This post is in response to jimbridger’s comments below from the Bear Density Goals
Originally Posted by jimbridger
From what I am reading and seeing I don't think the recruitment of fawns into the winter herd has been impacted according to data published by the PGC and expressed in the harvest stats. If anything recruitment is increasing as a percentage of the remaining herd.
WHICH set of “published data” are you referring to???
Anyone who’s been following the saga of the 2G herd knows that PGC can’t make up its mind as to how many deer there really are, and therefore has no confirmation of fawn recruitment status – hence the need for a new predator/fawn study!
The PGC Deer Population Trend Annual Report for year 2010 (21001-10z.pdf) claimed the herd was in DECLINE for the past 4 years. Then the 2011 report (21001-11z) turned around and claimed just the opposite, it said the 2G herd had been GROWING over the past 5 years. Then the 2012 report (21001-12z) told yet a 3rd story – it skipped over those earlier years and placed the current 2G/2H herd somewhere in the middle of the previous two reports, but instead of citing the Oct population, it spelled things out via Over-Winter population.
This hodge-podge of data types, plus the fact that each set tells a different story, makes it nearly impossible, as far as I can tell, to ascertain any legitimate fawn recruitment status in 2G/2H over the past 10 years.
If you don’t believe me, look here at the reports from the PGC “experts”, and the graph I made from them:
When you plot those numbers it looks like this:
When you change the currency to Jan population for all reports, this is what you get:
The supposed peer-reviewed methodology that PGC uses to measure population trends produced 3 different trends for 2G! It’s stated right there in the PGC reports from 2010, 2011, 2012.
How does any thinking hunter not question this?
Clearly there are problems with the PGC population modeling tools. PGC claims that when the new deer program started in year 1999, the 2G deer density was 15 dpfsm in January (overwinter), then remarkably GREW all the way up to 27 dpfsm in the 2000’s (or 2010’s depending on which report you believe). Does anyone really believe 2G’s herd nearly doubled since the start of Herd Reduction???
Because of all the discrepancies in the published data, I won’t attempt to extract fawn recruitment for 2G/2H. But let’s look at 3A, which I believe is where Kip is.
The PGC reports for 3A are similar, but in this WMU we have 2 stories instead of 3 to choose from.
When speaking of deer populations:
January + Harvest = Oct, right?
Or if you want to get technical:
January + Harvest + mortality = Oct, right?
However, if you take the PGC published Oct deer population (from the 2010 & 2011 report) and subtract the next year’s Jan population (from the 2012 report), the difference is consistently LOWER than PGC published harvest. The numbers from our professionals simply do NOT add up. John Eveland should be on this like a fly to poop.
But seriously, this means either:
1) The harvests are inflated
2) The Jan. populations are inflated
3) Or, the Oct. estimates are low, right?
Since the harvest numbers are supposedly the best numbers available, let’s give PGC the benefit of the doubt and assume harvest is correct. And since the Jan numbers come from the most recent PGC report, let’s assume these are correct as well. That means the Oct numbers in the 2010 & 2011 reports are way low, so I’ll need to adjust them up to calculate fawn recruitment. Ready?
As you can see above, according to PGC published data, it appears the fawn recruitment took a dive in year 2007 and again starting in 2011. Well surprise, this nearly matches Kip’s data below. And Rosenberry “can’t justify a fawn survival study”???