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#3649087 - 04/18/14 03:20 PM Deer population & hunter success in decline?
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12881
Loc: Tennessee

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BSK?

http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/big-buc...nd-deer-hunting
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#3649101 - 04/18/14 03:38 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: Poser]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16919
Loc: Allardt, TN

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You should look into some of the stuff happening in MN. You actually have a DNR that is shooting for single digit deer per square mile numbers in many zones and they have made it there apparently.
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#3649338 - 04/18/14 07:48 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: smstone22]
deerhunter10
10 Point


Registered: 08/21/12
Posts: 3400
Loc: maury county tn

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I would say its because more and more hunters are going the trophy route. and I don't see in Tennessee a declining. but that's just me. the age of if its brown its down is starting to dwindle down I think. im kind of glad it is. but I think that's why the success rate is going down if it is at all. but im not the biologist just what ive seen kind of.
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#3649637 - 04/19/14 08:17 AM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: deerhunter10]
TNlandowner
6 Point


Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 532
Loc: Carroll County

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I personally have been very successful over the last few years. Due to education and QDM activities, we are harvesting older deer. Additionally, our deer weight averages have slightly gone up. I can't give data on deer observation statistics as we haven't keep accurate data.

Deer numbers will increase and decrease in cycles. Mother nature and disease have hurt deer populations over the last decade. (EHD, CWD, Droughts, extreme weather conditions)

http://www.tndeer.com/tndeertalk/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showthreaded&Number=3646502

I think the liberal doe harvest policy could be reducing the herd. With all this said, I believe our wildlife commission uses micro-analysis with these considerations to determine the best regional management plans for our deer herd. In reference to the buck limit discussions here at TNDEER, I support changes to harvest numbers to grow the herd, but do not care for the Texas style "Trophy Management" plans.
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#3649684 - 04/19/14 09:15 AM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: TNlandowner]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65411
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Poser,

First let me point out the obvious: the author's main point. The QDMA put out press releases advertising their summit with "the sky is falling" rhetoric about our vanishing deer herds. I and many others were highly critical of the organization for such alarmist rhetoric. Then their symposium, including hundreds of biologists and other "vested interests," doesn't find that declining deer populations should make their "Top 10 list" of concerns about deer and deer hunting. Hmmmm...

That said, I do agree that in at least some sections of the country, deer populations are down significantly, especially in the agricultural Midwest--a part of deer country that gets a lot of press. In addition, most parts of whitetail country are seeing deer populations below what they were during the deer population highs that occurred around the turn of the Century. I wish I had detailed data from every state so that I could say definitively what is going on, but lacking that, my personal beliefs on what hunters are seeing are:

1) The agricultural Midwest is seeing a much reduced deer population primarily due to the ultra-severe EHD outbreak that occurred in that region the late summer of 2012. I have some pretty good trail-camera data from hunters and managers in that region suggesting some locations lost at least 50% of their deer population during the outbreak. In past outbreaks, deer populations rebounded fairly quickly, even from severe outbreaks. But "in the past" ultraliberal doe harvest limits were not in place. As I believe we've seen in TN since our last big EHD outbreak (2007), a major decline in deer population while liberal doe harvest limits are in place, experience much slower population rebound. In fact, I don't think TN's deer population has fully rebound from our outbreak 7 years ago (and I consider that a very good thing, as in places, our population was too high at the time of the outbreak). So for the Midwest, a big deer die-off in the midst of liberal doe harvest policies will, in my opinion, definitely experience a slow population rebound, and may actually never see a full rebound. Whether or not this is a good thing for the Midwest is another question, as their biologically carrying capacity is so astronomically high.

