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Thread: What if?

  1. #1

    What if?

    I want you guys to think outside the box with me a little here...

    As some of you know, I was quick to get all over the DOW for what I was seeing in Fayette County regarding deer numbers. I was the first person to ever point out coyote predation to Tonk as a real issue affecting fawn recruitment. I screamed at the top of my damn lungs about that, shamelessly, when he admitted to me that coyotes were not even factored into their models. I pointed out that we were seeing serious declines in agricultural areas that at the time they were not apparently seeing in more forested locations. I've raised hell with Tonkovich for 9 years now... I'm not new to the "sky is falling crowd". My sky fell long before most of the State even knew there was an issue.

    Keep in mind how this all started. Ohio, like all of the Midwest, had an abundant deer population. Each year we killed more and more, yet the next year there were plenty more to kill. I even recall telling people that I thought deer were a lot like bluegill... a lot HAD to be harvested to make room for the next generation that was sure to come the following spring. A lot of people were actually concerned that we would not be able to slow the herd's growth rate!

    We continued to add seasons, better tools for killing, more liberal seasons, etc. Then, almost overnight, it seemed we had a grip on the growing deer herd. The DoW's models still showed that we would have to continue killing at an ever increasing rate to get a grip on the expanding population. They were surprised, blindsided I would even say, that we started a downward trend in harvest. They have blamed all sorts of things. I blamed the DOW for not accounting for coyote predation.

    Im not done here... be back shortly.

  2. #2
    *Supporting Member* xbowguy's Avatar
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    I agree with this a lot!
    I also wonder about this "deer birth control" that I heard about awhile back????
    Bottom line, SOMETHING is happening and Im not liking it much!
    One good minute....can change your whole season.

  3. #3
    I'm in a hurry, squeezing in thoughts between delivering pizzas today, so if I don't make sense just forgive me.
    Ok, so coyote predation, to me, was an obvious factor that was not accounted for accurately. What else could slow fawn recruitment? What other factors exist that the DOW could have possibly overlooked to make their models "off". They know what is killed. They know what they have historically had recruited each spring. They did a good job of manipulating the herd for decades. Why suddenly, were they "off". And most interestingly, why is every DNR across the Midwest "off". What environmental factor changed so rapidly? How could so many State Agencies be in the bag of big insurance?

    What if they were all actually blindsided by an environmental factor? What if we have all been a little guilty in our contribution beyond over-harvest? What if the DOW was dead nuts on target with harvest goals considering past trends? What if?

    Ok, so now we don't want to blame every DNR across the Midwest. Maybe insurance companies aren't to blame. Maybe we HAVE been barking up the wrong tree... Lets just imagine for a minute that every DNR is NOT bought and paid for. What has changed in the natural world?

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php...up_Ready_Crops

    Just a thought. Reported to alter fertility. (Fawn recruitment, altered?) The time line for introduction, acceptance, and application is spot on.

    What if?

  4. #4
    *Supporting Member* Dannmann801's Avatar
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    I admire your ability to think out of the box.
    To listen instead of just wanting to talk.

    Very interesting.

    Make your hand steady, make your aim true,
    Let your shot come like a bolt from the blue -
    Be it buck, be it doe, be it fawn, be it button,
    Remember that venison always trumps mutton.

  5. #5
    *Supporting Member* cotty16's Avatar
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    Hmmmm... very thought provoking and I'm sure has some sort of impact.
    Fun how ev'rything was roses
    When we held on to the guns.

  6. #6
    *Co-Owner - Admin* bowhunter1023's Avatar
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    Now there's a thought...
    "And a country boy is all I'll ever be..."

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  7. #7
    http://www.northamericanwhitetail.co...etail-decline/

    I'm finding some interesting reading. Good to know some have already had the thought...

  8. #8
    *Co-Owner - Admin* bowhunter1023's Avatar
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    Good article from NAW. There's a reason I try to eat GMO free and I do the same for my animals. Makes perfect sense to me that this is a real factor...
    "And a country boy is all I'll ever be..."

    Live to hunt. Hunt to live. It's just how I live...

  9. #9
    I was telling folks about this last year when I read a similar study. Because I always questioned why even properties that weren't being hunted showed a decrease in deer numbers. Coyotes undoubtedly kill fawns, but I believe it's a very small portion, so small that it's a negligible factor. GMOs are something that's just not been studied enough to know full effect.

