Hunter’s Corner: A look at deer kill statistics

For the Monitor
Published: 4/20/2019 5:42:58 PM

A column in the Monitor by David Brooks on the deer kill per square mile in Concord buttresses support of the current registration process. What you may or may not know is that Concord encompasses four Wildlife Management Units (WMU) I-1, J-2, K, and L. Concord is 64 square miles in area, about the same size as Washington, D.C. The largest individual property owner in Concord is St. Paul’s School whose property is posted as the property surrounding the water supply which is posted for homeland security reasons. Also, all land within the municipal compact, those NH DOT blue and white signs that prohibits hunting. And, you cannot discharge a weapon within 300 feet of an occupied dwelling. While the two per square mile is a correct number, the kill per huntable square mile is a number significantly greater than two.

So why are local surround towns much lower? Blocked access and posting are key. So why does Concord have so many deer? Concord has excellent edge habitat and Concord residents have a habit of shrubbery that deer find delicious. Now that Green Up Day is coming, one of the best places to see deer feeding is on 393 near 106. The fresh grass is highly tempting and you will see them feasting on the tender shoots.

A friend of mine likes to drive around at night to view deer out feeding. He reported seeing the smallest fawns he has ever seen. The peak breeding period hits at around Nov. 15. A secondary rut peaks Dec. 15 and the rut will go into January. Most fawns are born starting in June. The later conceived fawns will be born into August. The three he spotted indicates to me that is was an exceptionally mild winter for the deer herd. Had it been a challenging winter, these fawns would not have survived.

A Bow friend of mine has been seeing a melano squirrel in his backyard. An albino squirrel has the absence of all color pigmentation. A melano squirrel is an all-black squirrel. This is merely a color variation. In certain parts of Canada, black is the rule and gray is the exception.

A friend of mine lives in Alton and he reports that the ice is out from Alton Bay to the Broads. Saunders Bay based upon the heavy winds are full of ice. Meredith Bay is wide open. Full ice out cannot be far behind and when that happens salmon season is here. April 27 marks the opening day for trout season on lakes and ponds managed for trout. Fish and Game fish hatcheries stock nearly 1 million trout and salmon. These are great times for anglers. You need to check with the 2019 Freshwater Fishing Digest to learn of the various restrictions on lakes, ponds and streams. The water levels at lakes and ponds are reasonably low. Rivers and streams are high. Just take a peek at the Merrimack. It is almost at flood level.

April 27-28 is the youth hunt for the spring turkey season. Every turkey hunter including those under the age of 16 must have a turkey license. The regular turkey season opens May 1 and runs through May 31. New for this year is you can bag your first bearded turkey statewide. You have an option of bagging a second bearded turkey in WMU’s H-1, H-2, J-2, K, L or M. The bonus units are where the turkeys have expanded the most.

Turkeys have survived yet another winter. The weather headed into the May 1 opening portends for a another possibly record-breaking season. I don’t think the weather leading up to the opening have put hens on nests as the weather has in the past.

According to turkey guru Ted Walski, “The summer turkey brood surveys showed a 25% increase in poult production during the summer of 2018 compared with 2017, indicating relatively high productive success.” The summer turkey brood survey recorded 577 turkey brood reports, and the month of August showed a statewide average of 4.15 poults per hen, an increase from 3.32 in 2017.

Statewide, New Hampshire is estimated to have approximately 40,000 turkeys.

“That’s about as many wild turkeys as the land can support, or in biological terms, the carrying capacity has probably been reached,” said Walski. This has got to be the best spring turkey season ever.


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