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Low Deer Numbers


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#1 Daddy Duncan

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 07:39 AM

     Just returned from a 9 day hunt in Colchester county, zone 108.  Been hunting there for 50 years and this year was a big disappointment due to the very low deer numbers that we observed. There were 5 of us at our camp and we do bait and still hunt and we covered a lot of ground. We saw very few tracks , almost no deer droppings and not much evidence of any browsing. No matter where we put bait it was consumed by bears , which seemed to be everywhere and we seen 7 bears between us all. Never ever seen a bear in the first 40 years of hunting there , but we see them now quite often. We have been observing less and less yearlings over the last few years, almost all the does we have seen over those years had no young ones with them. Other hunter around us all quit after the first few days due to the bear situation.

   So I was wondering what other hunters were observing. Is the low number of sightings that we seen  due to the warm weather, spraying to promote coniferous growth, large coyote and bear numbers or a combination of all these things or this happening just in our area ?


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#2 featherweight

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:01 AM

DD. I hunt zone 108 and can attest to the bear issue. My plastic gas can has quite a few tooth holes in it now.

Too early to tell on the deer situation for me. I still hunted 4 full days and found pockets of decent sign. Others areas they have been good to me in the past have been disappointing.

While I don’t stand hunt, I do put apples in front of a cam to see what’s in the general area. Had a bear on cam for the first time ever. Also a doe & fawn, and two good bucks.

Back to the woods on Wednesday to hunt the pockets and find a few more.
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#3 Gotcha

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:45 AM

Myself and eight others of which only four of us are core hunters and we hunt zone 108 as well and have been doing so for the past 25 years.  Deer #'s were always good up until the severe winter on 2014/15.  I did harvest an eight pt in 2015 but it was the only deer I saw (weird, I know)!  The area I hunt sees a lot of pressure every year but has always been able to sustain that pressure but that is changing.  We have noticed a few does with little ones, a few small bucks and a few mature bucks.  With that being said, us along with others we've talked to have stated the numbers are down significantly over the last few years.  It was nothing to have a group of deer at your apples during a sit in the stand or have frequent deer visits throughout the days hunt but this year has produced nothing like that.  IMO, they should never allowed deer hunting in 2015 after that severe winter.  I don't think the deer have even come close to overcoming that winter kill.  There's a field near Nuttby that we always drive by on the highway and that field always had multiple deer in it every morning/evening and since that harsh winter, none of us have saw one deer in it since.  My buddy buys oats for his hoddy farm from the guy that owns that field and he was telling my buddy that every deer that winter died around his area.  He had found a lot of deer carcases come Spring after strolling thru the woods once the snow left in late May.  I love hunting as much as the other person but having a healthy deer herd for the future is more important but that's a discussion for another time!


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#4 Cliff

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:50 AM

I hunt zone 109 Denmark area I bait but also still hunt this is the first year in 30 yrs hunting this area that the bears are consistently cleaning up on the bait piles that and the very warm temps have made for a slow start to the season.

I know the fields on Nuttby haven’t seen a deer there in a couple years not surprising considering the amount of snow up there a couple years ago.
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#5 MWO has left

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:09 AM

Zone 104 suffered the same loss  in the winter of 2014/15 as you folks suggest. I pulled countless dead Deer off my woodlot, starting in April that year. The snow was still 4 feet deep mid April, the Deer just could not handle it any longer..  Every day I went up there were more Dead Deer. I refuse to shoot any there, going on to the third year now, even though I still take my gun for a walk each day. Just cannot bring myself to do it.  Now that zone, excluding the farmland parts, are almost void of Deer. But Bear..holy crap there are lots.
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#6 Gotcha

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:26 AM

Yes, forgot to mention the bear...HOLY, there's lots of bears around.  I saw four while bowhunting one day in October, all different bears.  Saw many others different days and not just before dusk but all day long!   My buddy shot one opening gun weekend for deer (dressed 182 lbs).  This province could easily support a Spring bear hunt this coming Spring.  Definitely taking a bear during my hunting trip coming up if it so presents itself. 


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#7 Daddy Duncan

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 12:11 PM

Yes, forgot to mention the bear...HOLY, there's lots of bears around.  I saw four while bowhunting one day in October, all different bears.  Saw many others different days and not just before dusk but all day long!   My buddy shot one opening gun weekend for deer (dressed 182 lbs).  This province could easily support a Spring bear hunt this coming Spring.  Definitely taking a bear during my hunting trip coming up if it so presents itself. 

 

Thanks for the reply`s. We are planning a bear hunting trip next year to our camp in zone 108. We have never done that before because of the 7 hour drive for us to get to our camp. But we might as well make the most of the numerous bears that are up there. I have 4 sons who hunt with me and maybe it would be a great opportunity to get in a early hunting season and see who can get the biggest bear. I too would welcome a spring season to help get the numbers down. I did talk to a biologist, that according to him bears were the number 1 killer of newborn fawns, so maybe a spring plus the fall bear hunt is in order. Some of the hunters we talked to up there told us they were going to shoot any bears they see and just leave them there. But None of us would do that. If you are not going to utilize the animal then leave it alone. The bear is just another part of the ecosystem and he does not deserve to be shot and left to rot.

.


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#8 3macs1

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 12:40 PM

Thanks for the reply`s. We are planning a bear hunting trip next year to our camp in zone 108. We have never done that before because of the 7 hour drive for us to get to our camp. But we might as well make the most of the numerous bears that are up there. I have 4 sons who hunt with me and maybe it would be a great opportunity to get in a early hunting season and see who can get the biggest bear. I too would welcome a spring season to help get the numbers down. I did talk to a biologist, that according to him bears were the number 1 killer of newborn fawns, so maybe a spring plus the fall bear hunt is in order. Some of the hunters we talked to up there told us they were going to shoot any bears they see and just leave them there. But None of us would do that. If you are not going to utilize the animal then leave it alone. The bear is just another part of the ecosystem and he does not deserve to be shot and left to rot.

