I had a beautiful walk in the woods yesterday.
Guess what I saw?
Rubs, scrapes and scat!
This got my brain buzzing with this new sudden activity. I have another theory to add to the pot of already thick soup.
This has been a super warm fall. Most of the nights have been around 8-10C with days between 16-20C.
Most people would agree that when it comes to deer, they hate the heat and love to move to and from feeding grounds when things cool off. They will move at night when its cooler and bed during the day on warm days. This drawn out warm weather could be disrupting their migration bio-clock too.
My theory is this:
108 is mostly mountainous with higher elevations than down south. Perhaps these deer stay up in the hills to avoid low warmer land temps and stay under tree cover where its shady. Nova Scotia is chalked full of natural springs and swamps to provide water. With such warms temps, things are still growing (Rack stacker feed dropped back in September is still sprouting) Flowers have even been blooming! With that being said, could it be the deer have had plenty of feed in their summer grounds that they didnt bother to come down lower?
Since Friday evening, Ive seen 5 deer. With temps dropping, night time may be bitter cold for the deer and the warmer daylight might be more suitable for them. They may have no adjusted to this new cold weather either, and like bears, may be suddenly feeling the need to pack on the fat. Now that its much cooler their migratory instinct could have kicked in. The mountains are much much colder suddenly, spurring the deer to move? What Im suddenly seeing in the last few days is probably the first wave of those better numbers seen last February.
This is again a theory, not fact or science. I still believe that there are loads of factors at work with deer and being the mysterious creatures they are, they will continue to baffle and stump hunters for the next 300 years.
Its great that you are giving input to our DNR here in Nova Scotia. Every bit helps! I could never ask anyone to not hunt, or to not take a deer in their area. It is a good suggestion though to those who are wanting to help with any concerns with populations in certain areas. Once again, every bit helps! As you said, its not like there are no alternatives to filling the freezer with store bought meat.
Each person has their own code of ethics, some are very noble, while others leave much to be desired. We all know "That guy" I myself feed a family of 3 and one 2.5-3 year old deer is enough for us. We could get 4 tags a year between my husband and I and probably fill them in, say 107, but I only need one deer. Next year I will only be getting a general tag because one deer is plenty! However, if I dont get one in General, I may get my muzzleloader tag to squeeze in that last week. Back where I am from 1 buck deer, forked horn or better was the norm in many zones and being blacktailed deer, its easy to skunk a season 4-5 years in a row!
I totally agree it is awesome therapy to get out in the woods and see wildlife. this is my first year trapping, and even if I dont get a single mangy coyote, I still enjoy the walk. My favorite is when the snow is just barely on the ground and you can see all the new tracks from everything thats moved during the night! Its like a book! Theres a great story being told in the woods!
So in light of the movement seen in the last 2 days, Im totally hoping we will see an upswing and our concerns are unfounded by hyperbole and irrational fears!