Jump to content
  • GUESTS

    If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.

  • Connect, BE BRAVE - We Share Fishing Reports & Outdoor Information Here

      "Post Your Thoughts" - Share a wee bit and Help, please...

      Because you want others to share great outdoor information with you!!!! Share what you 'love about your area'.

      EMOJI those posts you 'appreciate, please.'

      Have Fun!!!

ANYFISH2

Deer Opinions

Recommended Posts

ANYFISH2

Now that our firearms season is over, I have heard various comments of how our deer herd and overall season has gone.

 

My personal observations have been that I was slighted by the deer this year! Through bow season to date and firearms I have seen a total of 12 deer from stand this year. 4 antlerless deer and 8 bucks, none of which I would guess were older than 2 1/2 yrs old.  This has been one of the slowest years for deer sightings I can remember recently.

This development has been a suprise to me, as over the course of the spring and summer the deer in my travels seemed to be very visible and numerous.  I tend to believe that my stand sits were not indicative of the deer population.

 

A complaint I am again hearing, and am sure will continue, is that there are not enough mature bucks.   My goodness, this is getting old.  From what I have seen and read, if the hunters score and register thier deer Minnesota probably produced 5 different deer over 200" this year.  Morrison county has produced 4 deer that have green scored over 170" that I know of!  And have seen pics of numerous deer I would guess would score over 140".   This state produces 100's of trophy sized deer every year.  There will never be enough for everyone to get one!

 

Again wolves have been blamed for poor hunting again.  I had one on camera as well.  I am not one to blame poor hunts on them, so I won't.  Hopefully legislation is passed so the state can get control again.  

 

Hunter numbers seem to be decreasing noticeably since I started hunting.  Not a bad thing for me directly, however, may not be good for the future.

 

What have your observations been?

 

How has your season gone?

 

How is population in your opinion?

 

Anything need fixing in your opinion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MJ1657

I have never seen as many deer as I did this season. I had several sits that I had 6-9 deer around me at a time. 

 

We are currently doing our post season buck inventory and things are looking good. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • l Love It 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
monstermoose78

Where I hunt in the extreme eastern part of the arrowhead deer numbers show be low. My group of 7 guys hunted the whole season and saw 5 deer while hunting. A spike buck has been lucky as most have seen him and chose to let him walk. My dad took a 6 pointer that was chasing a doe. It’s not about killing a deer for me it’s about spending time with my family and it was a great year. 

 

The population is where it it should be in the arrowhead. I am excited to see a possible wolf season coming again up there as it’s fun to have a wolf tag in the pocket just in case one slips up and comes out by you. My season was great would I have liked to see a few deer yepbut it was the relaxing I needed and provided me the stress relief I needed.

 

Taking out wolves would help the moose population so that is my stance!!!

  • Thumbs Up 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IceHawk

Definitely would give the season a B. We were very fortunate in seeing a good number of deer. I sat a total of 4 sits during gun season and saw a total of 26 deer 6 bucks the rest does and fawns.  We went 4-5 with 3 nice bucks and doe being harvested. Would of easily filled the last tag but my brother is a trophy hunter and is very selective.  Me and my brother practice QDM and have put in a lot of food plots and minerall licks over the years and it has really paid off. . Its a lot of work but the rewards are worth it as I harvested 5 bucks in the last 5 years this year a  Nice 9 point . Looking forward to checking our trail cams soon to take note also  of our buck inventory. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eyeguy 54

My 4th year in southern MN. Seams to be normal deer running around where we have been hunting.  We went 3/5. 2 bucks and 1 doe.  

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wanderer

Area 172 started slow but stayed steady or improved a bit for our group.  I think there were 9 FA hunters and only 1 buck shot the first weekend.  Most everyone saw deer though and let em walk.  

 

Weekend 2 we picked up one more buck.  Deer were still seen but the woods went pretty quiet for shooting.  Mid week another tag was filled, leaving us with 6 to go into this weekend.

 

2 of the 6 were filled yesterday and 2 more filled today.  So, 7/9 didn’t seem too shabby.  6 bucks; 1 doe.

