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Current State – MN Deer Management

  • Carter Johnson
    Participant
    Anoka County
    Posts: 903
    #2159441

    Yep, and the DNR knows their salaries are primarily paid through license sales. No salary, no job.

    Its sad to see. We will get to capitalize on a lot of public land that will have almost 0 hunters on it. Which is great for a temporary period as you will basically have private land. But how long before the state will sell it off if we cannot generate license sales? I would imagine public land hunting will be slowly shrinking.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    Carver
    Posts: 6407
    #2159443

    I would imagine the reason behind this is the face plant that is coming with license sales. Once baby boomers age out of hunting, license sales will plummet. Hunter recruitment is horrible with younger generations. And the average age of hunters is only going up.

    Correct, but instead of simplifying the regs (which makes it easier to gain new hunters/fisherpeople) or doing things with our ample public lands to increase success rates, they want to scrap the whole system. That is not going to end well for outdoorspeople imo, but that’s another thread.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7188
    #2159445

    Its sad to see. We will get to capitalize on a lot of public land that will have almost 0 hunters on it. Which is great for a temporary period as you will basically have private land. But how long before the state will sell it off if we cannot generate license sales? I would imagine public land hunting will be slowly shrinking.

    Ya, I agree. Initially, it might seem like a good outcome for those of us that are hunting. In the long run, it may be detrimental to public hunting overall.

    Deer hunting has by far the most participation too. If you look at participation among small game and waterfowl, that has been declining more so. There’s more people deer hunting than everything else combined. Its pretty easy for me to obtain permission to pheasant, duck, or turkey hunt. Obtaining permission to deer hunt is virtually impossible.

    Carter Johnson
    Participant
    Anoka County
    Posts: 903
    #2159447

    Correct, but instead of simplifying the regs (which makes it easier to gain new hunters/fisherpeople) or doing things with our ample public lands to increase success rates, they want to scrap the whole system. That is not going to end well for outdoorspeople imo, but that’s another thread.

    I’m all for simplifying our regs. I agree though it probably wont end well for people that enjoy public lands.

    TheFamousGrouse
    Participant
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 9365
    #2159478

    Its sad to see. We will get to capitalize on a lot of public land that will have almost 0 hunters on it. Which is great for a temporary period as you will basically have private land. But how long before the state will sell it off if we cannot generate license sales?

    Correct, but instead of simplifying the regs (which makes it easier to gain new hunters/fisherpeople) or doing things with our ample public lands to increase success rates….

    The #1,#2, and #3 issue with hunter recruitment and hunter retention is land access. Land access that is difficult or non-existent = no hunters, but more importantly this issue of land access hits youth and any new hunters MUCH harder because:

    – A lot of young and new hunters come from non-hunting families. The family therefore not only doesn’t have access to land, but they also don’t have the network of landowners or public hunting areas built up or experience in how to find or get access.

    – There are a lot of logistical issues around hunting that are hard for new hunters of any age to navigate. Everything from obtaining guns and getting them hunt-ready, obtaining other equipment, and then how do you deal with the kill, care for meat, get the animal butchered, etc.

    Personally, I don’t see regulation complexity being an issue that’s stopping new hunters. The issue of land access is absolutely huge because no matter how much somebody wants to hunt, they will quickly lose interest if they don’t have any access to land.

    haleysgold
    Participant
    SE MN
    Posts: 874
    #2159498

    I find it kind of irritating how these threads get derailed.

    Jimmy asked about the current state – deer management because he’s seeing less deer this year, curious to know if others are noticing the same and why that might be.

    Now the thread gets flipped to state politics, the DNR, future regulations and gawd knows what else.
    C’mon man or men…start new threads when you’re taking a new swing at the plate.

    Or maybe I’m just f’n mad because it didn’t snow like this the 1st season…
    frown flame

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 2508
    #2159551

    I find it kind of irritating how these threads get derailed.

    Jimmy asked about the current state – deer management because he’s seeing less deer this year, curious to know if others are noticing the same and why that might be.

    Now the thread gets flipped to state politics, the DNR, future regulations and gawd knows what else.
    C’mon man or men…start new threads when you’re taking a new swing at the plate.

