Price County deer hunting
Seeing a bunch of little bucks should be reason for optimism. I hunt sawyer county forest and we see the same thing, in fact my brother and I both shot spike bucks right away opening morning amongst the several does and fawns. Remember that we were still in the midst of our worst winter in decades at this time three years ago which coincided with some of the lowest deer numbers we've seen in decades. And the previous winter (2012-13) wasn't as bad WSI-wise but we were ice fishing opening day 2013. Anyway, you have a couple years that saw very poor fawn production due to late green ups and severe winters and we are still seeing those effects in a kind of age gap in the bucks. Most northern counties were doe only until this year so most legal bucks that people saw got whacked. Meanwhile, with most doe harvest severely limited and the last two winters being much more mild, fawn production has been much better creating a glut of 1.5 bucks but with few 2.5 and 3.5 from the poor fawn years. Some people can't see it but it is a several year process for things to noticeably improve. This fall should be pretty good with 1.5's coming in from a good fawn year (2015) and the higher number of 2.5s from last fall that made it through.
I agree it's not what it was in the early 2000s especially by us we would drive down the logging road by us and see several deer like around 40 to 50 in a 3 mile radius. But now 15 years after they logged in the same 3 Mike radius I see more 20 to 30 deer which large portion of those deer are coming from trail cams with corn in front of them. The problem I have is I don't get nearly the mature bucks that I should. These year we had maybe three eight pointers that were decent at best. A bunch of little buck, like 8-10. Nothing really exciting. Lakeshiner that one buck is really nice. Haven't had to many bucks like that around by me at all. Also hookem where exactly is ur cabin in price county?
I agree its not good, but I would keep moving. Maybe take a ride to a different section, that type of thing. I've found the deer to be in pockets. You'll drive 5 miles and hardly see a track in the snow, then all of a sudden you'll see a bunch. I've tried a number of areas around me trying to locate those pockets. A few years were really bad, as in didn't see a deer during gun season. If anything, hopefully the deer start to disperse more from these pockets, but I'm sure wolves and everything else gets a say in that. I actually only saw one wolf track last year, which seemed like a record low. That's probably why I had more deer around. Next year a pack will probably move through again.....
Quite a few pics were one and done, they move a ton up here during the rut. Only a few were actually in the area regularly. Like even right by my cabin, there were 2 little bucks most of the fall, but once the rut kicked in I saw 5 or 6 more as they came through to breed does. Once that was over they were gone again. I only had maybe 2 does around but they seemed to bring in every buck in the county. Once that was over, it was back to reality.
This was one of the better ones I had on camera. Previous pic was a doe walking by. During gun season, but at night. I like the pic because it shows the body size difference.
Thanks, Twig " Snap" . There was a time when it was " good enough" to keep a guys interest. Lakeshiner, I got 4 bucks on the cams in a 1/2 sq. mi. area. We can complain here till hell freezes over but it still is terrible up there. The good news is that Price co. is going gonzo when it comes to logging and it is doing some good , I imagine. The easy winters and no doe harvest is what is really helping. If we get the next two winters that are easy, there will be deer all over. Yah, FNB and a few others can mock me all they want. Easy winters, lots of food and the deer numbers explode. There are not enough wolves to make a difference cause so many died after the deer number crashed in spring 2014. Never saw deer numbers so low. It was like Gogebic co. Mich . The compound of 25% increase in deer takes only a few years, but like compound interest, it is the 8th wonder of the world. We will see good hunting if the winters stay easy for 2 more years, or at least we will see some deer. I wasn't even going to post any pics cause so many here whine, but since Lakeshiner asked, here ya go. I have a pic of 6 deer at one time. I have never seen 6 deer in one pic in Price co. in my life. There was no corn or bait, however, it was in a 7 yr old clear cut. I have a bobcat and some real big coyotes on the cam by my cabin. They have a tail like a coyote and a long skinny nose tells me they are coyotes. They are however the biggest friggin coyotes I ever saw if they aint wolves. There are 4 in the pic. Also, notice how little snow was on the ground all winter. Very easy winter. Here ya go.
Any on camera? Previous years I saw very few small bucks, the ratio was out of whack. Last year was the first time in a while I saw many more young bucks to old bucks on camera. They would have come from the first of this string of easy winters. I had 2 cameras out and it was like that in both locations, many miles apart. I was actually kind of shocked at the increase. That's the only reason I have faith that it will get better.
By my gun spot I had at least 10+ bucks on camera from the rut through gun season, but most walked past at night while seeking. Some day time pics though too but I don't hunt every day up there. If I didn't have the camera and went just on what I saw on stand I'd have thought nothing much was around. The little buck I shot was not even on camera so they really move around.