 

I’d say where we were, going to HC this year from permits last year might’ve been premature.  Maybe?  I do know there were hardly any hunters out this last weekend and the harvest was down like everywhere else going into it.  In my travels on public land, sign was poor.  On private it was pretty good.  But our best 4 deer came off public land.

  • Thumbs Up 3
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CANOPY SAM

This is always an interesting topic.

 

I absolutely love Whitetail Deer and Deer Hunting!  I read messages from all over the state and I'm often reminded just how fortunate we've been to live in a high density deer area (Northwest Minnesota).

 

In our particular zone, being primarily agricultural land, it's key to a hunter's success to be on, or very near the food during the regular firearms deer season.  In a "normal" year with reasonably normal early to mid-November weather, if you're on the food source you're covered up in deer.  If you're not, you can have some pretty quiet days in the stand.

 

Last year, and the year before, we had some standing beans on our deer lease.  All thru the bowhunting season, and well into the firearms season, it wasn't unusual at all for us to have 25-35 deer milling around any one of our multiple stand sites.  We had our choice from multiple 2 1/2 yr old bucks, spikes and forks galore, and of course does and fawns constantly making it hard to remain undetected.  There was always at least one real tanker somewhere on the State Land adjacent to our lease, but they usually go entirely nocturnal about 30 seconds after the firearms season starts.

 

This year, for a number of foolish reasons, we didn't have ANY food left on our lease anywhere!  Boy was that a mistake we'll never make again!  We still had a fair number of deer move thru our property, but for obvious reasons they were all headed somewhere else.  Personally, I passed on a couple forkhorns, and a couple mature does, but never did see anything I bothered to put the scope on.

 

My youngest son harvested his first deer ever - a nice 9-point "first" deer for a young hunter.  He's pictured in another thread.  That was the biggest animal any of us saw on our lease.

 

Opinions/observations.... As we are really fortunate compared to many I really can't complain about our deer hunting opportunities.  One of the things that worked against us this year was the weather.  Our weather patterns were like a bad roller coaster ride!  Super cold and windy one night, then really mild and dead calm the next.  Then another couple days of spitting snow, high winds, and frigid temps, only to return to mild and calm.  This made it hard to "pattern" any movement.

 

I'm pretty sure we're seeing an uptick in predator numbers in our area.  I watched fox from the deer stand.  I know there are coyotes in the area, and I saw very large canine tracks on our land, but I can't say for certain if they were a wolf's tracks, or if they were simply the neighbor's dog?  I did note there were noticeably fewer fawns around this year as compared to last year, and the year before.

 

Last winter was a long, tough one in NW MN.  It was VERY cold (double digit subzero temps) for a VERY long time (3-4 weeks straight?), and it just dragged on, and on, late into the spring.  I suspect we likely experienced more winter kill than many of us know.

 

My last observation.  I see this every year, and I sense it's just getting worse with each subsequent season.  There aren't very many people in our area that know how to successfully hunt whitetail deer.  This year I actually watched a neighbor drive INTO the woods, right to the base of his stand!  Mind you, there isn't any road there!  He just drove across the field to the edge of the treeline, then proceeded to drive right thru the trees and brush to his stand! 

 

Few people pay any heed at all to scent control.  They routinely make more noise than a demolition crew going into and out of their hunting areas.  And when the deer aren't up and moving, again for obvious reasons, most people jump into their vehicles and road hunt all day.  To take a trophy animal in our zone during the regular firearms deer season is almost nothing but LUCK.  It might just be me, but I believe the vast majority of our really big trophy bucks go 100% nocturnal within minutes of the firearms opener.  It's not really hard to see why.

 

But again, I can't complain.  We see lots of deer, and we have lots of opportunities to harvest animals.  I am spoiled by numbers of Whitetail Deer.  Is there such a thing as being too picky when deer hunting? 😄  It will be wonderful to hit the woods again this coming weekend with the muzzleloader.  There will be almost no one else around.  Our zone is a ghost town during the smokepole season.  It's AWESOME!!!!!   ALL the deer are MINE!!! 😆

  • Thumbs Up 2
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gimruis

Minnesota is one of very few states that still allows party hunting.  That rule needs to go.  If you were limited to one and ONLY one buck the entire season, regardless of what weapon or zone you hunted in, or who you hunted with, it would immediately increase the average size of bucks.  If a hunter was going to hunt for days, and he saw a spike or a fork on the first day, I think it would make them think twice about filling their tag right away knowing that they wouldn't be able to shoot another one and fill someone else's tag later on.