    Or maybe I’m just f’n mad because it didn’t snow like this the 1st season…
    frown flame

    Yep, a totally legit hunting topic and question and all the sudden it gets turned into blaming the dnr and everybody turning into a political regulation expert

    jimmysiewert
    Participant
    Posts: 124
    #2159601

    I believe we are, but not positive, at approximately 120,000 for our statewide harvest – which is WAY Under rolling year to year average and WAY UNDER the projected harvest (I believe I read they were hoping 180k or so).

    IceNEyes1986
    Participant
    Isanti, MN
    Posts: 996
    #2159603

    There has been very few deer seen on our 63 acres in 157 while on stand. My Grandpa, who’s 82, will shoot anything but a fawn. He got a little spork buck on opening day. The only deer, other than a pair of fawns, seen between him, my cousin & myself. I sat for 5 days, never saw a thing until last Saturday night. I unloaded the boom stick and shot a decent 8. It’s nothing to brag about but I was glad to at least get the opportunity to shoot one. There has been VERY little shooting around us both weekends. Which is not normal around us. I don’t know if its the weather or what, but they have become completely nocturnal. We came home from having dinner at the Bistro in Isle, & there were 8 deer in the front hay field. They are around, but just not moving during daytime hours.

    Here’s a link to the DNR Harvest Numbers
    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/deer/management/statistics.html

    Reef Whooligan
    Participant
    Posts: 1450
    #2159604

    I’ve only deer hunted for two years after getting my cabin/land three years ago so it’s always sucked for me. The thing that I noticed this year though was that none of my neighbors even showed up to hunt. The last two years deer hunting was the only time every property was occupied and the only time of the year I saw someone at a lot of them. This year it was just me and one other person up there for the whole first week.

    Gitchi Gummi
    Participant
    Posts: 1116
    #2159617

    There has been VERY little shooting around us both weekends. Which is not normal around us.

    Same here for 181. Theres been a couple days where we only hear 1 or 2 gunshots whereas on a normal year/day, we’d hear at least 20.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7188
    #2159621

    Theres been a couple days where we only hear 1 or 2 gunshots whereas on a normal year/day, we’d hear at least 20.

    I used to hunt in zone 172 in the Chippewa National Forest for 27 years. This year that tradition ended because we had too many people back out.

    However, I can attest to what you are referring to about the lack of shooting/hunters in recent years. I can remember many seasons when it seemed like world war 3 out there, but in recent memory the amount of shooting has dropped significantly. Whether that is a result of less hunters, less deer, or more selective shooting, I don’t know.

    I personally had not been seeing as many deer as I used to, but I was almost always waiting for a sizable buck instead of filling my tag with an anterless deer or a smaller buck.

    disco bobber
    Participant
    Posts: 248
    #2159629

    West Central – old zone 4. Probably too many deer. Browse lines are noticeable in the trees. Near me there is some sanctuary and a neighbor with quite a bit of land who hunts little if at all. Some neighbors are waiting for big bucks and I don’t know how many does are getting harvested. Not near the shooting there used to be. Is the cost of processing a factor?

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 8624
    #2159632

    Is the cost of processing a factor?

    I just picked up my son’s deer yesterday from the early youth hunt. 103 pounds of meat for $315. This was sticks, summer sausage, cheddar brats and jerky.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7188
    #2159634

    I just picked up my son’s deer yesterday from the early youth hunt. 103 pounds of meat for $315. This was sticks, summer sausage, cheddar brats and jerky.

    Once you start getting the sticks, sausage, and other flavored items, the price goes up exponentially. Plus the size of the deer also plays a role. I’ve heard of people paying over 500 bucks for a big deer to be processed into all that stuff.

    I’ve taken deer to Grand Champion Meats in Foley, MN for 20 years and I’ve never paid that much for a deer. But I also don’t load up on all those sticks and sausage. I prefer the prime cuts like steaks, chops, and tenderloin myself. My bill is usually around half that.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 8624
    #2159635

    I took 1 deer to Von Hanson’s in Waite Park and another 1 to McDonalds the same year. Von Hanson’s was nearly double the price and we got FAR less meat from them and the deer were similar size. Plus the flavor was absolutely HORRIBLE! Never again. I dont think they added any pork and very little seasoning.
    This deer was at McDonalds again and I have always had excellent results there. This was the most I have paid for a deer there, but it was also the largest one I have dropped off 49 pounds bone in dropped off.
    Pricing really varies though. I have a buddy that lives up in Roseau and he dropped of scraps to have sticks made since he does the rest himself. He paid over $300 just for sticks and didnt have that many pounds either. When they came they were just in a big bag and not even cut up. McDonalds are vacuum sealed and in 1 pound packages and frozen.

    disco bobber
    Participant
    Posts: 248
    #2159641

    The deer kill in my unit remained essentially unchanged when youth/early antlerless was added. A person can shoot 6 deer now.

