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grizzald

Deer Numbers

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grizzald

Another year of slug hunting has gone by and yet another year of not being checked by a DNR, or seeing a DNR for that matter. This was my tenth year of hunting and I'm starting to wonder whats going on. I wouldnt mind being checked or even see a DNR driving around. Also, there are a lot of other threads on here saying that people had real poor hunting because the deer numbers are low. I'm in the same boat. Real, REAL poor hunting this year. Not to rip on the DNR, but maybe they should start taking more counts on deer rather than taking counts on the different type of turtles, and tearing down groves and tree lines for prairie chicken habitat

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Knute78

Grizz-

The DNR is made up of many different divisions. Conservation(COs), Wildlife Game (deer, turkey, grouse, etc...) Wildlife non-game (turtles, moles, mice, wolves and other rare non-game animals etc...), Trails and Waterways, Parks, Forestry etc... and the list goes on.

Saying that the DNR should take more counts of one species of animal you find in higher esteem than another animal is only your opinion, I am sure there are others out there who feel just the opposite.

Traditionally the western part of the state had very few trees and prairie chicken flourished because of the native prairies that were once there. Now because of those trees and groves in many areas the chickens populations are dwindling. Dothe chickens not have the same "rights" as the deer to be there?

I work in SE MN and cut cedars off of bluffs with contract from the DNR, I supposed you can cry bias on my behalf, but I do it to restore traditional bluff prairies that were present 50-70 yrs ago. This work is done mainly to improve rattlesnake habitat. I bet you think that this is a waste of tax dollars, but who is to say that snake habitat or prairie chicken habitat is less important than whitetail habitat.

Deer numbers are very high in most areas around the state and can vary greatly due to aging habitat, habitat destruction/construction, farming practices (crop rotations), developments, hunting preassure, scouting etc... just because you are not seeing those deer does not mean they are not there. That also goes for the COs. They are around but they do not want to bother individuals hunting as much as most individuals do not want to be bothered by them. So many times they just sit back, wait and watch.

I am an avid whitetail hunter and each year I do my scouting and homework, not that you don't. Some years are better than others. I put in the time to make sure I am sucessful at least seeing deer when I am bow-hunting and shotgun hunting. I don't just go up any tree I see, I find the perfect tree. It is all part of the game sometimes you win sometimes you lose. Not everyone has the time to scout etc... but at least realize hunting isn't a garunteed thing other wise it would be called killing.

I am not here to defend the DNR but I do believe they are doing a great job with the resources in the state.

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Mark Christianson

You are upset that you didnt get checked by the DNR???

We have nearly half a million people deer hunting in MN and less than 200 conservation officers statewide. (I am pulling that number out of a hat. I could be off by a few)

I guess I dont even begin to understand the point of this statement.

As far as lack of deer in your area, I remember last year it was an issue with you too. Out of curiosity, what permit area are you hunting in? It would be interesting to see what past harvest levels have been I guess.

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harvey lee

I may be wrong but I believe that there is on average one CO per county.With all the complaint issues they have there is probably not much time to check alot of hunters.In 40 years of hunting and fishing I may have been checked 10 times,maybe.

They are busy guys.I have no problem with the DNR in regards to deer populations as 25 years ago it was really something to even see a deer in the southern 30% of the state.

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lcornice

Quote:

You are upset that you didnt get checked by the DNR???

We have nearly half a million people deer hunting in MN and less than 200 conservation officers statewide. (I am pulling that number out of a hat. I could be off by a few)


Good hat! Number of hunters is right on, number of CO's is 170. Actually, there was a pretty good DNR presence around Appleton this year. They were working registration stations all around the area during 4A/4B sampling deer for chronic wasting disease. I believe around 400 samples were taken from 6-8 registration stations.

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Deitz Dittrich

I may be alone here.. but I take my hat off to the DNR. I think they do a pretty darn good job here in MN. We have some of the best fishing in the world in my opinion, and the deer herd seems to be healthy.

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harvey lee

Ditto Dietz. smile.gifI wouldnt want to think what it would be like without them.

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96trigger

I agree Deitz, some people might forget that it wasn't long ago when seeing a whitetail was a BIG deal. There was a time when we used to have to apply for doe permits. If you don't think the deer population is on the rise. Ask the insurance companies about the increase in accident claims due to auto/deer collisions.

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lawdog

I wish they could afford a lot more CO's for enforcement, but otherwise I don't have any major gripes about the DNR's hunting and fishing programs, I think they do a fine job. Some of their other areas of work leave some things to be desired, but as far as hunting/fishing stuff, I'd say good job!

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ddp

That is why they call it Hunting... I guess I am confused on the posting.

I hunt in a party of 5 in the superior nat'l forest and haven't seen a CO in 10 years. We manage to at least get a deer out of the deal. I personally think it's about the experience and if I get a deer, it's a bonus. Amen for Zone 1. Another excuse to get out of town this weekend. Hopefully the deer will be moving.

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McGurk

It's not really "they" can't afford more CO's, It's "WE" can't afford more CO's with the budget they are working with. I'm happy to pay the existing license fees and donate more for the conservation plates, and would gladly pay up more to keep the programs going and add more where needed. There are signs of their hard work everywhere. I'm not pro-tax, but definately pro-fee for good services and results.

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harvey lee

Well said McGurk. smile.gif

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eagle_3464

I believe the MN DNR does an outstanding job with the resources they have to work with. There just aren't enough funds available to solve every issue 100%. I would say that most areas of the state have a higher than average deer herd. I don't know how much truth is in it but I have heard that the insurance companies put pressure on the DNR to reduce the deer herd in those areas of high collision rates. I was a victim just this morning on my way into work.

