2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

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2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby Fan Club » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:39 am

Greetings folks! Just joined up, I've been on the T&TH site for years where I am a ProStaff member.
 
I wanted to comment and compare notes with fellow hunters on the extremely poor quality of hunt many are experiencing in South Central Michigan. I just burned up a week's vaction and put in over 40 hours on stand and saw THREE deer... two fawns and a basket 8 pt that my brother in law and I both passed on. Same 120 acre abandoned farm we have hunted for over 20 years with great pleasure and success. I have hunted deer for 40 years in this area and conditions and hunter satisfaction have reached a new low.
 
My nutshell theory is that with 14 % unemployment and liberal bag limits, the deer have been indiscriminately wiped out in this area. Excessive seasons and hunting pressure force the survivors to go nocturnal earlier every year. The DNR will not acknowledge this because they want to sell tags. I counted 150 shots by 9 am on the Nov 15 firearm opener in 2009, brown went down. This year, from the same location, only 26 shots in the same timeframe. Allowing for a weekday opener, Sat, Nov 20 should have been the day, right? Only 9 shots heard.
 
I did harvest a doe during bow season, something I seldom do, and it appears to have been a good decision now. But we had a lousy bow season as well with few deer sightings, and many reports from surrounding areas corroborate this. As you would suspect, In the interest of keeping my introductory post short, I believe a wide variety of factors are at work which I am willing to discuss if anyone is interested.
 
 

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Gulfcapt
 
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RE: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby Gulfcapt » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:30 am

150 on openning day, lets say half of that the nextday(75), and then figure what the rest of the season might of got inway of dead deer! all within shotgun sound range.. How many do you think were does that died byway of gun, not including bows,or deer that never were found in your hunting area. then times that by 2 (because thats what adeer will fawn).. I have no idea what your area brings inway of deer population, but 150 shots in ear range is alot year after year especially if its majority does (you killing off the breeder stocks). I would be interested in your reply

BTW Welcome to D&DH, its a great forum i think you will be pleased with it

willseyville
 
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RE: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby willseyville » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:34 am

hi fan club i to am on t&th there i go by grizzly . my one qestion would be what is the coyote pop. like a few years ago we want though a down on numbers period and we had a large number of coyotes after the neighbors and i went on an aggessive hunting campain the deer came back in good numbers[:)] wayne

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RE: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby bunk229 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:22 am

Hi Fan Club,

I hunted South Central MI also (West Eaton Co.) but had a pretty good hunt. We passed up all bucks that weren't outside the ears. We saw 7 different bucks on Nov 15th
and about 40 does & fawns. It started slowing down after opening day but still saw deer on every sit but two. We took 2 mature does and had seen 2 different shooter bucks that we would have taken but were out of range. The big guy was 10 or 12 points but bedded with a doe yesterday morning about 250 yds from my son-in-law. He watched him for over an hour until a group of 8 does ran through and they got up and followed them right to the neighbor who got him. There still should be some dandy's next year
if they survive the remainder of the season. I also took a wide 8 pt there on Oct 30th with bow. We hunt on his 35 acres and their was lots of shooting on opening day and again yesterday.

Good luck to you if you get back out there.

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RE: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby Fan Club » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:27 am

ORIGINAL: Gulfcapt

How many do you think were does that died by way of gun, not including bows, or deer that never were found in your hunting area?


Hey GC,

I suspect the majority. It's certain that there were not 150 quality bucks in the area being shot at. I remember what a sick feeling I had in my gut counting that many shots... just in the first two hours of the first day... I stopped counting after that, it sounded like a war!

For a microcosm, the guys hunting the property that borders ours (which is only a 40 acre fallow field) took a 10 pt, a fork horn, a spike and a doe all on the 2009 gun opener. They literally shot everything they saw.

This of course is all legal. You can purchase up to 5 doe permits per hunter and harvest 2 bucks with a combo permit (all seasons combined) in Michigan. The state is broke and back in the late 90s commandeered the DNRs' income to dump into the general fund. Many of us veteran hunters, including many DNR employees, saw this as the beginning of the end once the DNR lost control of it's own funding.

Sure enough, we immediately saw dramatic sweeping changes. Doe permits went from lottery to across the counter. Two bucks were allowed instead of one. Pistol hunting was legalized. Firearm hunting from an elevated platform was legalized. Crossbows were legalized. Muzzle loading season in December was expanded from 10 days to 20. A  late doe only shotgun season was added from the end of muzzle loader to Jan 1 st. Two years ago an early shotgun only doe season was added starting September 18 th. Before the bowhunters even get a crack at them October 1 st.!

I hope someone from the Michigan DNR reads this because as a veteran hunter of 40 years, it makes me want to puke. All you have to do is follow the money, there is nothing remotely associated with a scientific deer harvest. Lack of a mandatory check in or even a voluntary call in check in will testify to that. Overall license sales and hunter numbers may be down, but when the harvest total of the remaining hunters goes unchecked, this is what happens. Couple that with the worst economy and unemployment in the nation and you have a recipe for disaster. I personally know individuals who fill all 7 of those tags, you can't blame a man for needing to feed his family. And that's just legally. While sitting in my bowstands in October, I hear the single gunshots at dawn and dusk. That isn't anyone sighting in their gun or keeping racoons off the garabage can my friends.

Ironically, we had a great bow season last year, with plenty of buck sightings and plenty of deer. But that all changed on Nov 15th with the great deer slaughter of 2009. Please excuse me if this borders a rant, but I am plenty upset and fear that the glory days of deer hunting in Michigan are in the rearview mirror.
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it."
Teddy Roosevelt

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RE: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby Fan Club » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:40 am

Bunk-
 
Great to hear that someone outside this area had a great hunt! I'm just few miles north of Battle Creek where all of the land here has been divided into small parcels. We pass on small bucks as well on our 120 acres, but if the hunters on the other side of the fence are only intent on filling their freezers, QDM is impossible.
 