    I might look into shooting another deer next year to be made into sticks, brats, summer sausage…etc…but I will definitely shop around and make sure that it is worth it.

    Are older hunters losing some of their steam?

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 8624
    #2159644

    Are older hunters losing some of their steam?

    Someone mentioned it earlier, not sure in this thread or another that the avg age of gun hunter in MN is 57. They’re dying off and not getting replaced!

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 9111
    #2159653

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>CaptainMusky wrote:</div>
    I just picked up my son’s deer yesterday from the early youth hunt. 103 pounds of meat for $315. This was sticks, summer sausage, cheddar brats and jerky.

    Once you start getting the sticks, sausage, and other flavored items, the price goes up exponentially. Plus the size of the deer also plays a role. I’ve heard of people paying over 500 bucks for a big deer to be processed into all that stuff.

    I’ve taken deer to Grand Champion Meats in Foley, MN for 20 years and I’ve never paid that much for a deer. But I also don’t load up on all those sticks and sausage. I prefer the prime cuts like steaks, chops, and tenderloin myself. My bill is usually around half that.

    We did 4 deer in my garage, made 200 lbs sausage a bunch of sticks, salami and steaks and brats.. 100 bucks maybe

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 8624
    #2159669

    We did 4 deer in my garage, made 200 lbs sausage a bunch of sticks, salami and steaks and brats.. 100 bucks maybe

    Id love to do that, but its just me and my boys and I would have to buy all the equipment myself. That is spendy. Granted its a one time purchase I suppose, but that is a lot of work too. My kids are getting older and they would definitely help so maybe in the future.

    Hoyt4
    Participant
    NULL
    Posts: 783
    #2159671

    Hunt 341 and we are seeing a ton of deer. We are having friends come in to try and get does knocked down. We usually take anywhere from 12-15 does but this year we are behind and the doe #’s are insane. I know with the Muzzy i’m going to fill two of my 3 tags. I’m still bow hunting.

    5 bucks so far and we are not trophy hunters by they all where giants in our books.Total of 6 deer as of now. So our goal now is to get those doe #’s down but we will not even put a dent into it.

    TheFamousGrouse
    Participant
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 9365
    #2159699

    There has been VERY little shooting around us both weekends. Which is not normal around us.

    Same here for 181. Theres been a couple days where we only hear 1 or 2 gunshots whereas on a normal year/day, we’d hear at least 20.

    This is the core issue in many areas. No hunters in the woods means the deer just do not move like they used to. It used to be orange coats in every stand and anybody else remember when guys actually did deer drives? Almost non-existent now, but it used to push a lot of deer around and generate movement.

    Compared to when I started hunting in the middle of the deer population highs of the early 1980s, there has been a huge reduction in hunters even going out. And the guys that are hunting, are spending way less time doing so.

    The family that farms/ranches cattle next to me has over 10k acres. Back 30 years ago, it was madness on their property. They would have 30 or more people hunting. All the guys that were part of the Baby Boomer generation in their 40s and 50s back then, are now over 70. They just don’t hunt and their kids/grandkids are too busy to hunt.

    License sales, to me, are giving a false indication of how badly hunting participation is really declining. My father still has plenty of friends his age (75) who buy licenses. But they don’t spend any real amount of time hunting anymore. I think it’s like that with a lot of guys–even younger guys. They buy a license, but then they can only hunt opening day because their kids have a hockey tournament and a dance competition, and …

    M F
    Participant
    Posts: 14
    #2159712

    They don’t split the archery numbers out in their interactive map so it’s hard to tell specifics, but here’s the breakdown compared to last year.

    Zone 1 is down 13,000, but they’ve got another weekend to hunt yet.

    Zone 2 is 7,500 higher than last year.

    Zone 3&6 are 10,000 higher (nearly double) than they were last year at this point, and so is the metro. There’s still the 2nd season in much of that, where at least another 4,000 are harvested.

