ENC deer harvest down?

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
Warren county wasn't flooded, but we had a high number of heavy rain days that kept many hunters out of the woods, and you have to wonder how many hunters who would otherwise have traveled to eastern Carolina to hunt stayed away because of the storms.

Warren county report is 1829 for 2018 season, vs 1477 for 2017, a drop of 352. But you also have to wonder if the final tallies are in yet; is that NC Wildlife harvest report truly kept up to date in real time, or did the fact that the holidays were upon us slow down reporting somewhat?
Isn’t that an increase?
 

aya28ga

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Isn’t that an increase?
You are correct, sir; I accidentally reversed the numbers - it should read 1478 for 2018 & 1829 for 2017. (My bad).

(And I noticed the number reported increased a little since yesterday, so tallies are still coming in).
 

ditchbank

Old Mossy Horns
The problem I think you will run into if you are not doing it. Is an overpopulation of more deer in the east. The guys that don’t shoot does still don’t shoot them and if they abide by the laws with two buck tags. That’s an increase in said population and could be detrimental to farmers. You will lose leases to people wanting to shoot deer Period and not just trophy hunt. A lot of farmers in the east don’t own the land they tend it for a certain price per acre. If they are having issues growing beans because of high numbers of deer. They will get depredation permits and shoot them at night. And find someone that wants to shoot every deer they see.


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DRS

Old Mossy Horns
Reduced buck harvest in ENC could be due to a trend that was already happening, whether it is due to hunter preference or decline in overall deer population.

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DRS

Old Mossy Horns
Yes, a majority of those counties in red were hit hard by EHD. Just saying the buck harvest decline may be due to less deer and not a lower percentage bucks in the herd harvested. Less does = Less bucks. When you have less bucks you can expect less buck harvest. At the same time if the doe harvest remains relatively high and recruitment drops due to coyotes eating fawns, the over all deer population is going to continue to drop. I have seen this happen already in regions I hunt. Many of the places I hunt the deer are making a slow comeback, mostly due to us not harvesting or restricting the harvest of does. In general, the doe kill was also lower in ENC and by more than the number of antlerless deer killed with bonus tags for the entire state, which included fawn bucks. Why? Likely due to a reduced deer herd.
 

oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
buck harvest down 25% in the east from the 3 year average.
all I know is there should be some nice ones left for next year. :)
 

bertienchunter

Ten Pointer
It was by far my worst season ever in Bertie. I didn't even kill a deer this year. Deer sightings were down and buck numbers were down in my areas. The guys in the clubs around here hunt more than they every have and shoot every dang deer they see. Hunting is almost becoming more frustrating than it is worth. Its the first year in many that I haven't seen a really nice buck. I know some people that had great years but other that are saying the same as me.

Bertie's number have been falling every year and I think it is more than one reason why.
 

bernardo

Eight Pointer
Contributor
Could the fact that no extra doe tags were available, hunters were more selective in the antlerless deer they chose to shoot ... lol!
 

Billy

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I'm a long time member of an 800 acre club in Johnston County. We have 10 members with generous family member and guest privileges. We killed 2 does this year and no bucks. We never kill a lot of deer, but this is about the lowest I remember. Most of our guys practice QDMA to some extent, but not everyone does. Some members only bow hunt. I'm retired and hunt almost every day, but not only at the club. I could've easily filled my tags, but saw nothing I wanted to shoot. I had a few target bucks from trail cameras that I never saw, and they've also disappeared from the cameras. I suspect our neighbors benefited a lot from our QDMA efforts, but I'm hoping the good bucks show back up later. We had a little flooding, but nothing that hindered hunting. The mosquitoes probably kept more guys at home than anything else. I've never seen them as bad.
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
The deer herd will never be as high as in the past because of coyotes. In one county this spring while turkey hunting in early May, I saw a nursing mom yote on the hunt 9am. I’m sure her pack was picking off fawns in June. On my home farm I saw two six week old pups in 10” beans early June. They can fly even when young.

