Deep Dive: N. GA buck only

kevin17

Senior Member
It’s all well and good to do these studies. My opinion is until they stock deer again on these particular WMAs the are aren’t gonna come back on their own. This is just a repeat in history Cohutta particularly. Back in the early to mid 1900s it was very rare to find a deer track on Cohutta. So they stocked deer on it from Berry College and from other states as well. Resulting of good deer heard. So then next the season allows doe days on every day of the hunts until the deer are thinned down so much to where they can’t come back. Then on top of it they bring every bear in Georgia and turn it loose on it to where now they kill more bear than deer. Simply put man is his own worst enemy
 
It’s all well and good to do these studies. My opinion is until they stock deer again on these particular WMAs the are aren’t gonna come back on their own. This is just a repeat in history Cohutta particularly. Back in the early to mid 1900s it was very rare to find a deer track on Cohutta. So they stocked deer on it from Berry College and from other states as well. Resulting of good deer heard. So then next the season allows doe days on every day of the hunts until the deer are thinned down so much to where they can’t come back. Then on top of it they bring every bear in Georgia and turn it loose on it to where now they kill more bear than deer. Simply put man is his own worst enemy
I been saying this for last 5 years. Deer will not recover on their own. Quit dumping problem bears back out, add a spring bear season. After doing this for 2 years, start back stocking and in 5 years population will improve. Just my thoughts in case anyone with any say so is listening.
 
I been saying this for last 5 years. Deer will not recover on their own. Quit dumping problem bears back out, add a spring bear season. After doing this for 2 years, start back stocking and in 5 years population will improve. Just my thoughts in case anyone with any say so is listening.
Dump the deer out, and they’ll run to better habitat. At least, that’s my fear. I ain’t against anything at this point though. I’m for anything that will help, no matter how insignificant. It’s why I haven’t shot a doe on the hooch for the past five years when I had every opportunity to do so.
 
Areas on private bordering nf land with plenty of good habitat still don't have deer. Check out the soybean fields in the bottoms that are close to nf land. Very very few deer. It's not just nf that has a problem. Coyotes are everywhere. Areas where bears overlap with coyotes is the obvious problem.
 

Mark K

Senior Member
Not if y’all are still having an issue and with that many. Seems like if they’re that plentiful a trapper could make some serious money.
 
Problem is, there are thousands upon thousands of acres with no roads. Running a trap line in the mountains would be a real chore. It's been done before but would be a lot of work. My guess would be if dnr could put 1 person on each wma that did nothing but yote trapping it would be worthwhile. Use the road system. It would have to be a never ending job.
 
Problem is, there are thousands upon thousands of acres with no roads. Running a trap line in the mountains would be a real chore. It's been done before but would be a lot of work. My guess would be if dnr could put 1 person on each wma that did nothing but yote trapping it would be worthwhile. Use the road system. It would have to be a never ending job.
Anybody who trapped in the past used either a horse, or the now-closed logging roads that used to be semi-passable.
DNR won't even let us come and shoot hogs and yotes during the off season for fear of "poaching." Poaching what, idk. And what are those game management guys doing all year? Surely they can keep poaching down to allow some yotes and hogs taken. Couple that with a spring bear hunt, and you've got a good start.
 
I would have NO problem trapping coyotes. Without being an egomaniac, I am good at it. 3 big problems: 1) People 2) People with their dogs letting them run loose while they are on Nat Forest Land 3) FREE ROAMING DOGS!!!

I see them chasing deer, I have their pix on trail cams, I hear them at night..

"All Chattahoochee National Forest land east of I-75 is closed to antlerless deer hunting, antlered bucks only." What a crock!! They don't want to address the REAL problem: Dogs chasing deer and killing fawns. Coyotes/bear/bobcats (bobcats do kill fawns!) are a problem too, but they say "Hey, let's tell the public coyotes are killing fawns and we'll ask hunters to kill coyotes... But let's make it near impossible for them to do so!! HAHAHAHAHA!".

My cameras show buck:doe ratios of 1:15, 1:20 or worse... I may not hunt GA this year. I am close enough to other states to hunt there.. I feel for people who can't afford that or live too far away.
 
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Heath

Senior Member
"I hear them at night.. ".. This is while coon season is closed.
On NF land outside of WMA’s we can train coon dogs anytime except June 1- Aug. 15. Been that way forever. You can only kill coons from Oct. 15 - Feb. 28. Just because you here dogs running doesn’t mean they are running deer. Most of our NF land you’d have to have a pretty darn good deer dog to even find a deer to run anymore. Isn’t it funny how you can hunt a dog every night and sometimes even you are confused about what they are doing, but some dude can hear a dog running a 1/2 mile away and he knows exactly what they are doing?
 
"On NF land outside of WMA’s we can train coon dogs anytime except June 1- Aug. 15. " I hear them at night during that period. I have seen dogs with radio collars chasing deer.. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!! I have pictures from my cameras that would make your jaw drop! I don't just write these things for the heck of it! My cameras are out 24/7-365. Anywhere from 20-30 cameras.. Yeah, I have the time to be able to do that (before you ask, genius)
I have hunted with dogs myself. When dogs are making a bee line after something, it ain't a coon.. And when you hear a deer/fawn bawling and blatting.. After the dogs are chasing like that.. It ain't no coon. Maybe you can't tell the difference, but this DUDE can.
 
