Deer herd ? Up or down ? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Deer herd ? Up or down ?

What do you think of the size of our deer population . Is it going up or dropping ?
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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 09:03 AM
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You're going to get a million different answers to this and to be honest 90% of those answers are going to come from people who haven't put in near enough work to know what the deer herd is doing. Most folks have a trail camera or two out and haven't done much real scouting throughout the year/hunt the same exact spot they've hunted for 20 years. Those same people will be the ones crying that there aren't any deer left in PA.
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 09:29 AM
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We hunt right out of my buddy's cabin for rifle. I archery hunt, but not there, and only go rifle at his camp because it's tradition for us. Our lack of seeing deer is due to the fact that, it's a large tract of State Forest, all of the surrounding camps are no longer being used AND we don't do our homework for rifle. Although the neighboring camps all over the mountain surrounding us stopped being used right after the antlerless massacre of years past. We are seeing more deer so I think the population has definitely rebounded in our area.
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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 10:04 AM
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If the 1980s were a 10 and the late 2000s were a 1, I would say we are between a 5 and a 7, depending on WMU. It's not going up or down now. It's staying the same with up and downs being yearly, not a long-term trend.

Not talking about Special Regs WMUs. More like 3B.
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 11:16 AM
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From my own personal observations in exactly ONE WMU and traveling between two opposing ends of it:

2F North (Warren/Forest....ANF) the herd is increasing. The habitat is better than it was 10-15 years ago. Hunting pressure is down. Logging might be up a tick. It's almost all public land and large tracts of timber.

2F South (Southern Forest/Northern Clarion) the herd is highly populated and stable. The habitat is the same as it always is. Hunting pressure is the same as well. This is largely private lands, farmlands, broken ag/woodlots. Logging is consistent and more frequent from property to property with plenty of habitat/food for everything to thrive.

These two areas couldn't be much more different, actually. I live in the north of 2F....I gladly drive an hour to southern 2F to hunt. Northern 2F was abysmal hunting for a decade+ while there was virtually no change in the southern end aside from the already bigger bucks getting bigger and more plentiful due to AR. HR has almost no affect in the southern end. HR decimated the northern end.

That said, I'm not even sure how so many deer survived in the northern end in the past....there was no understory, no food aside from mast crops, no cover to speak of and a deer behind every tree.
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 12:33 PM
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I have hunted the area of Northern Cameron and Southern McKean since 1970.Are the numbers higher than when I started? No. (I don't want that many deer) .but they certainly are higher than the first couple of years after Gary Alt's scorched earth policy. The bucks are way nicer, the does are certainly much healthier. You can thank all the clear cuts and better browse for that, plus less hunters.
We have maintained around 40 camera's for the last few years, and it is truly amazing the quality of the herd. We hunt 99% on either game lands or state forest lands.
While things look much better than before, there are still area's that just don't seem to hold deer for some reason. If you walk through a hollow with a 5 day snow on the ground, and don't see sign, critters just not there.
But I like they way things are going in a least my slice of heaven.
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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 12:38 PM
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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 12:39 PM
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About the same I guess. Same old song and dance. Too many deer in the suburbs, too few in the big woods. I think the majority of places are just about near where they should be.
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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus99 View Post
About the same I guess. Same old song and dance. Too many deer in the suburbs, too few in the big woods. I think the majority of places are just about near where they should be.
Think about your statement for a second...Suburbs = smaller pockets of land, fewer places for the deer to congregate, big woods = larger tracts of land, food sources spread out, etc...

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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 04:07 PM
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3B- Sullivan/Bradford boarder. I'd say between 1-10 Id give it an 8.. Archery season for me personally id say 9!
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