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What do you think the deer counts were in this area of the Methow, 1938 ? (total of A,B,C,D)

1-250
13 (7.7%)
251-500
32 (19%)
501 - 1000
34 (20.2%)
1001 +
89 (53%)

Total Members Voted: 168

Voting closed: December 05, 2019, 09:30:11 PM

Author Topic: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey  (Read 6825 times)

Offline h2ofowlr

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Interesting.
Cut em!
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Offline sooperfly

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2019, 05:00:13 PM »
Well nobody has bothered to guess so I'll go ahead and post the totals! - 6,810
Blue was 1937 numbers, red is for 1938.




Offline bigmacc

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2019, 09:23:25 AM »

Aint that something, my son and I just got back from 3 days of December counting, covered alot of that area you labeled "area #1". We covered ground from about Boulder creek at the north going south into Pearrygin, Cougar, Bear, Davis lake and a little into Beaver Creek areas all great winter range with plenty of southwest slopes, feed, water and cover, we would usually count around 1,500-2,500 scattered through these areas over this same time period 25 years and more ago(pre predator boom), in fact in 1996 we counted 1,800, after that numbers continued shrinking, this trip we just returned from.........138


Forgot to add, we did also see more predator sign this year than we have ever seen. We had a little fresh snow to work with so the sign we were seeing was only a day or two old. Seen wolf and cougar sign in all those areas, more in some than in others, seen lots of wolf sign in the Boulder-Pearrygin areas and seen more signs put up on trees in the Bear/Cougar creek areas stating to keep your dogs on leash because there were traps set in the area that attracted canines, didn't actually see a wolf or cougar this trip but we did see a lot more sign than we have before and wolf sign in areas we have not seen it in before.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 09:34:58 AM by bigmacc »

Offline boneaddict

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2019, 09:50:14 AM »
138 :'(                                            (I've counted more than 200 there in less than 2 hours hunting before)   



Thanks for sharing that Sooperfly.    Very interesting

I think that was considered a down year, but kinda scary to think how todays numbers would compare

Offline bigmacc

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2019, 10:25:47 AM »
138 :'(                                            (I've counted more than 200 there in less than 2 hours hunting before)   



Thanks for sharing that Sooperfly.    Very interesting

I think that was considered a down year, but kinda scary to think how todays numbers would compare

I hear ya bone, same thing here, just sitting in ONE of those areas even during hunting season in late October/early November and seeing a couple hundred deer was the norm, lots of other things eating these deer nowadays, there is really no escape for them, they are kind of "locked" into this valley and its getting real obvious where they are going to escape, man we seen a lot of deer in yards, driveways, corrals etc., probably around 100-125(those were not included in our count), some are "hugging" civilization to stay alive. I know we have all seen deer hanging around houses etc. over the years but it sure seems like its more and more, makes you wonder as more deer are chased/persued by 4 legged predators or when more and more witness fawns or others in their herd or groups get taken down and killed they are more compelled to latch on closer to people, houses etc., they are pretty smart and adaptable animals, while populations of cougar, bear and wolf continue to kill more and more deer and more deer are witnessing it or even surviving attacks I think this is what we get, more and more in yards, less and less where they should be and all in all, bottom line is, these predators have had a huge impact on this herd by not only killing a lot of deer which is causing thousands upon thousands less deer on the landscape but also how they are effecting their behavior, its really sad...:twocents:
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 10:35:48 AM by bigmacc »

Offline sooperfly

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2019, 12:59:53 PM »
Yeah, wish I had more years to compare, only one doesn't show a whole lot.  But, it's better than nothing!   :)


138 :'(                                            (I've counted more than 200 there in less than 2 hours hunting before)   



Thanks for sharing that Sooperfly.    Very interesting

I think that was considered a down year, but kinda scary to think how todays numbers would compare

Offline bigmacc

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2019, 01:01:22 PM »
Well nobody has bothered to guess so I'll go ahead and post the totals! - 6,810
Blue was 1937 numbers, red is for 1938.



