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Less deer in VA this year?

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Less deer in VA this year?

Old 12-30-2010, 06:24 AM
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Default Less deer in VA this year?

As the general firearms season is winding down I was just wondering what my fellow VA hunters thought about the amount of deer this year. It seems to me I have seen less deer and have taken less deer this year. I have had some personal factors happen that haven't let me hunt as much this year but I still was able to get out on key dates and it seems I didn't see as many deer on the farms/places that I have to hunt. I have been seeing some deer in NOVA but in the other parts of the state that I hunt I didn't see the amount of deer I am accustomed to. I have also heard through the grapevine the game biologist have said as much as 60% of the population were killed off from last years winter storms in parts of the state. I would like to know what everyone else thought about the possibility of the snow having a major role with the population this year. I know it did have some because the deer around the state are not used to that much snow but 60% seems to be a high number. With this figure it would mean that roughly 600,000 deer died last year due to the snow. Our average harvest has been roughly 200,000+ the last 4-5 years and with those numbers it would mean we roughly have at best 200,000-300,000 deer left in the state.

I will be very curious to see the deer harvest for this year when it comes out and compare it to years past. I will take an educated guess that the harvest for this year will be down from the 5 year average but it will interesting to see how much if any at all. If the winter kill was that much I would imagine the limits will be reduced in the future because the overall herd would be in check and the need to harvest more antlerless deer would not be necessary. I know it sounds odd, but could any mortality rates from the winter storms last year have helped the overall herd in the state? I was thinking it may have possibly helped the doe to buck ratio and may ultimately produce a better hunting situation in the future.

Any thoughts or comments on this?
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:05 PM
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Where we hunt at in Prince George we have actually seen more deer this year( the few guys I hunt with) on our properties. I know they increased the doe days by a few weeks here this year and the local game warrden says that they will make it all season here within a couple of years. It could have been just a good year for us but will be waiting to hear what some others think. 60% does seem to be an awful lot due to snow but I am no pro. Hope soom others will give us somemore feedback.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:41 PM
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We saw alot more deer in the places I hunt this year. Big buck harvests were at an approximate 10+ year high this year on the property we own. This year, we really started to see the benefits of the QDM. We have been practicing hardcore QDM for the last 5 years. Kinda makes me excited already for next year as several average bucks were passed on by several people this year, it's good to see people practicing restraint. We also killed a couple of real nice deer this year as well. Still got a day or two left.....
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:06 PM
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I mostly hunt near my house. Last year, I shot 3 deer and let several pass. This year I have seen very few deer and only had one shot which thankfully I made. I am not seeing deer in the fields in the evenings either. I suspect the early, hard winter last year has played a part but I don't know for sure.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:13 PM
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I'm use to seeing deer every day....did not happen that way this year. Sometimes I'd see no deer at all, other days I'd see 10. I attribute most of this to the heavy acorn crop in my area for both white and red oaks. My local processor stated his business was running average as of Thanksgiving but he knew of some in other parts of the state that were down.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:01 PM
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There were a lot fewer deer on AP Hill this year. Most blame the bad winter and lack of acorns last year. Gobbler hunters said that they saw a bunch of dead deer (apparently starved) this spring. Some also think that a lot of does aborted last winter due to the conditions.


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Old 01-02-2011, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mitchmtm1 View Post
There were a lot fewer deer on AP Hill this year. Most blame the bad winter and lack of acorns last year. Gobbler hunters said that they saw a bunch of dead deer (apparently starved) this spring. Some also think that a lot of does aborted last winter due to the conditions.


Mitch
I didn't hunt there the last two weeks of the season, but the last time I did, there were approx 400 deer killed for the year. Biologist there said none of those 400 were 1.5 year olds, which would be the young of the year during last winters storms. It'll take a couple years for the kill off to cycle through, just hope we don't have anymore winters like last.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mitchmtm1 View Post
There were a lot fewer deer on AP Hill this year. Most blame the bad winter and lack of acorns last year. Gobbler hunters said that they saw a bunch of dead deer (apparently starved) this spring. Some also think that a lot of does aborted last winter due to the conditions.


Mitch
There were a lot fewer deer everywhere... I too have heard that the bad winter last year really took a toll on the deer population.

Let's hope that by next season, the deer that survived were able to reproduce and will help rebuild the population!
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:46 AM
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Alot more deer this year in Henry county. Pulled 6 outta a small 5 acre plot. Two outta another. A third I recieved permission late season but saw 5 one day.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:45 PM
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I saw and killed more deer this year, than last year.
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