The last few years have been very lean around here (South West Jersey). 2013 was the first year since 1979 I hunted here and didn't kill a deer in NJ. I saw a few but didn't feel right about killing anything because I saw SO FEW.
2014 and 2015 were almost as bad, with very few deer sightings, not just while hunting but also glassing fields. I'm seeing a few more around this year, on private lands of course but it's more than I've seen in several years.
The last few weeks I've been out several mornings and evenings a week checking fields. Of course, anything close to a WMA is still mostly deerless. I've checked dozens of young bean fields in zone 27, 29 and 35 on, or adjacent to public lands. Very few tracks and almost no signs of browsing. If you get away from public land a few miles, deer become more frequent in the fields, and in bigger numbers than I've seen in a while. A few spots in zone 28, near where I grew up hunting and nowhere near public land, are loaded with deer. Numbers like I haven't seen since the 1990's. People hunting there are set for a good season...now if they could just do something about improving public land.
Anyone seeing an uptick in deer numbers in your area's?