Estimate your "deer per acre"

B. White

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.
Droppings. Each deer deposits X amout per day. Each pile lasts X amount of days due to dung beetles. Count, fill in the Xs, and do the math. Pretty simple.
 
Thread starter #23

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
Droppings. Each deer deposits X amout per day. Each pile lasts X amount of days due to dung beetles. Count, fill in the Xs, and do the math. Pretty simple.
Imagine the effort to cover every inch of an acre looking for droppings. And then to assume that this acre is an average of them all. It's likely a hypothetical way which has never been deployed
 
Thread starter #24

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I'm just trying to figure out why I would care about anything to do with the North Carolina deer population...
My theory is that all the states have it wrong. That it's much higher
 

B. White

Senior Member
Imagine the effort to cover every inch of an acre looking for droppings. And then to assume that this acre is an average of them all. It's likely a hypothetical way which has never been deployed
Not really, do a google search for deer pellet survey or perhaps one of our biologists will chime in. Print a form and go have a fun family activity.

There are many ways, but my info is pretty old since it was a long time ago since I was in school for this sort of stuff. Pellet surveys, browse surveys, liver fluke counts, etc. I'm sure there are advanced methods now a days.
 
Thread starter #26

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
Not really, do a google search for deer pellet survey or perhaps one of our biologists will chime in. Print a form and go have a fun family activity.

There are many ways, but my info is pretty old since it was a long time ago since I was in school for this sort of stuff. Pellet surveys, browse surveys, liver fluke counts, etc. I'm sure there are advanced methods now a days.
Based on what I have googled, air infarred heat sensors is the only way know to be accurate but still requires man power and it's somewhat of a way that should work but not actually deployed by the states
 
Thread starter #27

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I mentioned this per acre deer equation that the state wrongly uses to determine deer, using reported harvest, to a fellow deer hunter. Always good to get other opinions because some people just think differently, which sometimes reveals things not considered. He asked well how do they determine the acreage part? Hmmmm, I assumed the acres of the hunting areas.... yet, I bet the numbers are acres per state regardless of whether it's a Walmart parking lot or a timber company tract. This could explain the numbers being what I consider way off???????
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Staff member
In my area of NC, I usually expect to see 0 deer in a sit. It usually takes several days of hunting the same spot to see deer. They range a lot of territory here in the marginal big-woods habitat in the mountains. In some of the NC Piedmont counties I hunt like Alamance and Orange, I see deer about every time I go into the woods, they are there to the point of overpopulation and visible browse lines.
 
Thread starter #29

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
In my area of NC, I usually expect to see 0 deer in a sit. It usually takes several days of hunting the same spot to see deer. They range a lot of territory here in the marginal big-woods habitat in the mountains. In some of the NC Piedmont counties I hunt like Alamance and Orange, I see deer about every time I go into the woods, they are there to the point of overpopulation and visible browse lines.
Interesting.... is it because they are nocturnal or lowly populated? Or possibly overhunted and killed off? In my area, they get harder to see as season goes on, however, if we were to make an organized drive, they would be like rabbits? I assume your in the western mountains?
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Staff member
Interesting.... is it because they are nocturnal or lowly populated? Or possibly overhunted and killed off? In my area, they get harder to see as season goes on, however, if we were to make an organized drive, they would be like rabbits? I assume your in the western mountains?
I'm in the Smokies. Low populations, very low compared to the Piedmont. Millions of acres of mature woods here with little edge or successional habitat. Most of the good Piedmont counties have around 1500-2,000 deer a year killed per county. My county is twice the physical size of most of those counties, but usually has a little over 100 deer a year killed. I have seen years with 50-60 total kills. Used to be a lot more bears than deer killed every year.
 

roperdoc

Senior Member
Growing up, I was in an area with 90-100 deer psm. Yes, they are everywhere at that density even in a rural area that is mostly acreage and not houses or parking lots.
Crop depredation was severe and I was expected to hunt after work almost every day. No limit, Aug 1 to Jan 1. At least my boss paid for ammo! Most years we had right at 100 doe tags issued to have to fill on 10,000 acres. Boss was not happy if he had unused tags in January. It stops being fun after a few weeks.
Helped with surveys on Savannah River Site a couple years. We used spotlight counts on set travel routes that were compared from year to year. This data was used to illustrate trends as well as current deer/sm counts. Seems like a similar technique with thermal imaging would work.
 
I can sit in one stand and see 15 deer , another ..None.
The doe groups like to move around in just that , Groups.
Been hunting it for about 10 years now.
15 to 20 per square mile.
No cameras just time in the woods. Sand Hills of N. Florida, Taylor County.
I'm using the SWAG system that has proven to be highly accurate now and then...
 

PappyHoel

Senior Member
The estimate for our region is 20, but I think it's old survey data. Me and my partners guesstimate 10 per square mile just by informal camera surveys and raw scouting. I wouldn't be surprised if its 8 per square mile.
 
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.
HHHHmmmm, What you know about the Cooper River elliii?
 
There are formulas for spotlight surveys and even trail cam surveys.
I was never crazy for the spotlight formula because all our property is pretty thick woods. So, it would be hard to actually ride around and see many deer.

But I know for a fact I have nearly 100 different bucks that have been on our 1,100 acres at one time or another. I have around 80 saved or named bucks and I am somewhat estimating on the spikes and nub bucks but I feel confident that 20 is a pretty reasonably low guess. That's 50 deer psm just for bucks though I know more than half of them were just passing through. But I do know of the doe groups in several locations. And I would say we have around 30 mature does probably another 15 yearling does. And the does tend to stay pretty close to their territories.
 
I mentioned this per acre deer equation that the state wrongly uses to determine deer, using reported harvest, to a fellow deer hunter. Always good to get other opinions because some people just think differently, which sometimes reveals things not considered. He asked well how do they determine the acreage part? Hmmmm, I assumed the acres of the hunting areas.... yet, I bet the numbers are acres per state regardless of whether it's a Walmart parking lot or a timber company tract. This could explain the numbers being what I consider way off???????
Deer populations are estimated by the number of deer per forested square mile, so things like water bodies and and development are excluded. Any population estimates you see are regional estimates that don't realistically translate to actual numbers of deer at the individual property level. The only way to reasonably estimate deer population density at the property level is to conduct annual camera surveys.
 

redwards

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
Area of Circle = Pi * Radius Squared
Since you "could see 500 yards each way" that must mean you could see 500 yards in a circle.
500 yards = 1,500 ft. that you could see each way, so the circle would be 3,000' across, with a radius of 1,500'
1,500' x 1,500' = 2,250,000 sq. ft. x 3.14159 (pi) = 7,068,577 sq. ft.
1 acre = 43,560 sq. ft.
7,068,577 sq. ft. divided by 43,560 =162.2 acres
162.2 ac. divided by 25 = 6.49 ac. per deer seen
640 ac. in a sq. mi.
640 divided by 6.49 = 98 deer per sq. mi.

I would say you are very, very close on your estimate...for whatever that is worth:huh::huh:
 

elfiii

Admin
Staff member
HHHHmmmm, What you know about the Cooper River elliii?
It's a killer place to hunt everything there is to hunt. Never seen so many animules in one place in my life. You don't shoot ducks down there. You knock 'em down with a baseball bat. The deer are thick as fleas on a rabid fox.
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
At my place we have had a zone of 0 deer per acre. (Shooters anyway.)
It seems to be a mobile zone with a 300-yard radius around ME.:p
 
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