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Author Topic: Hillbilly Wildlife survey  (Read 4172 times)

Offline Ridgeratt

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Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« on: February 11, 2018, 07:17:17 PM »
In the last week I have made numerous trips over Sherman and Boulder pass. It is amazing the absolute lack of any deer what so ever on the southwest slopes. It is also void of any game trials in the snow with the exception on an occasional set of tracks.  Even if I hadn't seen any deer there should be the trails down to the lowlands on both sides of the crest. I have not seen any deer around the town of Curlew or near Curlew lake. Going over Sherman Pass there are not any deer on the open hillsides either. The winter hasn't been that severe to attribute it to a snow winter kill. These are the historic winter grounds of the herds and there is nothing to see.    :yike:

« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 07:57:32 AM by Ridgeratt »

Offline hunter399

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 07:38:56 PM »
Deer herds are down across northeast washington,And rise in hunters from across the state coming to northeast,predators left unchecked to eat everything,this winter was not bad , but winter 2016 was really bad,and I'm not expecting herds to get any better anytime soon without big changes.

I went out shed hunting the other day,didn't find any.In some places not a trail or even so much as a deer track at all. :dunno:
Two birds in the Bush is always better than one in the hand-that way you can always go to the Bush and hunt another day .conservation=Better hunting.
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Offline Doublelunger

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 02:35:26 PM »
The wolves aren't helping either

Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 05:35:24 PM »
The wolves aren't helping either

I have to believe that its the entire predator population. Lack of realistic cougar quota's and no wolf management.


Offline quadrafire

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 06:13:22 PM »
I was snowshoeing in the lower elevation of 113 last week and saw elk and deer  and tracks of all sorts except cat and wolves. Which I was looking hard for. Granted this was only one location in the unit.

Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 10:14:31 AM »
Talked to a buddy who was snowmobiling last weekend on calispel peak made it to the lookout. He didn't get down to Tacoma creek. Said he never saw any animals or large game trails either. Did see a few snowshoe rattit tracks.

Online eliandsky

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 09:46:51 PM »
Saw 80-100 deer Saturday. Saw 80-100 Sunday. All East side. Been watching hundreds around Wenatchee all winter. A drive or two over a pass canít tell you much. Especially during a winter with no snow. Theyíre already moving up n out. Iím no biologist but there seems to be a lot more then ďnonĒ around here. Herds are down. Not gone


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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 10:05:31 PM »
Talked to a buddy who was snowmobiling last weekend on calispel peak made it to the lookout. He didn't get down to Tacoma creek. Said he never saw any animals or large game trails either. Did see a few snowshoe rattit tracks.

I haven't snowmobiled Calispel peak this year, but the last few years prior the trails choked with wolf crap, every few yards another pile of crap and full of moose hair. 
No calves, seen some adult moose but numbers were down by my perception.   Went to the calispel peak, one cow was clear up on top at the very edge of the alpine timber standing in the wind, hmmm why would she be doing that.ya.  went down tacoma creek same thing, trails almost looked muddy with wolf scat.

SCI

Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2018, 10:11:15 PM »
Saw 80-100 deer Saturday. Saw 80-100 Sunday. All East side. Been watching hundreds around Wenatchee all winter. A drive or two over a pass canít tell you much. Especially during a winter with no snow. Theyíre already moving up n out. Iím no biologist but there seems to be a lot more then ďnonĒ around here. Herds are down. Not gone


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Wenatchee is located in Region 2. It is described in the WDFW Pamphlet as North Central Washington. Depending on which side of the state you are from that isn't considered Eastern Washington.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 07:58:07 AM by Ridgeratt »

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2018, 10:16:59 PM »
Deer herds are down across northeast washington,And rise in hunters from across the state coming to northeast,predators left unchecked to eat everything,this winter was not bad , but winter 2016 was really bad,and I'm not expecting herds to get any better anytime soon without big changes.

I went out shed hunting the other day,didn't find any.In some places not a trail or even so much as a deer track at all. :dunno:

You're a little off on two points, 2016 was a fairly mild winter even though we had decent snowfall over 3000' we didn't get the crust like we have now, that crusty hard snow is the deer/elk moose killer.  Predators cover a LOT more ground on it while the prey move a lot slower and have a hard time in it with their hooves punching through while paws stay on top.  The snow was so hard my bull was having a hard time in it.  This year is much worse than 2016. 

We have had less hunters from the west side than in past years say 5-10 years ago, a lot are staying home due to fires I think and before that gas prices kept them home, anyways I think the numbers of hunters is a dropping trend, not raising as you've stated. 


