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There are some deer left in NY after all...

Old 12-25-2004, 05:21 PM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Steuben County, NY
Posts: 354
Default There are some deer left in NY after all...

Well...we went for a ride before dark tonight to try out the new binocs that my dad got for x-mas and ended up seeing a total of 73 deer in a 2 1/2-3 mile stretch around my house. It makes ya wonder where they all were a few weeks ago! I couldn't believe it...one field had 28 deer and another just down the road had 21. All appeared to does/fawns unless most of the bucks have shed...which I doubt. I was surprised that we didn't see any bucks in the bunch because I know that there should be a pile of bucks in this area, including several nice 8-pts. or better that made it through season. The landowner who owns most of the thick bedding cover in the area (250-300 acres of thick, nasty swamp) designated his property into a "deer sanctuary" before season this year and didn't let a soul on it all season long. Maybe I'll have to take out the spotlight one of these nights when its not too cold out and see want comes into these hayfields after dark. Anyways, just thought that I'd let my fellow NYer's know that contrary to what everyone's been saying (after the worst deer season in recent memory) that there are in fact still deer roaming around in the state.
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Old 12-25-2004, 09:46 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Default RE: There are some deer left in NY after all...

Yarding up, it must be the cold snap this past week that got them together. I agree, it was one of the worst seasons for production, but nice for walking in the woods, all in all a success.
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Old 12-26-2004, 04:53 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Western up state NY in the USA
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Default RE: There are some deer left in NY after all...

Knew there were some around.
We had the snow for the last few days of shotgun & while I did not see only 1 deer I did see tracks of 10 or 15 diff. ones.
Went back up to pull one of the stands & a field I have to cross looked like WW2 had been fought on it with all the tracks.
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Old 12-26-2004, 09:09 AM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: There are some deer left in NY after all...

around here (south of albany) , the only place youre going to see any deer activity is near a cornfield. there are NO acorns in the woods.

i hunt the bow only area just outside the city. for the past 4 years there i have seen a MINIMUM of 10 deer a day. usually 20-30. it was like a game farm, i'm not kidding! i'm not one to pass up on bucks, but up there i would pass on 4's and 6's because i KNEW id see a big 8 or 10 before a few days passed.

this year, i hunted 25 days straight during early archery (most days sunrise to sunset, but at LEAST 6 hours a day) and saw 4 deer. FOUR. all does. not a rub, not a scrape. the property i hunt is a HUGE oak flat, not an acorn to be found. BUT, 1 mile north of me a farmer planted like 10 acres of corn, and 1 mile south planted about twice that amount. and didnt harvest it cause the ground was too wet...........so guess where the deer were? the night after he cut the south field , me (and about 3 other cars) pulled over to see the spectacle. i lost count at over 70 deer in that one field! several were bucks, one was nice.
by the time he cut the north field, it was the last week of gun season.

i hunted up at my spot with my bow for the last week of gun and the last 5 days of bow. i saw dozens of rubs that werent there before and i saw 2 bucks in the last 5 days of archery that would have been P&Y, real bruisers.

so wheres this rambling tale of woe headed? i think that the deer had no reason to leave the cover of the corn. i dont think that the herd is down, i just think that they are going to be where the food is at, and the reason i started seeing deer was because thier little oasis was harvested.

deer around here have been stripping bark and eating up the sumac allready, and i usually dont see that untill feb-march.

there is a lack of farming in this part of ny, but the people i know that had success were able to hunt near a food source. (ie corn fields , alfalfa).

i managed to scrub up a couple for the freezer, but nothing to write home about. i hunted HARD for them, way too many hours spent in the woods (is there such a thing? )

i just scored permission to hunt about 1/4 mile from the southern cornfield for next season, so if mother nature hinders crop harvest again next year, or the oaks don't produce, i should be in better shape. i just hope the deer and the turkeys don't have too rough a winter, because food is SCARCE around my neck of NY.

thoughts?
-moose
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:00 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Brockport, NY
Posts: 613
Default RE: There are some deer left in NY after all...

As a taxidermist, I have been watching deer numbers for years. I used to collect sheds too, although lately I havent had the time to. I think the state is really trying to get the deer numbers back down to traditional numbers. Years ago youd be lucky to take a deer, a buck, or to receive a "doe permit". Then through the eighties and nineties EVERYONE shot deer. Most shot many. But the state has a tough task with management. Its as simple as this. WE as hunters want deer managed for QUALITY. The special interest groups want them managed for QUANTITY, as in LESS. The insurance lobbyists are the biggest interest group. You must have seen how many special permits are now issued to farmers. The state cant manage deer state-wide due to so much land locked up as non-hunting. It might be city limits, parks, or private land, but the deer are there, but we cant harvest them. So the state allows us to scour the huntable land, so, in fact, the end number, although lop-sided geographically, is in theory, within capacity. Not exactly herd densities equal to what the land can support, but...

I see great shed antlers every year in spite of this, as well as truly nice trophies coming in too. I just think the heyday and glut of the eighties and nineties is over. I dont like what theyre doing or how theyre doing it, but its what I see, plain and simple. I did get a buck in from western NY that should gross over 180s. All is not lost!
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Old 12-26-2004, 06:48 PM
  #6  
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Steuben County, NY
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Default RE: There are some deer left in NY after all...

