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Old 12-08-2010, 03:12 PM   #1
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Default What has changed? Deer Population explosion

I grew up in Pike County, Ky. Across the river from Mingo County. It was an extreme rareity to see deer in that area when I was a kid. Now, they are everywhere. Monsters. I know they don't allow rifle hunting there. But I can't see that as a factor alone. Not too many people bow hunted because you had 10% chance of killing a deer.

Same story can be told all over the east coast. I hear that on the eastern Shore of MD, in the 70-80's deer were almost wiped out. Now its the place to go. In fact, you can kill over 32 deer in MD. I know urban spraw is to be blamed in the urban sections, but what about the shore?

Only place it sounds like deer are not exploding is PA.

Could be less hunters? Better management? Better habitat?
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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I know we have a lot more deer around my house (North East OHIO) now even then we did ten years ago when I started hunting. I don't know why.
You mentioned PA. I remember as a kid spotlighting with my dad and seeing 80+ deer in the farm fields. My first year hunting PA, also ten years ago, I saw over 40 deer the first day. This year so far three days of PA hunting I've seen 18 doe (several of which are probably the same deer) and two illegal bucks. So, while Ohio has been good, PA has been sucking.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
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I think its urban sprawl, the hunting land becomes residential land but the deer dont seem to know the difference, in the meantime they breed like rats, without being thinned out by anything but the occasional minivan. (and backyard bowhuntershhhhhhh)

edit: redundant! shoulda read ur whole OP LOL
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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Well, I know in southern WV, and eastern Ky, there is no urban sprawl. Maybe drop in population.

Its an interesting problem. The claim by several mags is there are more WT in the US today than there was before white men staked thier claim and fought to own the land.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #5
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Lol...I'm glad it's good where you all live. The deer herd in Michigan has been utterly destroyed. Don't come here looking for any deer.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Michlw39 View Post
Lol...I'm glad it's good where you all live. The deer herd in Michigan has been utterly destroyed. Don't come here looking for any deer.
Same here in Iowa! No deer at all!! Save your money!!!
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:49 PM   #7
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In unil L in Tn we are allowed 3 does everyday of season. The new 3 does a day limit started about 5-6 years ago. We have 5 weeks of rifle season, 2 weeks of muzzleloader, and 8 weeks of bow season. We used to see quit a few deer. If you hunted all day you would see atleast a doe or two. Now you see a doe in my area consider yourself lucky. My area has been in Unit L for a few years and the population has been killed out. I have seen 4 does since bow season opened and I haven't seen a buck at all in 2 years while hunting. You can see them riding around protected areas but no where near a public hunting area. Unless your in one of the big leases with their own size restrictions and doe limits your just SOL! My whole family hunts and with 8 of us in the woods only 2 has killed a deer. My wife got a 2 spike and my brother got a 4 point during bow season. I don't know how to change the DNR's mind here but their limits the last few years has been completely out of hand. You know the population is way too low when the known spotlighters are complaining about not seeing deer!
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:56 PM   #8
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I would guess it is a combination of factors. Better habitat - there are actually in many places more forested areas now than there were 60 or 70 years ago. I remember seeing a map of Ohio, and in 1900 there was almost no forest coverage across the whole state. Compare that to 2000, and there was good coverage over at least 40% of the state.

Better herd management- most state's DNR's have done a good job of managing herds.

Less hunters- there has been a steady decline in hunting for the past 20 years or more.

More land off-limits to hunting. With urban sprawl, you now have a lot of areas that still are good whitetail habitat, but are now off-limits to hunting because too many people live there.

Also, maybe some other factors I'm not aware of. In any case, I'm not complaining!
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:03 PM   #9
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I know I have read that several years ago Ky took measures to reastablish / improve the deer herd. They transplanted deer into areas.
One thing that in my opinion that has greatly helped Ky deer is that Ky is a a one buck state.

Still waiting on my chicken......

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:53 AM   #10
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Default Frigid Winters

Back in the 60's and 70's, the frigid winters took their share of the deer herds. The mild winters for most of the 80's and 90's kept deer numbers up in the northern states.
I just saw Syracuse, NY got thirty inches of snow. And I remember forty years ago, and the snows like they were yesterday. And the lack of deer behind every tree.

And I remember gutting out a deer in minus zero temperatures, with over a foot of snow on the ground. In those days, just harvesting a deer was a trophy. If PA didn't harvest the deer, in the last ten years, the winter would have harvested many this winter year.

In an other area, more frigid than the last few decades, I grasped a hot jon e handwarmer, on a morning hike. It was as if the decades had instantly dissolved.
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