down Hwy 15 to work from my house (round trip) and I rarely ever see them in the fields in the AM or PM.

Every field around is chisel plowed...is this normal for MN? I'm originally from IA where this is not the norm. There's no food for these deer around here in the fall! Everything is plowed under! Am I missing something or do others feel the same way? Heck, I'd be happy just to see a decent buck (NOT A BASKET RACK), let alone harvest one. So many people I talk to in MN shoot anything they see, bucks just don't get the chance to get big.

Sorry, I'm just frustrated. Anybody have any insight? This year was an experiment. Next year it looks like I'll be putting in some drive time to get to a new part of the state to bowhunt cause south of St. Cloud it's just a waste of time...IMO. Anybody have anything they can add? Thanks for listening.

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Shoot2kill,

I feel your pain. Have you talked to the people around the area to see if there land is over run with deer or is it just as bad as yours? It could be that somebody elses land could just be more "favorable" ie. corn, apples, bird feeders etc. Just some ideas here but have you had other hunters with you make a drive or put out cameras? That might be of some help to see what could the reason for lack of deer.

Meat-Run

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Thanks for the response man. I have talked to many of my neighbors and they all say the same thing - too many yotes killing all the fawns every spring in the past 5 years. I know they can't kill them all (or can they?). Nobody around me has an actual population on their ground to speak of. One set of neighbors quit deer hunting in MN all together because of the lack of deer sightings. You know how in an area with a decent population you can see them at dawn and dusk on the field edges? It just doesn't happen here for some reason and it just blows my mind.

I haven't run trail cams, but I will be this coming spring/summer/and fall to try and convince myself that it might still be worth it.

It seems like I should give up deer hunting for a few years and take up shooting yotes, but one guy that has to work a normal job with a family can't make a huge dent in a yote population.

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s2k,

If I lived closer to you and had time (no time family man too) I would be down their taking out the yotes for you. But you would be very surprised on how many you can call in with a rabbit call or eletric call in the middle of winter on a full moon it just might be your only option. OR invite some local FM'rs to come and help out with your yote problem. I think there is some guys on here that would drive several miles to help our with your situation. There is many yote haters around you just need to put up an invite.

good luck,

mr grin.gif

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That's an awesome idea. I think in Jan/Feb I will host a yote shoot. I'm sure none of the landowners would have a problem with that at all. I'd love to shoot a couple dozen of them worthless things for a few weekends in a row!!

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I can't say I am a die-hard coyote hunter but have chased a few. But I have not come across any land owner or farmer who wouldn't let you on his land to take those pesky coyotes. Good luck.

mr

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The deer are around. I've had more close calls in the past 2 weeks with my car and truck south of St. Cloud than my heart can take. My wife hit one last week with her car. I've seen does, fawns, basket racks and bruiser bucks. Most have been seen after dark. Look south of St Augusta near fairhaven. They are there using the fields after dark in large numbers. They gotta be somewhere during the day.

With the full moon, warm temps and the rut a lot of the action is happening after dark. Things should be picking up this next week or two.

Now the coyotes. Yes there are a lot of them around the area. I've had them howling on the edge of our developement. Definitely shoot a few. My neighbor hunts them all winter. Gaining access is rarely an issue when you're chasing yotes.

Good Luck!

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The better half had a buck run right into the side of the trailblazer last night on the way home from town. She was not even 1/2 mile out of City limits when he got her. Rack bounced and scratched down the paint, but no other major damage. The deer are around.

I really think the weather patterns and what seems to be a much longer but far less active than normal rut are what has affected some peoples hunting this year.

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You sound like me, bowhunting, rifle hunting, all of it being a waste of time! (other than I love to do it) I'am almost to the point of selling the land I own and moving to Wisconsin!At least then I'd have a decent football team, and better fish and game rules! mad.gif

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Quote:


I'am almost to the point of selling the land I own and moving to Wisconsin!At least then I'd have a decent football team, and better fish and game rules!
mad.gif


Well you've obviously not talked to many of the deer hunters in WI the past 3 years. I've never seen hunters so upset with their state game management agency. It was and still is pretty ugly in some areas.

