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swedishpimple

I think the deer will die this winter.

88 posts in this topic

It has been pretty cold here in Northern Minnesota. I laugh at clowns on the Twin Cities news complaining about single digits above or below, when I keep waking up to -30 like today.

Now we have had multiple -20 to -30 days and the snow is getting deep. I think the deer in the Northwoods may struggle. My early prediction is for a huge swing from 5 intensive harvest tags to 1 lottery tag.

Are we best off having the DNR play with numbers or just wait for Mother nature to wipe them out with a cold winter?? It may depend on how many deer we want to run over on the roads with an unchecked population.

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The DNR can only regulate for what the population we have now and do what is best for the future. The cannot, however, manage for the weather. Deer are tough critters. However, I too think that the deer will suffer this winter. Might not be a bad idea to invest in some feeders if you are able. The snow doesn't look like it is going to let up anytime soon and I think that plays a much bigger role than the cold.

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Time to bring back the winter severity index. We're overdue, that's for sure. 20" of snow across much of MN already. I put a feeder up along with 2 cameras on our hunting property on Saturday. They're already talking another big storm for this weekend. I did hear a warmer than average February predicted though. We'll see...

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It is early but with the early cold/snow it is shaping up to be a tough winter. At least I got in a few food plots in my woods and the snow isn't too deep down there yet.

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I hunt area 172. They have given out bonus tags for quite a few years now. I think they should have gone without them this year. My group got lucky this year and did really well, however, almost everyone else I talked to up there didn't do so well, and now what is looking to be a tough winter I think we had our last good year of deer hunting for awhile. Talked with the wildlife biologist up there and he said to expect lottery for next year. last winter they when they did there ariel (sp) survey they counted 40 percent less deer from the pervious year

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Its going to be tuff for them since all the groves that have been torn down over the last few years for extra corn.

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I don't think the DNR wants us feeding the deer. They have gone on record in the local press here several times advising against it. Feeding or baiting allows nose to nose or nose to mouth relationship which is part of the problem allowing the spread the CWD (Chronic Wasting) and Bovine TB.

Some people in the state may not care but several Northwestern counties have lost their TB Free status and some really don't want it to spread.

I also know that within the City Limits of Bemidji there is an ordinance against feeding.

I do what I can with food plots...but I will not be out there filling troughs.

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I find it funny that people here that complain about the deer herd and buck to doe ratio are promoting feeding the deer.... crazy

If ya want what you want (better ratio) you should let nature take care of it for you.

Feeding is only going to help keep a lot more does alive.

Survival of the fittest!

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Those bucks that have little or no fat on them from running during the rut are going to die first. How is that going to help the deer population?

How is having less deer in general going ot help deer hunting in Minnesota? 95% of the people on here that are in favor of QDM, are in areas where there is a very abundant deer population. If we have less deer, its obvious that any thoughts of QDM are going to go out the window and we will be back to trying get a healthy deer population again, which is part of QDM. Maybe some of us don't want to have to go that route again.

As for feeding, I'd bet that if it came down to feeding or a massive winter kill, the state and groups start feeding. If it came down to keeping more does alive, I would.

It sounds like you are implying that a winter kill would be a good thing, that way we wouldn't be talking about QDM any more and we can go back to shooting one deer every couple of years.

I guess I would take any type of restriction on antlers and seeing multiple deer than not seeing any at all.

Note from admin, please read forum policy before posting again, thank you.

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Has CWD been found in any deer in MN? I know TB hasnt i kinda get sick of people saying that when it hasnt been found in mn. Dont feed the deer or they will spread something. Dont send you kids to school cause who knows that they could get there think about that one.

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I don't think the DNR wants lots of things, but that is Not going to stop me from feeding Deer on my land. I Left corn standing and throw out some supplements off and on.

This, nose to nose or nose to mouth relationship hype just isn't cutting the mustard.

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Time to bring back the winter severity index.

It actually never went away. The Index is measured by combining the number of days below zero with the number of days there is 15 or more inches of snow on the ground.

Readings between 100-180 are considered moderate.

