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About lakevet

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    Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

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  • Location:
    Grand Rapids, MN
  1. Going for helping a third kid get his first duck this year. Youngest son got his first duck on youth day, then one of the kids friends got his first three ducks hunting last weekend with us ( his dad doesn't hunt much) and the kids have another friend who is wanting to go if he can get some time off from school sports. Can't believe how hard it is to get kids out with the schedules they have these days. Lakevet
  2. lakevet

    Boar got bigfoot on cam

    Didn't know it was possible to grow that much hair on that part of the body. Guess you don't have to worry about drafts this winter, lakevet
  3. lakevet

    2014 Deer Regs Avail......

    A few thoughts: Bucks only helps retain hunters and license sales while allowing minimal impact on herd reproduction and growth. It is a time tested tool accepted by hunters to help herd rebuild numbers. Having APR's combined with bucks only is unlikely to happen. Too great a risk of drop in license sales. Also hunters opinions on APR could change to being against APR,s when the chance of seeing and shooting a mature buck is slim, while watching does and other bucks go by. Especially if go several days without seeing any deer then the one you see you can't shoot. Bucks only reinforces idea that "I gotta shoot a buck, any buck" even when opportunity to shoot a doe arises after herd rebounds. When the herd rebounds, the "brown it's down" hunter happily fills their tag with does or bucks, thus actually exerting less pressure on the buck population than the "buck only" hunter. Up north WINTER TRUMPS EVERYTHING and can wipe out a significant portion of the deer herd, with rut weary mature bucks and fawns the first to go. Having good winter habitat, especially thermal cover ( such as cedar stands) is critical. Food plots didn't amount to much help for the deer around here last winter, but cedar did. lakevet
  4. lakevet

    2013-2014 Winter Severity Index

    This winter was just another Minnesota winter to me. What was abnormal and a bit scary to me was some of the real warm winters we have had. Made me wonder if ice fishing was going to be a one month sport. All I can say is that there are more deer now this spring in our little part of NE Minnesota than early in my hunting career and definitely still way more deer than after the long winters back to back of the mid 1990's. And yes our WSI is somewhere North of 180 for this past winter. For those who are into " carrying capacity" and that our herd is below the carrying capacity of the habitat, explain to me why we are so whacked about deer not having enough food etc to make it through last winter, all why organizing to have more deer around because the habitat supposedly could support more deer ( even through winter). Winter carrying capacity is the important number. And severe winter carrying capacity is THE bottleneck the deer herd WILL go through sooner or later, especially in NE Minnesota. Winter habitat is the key, guys. Talk to the DNR about how to improve winter habitat if you own property. Do it right and the deer will be fed without you going out there to bring them something. Oh by the way, my ancestors hunted here after surviving the worst winter in 114 years. They came to NE Minnesota almost 125 years ago. To them it was hunting heaven, compared to Europe. I still think it is pretty good hunting around here. Way more crowded than 125 some years ago, but that is true just about everywhere. Now the taxes in this state are a whole different matter. . lakevet
  5. lakevet

    2013-2014 Winter Severity Index

    Deer are back on grass/non woody plants in the fields and woods now. They had eaten tops of trees I thinned back in march, but not as much as expected. With warmer weather they are moving much more. Pleasantly surprised at amount of deer and deer sign. Definitely some weak ones, but still no evidence of wolf or dog impact in our area. I think most of the weak ones will make it now. Get some fawns on the ground and there should be a decent amount of deer this fall, way better than back in the 70's and early 80's. Might have to hunt a little harder, but that is fine as it means more time in the woods Just another winter in Minnesota. Nothing new. lakevet
  6. Been thinning popple,birch and maple as part of forest management plan. Deer have been eating tops. No small deer only good sized adults. No small deer is likely due to we harvest fawns and yearlings as readily as mature deer, partly because of winter. Just a plug that it is just fine to harvest "immature" deer. They are least likely to be around the next year in this part of the state. No wolf sign at this point. Been going in on snowshoes. Without them the snow consistently is mid thigh deep and I am over 6 feet tall. lakevet
  7. lakevet

    2013-2014 Winter Severity Index

    We have hunted the same area over 100 years, not changing now. There always are some deer around. Just have to adjust tactics and spend more time In the woods. One thing now is a 70 pound dog can run on top of the crust we have. That may have potential for trouble making by wolves and peoples pets.
  8. lakevet

    2013-2014 Winter Severity Index

    DNR has a proven model of doe permits/bucks only (any buck) that will result in rebound in population relatively soon while still retaining hunters/license sales. Implementing APR's in the face of a low hunter opportunity situation has too much potential to drop license sales. This is also why a buck lottery is unlikely. Also, just like pheasants, deer do not pair up for life. Any buck can bred multiple does. Thus the buck population can get harvested at a higher than usual rate with minimal impact on deer population recovery. Don't panic boys, this is just another winter and there will be deer to hunt this fall. For those who like big racks, articles by Ranta in Ontario support that a rebounding deer population tends to have more large racked bucks due to the lower stress of less competition/lower stress rut that comes with a lower density deer population. Lastly, this weather must be pressuring the wolf population some. lakevet
  9. lakevet

    2013-2014 Winter Severity Index

    Another 5 to 9 inches of snow coming yet tonight on top of what we already got today.
  10. lakevet

    2013-2014 Winter Severity Index

    Here is the latest map. http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/recreation/hunting/deer/wsi_dpa_map14.pdf
  11. Great idea on repainting duck decoys into geese decoys. What type of prep and What kind of paint did you use on the plastic? Are a couple of geese decoys enough and how would you place them in the pond? Just a pair separate from the ducks? How far apart? Great ideas, keep them coming!
  12. So mallards with a couple woodies. 10 decoys. Will mallards pull geese? Any specifics on the backpack that will hold 10-12 decoys?. military surplus? Are teal decoys of any value? Backpack that you use for waders? Have teenagers for a few more years lakevet
  13. Looking for input on how to get decoys back into hard to get to beaver ponds. Some are quite large. Need to be backpacked/carried in about a mile. Thinking of teal decoys because smaller. Thinking of about a dozen for the late season mallards. Targeting woodies , teal early and then late mallards and geese. Any ideas? How many needed? Type/species. Also on a tighter budget. Thanks! lakevef
  14. lakevet

    deer density

    Coming off a deer population that was at record highs, it is no surprise that some think the numbers are "too low". Managing wildlife populations is like driving a bus with a lot of play in the steering on a winding road. You will swing from ditch to ditch and your passengers are only happy when you are crossing the center line. Can anyone post stats showing information that we have habitat that can support 40 to 80 deer per square mile deer density desired by the person in the video? Especially without supplemental sources of nutrition? Winter habitat would never support anywhere near that around here. Especially this year. Winter is a major bottleneck. The harvest last year was well above the average in the 1980's and just slightly below the average for the 1990's. I will pass on the petition. Put the effort into habitat instead of this little swerve of the bus. lakevet
  15. Would be interesting to get reports from other hunting areas with wolves as to how much activity/deer kills/wolf tracks they personally are seeing. Probably conserving energy like the deer. I suspect there will be some wolf mortality with this weather, especially in areas with high wolf population and low deer population. Also sounds like the cold could whack the emerald ash borer population back quite a bit. Read a study from a few years ago where Texans tried to transplant our deer from the upper midwest down to Texas to get bigger deer and racks, but our deer couldn't take the heat. lakevet