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Tag Archive | "deer season"

Avoid a car-deer crash


From the Kent County Sheriff Department

It’s deer season, which means they will be on the move more than ever.

There were over 49,000 car deer accidents in Michigan last year.

Here are some tips to help you avoid a crash.

The two most important ways to avoid a deer-vehicle collision are: slow down and SLOW DOWN.

If you are driving through an area known for high deer populations, slow down and observe the speed limit. The more conservative you are with your speed, the more time you will have to brake if an animal darts into your path.

Always wear a seatbelt. The most severe injuries in deer-vehicle collisions usually result from failure to use a seatbelt.

Watch for the shine of eyes along the roadside and immediately begin to slow.

Use your high beams whenever the road is free of oncoming traffic. This will increase your visibility and give you more time to react.

Deer can become mesmerized by steady, bright lights so if you see one frozen on the road, slow down and flash your lights. Some experts recommend one long blast of the horn to scare them out of the road, as well.

Pay close attention to caution signs indicating deer. These signs are specifically placed in high traffic areas, where road crossings are frequent.

If you’re on a multi-lane road, drive in the center lane to give as much space to grazing deer as possible.

Never swerve to avoid a deer in the road. Swerving can confuse the deer on where to run. Swerving can also cause a head-on collision with oncoming vehicles, take you off the roadway into a tree or a ditch, and greatly increase the chances of serious injuries.

Deer are unpredictable creatures, and one that is calmly standing by the side of the road may suddenly leap into the roadway without warning. Slowing down when you spot a deer is the best way to avoid a collision. However, if one does move into your path, maintain control and do your best to brake and give the deer time to get out of your way.

Don’t rely on hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off deer. These have not been proven to work.

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Black Jack, 21 tips to a better deer season


_OUT-Jack-Payne-nice-buck-walking-under-the-treeBy Jack Payne

 

The perfectly quiet morning silence was broken by the slightest splash from behind. Slowly a small group of deer was entering the swamp from the oak forest. As the deer filed by each decided to cross the creek in front of me and then cross the creek a few yards down stream. The last deer in the group wore headgear. Pulling back the PSE bow and placing the Nikon red dot on the chest cavity the arrow was released. The Muzzy broad head did the trick and the buck was down within 50 yards.

Talk to the folks that get a deer each year or close to it and a number of items pop up that spells success. The majority of the work is done prior to the actual hunt. To me the work is fun.

1) Scouting should be fun and an easy way is by the seat of your pants. My daughter and I take rides around the general areas that I plan to hunt. Carrying a camera captures many great photos. As a bonus I often find new turkey locations as well.

2) Hunters need to tune up their bows, sight in their rifles and practice well before the opener. Get the bow tuned and shoot a few arrows through a paper test before the opener. Shoot a dozen shots through the rifle to get reacquainted with the gun. Archery hunters should practice each day or every other day. Shooting 1-3 dozen arrows each time pays huge dividends. I shoot my broad heads when practicing.

3) Equipment needs vary for each hunter. I experiment during the summer with new products and found a few items that I would not hunt without again. A long rope to pull up your weapon. A high quality safety harness and a lightweight portable rain gear are a must.

4) Locating a hot location is key. Don’t hunt memories or locations that have worn down trails with no fresh tracks. Some runs will look worn down years after any use.

Locating that special spot takes a bit if work. Tie thread across any runway that shows promise. Keep it two feet above the ground. Often when a deer breaks the thread the ends point in the direction that the deer are traveling. After tying thread over a dozen potential runs and verifying which runs have had the thread broken, it’s time for the orange survey ribbon.

Follow each runway 100-300 yards marking the run on occasion. Hang the ribbon up high for easy visibility. Wherever two runs cross mark with a few extra pieces of ribbon. You will be amazed at how often two hot looking runs either merge or end up fairly close to each other.

5) Crop fields are always a prime area to spot deer. They can be hard to hunt because of the openness and various entry points. Often the hunting is better when staying away from the field edges by 50-100 yards.

Fence rolls and drainage ditches are prime traveling routes. A key location will be where they meet the main woods. This is especially true in the farm belt areas where cover is sparse.

6) Hunt the corners of the small woodlots for best action. I try to sit 5-10 yards from the field edges when hunting small woodlots. This gives you a chance to shoot at two edges of the field and still get a good shot behind you.

7) Hunt the oaks when the acorns drop. This was perhaps my number one mistake over the years. I hunt swamps and left the oaks alone. Now I hunt the swamps and bedding areas early in the season but keep a constant watch for the trees dropping the most acorns. If you don’t have oaks then hunt the prevailing food source that is at its’ peak.

