Thursday, May 22, 2008

NEW BRUNSWICK NEWS: Significant Winter Deer Mortality in 2008

Fewer deer hunting licences will be available this year because of the high mortality rate for deer over the winter, says the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources.

About 25,000 deer died over the winter months in New Brunswick, because of starvation, predation and collisions with cars, said Rod Cumberland, a biologist with the department.

About a quarter of the province's deer population died during the winter, Cumberland said.

In the north, where the most snow fell, the mortality rate reached about 34 per cent, he said.

The heavy snow cover in the province made it difficult for deer to find food, and the crusty snow conditions made them easy prey for predators, Cumberland said.

The mortality rate is about double the usual figure for a winter in the province, he said, which means the province will offer fewer hunting licences for deer.

"Two-thirds of the province will see a decline in their licences," he said. "They might even be as scarce as hen's teeth in some places."

Regulating the number of licences, especially for does, will give the herd time to recuperate from the winter's losses, he said.

"It minimizes what we take as hunters, so the herd can get a jump start and start growing again in some of these areas where we'd like to see more deer."

It will take about two years for the province's deer herd to recover from the winter, Cumberland said.



SDW said...

So based on these stats by our all-knowing Mr. Cumberland, the province will issue less doe permits resulting in more pressure on our already out of balance buck population. Yet again, we will prove that we have one of the most poorly managed deer herds in North America. Where are all the 3.5 year and older bucks???? It is a rare sight to find a mature buck in many areas that have otherwise 'healthy' deer numbers. Unfortunately we are in a perpetual downward spiral of a boom or bust deer herd because all 'conservation' efforts are focusing on developing numbers.....who cares that a majority of the population is yearlings? Who cares that our MATURE buck to doe ratio is completely out of whack???...apparently not Rod Cumberland. We NEED to manage the AGE of our deer, not just look at the numbers. Since we have adopted a doe draw system, the hunting pressure on yearling bucks has not gone unnoticed. These young bucks are easy pray for many hunters who might otherwise opt for a doe or fawn but have no option to harvest anything other than an antlered deer. Because so many young male deer are killed by hunters, there are fewer and fewer mature bucks every year. Less mature bucks, less mature deer herds = young/weaker deer herds more susceptible to heavier winter kills. I really wish someone could explain how putting tight control on doe harvest will sustain a strong and consistent deer population..."Manage the doe population to sustain the herd.." WE NEED TO MANAGE THE BUCKS AS WELL!!! I am at a loss and quite frankly, disgusted with this province's view on deer management.

VVV said...


Because when morons like you are given the greenlight to harvest a doe you end up taking shots at brown patches of hair and ground checking the animal. This results in wounded/crippled deer that die later and worst of all, a high number of button bucks being killed as "does". I stopped to talk to a local hunter this past season. He was passionately complaining about not seeing many bucks. He proudly dsiplayed a 1 1/2 year old six point (that need two more years) and stated that they had also killed three does. I asked him how many of those "does" were button bucks. He stated "Two, I know it's a shame but it's hard to tell when you're shooting at them running through the brush". I was speechless. I wanted to let him know that he was an idiot. However, I realized that he had no clue.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Buck to Doe ration... The small bucks dont really have a chance...and I also agree that a lot of morans out there shoot at anything anyways!! They go and check, then leave it there. But, if indeed they shoot at a so called "Brown Patch" in the woods, at least they will have the option to tag the dead carcase, and there will be one less tag to fill. Now these morans are out there killing maybe 1 or 4 or God knows how many deer, before they actually strike luck, and it's finaly a Buck, they then tag it!! So really, they will do the harm anyways. and some fucking stupid people, will just shoot at a poor doe or fawn, just to leave it there, and feel like they werent skunked!! Wow!! what kinda hunters are they?? I am sure it makes them feel really good about themselves, if they only realise all of the harm they are really doing! To really get back to the subject, they should increase the chance of a doe tag! not for me, but for the idiots out there that do shoot at brown spots moving, and a least they will have the oportunity to leave with their so called "bag limit". It will surely give the chance to the younger bucks, because a lot of these people simply hunt to put meat in their freezers, cause they really like the meat. So this would at least take care of a great number of idiots that simply want to fill their tag with a doe. instead of killing 1 or more doe(s)... or god knows how many, I am sure they will be happy to simply tag the dead carcase and bring it home proudly. If this would happen, then Our younger bucks would have the chance to become mature. I hunt for the sport, and totally agree to somekind of deer management.... Quebec has seen it's toll on deer, and with proper deer management, and feeding the heards in the winter brought their deer populations right back up into neer the 100000 range, and this is just on one small part of their province. Our Stupid Natural Ressources dont seem to know Fuck all about deer management, and seem too fucking lazy to work hard like our counterparts to do proper deer management. They would rather catch a guy that didnt zipper his riffle in his case at night, and be able to call him a poacher, then try and keep our deer alive by feeding them in the winter. All our stupid system can do, is say...Oh well, poor deer, they have had a Big Winter with lots of snowfall!! We will just have to change the numbers in the draw, and collect our nice paychecks we get from the goverment for free. Oh and while we are at it, try to catch a guy potching salmon, by running up and down the river, with the canoes with the free gas that taxpayers provide to us, while getting a nice tan in the sun. This stupid goverment could take a couple of dollards that we put on our deer licenses..and use some of this money to pay for some people to feed the poor deer, that are in need, for some of the hard winters that they do have, and even pay some people to try and protect them from the "coyotes" that is the deers worst of predators, during the course of the hard winters.