Good work sooperfly, Like a lot of folks are saying, I believe those were considered "down" years but still thousands upon thousands were in those particular areas, probably 10,s of thousands more in many other winter range areas, like what was written on back of some of our pictures by my great grandma from the 1930,s(ones we can read) there were many lean years in the 30,s but they always had double digit counts of deer hanging on the ridge pole, their lean years back then are bumper crop seasons nowadays, really puts things in perspective on how far they have let this herd slip.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #52 on: December 10, 2019, 11:34:35 AM »
I remember my dad telling me a few times the story of grandma and grandpa doing one of their counts the 1st week of December. It was in the 1930,s sometime and they went up into the Ramsey area, the road going up in that turf back then went up and around the south end of the hill above where Methow valley estates is now and then went up the draw to where Sullivan's old house used to be (the foundation is still there) and then around Sullivan's pond and dead ended up the road aways and to the north on the backside of the big hill above Sullivans Pond where the little campground is. Anyways, they would hike back into where the rifle range is now and my dad said one year they(grandma and grandpa) went in there(sometime in the mid 30,s ) they counted over 800 deer laying in the big bowl above where the 300 yard target is now :chuckle: and remember now, like all my great grandparents writings have said that we could read, a lot of the 1930,s were considered "down" or "lean" years, but they still counted huge numbers of deer and killed plenty of big bucks during those times, the bar was just higher I guess :dunno:. Every time we would go over to count when I was a kid and we would drive up in that area he would tell those stories of the deer they used to see in that bowl. Just up over the top of that bowl is where we seen one of the signs this last week that said to keep your dogs on leash because there were traps in the area that attracts canines, drive a little farther up that road towards Bear is where we cut 3 sets of cougar tracks crossing the road within a one mile stretch, never seen a deer up in there and only cut about 12 sets of deer tracks in fresh snow that had been on the ground for 2 days. Talked to a buddy who a week prior jumped the gate up by Ramsey and hiked back in around the old stock drive and Pearrygin ridge areas, they only seen 11 deer total for the whole day but seen plenty of wolf and cougar sign including 4 different buried kills that they figured were 2-3 weeks old, a friend and I were up in that same area in 1998, Thanksgiving weekend and counted over 600, been up in there 9 or 10 times since, either the last weekend of November or the first in December, the numbers have declined every time until this year when 11 were seen. Keep your pets on leash nowadays if your in those areas and don't count on seeing many deer, seems the predators have set up shop pretty good, I guess they will eventually move into another area in the valley after they scorch the landscape there.


I looked over the article that Boss .300 winmag posted in the wolf topics about the Lolo elk herd in Idaho, I,m afraid being an eye witness to what this Methow mule deer herd was at one time, hearing family stories, seeing pictures etc. of the (at one time) largest migrating deer herd in the country that at one time was 35,000-40,000 strong, that this herd may be going down the same path as that historic elk herd, I really do hope I,m wrong. I,m also very angry that we as hunters and sportsmen and women are the ones that will eventually have to give things up to continue to pursue and hunt in the Methow, the predator situation in that valley is getting so bad it would take drastic measures to "clean up the mess" that has occurred, folks would need to admit mistakes were made, evaluations missed and decisions made involving opinion and emotion rather than being based on science and facts. Im no expert but as a lot of us have said that have a history with this particular herd, its a real shame what has happened to it and in the end we as hunters are the ones that will be chipped away at by loosing not only opportunity by the fact there are just drastically less deer on the landscape in the valley but also by loosing time in the field, seasons etc., all for the passion of growing, expanding and nurturing predators by some, who in the end, do not want to see us as hunters on the landscape, period!.... :twocents:
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 01:35:52 PM by bigmacc »

Offline no.cen.wa

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2019, 03:47:42 PM »
I was looking at the Outdoor Channel guide the other day for a good mule deer hunt, when I came onto a series called "Hunter Nation" it was going to have Donald Trump Jr. on so thought I would record it.
When I watched it Trump and the host were both talking about the effort, very well coordinated effort, to stop hunting by some groups. Bringing in predators is one of their best attacks. It takes the herd down, and in a generation or two people give up hunting and they have won!
They weren't talking just about Washington, things like this are going on many places.
Guess this could be another subject to post, but thought it might fit.
John G.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2019, 06:26:45 AM »
I honestly believe that is what is happening and I think they have those with that agenda in high places.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2019, 04:53:48 PM »
Some other indicators of the 30s in the Methow.   Antler “restrictions” were placed for the first time in 1933.   It had to be a branched buck.   It went to any buck in 1955.

