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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard from many friends and acquaintances from around the state that the deer herd is declining dramatically in the last few years. I agree with this and would like to throw out my ideas as a 45 year hunter and wildlife managing landowner. I dont think the coyote population is the problem even though they may add to it in a small way. I hunted in Iowa a few years ago for several seasons and they were over run with deer,turkeys. rabbits and other small game. We heard coyotes every night the likes of which I have never heard in VA. The number of doe tags and doe days has increased over the years and this has had an effect as well but my theory is those two issues aren't the big problem. I remember when bow season ran until the first week of gun season and there was no early muzzle loader seasons.After many years of hunting and deer study I am pretty sure the main dates of the breeding fall from the 17th to the 27th of November. I know many will disagree but when people are seeing bucks running does etc that is the pre rut when the youngsters are feeling their oats. This is usually around the 7th to the 17th, many confuse this with breeding. Now with that in mind all of the muzzle loader season and the part of the first week of gun is usually before the bulk of the breeding. Check the buck kill stats and you will find the bulk of the bucks killed are killed now days in those three weeks before the bulk of the breeding. I noticed a few years ago when they added the second week of early muzzle loader season that I was seeing a fairly large number of does in august that had no fawns and since i have been telling this theory to Friends they have seen the same thing. THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH BUCKS LEFT to breed all the does. A buck will stay with a doe for up to a day until she is ready so 1 buck cant breed but so many does.
I am not lobbying for an end to muzzle loaders but I think the seasons should be pushed back at least two weeks. The bow season didn't have much of a effect because the kill numbers were never but so high. Now I know there will be hollering at my suggestion becausee every one wants to hunt those two weeks prior but if the trend continues we wont have a reason to want to hunt those two weeks.
Just my opinion
 

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Blame The EPA> .







Bad Touch

In the 1970s, scientists began testing birth-control vaccines, but it wasn't until 2009 that an effective vaccine came to market.

Tavis Coburn

In 1989, researchers at the University of California at Davis invented PZP, the first birth-control vaccine for animals other than humans. When injected, PZP causes a female's immune system to block sperm from her eggs, offering a humane method of keeping populations in check. The compound worked in elephants, donkeys and deer, but it had a troubling side effect: the animals stayed in heat longer than normal. In one trial, deer were fertile for six months instead of one.

An amorous deer is a dangerous deer. While pursued by stags, females often crash into backyards and run into traffic (deer cause about 1.5 million car crashes each year). Insurance claims for deer collisions are three times higher in November, when the animals are usually in heat. Finally, after three decades, a new form of animal birth control has appeared, this time without side effects.

The GonaCon vaccine for whitetailed deer is the first contraceptive approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use in the wild. After a ranger traps a female, he gives the deer an injection, rendering four out of five females infertile, and thus unattractive to males, for up to five years. When injected, the vaccine, which was developed at the National Wildlife Research Center in Colorado, makes the immune system produce antibodies that bind to gonadatropin-releasing hormones, which inhibits the release of sex pheromones. This May, Maryland became the first state to add GonaCon to its list of approved deer-control devices, alongside bullets.

But trapping animals to administer vaccine injections requires a lot of labor. And in some cases, it's very dangerous. Take, for example, the four million tusked, up to 400-pound feral hogs that cause more than $400 million in damage to the Texas economy every year by digging up sweet potato fields and rooting where they don't belong. Feral pigs are intellegent, elusive, and sometimes violent. Duane Kraemer, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M university, is working on a pig contraceptive delivered out of a feeder. The feeder uses cameras and facial-recognition software to give a dose to pigs and not, say, raccoons. Kraemer says that he hopes to field-test his feeder this fall.
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16 Comments


4cmail.com


09/20/2011 at 7:43 pm




Interesting article but the comment "deer cause about 1.5 million car crashes each year" seems way off considering there are about 5 million car accidents each year. That's 30% of all accidents are caused by deer, really?
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PeteJayneDNR


09/22/2011 at 9:57 am




As the Associate Director for Game Management for the Maryland wildlife agency, I can say that without exception we have never used or approved poisons for controlling deer. We did approve the use of GonaCon for deer just this year. As the article points out, the use of GonaCon will be both expensive and time consuming since it may only be injected via a hand syringe (and therefore not via dart). Nevertheless, we want to make it available should some group decide to apply to us to use it in the right situation. We do not intend to use state funds to adminsiter this contraceptive.

