qdma 2013-14

The results of QDMA‘s unscientific poll reveal about what I expected–that in about half the country, the whitetail herds are trending in a negative way. Based on the number of deer and the number of bucks you saw last season, how would you vote? Leave a reply below so we can see if the BIG DEER numbers jibe with QDMA’s.

I’ll comment first. I vote “blue down” because the 2013-14 season was one of my hardest in the last 15 years. I hunted from Canada to Wisconsin to New York to Nebraska, and it was tough everywhere. I even had to push it on two Texas hunts to shoot bucks. It’s not supposed to be hard in Texas, but it was for me.

In the end I shot some nice bucks, but I had to work harder than ever to do so. That is not a bad thing because hunting a big deer is not supposed to be easy. But from a trending standpoint it worries me.

Did I see fewer deer and fewer mature bucks because of the brutal 2013 winter weather (and/or the long, snowy 2012 winter that got some deer in far-northern states)…or because EHD outbreaks 2-3 years ago killed a lot of deer in some regions…or because of coyote predation…or because hunters killed too many does and bucks in the last decade (some states had bag limits that were too liberal, especially on does)?

I am certain all these factors came into play to some degree in the various areas I hunted, but the fact remains my hunting was damn tough. And I hope it is better this fall.

How about you?