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#498923 - 11/19/07 10:35 AM survey
Culom
4 Point


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Fayetteville

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How do you go about finding out what your herd looks like providing you can't afford hermal imaging?
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#499312 - 11/19/07 02:43 PM Re: survey [Re: Culom]
kholmes
4 Point


Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 280
Loc: Nashville

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Trail cameras are what most people use. There is a formula for deducing how many does you have since they all pretty much look the same but I don't know what that is. Maybe someone else will chime in. I'm intrested in this myself.
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#499753 - 11/19/07 07:41 PM Re: survey [Re: kholmes]
Chris Tripp
10 Point


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 3762
Loc: Brush Creek, TN

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 Quote:
Conduct surveys in pre-season (late August to September, after velvet shedding) or post-season (start as soon as hunting season ends but before antler casting begins).

Avoid timing a survey when natural food sources, such as a heavy acorn crop, will compete with your bait.

Follow all baiting and feeding regulations.

Determine the number of cameras needed. On properties smaller than 1,000 acres, use one camera per 100 or fewer acres. On larger properties, use one camera per 160 or fewer acres.

Using a map or aerial photos of your property, mark off a grid that divides the tract into one block per camera needed. Select a camera site within each block based on ease of access and deer activity. (deer travel routes, woods roads, etc.). Identify each grid with a number or letter (placing a numbered or lettered sign at each site so that it will appear in the photos will help you later to organize images and data by location).

Clear ground level debris at each camera site to allow for clean images of deer. Orient the camera facing north or south to avoid backlighting caused by sunrise and sunset.

Locate the camera approximately 12 feet from the bait and about 2-3 feet off the ground. Precise set-up varies with camera model; run tests with a decoy or 3d deer target to avoid set-ups that produce images of deer too far from, or too close to, the camera.

Once each site is ready, pre-bait for a week (cameras off).

For film cameras, set the delay on 10 minutes to prevent deer from burning up film quickly (400 speed film with 36 exposures is best). With digital cameras, set the delay for no less than 5 minutes to keep the numer of images manageable.

Activate cameras for 10-14 days (in research, 14 days captured nearly all unique deer; 10 days captured 90 percent of unique deer, which is adequate, which is adequate for the survey if expenses must be minimized).

Refresh memory cards, batteries and bait as needed, but otherwise keep human activity to a minimum. Wear rubber boots and gloves and practice scent-control measures whenever you visit the sites.

Collect cameras and compile images. Count the total number of bucks, does and fawns. "Fawns" are all deer under 1-year old, including button bucks. " Total" counts include known repeats of individual deer. Do not count deer you cannot identify as a buck, doe, or fawn.

Study photos closely to count unique bucks based on recognizable antler and/or body characteristics (ask for second opinions from fiends or a consultant if any photos present tough calls). For example, you may have 100 total buck images but only 10 unique bucks in all. Your ratio of unique bucks to total bucks is therefore 1:10, or 10 percent (.10).

Multiply your ratio of unique-to-total bucks by the total does and fawns to come up with an estimate of unique does and fawns. For example, if you have 200 total images of does and multiply it by your .10 ratio, you get an estimate of 20 unique does.

You now have an estimate of the deer population seperated by bucks, does and fawns. Use this data to produce estimated deer density, buck:doe ratio and fawn:doe ratio. Sort unique buck by estimated age to evaluate age structure. If you need help interpreting results to guide future management decisions, talk to a local wildlife biologist or private wildlife consultant.


Mine your data for useful tidbits. For example, where were the older bucks photographed? Did certain camera sites produce images of problem animals such as feral hogs? Examples like these of the usefulness of camera surveys are almost limitless.

Repeat the survey annually or as regularly as possible, using the same method and camera locations. Trends in data over time will be more valuable than one year's statistics.



This is how its done.

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#499758 - 11/19/07 07:43 PM Re: survey [Re: Chris Tripp]
lostsoul
6 Point


Registered: 07/16/07
Posts: 895
Loc: East TN

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Track counts work okay, but I judge it based on trail cam pics now.
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#499764 - 11/19/07 07:46 PM Re: survey [Re: lostsoul]
lostsoul
6 Point


Registered: 07/16/07
Posts: 895
Loc: East TN

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That post on camera surveys is priceless. Great info no doubt about it, thank you for posting that.
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#499765 - 11/19/07 07:46 PM Re: survey [Re: lostsoul]
Chris Tripp
10 Point


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 3762
Loc: Brush Creek, TN

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track counts won't tell you much
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#499767 - 11/19/07 07:47 PM Re: survey [Re: Chris Tripp]
lostsoul
6 Point


Registered: 07/16/07
Posts: 895
Loc: East TN

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 Originally Posted By: Chris Tripp
track counts won't tell you much

No heck no, and definitely not if you use the info you provided in your first post. That is invaluable IMO. Thanks again for posting it.

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#499782 - 11/19/07 07:54 PM Re: survey [Re: lostsoul]
kholmes
4 Point


Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 280
Loc: Nashville

Offline
Thank you Chris.
I am printing this off as we speak.
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A vote is like a rifle: Its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.
Theodore Roosevelt


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#500267 - 11/20/07 08:34 AM Re: survey [Re: kholmes]
Culom
4 Point


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Fayetteville

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Good stuff, I found that on the QDM website right after I posted here, but still thank you very much. Now who wants to loan me 21 cameras LOL
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#501234 - 11/20/07 07:53 PM Re: survey [Re: Culom]
HOOK
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 05/01/99
Posts: 15733
Loc: Rutherford County, TN

Offline
hermal imaging? \:D
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#501591 - 11/21/07 03:48 AM Re: survey [Re: HOOK]
Chris Tripp
10 Point


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 3762
Loc: Brush Creek, TN

Offline
no need in so many cameras... do it on a 10-14 day rotation....

Thats the reason I posted it, its a simplified version of how I run my survey, however in my area, I have more success and more accurate numbers with one camera per 50 acres.

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#510520 - 11/28/07 07:57 AM Re: survey [Re: Chris Tripp]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64176
Loc: Nashville, TN

Offline
Colum,

The QDMA is working on a book about running camera surveys as we type.

By the way, I would highly recommend running cameras (unbaited) throughout the entire hunting season. Populations and individual deer using a property can change dramatically from what you got during a pre- or post-season census. Now with 2,100 acres, you won't see as much "shifting" of deer as those working with smaller properties, but you will see some.
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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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