percentage of the problem

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
To all MN (and northern WI) hunters. In your mind how would you breakdown the percentages of why our deer herd is so low. Between the heavy doe harvest, severe winter, and increase in wolf numbers how to you place the blame (other than the easy answer or blaming the DNR). Please identify your specific area breakdown and the state as a whole of there is a difference.

I would put 40% winter, 40% doe harvest, 20% wolves for my area and the state. I put the wolves as the lowest because I believe that if we hadn't been hammering does and had a light winter the state could handle a sizable wolf population along with a sizable deer population. The wolves only make it worse because the heavy snow and cold, but by themselves are not going to ruin the entire state.

Any thoughts?
 
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MoBuckChaser

Guest
In my area of if its brown its down with years of 5-7 deer per hunter per year?............ 100% its trigger happy morons!
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
100% winter
115% over harvest
130% wolves

I know it doesn't add up. But that's how much blame I place on each of those agents.
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
North Central MN.....my guess would be 15% wolves / coyotes / bears.
15% winter
70% over-harvest
 

Jameson

5 year old buck +
To all MN (and northern WI) hunters. In your mind how would you breakdown the percentages of why our deer herd is so low...

For the areas that I have given up on hunting in the more Southern portion of MN I would say it is 100% harvest of does. Where I currently hunt a little bit North and away from the extreme hunter-dense areas it would be more like 40% Winter, 40 % Wolves/predators, and 20% doe harvest. Statewide probably something like 70% doe harvest, 20% winter, 10% wolves.
 

Deer Kar

5 year old buck +
2 winters ago was the first time I can remember having winter kill on a wide area. So I will have to go with 5 year average.
Predators 5%
Corn price 5% ( loss Of CRP)
Weather 25%
Brown it's down crew 65%
 

McLovin

5 year old buck +
Metro area. 0% wolves. 1% winter kill. 99% dnr slaughterh
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
The area we hunt is now in the southern end of the new Central Forest Zone in WI. Our herd has been in a steady decline for the last 7 or 8 years. I attribute this almost wholly on the excess issuance of antlerless tags by the WI DNR and the filling of those tags by the "brown is down" crowd. If I had to break it down per the OP, I would say 95% DNR "sponsored" over-harvest, 3% wolves, and 2% winter kill(during the last 2 winters at least).
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
Northern Wisconsin my guess is mature forest=50%, doe tags=30% wolves/winter=20% 90% of this can be controlled. Get the feds to fire up the loggers and quit huggin trees.

The timber was not part of the question......but it is part of the winter issue. I agree....with the death of the paper biz and diminished logging around here......it's not gonna get easier for the deer going forward. Papermills are becoming extinct. Of course....the DNR will recognize this as a problem.....in about 20 years or so.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
Our last 2 winters have been pretty brutal. Although I'm not in "northern" Wisconsin, the deer seem to have done fine. Ironically 2 winters ago seemed harder on the deer than last winter (cold spring is the cause I think).

So to answer the question I would have to say 10% natural causes (wolves, winter, etc.) 90% human influence. The DNR can issue tags, but it still takes hunters to shoot the deer.

-John
 

biglakeba$$

5 year old buck +
I would agree 92% with what Stu mentioned.

I would up the predator issues a bit... We have a LOT of coyotes! They have to do damage on fawns more than a guy wants to think.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
All of the above answers are correct and it varies by area.

I found one small fawn that died during the winter, but I have corn still standing from one year ago. Thirty miles to the east, winterkill is more of an issue-ask Batman.

I am convinced that our DNR's need to re evaluate all of these things to get significant change. That means audit.
 

UP Powers

5 year old buck +
shocked that no one has said bears. Bears take a TON of fawns. I believe john ozoga said that the number one killer of fawns is black bears???? I could be wrong on that but I know it's very high. Does MN not have a high bear population???
 
B

bat man

Guest
90% doe tags but last winter was rough. It doubled our problems this year. I think last winter was bad enough it may drag the harvest under 100k.
 
M

MoBuckChaser

Guest
90% doe tags but last winter was rough. It doubled our problems this year. I think last winter was bad enough it may drag the harvest under 100k.

If it does go under 100K, will that be enough for the rest of the hunters to scream audit?
 
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MoBuckChaser

Guest
Sorry, But I hope you guys are wrong!
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
shocked that no one has said bears. Bears take a TON of fawns. I believe john ozoga said that the number one killer of fawns is black bears???? I could be wrong on that but I know it's very high. Does MN not have a high bear population???


.......Ahem. I noted bears in my post. And I agree with you. At fawning, bears and coyotes do their best work.
 

West Branch

5 year old buck +
I would say the immediate area around our farm is 40% doe harvest 40% winter and 20% nonhuman predators (bears, wolves, coyotes). 10 miles north winter would be a bigger factor and 10 miles south I think doe harvest would be a bigger factor. Neither changing by more than 10%.

This year has been an odd one for the wolves and coyotes. Usually we see coyotes on the south side of the property and wolves to the north or west but we have been seeing more coyotes to the north. Last year wolf pictures were almost once or a week or week and a half on the trail cameras. This year there has been one a month. Winter must have been tough on the wolves. Snow was too powdery for most of the time for them to catch deer possibly? But I think the coyotes must have done well on turkeys, rabbits and other small critters.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
By our house in SE MN about 80% of any deer number issues are caused by over issuing antlerless tags. 20% would be a reduction in CRP along with reduction of fencelines, woodlots, wetlands, etc.

On our hunting land in Rusk County WI (NW WI) I think the deer population problems in our specific area are about 60% predator related and 40% hunter/antlerless tag related. We were lucky last winter because there was a lot of standing corn all winter that helped carry the deer herd through the winter without any issues. The bear numbers in our area are extremely high and by the time the archery season opens most of the fawns are missing. I'm assuming a lot of them ended up in the stomachs of bears and coyotes. I will admit that the high bear numbers are easier to tolerate every sixth year when we draw a bear tag.

On the last weekend of gun season last year I was walking to my stand in 4" of snow on the tracks of a giant bear that must have been part polar bear. I guess that one wanted to eat a few final gut piles before he hibernated.
 
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