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mncarphntr

Deer population survey

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mncarphntr

Are deer numbers in your area :about right, too high or too low? Your input will be used to help the DNR set population goals for deer numbers. I'm primarily interested in west central MN but respond from where you are. Please give your deer management area i.e. 253, 420, etc... This is your chance to be heard.

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luckey

mncarphntr,

Just curious how entries here will help the DNR determine deer densities?

I know a change would be very difficult and labor intensive, but I think some management areas should be made smaller. I hunt in management area 221. This area ranges from generally unpopulated woods/swamp to open farm land to towns. The deer population varies greatly from one place to another. For example the western boundary runs from St. Cloud to Fort Ripley and the eastern boarder runs from Becker to north of Lastrup (about half way between Onamia and Fort Ripley. Deer populations range from near zero to very high depending on where you are in the area. This becomes an issue when bag limits are increased throughout a large area even though some places may currently have a very low deer density. That said, where I hunt in 221 has plenty deer.

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UMDSportsman

At home i hunt in zone 222, don't know exactly how big 222 is, but it is between foley and princeton where i hunt. This year in the rifle season we killed an ungodly amount of deer for our party. We killed 21 i think maybe a couple more, for a party of 18. we are usually lucky to have between 8-10. We have venison coming out of our ears. Around our area it is also varying population with where you are. That was needed in our area that we hunt, in a two or three mile stretch of road last summer i think we counted at least 6 or 7 deer killed on the road. We also shot a couple scragly 6 pointers that were good to get out of the gene pool. I mostly bow hunt near duluth, don't know the zone, saw a decent number of deer, none close enough to get a shot at.

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tealitup

UMD - you mean firearms or shotgun season right? Zone 222 not in rifle zone?

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mncarphntr

I am on a population goal setting committee for the west central region (253,258,259,297,420-423). Any data I can collect will be given to Lou Cornicelli personally. He assures us this will be the primary means of determining pop. level goals. I'm sure there are other teams for other regions, so any opinions will be turned in. This is just for ideal population levels though, so don't just start venting all your "DNR issues" here.

Excellent comments, those same feelings of " too many in one part of the area, and too few in others" were voiced by many on the committee.

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UMDSportsman

tealitup-222 is in rifle zone, highway 95 it the border for shotgun/rifle, and it is at the southern edge of zone 222. I hunt just a couple miles north of 95. They have tried to move that line up to highway 23 several times in the past (I think).

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Jameson

Zone 428-too low (17 days hunting in 2006)

zone 225-about right/maybe high (4 days)

zone 115-too low/ about right (3 days)

zone 159-about right (3 days)

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BLACKJACK

426 - low numbers, we only saw two deer in two days slug hunting.

417 - a little on the low side. I saw deer, but not very many considering the amount of time that I spent bowhunting.

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kc0myy

This might make some of you guys mad. but I think the DNR should really recount the number of deer. Because last year I saw like 8 deer over 3 weeks during ML season and those were all on drives too. All these guy go out that fill all their tags. Come on do some of these people need 5 deer. Hell half of the 5 deer they shoot will proablly be tossed away. We can't be shootin everything that move. A friend of mine said there co-works got a party of people and shot 22 deer. Now what the hell are you going to do with 22 deer. wait...it gets better and they said if they did fine people to take the meat they would toss it. I drive 40 miles at night. In the last 2 months I saw 4 deer on the side of the road. I live in deer sec #419.

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Mark Christianson

Last year was our worst year ever for rifle/muzzleloader hunting that we have had since I started hunting 25 years ago. Notice I said rifle/muzzleloader.

With bow, we saw deer, and we had chances to harvest 4 or 5 deer. So with that said, if we chose to take any/all deer we had shots at with archery, it would have been pretty awesome season overall. But we held off in hopes of harvesting nice bucks.

Once November hit, it was over. I hunted from Nov 4 to Dec 28, and never saw one single deer while on stand. Zero. I swear. I finally saw a doe and fawn on Dec 28. I hunted zone 2 in permit areas 218, 223 and 240. I hunted both weekends of firearms season, with a couple days during the week, I hunted all 3 weekends of muzzleloader, and hunted some midweek days, and I archery hunted. Add on to that, my Dad never saw a deer from Nov 4 to the close of the season either. He doesnt archery hunt, but he got more hours on stand than I did with the gun.

75% of my time on stand was in 240. 20% of my time was in 223. With the final percentage points spent in 218.