    Add in another 10k for muzzleloader yet too.

    So in reality, we’re ahead of last years harvest at this point, or at least even depending on what the archery harvest portion of those numbers is.

    tegg
    Participant
    Hudson, Wi/Aitkin Co
    Posts: 1446
    #2159768

    In the time I’ve hunted (north end of 156) numbers have always been up and down. It was bucks only the first handful of years I hunted and I didn’t see a deer until my third year hunting. I seem to recall decent deer numbers in the 90s and crazy numbers of deer in the 2000s (like everywhere else). The winters of 2013 and 2014 decimated the deer in our area. I visited my property throughout the year in 2014 and literally saw 7 or 8 deer for the entire year (to include summer feeding in neighboring hay fields). I went thru a stretch from the start of May to Halloween without seeing a single deer in the neighborhood. I managed to see 3 deer while bow hunting for the 2015 season. Numbers have climbed since then but seem to have leveled off. What has happened is the micro patterns have changed. Literally 600 yards away as many as 30 deer will pile into the neighboring field to feed so I don’t believe the deer numbers have noticeably changed in the area for the past few years.

    Something to keep in mind: The 2000s were the peak of the peak so using that as a benchmark for deer numbers is going to be heavily skewed.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7188
    #2159775

    We did 4 deer in my garage, made 200 lbs sausage a bunch of sticks, salami and steaks and brats.. 100 bucks maybe

    Ya I remember yours wrapped in a tarp with ice. I really can’t do that at my house. Years ago we would butcher ours when we had time.

    FinickyFish
    Participant
    Posts: 143
    #2159790

    Seeing plenty of deer in 255. Took a decent buck (or would have been if two tines weren’t broke off). Lots of hunters and lots of them young. My nephew and nieces are always showing me Instagram photos of all their friends and other kids in the area harvesting deer. I think the hunter age is similar to job market age. Boomers getting older with a disproportionate amount of youth to replace. Personally I don’t think hunter participation per capita for youths is as bad as it seems.

    Also agree the moon on opening weekend was a definite factor for seeing less deer as they went more nocturnal.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 9111
    #2159833

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Bearcat89 wrote:</div>
    We did 4 deer in my garage, made 200 lbs sausage a bunch of sticks, salami and steaks and brats.. 100 bucks maybe

    Ya I remember yours wrapped in a tarp with ice. I really can’t do that at my house. Years ago we would butcher ours when we had time.

    If you have a garage or shed you could do the same. I’m thinking you don’t want to so you don’t. It takes 30 minutes to butcher a deer and another 30 for grinding and vac sealing. That’s me and a 11 year old kid.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7188
    #2159841

    It takes 30 minutes to butcher a deer and another 30 for grinding and vac sealing. That’s me and a 11 year old kid.

    Wow that is really slick. Sounds like you have it down like an assembly line. I might have to start doing it again.

    Tom schmitt
    Participant
    Posts: 419
    #2159842

    The talk of less deer movement can also be attributed to the increased use of deer stands. When I started hunting a deer stand was, standing in a spot where you could see a few trails. Then it progressed to a platform in between a couple trees.
    Now a deer stand is a completely enclosed box with a seat and heater.
    No longer does a hunter find himself freezing his A off. No more hunter taking a little stroll just to warm up.
    This all leads to deer not being disturbed.

    TheFamousGrouse
    Participant
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 9365
    #2159888

    Zone 1 is down 13,000, but they’ve got another weekend to hunt yet.

    Zone 2 is 7,500 higher than last year.

    Zone 3&6 are 10,000 higher (nearly double) than they were last year at this point, and so is the metro. There’s still the 2nd season in much of that, where at least another 4,000 are harvested.

    Add in another 10k for muzzleloader yet too.

    So in reality, we’re ahead of last years harvest at this point, or at least even depending on what the archery harvest portion of those numbers is.

    Nice wrap-up of the stats.

    Just goes to show you how individual hunter perceptions are just that–perceptions. How these relate to the real picture is highly, highly variable.

    The talk of less deer movement can also be attributed to the increased use of deer stands. When I started hunting a deer stand was, standing in a spot where you could see a few trails. Then it progressed to a platform in between a couple trees.

    Now a deer stand is a completely enclosed box with a seat and heater.

    This is an interesting topic on its own. See new thread.

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