Here is a spreadsheet from last year: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/outdoor_activities/hunting/deer/wsi_spreadsheet08.pdf

Taken from the DNR HSOforum:

Research has shown that deer have the ability to withstand very cold temperatures. Deep snow is the most critical factor with 15 inches as the threshold. Extended periods of deep snow combined with cold temperatures, especially in mid to late winter, lead to deer mortality. It is estimated that about 10 percent of the deer herd typically dies in an average winter.

Fawns (less than 1 year old) are the first to starve or be killed by wolves or other predators, as they are the most expendable part of the herd. As the WSI increases to a level of 140 or higher, increased adult buck mortality is expected. Adult does are the best prepared to withstand a severe winter in the Northland, one of nature’s way of perpetuating the species.

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I feed them every winter. Thay seem to be just fine no cwd here. But I feed them to get there antlers. Works great to.

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Managing Bovine Tuberculosis in Minnesota’s Wild Deer

Board of Animal Health: Current Updates

Background

Since 2005 bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been discovered in 11 cattle operations in northwestern Minnesota. The strain is consistent with bovine TB found in cattle in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducted surveillance for the disease in hunter-harvested deer within a 15-mile radius of the infected farms every fall since 2005. To date, the disease has been confirmed in 18 free-ranging deer, and eight deer sampled this winter are suspects for the disease and await final test results. All infected deer have been adult animals and were taken within five miles of a cluster of four bovine TB-infected cattle operations.

Because of these discoveries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) downgraded the state's bovine TB status from "free" to "modified accredited advanced" in 2006. As a result, cattle producers across the state face mandatory testing of cattle and restrictions on cattle movement.

The discovery of additional bovine TB-infected livestock operations, as well as the increased number of infected wild deer, has resulted in the state dropping another level in status to "modified accredited" in 2008. The DNR is committed to assisting the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) in regaining the state's bovine TB-free status.

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MrKlean..I think TB has been documented but CWD has not...look at the link posted above.

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Wow! We've had less than 3 weeks of cold and less than 2 weeks with snow deeper than 15 inches in most of the state and guys are sounding the horn to save the deer. The deer are fine.

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Those bucks that have little or no fat on them from running during the rut are going to die first. How is that going to help the deer population?

Your statements are ignorant. How is having less deer in general going ot help deer hunting in Minnesota? 95% of the people on here that are in favor of QDM, are in areas where there is a very abundant deer population. If we have less deer, its obvious that any thoughts of QDM are going to go out the window and we will be back to trying get a healthy deer population again, which is part of QDM. Maybe some of us don't want to have to go that route again.

As for feeding, I'd bet that if it came down to feeding or a massive winter kill, the state and groups start feeding. If it came down to keeping more does alive, I would.

It sounds like you are implying that a winter kill would be a good thing, that way we wouldn't be talking about QDM any more and we can go back to shooting one deer every couple of years.

I guess I would take any type of restriction on antlers and seeing multiple deer than not seeing any at all.

Just keep stirring the pot Brule.

What has the DNR been promoting for years????? Kill more does!

What do QDM folks want????? A more equal buck to doe ratio!

What part of the deer herd is highest????? Does!

I can only assume that by feeding deer the majority of the deer that will utilize this feed are the does, being that the majority of the deer out there are does.

A healthy herd is a smaller balanced herd, a FITTER herd! How do you increase a deer herds fitness, by taking out the weak!

So in a way, yes, I guess I am hoping for somewhat of a winter kill. For the benefit of the deer herd, not my own selfish wants!

Note from admin, please read forum policy before posting again, thank you.

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yeah I would have to agree with that... kill the weak and sick. wolves do a great job doing that as well. I would probably think that is why we haven't been affect by that chronic wasting. TB was getting to be a problem a few years ago but haven't heard much about that lately.

yup IMO wolves and cold = stronger deer heard

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I also do not agree with feeding deer. nature can take care of itself... I don't even think that the DNR should be as involved as they are.

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The first thing that I would like to say is that I respect everyones opinions and I enjoy reading peoples posts. With that said, I would have to agree with BuckKiller's statements when he says "nature can take care of itself" and "IMO wolves and cold = stronger deer heard".

I don't understand what deer hunters have against wolves. They naturally cull the herd. I also find it funny hearing people complain about the harsh winter weather. There is not much we can change about the weather. This winter is doing nothing but shaping up to be a "NORMAL MINNESOTA WINTER".

