2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

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2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby WiredToHunt » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:18 pm

So numbers have come out from the DNR showing estimated deer harvests being down 10-20% across the state. It's as bad as down 20-30% in the UP and 15-25% in the Northern Lower.

These are pretty awful numbers and my own experiences and stories I've heard from other hunters seem to be consistent with these estimates. So what have you guys seen in regards to the Michigan harvest this year, and what do you think is the reason for such awful harvest totals this year?
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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby fatbob240 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:14 am

Horrible pretty much sums up things around the Lewiston area. I had five all day sits during rifle season and I saw four deer...total. I did end up stalking up on a deer after the snow storm and killing it with my bow, but overall I was disappointed. The Michigan DNR and their numbers are a long way off from being accurate, so how can they manage things properly with inaccurate information? It's horrible to see the tradition of Michigan's deer hunting heritage go down the crapper like it has. I live in the northern part of the state and I'm about ready to stop paying license fees to hunt in the state and go to Ohio where they micromanage the deer herd and they do things right. Very disappointed.
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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby smitty » Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:17 am

The hunt here was not good either.  I own 40 acres, my neighbor owns 240 acres and during rifle season they killed a 6 point (18 inches wide, no brow tines) and a seven point.  They usually wait for 8 points or better.  I didnt kill anything. We all hunted pretty hard.  Two 40's to the west, three 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 year old 8 pointers were shot, all within an hour out of the same stand.  One hunter shot 2, went and picked them up with a 4 wheeler and dropped another hunter off who shot the third.  I think the deer numbers are lower than the dnr know, in my part of the state I think predators are doing some damage,  but I think the main problem was the weather.  We had lows in the high 40's and zero snow.  There was no reason for anything to move.  I was laid off all summer and bow hunted hard through october and could tell a huge difference from the first week untill gun season.  We had a cold start to october and even got about 6 inches of snow that stayed for about 2 days. But 2 weeks before gun season it started warming up and deer sightings dropped like the stock market.

Hopefully late bow will be good.  Im gettin hungry!!
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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby mag30079 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:13 am

It was suprising how many guys didn't see anything. I was lucky to take a doe in early Oct. Missed my shot on a big 6pnt Nov 15th. I went out yesterday and saw as many coyote tracks as I did deer tracks. I followed the coyote tracks then found some deer tracks in the snow. I hunt southern Michigan and can only speak for that area.
There are way too many coyotes and that may have had some thing to do with the down numbers. The warm weather I'm sure had alot to do with the down numbers. The early rutting moon (Nov 2nd) made the rutt in my area come way before Nov 15th. I'd like to see Michigan change to a 1 buck tag per season like Ohio and Wisconsin. Maybe ever restrict a 3 point on one side Like area's of Penn. With the DNR officers being low in the field I've heard about poaching being on the rise as well. I heard a guy at the bar bragging about shooting deer at night with a 22. right between the eyes. Ticked me off but how can you prove it. I can't even get the DNR to stop the Amish from poaching every year.
I'm going to build off of what I learned this year and hope for the best next year. A day in the woods away from the city is always enjoyable. Its a blessing to be able to do what we all love so much.
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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby DeerCamp » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:24 am

It was a bad year for a lot of people.. I was lucky enough to take 3 deer this year. However a lot of people didnt even see a deer. It wasnt all that great of a hunting year for me either. I was bummed not to fill my buck tag this year. Deer numbers were down by my count as well. However I blamed the road that was put in my area due to that. I still feel there is a good amount of deer in the area, ya just have to be in the right spot at the right time. Im going to give it another try on the 1st.
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby DeerCamp » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:28 am

Thats a pretty big 6pt Smitty... We hunt right by you and took a 6pt as well that had a spread of over 17... Real big buck...didnt have much for teeth left either.
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby drdaven » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:46 pm

I have taken two deer, a doe the second week of October and a nice eight pointer just before the gun opener.  As for the deer numbers being down.  I might have to disagree with that one, at least in our area.  The local QDMA coop has taken a ton of does this year and a fair amount of good bucks.  Other neighbors have taken some dandy bucks also.  Seems the QDM process is working. 
Last night I counted 50+ on the field I was hunting.  Didn't even bother to look for antlers, as I was out for a nice fat doe.  Alas, I got blanked.  Tomorrows waiting.
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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby boxcallkid » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:42 pm

I hunt a pretty vast cross section of different habitats in four different countys, Overall I think the deer numbers are definatly down. But then again when they issue unbelievable numbers of doe permits what can we really expect!
I did however see more than enough deer to keep me happy. I had the option of dozens of different bucks with my bow and let em all walk. During rifle season my overall deer sightings were about normal for what we can expect the first two days. Thanksgiving weekend I saw a real nice buck that was a shooter for sure, just couldn't get on target he was moving so fast.
Most of the other hunters I know did about average this year and none were complaining. Most actually were still thrilled that baiting had been outlawed and thought hunting was getting to be like it was before.
Others that I spoke with shot severeal does and were just as happy to have the meat. I know that the weather did effect a good portion of this years season and lets hope for better weather next year.
Like gramps used to say, "Why is it there's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over?"

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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby fairlane » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:28 pm

Here Emmet county,pretty much the same , early season we were seeing half the numbers as last year .Oct. was very slow a lot of warm weather and south and east winds.The rut had a noticable increase in activity but only small bucks.The best days were the frosty mornings before it warmed up .I did fill both buck tags and both were bigger than i usualy see, but  I also seen only three  or four year different  year and a half old bucks, and they were small.It did seem like every body that I heard got a deer got a eight point or other nice buck .I also have been noticing the last two years that only one out of four or five does seems to have fawns with them . I believe the coyote's have been hitting the fawns pretty hard and have gottin into calling and hunting coyotes.Its a great way to extend your hunting season and I encourage other people to give it a try ,although its very addictive.

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RE: 2009 Deer Harvest and Your Opinions

Postby Sailfish » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:08 am

Our hunting this year (Sumner, MI) was banner.

Day one rifle (if I recall I sighted 30+/- deer)
It was one of the best years in the last 5. We had animals coming from all sides of us. In small herds, solo, trio's, etc. It actually made for a great time to be out. Two nice bucks were taken from the same woods we hunt (just on the "wrong" side of the property line [:D] )

Over the last 20+ years it seems cyclical in our area, about every 7 or so years we get this great peak. This year we had a hunch would be better for deer numbers a little sooner than 7 because of the standing corn left in late the last few seasons (last year they never even got it out!). This year there was only one field near us with standing corn and between it and the woods was alot of open ground and they were moving between!
We're thinking that next will be great again based on the pattern as well as the  volume of corn left in or picked late in our area.
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."

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