2008= Worst year ever

foxnox
 
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2008= Worst year ever

Postby foxnox » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:13 am

First, let me say I am new to forum and I am not complaining just because I did not shoot a deer.  I am complaining because I did not see a deer.  I hunt in mid Gasconade County and did not see a single deer in the 4 days that I hunted this year.  Last year and the years before I saw lots of deer sometimes 12 + per day, which is fine with me I would rather see 10 and shot none than see one and shot it.  Our neighbors who hunt 600 acres adjacent to our 900 had 12 hunters and shot one deer and the folks across the road had 6 hunters on 500 acres and shot zero deer.  This is a common theme around Mt. Sterling as many of the locals have said this is the worst deer season they can remember since the 1970s.  Has anyone else had that problem?  We hunted field stands wood stands and even had a large deer drive with 16 guys on 200 acres and only saw two small doe fawns.  We are afraid that disease may have hit the area.  Here are pictures of 3 nice skulls that I found last Saturday and Sunday near some of my stands.

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OHhunter
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby OHhunter » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:42 am

Possibly EHD ???
Brad

HUNT HARD, SHOOT STRAIGHT, CLEAN KILL APOLOGIZE TO NO ONE

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CoG
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby CoG » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:42 am

It's Missouri, if the population is down it will rebound.  Obviously you lost some nice bucks somehow this year which is not good.  Sorry you didn't see any deer, but that's how it goes.  Imagine how deer hunting was earlier this century when there was little population throughout the US for years and years.  Also, we have lots of little deer here in VA but there are times of 4, 5, 6, and more day stretches where we might collectively see zero or one or 2 deer.  It happens.  Chin up!

foxnox
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby foxnox » Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:35 am

I know it goes in cycles, it is just such a bummer to find those dead deer and know that some of the bigger deer that we saw this summer are no where to be found ( going out this weekend or next to look for more skulls).  I have a 3 yr old son and another on the way.  I just hope that in 4 or 5 yrs when he can sit still enough to hunt with me that the deer have bounced back to normal levels.

beagleman23
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby beagleman23 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:19 am

In New York and Pennslyvania we are paying for years of over harvest with doe permits.  I stopped hunting PA for lack of deer sightings.

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dtrain56
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby dtrain56 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:15 pm

In New York and Pennslyvania we are paying for years of over harvest with doe permits. I stopped hunting PA for lack of deer sightings.



I disagree with the deer over harvest in PA, for the third year in a row i have gotten a "good" buck and deer population seems to still be to large for habitait...

I plant about 5-8 acres of food plots and they are being over eaten to the point they look like outdoor carpet -  i need to double the acreage... 

and see plenty of deer -during bow season - no less than 5 - 10 per sit - and for second straight year not able to gun hunt in PA...

- FOXNOX - have you done anything to improve all this acerage...increase food by adding food plots... create sanctuaries where no one is allowed to hunt...select cut increase forest density...????? 

beagleman23
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby beagleman23 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:57 am

Sure there's areas of both States that have good populations of deer but in Forest County where we hunted after spending $80,000 for a place as a group of non-residents the population declined dramatically.  We hunted timber Co. and game lands and cannot plant food plots or manage harvests.  We spent a week there two years in a row(8-10 hunters not beer drinkers) seeing very few deer and no big bucks as Dr Alt predicted only the usual spikes and forks and the deer appeared not bigger or healthier than prior to 2004.  It's hard to interest a young hunter in the sport when seasoned hunters(I have harvested close to 50 deer in both states) spend a week in the woods and see less than a deer a day.  I also watched resident PA hunters shoot 3 illegal bucks and walk away.  The last year I hunted PA was 2006 when after glassing a spike in it's bed at 35 yards I watched a PA hunter throw two shots at it after the deer left it's bed.  I even found one of his spent 30-06 cases.  I approached him as he was looking for a blood trail and when I indicated that I knew that he shot at a non-legal buck he just stopped looking for any sign and hurried away, with no back tag on his coat.  We also have relatives from Pa that hunt Erie County PA that disagree with the current deer management plan.  I haven't heard from many in the NW section of the state that are in favor.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally against point restrictions but my hunting in New york and formerly PA was done on open or public lands and at this point of my life seening deer and breaking in new hunters is far more important than my individual harvest.  I think the PA Game Commission needs to tweek there management plan instead of just continuing Alt's work.  A balance of hunter satisfaction and herd management makes more sense to me. 

danesdad
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby danesdad » Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:28 pm

For those unfamiliar with Pennsylvania, about 5 years ago, the Game Commission inplemented antler restrictions on bucks (4 points per side in the western wildlife management units, three points to a side in the rest).  This was an attempt to increase the average age of bucks in the herd.  Up until then over 90% of bucks harvested were 1.5 years old.  The game commission also changed antlerless season from three days after the buck season to concurrent with the two week buck season.  They also increased the number of antlerless tags to decrease the overall herd to bring it in line with the biological carrying capacity of the environment.  So, the herd size has been reduced and the average buck harvested is older (and larger).  The problem for many hunters became that with reduced herd size, came reduced deer sightings.

GTOHunter
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby GTOHunter » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:08 am

I'm going to have to agree with FoxNox on it being a tough year for seeing and harvesting Deer this Firearm Season in Missouri,but I think there are several factors that have made it a tougher year.First of all the dry drought conditions of 2007 caused a wide spread case of the EHD across Missouri,Illinois,Indiana and probably several other states that really thinned out the Deer this year.We found several nice size Bucks dead in our County (Perry) and several young Fawns too.Secondly we had great weather all year (2008) with plenty of rain and mild warm weather all year so the acorns and food plots did very well,the Fall weather messed things up a bit with the cold weather,then it warmed up and cooled off again messing with the Rut,there were several nice Deer (Bucks and Doe's) killed by Vehicles the first few weeks leading up to Rifle Season because the Bucks were chasing after the Doe's.Thirdly the moon was full during most of our season so Deer movement was mostly at night causing the Deer to bed mostly during the day time with little to no movement until late evening or the very early mornings.We saw very little amount of Bucks following or chasing after the Doe's,I saw the least amount of Deer this year than any of the previous years I have hunted so we hunted longer and harder and used the Food Plots in the late evenings to harvest most of our Deer.  

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dtrain56
 
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RE: 2008= Worst year ever

Postby dtrain56 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:53 pm

Forest County where we hunted after spending $80,000 for a place as a group of non-residents the population declined dramatically.

 
I also hunt in Forest County - deer population is much better now than in 2006 and i have gotten a 'good" buck each of the past 3 seasons and my dad got a nice eight pointer in 2007, that is four quality bucks since the APR's...
 
also everyone just wanted to see a lot of deer...i would rather see quality deer, before APR's and an increase of doe harvests you might see a buck but was not more than a spike...
 
In most states does harvest limits are a lot more liberal than PA, yet hunters seem to be satisfied...don't get why PA thinks that the longtime miss managment of the deer herd is OK....
 
PGC- has tried to balance out there herd while considering the needs of their resedents...if they did not care about the resident uproar the PGC would certantly be harvesting more doe
 
As for locals breaking game laws = POACHERS, WHICH HAPPENS EVERYWHERE- it will take a while to change the culture in PA- more than the time given so far - hopefully they do follow the laws and allow for better deer hunting...  

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