I guess its still the acorn crop???

It all depends on the terrain you hunt.

Our land has continued to have diversity for 18 years now...along with the surrounding areas. If you are hunting a majority of planted pines, the deer will disappear when the pines get tall enough to shade out the browse. No food equals no deer.

And I don't know a soul that has taken 10+ deer in one season. We kill about 15-20 on our 525 acres and it doesn't decimate the population. Once we get to a certain number of deer taken, we slow down on the does. And our neighbors aren't shooting that much.

Good grief, there are plenty of deer in GA, but they are where the food is. Evaluate what type of terrain your land consists of and the surroundings and you'll probably learn a lot about if the deer should be there. If they should and they aren't, then those few can complain.


Senior Member
Jeff Phillips said:
We will have to wait to see what everyone is saying come November.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think we are in for another tough year.

What's got you thinking that, Jeff? (specifically)

Bucky T

GONetwork Member
I think this year is going to be great on my property. I know of a couple of white oaks that didn't drop last season. I'm banking on them dropping some nuts, because I know for a fact there aren't going to be near as many nut's on the ground as last year. That was phenomenal. I felt like I was on rollerstates walking through the woods last year!!

I'm hoping on a decent soft mass crop as well. Everywhere I've hunted for the past two years has had poor soft mass. No muscadines, few persimmons, and about hardly any crabapples. Those are my big three come bowseason. Maybe this year will be a little better.

duckbill said:
What's got you thinking that, Jeff? (specifically)
Like I said, I really hope I'm wrong, but I am just not seeing the deer in my travels, tracks on lease, etc.

I think more areas are down significantly than are at the levels of 4 or 5 years ago.
Can't really blame him for wishing the folks who still have some deer would understand the frustration of those that don't :huh:

Many areas of the state are really down, but the folks that still have deer come on here making jokes about the hunting skills or land management of the folks who are stating what they see happening to their clubs.

Just because your square mile of land is still in good shape does not mean that we do not have a problem and just because my square mile is down does not mean we have a state wide problem.

But the areas that have seen a serious reduction of the herd is much wider spread than MOST on here want to believe, and it will continue to get worse until we make some changes :(
I don't remember who wrote it or where it was, but....

there was an article that talked of the population changes in specific areas. It spoke of areas, such as Hancock Co, had been clear cut during the early '80's and became a deer mecca. Also, fields were turned into pine plantations and just boomed with browse. This created an area that deer thrived in. Food and cover gave the deer a great place to live and hunters loved it.

Now, 20 years later, the same land (tens of thousands of acres) is very void of deer now. This was not attributed to all the deer being killed. It was attributed to the land changing and the carrying capacity had become altered.

This is why diversity is so important. Not everyone is blessed with land that is diverse. Some hunt nothing but planted pines and are lucky to see a few deer. Others hunt clear cuts and see deer all the time until the first frost. Then they disappear. This doesn't mean that all the deer have been killed. It just means that they have moved on to find food elsewhere.

What I cannot wait for is the timber companies and land owners to start cutting their mature pines again and increase the amount of food so deer will become plentiful in those "dead" areas again. And then, the cycle will again become positive for a few years until the pines start shading out the food.
Where I hunt the pine tree growing cycle is spread out over a 25 year, or so, time period. I have never seen whole counties clear cut at about the same time. In Talbot, some a different area seem to be clear cut every year.

Food plots not being used is also a sign of low deer population or too many food plots. There definitley are a lot more foods lots in the woods today than there were 10 years ago. The food is there, the deer are not!
Thread starter #32
I echo what Mo said. I have the most diverse habitat in the state, lots of acorn producing oaks, planted pines, clear cuts, mature pines, wet bottoms, cow pastures, hay fields, and very edgy foods plots.

I have also walked this land for 42 years, I ride the fields at night, I am there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and I KNOW the deer population has suffered tremendously. I drive to my office at 5:30 am EVERy morning and have seen 5 deer in the road between my house and Butler since Feb. 1, 2005. When this season comes in with the down numbers like last year, we may see more outcry.

Even the DNR states that harvest on the WMA's was off this past year, my land is within 1/2 mile of Big Lazer WMA and the harvest was off 30% there.

So when the misery is widespread, more people will be concerned. There have been several landowners told in my area if the season didn't get more producive there hunters would no longer lease the land. So its not just me or my little patch!