How Many Deer Are On My Property?

March 12th, 2010 / Posted by David
How Many Deer Are On My Property?

Question:
How do you know how many deer are on the property you’re hunting?

Answer:
Now that’s a tough one. Beyond a simple gut-feel, it gets complicated and time consuming. You can do a spotlight survey (where legal). Count all the deer you see within a given distance of the road or trail. By measuring the distance of the survey, determine what total portion of the property you were able to view. If you spotlighted 1/5 of the property, multiply your count by five for a rough estimate of total numbers. Try to keep a separate count of bucks, does and fawns. Another method is to fly a helicopter survey after the leaves drop or the first snowfall (where appropriate). Helicopter rental costs are high, so this is not for the low budget landowner! This is how deer surveys are taken on most big Texas ranches.

Finally, a very practical method is to set up bait stations after the season and employ infrared triggered cameras, such as the Cam Trakker, to photograph the station automatically, even after dark (it has a flash). Not only will you see what kind of bucks are present on your farm, but you will get some idea of overall numbers. Unfortunately, the study requires a camera per 60 acres to offer the highest degree of accuracy, so if you have a large property you will need several of these cameras.

What do you think? Join the discussion in our forum!
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