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· Grrrrrrr
30,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My familes farm is in Northwest Pike county. We've noticed over the last 3 to 4 years that doe numbers have really declined based on sightings and trail camera results and I an wondering if this is due to overharvers or disease or some other factor.

First question: Does MDC data indicate that numbers really are signficantly down in our area? Maybe you could post a link to an updated deer density map so you don't get this same question from every member on the forum. Is there accurate data for sections of counties?

Second question: I noticed hemorrhagic disease was mentioned in another thread and was wondering if you could point me to a place where I can find information that shows severity by county or if it was an issue in Northern Pike county. I did find several dead deer each of the last couple years but was unable to determine cause of death due to decomposition.

Third question: Does the data show a decrease in doe groups in northern pike county and if it isn't due to disease, do harvest numbers support our observations or do the numbers indicate that the herd is strong in our area? The answer to this one could help us determine if we need to do something different on our farm.

· Registered
797 Posts
Pike and Lincoln counties have seen a decline in deer numbers over the last few years. They along with many other counties were hit extremely hard by hemorrhagic disease (hd) in 2007. The 2007 outbreak was probably the largest and most widespread recorded outbreak of HD in the US, with Pike and Lincoln being two of the hardest hit in Missouri. Widespread outbreaks of this nature happen every 15-20 years. Places in MO that were hit hard may have lost as much as 25% of the herd. Several areas hit by hd in 2007 were also hit to a lesser extent in 2005 and 2006. Most areas can withstand a one year outbreak but you add on a couple of other smaller localized events and hd can really take a toll. So, I'd be cautions about blaming the deer declines on unlimited antlerless harvest.

It may take a couple of years for numbers to recover in some localized areas but if you reduce your doe harvest for the next year or two things will be headed back in the right direction for you.
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