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Look for a rebound in deer kill


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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?

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Sounds like it supports what we've been saying for a long time...these liberal limits on public lands need to go.

I haven't noticed anything significant yet, but I haven't been out as much as you.

My previous few years have aligned with yours...sightings are steadily declining, both on public and private land.

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In north Jersey we had 3 rough winters in a row.  This past winter was extremely mild and there were more acorns then I can ever remember.  There were still an abundance of good acorns well into spring.  I'm hoping for a rebound this year.  I have seen more deer this summer than I have in the past few years.  

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I think the acorns are depleted as of this week.  The squirrels have decimated my hazelnut bushes, and I know those nuts aren't ripe.  I think the majority of the acorns in my woods were chestnut oaks.  They last long, but aren't the deer's favorite.

Sapere aude.


When you cannot measure, your knowledge is meager and unsatisfactory.

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In zone 13, the numbers are nowhere they used to be 15-20 years ago.


I believe this is in part to the severe bouts of EHD that hit (3 times in the last 10 years) coupled with the unlimited doe harvests. (guys were harvesting whatever deer "made" it as they were far and few between).


I have seen some deer, but not like it used to be. Numbers and older bucks began to improve a couple of years ago, then just like that the MIDGE hit again. I have guarded optimism because of the proximity of the Great Swamp in 13.....

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