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Thread: Deer reports?

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Default Deer reports?

    Any good news for deer? Anywhere?
    I'd like to get out and get one, but the time and money factor is substantial and I don't want to go if the deer are wiped out. I'm thinking either montague or Kodiak.

    I'd call the biologist but they either never return calls or don't know it seems

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    Slim pickens in the sound we went to a few different islands and very little to no sign up high or down low. Tons of bears though in one spot we counted six bears in roughly 4 hrs.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote.--Benjamin Franklin

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    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
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    Yeah the bear sign is heavy out in the sound. I was out goat hunting this past week and I knew there was a lot of bears in the area. I left my inflatable on shore tied up and well, when I came back it was pretty much flat with a few holes in it from bear teeth. I guess that is how it goes, oh yeah no deer sign around unakwik for the 5 days I was out moving around.

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    The boys around Cordova have been seeing and getting a few deer this year. And while fishing on the Sound this summer, we saw a few deer on Esther Is and one on Culross.

    Just so you know Andy, Unakwik is marginal deer country to start with. Are there deer there? Yes and I've seen two really nice bucks taken there, but there are never a lot of deer there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    Any good news for deer? Anywhere?
    I'd like to get out and get one, but the time and money factor is substantial and I don't want to go if the deer are wiped out. I'm thinking either montague or Kodiak.

    I'd call the biologist but they either never return calls or don't know it seems
    Deer are going to be tuff again this year very little sign. But then again last year we did good. Just have to wait and see what happens the last week of November.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

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    Just got back from 5 days out in the sound. We did not see any deer but we did see quite a bit of sign down low which we were not expecting. The snow level seems to be much higher down there than it was out here when I got home. Lots of bear everywhere. Good luck.

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    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
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    In the ADF&G 2013 Fall hunting forecast ( http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...rticles_id=614 ) they say that unit 6 data indicates the lowest population levels since the late 80s. They also warn that EO closure may be issued after the first major snowfall.

    Personally I'd like them to shut down the beach slaughters on years like this so the populations can rebound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meanderthal View Post
    In the ADF&G 2013 Fall hunting forecast ( http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...rticles_id=614 ) they say that unit 6 data indicates the lowest population levels since the late 80s. They also warn that EO closure may be issued after the first major snowfall.

    Personally I'd like them to shut down the beach slaughters on years like this so the populations can rebound.
    Me too. I don't know why they are even gonna wait if its that bad

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    From a deer conference in 1978, here's the basic philosophy on PWS management.

    "The management philosophy at present is to maintain the liberal season and bag limits because hunting has little effect upon the deer population. The season will be closed by emergency order only when a small deer population exists coupled with a potentially excessive harvest. Rather than harvest all the animals that might die of starvation, their fate will be dependent upon a warm trend occurring in mid-winter. If the deer population is "high," the season will remain open-regardless of the magnitude of the harvest. Prince William Sound deer range will never support a large deer population except following a series of mild winters, so with a high deer population the hunters might as well harvest all they can."

    So you can see this is the kind of year when an EO might be in order. Two years ago, a big beach slaughter may have actually helped as seen in the following excerpt.

    "This past winter (l977-l978) proved to be an example of how deer hunting can affect the population. Heavy snow fall in early November forced deer onto the beaches and basically held them there through December. The winter appeared to be a repeat of the l97l-l972 winter when an estimated 80 percent of the Prince William Sound deer population was lost through starvation. Fortunately, hunting conditions were good in November and December and hunters took large numbers of deer off the benches. By late December hunters were taking deer which contained little or no fat. Warm weather (wind and rain) in January, l978 caused the snow to recede from the beach fringe timber, making available the abundant ConnuA, Rubu4, and CoptiA. A field reconnaissance trip in late January revealed little winter mortality,"

    " Had the deer harvest not been heavy, and in some areas almost excessive, considerable winter mortality would have occurred before the warm weather in January made feed available. This past winter was not typical. Usually the deer are not concentrated on the beaches during the hunting season long enough for a significant harvest to occur, and the majority of winter mortality through starvation would occur in late winter or early spring."

    http://books.google.com/books?id=IEJ...0sound&f=false
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    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodux View Post
    From a deer conference in 1978, here's the basic philosophy on PWS management.

    "The management philosophy at present is to maintain the liberal season and bag limits because hunting has little effect upon the deer population. The season will be closed by emergency order only when a small deer population exists coupled with a potentially excessive harvest. Rather than harvest all the animals that might die of starvation, their fate will be dependent upon a warm trend occurring in mid-winter. If the deer population is "high," the season will remain open-regardless of the magnitude of the harvest. Prince William Sound deer range will never support a large deer population except following a series of mild winters, so with a high deer population the hunters might as well harvest all they can."

