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.

Deer Opinions


Recommended Posts

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?

Link to post
Share on other sites

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
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
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
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Official Fishing Report Team - MN
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
  • I Like it 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
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
  • Yayyyy 1
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
  • I Like it 1
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
  • I Like it 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
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
Link to post
Share on other sites

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
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
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
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...)

  • I Like it 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
eyeguy 54

post again when all firearms done, interesting info. 

  • Thumbs Up 1
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
Link to post
Share on other sites

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
  • I Like it 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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
Link to post
Share on other sites

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
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
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
Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

Brainworm climate change 

Link to post
Share on other sites
leech~~
3 hours ago, monstermoose78 said:

Brainworm climate change 

 

Wrong thread, your thinking Moose, moose. 😄

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78
20 minutes ago, leech~~ said:

 

Wrong thread, your thinking Moose, moose. 😄

O yeah I forget sometimes 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Blindsniper

In a lot of areas of the state, the delayed harvest played a major role in the smaller harvest.  The seasonal corn forests, that are generally removed by firearms season, were standing strong in many areas.  I saw 3 mature bucks early during bow season and was lucky enough to harvest one of them on opening day of firearms season.  My dad hunted another 29 trips out after that and never saw anything older than a 1 1/2 year old the rest of the season.  The only mature buck he saw all season, was the one I shot as it ran passed him and stopped in front of me.  2 days ago, I saw our winter deer herd.  21 does and fawns, 1 antlered buck.  Granted he was one of the mature bucks from earlier in the year, but 1 to 21.... yikes.  But that's what we have here.   

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Standing corn probably hampered things in specific areas.  Heck, there's STILL some out there and its almost January.  Having a 4 day youth season in certain areas 2 weeks before the rest of us can hunt doesn't help either.

 

Its possible that the early start on Nov 3 played a role.  Technically Nov 3 will be the earliest it can start so next season will be a late start on Nov 9.

  • Thumbs Up 1
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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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 :)