.

Agree with you. If bears are not the no. 1 killer they are close. I never hunted bear in NS but have been in a tree in the spring in other provinces and if one blows a fawn bleet call I would not want to be in a ground blind that is for sure the way they charge in

 Cheers


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#9 Cliff

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 01:13 PM

Couldn’t agree more time for spring bear hunt!
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#10 Long Range

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 01:35 PM

 Here in my hunting areas we try to manage the herds, 9 does and fawns behind the house, 3 does at my new blind 2 does at our Stanley blind and finally will have info at the food plots end of the week.Not counting the bucks. The biggest problem with the deer herd is the coyotes!!!!!!! Kill the SOBs in your hunting areas and watch the herds grow. My plan again this year. :ph34r:


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#11 PLEASEDELETETHISACCOUNT

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 05:56 PM

Zone 104 suffered the same loss in the winter of 2014/15 as you folks suggest. I pulled countless dead Deer off my woodlot, starting in April that year. The snow was still 4 feet deep mid April, the Deer just could not handle it any longer.. Every day I went up there were more Dead Deer. I refuse to shoot any there, going on to the third year now, even though I still take my gun for a walk each day. Just cannot bring myself to do it. Now that zone, excluding the farmland parts, are almost void of Deer. But Bear..holy crap there are lots.

Absolutely.Widespread starvation those years all over the province.Most people hunting nowadays, that talk about seeing dozens of deer i have to believe are hunting in urban areas.The deer arent in the big woods of this province like they used to be.Hopefully pockets will thrive over the next few years, with a couple lean winters,decreased tags/reglations......Ha!!! wont see that happen😡makes me sick to even think about it.I got some knitting to finish up........
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#12 dbg

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 06:18 PM

I can't imagine why they don't have a spring bear hunt now, the population seems to have increased dramatically in the last 10 years. 


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#13 KEVIN

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 06:29 PM

Numbers are way down in the place where I hunt in 107 as well !! First deer I saw while on stand was the spike I got. We set 8 1/2 days...twice a day....nothing ! Heard the coyotes last Saturday evening, couple hundred yards from us...saw a bear on the way out the road (driving)...he crossed right in front of us....my daughter grabs the door and locked it.. ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

I asked why...can't repeat it here...lmao


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#14 PLEASEDELETETHISACCOUNT

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 06:59 PM

Numbers are way down in the place where I hunt in 107 as well !! First deer I saw while on stand was the spike I got. We set 8 1/2 days...twice a day....nothing ! Heard the coyotes last Saturday evening, couple hundred yards from us...saw a bear on the way out the road (driving)...he crossed right in front of us....my daughter grabs the door and locked it.. ^_^ ^_^ ^_^
I asked why...can't repeat it here...lmao

Lol👍
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#15 linnie

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:03 PM

 I did talk to a biologist, that according to him bears were the number 1 killer of newborn fawns

It is obviously an issue in my opinion. Bears are proven predators of fawns.

Obviously there are more issues than bears but I do not think a two bear limit over a fall and spring season would be out of the question. 


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#16 Tripple D

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:26 PM

Finding numbers down considerably in many areas and I hunt all over. Some places that had good pockets seem to have a lot less.But there are still good numbers in various places,just seems to be fewer places.Bear numbers appear to be up everywhere.In all my years deer hunting I only saw two,until this year,I've seen four already and may even go buy a tag.North River up Truro way the sum beeches are everywhere!
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#17 rasorbackq

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:02 AM

 The is really strange as in Springfield where I live , hunt and snare bears . This season my bear was in about every 7 days  . Still have a site that not once was hit  my a bear. Had a few just want right by a barrel with bread and chocolate .

  I didn't even snare a bear this season. Bears #s are way down in my area  and deer #s are up.

  Up doesn't mean high  but I have seen on cam 5 different deer here  Thats 5 more then normal for my land in last 5 years.

 Since no bear meat in the freezer I almost bought a deer tag . First time in 5 years but they all disappeared also now.


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#18 Wayne

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:21 AM

 The is really strange as in Springfield where I live , hunt and snare bears . This season my bear was in about every 7 days  . Still have a site that not once was hit  my a bear. Had a few just want right by a barrel with bread and chocolate .

  I didn't even snare a bear this season. Bears #s are way down in my area  and deer #s are up.

  Up doesn't mean high  but I have seen on cam 5 different deer here  Thats 5 more then normal for my land in last 5 years.

 Since no bear meat in the freezer I almost bought a deer tag . First time in 5 years but they all disappeared also now.

 

You must have sent them all over to my area, I got six different ones on cams and another friend has a couple on his cam 3-4 miles away. Never in 50+ years have I seen so many bears and so few deer in this area. Was always a deer haven.

 

Wayne 


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#19 greybeard

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:40 AM

I think deer numbers have been lower since Winter 14/15 in my area as well.

I have a few deer coming into some apples but its mostly a doe and a fawn that show up.

There is definitely no shortage of bear and the coyotes it seems you can hear 3 or 4 packs howling most nights and I see them often.

As a side note I have had a few people tell me they are seeing Bobcats as well where they didn't see them before.

Maybe all the predators are on the rise.


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Insanity/Hunting...doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different outcome.

#20 KEVIN

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:51 AM

From the amount of scat I've seen this year (lots) on the few outings I had after birds...coyotes are wayyy up !

Talking to a few friends that deer hunt and they're all saying the same thing....howling almost every night.


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