St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Deer Hunting Season 40 deer killed within 3 miles of my deer stand today!

A fawn that managed to make it through the first day of deer hunting on the Evergreen Av farm. 

After not hunting deer for a dozen years, Scott and I decided to try it again.  I am hunting on the 40 acres here on the farm--trying to thin out some of the deer that are so hard on the orchard, and Scott is trying it at the lake. 

I saw 7 deer today and Scott 11, none of the sightings were quality ones--too far away, running, or fawns.  So, other than a lot of fresh air and some exercise, it was a quiet day hunting. 

Of course, it wasn't really quiet.  The shooting started about 6:45 with a shot here and there, and increases to 2-3 shots per minute from 7-8 am, then tapered off as the morning wore on and only half dozen an hour by afternoon with a burst in the evening.   

I think I can hear the shots for about 2 miles from where I sit and hunt here on the top of the hill at Bass Lake.  So as I was sitting listening to the shooting, I tried to calculate how many acres that would cover.  A square mile has 640 acres (1-mile by 1-mile).  As a math student, teacher, and heavily involved in mathematics in my work, I feel brave enough to just take right off and do some mental math, even on the deer stand!
Deer beds were common in the brush and trees near the barn
Danger Ahead: Mental Math

My estimate of 2 miles hearing range, means 2 miles in any direction -- a circle radius 2 miles. 
 A = 3.14 x 2x2 = about 13 square miles or 13x640 acres (mental estimate  15x600 or about 9000 acres)
I bag these deer fertilizer tabs and bring them to Margo to add to her indoor geraniums.  After eating her outdoor geraniums all summer, it is only fair they help out with the ones we brought in!
   I heard many single shots, many double and many triple shots and a few with 4 and none with more than that in a burst. 

Low 30s caused some melting

Let's assume that I heard 2 shots per minute for the first hour or 120 shots. After that I will estimate an average of 5 shots per hour 9am - 4pm for 8 hours or 5x8 giving another 40 shots.  Probably a conservative estimate totalling 160 shots during the day.  Some hours were maybe 1 shot and others 10.      

  Let's also assume that it takes 2 shots per killed deer and that maybe 1/2 of the hunters shooting actually got a deer --giving us 1 deer per 4 shots.   So that would mean 160/4 or 40 deer killed in my 4 mile diameter hearing ring.  

Now taking our 9,000 acres /40 deer we get   (900/4 mental math  gives a deer shot per every 250 acres in my neighborhood on the first day.   By the end of season, we probably will have twice that or a deer per 125 acres in my immediate area --80 deer in the 9000 acres in my hearing area.  So my deer kill estimate for the 9000 acres in my hearing range -- 120 this season.  

The 9000 acres are farm land dotted with swamps, woods, lakes, marshes, fencerows, steep hills and valleys so overall maybe 1/2 of the land is farm fields that are now mostly harvested and the other half deer cover.   The deer are well fed, having alfalfa, corn and soy beans as their meat and potatoes and my apples, Margo's geraniums and our garden for the hors d'oeuvres and dessert.   

Got the snow blower back working with the new worm gear.  Under the snow, the grass is still green.  I used the pad to kneel on and the board as a pry.  Went together easily and seems to run fine.