 

The House of Representatives recently passed a ruling on removing gray wolves from the endangered species list in the great lakes region.  That's a good first step.  Each state is capable of managing their own wolf population whether that is through a limited, lottery drawn season or whatever.

  • Thumbs Up 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
monstermoose78

In my deer hunting party you can’t shoot anyone else’s deer any more!! Unless you give them permission to harvest your deer and everyone agreed except one uncle and he is no longer allowed at deer camp! He is not happy but the deer camp is better without him.

  • Thumbs Up 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PRO-V

We prefer to each shoot our own deer also at our camp. We have high wolf numbers which makes it challenging. They can really thin down the herd.

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • l Love It 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wanderer
8 hours ago, gimruis said:

Minnesota is one of very few states that still allows party hunting.  That rule needs to go.  If you were limited to one and ONLY one buck the entire season, regardless of what weapon or zone you hunted in, or who you hunted with, it would immediately increase the average size of bucks.  If a hunter was going to hunt for days, and he saw a spike or a fork on the first day, I think it would make them think twice about filling their tag right away knowing that they wouldn't be able to shoot another one and fill someone else's tag later on.

 

I was happy my SIL was rewarded for his efforts in deer hunting this year, but I also kinda wish this buck would’ve escaped getting my daughters tag on it.  She saw it but couldn’t get a shot at it.  He hit it on the run.  Again, happy they got what they were after but this guy had a chance to be really something if he coulda made 1 more day.

 

B0635C0E-BB13-4D4B-A7AB-92B77344F075.jpeg

 

This particular buck was with the 9 pointer he got the week before.

 

We also had a spike that was party tagged on the one drive we did out of the same woods the day before.  

Edited by Wanderer
  • Thumbs Up 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
leech~~

210 is a great area. We use to hunt south of there and may be moving back next year. Now we hunt in 172 and there are Wolves to be sure. Oddly in our old area which we hunted for about 30 years there were Yotes up the ying yang you would hear them all the time mornings and evenings. Never really saw or heard a Wolf in that area in all those years oddly.  In 172 we see Wolf tracks all the time, had them on trail cams and had them walk right under on both sides of our Bow stands spread out 8 a breast all in a line.

Some years we never saw a Deer but had Wolf tracks on every road and trail in the area. Other years no Wolf tracks at all. This year during stand setup I had Wolf tracks right on my trail in. During the last 3 weeks of hunting I only saw Deer and their tracks. I think what is happening is that the Wolves are pushing the Deer around the forest.  As the Deer move into an area the Wolves follow them and then push them out again. So, by us it's kind of a make or break deal depending on where the Deer and Wolves are at the time.  I too see nothing wrong with party hunting. It's helped fill my freezer with meat a few years and I have been able to help fill some of my buddies freezer with Deer on others. 

Edited by leech~~
  • Thumbs Up 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DonkeyHodey

"How has your season gone?"   Not sure if ya'll have seen this--prelim firearm season totals:  This is from the DNR website:  https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/deer/management/deer-harvest.html

 

Of note:  Total deer (2018) 132,633.  Total bucks (2018)  71,763.   Total deer (2017) 146,537.  Total bucks (2017)  79,077.

This confirms the general opinion that harvest numbers are overall down/less than anticipated.  (down ~10% from last year...)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eyeguy 54

post again when all firearms done, interesting info. 

  • Thumbs Up 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wanderer

At the end of Opening weekend the overall statewide harvest was down roughly 15% from 2017 with all areas showing a reduction.  Results were counter to the expected and predicted increase.

 

So the latest stats show - 10% from 2017 which plays into the scenario the season got better as it went on.  Coincidentally this year started about as early as it legally can and maybe just a little before the peak of the rut, as our season is normally timed for.

 

Yes, the final numbers will be interesting to see.