    • TrueNorth
      Global warming. 
    • JerkinLips
      The harbor in Tower is frozen over.  Pike Bay has a little skim ice along some shores.  Big Bay was 48F yesterday.  I am worried about my boat and unheated trailer in Soudan so I am heading up Wednesday and will report on lake conditions by Thursday.  Only have small electric heaters in the trailer so it will be cold until I get a new LP tank installed on Friday.
    • Troy Smutka
      This season got off to a slow start after my son got his first ever bird on his first youth opener. Parker's first shot at a duck or goose got him a ten pound Canada goose. Early regular season netted a few bluewing teal, wood ducks, and a mallard, but we weren't seeing as many birds in central MN as we usually do early in the season. With the cold fronts and even some snow lately, things have picked up with us decoying mallards, pintails, greenwing teal, shovelers, canvasbacks, ringnecks, redheads, and bluebills. Worried about an early freeze up with the current weather and forecasted weather, but we shall see. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.
    • SkunkedAgain
      That's good to hear now, it's this week of pretty much below-freezing weather that has me concerned for the shallow bay! Thanks for the reports everyone.   I saw an article about a dumb BWCA camper from Indiana who nearly froze. The rescuers had to bust ice to reach him during the rescue. This forecast looks bad if we get skim ice before 7 inches of snow on Thursday!
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  It's fall in Minnesota.  Dress warm and catch walleyes!  That is the theme with good fall fishing this past week.  The colder weather has walleyes snapping.  Most anglers anchored up and jigging with an emerald shiner.  Walleyes are relating to bait in anywhere from 15' - 23' of water.  Structure, areas of the lake adjacent rivers / streams and areas in front of bays holding good numbers of fish.  Pike continue to be active in bays and along shorelines.  Trolling crankbaits continues to catch anglers a mixed bag. On the Rainy River...   Some commenting this is one of the best runs of emerald shiners up the river in years.  The river is still low, current slow.  More and more walleyes are coming into the river each day.  Best depths anywhere from 7-24'.  Most anglers are jigging with live or frozen shiners.  Pink, glow and gold combo effective.  The fish are moving often, try different current seams, flats or holes until you find them.   When you find them, action can be fast.  Don't be afraid to pull crankbaits over flats where fish are spread out and you can cover water.  Four Mile Bay holding walleyes in 10-15'.  Sturgeon anglers focusing on deeper holes with current.  Nice smallmouth bass being caught by walleye anglers. Up at the NW Angle...  Until the US / Canada border opens, guests can travel across the lake staying and fishing in MN waters.  There are boat shuttle / passenger services available to the Angle.  Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for options.   A nice walleye bite this week up at the Angle.  Jig and a minnow on points and areas with current all good places to start in 13'-26'.  Gold, pink, and glow colors great choices.  Some big pike caught by walleye anglers jigging.  Pike and muskies in bays and off of rock points. 
    • CigarGuy
      Your neighbor Chad pulled his boat out Sunday. Down my way as of yesterday, things are wide open
    • JBMasterAngler
      What’s the status of small lakes in the arrowhead? I’m going to Grand Marais this weekend, and the forecast looks pretty miserable 😩 I have a feeling I’m going to be busting through ice to launch my boat. But is it at all possible that some of these little designated trout lakes could be locked up completely? 
    • Darrell Larson
      I live on the north side of Pike Bay was helping our lady friend down the road pull her dock out last night. To my surprise there were ice chunks floating in the dock area. You may be all right for next weekend for open water, but if this current trend keeps up, it won't be long after that. Tourists are gone, seasonal cabin owners are thinning, cabin lights across the bay at night are far and few. I will now begin my annual hibernation, seems like it's been going on forever with the covid virus and all. You all stay safe.  
    • DTro
      It's truly amazing how social media has transformed our lives.   Seems like not too long ago there was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or TikTok.    Where did you go for fishing information, research, brotherhood and fellowship?   You spent a lot of time at bait shops, reading magazines and newspapers, or you dialed up into a fishing discussion bulletin board on the world wide web.   I'm a geek who preferred the electronic version so I spent A LOT of time online reading everything I could on web forums and discussion boards.  I came to find a primary home here with Fishing Minnesota in roughly 2000.   I dove in and met a lot of great fishing and personal friends.  I was provided the opportunity to get involved with the marketing side of fishing and learned quite a bit about the business of fishing.   I've been saddened to see how participation in forums such as this and others I follow, have crashed with the growing popularity of other platforms.   What brings me here though today is to stop by and say hi to all my old fishing friends.  About 4 years ago I started a Catfish/Sturgeon guide service.  It has been growing steadily each year and one of the reoccurring themes I seem to experience is how many of my guests refer to Fishing Minnesota Dot Com and how they came to recognize me and my activity there from years ago.      For several years this site reigned supreme when it came to current fishing news and information and a place where everyone was here to help and became a brotherhood for many.  While there was always some political stuff tossed in, for the most part it was a place to forget about the world and focus on our favorite past time.    Oh how times have changed.....      I hope everyone is doing well and pushing through all the background noise in todays world.  What we are currently experiencing does not bode well for our mental health and I hope things change soon before we find ourselves in another 1863 Gettysburg.   I'll share a great experience I had the other night with a Mother/Daughter captured by Ben Garving (Award winning KARE11 photojournalist).   He really did a great job in capturing what happens when you forget about outside things for a while and spend time with family and just sit back and enjoy our great outdoors.   No matter your political views or your thoughts on our natural resources and how they are managed, this is something we can all come together and embrace.    Take care!   KARE11 Sturgeon Story Click Here
    • gimruis
      I have encountered this problem for years now.  I see all kinds of ducks on the city lakes I fish and then when duck season rolls around, they're STILL on the city lakes and there's virtually none to be found on the ponds I can hunt.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.