Now for the football statement. Well..... I guess I'll keep those thoughts to myself. wink.gif

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Don't get discouraged there bud, what I'd do is go out on the property you hunt a day or so after a fresh snow - tracks don't lie...I've been in a situation many times before where I'd swear there wasn't squat for deer around, then it snows and you see the tracks they make(most at night during season) and you get a good wake up call.

Quote:

Well you've obviously not talked to many of the deer hunters in WI the past 3 years. I've never seen hunters so upset with their state game management agency


I'm kinda surprised, I have no major gripes with the WI DNR and don't know many other cheeseheads who do. Am assuming you are referring to the EAB situation, and I'm all for it...but they need to make some minor adjustments. Later.

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I too have seen a lack of deer in my prime spots. (wright county) I believe the rut is later and the past full moon and mild temps makes them move at night. Hoping muzzleloader season is better.

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I hunt south of Waite Park and have noticed the deer population to be somewhat cyclical....some years you see a lot, so years not. I believe it's all about location - being in the right place at the right time. As far as yotes go (i'm sure i'll get burned for this) I really don't think they effect the deer population that much, they're not wolves. The yotes are more likely to bring down the turkey population than the deer population. If they're such fawn killers, I don't understand why I've seen more fawns the last few years than ever before.

-WV

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Most of the uproar was that hunters really felt the WI DNR was over reporting the deer populations in several areas of the state. The EAB wasn't very popular with a lot of folks either.

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Quote:

Most of the uproar was that hunters really felt the WI DNR was over reporting the deer populations in several areas of the state. The EAB wasn't very popular with a lot of folks either.


I always find it humorous that people are up in arms in WI regarding 'low deer numbers', yet every year WI hunters manage to kill more whitetails than any other state in the nation. For a state that's only 75% the size of Minnesota yet kills over twice the number of deer we do speaks to very high (not low) deer populations.

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I thought the same thing with the snow that we had for 2 days.I covered 150 acres and I was surprised to find maybe 10 sets of deer tracks throughout this property! Talk about a bummer! Most of those, if not all were from the nightime movement.

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To all - thanks for the words. It's just frustrating. I just moved to MN from Alaska (land of the best hunting anywhere, and was in Iowa chasing monster bucks before that - see why I'm frustrated?) and now moving here I'm just shocked at the lack of sightings.

I've been around Fairhaven and have permssion to about 240 acres there and I can't for the life of me even locate a track on this piece of ground.

Do you guys really think the rut is late this year? It's going full throttle down in Iowa right now...how can it be later up here??

I will be holding a FM coyote shoot this winter if anyone in the area is interested...I've not hunted them too much, so anyone with some wisdom, feel free to keep the invitation open anytime in Jan/Feb.

I wish it would snow - right now - and stay for the year.

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Quote:

The deer are around. I've had more close calls in the past 2 weeks with my car and truck south of St. Cloud than my heart can take. My wife hit one last week with her car. I've seen does, fawns, basket racks and bruiser bucks. Most have been seen after dark. Look south of St Augusta near fairhaven. They are there using the fields after dark in large numbers. They gotta be somewhere during the day.

With the full moon, warm temps and the rut a lot of the action is happening after dark. Things should be picking up this next week or two.

Now the coyotes. Yes there are a lot of them around the area. I've had them howling on the edge of our developement. Definitely shoot a few. My neighbor hunts them all winter. Gaining access is rarely an issue when you're chasing yotes.

Good Luck!


Borch, want to hook up and show me where you're seeing these deer around Fairhaven? grin.gif I'd be happy to just see more than 2 in one place at a time. Are there fields around Fairhaven that aren't chisel plowed that I haven't found? Everything seems to be plowed under from what I've seen. If there is an actual food source around I'd love to find it!

