Contributors to this thread:
Discuss our Drought Article
Well, my situation is my corn is gone and beans are gone. Acorns are good, i guess, they are producing, but smaller. But it will be interesting if the deer eat acorns and then disappear or just east local forage. Its has me worried a little but I am sure i will adapt and overcome. But to the article, Missouri, thats where I live, crops are dry and getting harvested as we speak. Water, water, water, acorns, water, travel corridors. Thats where i am hunting. But is a good article to read, everyone should read it who is in drought.
Where I live and hunt in Idaho, it hasn't been as bad as in other areas. What I am seeing though has us looking at the upcomming deer and elk archery seasons with optimism.
The past four or five years, we have had wet enough summers that there has been good quality feed everywhere, and the deer and elk have been scattered over a wide range. This has led to many of these animals camping out on private ground where they feed in the meadows and alfalfa fields on private ground. This year, it has been hot and dry, the ranchers have already been pulling their animals out of these areas because there is no feed or what little feed there is is poor quality. We have seen more deer and elk sign higher up in the mountains where it is cooler and shady this summer than we have seen in the last 5 years.
This may not look very bad to most folks but it is soybeans that did not make so the farmer baled them. Soybeans are usually not harvested until october, but since the farmer could see there were no beans on them yet, he opted to bale them as cattle feed rather than take a total loss on them. Many farmers had to bale their corn and milo this year as well. Note the brown native grass on the far hill.
I`m guessing a lot of farmers here in SC ks will put their milo and beans under and go with wheat..I noticed very few fawns last year during the drought..I personally thought the heat was longer and hotter last year here in KS but this year the dryness is worse no doubt..fawns were few and far between last year for me..The game warden told me the state biologist said a lot of the mature does just left the fawns to do die so they themselves would survive...it probably happened again this year...I look for us to see a big difference in deer numbers here in Ks in a couple years...antler growth wasn`t to bad last year considering the heat we had...one thing a lot of us noticed was the bucks were broken up early..just not tips of antlers but whole beams as though stress or lack of nutrition was to blame..
My strategies will mock last years because the summers really were almost identical in my area...very few if any of the row crops made it on my hunting grounds..Beans are still alive but i doubt they snap out of it. We did get close to 2 inches of rain the last two days so we`ll see...either way i`ll be out there opening day and probably every possible day there after...
Downside - the heat and lack of water has greatly reduced all food sources.
Upside - once you find a good food source, deer movement is highly concentrated.
But it is going to be a very hard winter on the local herds.
I don't think anyone has realized how bad EHD is this year.I have seen it first hand in the preserve.
I personally think one of the best things we can do to help our deer herds through this drought, is to eliminate some of the pressure from predators. Last year when we went through the worst drought in Oklahoma history, we trapped over 43 coyotes. This spring, we experienced our largest fawn crop survival rate in many years.
We also notice that severe conditions such as these help strenghten our livestock herd, so I imagine the same would take place with deer. We've lost many of our weakest sheep, goats and cattle to the extreme heat...but the ones that survived seem to be a more hardy animal.
Thanks for this timely article!
Well this is good and bad news for me. Good news is Western WI is doing pretty well, but actually has been pretty dry just in the last few weeks. But we had an early spring and the hottest part of the summer wasn't bad. Most of the bucks we have on cameras have really good growth.
Bad news is I'm heading to Bill WY this week for the mule deer opener. We'll be in zone B, which is the Eastern third of the state, which looks to be one of hard hit areas. We used to hunt on private and public land, but since their property was a little better suited for pronghorn then mule deer, we'll be pretty much hunting the public land. They've only had 2" of rain all year. Hopefully we'll be able to locate some concentrated pockets of deer.
we got rain last night. \o/ maybe my food plot will start to grow now.
Yep pretty bad on my S IL properties I hunt, farmer is talking about cutting the fields starting next week and the beans are not too bad but the corn yield is going to be very low, may just cut it and bale it. He found this buck on 1 of the farms last week, sure hope there are not more!
The effects of drought are the same almost anywhere. Contrary to popular belief, hunting a water source is not magic. Success still comes down to locating a food source and that is what changes.
Most noticable in terms of the animals is the decrease in antler size and body weight. In a bad drought, you can expect up to a 25% decrease in antler development.
Our situation here is different from tyhe Midwest though we have had a severe drought. Since we do not depend on row crops of food plots, our problem is with woodland sources, i.e. acorns and green browse.
Although our antler size and body weight is not effected, usual and customary hunting hot spots may not pay off. In addition, I would expect a decrease in fawn production next year.
Dry as a popcorn fart here in Oklahoma. Last year was worse but this year is not much better.
I have noticed and increase in fawn sightings this year vs. last year but not many sets of twins or triplets like we use to see.
Foodplots are going to be hard to grow but we should be able to get some wheat up with the rain from last wkend most of the state got.
Coyotes have gotten out of hand here as they have in most of the surrounding states. We shoot every one of em that we see and they just keep coming back thicker and thicker. That along with drought conditions spells trouble for a good fawn crop.
In NH there has been plenty of rain,and we dont have any agriculture to speak of. The problem we have here is every other tree is a red oak, and acorns are EVERYWHERE! Business as usual here.
I feel for you guys who are experiencing the drought!
here in SW IA the drought has been very bad the area's we hunt have started to get hit hard with EHD. have forund about 8 deer so far in the last couple weeks. some good buck's dead and looks like many more will be found until a good frost or a lot of rain. reports have been coming from all over the midwest about the disease. small water area's are contaminated with the midge population and the deer go thru a very sad death. but nature will take it's course and it may take some time to get the deer herd back. we have had a good run of deer everywhere and looks like some area's will be back to populations of the 60's and 70's
Yet another advantage of feeders with regard to habitat management. Oklahoma, with the worst drought conditions in the subject article, and my bucks are fat and happy.
No dead or diseased deer on this property. No wasted labor on spring plots either. Does are carrying twins. It's as if the drought doesn't exist.
good to provide some feed when it's not as plentiful as it needs to be The only problem with your post is that EHD is caused by very low water availability in an area. water is in very small quantity and is found in only small pot holes when this happens the midges that cause the disease are consitrated in these small ponds. after the deer are bitten it;s only a matter of a few days before they are dead. we have been in a very long drought with plenty of crop food, corn and beans and have only began finding deer in the last couple of weeks, although we live on the Missouri river we have a few almost dry ponds that i think is the cause of our die off
An article in the WSJ talked about Monsanto's release next year of a new corn that is resistant to drought. Their new 'DroughtGuard' technology is expected to roll out for other crops in the future and reduce moisture needed for agriculture purposes. It will certainly take awhile to see this in food plot seeds no doubt, but the possibilities are exciting.