8) Hunters need multiple stands to cover wind direction, hunter pressure and to keep the stands fresh. We set numerous stands and have one ready to back pack in.

9) An additional tip that I use is setting up with the sun at your back when possible. Whenever possible I try to set my stand so that a traveling deer will have the sun in their eyes. This might mean that a good run will be hunted where it makes a bend or travels around some obstacle. Better the deer with the sun in their eyes than the hunter squinting while attempting a shot.

10) Prescription sunglasses really help me out. I use the yellow tinted color lenses because they gather the most light under low light conditions.

11) I love pine and cedar trees. These are the easiest trees to hide in and offer a great place to hang a daypack. An oak tree with multiple limbs is the next best bet. Use the natural cover to help conceal your location regardless if you hunt from a tree or from the ground.

12) I hunt the ground 100% with a gun and maybe 20% with a bow. A thick group of pines or cedars works great. Sit in the thick stuff maybe 3-5 feet and prune out a few shooting windows. Thick cattails also work well and are used with great success. The sound of sucking muck or water will tip you off that a deer is close.

13) This brings up the next location to concentrate on. Hunt bottleneck areas. Hunt areas where the terrain forces the deer to pass through a narrow spot.  A river or a creek often can be used as a funnel. Two ponds or a pond and a stream within 100-200 yards of each other are one of my favorites.

Fences can be great. Walking slowly along a fence will often show an area where the deer prefer to cross. Hair on the fence or a section where the fence is bent down is a sure give a way.

14) Hunters need good cover and attraction scent. If you don’t stink the deer are less apt to smell you. I use one of the scent eliminator spray products and a mixture of vanilla and water. I spray every thing before heading into the woods and at least once during the hunt.

Cover scent is critical and is practiced by a number of hunters. Carry it one step further than the rest. Keep your cloths in a plastic bag. I throw in fresh leaves each time out as well. Spray your cloths, hats and gloves and then your heads, boots and hands.

15) Wear rubber knee high boots and keeps a change of cloths in your vehicle. I repeat, never go into a restaurant or store with your hunting cloths on.

Scent control also includes clothing. Scent gathering suits can easily be the last link for total coverage.

16) Mock scrapes can work and the best scrapes are started before the season starts. Like anything it takes some planning and not every spot will produce. Locate a good runway near a bedding area and make up a scrape. Add some of your favorite scent and check back in a week. Make sure that you have a licking branch above your scrape. Tinks and Buck Fever are my two favorites.

17) Use a deer call. I like a deer call that makes fawn bleats, doe grunts and rutting grunts. Hunters Specialties carries the True Talker that is hands free. This is critical for the bow hunter. Blow on the small mouthpiece and stop the deer dead in it’s tracks without using your hands or getting the call in the way of the shot.

18) During the rut hunt the does. The bucks will find the does and this is the easiest way to a shot. Once again locating a bedding or feeding area that the does are using is the prime area to hunt.

19) If you located a bedding area then hunt there during the mid-day hours. This is especially true during the gun season. Without a doubt my hunting party has shot more bucks between 10:00 am and 3:00 p.m. than any other time.

20) Use other hunters to your advantage. Identify where hunters will enter the woods and use their movement to help push deer to you. When scouting I carry along some papers and make a rough map. Mark down the runway locations, the two tracks and any blinds or stands that you run across.

Part of my success comes from knowing where other hunters will be and how they will enter the woods.

21) Be in the woods when the weather changes. If it rained hard all morning and now is letting up, hustle to your favorites feeding location. High winds and heavy rains will change the patterns of the deer. The same applies just before a big storm blows in.

Deer can sense when a storm is coming and if they will be down for a few days. Just prior, regardless of the time they will be feeding. Most of our bucks shot after opening day have fallen during this type of condition.

Following the twenty-one tips and paying close attention to small details will dramatically increase your deer sightings. Archery or gun, staying focused will pay dividends. All it takes is one well-placed shot to enjoy some fresh tenderloin in mushroom gravy this season.

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NRC expands deer hunting territory for the fall


Hunters will have a little more territory to hunt for antlerless deer this fall as the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) opened a few more deer management units (DMUs) in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula at its regular monthly meeting Thursday in Lansing.
Newly opened DMUs reflect increased deer populations in those areas, explained Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph. The DNR will seek low quotas for the newly opened DMUs, Rudolph said.

