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Thread: Status of Montague Island Deer

  1. #1
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    Default Status of Montague Island Deer

    I haven't hunted Montague Island for deer since the year following the big snowfall which according to ADFG resulted in a 60% mortality rate. So, I called the Cordova ADFG office today (907-424-3215) to see how the population is progressing. Charlotte and Samantha were both out but another nice lady provided me with some info which may or may not be of interest to others. So, I thought I'd pass it on.

    Last year, the deer pellet counts performed by ADFG indicated the 2nd lowest population on record. It showed a 12% recovery since the 60% loss. This year, the population has improved from 12% to 20% since the 60% loss. The gal told me things greened up about one month earlier than usual this year, which prompted the deer to move out of the areas they normally use to count deer pellets to approximate population. So, their pellet count got cut short.

    So, it would appear the herd is still at a deficit of 40% from the 20 year average population numbers. Put another way, on their graph, the deer population is close to the 2nd lowest data point on record for the 20 year average. So, once again I will postpone my trip to the island in hopes the 5 deer I would have taken will reproduce like...well...deer.

    I asked the gal why ADFG didn't close the season for does for several years as opposed to the one year they did. She didn't know but it's possible there would have been political pushback for doing so. She said they don't anticipate doing an emergency order to close or restrict any hunting unless there is a really bad winter.

    So, there you have it. The deer on Montague Island are recovering but they are not back up to their 20 year average population numbers just yet. At this rate, it may be quite a while before they do.

  2. #2
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    Ahhhhh, but were the deer at the 20 year average before the 60% drop? Or were they well above it?

    By the way, deer hunters out of Cordova have been doing well this year. Some nice bucks have been taken and plenty of deer are being seen when folks go out.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

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    Good point. I didn't ask her so I don't know the answer. I reread my original post and see I stated they were still at a 40% deficit from the 20 year average. I should have written they were still at a 40% deficit since the snowpocolypse.

    However, their current population is near the second lowest data point for the 20 year average. So, whether they were above or below the average population during the snowpocolpyse, they are now well below the 20 year average population.

    I should also point out since their pellet count got cut short this year, their numbers could be off (she didn't suggest that) and the gal at ADFG said the fat content and body size of the deer being taken this year are really good which would indicate a healthy herd.

    One thing is certain, based on the data they have, we have a healthy herd which is still well below the 20 year population average.

  4. #4
    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
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    I know anecdotal evidence isn't worth much, but I saw quite a few yearlings last year.

    If I had to guess I'd say that overall the population has recovered dramatically since snowpocolypse but the average age is pretty low with fewer mature bucks than 8 years ago.

  5. #5
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    I was out the first week of August on Montague for 2 days and naked for 2 days. During that time we seen 40 deer maybe more because we didn't count the ones we seen close to where we seen them the day before. We only hunted one Valley on Montague and one Valley on naked. Of all the deer we seen only 3 were bucks big enough to have head gear seen more yearling button bucks but a lot of does with fawns few sets of twins as well. From what we seen in the few days out there I'd say the population is doing pretty well.

    Living like kings

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    That's great news guys! Thanks for the info.

  7. #7
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Last year was great hunting 6 guys 4 days 15 deer
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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