Last year we had a trapper catch six yotes and they just get replaced by the spring. The first deer I shot, I had 5 or 6 coyotes howling within two hundred yards of the skinning shed, staying hidden in the cotton. The second deer I shot, I had yotes howling around me within 150 yards in the woods. The strange thing is, with that many coyotes on the farm, not a single member got a shot at one. They are much smarter than deer. We have the trapper going at it again, but until they get some disease we’re just treading water.
 

bryguy

Old Mossy Horns
I did a quick search on Wilson county and the previous three years and it looks like the number of deer killed this year is pretty close to what it has been the last 3 years. There were about 100 fewer bucks killed, but there were more does killed then the last three years. The question is were there actually more does killed or were bucks tagged as does instead? I will say that this is the first year I have felt confident enough about my deer numbers to take a couple of antlerless deer. It has been almost 3 years since I shot a doe on my place.
As to coyotes and deer numbers, i know that my sample is anecdotal, but I have coyotes and I still saw the majority of the does on my farm had twins with them. I only saw a few does that had single fawns. I think that the farm in front of mine being for sale and the lack of hunting pressure the last couple of years on that farm has helped.
I believe all the 2 buck supporters are going to be sorely disappointed in the lack of results from the 2 buck limit. when there are not 'mature' bucks behind every tree wonder what they will want the WRC to do then?

link here:
https://www.ncalvin.org/harvestreports/
 

DRS

Old Mossy Horns
I did a quick search on Wilson county and the previous three years and it looks like the number of deer killed this year is pretty close to what it has been the last 3 years. There were about 100 fewer bucks killed, but there were more does killed then the last three years. The question is were there actually more does killed or were bucks tagged as does instead? I will say that this is the first year I have felt confident enough about my deer numbers to take a couple of antlerless deer. It has been almost 3 years since I shot a doe on my place.
As to coyotes and deer numbers, i know that my sample is anecdotal, but I have coyotes and I still saw the majority of the does on my farm had twins with them. I only saw a few does that had single fawns. I think that the farm in front of mine being for sale and the lack of hunting pressure the last couple of years on that farm has helped.
I believe all the 2 buck supporters are going to be sorely disappointed in the lack of results from the 2 buck limit. when there are not 'mature' bucks behind every tree wonder what they will want the WRC to do then?

link here:
https://www.ncalvin.org/harvestreports/
That's interesting, I even looked at Wayne and Johnston counties. The harvest were still in line with the previous 3 years. From you observations is it possible that this region has a good doe population and good recruitment. Much better than other areas hit harder by EHD and not recovering as well with the coyotes present. We had plenty of deer here with coyotes too, well until EHD. For several years saw very few fawns or young deer. The coyote population dropped after a few years and I started to see a few more fawns. This past year I saw more twins than I have seen in a long time. We also stooped or reduced our doe harvest on some properties.
 

bryguy

Old Mossy Horns
Yeah I never found any dead deer on our farm when things were so bad. Doesn’t mean we didn’t have them, we just never found them. But I also pretty strict on what’s taken and who hunts. Only 2 others hunt our farm and I think that they have only killed 1 deer between them the last 3 years. One just works way to much and doesn’t hunt, and the other is a novice that I have tried to offer advice to but he will not listen and hunt when he should be.


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ScottyB

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I can say that our place in Halifax is well on the way to recovering from the EHD (and our killing too many does in one year). We implemented a one buck (and he better be a stud rule) and no does in 2016 and it has helped us recover the numbers with both does and bucks. We had almost a 1 : 1 kill ratio this season and relaxed the “he better be a stud” rule(not to my liking). My personal experience was about a 1 : 1 still on the hoof. That’s better than it has ever been. Now if I can get these boys to let these standard 8 point basket racks walk......we can kill some really nice deer. If you let the WRC folks manage your herd to recovery then you will not see very much improvement in the short term. You have to take measures on your on property to get the herd in check......and yep it’s a PIA getting 15 members to agree on a plan.....majority rules at our place and no one left the club because of the rule adjustment.

According to the numbers I see on the website.....Halifax, Nash, Northampton all are headed in the right direction with the 2 buck limit..........doe counts were consistently down across the 3 counties, but not anything that crappy weather, hurricanes and such couldn’t affect. The bucks not killed in all 3 counties will help the age structure............plain and simple

You can frame it however you want........deer didn’t get tagged, bucks tagged as does, but I am just going by the numbers that the WRC puts out.........it is the only one with data to support it.........
 
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