Anybody surprised by NC harvest numbers?

ScottyB

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
#2
Not surprised at all.......2 buck limit changed things in the East......lots of rain and storms kept a lot of folks out of the woods...... I hunted the least I have ever hunted in my life.....not due to the above just had life get in the way!!
 

oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
#3
i wonder what the CWD threat will do to future kill rates?
I wonder if i could sound any more like crc if I tried? :LOL:
I am telling you science that says deer are safe to consume will be lost in a panic of "damned if I'll be eatin a deer. "
watch and see.
Firedog, let's bet on next year's numbers.
 

turkeyfoot

Twelve Pointer
#4
Not at all surprised been wet very wet season just like with turkey not all hunters are due hard if weather is nasty they just don't fool with it we've had lot Fridays that were just that nasty weather days. You see this in turkey hunting all time lower kill numbers if first 2 wknds of season are bad weather. Add that with 2 buck limit in east. Now if over next 3 years numbers still drop maybe worry
 

DRS

Old Mossy Horns
#5
I'll say there are other variables other than the 2 buck limit at play in Eastern NC. The doe harvest was even off a considerable amount in many of the eastern counties. Buck harvest dropped by approx. 24% and doe harvest dropped by 12%, when calculated by the past 3 year average. That's 9,827 bucks and 3, 706, respectively. What about bonus tags? Well, being only 1864 antlerless deer(including button bucks) where tagged with bonus tags statewide in the 2016-2017 bow, ml and firearm hunting season(excludes 9 tags used in the Urban season), ceasing the bonus tags should not had that dramatic on a change in doe harvest numbers.( bonus tag source: https://files.nc.gov/ncosbm/documents/files/WRC_2017-09-28.d.pdf )
High water on the Roanoke, kept many from hunting prime hunting areas in Halifax, Northampton, Martin and Bertie Counties. Not to mention those that hunted on the Cape Fear Basin. Then Factor in some not wanting to hunt in the rain. Add that to less deer in some areas and I think you have a good explanation on why the harvest numbers are off.

Still don't know why the NCWRC don't separate the Northeast and Southeast regions in their harvest data. Yes, I did email them and ask that.
 
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sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#6
One word: Weather.

Next year there will be probably be a bumper crop.

This season was the worst weather year I can remember. Hot as balls all the way up to mid-October, hurricanes, and flooding rains every week in December. November was decent, but the rest was terrible.
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
#7
One word: Weather.

Next year there will be probably be a bumper crop.

This season was the worst weather year I can remember. Hot as balls all the way up to mid-October, hurricanes, and flooding rains every week in December. November was decent, but the rest was terrible.
This. Most hunters don't want to hunt in the rain. It rained roughly 2/3 of the weekends during deer season (data based off my area of NW NC, but I am betting it's similar throughout state). Bad weather, then throw in some flooding, which not only keeps people from hunting, but alters deer travel patterns as well, and you have all the makings of a "bad season."
 

CRC

Old Mossy Horns
#10
District 9 except for Polk County is in record or near record territory on private lands

So declines must be in the other 8 districts.
 
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bryguy

Twelve Pointer
#11
I would guess a good gauge year to compare to this year would be 1999 after floyd. That fall was rough and water stuck around for a long time.
 

25contender

Twelve Pointer
#12
I know the weather had a huge impact on our hunting. I think I only hunted half of what I would normally hunt in a season. The hurricanes damaged my mothers house and dealt with that for a few months. The mosquitoes here were the worst I have seen ever. I think I killed 30 mosquitoes sitting in a blind the last day of season. At least there will be lots of up and comers for next year!!
 

btsharky

Eight Pointer
#13
I hunted as normal and I saw more bucks than I have in the past. I killed 2 nice bucks and probably saw 25 more from my various stands. Some would have walked anyway but a couple would have faired poorly with 2 more tags!!!
 

jug

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#14
Weather ruined the hunting down at the club.
Alot of the folks around the house here in Harnett did not hunt much because of all the rain.
Weather was the worst I have seen since i been deer hunting in 1989.
 

Ridgeline66

Eight Pointer
Contributor
#15
I didn't see alot of deer early season and not many during ML with rain and such but rifle came and into December i saw alot of deer but was looking for the one 9 i got so i let a bunch walk, i got two bucks and no does because i wanted a nice big doe and didn't get one. about two deer a year is all i need to shoot.
 
