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Deer Density Question

Old 12-19-2007, 11:14 AM
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Default Deer Density Question

What would you consider a good deer density for forested land with no agriculture and pretty cold winters?

I just read that Anticosti Island has a density of 55 deer per square mile in some areas. This is supposed to be one of the premier whitetail hunting spots in North America. Why is it OK for a 55 dsm there when we're supposed to be going for a fraction of that where we hunt?

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Old 12-19-2007, 11:23 AM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

i believe it depends on the land itself. if the land is capable of supporting higher deer herds, great BUT if the land can not support higher deer herds and the deer numbers are too high...the herd will be in overall poor condition and health.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:30 PM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

In south Ark, we have densities from 40-50/ sq mile. We have very few B&C entries as well. This area is mainly cut-over and new pines. How the deer survive, I do not know. We have very little disease.
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:21 PM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

ORIGINAL: bigangrychicken

In south Ark, we have densities from 40-50/ sq mile. We have very few B&C entries as well. This area is mainly cut-over and new pines. How the deer survive, I do not know. We have very little disease.
Same type of land and deer densities here, along with very little B&C entries in north Florida.We do have scattered oak hammocks that support high densities also
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:21 PM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

I hate you all, here in east central florida we have < 2 deer per sq. mile and a six pointer with a 10 inch spread is a trophy. I've been hunting two to three times a week since mid September and I haven't seen a deer yet.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:31 PM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

In South Texas, deer densities are lower due to available forage. Add a high fence and supplemental feeding coupled with food plots and things change. Anyherd in the UnitedStates is limited to available forage and harshness of winter. In the Texas hill country, statebiologist say there are areas with 1 deer per2-3 acres. I think it might be around 1 deer per 1.5-2 acres where I hunt. We have the buck to doe ratio around 1 buck to 2-2.5 does on our lease and the surrounding management area.It has taken years of whacking does and a lot of feed to attain that ratio. I have been on the same lease for 14 yrs. As the old timers left the lease and new blood came on board, management of the herd changed for the better. Over a 5 year period the average buck has now gone from 2.5 yrs averageto 3.5 to 4.5 yrs old with the occasional 6.5-7.5 yr old. The main factor in creating a good herd is the neighbors surrounding you. If everyone supplemental feeds, shoots their does and lets the 2.5 and 3.5 yr old bucks walk, it is amazing how quickly things turn around. On the other hand, it only takes 1 group of hunters on an adjoining property to put 5 years of management down the drain. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/habitats/hillcountry/
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_rp_w7000_0828.pdf
http://lists.envirolink.org/pipermail/ar-news/Week-of-Mon-20031103/009714.html
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:40 AM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

ORIGINAL: BarnesX.308

What would you consider a good deer density for forested land with no agriculture and pretty cold winters?

I just read that Anticosti Island has a density of 55 deer per square mile in some areas. This is supposed to be one of the premier whitetail hunting spots in North America. Why is it OK for a 55 dsm there when we're supposed to be going for a fraction of that where we hunt?
For northern forested range, the discussion is usually defined by "overwintering carrying capacity". There should be a big difference in pre-hunt deer density and over winter density. Typical numbers for WI are less than 20 for over winter. IMO the goal should be less than 10 for most areas in northern WI.

55 deer per square mile sounds very high for that type of range, but I'm really not familiar with the area. It is likely that Anticosti receives high rainfall amounts, and it is also likely that some areas are intensively managed for deer habitat / browse. Perhaps the number is realistic.

For PA, it is my understanding that much of the habitat is severely degraded from overpopulation. In that case, extremely low population goals (<10 deer / sq mi) should result in habitat recovery and increased herd health / productivity.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:50 PM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

I've studied deer densities and carrying capacity in some of the wildlife management classes I've taken and when I read they recommend 55 per sq. mile I almost spit coffee on my screen. That is a very high number and even with a square mile with a lot of agriculture that is high. I don't know anything about Anticosti Island so I have no idea what they have for forage, but that number seems very high for a temperate region that is strictly forested. I'd be interested in seeing more information on this place if you have any links. I'll try to Google it as well and see what I can find.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:04 PM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

They may have 55 dsm at anticosti but those deer do not have impressive racks. I've seen pictures of deer shot there and it seems a real trophy is anything over 100 inches. If they had a lower density they would probably be bigger.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: Deer Density Question

Anticosti is coastal and Wet - Lots of low lying browse both deciduous and coniferous for food & cover

The winters are not overly harsh and the predator and hunter pressure is light overall.
55 deer per square mile is a BUNCH - but not always over populated with adequate cover and food.

You cannot have 55 deer/square mile - say on an even aged forested Pennsylvania hillside, but you can on most of Anticosti Island.


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