Grizzly-
 
Hey bud! Coyotes are on the rise here and I aim to correct that this winter with the Ruger .204 I won at an NWTF Banquet last year. There have been numerous mountain lion sightings in this county over the last couple years as well but the DNR won't acknowledge that either.
 
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it."
Teddy Roosevelt

willseyville
 
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RE: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby willseyville » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:33 am

i to have hunted a long time this is my 39 deer season . i'm not a fan qdm or antler regs, that being said i will pass on small bucks most of the time and will take a doe but if it gets to the end of the season and a big body buck with a little rack gives me a shot i will take him and be thankful for it. if i have already taken a doe he gets to walk i'm a meat hunter first but i'm not greedy i can be happy with one deer . i have always thought that n.y should go to a one buck a year policy insted of antler regs that way if you choose to shoot a small buck you could but that's the only buck you can take for the season another thing i'm against is rifle hunting for years we were shotgun only but a few years back they allowed rifles and i have seen people take some real dumb shots the land here doesn't allow for shots over 50 yards.the reason i bought up coyotes is here to in the 80s and 90s there seem to be large numbers of deer but the last ten years numbers went down but we started seeing a lot yotes two ago we had are worst season ever at the end of that season we had a good snow i went out and fond only found two sets of deer tracks and lots of yotes that when i started hunting yotes with a passion all the studies i have read have stated that the fawn death rate is over 70% and where there is coyotes they can be as high as 80% of the cause . so to all my deer hunting friends if you think the deer numbers are low you can do yourself a favor and  go coyote hunting [;)] wayne

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badtoys
 
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RE: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby badtoys » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:53 am

there not gone there nocternal already by gun i hunt chealsea it's this stupid early gun dnr just start bow earlyer i spot and farmer looks out every night a sees fields of deer as soon as bang bang start gone bow seasons have really sucked since this started coyotes are out of control too i seen as many as 12 in one group heard another group of 3-4 and a couple more all at same time one night 3rd day of gun
 
 
 
ORIGINAL: Fan Club

Greetings folks! Just joined up, I've been on the T&TH site for years where I am a ProStaff member.

I wanted to comment and compare notes with fellow hunters on the extremely poor quality of hunt many are experiencing in South Central Michigan. I just burned up a week's vaction and put in over 40 hours on stand and saw THREE deer... two fawns and a basket 8 pt that my brother in law and I both passed on. Same 120 acre abandoned farm we have hunted for over 20 years with great pleasure and success. I have hunted deer for 40 years in this area and conditions and hunter satisfaction have reached a new low.

My nutshell theory is that with 14 % unemployment and liberal bag limits, the deer have been indiscriminately wiped out in this area. Excessive seasons and hunting pressure force the survivors to go nocturnal earlier every year. The DNR will not acknowledge this because they want to sell tags. I counted 150 shots by 9 am on the Nov 15 firearm opener in 2009, brown went down. This year, from the same location, only 26 shots in the same timeframe. Allowing for a weekday opener, Sat, Nov 20 should have been the day, right? Only 9 shots heard.

I did harvest a doe during bow season, something I seldom do, and it appears to have been a good decision now. But we had a lousy bow season as well with few deer sightings, and many reports from surrounding areas corroborate this. As you would suspect, In the interest of keeping my introductory post short, I believe a wide variety of factors are at work which I am willing to discuss if anyone is interested.


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DeerCamp
 
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RE: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby DeerCamp » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:20 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that it was on a Monday this season and the new crossbow rule. Some people may want to try those out instead of their gun. Also like badtoys said, there are a LOT of yotes this year it seems, which may keep the deer hunkerd down. I still think it was a good gun season as I shot a 12pt and a doe, however I did have to work for them. The deer around here do seem to "vanish" after the 1st day by noon if you dont have one. You may want to try walking around and trying to spook something up.
"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: 2010 Firearm Season- Worst Ever

Postby Fan Club » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:37 pm

ORIGINAL: DeerCamp

One thing to keep in mind is that it was on a Monday this season and the new crossbow rule. Some people may want to try those out instead of their gun.

 
Congrats on your 12 pt and doe DeerCamp. I thought the first Saturday would be the true opener but it didn't matter. Only counted 9 shots that morning which means there aren't as many deer in this area or aren't as many gun hunters or both. There's definitely an ongoing shift in tradition. Brent Rudolph, Michigan DNR deer specialist, reported firearm deer license sales were down from 725,190 in 2009 to 620,000 in 2010. Many of those hunters have crossbows now and are hunting archery season. The early shotgun doe season in September is what really sticks in my craw. There is absolutely no reason for it and you have legions of gunhunters in the woods who don't practice scent control before archery even opens. Add to that the gunhunters that recently switched to crossbow and you have a bunch more out there that don't know much about archery hunting, scent control and they hunt from the ground. My 77 year old father is one of them. He was not physically able to draw a bow but he's all over the crossbow situation as are many of his senior friends who has similar circumstances.
 
I've seen a growing trend for several seasons now that the deer would mostly be nocturnal by Nov 15 th because of increased early pressure. I bowhunt and muzzle load as well, but lament having to witness the death of a proud tradition I have participated in for 40 years because money dictates game management. Three deer sightings in a week is not even enough to keep my interest, the time would be better spent cleaning my garage.
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it."
Teddy Roosevelt

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