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Mackinac Bridge Count


steeliebob

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Just as I figured it would be the bridge count was down 44% last night at 9:00 pm when I crossed. Less than 1000 deer have been counted so far, the wolves have ate them all. Precisley why I live in the UP and hunt in the lower. Back in the 1990's you would trip over deer walking into your blind 5 miles from my house. The same area I used to hunt....I have only seen two deer there this fall. Now I am driving to whittemore 140 miles away to hunt. I guess amongst other things you can blame this on the DNR too.

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You are soooo right about wolf hunting. What are they going to eat when they kill off all of the deer? I believe there will come a day when everyone has a loaded gun in the house waiting to shoot at a wolf. That is the other reason I hunt downstate, I have had a couple of opportunities and let em go the next one might not be so lucky. The deer I saw a couple of weeks ago was being run by something because it was dead tired when it stopped by me and could have cared less that I was only 50 feet away. It was real concerned with what was behind it. If you want to see something real interesting go to the mackinac bridge website and look at how the deer count numbers have declined since the wolf numbers have increased.

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I haven't heard anything about the moose lately. Did the wolves eat all of them first ?

Our deer managers have been way off for years. Used to be the state to go deer hunting in.....not any more. Heck I see more deer in Canada.

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I just google mackinac bridge deer count for past years. It has been so ****ty up here the last ten years the DNR does not want the record posted so it stops at 2000. I will be crossing the bridge in a couple of hours to hunt in the lower. I will give you an update on the deer count on Monday. I used to see deer like you would not believe at my steelhead spot, I have been back there no less than 50 times this fall and only saw 2 deer. I have several friends who have not recorded a deer on their trail cams all fall. I know of about 50 guys who just go to Canada to hunt and will not buy a Michigan license anymore. The last week of season I will be hunting in the UP but I will be packing my fishing poles too because I don't expect to be hunting very long.

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Wolves...I bet Scotty will add to this thread if he reads it.

Boy thats for sure!! I seen 2 deer and 5 wolves the first 3 days of hunting!! One of them was pushung 140 lbs or so, he was huge!!:eek: The locals are going to start gut shooting them and let them run off and die!! Sounds like a plan to me...LOL!!:grin:

Scott

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New count when I came across the bridge North Bound the count was just over 4000 deer that was on 11/22/2009 at 9:30 pm. It was still down 35% they do count deer going both ways so I helped them out by adding one. I shot a big doe (no fawns) in Ogemaw County.

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Nice job Robert. Sure has been a tough season. This warm weather sure isnt helping a bit. I know down state corn is a big problem as well. They wont come out until after dark. Our camp has had a terrible year thus far. Worst part is that i know how many deer are there....Damn corn!

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Across the road from the camp gate is a big apple tree, when I pulled in Friday night after dark there were about 15 does and fawns eating with 4 bucks none bigger than a 4 point. I wonder if the DNR considers this a baitpile??? There is no sound biological proof that stopping hunters from using bait will stop the spread of desease such as CWD or TB. Just like in the UP where if you have the combination license your first deer has to have 4+ points on one side. The DNR did that to produce bigger bucks but there is no biological proof that this will work. I was at a meeting recently where a DNR biologist admitted the DNR was wrong by doing this. If their own biologists disagree with what the DNR is doing then I am sure that sooner or later the DNR will be challenged in court. I think that it is a money issue and the DNR wants a reason to write more tickets. Just like a few years ago a DNR biologist commented that wolves were good for the deer. I guess so right down to the last one.

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No, an apple tree is not a form of baiting. Its a natural growing fruit tree, so its legal. If you dumped apples out thats baiting. Same with a corn field. If i planted a corn field its legal, but if i dump a pile of corn its not. Kinda stupid i think. Deer have nose to nose contact whether there is baiting or not. Ive sat too many hours in the woods observing deer to know better. Our deer herd is all outta whack. Gonna take allot of tweaking to get it right IMO. A one buck rule would be a good start if they wanna get 1. More Bucks and 2. Bigger bucks. Shoot whatever you want, but by limiting the harvest it allows more to survive and gain another year of age. Over time youll game both buck quality and quanity. A little age class wouldnt hurt us one bit, which is what we're really lacking.

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You have to sit on the edge of a swamp and just wait them out. It is tough to do but they are there. The small cedar swamp that I was set up on came to life at dark an hour after I shot my deer. Good Luck. The guys hunting up in the UP are seeing more wolves than deer. I just talked to a guy who saw three wolves last night. US 2 hardly has any traffic right now, nobody wants to hunt up here anymore. The DNR should open season on them.

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The guys hunting up in the UP are seeing more wolves than deer.

I just talked with a friend that spent a week hunting with his group near Big Bay.

Of the group, for the week they saw; 3 deer and 5 wolves. The 5 wolves where chasing a Doe.

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As far as I am concerned shoot all of the wolves & cougars that you want to. The season never closes but don't get caught. It doesn't even make the classifieds anymore when someone shoots a UP wolf during deer season. I have yet to ever hear of the DNR paying their $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone who has killed a wolf. I think they die of lead poisoning about 5 miles from the point of impact. What I hate the most about them is that the DNR spends hunderds of thousands of dollars per year on them and they are federally protected. Now the DNR is going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on cougars. I think the budget will be reduced when they don't get deer license fees anymore. If I could not hunt in the lower penninsula I would sell all of my hunting gear. Back in the 1990's there used to be 20+ deer per sq mi where I hunted now there is less than one deer per sq mi.