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...I would have to agree with BuckKiller's statements when he says "nature can take care of itself" and "IMO wolves and cold = stronger deer heard".

I don't understand what deer hunters have against wolves. ... This winter is doing nothing but shaping up to be a "NORMAL MINNESOTA WINTER".

I agree. We've been lucky the last few winters. This winter is NORMAL!!!

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    • Minnesota DNR News
      For Immediate Release:
      July 21, 2017
      In This Issue

      Conserving Mille Lacs walleye population requires regulation changes

      Mille Lacs Lake Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for summer 2017

      Conserving Mille Lacs walleye population requires regulation changes

      Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake will remain closed until Aug. 11 to protect the walleye fishery, and ensure its long-term health and sustainability into the future

      To extend the walleye fishing season through Labor Day, the state will allow for an additional 11,000 pounds of walleye harvest on Mille Lacs 

      New solutions are being sought to rebuild and sustain a healthy Mille Lacs walleye fishery

      New fisheries data collected by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources show the total safe harvest allocation for walleyes on Mille Lacs Lake (44,800 pounds) has already been exceeded this season. To protect the fishery and ensure the long-term sustainability of Mille Lacs Lake’s walleye population, the DNR announced today that walleye fishing will remain closed until Friday, Aug. 11.

      In order to extend the walleye fishing season through Labor Day, the state will allow for an additional 11,000 pounds of walleye harvest. Catch-and-release walleye fishing will run from Friday, Aug. 11, through Monday, Sept. 4, for the Labor Day weekend. Walleye fishing will then be closed from Tuesday, Sept. 5, through Thursday, Nov. 30.

      As these regulation changes were announced, Minnesota DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr reiterated the state’s commitment to rebuilding and sustaining a healthy walleye fishery in Mille Lacs Lake.

      “Improving the walleye population in Mille Lacs is a top priority for the DNR,” Landwehr said. “We deeply regret the hardships these new regulations will cause for anglers and business owners. But they are essential to protect and enhance the future of walleye fishing in the lake for future generations. We will continue doing everything we can to understand the challenges facing the walleye fishery, and take whatever actions we can to resolve this very difficult situation.”

      Landwehr and DNR fisheries chief Don Pereira noted that allowing for additional catch-and-release fishing in August is essential for area anglers, businesses, and Mille Lacs area communities. The decision to allow for this additional harvest was made with input from the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee.

      “We want to allow as much walleye fishing on Mille Lacs as possible,” Pereira said. “So even though state anglers already have caught their quota of fish, the DNR will dip into the allowed conservation overage to reopen the season on Aug. 11.”

      Through the closure, anglers on Mille Lacs Lake may fish for all other species in the lake including bass, muskellunge and northern pike. When fishing for other species, only artificial baits and lures will be allowed in possession, except for anglers targeting northern pike or muskie, who may fish with sucker minnows longer than 8 inches.

      A prohibition on night fishing will remain in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Nov. 30. However, anglers may fish for muskie and northern pike at night, but may only use artificial lures longer than 8 inches or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. Bowfishing for rough fish also is allowed at night but possession of angling equipment is not allowed and only rough fish may be in possession.

      Understanding walleye fishing quotas on Mille Lacs this year, and why that quota was reached earlier than predicted
      The DNR and the Chippewa bands that cooperatively manage Mille Lacs Lake agreed this year to harvest quotas of 44,800 pounds for state anglers and 19,200 pounds for tribal fishing. They also agreed that up to 75,000 pounds of walleye could be harvested from the lake from Dec. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017.

      That agreement allows the state to use a built-in buffer – the 11,000 pounds difference between the 75,000 pounds conservation cap and the 64,000 pounds combined harvest quotas – in an attempt to allow catch-and-release walleye fishing through Labor Day, following the mid-summer closure. Bi-weekly creel surveys show that state anglers already have reached their quota.

      “The DNR is using its full allotment to maximize opportunities to fish for walleye on Mille Lacs without violating our agreement,” Pereira said. “The DNR, just like area businesses, would greatly prefer to not have fishing restrictions in place. But sustaining and stabilizing Mille Lacs’ walleye population is our primary obligation and public responsibility.”

