Estimate your "deer per acre"

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1gr8bldr

Senior Member
The state has no way of giving a reasonable number of deer per acre. Those of us in the woods can get 80% closer than they can..... however, it takes....hmmmm, likely over a 100 acres to know and realize that it's an "average". If I were to guess at the deer on my lease, I would estimate what I expected to see at each stand location on a given day, hypothetical assuming that those deer would not overlap stands. Partly due to distance they would need to travel . hmmmm, deer expected divided by acres. I come up to 1 deer per 7 acres . I do realize that deer do overlap. Yet this number is based on what I would expect to see if I were at every stand on the same evening hunt. Now I realize this is not typical and others will say it's not right. However, we rarely ever shoot anything until this year I'm shooting some does. And I think this number is actually higher. For instance, the other evening I saw 25 deer, [I could see 500yds each way] yet I counted that particular stand as expecting to see 5 on an evening hunt. I averaged the expectations, not going off the "best" sittings. Also, much of this property is not covered because of a lack of a stand being in a particular area, basically creating stand voids
 

Timberman

Senior Member
A deer to 7 acres is over 91/square mile. That’s a very high number. IMO that’s an exaggerated number. What county?
 
Thread starter #3

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
A deer to 7 acres is over 91/square mile. That’s a very high number. IMO that’s an exaggerated number. What county?
It would be much different if it held 12 hunters each trying to fill their tags. However it's 700+ acres just my son and I. 24 stands. And the surrounding neighbors who each have their own lease, making up a total of over 2500 acres which we call as one club, however it's not, their situation is about the same, for a total of 7 people on 2500 acres. It's not typical for our area in NC. It's a hefty lease but I prefer it over one week trips/hunts like my friends do each year. Enough about me whether I'm close or not. I'm curious about others estimates and the discussion of how could we better estimate the herd
 

dwhee87

GON Political Forum Scientific Studies Poster
I hunt on 380 acres, and one of our members, a retired wildlife biologist, estimates we have 12-15 deer on property at any given time. That works out to be about one deer per 25 acres. Not sure where he gets his 'formula'.

Based on having hunted there for 7 years, I'd say he's about right.
 
Thread starter #5

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I hunt on 380 acres, and one of our members, a retired wildlife biologist, estimates we have 12-15 deer on property at any given time. That works out to be about one deer per 25 acres. Not sure where he gets his 'formula'.

Based on having hunted there for 7 years, I'd say he's about right.
Mercy, I'd quit hunting.... spoiled I guess. That's less than 16 deer on 380 acres. And how many members? I usually see 5 to 12 every sitting, LOL, and I come out early.
 
your number seems 'stremely high. (91 deer/sqm)

what is the area around you like? to feed that many deer, you'd have to be in some serious food sources. heavy crops.

curious how you identify unique deer, to avoid double/multiple counting of the same deer?

obviously, bucks can be easier to distinguish, but barring crazy color mutations, the does don't stand out all that much.

i've seen high densities a few times (not sure about 80++). no/limited hunting setups on "island" type environments, such as parks in the middle of towns or a place in maryland once, we called "the scout camp", and some NWR's. generally, there is a serious browse line.

but hay, if you do have that many, it is a nice problem to have. enjoy.

Mercy, I'd quit hunting.... spoiled I guess. That's less than 16 deer on 380 acres. And how many members? I usually see 5 to 12 every sitting, LOL, and I come out early.
 
Thread starter #7

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
your number seems 'stremely high. (91 deer/sqm)

what is the area around you like? to feed that many deer, you'd have to be in some serious food sources. heavy crops.

curious how you identify unique deer, to avoid double/multiple counting of the same deer?

obviously, bucks can be easier to distinguish, but barring crazy color mutations, the does don't stand out all that much.

i've seen high densities a few times (not sure about 80++). no/limited hunting setups on "island" type environments, such as parks in the middle of towns or a place in maryland once, we called "the scout camp", and some NWR's. generally, there is a serious browse line.

but hay, if you do have that many, it is a nice problem to have. enjoy.
I can't distinguish between the does however, it's not likely that does are moving much distance in the last hour of the day. If I see 5 does at one stand, I'd be confident that 5 does at another stand 500 yards away were not the same does. Partly because when I see does, they are not going anywhere, just meandering . I feel confident that if I put 25 hunters in the woods this evening in my stands that they would be looking at more than 120 deer at the same time the last hour of the day. Trail cams....hmmmm, I don't pay them much attention any longer. I just tell my son to show me the pic if we have a big one. However, the bucks add up and are able to distinguish easy enough. I used to go through 6000+ pics a week. We don't have any crops nearby. Wish we did. My clover field was ruined this year by the power company widening it 10 ft each side. Will be much larger once I get the stumps out and replanted, This 3 acres was the only perennial plot around.
 