2) In the Southeast, Atlantic Coast states, and far North (forested regions of the northern tier of states), deer densities are lower because they needed to be. Back when I first started working in private land management, the #1 PROBLEM I witnessed across the Southeast and Atlantic Coast states was not poor sex ratios or poor buck age structure (although these problems DID exist). The #1 problem was deer overpopulation. I observed VAST areas of these regions displaying severe over-browsing of the habitat by deer. Thankfully, these regions' wildlife biologists and hunters "got the message" and both allowed and participated in more liberal doe harvests, with the expressed purpose of reducing deer densities. At that, they have been effective, for the good of the remaining deer population and the habitat (as well as all the other animal species that use the same habitat). Of course, now hunters will have to accept what goes along with a lower deer density produced through higher antlerless harvests: fewer deer which means sightings going down; and antlerless deer that have become as hunter-shy as bucks making them even less observable. Both of these lead to fewer deer seen and sometimes lower harvest success rates. It's a trade-off: fewer but healthier/larger deer that are harder to hunt and kill. However, I do not believe that any widespread areas of these regions have dangerously low deer populations. They simply have reduced populations that are more hunter-shy, which reduces hunter observations and harvests.
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#3651214 - 04/21/14 09:52 AM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: BSK]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41879
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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If hunter success rates are declining...and I am not convinced they are, it is due to trophy hunting or pass that one up and let him grow kind of hunting.

Through the Midwest, over the past two years, there has been a decline due to a massive EHD outbreak that did decrease deer numbers. However, in states with healthy deer populations, there is only one reason for a decline in success; the one I mentioned.

As for hunter recruitment and retention, yes, that is a problem. You can lay it right at the feet of fathers or lack thereof. In a single parent household, often, the father does not have adequate time or resources to "take a kid hunting". In dual parent households, often, it is the lack of desire on the part of the child and the parent, coupled with a plethora of other activities in which the child is interested.

Bottom line-more deer and land for me to hunt.

Now isn't that a selfish attitude? Truth is, after writing about this very same thing over a decade ago and trying to encourage more adult/youth activities, I, at my advanced age, have stopped worrying about it.
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#3651447 - 04/21/14 02:10 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: bowriter]
BHC
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Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 806
Loc: Wayne Co. , Tennessee

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I tend to agree with the analysis of those on here, but disagree with the hunting population. I tend to believe there are more people hunting to than ever before.. I agree a much lower percentage of ppl hunt today than in the past, but I believe there are likely more deer hunters/ land managers than there ever has been..
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#3651540 - 04/21/14 04:23 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: BHC]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65411
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BHC
I tend to agree with the analysis of those on here, but disagree with the hunting population. I tend to believe there are more people hunting to than ever before.. I agree a much lower percentage of ppl hunt today than in the past, but I believe there are likely more deer hunters/ land managers than there ever has been..


Actual number of hunters had been on a steady decline since the 1980s. However, the last big survey done found a small uptick. But we do not have as many hunters now as we did 20-30 years ago.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3651546 - 04/21/14 04:30 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: BHC]
deerhunter10
10 Point


Registered: 08/21/12
Posts: 3400
Loc: maury county tn

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 Originally Posted By: BHC
I tend to agree with the analysis of those on here, but disagree with the hunting population. I tend to believe there are more people hunting to than ever before.. I agree a much lower percentage of ppl hunt today than in the past, but I believe there are likely more deer hunters/ land managers than there ever has been..


I disagree with the population to. I can tell just on opening day its down. Money is tight and let's face it hunting is not cheap any more. I know even 10 years ago there were more hunters then now. I think it is deciding because we are in the social media and television age. and it makes it seem like a ton of hunters. But I think there are for sure less now. Which being a trophy hunter its not hurting my feelings although I would like the see more kids involved I just don't see it happening. I know that is kind of selfish though. But it doesn't hurt my feelings either if there are a lot of hunters either. But I do think it is less then it was for sure.
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#3651840 - 04/21/14 09:26 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: BSK]
redblood
16 Point


Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 14803
Loc: Lewisburg

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: BHC
I tend to agree with the analysis of those on here, but disagree with the hunting population. I tend to believe there are more people hunting to than ever before.. I agree a much lower percentage of ppl hunt today than in the past, but I believe there are likely more deer hunters/ land managers than there ever has been..


Actual number of hunters had been on a steady decline since the 1980s. However, the last big survey done found a small uptick. But we do not have as many hunters now as we did 20-30 years ago.



i agree. but do we have less deer hunters. most of the decline that i have seen in print, seem to highlight a huge decline of small game hunters- not deer hunters. i bet more than half of of tndeer members only deer and turkey hunt.
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