#16
Deer population numbers are way down in my area of Halifax county. Has nothing to do with storms, buck limits, etc. where I hunt. I set about the same number of times I have the last 15 yrs and have data to show that numbers have dropped. Less deer on camera, and less deer sightings. Has been on this slippery slope for the last 3 seasons. Most of my farms are still recovering from blue tongue from 5 years ago. If you look at Halifax co.’s numbers the last few years they have been slowly going down. Not trying to be the “sky is falling” guy, but my observations are based on 5 different farms spread out over a pretty wide area. I hope the two buck limit will pay off in time and help with numbers, but my fear is until the does are restricted, not going to be a fast recovery.
 

30/06

Twelve Pointer
#17
I agree weather was terrible but I've also been seeing a steady decline in deer numbers over the last 10 years, it goes up and down some but overall the numbers are lower than what they used to be. Even here at the house where there are tons of deer there are still fewer than in years past. First year in 15 I didn't kill a deer in NC. That however is not due to the population, just poor shooting on my end.
 
#18
Lots of "die hard" hunters I know did not hunt as much this year. It had nothing to do with sitting in the rain. Some of those guys just chose not to tear their club and farm roads all to pieces. Some felt the deer and other game needed a little time to recover from the storm. Also lots of folks dealing with working on houses, farms, yards and such after all the damage from hurricanes. Lots of variables. I wish the first year of a 2 buck limit could have been a little more normal to give us some good data to look at. Not sure this season is going to give us a lot of useful information.
 
#19
We need a reduction in rednecks. The deer herd is down but nobody is willing to slack up on blasting everything that sticks its head out. Until these people start paying attention to management strategies, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
 
#21
i had a discussusion with a wise old retired gamewarden a few years back about tag limits ... it only keeps honest club hunting records... ill bet actual number did not drop that much.. but back of the barn covert tagouts became far more prevelant many still hunting scrub rack bucks vanished with no record .. keep more tags get better records
 
#22
i had a discussusion with a wise old retired gamewarden a few years back about tag limits ... it only keeps honest club hunting records... ill bet actual number did not drop that much.. but back of the barn covert tagouts became far more prevelant many still hunting scrub rack bucks vanished with no record .. keep more tags get better records
I agree with this. In general conversations I heard several people say they were going to manage their herd as they have always done. Even read that on here I think. I really do not think the 2 buck limit had much impact on harvest. Your "outlaw" hunters, be they rednecks or not, are going to shoot whatever they choose. I truly feel most guys that were hunting by their tags were already pretty selective in what they shot. I don't ever remember talking to a hunter that simply had the goal to fill whatever tags the state gave them. It is unfortunate but most hunters either shoot whatever they want or are selective by choice, not by law. Martin Luther King Jr. summed it up "Morality can not be legislated, but behavior can be regulated......". At this point in time our regulators "game wardens" are to few and far between to successfully regulate all game laws. No way it is their fault, just the dynamics of our state. I am sure the 2 buck limit made some difference but I do not think it was significant.
 
#25
We need a reduction in rednecks. The deer herd is down but nobody is willing to slack up on blasting everything that sticks its head out. Until these people start paying attention to management strategies, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
You get your tags, I get mine. Eat all the horn soup you want. I hunt for meat, would rather kill smaller does.
 
#26
Change to two-buck rule in western half of the state back around 2000 resulted in immediate 10 to 12 percent drop in buck harvest, but also in a huge increase in doe harvest. I would have expected, all things considered, about the same drop in buck harvest in eastern NC.
 

CRC

Old Mossy Horns
#27
Change to two-buck rule in western half of the state back around 2000 resulted in immediate 10 to 12 percent drop in buck harvest, but also in a huge increase in doe harvest. I would have expected, all things considered, about the same drop in buck harvest in eastern NC.
The WRC had been liberalizing doe seasons in the western half of the state at that time and they were hoping there would get an increase in the doe harvest if they cut the buck limit.

Not sure why they were not concerned (despite also doing away with the bonus tags) of the same thing happening in the eastern part of the state, if they believed the doe harvest needs to be reduced.
 

Greg

Old Mossy Horns
#30
I'm not surprised at all. I didn't hear near the number of gun shots that I have in past seasons where I hunt. And a number of up and coming young bucks seem to have survived the season. That makes me happy and a bit optimistic about this year's season. :)