Thank you for tell me when you can and can't train dogs dude... Like I had NO CLUE that was the law/regulation.. It's really sooooooooo hard to look something up.. I thank you for "enlightening" me.
 

Heath

Senior Member
Ease up killer. There isn’t enough deer killed by dogs per year to make an argument for that being a reason for our low deer population. States that have huge deer populations and year round legal pursuit with dogs don’t even attribute a mortality rate to it because it’s a non factor. If you are seeing radio collared dogs killing deer report it and go find the fawn that you heard bawling in distress. Stay with it and show it to the Game Warden. It’s a real simple fix. Every major study that is peer reviewed and scientifically supported on depredation in fawns occur within the first 2 weeks and some studies 2-3 weeks. You are talking about an isolated incident that you “heard” and now all of a sudden dogs are on your list of predators that have decimated our deer herd. All I’m saying is there are far more serious factors that have led to low deer numbers like old growth timber, introduction of coyotes, increased bear population, and so on. How many bobcats do you think are caught and sold from the mountain region alone every year? Your gonna have your feelings hurt when you find out just how few bobcats actually thrive in old growth timber. Travel through yes, but set up shop and make a living, absolutely not. Another animal that doesn’t take enough mountain fawns to even have a percentage of mortality assigned to it because it’s a non-factor. I spend all my time in big mountains from Georgia to way up into North Carolina and the cats are just not there in numbers just like these dogs killing deer are not very common. Bears, absolutely!! I’ve said for years that bears were the number one predator of fawns and guess what every study shows? Where bears are in numbers they are the main contributor to fawn crop decimation even when coyotes are present. You couple that with absolutely zero habitat, which is what our old growth timber is, and you have little to no chance of deer recruitment. Until we are allowed to cut timber again there will be no reason for deer to live in these bluffs with a bear waiting around every ridge for July and August to feast on the few fawns that are dropped. Add in the coyotes and it’s a trifecta of inhospitable land for most prey animals as evident by their disappearance.
Another observation I made is if you have 30 trail cameras out and are checking them all, you are most likely close by farms or easily accessed areas would be my guess. Maybe I’m wrong. You might be climbing into remote areas multiple times a week all summer long to check cards. If you are in easily accessed areas near farms or private land, those are considered edge habitats and hold the majority of game in any region. That is not areas most of us are referring to when we talk about in the mountains. Sorry I misunderstood you.
 

jivarie

Senior Member
It's a habitat issue compounded by predator numbers. We have a healthy population of bears and coyotes. We have very little fawning habitat in the mountains. Add the two together, and you have a scenario where fawns aren't making it out of the first few weeks of their lives. Keep in mind, that Black Bears are opportunistic/patterned hunters. If you have very little fawning habitat, and you have black bears who've had success there in years past taking a fawn, likely they'll be back in that exact same location/time to take advantage of the same opportunity. They're so adaptable in their diet, that they'll happily switch back over to fruits/berries/other animals in the blink of an eye. They'll always be there to take advantage, and the only way to limit it is to provide the deer a higher opportunity for survival within the first 2-3 months of its life. The more habitat they've got, the wider they will spread out their fawns, the less chance they're consumed by a bear/yote. Unfortunately, I think habitat is the hardest hurdle to overcome. People will look at the mountains and say - it's an old growth forest - that means it's healthy. That public perception is difficult to overcome.
 

northgeorgiasportsman

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you for tell me when you can and can't train dogs dude... Like I had NO CLUE that was the law/regulation.. It's really sooooooooo hard to look something up.. I thank you for "enlightening" me.
You need to step outside and take a deep breath of mountain air and relax.
 

Heath

Senior Member
It's a habitat issue compounded by predator numbers. We have a healthy population of bears and coyotes. We have very little fawning habitat in the mountains. Add the two together, and you have a scenario where fawns aren't making it out of the first few weeks of their lives. Keep in mind, that Black Bears are opportunistic/patterned hunters. If you have very little fawning habitat, and you have black bears who've had success there in years past taking a fawn, likely they'll be back in that exact same location/time to take advantage of the same opportunity. They're so adaptable in their diet, that they'll happily switch back over to fruits/berries/other animals in the blink of an eye. They'll always be there to take advantage, and the only way to limit it is to provide the deer a higher opportunity for survival within the first 2-3 months of its life. The more habitat they've got, the wider they will spread out their fawns, the less chance they're consumed by a bear/yote. Unfortunately, I think habitat is the hardest hurdle to overcome. People will look at the mountains and say - it's an old growth forest - that means it's healthy. That public perception is difficult to overcome.
You nailed that. It’s an environmental issue. I used to blame certain things until I was educated on the subject and taught to look at the whole picture. There is no one answer, but a combination of solutions that must coincide to get results. One fix of a 3 part problem will yield little to no results. My opinion is that habitat is the number one issue, that is my assumption because that’s what most research literature suggests. Coupled with high mortality rates do to bear and coyote who account for something like 70% mortality rates in some research areas. It’s astounding that there are even deer killed on NF mountain land anymore. A high percentage of them are no doubt transient adults moving between edge habitats. Their home ranges are not based on old growth timber but on edges created by timbering and agriculture. We have high density bear populations that have proven to destroy fawn crops at a higher rate than any coyote ever dreamed about.
 
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