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The impact of past 2 winters on NY deer?

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The impact of past 2 winters on NY deer?

Old 03-30-2005, 08:15 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Steuben County, NY
Posts: 354
Default The impact of past 2 winters on NY deer?

Just out of curiosity, what is everyones opinion on how negatively the winters of 2002-2003, 2003-2004 impacted the deer herd in your area? The state is saying that its one of the main reasons that the past 2 seasons deer harvests have been substantially lower than they had been in the several years prior. I know that the severity probably differs throughout the state, but in my homecore area in NE Steuben County I certainly didn't come across any major number of winterkills while out in the woods turkey hunting or shed hunting during the spring of 2003 and 2004. I spend alot of time in the woods during this time of year and cover alot of ground but found no evidence of a large number of winterkills. We don't get as much snow around here as they do in other portions of the state. Sure, the deer had a rough time in this area and some fawns most likely didn't make it throught the winter, but that should be expected during winter in the north. Afterall, these are the conditions that northern deer evolved in response to. During the summers of 2003 and 2004 I saw a large number of yearling bucks in the area, bucks that were fawns the previous year. If the winters were as bad as the state is saying they were, wouldn't this age class have been the hardest hit? I'm not against the DEC or anything, I think that they do the best that they can with the resources that they have in managing the deer herd, but I think that their claim of significant winterkill over the past two winters as the reason for the decline in deer harvest just doesn't hold water throughout the entire state. I certainly don't believe that this is why the deer harvest in Steuben County fell from 23,000+ deer in 2002 to 11,600 in 2004.
WNY Bowhunter is offline  
Old 03-30-2005, 08:35 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Default RE: The impact of past 2 winters on NY deer?

I think 2004 was a hard winter on the deer in Cattaraugus County. I know the snow lasted on some hills almost to May. Factor the deep snow pack and the extreme cold temperatures of January and February that year and it doesn't suprise me. As for 2003 I didn't think it was that hard of a winter. This last winter shouldn't of been to tough on them either. Though there is still a 1 1/2 feet of snow on the hill as of this last Saturday. Hopefully this warmer weather will get rid of that in a hurry.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:58 AM
  #3  
Typical Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NY: NYC to Watertown
Posts: 897
Default RE: The impact of past 2 winters on NY deer?

[quote]ORIGINAL: WNY Bowhunter

Just out of curiosity, what is everyones opinion on how negatively the winters of 2002-2003, 2003-2004 impacted the deer herd in your area? The state is saying that its one of the main reasons that the past 2 seasons deer harvests have been substantially lower than they had been in the several years prior.
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I havent seen a difference in my neck of the woods,
as for deer harvests, wonder how much the weather affected the hunters more than the deer?
colder weather means fewer hunters out and spending less time hunting hence lower deer harvest
Terasec is offline  
Old 03-30-2005, 01:56 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 58
Default RE: The impact of past 2 winters on NY deer?

The 2002-2003 was the worst winter I had seen in years. This is in the southern Allegany County area. I checked my woods in March and measured between 18-24" of snow pack even at that late date. We had really good hunting that fall (2002), but as you remember, that was at the last of it. I'm with you, during spring turkey I never saw one winter kill, but come summer and fall, the deer were just plain gone, as the season kill numbers told. I don't know if it was the winter or what happened, but something sure changed things in a drastic way.
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Old 03-30-2005, 04:10 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Default RE: The impact of past 2 winters on NY deer?

Winter does not affect deer nearly as badly as some would lead you to believe. #1..deep snows are actualy beneficial in many ways to the deer. deep snow allows deer to reach browse that otherwise would be out of reach. Deep snow also provides ample insulation for the deer when they bed down and limits the impact of the cold air. Lack of snow and cold temperatures is actualy far worse on the deer than deep snow and cold. Also, I feed deer here in my yard. This winter at one point, we had 3 feet of snow in the yard. Every day, I walk out back on my snowshoes and feed the deer, packing down trails that become hard as a rock in the process. The small deer do for the most part walk on my trails, however the larger bucks and does couldn't care less. they are just as likely to blaze a trail themselves as they are to use the ones that are already there.
Coyotes on the other hand have a marked advantage in winter. When their is a crust, they can fly on top and run deer down. i personaly feel that coyotes cause deer a problem in the winter, not the weather alone. Take away the coyote factor, and it's just another day for the deer.
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:47 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: West Winfield New York USA
Posts: 545
Default RE: The impact of past 2 winters on NY deer?

Winter of 2002-2003 I found 38 dead deer, winter of 2003-2004 I found 17 and did'nt have much time to go out and look anymore. 99% that I found were doe fawns.We still have lots of deer, probably still to many for the land to handle in the winter months. The fawns can not reach the brouse because the brouse line is to high..

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