      Continuing the walleye fishing closure will reduce the number of fish that die after being caught and released, a condition known as hooking mortality. The likelihood of fish suffering hooking mortality increases as water temperatures warm.

      High walleye catch rates on Mille Lacs have increased DNR fishing projections. A hot walleye bite attracted more anglers to the lake, resulting in angler effort that is about double what it was in 2016.

      “Cooler than normal temperatures kept hooking mortality rates low, but more anglers fished Mille Lacs, particularly catching walleye longer than 20 inches,” Pereira said. “That increased the poundage of fish caught and put us over our walleye quota.”

      According to the DNR, bigger fish are biting, in part, because there is a shortage of food for larger walleye. Last fall’s assessment showed that larger walleye were thinner than average.

      Mille Lacs’ hot bite also reflects the findings of studies done in many other fisheries that show catchability actually increases when fish population drops. In Mille Lacs, walleye congregate in preferred spots rather than disperse evenly throughout the lake. Fewer fish in the lake means there is more room in the preferred spots for fish to gather, creating a situation where a larger percentage of the population is in position to be caught rather than gathering in a less preferred but less fished area.

      More information about Mille Lacs Lake, the regulation adjustments and management of the fishery is available on the DNR page at www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake.

      New solutions are being sought to improve and sustain a healthy walleye fishery
      The DNR announced in June that a new external review team of scientists will take a fresh look at Mille Lacs Lake’s walleye fishery, using all of the best science available to gain a better understanding of the lake. This new review, led by walleye expert Dr. Chris Vandergoot of the U.S. Geological Survey, will provide additional recommendations to improve fisheries management of the lake, and contribute to a long-term solution to improving and sustaining a healthy walleye fishery for future generations. The group’s report is expected in time to help guide and inform fisheries management decisions for the 2018 season.

      DNR encourages Minnesotans to fish for other abundant species on Mille Lacs Lake
      As today’s walleye fishing regulation changes were announced, the DNR encouraged all Minnesotans to visit Mille Lacs Lake to fish the other abundant species that the lake has to offer. Mille Lacs Lake’s other opportunities for top-notch fishing will not be affected by the regulation adjustment.

      Bassmaster Magazine named Mille Lacs the nation’s best bass lake in June and will send 50 of the country’s best anglers to the lake In September for its Angler of the Year tournament. Northern pike abound in Mille Lacs, along with muskellunge. In early July, a woman from southern Minnesota caught and released in Mille Lacs what may have been Minnesota’s largest-ever muskellunge.

      To learn more about Mille Lacs Lake and its many great fishing opportunities, visit the DNR page. To plan visit to the Mille Lacs area, visit the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council page.

      ###

      Mille Lacs Lake Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for summer 2017
      Q: What is happening with the walleye season this summer on Mille Lacs Lake?

      A: The closure that began July 8 and was set to end July 28 is being extended by two weeks. That means walleye fishing will reopen at 6:01 a.m. on Aug. 11 for catch-and-release only through Labor Day. A night fishing closure also will remain in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Nov. 30.

      Q: How does this affect fishing for other species?

      A: Fishing regulations for other species such as smallmouth bass, muskie and northern pike remain the same. During the night closure, there is an exception for muskie and northern pike anglers using artificial lures and sucker minnows longer than 8 inches.

      Q: Why did the DNR extend the closure?

      A: While the DNR wants to allow as much walleye fishing on Mille Lacs as possible, the state is also required to abide by cooperative agreements made with eight American Indian Chippewa bands. The two weeks of additional closure allows the state to abide by a harvest quota set earlier this year with the bands.

      The DNR and the bands agreed to harvest quotas of 44,800 pounds for state anglers and 19,200 pounds for tribal fishing. They also agreed that up to 75,000 pounds of walleye could be sustainably harvested from the lake from Dec. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017 in order to conserve the population

      That agreement allows the state to use a built-in buffer – the 11,000 pounds difference between the conservation cap of 75,000 pounds and the combined harvest quota of 64,000 pounds – in an attempt to allow catch-and-release walleye fishing through Labor Day, following the mid-summer closure.

