Someyhing To Think About...
'Ever see really small tracks along trails or really young fawns during hunting season? I have seen an upswing in this over the past several years.
At the same time, I've noticed that the "second season" has become nearly as active as the first here in New York. (indicating that this has been happening for some time now)
Sure, it gives us more hunting opportunities but what does it do the herd???
With more and more does breeding late, more and more fawns are "dropped" late (young bucks as well) That's fine as long as there are mild winters and lots of forage.
What will happen when a substantial number of deer fall into this category and we experience a brutal winter or a sub-par mast crop??? I have not seen this discussed anywhere by anyone. Yet, we as hunters are the final link in the conservation of our deer herds,
What do you guys think?????
Honestly, I don't think there's anything to worry about. You're going to see late fawns every year. It's nothing that is new. It's keeping the hunters from shooting the buttons that is the real challenge.
As a fellow New Yorker I understand what your saying. It has been said that late births are mother natures way of keeping the young safe from those "spring blizzards." But like you mentioned in your post the late births leave the fawns very vulnerable in late fall early winter. With that global warming thing going on I believe that New York winters are nowhere as extreme say as 15-20 years ago, but I'm in Western New York where the famous "lake affect machine" can turn things around before the weather man reports it. Another factor that concerns me is the expansion of the coyote. These pests made it all the way into Buffalo suburbs. And they do put a hurting on the deer and turkey in my area. The mountain lion too has creeped up from the Southern Tier Allegany Mountain area. I'll never pass up a shot on coyotes even if theres a "monster buck" in the area. If it's little things that we can do to protect the herd I'll do whatever I can.
MA nature does a pretty good job of keep things in check.Did they give the "carrying capacity" speech at hunter safety? It involves how much the land can carry
Carrying capacity is undoubtedly being challenged by the abundance of turkey we now have. What I'm talking about is not an overabundance of deer but an actual "splitting" of the herd into two distinct breeding groups... the "regular herd" that comes into esterous when they should, and another resulting from an unusual number of really late fawns maturing and going into esterous as much as two months later! (both herds not exceeding the carrying capacity of the areas involved) I've seen fawns (really young, with spots still on, as late as october, in region 4a and 7j, where I normally hunt, but began seeing this trend as long as ten years ago in 4o! What concerns me is that it has become a more regular sighting, not a rare (every once in a while). Ive seen numerous coyotes in 40 and several in both othre areas as well. I followed cougar tracks in 4o (where DEC say there are none) as far back as ten years ago in 40 as well.
Predation is what it is. However, I'm wondering what if anything this "split herd" will cause!? In several ways it may be good, in other ways, not.
Perhaps the offshoot will be a later hunting season? or. a late fawn season? (hope not)
I hear ya i wasnt trying to insinuate anything by the carrying capacity thing.Ive read pleanty in the hunting mags that this happens alot in herds with too many does to bucks ratio.Down south i believe has been experiencing this seperate seaon for awhile.I think it comes from a tendancy of people not willing to shoot small does or does at all.I believe NY has cougars by the way my dad swears he saw one in orange county where he lives:wink:
We are getting the opeset I have pics of 9 -8 point bucks at my feeder at one time . over 300 pics in three months and 2 wher does .this is in west texas .and they changed to a one buck county this year .:thumbup:
Here in NC their giving us an extra antlerless tag.
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