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Author Topic: Deer numbers in the Palouse  (Read 1297 times)

Offline ellensburgpo

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Deer numbers in the Palouse
« on: October 18, 2020, 06:27:23 PM »
Iím looking for feedback from those of you who live in or spend a significant amount of time in the Palouse regarding deer numbers. This year Iíve seen under 50% the normal numbers of deer I usually would. Not sure if itís just a coincidence but seems to have impacted doe numbers disproportionately as the buck numbers seem about right. Through the grapevine I heard that the biologists were suspecting there was some sort of disease outbreak but I didnít hear what exactly. Reminds me of 4-5 years ago when blue tongue just hammered the herd.

Any of you seeing similar stuff?
KCCO

 The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929

Offline BAR C3

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2020, 06:56:57 PM »
I live in the unit and literally have not seen a whitetail in this area for last 2-3 years.
Why they are still giving 750 rifle tags is beyond me! Other than money!
I would shut down down all doe tags for next 5 years so here can rebound.

Online nwwanderer

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2020, 07:18:24 PM »
Some blue tongue in north Whitman county this year, should be on its way out with recent frost and rain

Offline Snakeriver10

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2020, 07:36:12 PM »
Heart of the Palouse here and the numbers are as high as the early nineties

Offline Lapua07

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2020, 08:08:40 PM »
Iíve drawn the Palouse tag 6 times now. I started my hunting career in the stubble 20 years ago chasing mule deer. I seen the numbers up down and everything between. Poorly managed like the rest of the state. Of all those permits.... Iíve shot one. I could have filled all of them just chose not to. I luckily get to hunt an ungodly amount of private ground that itís only open to a select few hunters. I make a few trips down every year spend some time behind the glass. Iím not a trophy hunter by any means but down there it all comes back to mature deer. Which I donít see anymore. As stated above... numbers are low.

Offline jjhunter

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2020, 08:28:58 PM »
Hunted the Palouse every year since Ď92.  A lot has changed over the years, but the deer numbers arenít lacking.  Mature mule deer are a rare sight and I stopped chasing them 10 years ago for that reason (we really only had good muley bucks from Ď94-Ď01, a short period after the 3 pt restriction.

Buck numbers are good (whitetail) and I plan on tagging another mature whitetail this fall. 

Offline ellensburgpo

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2020, 09:36:29 PM »
Some blue tongue in north Whitman county this year, should be on its way out with recent frost and rain

This tracks with what Iím seeing. It sounds like maybe it was localized and isnít hitting the region as a whole.
KCCO

 The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2020, 11:06:36 PM »
Many of us in 127 have voiced our opinions over the last 4 years regarding deer numbers. Maybe they have listened 2 weeks ago a bio was out counting deer and they are talking of reducing antlerless harvest. Its always years late with wdfw as we all saw what has happened. This is the first year in years that we have fawns alive in October and on trail cam. 

Offline elkboy

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2020, 06:55:03 AM »
My observations here in GMUs 139 and 142 agree lead me to agree with SnakeRiver10 and jjhunter-  whitetail numbers are up, especially relative to 2015-2017.  Last year's mild winter and two summers without EHD/bluetongue have let the whitetails rebound.  As for recruitment, I am seeing at least 50% of does with a fawn.  Survival of last year's crop of whitetails seems very good also. 

I don't spend much time further north than 139- sorry to hear they are not doing well there.

As for mature deer, I think they do get hit hard in more open habitats (true of mule deer for sure; also true for whitetails in places).  Whitetails that live past 2.5 get pretty elusive...



Offline SeatoSummit88

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2020, 07:23:32 AM »
Neighbor left Friday Morning for the Palouse...No return date on the calendar...Had a piece of private to hunt near the river, only 2 other hunters were supposed to be hunting the parcels. He texted me Saturday around 11AM and said he was headed home due to seeing near 60 hunters that morning, either crossing through or on the boundary of the property borders. He knew it was usually busy, but this year seemed way more squeezed (maybe in that particular area?) and pressured. No Deer seen.
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Offline Gutpile

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2020, 07:52:33 AM »
This weekend we saw one smallish buck who definitely had blue tongue but the deer numbers were actually pretty good.

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Offline elkboy

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2020, 09:26:10 AM »
SeaToSummit, that's crazy.  It does get really crowded out there during the general season...
Gutpile, were you hunting closer to Spokane, or down this way, where you saw the bluetongue-affected buck?

Offline andersonjk4

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2020, 09:49:24 AM »
Definitely some localized blue tongue outbreaks this year.  One of the bigger land owners to the south of Colfax was saying they found a dozen plus dead deer in a single field.  I didn't see any sign of blue tongue a little farther north where I was at last weekend, but deer numbers definitely aren't high. At least the whitetail numbers.  Maybe a little higher than a couple years ago, but nowhere near what they were just 10 years ago.  The Mule deer seem to be doing pretty good.  Every year we see more and more mule deer where we used to only see whitetails.  I would love to see a reduction in the number of antlerless opportunities and a reduction in the late season tags until things recover a little bit. 

Offline Gutpile

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2020, 10:17:44 AM »
SeaToSummit, that's crazy.  It does get really crowded out there during the general season...
Gutpile, were you hunting closer to Spokane, or down this way, where you saw the bluetongue-affected buck?

We were down  between st. John and endicott

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Offline T-Dozzer

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Re: Deer numbers in the Palouse
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2020, 09:37:40 PM »
Just like JJ, I started chasing deer in 1991 on the Palouse. Things definitely have changed. The majority of mulies in 139/142 are smaller now days. Shoot, most are 3pts & 2pts with the occasional 4pt.
Still alot of whities running around, but they don't get as big as they used to.
Against my better judgment, I put away the bow & muzzy & picked up the bolt gun this year for the palouse hunt. Saw deer, shot a decent one, but trespassing & other shenanigans get worse every year there.

 


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