  • Thumbs Up 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PRO-V

We hunt 108 and are overrun by wolves. You can count the number of deer tracks up there. Same thing to the west of us. Once they deplete the deer enough they either starve or move on. Problem is if they have a neighboring pack the fight is on and they have nowhere to go. So we go through these endless cycles between having deer or having wolves. Biologists have determined a wolf can eat 25 deer a year!

Edited by PRO-V
  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rayguy

Also hunt 108.   Have seen the success rate drop for the last few years.  Also the number of hunters has really dropped.  Fields in Oct.  we used to see 10-15 deer in now are more like 4-5. On opener my Nephew saw two timbers cross Hwy 217 in broad daylight. You can either have a healthy deer herd or a well fed wolf pack.  We hunt 5 miles W  of Ray.

  • Thumbs Up 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Double D

Southern Cass County was pretty good, our party of 6 all saw lots of does and fawns, took 3 good bucks and decided to take 2 does at the end for a little herd control.  Earlier in the fall we routinely saw groups of 30+ deer feeding together.  I think the hunter pressure has gone down during gun season, but I believe the local neighbors said they bow hunt only.

 

I agree with an earlier post about guys not putting effort into the hunts, some guy passing by complained he didn't see any deer by 9:00 opening day, so he said there were no deer and he quit for the day.  Well...….

 

DD 

  • Thumbs Up 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DoubleLiver

Imdont hunt mn.   MO and KS populations are good.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DonkeyHodey

I know we're heavy into hard water season now; however, if anyone hasn't moved on yet from deer hunting, here is the updated #'s for the year from the mn DNR website:

 

Zone                                2018 #'s          2017 #'s  (% change from last year)

 

100                                   54,317          62,149        -12.6%

200                                 106,794         110,281        -3.2%

300 & 603                         18,919         17,831           6.1%

601 & special hunts          4,933            4,853            1.6%

Total                                184,963        195,114         -5.2%

 

Bucks (all zones)                93,531      100.455          -6.9%

 

Considering the more tag #'s offered this year in numerous areas (and the DNR stated goal of 200,000 deer harvest) to be down >5% total is interesting...

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ANYFISH2

Interesting indeed.

 

It sure seemed like I had watched  lot of deer over summer, then they disappeared in the fall.  Hopefully just a wierd year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
leech~~

Wolves and the large increase of CWD took them out!  😉

  • Thumbs Up 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
monstermoose78

Brainworm climate change 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wanderer