Rest is pretty accurate by my hillbilly standards.
SCI

Offline hunter399

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2018, 09:11:54 AM »
Deer herds are down across northeast washington,And rise in hunters from across the state coming to northeast,predators left unchecked to eat everything,this winter was not bad , but winter 2016 was really bad,and I'm not expecting herds to get any better anytime soon without big changes.

I went out shed hunting the other day,didn't find any.In some places not a trail or even so much as a deer track at all. :dunno:

You're a little off on two points, 2016 was a fairly mild winter even though we had decent snowfall over 3000' we didn't get the crust like we have now, that crusty hard snow is the deer/elk moose killer.  Predators cover a LOT more ground on it while the prey move a lot slower and have a hard time in it with their hooves punching through while paws stay on top.  The snow was so hard my bull was having a hard time in it.  This year is much worse than 2016. 

We have had less hunters from the west side than in past years say 5-10 years ago, a lot are staying home due to fires I think and before that gas prices kept them home, anyways I think the numbers of hunters is a dropping trend, not raising as you've stated. 


Rest is pretty accurate by my hillbilly standards.

I'm gonna disagree with ya KF

I'm not sure if 2017 harvest reports are out,but in 2016 district 1 which is eastern wa has the highest number of deer harvest in the whole state,If pretty sure the 6,000 deer harvested in district one was not all by locals.Here's a link to the harvest report,So your telling me we don't have that many Hunters from all over the state coming to eastern wa , hard to believe when you look at the harvest reports from the whole state.

https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/harvest/2016/reports/deer_gmu_all.php

Well winter goes high snow amounts always equals harder winter for deer and elk,They have better chance of making though the crusty snow if they can get to food and forage.High snow amounts make them easy target for predators due to weakness and starving.

High snow amounts =bad for deer and elk.
Low snow amounts with crusty snow =better for deer and elk.

Been that way since time began. :twocents:
Two birds in the Bush is always better than one in the hand-that way you can always go to the Bush and hunt another day .conservation=Better hunting.
Wrote by hunter399

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2018, 10:56:39 AM »
https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/support/water/westwide/snowpack/wy2016/snow1602.gif

2016 above ^ 

2018 is below.  See for yourself

https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/support/water/westwide/snowpack/wy2018/snow1802.gif



This year in February (Feb, March is the worst two months for deer survival) we're 129% of average (just hit 130%+ with recent snowfalls) AND it's crusty rock hard snow which is a double whammy.  Soft snow makes the predators work harder than the prey as long legs and hooves are great, shorter legs and paws are not so great. 
I found a coyote up higher and he was dragging his belly through the snow leaving a trench, that's not good for coyotes, deer were not leaving a belly trench = good for the deer. 

Now the snow is crusty, the coyote aren't even leaving tracks but the deer are punching through, it's hard on legs and drains a ton of energy = bad for deer


See the chart
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 11:02:34 AM by KFhunter »
SCI

Offline hunter399

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2018, 06:22:41 PM »
https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/support/water/westwide/snowpack/wy2016/snow1602.gif

2016 above ^ 

2018 is below.  See for yourself

https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/support/water/westwide/snowpack/wy2018/snow1802.gif



This year in February (Feb, March is the worst two months for deer survival) we're 129% of average (just hit 130%+ with recent snowfalls) AND it's crusty rock hard snow which is a double whammy.  Soft snow makes the predators work harder than the prey as long legs and hooves are great, shorter legs and paws are not so great. 
I found a coyote up higher and he was dragging his belly through the snow leaving a trench, that's not good for coyotes, deer were not leaving a belly trench = good for the deer. 

Now the snow is crusty, the coyote aren't even leaving tracks but the deer are punching through, it's hard on legs and drains a ton of energy = bad for deer


See the chart
I will agree that crusty snow is bad for deer and elk.
Your looking at winter in predator kills,
I'm looking at winter in available forage and food.
It's like Apple and oranges in a difference in opinions,out of respect to ya ,I will just agree.
Two birds in the Bush is always better than one in the hand-that way you can always go to the Bush and hunt another day .conservation=Better hunting.
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Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2018, 03:55:28 PM »
The wolves aren't helping either

I have to believe that its the entire predator population. Lack of realistic cougar quota's and no wolf management.
:yeah:
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Offline Calvin Rayborn

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2018, 11:26:55 PM »
Sad

Offline jasnt

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2018, 06:50:13 AM »
Only game that seems to be doing good is turkey
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Offline jstone

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2018, 08:05:04 AM »
I played the snowshoe softball tournament a few weeks ago in Winthrop. Took an afternoon drive to look for deer. The only deer we saw where in peoples yards.

Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2018, 08:15:44 AM »
Last weekend I saw a few deer tracks on the ice at the state park on curlew lake. Didn't see any of them Ice Fishing.  :dunno:

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2018, 02:07:58 PM »
I played the snowshoe softball tournament a few weeks ago in Winthrop. Took an afternoon drive to look for deer. The only deer we saw where in peoples yards.

