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Thread: Ak Hunting News: Deer winter kill being evaluated

  1. #1

    Arrow Ak Hunting News: Deer winter kill being evaluated

    This news clip is from Alaska Hunting News. Discussion is welcome. This news feed is robot generated.

    Possible bag limit reductions from Kodiak to Southeast. Deer numbers are being evaluated to determine winter kill numbers after heavy snowfall.

    http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/...70325099.shtml

    "Even before Juneau broke its the seasonal snow record with over 195 inches at the airport, Annex Creek, just 12 miles south of town and also at sea level, had 450 inches, more than 37 feet."

    "'We started off with lots of snow, which rained off,' said Larry Van Daele, a state wildlife biologist in Kodiak. Then temperatures dipped into the teens. 'We lost most of the fawns early, and now the adults are starting to tip over,' he said.
    "Van Daele said the Department of Fish and Game may consider reducing the deer hunting seasons and/or bag limits next fall to help the herds rebuild. That's what happened after the winter of 1998-99."



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  2. #2
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    We had a about 3 inches of snow fall over the weekend, I been out trolling for kings and havent obeserved any dead deer VanDaele is talking about, I recieved a call from another transporter who was concerned about the westside and Northend of Kodiak populations, I told him if he can see them on the beach or road system they have too many. Sitka Blacktail deer are tough animals, they do not die from winters on Kodiak, they die from over population and then starvation. If the state has a change in the managemnet to reflect this then we will have a stable population, (we need to take more does) I lived here on the island all my life and heard all the theories. THe state needs to manage for the deer, not the hunter. When the deer population was way outa hand I observred a lot of deer starving on the beach, then at the same time I saw deer walking up in the snow. When you see deer on the beach, thats not a good sign, it means you have too many. The year after I observed them starving I was at a show and a guy boooked a trip and later that day he returned and asked for his deposit back, I asked why and he said a "guide" on Kodiak told him all the deer died off. I convinced him to come and hunt and he had a great hunt! THe "guide" didnt live hear year round but made a spring bear hunting trip and judged the population from that 10 days.

  3. #3
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    the fall after that big 70 percent die off was the fall my clients got all their biggest bucks, not alot of little spikes or small forkies running around, but the mature deer were everywhere it seemed like.
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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    After a cup of coffee, I wanted to clarify "manage for deer" meaning I was told that hunters like to see and hunt deer while the deer are starving on the beach vs hunting the terrain.

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    I've been waiting for this topic to come up. When I head to Kodiak in November I'd be happy with one respectable deer. What you are saying Kodiakcombo makes sense to me. More...

    --Bill

  6. #6
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    In and around Cape Chiniak there are dead deer everywhere. In fact I was surprised at first as the first time I checked the normal die areas was
    mid February and the open areas along the lake had no snow so I knew the cold got them. The buffalo are mighty skinny and showing pelvic bones as well. White sands north of Kodiak has dead deer as well along with Anton Larson Bay. Most of the animals are found in sheltered areas away from the beach. I suspect just to get away from the wind. Pasagshak animals all look very good and I haven't seen any dead ones there.
    Other than pasagshak all the does I have seen look like walking death so fawn survival will be very poor. Very good browse and food sources still available in most areas but because of the length and severity of this winter there isn't much nutrition in the food. Was very surprised to see how poor of shape the Chiniak buffalo are in.

    Goats look fine and the last fox I took sometime ago had good fat reserves. I do know the fox are pretty hungery as they are readily coming to the call. Once very cautious because of all the calling. Last weekend I had one run flat out 200 yards before he stopped to get my location.
    All for now

    Neal

  7. #7
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    good post hammer, don't suppose you could get some pics of the deer that are in bad shape, i'd be interested in seeing how they are.
    i was amazed at the fat on the deer we shot mid november, hadn't ever seen that much on them before, maybe they knew something we didn't?!
    Curious to see if they drop the bag limit again, if they drop it to two deer that might really start to hurt the transporters and push quiet a few guys over to POW and PWS for their meat deer hunts.
    kodiakcombo would a two deer limit change much for you down there? how have your deer been doing down that way? about the same as hammer stated for up north?
    goats...what a stubborn animal huh?! lol
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  8. #8
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Default Not many fawns left

    I haven't covered the areas recently that Neal talked about....Chiniak, Pasagshack, etc .....but in many of the hills and slopes around the city, towards Monashka, and towards Bells Flats, I'm not seeing many fawns like I was at the beginning of the winter. During the cold spell following the heavy snow, I couldn't believe how the deer were stripping the bark off trees that they shouldn't want to eat. I walked up very close to a lot of deer in the middle of winter during my hikes because they were so low on energy. Just yesterday I came across this winter's first mature doe that was dead. She wasn't bone skinny, and was a recent death...no rigor yet and the blood was still liquid. She didn't look bad enough to die, but maybe she got sick. I don't think the winter kill is as bad as F&G may think, but I'm also not flying around and getting a bird's eye view of the island like they are. I may see a lot more fawn bodies when the snow starts melting off more. This has been a hard winter, but I've been glad to see deer back on top of the 1000ft+ hills browsing despite the remaining snow. For a month or more they had to leave those areas because the snow was too deep. Although I never saw them stranded on top of Old Women like F&G reported. In fact I had deer walking up and down my hiking trail the whole time the reports were posted about them being stranded up there. Hopefully the worst weather is over, but I have no doubt there's more snow left to come before winter is over.

    Mike

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I heard all the snow was pushing the deer into town
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    just got off the phone with fish and game in kodiak and there are no plans to cut back the deer limit as of yet, so nothing will effect the bag limit for this fall season.
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  11. #11
    Member fnd1734's Avatar
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    Default FYI

    I just returned from a trip in the PWS (Tatilek and Chenega Bay). They also experienced a record snow fall in the PWS that is affecting the deer population that way. I talked with some of the residents in both places and they said the winter kill is pretty substantial. Some indicated the yearlings and older weaker deer have died off and only the mature mid-aged deer are making it right now. I did not see any deer or tracks on this trip. In the past trips out there I seen deer everywhere.

  12. #12

    Default SE deer

    Speaking from a lifetime in SE, it's looking like big dieoff of deer is evident this winter. I have seen many carcasses on the beach throughout the winter. As early as the end of November, I observed dead deer on the beach. This winter has been long, cold, and a new record year for snowfall. Only the hardy and lucky deer will survive. We have doe seasons in most of SE, which may need to be re-examined. Only time will tell.

  13. #13

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    Not to get off subject but how does this monstrous amount of snow affect the goats in SE and Kodiak?

  14. #14
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    john on kodiak said they are loosing kids and the goats are wintering in some areas where they typically wouldn't winter due to the snow.
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