The neighbors got em!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • leech~~
      They keep using fish lbs per acre, instead of lbs per person!  Why is the lbs per acre higher on the 48,000 acres of the State waters. Because there are 1.4 million licensed MN anglers that can fish it.  Compared to the 240,800 acres of the Bands waters that only 5,873 people can fish. We know that the 1.4 million people are fishing because they bought a license to fish. There is no way all 5,873 band members actually fish because a portion of that population are babies, kids to small to fish and old folks not fishing anymore.   If "Pounds per person" for all would be used. The numbers per person is astronomically disproportionate!  That's why they will never use them as a comparison. Never! 😐
    • Horseshoe_Don
      Checked the ice this morning.    Went out the farthest I have so far, about 100 yards and found very little slush.   Snow was about 6" deep.    The ice was 4 to 5" and the water comes out 1" when you drill the hole.    This is plenty of ice to safely to walk to my walleye spot so I will fish for the first time Saturday afternoon.      Beware these condition only apply to some of the older ice and as always check for yourself before proceeding.    The winter access on shoe is unsafe and will be for some time due to it being open just a few days ago.   And never use the summer access EVER!   unless you like swimming in the winter.   Don
    • Bigfatbert
      leech , I see that you posted a confused face with my above post. I can explain to you and others about this post ,and agree it is/was probably confusing to read .That post was posted in regards to a post that I posted earlier in the day that was deleted by the higher power here on this forum, in which I find odd and completely unwarranted ... I’m assuming this was due to my mentioning of “Shadow Hunter Blinds” in my post about enclosed deer hunting stands . I believe the mentioning of and promotion of brand name items on this forum is a no-no .  I do realize the topic here is for deer hunting pictures and I was off topic with my subject matter of hunting blinds and for that I apologize, and while a few other posts above by others also strayed off topic with there talk and pictures about different types of blinds that they use and there thoughts on the comforts , reasons , pros and cons of the use , and different building ideas, so I just kind of followed suit with my post referring to the type of blind that I use , and very much enjoy hunting from , and the comforts of doing such from it just as others had chimed in with their posts about their time spent while using a enclosed box blind. My intention was to not promote Shadow Hunter products  whatsoever , but was to just say it as it is with my personal use and thoughts of a totally enclosed box blind . Ironic that some of my partial post on this matter were quoted by others that contained another brand name item , that being “mr heater” was allowed to remain on their post , maybe it just slipped by the higher gods here , I don’t know !!  Now with all this being said I must say I believe I have read about other “brand name” items like Yamaha , Evinrude , Honda   , Lund , Cresliner , Vexilar , Marcum , Lindy , Northland Tackle , Otter , Eskimo , (you get the picture) , for talk and the promotion of these items by many other people here on this forum and the higher power let those posts remain , hmmmm !!!!  So with all this being said I guess I must now say that this is not a slam by me directed to the moderator or whomever took it upon themselves to delete my original post because that also would be a no-no according to the laws of the land here on this forum , just some thoughts and statements by me referring to this post here , no harm done . Have a nice day all !
    • bowhuntingboy1
      That's a pretty misleading statistic though, as leech pointed out. 
    • Kettle
      I respect your concern fowlski, it was released without issues and zero revival was needed on the release. 
    • Bryan P
      @Rick Thanks Rick. 
    • Bryan P
      @Hoey Thank you. I appreciate the comment. I enjoy my fishing videos with just fishing and none of that extra BS. Underwater camera adds a nice touch too. And yes there was perch snakes for days down there for the biggins. 
    • kelly-p
      Walleyes in the Red Lakes begin spawning at 17 inches.  It would be pretty senseless to try managing the Red Lakes for larger fish. The present forage base does not provide the right food for the larger walleyes. As a result of that the larger walleyes die off at about 8 years of age. Right now the 2011 year class which was a big year class is dropping off.  This might change in the future as right now the forage base is in the best shape it has been since the recovery started but the bigger walleyes need a pretty rich food such as whitefish or tullibee and we are not seeing much of an increase for those fish.   Mesh size changes the size fish targeted. Also in the Red Lakes the larger walleyes are shallower and smaller walleyes deeper so the net placement will change the size fish caught. Look at the fishing reports right now with everybody complaining about too many fish too big for the slot. They forget that with the ice conditions everybody is fishing shallow. Nobody is fishing out in the basin where the smaller walleyes are. The supplemental netting only starts when the hook and line fishermen are not catching enough to keep the fisheries supplied and is 50% or less of total harvest. Hook and line fishermen have slot limits. The fisheries does not want the bigger walleyes. The supplemental netting started in 2009. If it was that bad as some believe shouldn't we be seeing results by now in harvest numbers dropping? Instead we are seeing rapid increases in harvest numbers and the lake is in the best shape it has been in since the 1960's.   State waters 6.24 pounds of walleyes harvested per acre. Bands waters 1.84 pounds of walleyes harvested per acre. With that I'm out of here. I've got better things to do then this.
    • leech~~
      The RL Band has 5,873 members.  Their Walleye quota for 2019 is 820,000 lbs or 139 lbs per member. So far they caught around 443,148 or only 75lbs per member.  Their catch limit is 75 fish a day. Anyone you know have kids or them that eat 75+lbs of Walleye a year?  But, it is their right to sustain life! 🙄 Here's the real reason they all need to eat so many fish.   Walleye 11lb – Morning Catch $175.89 – $186.89 It’s what Red Lake Fishery is famous for. Walleye is craved as one of the best-tasting fish available. They are prized for their rich, tender, flaky character. This is healthy eating too! Walleye is low in saturated fat with significant amounts of magnesium, potassium and Vitamin B12. Our Morning Catch Walleye is Wild-caught, hand-filleted and shipped to you the same day. You can’t get fresher, healthier fish anywhere.    
    • FowlSki
      That pike probably released about as good as those fish you witnessed the dnr gill net after doing a vertical on a fish that big.
×
×
  • Create New...