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Thread: Hoohna Deer Hunt?

  1. #1
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Default Hoohna Deer Hunt?

    Does anyone have any knowledge of what the deer population is like on the North end Chichagof Island?
    Particuarily in The Hoohna area or Port Frederick?
    Thanks
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Default Bad

    Hoonah area has been hit hard by 2 bad winters.

    They have closed the doe season again this year for Northern Chichagof and it sounds like overall people aren't seeing many deer around hoonah. I would look elsewhere if you are planning on travelling for a hunt.

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    Where's Whonuh?

    Good on ADF&G, which they'd of closed ALL the northern half of Unit 4 to does starting in fall '06.

    I remember them urging folks to shoot bucks AND FAWNS in Dec of '06.

    I'd guess than if you don't hunt off the road system and are in an area with uncut old growth forest, you could go o.k. in the vicinity of Whoonuh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    Where's Whonuh?

    Good on ADF&G, which they'd of closed ALL the northern half of Unit 4 to does starting in fall '06.

    I remember them urging folks to shoot bucks AND FAWNS in Dec of '06.

    I'd guess than if you don't hunt off the road system and are in an area with uncut old growth forest, you could go o.k. in the vicinity of Whoonuh.
    whoodunit in whoonuh?
    I couldnt agree more about not shooting does, maybe will look somewhere else or plan for next year. I was looking for a area that I could use my riverboat, Hoohna made some logistical sense.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
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    Default Deer, What deer

    Spent a week over there looking to get my daughter her first deer, only saw three, with only two shooters. Luckily she got one, so some steaks/jerky for us. Snow starting to fly so hopefully in a week or two might get better. Be ready to wear some shoe leather off. Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by r_bears View Post
    Spent a week over there looking to get my daughter her first deer, only saw three, with only two shooters. Luckily she got one, so some steaks/jerky for us. Snow starting to fly so hopefully in a week or two might get better. Be ready to wear some shoe leather off. Good luck
    R Bears,
    Were you hunting the road system or shoreline?
    I have never been there, but looking at my maps and google-e it appears there are some roads?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  8. #8

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    There are extensive roads around Hoonah. Google: Hoonah Area Road Guide.

    The roads are linked to the hunting restrictions in N. Chichagof: not only are the deer more accessible because of the roads, but also these are logging roads, and most of the quality old-growth forest that used to sustain deer in heavy snow years has been cut down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsiutoo View Post
    There are extensive roads around Hoonah. Google: Hoonah Area Road Guide.

    The roads are linked to the hunting restrictions in N. Chichagof: not only are the deer more accessible because of the roads, but also these are logging roads, and most of the quality old-growth forest that used to sustain deer in heavy snow years has been cut down.
    Thanks for the info, I was considering bringing my riverboat.
    Thinking that could be more productive than the road system in late November?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    whoodunit in whoonuh?
    I couldnt agree more about not shooting does, maybe will look somewhere else or plan for next year. I was looking for a area that I could use my riverboat, Hoohna made some logistical sense.
    Not shooting does doesn't always solve the problem. Sometimes it makes things worse. For sure you want a healthy population of does but if you have too many going into a bad winter it can eventually mean the same thing as not having enough. The severity of the winter determines how many are too many and that usually isn't known until after hunting season. The worst time of year for deer is late winter and early spring. They have fat reserves to get them that far, but they need the new growth to get them over the hump. If you have too many deer they strip their winter food supply putting all in danger. One bad winter usually isn't enough to really knock them down, but a series of bad winters is disastrous. While the young and old (especially older bucks that lose fat supplies in the rut) are the first to go in bad winters, getting some bucks and fawns through winter should be the goal too. The fawns are your future breeding stock. If there is a series of bad winters and all the fawns are gone, soon the does you saved are past their prime and you have no up and coming breeders. And if there are too few bucks you soon end up with an out of whack doe/buck ratio. This leads to at least two important problems. First, you start losing your genetic diversity as fewer bucks are fathering the new young. And second, the remaining bucks are working harder to service all the does and having to travel farther to do it. That runs them down faster and it also means that more does will not be bred the first estrus cycle which leads to more problems for the herd. The most obvious is fawns which are too young going into the next winter. The second is that instead of being born in a short period, you end up with fawns being born over a long stretch. This makes them more vulnerable to predators. Say you have 100 predators on an island. They will take so many fawns per day and does weakened by giving birth. But the fawns quickly gain strength and survival skills and the mothers get their strength back and the danger lessens. But if the does give birth over a long stretch because of late breeding, that critical period for fawn survival stretches out. Those 100 predators will be hammering the fawns for a longer period.

    If an area is really knocked down on it's population, it may be better to close hunting altogether than to just protect the does. But the reality is, there is nothing that can save the herd from a series of bad winters. And what's the point of saving does from hunters when they end up dead from starvation later on? At least someone can get a benefit from eating them if a hunter takes them. If they die in the woods, it just feeds predators and scavengers and helps keep their numbers up to slow the recovery of the herd. If the herd is trimmed before winter and early spring during hunting season, it leaves less animals competing for a limited food supply and the remaining animals have a better chance of surviving.

    Just my opinion.
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    Default Road or shore

    We pent time hunting both road and shore. The deer aren't at shoreline yet as the snow was not pushing anything at the time. We almost got her a bear as well but..........that's just part of the experience for her.

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    Default hoonah

    unless you [;an to stat u[in port fredrick, that's not really the place for your river boat out in icy straits. it's a big body of water that is prone to some good winds this time of year. sure they get some flat calm days, but then it can blow for days on end also...pm me if you want more info...

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    Twodux,
    I apreciate your insight on the cause and effect of the up/down cycle of the deer population, I am starting to think of these blacktails as more like big rabbits.
    Seriously though, the not shooting does is just ingrained in me from where I grew up, You certainly made me realize it can be much more complex and a delicate balance that I leave up to the F&G folks and hope they are making the best decisions they can w/ the info and knowledge they have.
    You have given it some thought and its interesting to consider, I guess anyone thats hunts for sport should have a basic understanding of these types of cycles.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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