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Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting Posts about hunting the whitetail deer in MI with firearms, bows, etc.

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Old 12-02-2003, 01:53 PM
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Question deer migration

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What info is out there on the U.P. deer. Meaning; I know that in certain areas the deer migrate. What stats are there on their return to the area they left? Some areas all the deer don't leave, last year our neighbor counted 7 wolf kills on our property.
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Old 12-03-2003, 11:29 AM
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if you call one of the local dnr guys up there, they will give you a good explanation of what happens, where and usually when.

For the most part deer up there will migrate to lowland swamps when the snow starts piling up. Of course there is a resident population in these swamps.

Biggest migration effects will be noticed with Huron Mtn deer moving to southern marquette swamps. Most other deer that have swamps near by will just move out of the hardwood ridges and into the lowland.
'

I have heard reports of migration trails being 100yards wide with hundreds of deer running through these swamps...all depends on the snow though
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Old 12-03-2003, 01:57 PM
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I moved this into the Whitetail Forum where it is more appropriate and might recieve more "looks".
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Old 12-03-2003, 02:47 PM
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I thought this was the whitetail forum. Where is it if not here? Thanks
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Old 12-03-2003, 03:16 PM
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It was posted in the QDM Forum. Yes, that does discuss whitetail deer, but only as far as QDM is concerned.
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Old 01-06-2004, 10:37 AM
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Rico : The deer from your area migrate in two directions. Some of them go east and others go south accross M 48. Where they actually winter may vary as there are quite extensive yarding areas in each direction. Migration routes are learned by the fawns from their mothers and perhaps other related deer. In the past any deer that didn't migrate from you area were invaribly orphaned fawns that had no mother to learn migration from. In more recent years some deer have stayed on their summer range because late season baiting has held the deer until they have become trapped by deep snow. The result of not migrating to their winter yards is always the same. Without the shelter and extensive network of deer trails provided by the deeryards they eventualy all succumb to predators.
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Old 01-06-2004, 10:58 AM
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Rico,

There really isn't much info. During the past 4 winters I've filmed the movements of migrating deer with game cameras, and all that I can say is that so far, this is another light year for winter severity. Although we still have 10-12" of current snow-pack in the woods, it hasn't snow significantly in almost 3 weeks and the deer are currently between summer ranges and transition areas before traditional yarding areas. Some will say the deer haven't moved at all...but the 50#'s of corn they put behind their house a day might have something to do with that. It also might have something to do with increased predation due to the congregation of deer before they even enter the yards.

2000-2001 the last deer on the property was 12/13 and I had 1 fawn for 6 mature does in the spring.
2001-2002 the deer were out the end of January and I had 1.3 fawns per doe
2002-2003 the deer were out the end of January/February and I had 1 fawn per every doe.
2003-2004 they are still around a bit, and the winter continues to be light.

Really, winter severity is a little misleading for mortality rates. For example, we could have a terrible winter in February and March, but because the deer spent limited amounts of time in the yards, there will be little mortality. On the other hand, if we have a very sever December, and the deer totally migrate to the yards, we can have a mild January, February, and March, and the deer herd will suffer greatly. Time in congregation, or time in the deer yards, can be the greatest threat to overall survival rates, and right now the winter hasn't been that bad.

To put it simply, the more time in the yards, the more deer die, and the more time in the yards, the fewer the fawns in the spring. Keep in mind too, the deer yards support the fewest amount of deer on any range, with the summer range supporting the most. When deer are spread out, and closer to their summer ranges due to light winters, the more the predators are spread out and large concentrations of deer are not as vulnerable.

This year...so far so good!
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Last edited by Jeff Sturgis; 01-06-2004 at 11:01 AM.
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