 :bash:...absolute worst deer numbers I,ve ever seen in the Methow this winter, the absolute WORST!.....predators are wiping this herd out, a real shame.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2018, 05:09:34 PM »
As far as a "survey" in the Methow goes, just talked with a buddy over there, not many deer at all, he said numbers were "in the toilet", the least amount of deer he has seen wintering in the valley in over 60 years! I,ve been back and forth a few times this winter and I will verify that fact and statement,  something needs to be done about the predators, or there is not going to be hunting in this valley worth a crap in the future.  He said he has been finding numerous cat kills from the Twisp area into areas north of Winthrop. Spots he was seeing deer in last year(which were way down in numbers the last few years) are null and void this year, he seen zero! This is not good folks :bash:

Offline Ridgeratt

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2018, 09:20:42 PM »
In an update this last week I have had the pair of does with the fawns show back up. But they are the yard pets. Instead of having numerous these are the total all last fall.

And the dawg recovering from ACL surgery wasn't happy that they are in her yard!   :chuckle:

Online eliandsky

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2018, 09:22:55 PM »
Low deer numbers are from over harvest from hunting and last winter and Not from cougars not from wolves. You donít have to be a biologist to look up the harvest stats and come to a conclusion that hunters are the number one cause of deer decline. Go look it up and see for yourself.

That being said saw 150 deer in two drainages yesterday in Entiat and one herd was 50 strong alone. Road hunters will continue to struggle and continue to leave the Methow.


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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2018, 10:38:39 PM »
Low deer numbers are from over harvest from hunting and last winter and Not from cougars not from wolves. You donít have to be a biologist to look up the harvest stats and come to a conclusion that hunters are the number one cause of deer decline. Go look it up and see for yourself.

That being said saw 150 deer in two drainages yesterday in Entiat and one herd was 50 strong alone. Road hunters will continue to struggle and continue to leave the Methow.


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This must be sarcasm  :dunno:
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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2018, 05:12:46 AM »
 :bash:
Low deer numbers are from over harvest from hunting and last winter and Not from cougars not from wolves. You donít have to be a biologist to look up the harvest stats and come to a conclusion that hunters are the number one cause of deer decline. Go look it up and see for yourself.

That being said saw 150 deer in two drainages yesterday in Entiat and one herd was 50 strong alone. Road hunters will continue to struggle and continue to leave the Methow.


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 :bash:

Online eliandsky

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Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2018, 08:05:51 AM »
Have you ever looked up the harvest stats for the Methow for the last four years and compared them to the previous.... say 10-12 years?  When a unit take an extra 1500-2000 deer annually over 4 years and add the extra doe tags etc itís a pretty simple equation for even a hillbilly.

But hell letís blame FnG wolves and cougars. Lmao. The problems in the mirror not in the woods.

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« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 08:21:09 AM by eliandsky »

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2018, 08:56:49 AM »
Not sure why it has to be pinpointed to one or the other.  Itís a hot mess up there.  Worst I have seen it in 40 years.  Idabooner has been there 80 plus.  I always get a kick out of people who see 50 deer in a spot and think oh itís not bad at all.  Of course 10 years ago there might have been 500 deer in that basin. 

I told my wife yesterday that I was glad I got most of my hunting done, because as I see it, itís coming to an end fast.   I noticed 4 more houses on a ridge I used to find a backpack full of antlers. 
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2018, 11:37:40 AM »
Have you ever looked up the harvest stats for the Methow for the last four years and compared them to the previous.... say 10-12 years?  When a unit take an extra 1500-2000 deer annually over 4 years and add the extra doe tags etc itís a pretty simple equation for even a hillbilly.

But hell letís blame FnG wolves and cougars. Lmao. The problems in the mirror not in the woods.