But...No...instead of them trying to feed the deer and help reduce the numbers of predators, they would rather just sit in their trucks, and spend their days, counting the numbers of deer fall drastically!!

I have a lot more to write, but as you can possibly see, I am frustrated that our Natural Ressources dont take the time, and the right people, to see what really needs to be done. All they can do, is sit down like politicians like Paul Martin, and Jean Chretian, and play with numbers.

By stickening laws....ok I agree..but striken the laws...but also try to save the animals we have by helping them grow in our clear cut environment. we know that food becomes scarce for them, when there is about 10 or 20 feet of snow on the ground. So pay people...I am sure that there are at least 100 people out of 800000 in New Brunswick that are willing to work, and earn their stamps, by feeding our deer heards in the winter with bails of hay.

deer guy said...

The only thing you have proved here is your pathetic IQ. Should ensure your brain is engaged before you put your mouth in gear SDW, and also you should ask someone who knows far more than you do about the bull you write.

Do you have any idea what the buck to doe ratio is in NB? I suppose you determine it by looking out your windshield, and counting fawns in with does, and then forgetting that yearlings count as bucks. Ratios even in the poorest areas of NB are only 2.8:1...but I don't want to scare you too badly with real numbers.

Do us all a favour and buy a rtrail camera that catches bucks when most don't see them, and them tell us what your ratio is then. Looks like you've forgotten that bucks behave far differently than does do.

No mature bucks in NB?? You have got to be kidding. The herd may be low, but no one can argue with the percentages. NB and Maine lead the east with percent mature bucks in the harvest - both above 25% of all bucks shot are mature. Do you know what the percent is elsewhere? NH -17%, VT - 12%, PA - 5%, DE 4%, MD - 13%, NJ - 11%. No one has a better age structure than ME and NB!
...and as for numbers, if we are shooting all the big bucks, how then has the number of NB bucks the last few years INCREASED from 1195 mature bucks in 2005 to 1440 in 2007 and 1704 in 2008 - and the 2008 INCREASE came when the harvest dropped!!

If you have few deer there would you increase deer numbers??? Do you think people bring them in by helicopter??? FEMALES breed and drop fawns. And apparently, if there are so many does and fawns as you whine about - the bucks are quite capable of breeding them!

And Mr. Anonamous....have you checked recently with Quebec to see just how well the feeding is helping the deer harvest there?? The harvest on the Gaspe declined by nearly 50% in 2009 and NB's only declined by 34%. Maybe the morons are the ones typing all this bull before they know the facts.

The least you could do is educate yourselves before you go off on a rampage. DNR is obviously working harder than you...who has the time to sit here and rant with little to no knowledge on your topic.

ridge runner said...

i agree with deer guy. Its easy to sit around and critisize biologists all day, but at the end of the day our numbers and stats are being generated by them. maybe you guys are better hunters than "those biologists", but being a better hunter doesnt mean that you are more informed and knowledgeable about deer heards and numbers. sitting in a stand on the edge of a field or in a clearcut over a pile of apples during hunting season does not justify your knowledge on buck numbers, like deer guy said, bucks move at night and dont have the same pattern as your apple eatn does! If you really want to see how many mature bucks are in your area, get out after a snowfall during or after the hunting season, i almost guarantee you will be able to pick up a mature buck track in your area. The main problem with us hunters not seeing mature bucks, is that the NB season does not capture in most years the peak of the rut, when this happens we dont see as many mature bucks moving during daylight. The only problem i have with the management of deer heards in NB is the lack of money and jobs behind it.