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doubleUcubed

Saw the CO both weekends SE of Willmar. He was very busy stopping/checking hunters and also wrote several warnings/tickets for burning violations (garbage,etc.) around the lakes.

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Black_Bay

Hey Deitz does the C.O. still live down the road from you?

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BobT

That's a good point, McGurk. License fees are not really a tax by definition. They are user fees so those that don't want to pay, don't participate in the activity.

Taxes on the other hand we pay whether we use the funds or not.

Bob

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Deitz Dittrich

Yes the CO from Chisago CO is one of my neighbors.

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Stratosman

We have been checked every year for the last 5 years or more....

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Gforce

I agree on how the dnr works with deer. they dont do the best job. we had pretty poor hunting this year to. They could be doin a lot more than they are.

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Knute78

Yeah it would sure be nice if the DNR could garuntee everyone in your individual parties could shoot a deer but they can't. I know, maybe they should start raising deer in pens and then release them in your areas just before the season opens.

Come on, what is the DNR suppose to do? They cannot improve habitat in every region of the state specifically for deer. Traditionally deer didn't even roam much of this state. Deer population started to flourish, as they are now, when farming and timber harvest started taking hold in this state and created more food and brows in the NE and around the state.

The deer population in the NE is actually what is hurting the moose population in MN, and that may be why that is only a once in a lifetime hunt.

The DNR is doing a fine job. I am sorry you had such a bad hunt this year.

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icehole10

Just wondering if any of you happen to catch the article in the sunday forum about the 96 year old deer hunter from the galesburg area I believe. He had some good advice for everone that hunts. It's not always about killing a deer.

I know for me it's about teaching my kids about the outdoors and right from wrong. If I get a dear great if I don't great. It could probably be alot worse than what it is. One good winter like 97' and we'll all be scrathing are heads.

I think the dnr does what the can to control the population and I'm guessing that just like everything else the deer population goes in cycles.

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BigTen

Guys,

I hunt very near to Grizz, and I think his point is that all we hear from the powers that be is how the deer herd is in such great shape, but in reality if you were to ask any farmer in our general area (say maybe 20 mile radius) they would tell you the deer numbers are as low as they've ever seen them since when seeing a deer was a "big deal". Its not the end of the world, its just the way it is right now. Nature seems to have its way of evening out over time. I think one issue some people like grizz and myself have is that now that the herd is in rough shape, everyone goes out and buys the all season license and gets 3 tags. I don't blame people for buying them, if they're offered. It's just frustrating to a certain extent to know that there are very few deer right now in that area, yet we are in the midst of a period of about 6 weekends where there are orange coats everywhere, and some of those will not be happy until they shoot every buck, doe and fawn they see.

No big deal, I've just decided to trust in nature that things will improve, although everyone having 3 tags as opposed to one is not a good sign for this particular situation. Just wish there was a way they could better identify problem areas and deal with them accordingly. That is unrealistic though because of the sheer size of the state and the vast range of scenarios you can find in MN.

I enjoy deer hunting, but it isn't the most important thing to me, I'm just trying to bring some light to grizzald's viewpoint. Later.

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McGurk

The DNR site has pretty extensive records over recent years of tags purchased and deer harvested. The overall picture is that recent winters have been mild, and there are deer for people to hunt. It's too bad that most people have 2-4 days out of 365 to get their fill of such an awesome experience, and that small window can be a real disappointment if hunting is poor after such a great buildup.

I think the timing of the rut, the moon's phases, and the mild season were limiting factors in the number of deer seen during shooting hours for most peoples' hunts this year. To instantly blame the DNR is pretty rash, in my opinion. Last I checked, they had no influence on the 3 factors I mentioned. If they did, do you think a permit would only be $27.00? Talk about technology!

In addition, did we have a free, public forum like this to get this amount of reporting from across the state in years past? I had a good year, and didn't feel the need to create a new post about how I saw and harvested deer. I have to think others who saw and harvested are happy to just read and not brag, so the complaints are going to stand out.

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BigTen

Agreed that the overall herd may be in good shape. An example would be how I was just talking with a friend the other day who hunts in the Brainerd area and he said there's deer everywhere, literally.

As far as those factors you listed leading us to believe there's no deer, I'm sorry, but when people combine 2-3000 acres of corn and see 10-15 deer total, that's not good. If anyone knows whats around its farmers. they are there every day and they have years of past experiences to use as a benchmark. There just isn't many deer there right now, no biggie. Hopefully some day they'll rebound.

Don't take it that I'm complaining either. Heck I didn't even buy a license this year because I didn't see the point. I'm not going to shoot a doe when there's no does and fawns to start with, we need every one of them in my opinion. Screw QDM, we need deer first. And I didn't really see the point in shooting a basket rack either so I just didn't hunt. Once again, no biggie.

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Swill

The MN DNR has done a horrible job in MN. Yeah they are nice guys who may be our neighbors, but if you compare MN Quality Deer Management to WI, Iowa, IL or Kansas, we don't match up.

The MN DNR has pushed the task of quality deer management management on the shoulders of private land owners. It is up the the private land owner to talk to their neighbors about passing on immature bucks, it is up the the private land owner to plant a food plot or harvest timber stands of monoculture trees to improve forest diversity...

And CO officers? They have nothing to do with QDM, and I agree we need more CO officers in the field. I hunt public land and there is too many selfish hunters out there staking out there own piece of public land for the whole deer season.

Check out some other state links to see why mature bucks are being harvested in their states and we are stuck being happy with 4 pointers....

WI DNR link

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/wildlife/HUNT/DEER/maps.htm

Iowa DNR

http://www.iowadnr.com/wildlife/files/drindex.html

IL DNR

http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/index.htm#deer

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