We work hard to have a progressive and responsive program for deer management in Maryland - but we certainly don't allow the use of poison!

Pete Jayne
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Associate Director for Game Management
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mad_max's picture
mad_max

09/22/2011 at 12:07 pm




Wait, won't this select deer that are immune to this contraceptive for reproduction? After a few generations, we'll have a bunch of contraceptive-proof deer running around.
I'm basing this on the assumption that this only works on 4 out of 5 deer for genetic reasons, not chance.
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iambronco


09/22/2011 at 12:21 pm




Purely speculative and without any supporting information.... but I wonder if this would have any long term psychological effect on the lady deer. 5 years of being ignored by the opposite sex.... Ouch.
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manhunter098


09/22/2011 at 12:35 pm




It would probably take more than a few generations to start seeing an effect, deer breed quickly but not THAT quickly.
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iambronco


09/22/2011 at 12:43 pm




I just noticed this.... Did they blur the deers genitals as an joke about the birth control, or was someone offended??
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kewlzez


09/22/2011 at 1:05 pm




I have a cheap easy solution it inclides a box of ammo and making hunting season longer, food for people and population control. Everyone is happy the end.
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mad_max's picture
mad_max

09/22/2011 at 1:11 pm




@manhunter098 this isn't normal natural selection I'm talking about, this is an unusual event called a population bottleneck. It would take only one generation to start seeing a large chunk (not all) of the population become contraceptive-resistant. The amount of contraceptive-resistant deer would depend on the number of deer treated and the area covered.
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mp's picture
mp

09/22/2011 at 1:45 pm




BBQ, enough said. ;)
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Aldrons Last Hope's picture
Aldrons Last Hope

09/22/2011 at 1:56 pm




If they want to keep deer populations in check, just increase the amount of deer that can be hunted each season. That’s the best option; don’t introduce a poison into nature.
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bobbyg's picture
bobbyg

09/22/2011 at 4:06 pm




The word extinction comes to mind.
So does the word insane.
I nominate the inventor and all of the people who made this possible for the Darwin award.
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dkpopsci's picture
dkpopsci

09/22/2011 at 5:15 pm




The blur is "blue" 'cause he's not getting any, im assuming?

_____________________________________________
My FYI Question :)

http://www.popsci.com/science/artic...nt-periodic-table-came-contact-simultaneously
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Oakspar77777


09/23/2011 at 3:05 pm




There are no deer overpopulation issues where hunting is allowed - only in places where they are not (protected wildlife refuges and inside cities with shooting bans).

To be honest, if you can trap a doe to administer this, you can kill a doe for less money and effort.

It is not about extending seasons and bag limits, but about culling the cities as well as the countryside - by offering incentives to bowhunters or hiring trained eliminators.
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monkeybuttons


09/26/2011 at 3:46 pm




Am I the only one that noticed, according to the article, the feral hogs have "four million" tusks? Yikes! Where do they fit them all?? Oh, wait....
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BuffaloBuffaloBuffalo


11/09/2011 at 4:41 pm




One of the main reasons I hunt is to eat meat that has not been messed with. I would much prefer keeping nature natural so we don't have the potential for a repeat of history like the thalidomide disaster. I would also like to know in advance who will be responsible when problems arise and what the solution will be. Eliminating species due to negligence and stupidity? When there are other methods that work or work better and cheaper? What happens when other species eat injected animals? Do unprocessed byproducts leave the animal through waste and contaminate plants and water supplies? Is this ultimately a political "compromise" to those who do not support hunting but still want to regulate animal population? Perhaps revisiting our current management rules, regulations and methods should occur, saving money, helping feed the needy with a lower likelihood of negative side effects.
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Krag


