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Pathetic!

Old 10-20-2009, 06:50 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Pathetic!

I think I live in the only place in NORTH America, where our BIG BUCKS are SPike and Forks.. Its really really getting pathetic! Western End of the U.P. of Michigan is just BAD! Very Select few will Practice QDM, the wolves are destroying us, the winters are terrible, and Nothing is done to help the herd! Its Just BAD... I think I need to No Longer purchase a MICHGAN License and start hunting across State Lines! Sorry for the VENT!
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:22 AM
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Even with the new ARs you are still seeing those traditional UP genetics? That sucks. We've got pretty good deer numbers around us, haven't seen too bad a winter kill the last two years, nor do the wolves seem to be as prevalant. I would hugely favor a 1 buck limit, but I don't see that happening any time soon. There's no question big deer could be grown, but the management practices, both privately and DNR-wise are sorely lacking for that to happen. The new antler rules are great, but with no registration, I see them having minimal affect.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:10 AM
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I lived in the western part of the UP for a few years (K.I. Sawyer AFB). I know exactly what you are talking about. Coming from northern Indiana, I was surprised at how many deer were there, but the lack of any quality. I am not sure if management of any kind would help a bunch, those winters are terrible on the herd as are the wolves. I could not tell you how many dead deer we found every spring shed hunting, it was amazing there were deer left to hunt in the fall.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:21 AM
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besides the wolves, it is just as bad here in mason county. There are few good bucks, if it's brown it's down, and being able to harvest two bucks each year really kills it!
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:30 AM
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I hear ya, Mathewsboy. I hunt just east of you and can confirm that it's been especially bad the past 10 years or so. I feel fortunate to now live in WI where the deer are better quality, and it pains me to spend that much on a NR license...and see nothing but does (that I couldn't shoot if I wanted to) and tiny bucks. I think part of the problem is the doe-to-buck ratio itself. Being only able to shoot bucks during the gun season (few doe permits are given out in our area), there is that much added pressure for people to take whatever buck they can find. I swear the ratio must be 10:1 in our area.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:41 AM
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Sounds like too many deer in general, due to not enough does taken, and that leads to too much pressure on bucks.

DNRs take a lot of criticism in whatever changes they make, like earn-a-buck and antler restrictions. So they are reluctant to propose changes. It only leads to problems though, like heavy winter kills, and small antlers.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by UncleNorby View Post
Sounds like too many deer in general, due to not enough does taken, and that leads to too much pressure on bucks.

Agreed, and the key point that most locals don't want to hear is that it's too many deer for the carrying capacity of the land up there. When you get down to it, the land can only support so many deer, and when you have little habitat management (e.g. farming or timber harvesting) combined with hard winters, you can't have as many deer per square mile as you do in more temperate croplands like Iowa, etc. So if the land can only carry X deer per square mile, and the ratio of does just keeps increasing, naturally you're going to see fewer and fewer quality bucks. The few bucks that are there have so much hunting pressure on them that they often get taken when really young.

Personally, I'd settle for seeing half the deer during a sit, but of better quality. You could never convince most of the guys in my camp of that though...their reference for the good ol' days is back in the 60's which coincidentally is when there was more/better habitat and more does taken.

In other words, don't expect QDM or anything else to help until the deer numbers and buck-to-doe ratio are corrected. It's wildlife management 101, but the DNR (and a lot of the public) is too afraid to try something different.

Last edited by UPHunter08; 10-20-2009 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:10 AM
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The doe harvest is definitely an issue. We bait, and last year, communicating with radios, my brother has 19 deer (16 does, 2 spikes, 1 4-point) and I had 24 deer (22 does, 2 spikes) feeding AT THE SAME TIME! We are MAYBE 1/2 mile apart. Perhaps the ratio is a hair out of whack. During muzz season, when we are the only nes hunting within several miles, its not uncommon to see 40-50 deer in a sit, but only have a handful of bucks, and none over a 6-point, if even that. We've killed 4 bucks in the last 6 years, all 8 points, and the ones that we have killed have been the biggest deer that we have seen. We got cam pics of a big 9-point 4 years ago, maybe 10 pics on two different nights, but he never materialized during daylight. Otherwise, all small bucks, forks and 5-points.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:55 PM
  #9  
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What a brute! We don't see 'em like that here in Michigan!
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:12 AM
  #10  
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This year is especially bad in Upper Michigan. As far as big bucks go, if I get a 85" 8 pointer on camera I get excited. Mostly see mutant spike horns and forks. It's pathetic.
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