View Full Version : Gun season numbers.

12-11-2014, 03:51 PM
Just saw in the local paper gun week numbers are down 10,000 deer from last yr! I hope DNR steps back and takes a serious look at the numbers! I know I haven't seen near the deer this yr like the last couple yrs!
Any one else have thoughts?


12-11-2014, 07:43 PM
amish, coyotes, telephone tagging bobcats

12-12-2014, 07:09 AM
I still hunt opening day of gun season every year, despite preferring my bow. I hunt public land in Belmont/Guernsey County and in years past I can count usually around 100 shots fired by 10 a.m. This year, I think I counted 10-15. I could not believe it. Granted the weather was cold and rainy - But there were still a lot of trucks and orange. Just not deer. I know hunters who take 8+ deer each year by hunting the different zones. In my opinion that is too much. I think we are in trouble in Ohio.

12-12-2014, 07:43 AM
You guys are starting to sound like the guys in pa. Our numbers are down but there are multiple causes. The biggest being doe tag allocations and how many deer that would have gone to the check stations are now not being reported? I bet those are the two biggest factors in the low deer numbers game. To blame the Amish is silly. I live in Lancaster county pa. We have a lot of Amish. They hunt like the rest of us. When I lived in Ohio I hunted around middle field which has a healthy Amish population. But in both cases I never saw them do anything that would cause deer numbers to drop 10,000. I am not the biggest fan of the Amish for various reasons but it has nothing to do with how they hunt.

Genesis 9:3
12-12-2014, 12:13 PM
If my memory serves me right, last winter was REALLY STINKING COLD!!! "We haven't had a winter like this in 30 years..." is what I heard from all my neighbors. As a first time home owner going through our first winter of paying for propane, I felt it! If it was that hard for me, I can't imagine it made things any easier for the deer.

That said, I know there are people who move to different counties and tag out... but it's not like that is something that just started happening last year. The Amish have been around for a long time... corn harvest set another record and we didn't have a huge drought this year either.

The only thing I can think of that was significantly different leading up to this year was the nasty winter this past year...

telephone tagging bobcats Eh... :confused: not sure what that's supposed to mean...

12-12-2014, 02:13 PM
I may be overthinking everything or just had bad luck but this is easily one of the worst years I have ever hunted. I will qualify that by saying it is the worst gun season. Bow season seemed normal which makes it all the more confusing to me. The past 5 years I have hunted my cousin's family farm (500 acres) in NE Ohio with 3-4 other guys. Plenty of woods, room, stands and feeders. Normally the first two days of gun season I could shoot 5 doe without even thinking. This year 4 of us were out there all day M-W and only shot one doe. I personally only saw 5 deer and none were close enough to shoot. It was pretty disheartening. I left there early to come back to my 10 acres in Delaware to try to shoot one of the 8-10 doe that were hanging out at my feeders daily. Sat all day Th-Fri and only saw two deer 400 yards off in the distance running. Definately going to keep at it with the bow but it isn't looking very good this year.

12-12-2014, 02:18 PM
Wolfe I have had years like that. No matter what I did I couldn't buy a quality deer encounter. Last winter was hard on everything. The weather this year for gun in most of pa stunk.

12-12-2014, 02:18 PM
Good luck with the bow wolfe

12-12-2014, 03:35 PM
well my 2 cents
Wolfe, hang in there good things come to those that stay at it!
as for deer sighting, I have said this many many times, I personally think deer these days patterens hunters, and they catch on faster than most hunters know it and adapt
I am guessing that if you guys have been hunting 10-12 hrs a day for 3 days a week, in spots you have hunted over the yrs, your deer simply have you Patterened, and are avoiding your set ups, and or , going nocturnal
Nocturnal deer are way mroe common now than they were say 5 yrs ago,
I have hunted a prime farm, with hundreds of deer, and seen how over the past few yrs, 90% of all there movements are ONLY at night, very little pressure on the lands too, BUT a ton all around it, more and more every yr
and as such, these deer almost ONLY move in the dark
making hunting suck
if you hunted all day for a week, you would almost swear there are NO deer there, BUT come dark, the fields fill up with deer
can legally spotlight here in PA< and by an hr after dark, you can count many times over a 100 deer in the main field??
yet,. NON are seen these last few yrs hunting in the day time!!
Deer are not the same critters they were , they are going nocturnal in many more places where they never were
and they for sure figured out hunters, and learn to avaoid them better than ever!

AS for you Nomad, I have to disagree with you on weather for PA's rifle season
opening day, we had snow, and some places had snow and cold(well started in the 20's then did warm up during the day) past the opening day
ONLY 2 days of rain here(seems every yr we get rain so thats normall)
most of all the other days wee cold here, 20's and 30's at most
winds NOW< they had been in the 10 mph plus most days, but many hrs of calm weather too
last 3 days here have had snow too

so weather wasn't alal that bad at all for 2 weeks of gun season
NOW< as for hunters moving deer??
that part I agree with
sems there are so few hunters out past opening day anymore, moving deer isn't like past yrs when they got bumped about all day long from restless hunters
so I agre there, BUT at the same time, that honestly was one of many hunters biggest complaints
wandering hunters walking into there set up, getting all the deer to go and hide

SO< honestly, if you have good land, with food and cover
this yr should have been a great yr for them
as the low pressure, should have a lot of deer on normal feeding patterens still!!

I know my local buddy that is a deer butcher, he said the past week, he got more BIG bucks in, than all last yr!!
guess many folks are starting to hunt after work more than taking time off
and many deer are getting killed on normal feeding patterens in evening coming into food plots
which is rather rare in rifle season most yr
so, the folks lucky enough to own food plots seem to be kicking butt this yr!!

12-13-2014, 09:16 AM
With last year's winter, I can imagine deer take numbers are down. I did notice (while driving to work during the year) that the number of deer I normally see, was lower than past years.

Having taken one during the 'end of pre-rut' (Nov 5), I can say it has impacted where I hunt. Knowing that, I'd be tempted to put out a feeder and some salt licks over the winter.

12-13-2014, 11:31 AM
I too noticed fewer deer this yr. It seems years of liberal doe harvests, coyote predation etc have taken its toll. Public lands are all but devoid of deer. Special regs for these areas are a must b/c it's driving hunters and hunters $ away.

12-13-2014, 05:40 PM
i'm not sure you guys will agree but, the doe numbers started dropping by my land FORSURE last year but, the buck numbers are still good....this seemed to lead to alot of rubs and BIG scrapes this year!!! but only 10,000 down from last year, thought it would be higher, heard of alot of tag sandwich's this year.....just like in michigan, i would say CUT WAY BACK ON DOE TAGS....WAY BACK..

12-13-2014, 07:54 PM
like I always have said, any time there is a deer loss, more often than NOT its due to lack of food all yr, any place I have seen that had good food all yr for deer, had lots of deer
far too many folks don't honestly know what GOOD food is, and what it means to have it yr round
as time goes by, the land changes and so does it food and attraction to deer
far too many times I hear folks say they had dee for yrs, and now don't
YET they haven't done a thing to there lands to make deer want to be there all yr, or have what they REALLY need to be there all yr
far too many game depts, for yrs and yrs counted on the forest just providing for wildlife, and let things get past there prime and usefullness to deer and other things
they kinda counted on the land regenerating itself, or public lands doing a lot of land care.

the hay days of whitetails in most states has long passed, and its due to deer numbers that grew and grew and grew, and no one did anything to support the numbers
now hunters complain about us killing too many, yet its HUNTERS that are doing the killing??
back to my opening statement, where there is good food, there is good deer numbers
its rather simple really
yet so few want to hear it!