12/12/2011 at 4:13 pm




4cmail.com, Every year there are over 70,000 REPORTED deer car accidents in New York alone. I know personal that they don't all get reported. As for using birth control on wildlife the cost do and effect do not make it worth doing. Many of our rivers are home to he\she fish caused by human birth control. Now the people against other form of herd control want to spread these same products over our back yards and forest. To get the desired effect the birth control would need to be ingested daily. The only way to do this would be through baiting. Baiting brings wildlife in to the same area daily which involves having the food\drug supply left daily by humans. When wildlife feeds together the chances of spreading decease through the heard increases greatly. This is why there are federal and state laws against feeding wildlife. Each year hunters spend millions toward wildlife habitat making the herd healthier. Groups against hunting seldom spend a dime toward their cause. Wildlife birth control would cost hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars which in the end could cause more damage then good.Our local state college over Xmas break is hiring a company to cull of the campus deer herd. The deer density on campus is between 60 and 90 deer per square mile. The nature preserve on campus has little low brush\cover for wildlife.Endangered plants are vanishing from over browsing . Culling is the quickest cost affective way to rebuild the eco system .
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. re a Thought that might be happing you can BLAME! the EPA************************
 

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This so called **** Birthcontrol Vaccine****** that being used by the The Evil EPA! can now be giving threw a deer feeder. they say it works up to 5 yrs that 5 years with no fawn!
I find this Alarming !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maryland is the first state That I know that using this method.
 

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ttt
 

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There is not doubt that the buck/doe ratio is way out of whack here. It down right sucks. You can kill deer here in Chesterfield from early September to the end of March. And we aren't the only county. Not to mention the annual bag limit is 6 freaking deer! And if that's not enough, you can get into DMAP and pretty much have free rein to do as you please. Yeah, an earlier muzzleloader/rifle season probably has an impact but when you can shoot "antlerless" deer in much of the state well past when they shed I think that is a greater contributor.

I've got permission to hunt a spot which is surrounded by club land and those guys gun em down in droves under the auspices of "DMAP" or QDM as probably better known. They roll up in convoys, let the dogs loose and proceed with the scorched earth approach.
 

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This so called **** Birthcontrol Vaccine****** that being used by the The Evil EPA! can now be giving threw a deer feeder. they say it works up to 5 yrs that 5 years with no fawn!
I find this Alarming !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maryland is the first state That I know that using this method.
I don't think this explains the declining deer population in Virginia. Trust me, I am the first to point out government overreach or abuse but hunters are killing off the deer here in Virginia.
 

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What county are you located in? Taking an uneducated guess at your name on here you are up in the mountains so are you West of the Blue Ridge? I hear of lower deer densities up in the park and mountains but I hunt in Culpeper and Madison counties and we have just as many deer this year as prior years. In fact we feel like there are a lot more deer this year than the prior two seasons so we are increasing our does harvests this season. Guess it's varies with different parts of the state.
 

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I don't think this explains the declining deer population in Virginia. Trust me, I am the first to point out government overreach or abuse but hunters are killing off the deer here in Virginia.
well doing some research VA. is using PZP vaccines deer population should drop by half. I'm sure of it!
 

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The original PZP vaccines required an initial dose followed by a booster dose, and annual vaccines thereafter. The need for annual vaccinations is a significant drawback to the PZP vaccine. A new formulation of PZP, called SpayVacTM, developed by ImmunoVaccine Technologies Inc., is a single-dose immunocontraceptive vaccine that has been shown to control fertility in female deer for multiple years WOW do u know what that could do to your hunting season?
 

