Contributors to this thread:
Ok, should we be alarmed?
Here's just some information for us hunters to chew on and form an opinion. I travel down Hwy. 12 south from #1 every weekend to our cabin near Rainy River on Lake of the Woods. I've been making this trek for a few years and have noticed the considerable lack of deer sightings for the last 2 years with this year sightings are basically nil. Last evening on a calm day, when deer movement should have been high, I spotted a grand total of 3 deer. A normal evening's drive should produced anywhere from 10 to a high of 60-70. This is not one event, some weeks I travel here twice a week and it's not the moon phase. Normally me and my neighbors will avoid travelling at "deer times" as most have hit or near hit deer in the past, now we don't even consider seeing a deer, let alone hitting one.
Anyone, anywhere else noticed this?
We all know Conservation has full knowledge and control of our "healthy" deer population...sic.
Hey Ron it's the worst I have ever seen. I live near Birds hill and have never seen it like this. My trail cameras are getting 3 pics a week instead of 20 per night on normal years. I've heard the same story from many people you can drive around at prime time and not even see a deer.
I've been way passed the "alarmed" phase for a couple years. Add the other fact that bears are the only thing a regular guy can pretty much get a tag for makes for a pretty crappy hunting season.
Last week I made a road trip to Wawota, Sask. Friend there with over 6,000 acre farm says since the winter storms of 2011, a deer sighting is rare, and this guy hunts a lot. My travel on #1 west to Virden then south/west revieled not one little deer trail crossing the ditches, where in past years, those small spider web like trails where common.
Sask and western MB is way better off than we are.
Almanac say dirty winter coming up not many in this country ether maybe they should of closed the season for this year not good though for the guys making a living guiding.
Almanac also said it was supposed to be a below normal snowfall last winter...and I didn't know where to throw it already come January.
I believe it was also the almanac that listed a forecast I looked at in mid September, and they had a week by week forecast, and the week where we had plus 30's there they were forecasting cold weather. If they couldn't get the "realitivly short" forecast I'm not putting too much stock on the yearly forecast.
But then again, by saying "colder than normal" I guess a guy has about a 50% chance of being right.
The Almanac is a crock of averages where when they are wrong, and that's 50% of the time, they just shrug their shoulders and print one for the upcoming year. Worse yet, people keep buying them and believe them.
Let me tell you....not only is the deer population in trouble. Moose are in in trouble too. I've called in over 130 bulls in 20+ years and not one in the last 2, as of this week.
Agreed, but the moose is an old story and they are all dead due to an entirely different reason...
Funny though, there is one area where the moose population in MB is actually expanding, and that is in an area where both the Natives and white people have agreed to leave them alone. The population is actually showing a significant rebound. Imagine that.
Agreed the eastern side of the province is in bad shape. At least if the trip we made to falcon lake every weekend for the last 6 yrs along the #1 is any type of gauge. Can't see it being due just to the new wider trimming but who knows. Some good news though. I've actually had good numbers reappear in a small qdm area I've been carefully watching and selectively hunting since 2008. On one section of just a small creek with only myself and one other "known" hunter I've seen the deer increase to an almost unheard of number for this area of 33. We have at least 6 mature does. Several pairs of twin fawns this spring as well as some singles. I counted 8 different bucks living there for most of the summer and through the early part of fall. Obviously we're not immune to the dreaded fall range movers but of those 8 I say 3 are 1.5-2.5 yr olds. 2 are 3.5 and 3 are 4.5-6.5yr olds. Highest scoring would be in the 160's as a 5x5. That genetic trait isn't common here though. Most are 4x4 or 5x4 bucks. But massive animals with Boone and Crockett size hooves!!! Lol Since 2008 I've only taken one doe from the area ( not for lack of trying believe me) and have taken 2 smaller bucks from a small piece 1.5 miles away where the genetics seem to favor large bodied 3x3's. Both bucks were unknown to us so as not to disturb our areas herd. I'm fairly happy with these results. An almost 1:1 buck deer ratio and really just monitoring and shooting very few does has brought the herd up significantly. So it is possible to bring numbers up but it takes a lot self control. Oh, and we kill every coyote we can. Has helped a lot.
You can never shoot does, and hope for a short winter
Agreed Jason. My (lack of trying comment refers to the bucks, not does. Kinda wrote that wrong. The first year I was there I killed a doe. That was it in 8 seasons. Took me a long time being very selective to have as many mature bucks and does as we do. Now another hunter has gained permission to the neighboring property and is excited about the deer quality. Boo for me but I'm working with him, I hope, to maintain the herd and he will play by the rules I think.