      The latest creel survey data shows that state anglers reached their quota of 44,800 pounds of walleye caught from Mille Lacs in early July. Even though state anglers already have caught their quota of fish, the DNR is dipping into the allowed conservation reserve in order to reopen the season on Aug. 11.

      Q: Why has the walleye population in Mille Lacs declined? What is the DNR doing in the long-term to try to conserve the population?

      A: The vast majority of walleye that hatch do not survive to their third autumn in the lake. Walleye numbers have declined to the point that it has become important to protect spawning-sized walleye, particularly the class of walleye that hatched in 2013. It is important to protect the large 2013 year class to replenish aging spawning stock.  Most males from the 2013 class are now mature, but females will not start to contribute in large numbers until next spring. The state is committed to conserving the population of walleyes born in 2013 to improve and rebuild a sustainable population for the future.

      Q: Why do we count hooking mortality during a closed walleye season?

      A: The amount that state anglers can kill (as spelled out in state-bands agreements) also must include fish that die as a result of hooking mortality, the fish that die after being caught and then released back into the water. During the closure, some anglers still catch walleye incidentally and some of those fish die after being released. Under the state-band agreements, those dead fish must be calculated and counted against the state’s allocation.

      Q: How did this cooperative management between the state and the bands of Mille Lacs Lake come to be?   

      A: Recall that in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld lower-court decisions that allowed the Mille Lacs band and seven other Chippewa bands to exercise off-reservation fishing and hunting rights. The lower federal court also set up guidelines, known as stipulations and protocols, for both sides to follow. These stipulations and protocols provide a framework for how the bands and the state must work cooperatively to manage shared natural resources, including Mille Lacs fish.  In their agreements, the DNR and the bands are required to annually establish the number of walleye that can safely be harvested from Mille Lacs while ensuring sufficient remaining walleye in the lake for a healthy fishery.

      Q: If the walleye population is in decline, why are anglers catching so many?

      A: Fish are biting for two reasons. First, there is a shortage of food for larger walleye. Last fall’s assessment showed that larger walleye were thinner than average. Second, studies in many fisheries show that catchability actually increases when fish population decline.

      In Mille Lacs, walleye congregate in preferred spots rather than disperse evenly throughout the lake. Fewer fish in the lake means there’s more room in the preferred spots for fish to gather, and anglers find these spots where they can catch a larger portion of fish. Finally, while the walleye population has decreased considerably (by half or more), the amount of fishing pressure has declined by a lot more. This means that there are more walleye per angler fishing Mille Lacs today.

      Q: How is the DNR using science and research to help the walleye population?

      A: Mille Lacs Lake is the most studied lake in Minnesota. It is also a complex and changing system. The agency conducts a large number of surveys on the lake annually. These surveys include assessing the abundance of young walleye; setting 52 nets to assess adult abundance; using fine-mesh nets each summer to determine abundance of food (prey fish) for walleye; and using interviews with anglers around the lake (called creel surveys) to estimate the number of fish anglers are catching. The DNR also periodically tags walleye and other species to provide actual population estimates. We are tagging bass this year in cooperation with angling groups, and will be tagging walleye in 2018 and 2019 when the 2013 year class will be reaching full maturity.

      Q: What is the purpose of the external review the DNR has initiated?

      A: The DNR has asked Dr. Chris Vandergoot to lead an independent review of the DNR’s scientific approaches to manage Mille Lacs Lake. Vandergoot is a key member of the international team that co-manages a very significant walleye fishery in Lake Erie. He works for the U.S. Geological Survey in the Sandusky Lake Erie Biological station in Ohio. His review report will be available to the public in early 2018 and will help inform fisheries management decisions for the 2018 season.

      Q: What does the future look like for Mille Lacs walleye?

      A: It is unlikely that Mille Lacs walleye production will return to the levels that state anglers enjoyed over 20 years ago.  The ecosystem of Mille Lacs is going through extreme change, starting with increased water clarity in the mid-1990s, to impacts today from aquatic invasive species such as spiny water flea and zebra mussels. Longer growing seasons are also helping some species such as smallmouth bass but may be hurting others. While walleye will still be abundant, the future fishery will be more diverse, offering angling opportunities for a greater variety of fish.

      ###
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