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elfiii

Admin
Staff member
A deer to 7 acres is over 91/square mile. That’s a very high number. IMO that’s an exaggerated number. What county?
What he said. ^

If you were in the South Carolina coastal low country around the Cooper river I'd say that might be a correct and sustainable number.

I couldn't make a guess at deer/acre around me. Deer/Sq. Mile is between 15-20. That's based on 24/7/365 camera surveys, personal observation and the observations of the 3 clubs next to me.
 

Killdee

Senior Member
Years ago when the pop was in the 1.5 million pop in a couple of counties I hunted was 35 per sq mile. Deer were everywhere and at night fields around woul fill up with deer. Now they est around 1 million but we don’t see nothing close to the deer in the past. Lee is close at 15-20 Psm I think.
 

dwhee87

GON Political Forum Scientific Studies Poster
Mercy, I'd quit hunting.... spoiled I guess. That's less than 16 deer on 380 acres. And how many members? I usually see 5 to 12 every sitting, LOL, and I come out early.
5 or 6 of us..usually not more than three of us at any one time.

16 per 380 ac = 32/square mile. About what others are saying here/above.
 
Thread starter #12

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I would say that our land is better than the surrounding areas, however, I do not know, not having laid eyes on it. However I hunted the "white store" area 20 years ago. It may have had more deer than I do now..... However, it was a small tract, and could have been the habitat relative to that around it so I can't estimate here.
 

B. White

Senior Member
Years ago when the pop was in the 1.5 million pop in a couple of counties I hunted was 35 per sq mile. Deer were everywhere and at night fields around woul fill up with deer. Now they est around 1 million but we don’t see nothing close to the deer in the past. Lee is close at 15-20 Psm I think.
Agree. Hunted a place in Talbot in the 90s that a biologist surveyed and estimated 50 per sq mile. The area of Monroe county we were in showed about 30-35 per square according to DNR maps at the time, and it seemed about right compared to the Talbot tract. Having hunted those places during that time, I would estimate 15-20 where we currently are in Monroe county. This is actually higher than I would have said 5 yrs ago, and based on comparative sightings, droppings, tracks, etc. vs. the other places a couple of decades ago.

On the flip side, I could hunt all year back then and only hope to see much better than a 4 pt. Today I see many more bucks that folks would have considered a trophy back then. I seriously doubt with the addition of more coyotes, more either sex days, and higher limits if there is any large area that is higher than 35 per square mile now, unless it is an island.
 

kmckinnie

Useles Moderator
Staff member
I have 50 acre home site. We seen 15 deer at a time. We have 1 deer for every 3.3333 acres. We are trying to improve that.
 

Long Cut

Senior Member
I lived on Martha's Vineyard this summer and the deer population was mid 60's per square mile and they were everywhere. I read an article where the average was 30-40 psm up there. I couldn't imagine having over 60 deer psm.. I'd be scared to drive at night
 
Thread starter #16

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I would like to know how they determine these numbers? I was told by one biologist that it was based on reported harvest to which I replied, well that's downright stupid.
 

Spotlite

Senior Member
Based only on trail cam pics.....1 deer per 20 acres. But changes daily. Some days nothing, some days we get ran over.
 
Thread starter #18

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
This from NC's deer density page prove harvest records determine their numbers.

No Density Estimate
Where harvest data are not available to produce density estimates
because hunting is limited or prohibited: includes federal and state
parks, municipal boundaries, water bodies, and human density
greater than 1 person per 2 acres.

This is just stupid. Since we rarely shoot deer due to trophy intentions then this implies we must have lower deer counts rather than higher. What kind of math is that?
 
Thread starter #20

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
Fish numbers and size limits are usually based on electroshocking. Which is skewed because some fish like strippers are boat shy. However they are using a method to count the fish. Using deer harvest to estimate the states deer harvest is just plain stupid. In my area, everyone's waiting on the big one. So many deer are seen that the pride of the hunt is how many you saw. When your seeing so many deer, it's easy to let them walk because it offers no pride in killing something so easy to take and we get 2 buck tags of which we don't want to use unless it's really nice. This is the mentality of the area or county in which I hunt. Who knew that the wildlife would then conclude that we don't have many deer per acre. How stupid. Our deer have grown exponential rather than less due to this mentality.
 
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