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2014 Regs and buck harvest

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Just curious what you folks think will happen with buck harvest this year. With current conservative regs, will more pressure be on bucks this year? I know in bucks only areas and probably lottery areas, it obviously will, but what about HC areas? Just curious what you think. Will guys be less likely to pass up small bucks this year?

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Yep, we often let them pass & I still will, because I bow hunt too. My Dad & brother didn't get doe tags, if they see a deer with horns they'll be shooting.

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We have a party of 12. However, we all own different lands within a 5 mile area. Just like before, half will shoot anything and the other half are selective. We are bucks only in our area.

I think most of bucks shot should be replaced as button bucks cannot be harvested this year. Just happy our area is bucks only. Only way to grow the herd is leaving those doe's alone.

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I've gone round and round on this in my head, and I finally decided that in HC areas, most hunters won't be any more or less likely to pass a small buck than in previous years. That doesn't mean the harvest numbers will be the same as past years - I think we're all prepared for a lower harvest.

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I agree Getanet. H.C. changes very little. Anything can be harvested. Most hunters will shoot first deer they see in HC.

I was really hoping lottery zones extended further south this year than they did.

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I assume in HC zones and in zones that have historically been lottery people will treat the deer the same as always.

In zones that went from HC to lottery or to buck only I assume we'll see a lot of people taking anything with a horn. In years past small bucks were easier to pass up in HC zones knowing you can always take a doe later in the season if you want to fill the freezer.

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I was thinking that in HC zones, guys would be more inclined to shoot the first buck they see. In the past when they were managed or intensive, guys would pass up bucks because they could shoot a doe and still keep hunting. But I suppose with party hunting, they could still kind of do that. But I'm not a hunter behavior expert. Maybe even when it was intensive or managed, guys still shot the first buck they saw.

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The hunters on my parents farm (HC) are a mixed group. Some of us like to hunt all the seasons and will not shoot a doe until the muzzy or late bow season so we will pass on everything except a big buck. Some of the group are young kids and rifle guys only and will take any deer.

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Maybe even when it was intensive or managed, guys still shot the first buck they saw.

That's what my anecdotal observations indicate here. It will be interesting to see what happens this year....that's for sure.

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Only way to grow the herd is leaving those doe's alone.

Yup, I'm hoping more hunters realize that this year

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Nobody in our group will take a young buck or doe except my daughter who will be hunting her first time. She gets to choose for herself.

This year its mature buck or tag soup for the rest of us.

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Just curious what you folks think will happen with buck harvest this year....

dismal.

Many fawns died when only days old in the spring of 2013 that would be yearling bucks this year. Then many of the fawns that did survive the spring of 2013 died during the winter of 2013/2014. Add in the perfect hunting conditions of 2012 reducing the number of does that even had fawns in the spring of 2013.

My prediction is that Hunters Choice areas will have the highest percentage of does harvested ever, not only the past, but future. Not exactly herd rebuilding.

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I think buck harvest will increase some but not by a huge percentage. I believe most hunters whom have traditionally pass on small bucks still will this year. And those who party hunt and shoot first available deer will still shot about the same amount of bucks as they did before.

But as was said we will have thousands of button bucks make it to next year. We will add more bucks than we lose.

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I think buck harvest will increase some but not by a huge percentage. I believe most hunters whom have traditionally pass on small bucks still will this year. And those who party hunt and shoot first available deer will still shot about the same amount of bucks as they did before.

But as was said we will have thousands of button bucks make it to next year. We will add more bucks than we lose.

You might be right. The only thing that might booger that up is if we lost significant numbers of fawns in central MN. I've heard conflicting reports of significant winterkill, or not, in central MN. If we did lose significant numbers of fawns, those would have been the yearling bucks this year that typically dominate buck harvest.

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]You might be right. The only thing that might booger that up is if we lost significant numbers of fawns in central MN. I've heard conflicting reports of significant winterkill, or not, in central MN. If we did lose significant numbers of fawns, those would have been the yearling bucks this year that typically dominate buck harvest.

I've heard those same conflicting reports. It seems winter was harder on fawns in eastcentral MN than it was in central and westcentral MN (purely anecdotal observation).

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Will have 5 hunters here area 225 all family and will fill out first maybe second day plenty to choose from here , wouldn't mind all does but im sure there will be bucks in the mix . doesn't matter here we don't have any deer watchers . They wont pass a one

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Up in the bigwoods our group of 10-12 has only been shooting 1-2 deer a season going on 5 years now, honestly it can't get much worse. One year in the 90's we got skunked, just hope not to repeat that.

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My guess for our area in central MN is that the harvest may be up this year if anything. We are in a HC area and our harvest was down last year not because of the winter or deer harvest of year's past, but because of all the standing corn last year. A lot more fields are empty this year and all those deer are going to be in the woods and swamps where we can get at them. Judging from our cameras this year (compared to years past), there are deer and specifically nice bucks everywhere.

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Jameson said:

"Add in the perfect hunting conditions of 2012 reducing the number of does that even had fawns in the spring of 2013."

What are you talking about perfect hunting conditions of 2012? The last two openers the weather's been horribly windy & not many deer were shot opening weekend, which is typically the big kill weekend.

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I think very few fawns died around here, unless you happen to be in one of the smaller areas closer to Camp Ripley where there's a fair number of Wolves. I've heard of one property that had 14 carcasses, but they saw a lot of wolves. I really haven't heard of anyone else finding any. That would be pretty much central, central MN.

My truck harvested a next year's yearling buck last night...

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The C.O. east of Little Falls found dead fawns in the winter and a friend had several dead fawns around his feeder NE of town. Apparently they just couldn't handle the cold. So I don't know what to think. I agree, it seemed like the area west of Little Falls fared better. We shall see I guess. I've been bowhunting in 248 and it's been pretty dismal for deer sightings. Right next to Ripley so my experience is similar to the Ripley hunts this year. I've had wolves on camera too so that may be a factor as to my low deer sightings. Another friend has a handful of dandy bucks on his cameras and he isn't far west of where I hunt. Seems real spotty.

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I've lost track of how many deer have been hit by cars on just my 9.5 mile stretch of county road between town & home in the last few months. It's double digits that I know about & how many more where they got off the road & the evidence wasn't there or like mine the deer was taken?

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...What are you talking about perfect hunting conditions of 2012? The last two openers the weather's been horribly windy & not many deer were shot opening weekend, which is typically the big kill weekend.

If you read through several magazine reports of why the 2013 deer harvest was down by our Deer Sheriff Leslie McInely you will see that she uses the excuse that we had perfect hunting conditions in 2012. Here is one example:

"Last year we had a real ideal opener and nice weather," she said. "It seems like each weekend this year has been challenging for their own reasons. Opening weekend was really windy and we've had wind and rain and last weekend was really cold." From: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/11/29/harvest-numbers-down-as-deer-gun-season-comes-to-a-close

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People were finding some dead fawns west of Mille lacs and over to Camp Ripley. They were not eaten on. They died from the long winter that went almost to April. I think that is the southern line of winter mortality. Also I think northeast of Little Falls had a little more snow than straight west.

I know some farmers who said there cows even lost weight last winter.

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