A total of 72 DMUs will be open to antlerless deer hunting on public land, and 86 DMUs, plus the two multi-county DMUs in the Lower Peninsula (DMUs 486 and 487), will be open on private land. A complete list of open DMUs and their quotas will be published shortly in the 2012 Antlerless Deer Hunting Digest.

Antlerless deer license applications go on sale July 15 at all license agents and online at www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings.

In addition, the NRC voted to restrict hunters in DMUs 486 and 487 to a maximum of 10 private land antlerless licenses this season, a decrease from five per day in 2011.

Special statewide hunts for youth and 100 percent disabled veterans will be held Sept. 22-23. The early antlerless season on private land in portions of the Lower Peninsula is being reduced from five days to two, also Sept. 22-23.
“There have been increasing concerns from some members of the hunting public that the recent expansion of September hunting is causing deer to be more wary during the traditional seasons,” Rudolph said. “By reducing and consolidating the September seasons, we’re addressing those concerns while maintaining opportunities for youth and disabled hunters throughout the state and for early harvest of antlerless deer on private land where it is most needed.”

In addition, the NRC changed conditions on special crop-damage permits in accordance with recent legislation. Public Act 65 of 2012 allows up to 15 authorized shooters on Deer Damage Shooting Permits. In the past, special authorization was required to allow more than three shooters to be designated per permit.

In other action, the NRC reaffirmed that naturally shed deer and elk antlers may be legally collected, possessed and sold.

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Firearm deer season underway


The 2011 firearm deer season opened Tuesday, Nov. 15, and impressions regarding deer observations, hunting activity, and check station operations from the first few days of the season have been compiled by the Department of Natural Resources. Overall, hunting activity started slow but appeared to increase later in the week and over the weekend. Deer condition throughout the state has been reported as good to excellent. The following are the early impressions summarized on a regional basis:
 Upper Peninsula: Hunter numbers across the region appear the same or lower than during the early days of the 2010 firearm season. Most hunters are reporting seeing more deer than last year, and that deer are in good condition. The excellent conditions of deer at check stations supports hunter observations. Initially slow activity at check stations picked up near the end of last week to now include similar or increased numbers of deer checked compared to last year.
Northern Lower Peninsula: Hunting activity last week was reported as fairly light compared to previous years. The northeast portion of the region noted an increase in number of deer checked, but the western and southern portions have noted similar to fewer deer brought in compared to last year. Early reports on weekend check station activity suggest check station and harvest numbers may now have caught up to or exceeded numbers from last year. Deer condition has been described as very good with several exceptional bucks observed at a number of check stations around the region.
Southern Michigan: About 71 percent of corn was picked by opening day, which matches the five-year average but was less than last year, when 97 percent was picked. Hunting activity varied somewhat around the region, but appeared the same or lower than last year; shots heard were consistently lower than last year throughout the region over the first few days of the season. Fewer deer have been checked compared to last year, but deer are in good condition. Some check stations noted an increase in 3-½ and even 4-½ year-old bucks compared to recent years.
Each year, DNR Wildlife Division staff working at check stations around the state submit their impressions and a summary of comments provided by hunters from the first few days of the firearm season. These impressions provide an early view of how the firearm season is faring. Deer populations in both northern regions have come through two relatively mild winters in a row, on the heels of two relatively severe winters of 2007 and 2008. Deer numbers appear to be recovering, but more notable is the good to excellent condition being observed by hunters and confirmed by data collected at check stations. License sales through opening day were about 2.5 percent lower than in 2010, which supports the observations of generally lighter hunting pressure in most areas of the state.
Firearm deer season continues through Nov. 30, with archery season resuming Dec. 1.
For more information about deer hunting opportunities in Michigan, go online to www.michigan.gov/deer. Updated field observations and check station summaries will be posted on the collaborative DNR Wildlife Division and Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife website at www.deer.fw.msu.edu.

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Muzzleloader deer season opens


The Department of Natural Resources and Environment reminds hunters that muzzleloader season for deer opened last Friday in the Zone 1 (Upper Peninsula) and Zone 3 (southern Michigan).
The season runs for 10 days in the U.P. and 17 days in southern Michigan.
Hunters must possess appropriate license tags—firearms license or combination license tags to take an antlered buck, or antlerless deer licenses to take antlerless deer.
Muzzleloading season in Zone 2 (northern Lower Peninsula) runs from Dec. 10-19.
For information about hunting in Michigan, including regulations, season dates and bag limits, go to www.michigan.gov/hunting.

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