In 1937 the season was moved from basically the first two weeks of November back to the 20th of October.. it went back to the first of November in the early forties for a couple years then back to October until in the 50s. 

Offline boneaddict

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2019, 05:04:11 PM »
1937 was the lowest harvest in Okanogan county on record until 1971.   71 and 72 were very low harvest years as well.  Bigmacc might have some insight on that.  Legal  antlerless  harvest didn’t start until 1948. 

Offline bigmacc

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2019, 09:59:24 AM »
Some other indicators of the 30s in the Methow.   Antler “restrictions” were placed for the first time in 1933.   It had to be a branched buck.   It went to any buck in 1955.

In 1937 the season was moved from basically the first two weeks of November back to the 20th of October.. it went back to the first of November in the early forties for a couple years then back to October until in the 50s.

Yes bone, I remember my dad talking of the antler restrictions, you couldn't shoot spikes, my dad was 8 when he killed his first buck in 1941, the "no spike" rule was in effect then he said. His opinion was that this is what should be in effect now, since the 3 point restriction went into effect I can't even tell you how many dead 2 points just our group of 9 have stumbled onto, my dad said he never found a dead spike, he used to say "to much margin for error for some ya-hoos when trying to count points on an escaping buck, pretty easy to distinguish a spike", just his opinion. As far as seasons go he said they would "bounce them around", but as a kid he always trick or treated at the Little Bellingham Camp, I myself have many tags that were punched in the 1st week of November, my latest is November 9th I believe :dunno:, Id have to check.

I remember (as I said before) dad talking about times in the 30,s being down years, he would actually compare them to being what we call good years nowadays, they would still have many deer in camp(I posted pictures), some of the pictures have 10 or more on the pole between the 16 folks in our clan at the time, those were "down" years. My dad said there were always deer around, he would say some years when it was slow, after big winter kills you would only see 10-20 per day and other years you would see 100-200 a day. As far as 1971 and 72 go, yes they were tough years I guess for "those times", my dad and I each killed monster bucks, I killed a 5 by 5 that was running with 6 other bucks and my dad killed a huge 4 by 4, both bucks were pushing the high 300,s in weight, that was the season of 71 and there was a foot of snow on the ground the whole season, that winter was brutal and the deer were carrying a lot of fat going into it, 72 was a little lean also but we still killed 5 bucks in 71 and 4 bucks in 72 out of 9 folks in our camp. I do remember seeing very few other hunters and only seeing maybe on average 15 or so deer per day.....Averaging seeing 15-20 deer per day and batting about a .500 average for bucks on the pole, and yep, we did consider those, "lean years"........Id take those lean years back in a heartbeat, its all about where the bar is set... :twocents:
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 03:50:29 PM by bigmacc »

Offline bigmacc

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2019, 01:02:04 PM »
1937 was the lowest harvest in Okanogan county on record until 1971.   71 and 72 were very low harvest years as well.  Bigmacc might have some insight on that.  Legal  antlerless  harvest didn’t start until 1948.

I was looking through some of the old pictures bone and a couple that I posted on here a few years ago were actually from 1937, the picture showed 4 bucks(all 4 point and bigger) on the pole, there were 11 family members in the photo and a lot of snow. This was one of the pictures grandma wrote on the back "slow year" and "tough going" along with other writing that is tough to read, something also about deer being in their hiding spots :dunno:. I think there might have been quite a bit of bad weather back in that decade :dunno:, seems a lot of the pictures have lots of snow...... I already talked a little about 71-72 in the previous post so I won't repeat.

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Re: (updated 12/7 ! ) Totals Posted - Historic Methow valley winter deer survey
« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2019, 03:20:53 PM »

I was looking through some more old pictures and noticed the early 40,s(about 41-44) looked like some pretty good hunting, there are a few pictures with 20 and more on the ridge pole, there is a picture from 1944 that had 12 deer hanging and the smallest buck was a HUGE 3 by 3 along with that monster non typical that a cousin killed that made him look like a little kid, it was absolutely huge(told that story before,Gabe was about 6.5 and 270 lbs), he later became a game warden, two wardens in the family, one ended up in Alaska, one in Idaho, both hunted Muleys only in the Methow even the one who worked for Idaho Fish and Game, for some of you younger folks, that will shine a light on what this herd was really like and what has happened to it, they would both be heart broken to see what has become of this herd.

 


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