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I just seen over 30 in my 15 min ride home from work.. so whachooo talkin bout willis?? granted with few acorns its been a ruff year but not that bad.. just have to hunt harder i know ur not in my neck of the woods tho because i hear coyotes darn near everynight. actually killed one this morning.. oh yea blame the bears
 

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id doe's aren't bred during the first "rut", they will keep coming into estrus every 28 days. so saying there are not enough bucks to breed all the doe's isn't the case. you probably aren't seeing as many deer in your immediate area because hunters are killing off deer faster than they can repopulate. just because you have 10 tags (or however many you get) doesn't mean you have to fill every one every year.
 

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1. 3 bucks a year east of the Blue Ridge is ludicrous...
2. Virtually unlimited doe bonus tags.
3. Coyote fawn predation is MUCH more than you think.
4. Unfettered hound hunting for 6 solid weeks.
5. Rampant poaching and night hunting is ignored by CO's

The government and the insurance companies wanted the Virginia deer herd reduced, and that is exactly what they have done...
 

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I grew up in VA and go back to hunt every year in Nov. (West of Blue Ridge) My buddies and I were discussing that this year was by far the worse year we have experienced in quite a few years. We threw out a bunch of speculation as to why that was so, but of course none of us know for sure. I do wish they would reduce the tags though.
 

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I guess I am pretty lucky. For the past three years I(along with four others) have seen upwards to 20 to 30 deer a night. This being when the weather conditions are right. I'm pretty lucky considering the location of the farm. We can hunt all year and not one single dog runs through. We usually take about six to eight does a year. Although this year we had a couple of really big bucks that we've had in our sites, so the number of does kills this year is down. Which may be a good thing considering the low deer numbers that a lot of folks are talking about.

I have herd from others that hunt about 45 minutes north of me had somewhat of a kill off due to EHD. Counties like Caroline, Essex, King and Queen to name a few. Also AP hill is reporting a 70% reduction this year. They also blame EHD.

As many have said in previous threads, STOP relying on our/your states to manage your land. Take responsibility, manage your own land. Talk to others and try come come up with an agreement as to what to take and what to walk. It really is up to us as hunters to manage our own land for our future deer herd. Government cant run itself much less deer population.

I also agree that we have to many tags. If you only eat two deer a year than kill two deer and so forth. For the longest time I would have non-hunters ask me if they could have some meat from a kill. So I would kill a few more deer knowing that I would give some away. NOT ANYMORE! If they want meat, I tell them to take a hunter safety class, buy a bow/gun, get proficient with it and I would let them take their own deer. The DMAP program here sucks! There is a hunt club in Essex that is run by mostly farmers and kill anywhere from 150 to 200 does a season. CRAZY! Most of them donate to Hunters for the Hungry.

We need to get a grip on this folks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I agree too many deer are being taken but how do you explain many does without fawns. If it was coyotes or bears they should still have one fawn in most cases. I watch a deer herd in two locations about 70 miles apart on almost a daily location year round and this is true in both locations.
 

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I haven't been out too much this year thanks, in part, to having too many other responsibilities, but when I've gotten out the fields around mountains I hunt are usually full of deer in the evenings. In fact, just this past weekend when I was driving out, I saw about 30-40 chasing and running around one of the fields. This was in southern Albemarle.

So I'm not sure where I stand on why the population might be declining, but it seems like it might be a regional thing. :dontknow:
 

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I live in Virginia on a beautiful piece of property just a few miles away from the Kentucky line. I have no neighbors for over a mile one way and 5 miles the other. The bordering property is also family owned and none of them hunt what so ever, but poachers are my biggest problem. Last saturday night at 9:30 PM someone rode by with a spot light and shot a 4 point standing in our garden. The deer was laying dead literally 15 yards from our house. I really don't know if they knew I was home or even planned on getting the deer, but they drove off when they seen my door open. There are 3 more bucks within 200 yards from my house laying in the ditch with their horns cut off. Really sad what people will do. Also, coyotes are TERRIBLE where I live. I have never heard or seen more coyotes anywhere in my life.
 

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