    So you can see this is the kind of year when an EO might be in order. Two years ago, a big beach slaughter may have actually helped as seen in the following excerpt.

    "This past winter (l977-l978) proved to be an example of how deer hunting can affect the population. Heavy snow fall in early November forced deer onto the beaches and basically held them there through December. The winter appeared to be a repeat of the l97l-l972 winter when an estimated 80 percent of the Prince William Sound deer population was lost through starvation. Fortunately, hunting conditions were good in November and December and hunters took large numbers of deer off the benches. By late December hunters were taking deer which contained little or no fat. Warm weather (wind and rain) in January, l978 caused the snow to recede from the beach fringe timber, making available the abundant ConnuA, Rubu4, and CoptiA. A field reconnaissance trip in late January revealed little winter mortality,"

    " Had the deer harvest not been heavy, and in some areas almost excessive, considerable winter mortality would have occurred before the warm weather in January made feed available. This past winter was not typical. Usually the deer are not concentrated on the beaches during the hunting season long enough for a significant harvest to occur, and the majority of winter mortality through starvation would occur in late winter or early spring."

    http://books.google.com/books?id=IEJ...0sound&f=false
    Thanks for posting dux.

    I pretty much agree with the management philosophy outlined here with a couple of exceptions:

    1) I question whether hunting still has little effect on the population these days. I'm sure in 1978 it was true but today I'm not so sure.

    2) I think low population years are actually beneficial to the long term survival of the deer because they allow regeneration of browse in areas of marginal habitat or normally high population density.

    All in all I think ADF&G does a good job with PWS deer and know that my own impatience is my biggest problem. I'd like to see the deer hunting return to what it was a few years ago sooner rather than later.

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    How about Kodiak? Anybody heard any reports from out there lately?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meanderthal View Post
    Thanks for posting dux.

    I pretty much agree with the management philosophy outlined here with a couple of exceptions:

    1) I question whether hunting still has little effect on the population these days. I'm sure in 1978 it was true but today I'm not so sure.

    2) I think low population years are actually beneficial to the long term survival of the deer because they allow regeneration of browse in areas of marginal habitat or normally high population density.

    All in all I think ADF&G does a good job with PWS deer and know that my own impatience is my biggest problem. I'd like to see the deer hunting return to what it was a few years ago sooner rather than later.
    As to your #1, it wasn't hunting that knocked the herd down to where it is now, it was snow. Never, ever has hunting knocked it down, it's always been weather. The Sound has way more summer range than winter range. A series of mild winters can get the herd up, but all it takes is one bad winter to knock it down. The question is, are the deer worth more in someone's freezer or laying dead on the beach fringe.

    And you are correct about the low deer years. They make the high deer years possible.
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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    How about Kodiak? Anybody heard any reports from out there lately?
    Last winter on Kodiak was super mild with very little snow or cold temps. I spoke with the wildlife bio last week and he said that that definitely helped the population, but like expected, it will take a couple more of those winters to get the numbers back to where they were.

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    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodux View Post
    As to your #1, it wasn't hunting that knocked the herd down to where it is now, it was snow. Never, ever has hunting knocked it down, it's always been weather. The Sound has way more summer range than winter range. A series of mild winters can get the herd up, but all it takes is one bad winter to knock it down. The question is, are the deer worth more in someone's freezer or laying dead on the beach fringe.

    And you are correct about the low deer years. They make the high deer years possible.
    I'm well aware of the fact that deep snow continues to be the primary cause of mortality in PWS including the recent die-off of 2011-2012. I just question whether the amount of hunting pressure now might prolong the recovery more than it would have in 1978. Like I said, I agree with the management philosophy but I'd like to see the beach slaughter curtailed until the populations are near the carrying capacity for an average winter. I understand that it wouldn't help them rebound if we have another rough winter, but I'd like to see them take that chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meanderthal View Post
    I'm well aware of the fact that deep snow continues to be the primary cause of mortality in PWS including the recent die-off of 2011-2012. I just question whether the amount of hunting pressure now might prolong the recovery more than it would have in 1978. Like I said, I agree with the management philosophy but I'd like to see the beach slaughter curtailed until the populations are near the carrying capacity for an average winter. I understand that it wouldn't help them rebound if we have another rough winter, but I'd like to see them take that chance.
    You must have missed the following from the above deer conference, because it pretty much agrees with what you're saying. I think they have it under control. The only thing different they might do that they haven't done is reduce the bag limit like they sometimes do in Kodiak.

    "The season will be closed by emergency order only when a small deer population exists coupled with a potentially excessive harvest. Rather than harvest all the animals that might die of starvation, their fate will be dependent upon a warm trend occurring in mid-winter. "
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
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    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
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    Has anyone been out in the sound in the past few weeksdeer hunting with any success? Where isthe snow line at 2000? Im headed out later in the week, if the weather cooperatesthat is.

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