winter deer kill
Although I’ve noticed some very large groups of deer (100+), I’ve also noticed more smaller groups of deer than I can count (2 to 5).
I have not seen this many deer moving around Vilas County since the 90’s. Even back roads with nothing but forest on both sides have small groups of deer everywhere.
I agree with your entire post. My thoughts exactly about it being a little deceiving. Every day I drive hwy 45 north to land o lakes then west on hwy b and the numbers of deer on the sides of the roads now are quite surprising. Those deer were not there a month ago. As soon as the south facing banks become free of snow, the deer show up. These deer will disperse in another month or so. Happens every year.
Driving around in the big woods areas however is a different story. These are the deer populations I’m concerned about. Hwy 70 east towards forest county, the deerskin/blackjacks area, High lake area. I will know more in a couple weeks when I start running trail cameras.
I live in SE Wisc. and saw 19 deer in a hay field at 11:00 yesterday.. I was out looking for turkey's and just assumed I was looking at a big flock of birds (they were 500+ yards away).. Very unusual to see so many deer at that time of day but the hay field is starting to 'green-up".Biggest group of deer I have seen in years.
Also saw a group of 8 deer 3-4 days ago so some of the deer are still bunched up in this area..Marshes are full of the water and I know that is also a factor in the deer still showing up in bigger groups
I'm willing to bet the deer numbers in the hurley area didn't go up. That's where I hunt. The winter is always brutal. I hope some day they make a comeback so my kids have something to hunt. I'm glad it is still buck only hunting yet.
This time of year I think of that more as the deer still being sort of yarded up. They'll also show up along the roads more because that is the first place the sun hits to melt the snow. I think its a little deceiving personally. Like seeing a flock of 100 turkeys in a field this time of year and in 2 weeks there will be 5, after they disperse from their winter flocks.
I have seen some fresh road kill in some areas. Nothing near my cabin though, but then again there never are any there. I always say you can tell deer densities by road kill. Our area is one of the lowest in the state and you can tell because no one ever hits any. If I drive around Minocqua or east of there though towards Eagle River, then there will be deer again along the roads and more are hit. I assume there are more over there, but I don't hunt there.
I will say that we’ve been seeing deer in high numbers on Hwy. M, Hwy. N, Hwy 155, and all sorts of deer on Razorback Road on the way to our cabin. I have not seen this many deer up north for 30 years or so.
We saw around 30 deer on our way to Boulder Junction from Sayner last weekend. 5 here, 3 there, 4 more over there - they are just everywhere right now.
We have 5 deer that have been hanging around our cabin too - really encouraging!
Are you sure your just not seeing big concetrations of deer that were pushed into areas from many miles away during this past winter. In NW Wisco when we get back winters like this past one I usually always see more deer in the spring because they are forced into the best of the best habitat just to survive and they have dispersed yet back to their normal home ranges.
Spring of 2014 I saw 17 deer in a clear cut I hunt regularly. I can promise you that specific 640 acre section maybe has 17 deer total in it during the fall any given day of any given year.
yes there’s some big pockets of deer where they yarded up a bit. I have seen the fields around sugar camp loaded up with deer now that the snowpack is down. I know of several areas around Vilas and Oneida where there’s large pockets of deer... It’s the deer populations out in the sticks that has me concerned. And unfortunately my neck of the woods (U.P. Border) gets compared with the Merrill and Medford areas which isn’t right in my mind. Sharp contrast in winter severity in just 100 miles.