Edited by steeliebob
misspell
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I get invited every year to deer camp near Grand Marais. I generally decline. After 2-3 days sitting in the woods and not seeing anything, Dear Camp becomes Drinking Camp. Quite frankly my head can't handle a week of Drinking Camp. It's way cheaper, and easer to just buy a side of Beef.

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New Count as of 7:30 am 11/30/09 the count was 3893 a far cry from the numbers we have had a few years ago. It is down 37% from last year which is down from the year before and so on. I hunted for four days in an area that used to be real hot and did not see a single deer. The guy I work with has 7 guys that hunt out of his camp, in 9 days they saw a total of 6 deer. The DNR will have to think of some good excuses now but these guys are going to Canada next year. I have a few months to decide wether I will go to Canada, Illinois, or the lower penninsula.

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Id pick Illinois, then Canada then the LP....LP is good if you have a place to go. But with allot of the land being private its tough to get a good spot with our rich deer hunting tradition. And as for the state ground, talk about preasure, ecspecially in the southern portion of the state. Im seriously considering hanging up deer hunting in our state and spending some money each year to head out of state for a couple weeks and have a quality hunt. Then just waterfowl hunt the rest of the season here. Since i give up my lease because of a $$$ greedy landowner and hunt on others land where i get the leftover spots my interest in deer hunting has declined severely. Im just not satisfied with the quality of the hunt anymore. Sad considering there was a time when i was fanatical about chasing them.

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You are soooo right Adam. I live in Mackinac County and I fight with the DNR every year over hunting and fishing issues. They want wolves and moose to dominate the UP. They want lots of Elk in the northern lower penninsula and few deer. All of the hatchery trucks go straight to South Haven. We have 156 miles of shoreline in Mackinac County alone and we only have about 20000 trout planted annually. I believe that I might just as well burn my money rather than buy a license from the DNR. I do catch some fish though at times I am rather spoiled only because the natural reproduction up here is great. I got a deer this year on private land in West Branch but for the money I invest in hunting it is not worth it. Most of the good deer hunters that I know are hunting in Canada now. The group just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year and these guys won't ever buy another Michigan deer license.

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Its really sad to see so many going outta state because theyre fed up with our hunting situation here. I seen on the news the other night that license sales were down 40,000 this year. Man thats allot! Im sure the economy has allot to do with, but some of its not.

Hows the deer herd in West Branch doing? I noticed they havent had antlerless permits the last couple seasons, so i suspect its way down. Thats where my lease was and the last couple years the hunting was going downhill in that area. Couple that with the high rent and thats why i didnt renew my lease. Plus the landowner wouldnt allow us to do anything on the property to help improve the hunting. Wanted to plant food plots etc, but we couldnt. Lotta great memories up there and at one time, a ton of deer. I miss the good old days up there.

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We hunted off from Lake Ogemaw there is deer but the property needs some improvement. I had two doe permits and filled one of them saw an 8 pointer and a spike. There is lots of deer but it was way too warm and they would not move. Most of the deer were laying around in the cottage yards. I guess you have to hand it to them they know where it is safe. I used to hunt off of Greenwood Road on a private camp that was too good, I wish that land was back in the family. I have all of the federal land that I want to hunt up here just all of my good spots are dried up or wolves are in them. I will do some bow hunting next year, I am sure that I will find deer again. I do still plan to hunt in W Branch for gun season if I don't go to Canada

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Id pick Illinois, then Canada then the LP....LP is good if you have a place to go. But with allot of the land being private its tough to get a good spot with our rich deer hunting tradition. And as for the state ground, talk about preasure, ecspecially in the southern portion of the state. Im seriously considering hanging up deer hunting in our state and spending some money each year to head out of state for a couple weeks and have a quality hunt. Then just waterfowl hunt the rest of the season here. Since i give up my lease because of a $$$ greedy landowner and hunt on others land where i get the leftover spots my interest in deer hunting has declined severely. Im just not satisfied with the quality of the hunt anymore. Sad considering there was a time when i was fanatical about chasing them.

Im write there with ya adam, last year was my last year of deer and waterfowl hunting, becouse of all the reasons you listed. I think if i deer hunt anymore it will be out of state, also the duck hunting on this side of the state any more flat SUCKS. Thats why i always head for the sunrise side for that, and after 5 years of outstanding duck and goose hunting in arkansas im not sure if i will do that any more eather.

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It is hard to beat Canada deer hunting. The 11 point I shot this year dressed out at 210 lbs. I got just about 70 lbs of boned meat. There are more wolves in Canada than Michigan, but the deer are bigger and for the most part can fend them off. Plus you can shoot wolves in that part of Canada.

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I am just waiting for a pack of wolves to start munching on the elk in pigeon river state forest. Then we will see just how federally protected the wolf really is as you see Michigan Conservation Officers shooting them. When that happens they won't be so protected in the UP anymore either. I would bet that the DNR has already told its officers to shoot wolves in the LP. Go to the news site and check out the story on Coy Wolves.

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