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As I do every year I have calculated the 2015-2016 deer harvests by square miles of landmass. The following chart arranges the WMUs in descending order from highest to lowest antlerless harvests per square mile of landmass.

Ranking....WMU.....Antlerless.....Antlered.....Total.....% antlerless.....License/antlerless harvest
1.....2B....11.01.....3.69.....14.82......74.26%.....4.07
2.....2D.....6.31.....4.95.....11.26......56.07%.....3.50
3.....5C.....6.30.....3.43......9.73......64.76%.....5.15
4.....2A.....5.80.....3.59......9.39......61.76%.....4.10
5.....3C.....5.17.....3.26......8.39......58.01%.....3.43
6.....4A.....4.99.....2.94......7.93......62.96%.....3.46
7.....1A.....4.93.....3.25......8.18......60.26%.....5.05
8.....5D.....4.52.....1.91......6.43......70.27%.....4.62
9.....4B.....4.41.....3.59......8.00......55.12%.....3.71
10....5B.....4.36.....3.03......7.39......58.97%.....4.35
11....2E.....4.20.....3.73......7.93......53.00%.....3.96
12....4E.....3.98.....3.57......7.55......52.67%.....3.62
13....1B.....3.64.....3.26......6.90......52.74%.....3.77
14....5A.....3.54.....2.23......5.77......61.33%.....4.13
15....3B.....3.29.....3.02......6.31......52.11%.....3.78
16....4C.....2.76.....2.98......5.74......48.08%.....5.00
17....2C.....2.74.....2.94......5.67......48.27%.....3.65
18....4D.....2.71.....2.62......5.33......50.83%.....4.43
19....3A.....2.65.....2.85......5.50......48.19%.....4.75
20....2F.....2.24.....2.90......5.14......43.55%.....4.07
21....3D.....1.69.....1.60......3.30......51.39%.....6.76
22....2H.....1.40.....1.40......2.80......50.00%.....4.64
23....2G.....1.32.....1.96......3.27......40.20%.....5.37

It has been pretty much the same units at the top and bottom each year for over twenty years now. I find it interesting that the units that keep harvesting the most does seem to have stable or increasing deer numbers. I find it equally interesting that the units that keep reducing their doe harvests seem to have declining deer populations.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Thanks for Posting that info.
 

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Not sure what you mean, all the bottom WMU'S have stable populations same as the top WMU'S. Except 2D and that should be stable as of this yr.
 

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Thanks for posting RSB! You wouldn't happen to have the last couple years handy or have a link to your posts?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
PAlimbhanger said:
I wonder if you could do one for counties and then by townships in the WMU's
Harvest data is no longer released by County or township. There isn't enough data available to have any confidence in the township data. It is my experience, based on checking thousands of deer tags that a high percentage, perhaps even the majority of hunters, don't have the correct township on their deer tags. Most hunters have something on there that isn't even one of the County townships so the township data would be pretty much useless.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Discussion Starter #7
LONZO said:
Not sure what you mean, all the bottom WMU'S have stable populations same as the top WMU'S. Except 2D and that should be stable as of this yr.
Sure the WMU deer populations are stable.

The point was that those WMU where they have harvested the most does over the past twenty years or so are stable at higher populations, in fact much higher populations, than where they keep harvesting fewer and fewer does thinking it will result in more deer in the future. Harvesting fewer does hasn't worked out as hunters claimed it would. In fact it seems that it might well be having the opposite affect of what the hunters believed would happen.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Discussion Starter #8
cspot said:
Thanks for posting RSB! You wouldn't happen to have the last couple years handy or have a link to your posts?
I have it for every year since the beginning of the WMUs but it is a pain to sit and type it all into a post.

When I get time I can perhaps post up the past couple years if that would help.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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R. S. B. said:
cspot said:
Thanks for posting RSB! You wouldn't happen to have the last couple years handy or have a link to your posts?
I have it for every year since the beginning of the WMUs but it is a pain to sit and type it all into a post.

When I get time I can perhaps post up the past couple years if that would help.

Dick Bodenhorn
If you can. I know the copy and past thing not working on here is a royal pain in the rear. I was just interested in the last 2 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I suspect most people are most interested in the antlerless harvest trends. I will try to post them in a format that is legible.