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Well I know that there wasn't many deer taken in the Methow last year(hardly anything hanging), but then there are the "harvest reports", I don't know how much stock I put in those anymore, over the last 15-20 years I think a lot of us are a little skeptical of WDFW deer harvest reports and forecasts and even about predator numbers for that matter at least in the Methow. The Methow herd has been one of the states "cash cows" for selling deer tags over many decades, it was once the largest mule deer herd in the state and about 20 years ago things started to change. I agree that in some years there were slaughters, more and more people, doe tags etc. etc. Some folks including myself have thrown out ideas of helping out this herd and releiving some of the pressure thats being put on it. This herd was once around 35 thousand(give or take a few k in either direction) and now is estimated by WDFW at around half that, as I and others that know this herd and valley have stated, its a lot less than what WDFW is estimating, A WHOLE LOT LESS! This herd is in a death spiral plane and simple, yes predators are playing a HUGE role in it, old predators who's populations have exploded and a new apex predator who is now on the scene. I have said before that I myself have seen more cougars in the last 5 years than my family has saw TOTAL in the last 100! Just this last hunting season, in a couple small areas we hunted we found over 2 dozen cached cougar kills! People are seeing cats and bear in the yards, pastures, hay fields, under bridges and about anywhere else for that matter, are deer numbers dwindling in the Methow? yes, absolutely, have more people started hunting the Methow in the last 20 years? yes absolutely, are predator numbers up in the Methow? yes absolutely. I agree 100 percent when bone says when someone spots 50 deer in an area and what they may not know is that 25 or so years ago that 50 was 500. When I was younger it was nothing to see bunches of 20-30 head during hunting season, sometimes herds of 50 or more moving down draws, now days its a big deal to see 5 or 6 in a bunch during hunting season. There is absolutely no doubt this herd is a mere shadow of what it once was and is tailspinning as predator numbers are exploding, if things continue as is this herd will go down the path of the Lolo elk herd, its already well on its way. I and others have said many times, we need a separate Fish and Game department that will actually look after our game herds,hunters, fisherman and sportsman, the WDFW we have now has to many special interest groups to cater to who may be and are in direct conflict with us as hunters but they still need our money and there in lies the mistrust about "numbers" and "harvest reports"...my :twocents:

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2018, 11:53:45 AM »
Not sure why it has to be pinpointed to one or the other.  Itís a hot mess up there.  Worst I have seen it in 40 years.  Idabooner has been there 80 plus.  I always get a kick out of people who see 50 deer in a spot and think oh itís not bad at all.  Of course 10 years ago there might have been 500 deer in that basin. 

I told my wife yesterday that I was glad I got most of my hunting done, because as I see it, itís coming to an end fast.   I noticed 4 more houses on a ridge I used to find a backpack full of antlers.

Absolutely right bone :tup:. Heck I remember as a kid sitting on a bluff at 4 o'clock in the morning waiting for the sun to come up and looking down the valley and just seeing a few twinkling lights here and there, sit on that same bluff now and the lights go forever down the bottom of the valley and up the slopes of both sides :bash:

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2018, 04:25:54 PM »
Saw 80-100 deer Saturday. Saw 80-100 Sunday. All East side. Been watching hundreds around Wenatchee all winter. A drive or two over a pass canít tell you much. Especially during a winter with no snow. Theyíre already moving up n out. Iím no biologist but there seems to be a lot more then ďnonĒ around here. Herds are down. Not gone


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Here are some observations,  back in the 60,s 70,s and 80,s my dad, brother and I would hit the Entiat and Swakane (about this time of year)to check out spring migration numbers, late march/early april the deer would start bunching up to start their migration back to the summer range, we would see hundreds of deer staging in areas. Then we would head to the Methow where my family has been kicking around since 1917, needless to say we know where a few staging areas are in the Methow. We would see groups of 7-8 hundred in some of these staging areas, there was a spot we took an old retired Game agent friend of my grandparents, he was from Alaska and was visiting the family, he wanted to see some mule deer so we took him to a spot in the Methow where we knew they would be bunching up for the spring migration. We entered into the canyon, sat on a couple stumps with our binos, ate some sandwiches and spent about an hour there as we counted around 1,100 deer, yep eleven hundred! There were springs that we would count 3 to 5 thousand deer in a 4 day period. Now, all that time my family and myself have spent in that valley it was a rarity to see a bear, a yote or a cougar, they were few and far between.   A lot has changed folks

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2018, 04:46:19 PM »
I agree with the numbers being down. I started hunting GMU 101 in the early 90's and would see herds of Mule deer 15-20 plus at times 5-10 quite often. Now if a guys sees 3-4 together thats a lot! Used to be well worn trails in areas that was full of sign, and bachelor herds of bucks. Last year the most deer I saw together was three, one being a barely legal buck that walked. Had the late Entiat tag in 2016 saw about 10 deer the day I shot my buck, when I went back to get the rest of him the next day didn't see a single deer.
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: Hillbilly Wildlife survey
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2018, 06:42:15 PM »
Low deer numbers are from over harvest from hunting and last winter and Not from cougars not from wolves. You donít have to be a biologist to look up the harvest stats and come to a conclusion that hunters are the number one cause of deer decline. Go look it up and see for yourself.

That being said saw 150 deer in two drainages yesterday in Entiat and one herd was 50 strong alone. Road hunters will continue to struggle and continue to leave the Methow.


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This must be sarcasm  :dunno:

I keep coming back to this topic, I think the same, is he being sarcastic? I can only speak for myself when saying I,m not a road hunter and I at least know the problem is not in my mirror :dunno:...no disrespect to eliandsky :tup:

 

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