  10. #10
    Have we seen this on TOO before? I've seen this somewhere. I don't doubt this is a possible "portion" of the problem. Man has been man's biggest enemy for centuries. Many positives in our advances in technology but with them come some unknown (long term) side effects.
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  11. #11
    *Co-Owner - Admin* bowhunter1023's Avatar
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    I don't blame the DNR for the decrease in totality and am open to the idea of unforeseen external environmental factors contributing to the decline in numbers. This is an equation with a host of variables and GMO/RoundUp crops can most certainly be a contributor.
    "And a country boy is all I'll ever be..."

    Live to hunt. Hunt to live. It's just how I live...

  12. #12
    *Supporting Member* Boarhead's Avatar
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    Some good reading Brock,sure makes ya wonder.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by hickslawns View Post
    Have we seen this on TOO before? I've seen this somewhere. I don't doubt this is a possible "portion" of the problem. Man has been man's biggest enemy for centuries. Many positives in our advances in technology but with them come some unknown (long term) side effects.
    Yea, I thought this is where I originally saw it too. I just did a quick and dirty Google search and came up empty though.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jagermeister View Post
    I was telling folks about this last year when I read a similar study. Because I always questioned why even properties that weren't being hunted showed a decrease in deer numbers. Coyotes undoubtedly kill fawns, but I believe it's a very small portion, so small that it's a negligible factor. GMOs are something that's just not been studied enough to know full effect.
    I don't think it's "negligible". In fact after returning from a conference in FLA., Mr. Tonkovich decided the impact deserved a closer look. It can be a huge factor, varying in areas, of course. Mrex allowed a study on his property in the early 90's. Back then, it was close to 30% due to predation. Now factor in that was 25+ years ago, and in Athens County... an area with far better fawning habitat than what is present in areas like Fayette, Madison, Preble, etc. I believe it is much higher than anyone would like to image. It may, however, not be the biggest impact to have been over looked, if indeed any were. I'm trying to give the benefit of doubt to the DOW here...

  15. #15
    *Co-Owner - Admin* bowhunter1023's Avatar
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    Another thought that would tie in to, and impact fawn rearing, is the loss of habitat due to every farmer in Ohio feeling the need to clean up their fence rows. A doe can hide a fawn in a lot of places and thousands of miles of thick fencelines no longer exist. Again, not a massive contributor, but a contributor IMO.
    "And a country boy is all I'll ever be..."

    Live to hunt. Hunt to live. It's just how I live...

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by bowhunter1023 View Post
    Another thought that would tie in to, and impact fawn rearing, is the loss of habitat due to every farmer in Ohio feeling the need to clean up their fence rows. A doe can hide a fawn in a lot of places and thousands of miles of thick fencelines no longer exist. Again, not a massive contributor, but a contributor IMO.
    Yes, absolutely. The amount of habitat destruction that's occurring in the Midwest is absolutely disgusting. You can't hardly blame the farmers because they're just doing business, but for anyone who loves the outdoors it's truly devastating. This is a factor that's severely overlooked. It's no different for small game and upland birds. Most old timers blame it on the the blizzard of '78, which certainly didn't help matters, but the biggest difference between then and now is habitat quality.

  17. #17
    *Supporting Member* Dannmann801's Avatar
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    So I'm dumb....explain the impact of the '78 blizzard (other than I missed a lot of school)

    Make your hand steady, make your aim true,
    Let your shot come like a bolt from the blue -
    Be it buck, be it doe, be it fawn, be it button,
    Remember that venison always trumps mutton.

  18. #18
    *Supporting Member* giles's Avatar
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    I've brought this up a couple of times. I think it's very possible. It was back when all you guys were still convinced I was a complete dumbass. It would explain the loss of many animals, but doesn't add up to the coyote population. They also eat this stuff.
    "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer." -Jimmy Doolittle

  19. #19
    GMO and RR crops are a big unknown that could be very damaging to all living creatures. Man often does more damage than good when he thinks he knows better than God



  20. #20
    <span style="color:green"> <b> *Supporting Member* </b></span> Bigslam51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by giles View Post
    I've brought this up a couple of times. I think it's very possible. It was back when all you guys were still convinced I was a complete dumbass. It would explain the loss of many animals, but doesn't add up to the coyote population. They also eat this stuff.
    And now we think differently?

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