Mr. Yox:

It's nice to see you on the forum. I agree that it is becoming increasingly more difficult for the state to manage the deer herd effectively with all the land that is being put off-limits to hunters. However, as far as the hayday of the 80's and 90's being over..I'm not so sure. I have a large family and most of our deer that are taken during gun season are a result of conducting deer drives. Over the past 30-40 years we have probably averaged around 15 bucks (and sometimes more a year) and have held these numbers until this past season. We haven't had any slump in our deer hunting over the past several seasons. My preseason scouting has definately showned no decline in deer numbers in the last several years. Over the past few summers (velvet footage) I've videoed some of the nicest bucks that I've ever seen in this area (Units 8P / 8R in Steuben County) including a number of 130-150" or better bucks, which are outstanding deer for this area due to the amount of hunting pressure we see. In fact, 2002 was probably the best that I've ever seen around here for numbers of nice bucks being taken. During that season, several exceptional bucks were killed within a few miles of my house. A friend of mine killed a 22-pt. that grossed close to 190" NT, another local guy killed a 11-pt. that grossed 170" on land that I used to hunt and another guy I know killed a 24" 13-pt. that had to have grossed over 160" (too bad he shot one of the main beams off, although he found all the pieces and had it fixed). There seemed to be no shortage of deer around this summer...but this past season certaining had alot of people puzzled. There should be alot of nice trophy-class bucks around for next year with the number of bucks that made it through season this year (at least in a few areas that I know of around here). I sure hope that what occurred this year doesn't become a trend [:'(].

I just started shed hunting this past spring and had a blast doing it. I ended up with 8 sheds including a 61" 5-pt. side and 3 other single sides that should have been 50" or better 5-pt. sides if it hadn't have been for broken tines. I can't wait to get out there and doing so lookin' over the next few months. All that I've been thinking about since the end of deer season has been about getting out there and trying to find some big antlers. It doesn't help much that a friend of my dad's has some land were there is a bunch of standing corn and he told my dad today at the store that he's seen several really nice bucks around since the end of muzzeloading season, including a couple of real monsters, one of which has a long droptine! It sure is neat to video a buck or find one of his sheds and then see that same buck feeding out in a field the next summer.

Was that 180" buck that you mentioned a typical or nontypical?




Here's a photo of the 4.5 yr. old 22-pt that my friend killed in 2002. The pic. doesn't do the 8.5 lb. rack any justice! Interestingly, I watched this buck for two years and have over an hour of velvet footage of him in July 2002. In 2001 I saw him twice and he was a 13 or 14 pt. that would have went around 130-135." Too bad he didn't make it another year because he probably would have been a booner. A friend of mine has the 2 yr. old sheds off of this buck. I've heard from several people (including the guy who shot the 22-pt.) that there was a huge typical running around the same area that year that was far more impressive than this one. Unfortunately, no one ever got him or has seen him since.
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Old 12-27-2004, 07:35 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Brockport, NY
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Default RE: There are some deer left in NY after all...

WNY, thanks for the warm welcome. That buck I mentioned was basically a typical with extras, but will go NTyp. As for the numbers, you gotta figure when taxidermists all start calling wondering why they arent getting heads in like usual, and even the meat processors are calling, its something! I know guys that are off by more than 50% and I know its not the economy. My numbers are still there, including higher deposit amounts, and Im a bit pricey for the area, so I dont think its the economy. I think some areas, like yours, are really improving trophy-wise, and maybe even numbers too. Other areas are really lagging in deer numbers. When the butchers and taxidermists arent seeing the work, and many of the bucks I cape out have .22 bullets in their necks and heads that are infected from earlier (illegal?) shooting, and I find piles of skeletons in back lots behind big farming operations while shed hunting, well...you draw your own conclusions. I agree they arent all gone, I see them at night when driving to town, etc. But numbers arent what they were earlier, in many places, at least. Glad to hear all is well by your area. I remember that nice buck your buddy killed. I liked the palmation it has.
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:37 AM
  #8  
Fork Horn
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Location: Steuben County, NY
Posts: 354
Default RE: There are some deer left in NY after all...

ORIGINAL: Bill Yox

I think some areas, like yours, are really improving trophy-wise, and maybe even numbers too. Other areas are really lagging in deer numbers. When the butchers and taxidermists arent seeing the work, and many of the bucks I cape out have .22 bullets in their necks and heads that are infected from earlier (illegal?) shooting, and I find piles of skeletons in back lots behind big farming operations while shed hunting, well...you draw your own conclusions. I agree they arent all gone, I see them at night when driving to town, etc. But numbers arent what they were earlier, in many places, at least.
Mr. Yox,

The deer numbers around here definately don't seen to be what they were a few years ago either. I've heard that all of the local butchers were really down in numbers this year as well. However, I think it was a necessary evil for the DEC to give out as many doe permits as they have been (in this area anyways) because the deer herd has been too large for too long and the does really needed to be thinned out some. I think that I've been seeing a decent number of nice bucks around because alot of the land has changed hands within the last decade and alot of the properties aren't able to be hunted like they used to be. Could all of those skeletons you found be a result of nuisance permits? From what I've heard...the use of nuisance permits has really been getting out of hand in these parts.
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Old 12-28-2004, 12:24 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Brockport, NY
Posts: 613
Default RE: There are some deer left in NY after all...

WNY, right-o on all counts! I dont care for the crap that goes on with the nuisance permits when they get a permit that clearly states 10 animals, no bucks, and they shoot twenty, and then shoot the allotted ten and claim it. Not to mention the bucks taken. Im told I have no clue, but again, Im the taxidermist they call about how to save velvet, hahaha. I too admit we needed to take the numbers down, but Id rather see it done through hunting where WE receive the revenue, through licenses, and all hunter related usages ( sporting goods, restaurants, butchers, taxidermy, etc) rather than just wiping them out. It seems trivial to some, but they make their living elsewhere too. Once numbers are more balanced, some guys wont come back to hunting or the hunt related industry, but itll always be there for those who wanna support it. Numbers will always fluctuate. Less deer, more private trophy management and growing more cover only spells bigger bucks, in my opinion. By the way, I also raise whitetails in captivity, too.
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