WMU...03....04....05....06....07....08....09....10....11....12....13....14....15
1A....8.63....8.45....7.26....7.15....6.77....6.82....5.79....6.44....5.31....6.44....7.53....5.85....4.93
1B....8.02....5.67....5.05....5.67....5.38....6.33....4.49....4.35....4.49....5.24....5.10....4.16....3.64
2A....9.13...10.22...10.82....9.39....7.90....8.45....7.68....7.46....7.01....7.01....7.29....5.30....5.80
2B....7.79...11.74...10.64...12.11...11.23...11.23...14.68....9.54...12.47...11.74...10.27....9.54...11.01
2C....8.20....6.29....4.42....3.90....3.74....4.13....3.52....3.10....4.13....3.48....3.55....2.91....2.74
2D....9.40....8.89....8.89....8.20....7.28....6.27....6.43....7.74....7.76....8.36....8.69....6.60....6.31
2E....8.84....6.42....5.94....5.87....5.07....4.91....4.20....4.76....5.63.....4.44....6.34....4.44....4.20
2F....7.34....5.43....3.44....3.32....2.95....3.77....2.74....2.36....2.78....2.53....3.32....2.45....2.24
2G....4.95....2.58....1.51....1.12....1.60....2.21....1.02....0.88....1.34....1.58....2.21....1.51....1.32
2H................................................................................................1.70....1.10....1.40
3A....5.87....7.69....5.77....5.84....5.17....4.97....3.98....4.31....4.44....4.44....3.58....2.85....2.65
3B....6.10....5.95....4.84....4.71....4.53....4.40....4.04....3.38....3.42....3.87....3.87....3.60....3.29
3C....7.31....6.26....5.19....4.26....4.45....3.38....3.29....3.85....4.59....4.87....5.89....4.77....4.87
3D....6.02....4.49....3.34....3.39....3.21....3.16....2.89....2.52....3.30....2.75....2.29....2.38....1.69
4A....6.98....6.34....4.38....4.49....3.86....3.97....4.26....3.69....3.74....3.74....3.46....3.92....4.99
4B....6.63....6.93....4.16....4.16....2.83....2.39....2.58....3.21....2.46....3.53....3.65....3.53....4.41
4C....7.50....6.68....5.41....4.91....5.19....4.41....3.97....4.64....4.08....4.30....3.81....2.76....2.76
4D....5.89....4.62....3.06....3.61....2.95....3.39....2.95....2.00....2.40....2.29....2.99....2.49....2.71
4E....6.98....6.34....5.24....5.19....4.67....4.15....3.63....3.40....3.51....3.51....4.44....3.40....3.98
5A....5.89....5.61....3.61....4.00....3.00....2.92....3.23....2.61....2.77....2.77....3.15....2.54....3.54
5B....6.49....5.35....4.23....4.12....4.01....4.05....4.08....4.52....4.89....4.73....4.85....4.70....4.36
5C....7.67....7.79....8.11....7.42....8.71....9.31...10.69....9.71....9.79....9.55....8.78....8.98....6.30
5D....5.18....5.03....5.03....4.91....6.22....5.39....4.67....4.43....4.55....4.55....5.39....4.55....4.52

Statewide..7.43...6.56...5.38...5.21...4.92...4.91....4.62....4.45....4.80....4.82....5.03....4.25....4.10

Hopefully this is useful. I have other data to compare the units over a longer time period. When I get the time I will try to post some of it as well.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Discussion Starter #12
kudu58 said:
Do the stats for the antlerless harvests include DMAP harvests?
As far as I know they do include the DMAP harvests. There were a few years in the earliest days of DMAP when they were separated but that was resolved. From what I understand the released harvest data now includes all harvests.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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A lot of people like to take pot shots at these harvest estimates. I like the system and think it does what it is needed to do. I look forward to seeing this every year even though it has zero impact on how or where I hunt.

With the antlerless allocation dropping something like 35,000 licenses statewide, wouldn't it be expected that the doe harvest would have dropped more than it did? A drop of 4,000 does statewide is not much of a fluctuation over an entire season. Does that kind of suggest that the actual number of does that hunters are capable and/or willing to harvest is somewhat stagnant regardless of what the license allocation is year to year?
 

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Whoops, you posted while I was typing. Good. I am glad to see DMAP is included. Disregard the majority of my previous post. Thanks.
 

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3A had its lowest per square mile harvest in the last 13 years.

That I can believe! Still hard to imagine they got what the estimate indicates.
 

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The doe harvest trend is spot on for what I am seeing in my area of 2A. In that 2002 to 2006 time frame seem to be the pinnacle for whitetail hunting, lots of deer and some of the biggest bucks we had ever seen. The trend shows what we are seeing today, about half as many deer. The deer herd has been slow to recover from two bouts of EHD. A lot of hunters stopped shooting does on their property to allow the numbers to increase and numbers are increasing. We have a healthy group of 10 to 13 does feeding in our farm fields this winter, something we have not seen in awhile.
 

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I find it interesting that the units that keep harvesting the most does seem to have stable or increasing deer numbers.
Very explainable here in 2A. Contrary to what many have said in the past, we DO have good habitat down here, and our Deer are fat, healthy, and happy. But, the main reason you see us "reload" with Deer here in 2 A, after a good harvest, is the fact that our land is managed. When I say managed, those that do allow hunting, typically limit harvests, so they are not "shot out". Add to that, there are plenty of properties that do NOT allow antlerless harvest, or hunting at all, and those Deer get smart once the shooting starts. They seek and stay on those lands for a good while before returning back to their normal patterns. That's where and how you get the "reload" here in 2A. Can't speak for Elk Co, but my guess is that things are quite set up like that up there ?
 

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While I'm at it, I'll speak to the "habitat" thingy here. I was told, by respected field folks, that we have a bunch of non-native "crap" essentially. Autumn Olive, Multiflora Rose, Spice bush. And because we weren't loaded with the Silky Dogwoods, or Viburnum, and all the other "buzz word" bushes, we simply have bad habitat. LAUGHABLE
. We have plenty of other goodies for the Deer down here, native or otherwise, and I can show you the layers of fat I peel off of them when I process. It's actually a pain in the rear trimming it all off.

I tried controlling the Ailanthus tress on my property, which is IMPOSSIBLE by the way. Non-Native. You would not believe how those Deer are on the shoots, tender branches, and leaves once they hit the ground. Stripped clean and bare in no time.
 

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Harvest reporting rate is at 31%. In 2010 audit, WMI warned that reporting rate (38% in 2010) needs to improve if accurate reporting is to be achieve. Now with a 69% guess...I doubt the accuracy these days.

When will the mail-in cards be dropped so the PGC can inforce the law?
 
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