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I wouldn't blame the coyotes just yet. There's been studies done on how they affect deer populations and most I've read have concluded that they don't have a substantial impact in most areas. True, there are some where they do. But weather and a variety of other factors come into play. Do a search on the web for this subeject. Just type in some related words like coyotes, affect, deer and population into Google or some other search engine and I'd bet you'll get a lot of good information.

Believe me, my deer sightings were limited compared to what I saw last year. But I know just as many are or were out there from my trail cams and recent sightings at night this week. I saw a dozen of them standing in a field right near my hunting area one night the same day I saw absolutely nothing. They know they're being hunted right now, which is why I've set up the trail cams again and backing off until around Thanksgiving with the bow. If we get some snow, it would be really helpful too to see if they're switching travel routes. They do, ever so slightly in my area every winter to minimize the effort involved with moving from bed to food.

Don't get too discouraged and good luck. I'd like to try coyote hunting this year, with my bow from a treestand. I think that would be a blast but not sure what the success rate would be!!!

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Quote:


Quote:


The deer are around. I've had more close calls in the past 2 weeks with my car and truck south of St. Cloud than my heart can take. My wife hit one last week with her car. I've seen does, fawns, basket racks and bruiser bucks. Most have been seen after dark. Look south of St Augusta near fairhaven. They are there using the fields after dark in large numbers. They gotta be somewhere during the day.

With the full moon, warm temps and the rut a lot of the action is happening after dark. Things should be picking up this next week or two.

Now the coyotes. Yes there are a lot of them around the area. I've had them howling on the edge of our developement. Definitely shoot a few. My neighbor hunts them all winter. Gaining access is rarely an issue when you're chasing yotes.

Good Luck!


Borch, want to hook up and show me where you're seeing these deer around Fairhaven? grin.gif I'd be happy to just see more than 2 in one place at a time. Are there fields around Fairhaven that aren't chisel plowed that I haven't found? Everything seems to be plowed under from what I've seen. If there is an actual food source around I'd love to find it!


There a few fields that haven't been turned over. Look to alphalfa, winter wheat and acorns. Hey I don't mind telling you where I've been seeing them. I don't deer hunt down here anyways. wink.gif Just be warned that most of the observed movement is happening at night.

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The insurance companies hated paying deer collision claims so they paid off the DNR to raise quotas. smirk.gif

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AHA!!!!!!!!

I knew it! mad.gifgrin.gif

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Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The deer are around. I've had more close calls in the past 2 weeks with my car and truck south of St. Cloud than my heart can take. My wife hit one last week with her car. I've seen does, fawns, basket racks and bruiser bucks. Most have been seen after dark. Look south of St Augusta near fairhaven. They are there using the fields after dark in large numbers. They gotta be somewhere during the day.

With the full moon, warm temps and the rut a lot of the action is happening after dark. Things should be picking up this next week or two.

Now the coyotes. Yes there are a lot of them around the area. I've had them howling on the edge of our developement. Definitely shoot a few. My neighbor hunts them all winter. Gaining access is rarely an issue when you're chasing yotes.

Good Luck!


Borch, want to hook up and show me where you're seeing these deer around Fairhaven? grin.gif I'd be happy to just see more than 2 in one place at a time. Are there fields around Fairhaven that aren't chisel plowed that I haven't found? Everything seems to be plowed under from what I've seen. If there is an actual food source around I'd love to find it!


There a few fields that haven't been turned over. Look to alphalfa, winter wheat and acorns. Hey I don't mind telling you where I've been seeing them. I don't deer hunt down here anyways. wink.gif Just be warned that most of the observed movement is happening at night.


Borch, I'll gladly take you up on your offer. Do you live in Fairhaven?

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Naw I'm over by Luxenburg.

I'm heading up north for one more weekend of deer hunting. I might be available after Thanksgiving.

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Quote:

The insurance companies hated paying deer collision claims so they paid off the DNR to raise quotas.
smirk.gif


Where on earth did you hear that? Sorry to be the spoiler here but the insurance companies have absolutely no influence on Minnesota's deer program. You could easily argue that the auto body industry pays DNR to keep populations high. However, both would be incorrect assertions.

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