Permit area 240 has a lot of deer in parts. But just as Luckey pointed out, its broken up in parts that are populated with deer, and other parts scraping to see deer.

I can tell you in our part of 240, there is by no means too many deer. If there were too many deer, a guy would sure see some over a 2 month span I would hope. smirk.gif

223 where I live, is probably not hurting for deer. The problem lies in the fact that all the deer are so darn nocturnal due to the fact that people and pets are out and about from sun up to sun down. Then the deer come out. We saw 42 in one field next to our development just a week ago. Blew my socks off.

218, I just started hunting. No comment on the deer population there. I need more time on stand there to give an opinion.

Sorry for the long post.

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SgtCaesarfishinguy

Area 431 and 424 in my opinion are down dramatically. I have hunted these areas for 15 plus years and my family has hunted it double that. Over the years we have experienced great success to marginal success, but always success of some form. The last five years the word success has dwindled from our hunting stories. Not sure what is going on out here... where are the deer? I should also mention our party hunts only public land, so that very well could be part of our problem, speaking only for a group of 8 or 9 guys who hunt public land, maybe others in this area can tell a different story??

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woody1975

We hunt the Chippewa National Forest in area 172. We ave only seen an increase in the number of hunters. We have a group of 10 hunters and we used to be able to count on 4 or 5 deer for the party and if it were lower than that, at least we could say that "That other group shot 5 or so. Lately if we shoot 5 deer between us and the other groups that hunt in our area, that is a great year. I also know of 4 or 5 other groups that hunt 172 that usually do pretty well and lately they have done very poorly.

We don't need to shoot everything we see, but we just aren't seeing deer like we used to.

I have hunted in this area for 15 years and others in our group have hunted 20+ years and it has been a pretty steady decline in numbers both seen and harvested.

Area 172 continues to produce a lot of deer (Minnesota Sportsmans Magazine), but it may be that many are coming from private land. I don't like to blame it on wolves, but we have seen more wolves than deer in the last 7 or 8 years.

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tealitup

Quote:

tealitup-222 is in rifle zone, highway 95 it the border for shotgun/rifle, and it is at the southern edge of zone 222. I hunt just a couple miles north of 95. They have tried to move that line up to highway 23 several times in the past (I think).


Thanks UMD; I was just confused.

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grizzald

I hunt zone 424 north of Appleton 7-8 miles. I recently received information from the DNR for 424 on the total deer harvest way back to 1993. The peak year was 1996 when a total of 2,257 deer were taken in zone 424. In the 2006 season, a total of 495 were taken in 424. The graph is a steady decline. We need to get the population back to a happy medium to around 1,000-1,300 harvested each year. The DNR needs to do fly overs in February and take counts to find out the total deer population before issuing seasons and licenses. We dont want to have to have the season closed in a year or two like they did in the early 70's.

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BigTen

Hopefully they'll figure it out some day.

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OrionsX0

grizzald I hunt that area as well and that is a low number but it is not an acurate number. How many of us know someone that dose not registaer there deer I know of atleast 2 people that hunt that area and I am sure there are more. As far as area 424 There were plenty of deer that I saw and I was luky to connect with a nice buck

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BigTen

and I bet the same people that didn't register their deer last year don't register their deer most years.....I don't see how that's relevant at all....

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bigbucks

I hunt archery, shotgun, rifle, & ML. I hunt probably 60% of the time in 413, 35% in 414, & the other 5% in 244. I would say there are plenty of deer in all of those areas, but I don't think any of them are overpopulated at this point. From what I've seen the numbers were definitely down in all those areas in 06 from 05. Plenty of deer were killed still, but we didn't see quite as many, especially over the winters. Personally I would say 03-05 were the best deer hunting I've ever seen in those areas. I've hunted 413 for about 25 years, 414, 6-7 years, & 244 for about 15 years. In those areas the DNR has done a pretty good job of liberalizing the tags before the population got out of hand.

My home property is good deer habitat, although only about 25 acres of woods, surrounded by fields & a grassy riverbottom. It's still some what marginal habitat due to some isolation from other wooded areas & more human traffic then most other nearby woods. There the deer population peaked in 05 & cut back to more historical levels in 06. It went from regular sitings to more occasional sitings. I would say the deer are all more concentrated in the most prime habitats of these areas now. I know around my parents place which is marginal to good deer habitat, there's consistently been deer there the last 15 years or so, where before there were very few.

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mncarphntr

Thanks for all the comments. Anyone else? Follow-up meeting is tomorrow.

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