Interesting observations on adjacent SGL.
My family owns 50 acres in 4A in Bedford County. It is adjacent to a SGL and within 1/4 mile of one of its major parking areas and main road. So, the deer in the area see a lot of hunting pressure.
Anyways, being at the hunting cabin and pulled my game cameras which had been out since the end of January. My last buck holding onto its antlers was February 23.
After reviewing all game camera photos, this year my cameras took 32,764 photos. Yeah, you could say I am a game cameraholic with 11 cameras being in the woods.
I was able to document 24 different bucks before the firearms deer season and 17 after the last deer season ended. Of those 17, 9 would have been legal to shoot, including a 150"+ bruiser 10 point. My record was 14 deer in one photo in our food plot after all deer seasons were over. All 14 were antlerless and it certainly wasn't every antlerless deer in the area by any means.
With our property being adjacent to the SGL and so close to the main road and parking area, these deer are all frequently traveling the SGL and most game trails come from the SGL.
However, during the deer season I run into hunters on the SGL and they almost all say there are no deer, no legal bucks and they are so happy the doe season was ended during the first week of firearms season, but angry they issued CWD permits for the area to thin the does out.
I have to say, if it weren't got my extensive game camera usage, I too would believe the deer herd in the area was non-existant at times. It took me a while to figure things out but surprisingly, I quite hunting our property opening day of firearms season but rather I hunt opening day on the SGL. I now spend most days on the SGL. The deer flock to the large clear cut that is far back in and on steep terrain of the SGL. Unfortunately, few hunters make it back there...
I also had as many as 14 gobblers in one photo, black bears to 450 pounds and enough feral hogs to make the PGC and USDA both have heart attacks. Yet, a couple hunters said they are likely to stop hunting the area. Wow!