Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Salish Sea Archipelago Deer Population Crash
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Pyrites
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Pyrites
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PostThu Feb 10, 2022 1:06 pm 
Per this article the deer population on the San Juan and Georgia Strait Islands has crashed. https://foreststewardshipnotes.wordpress.com/2022/02/10/what-happened-to-the-deer-on-the-san-juan-islands/

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!
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mike
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PostThu Feb 10, 2022 7:24 pm 
Yep, used to be herds now hardly see them. You could smell them for a few weeks. Kinda nice to not have to worry about the fruit trees. We did see a doe with a pair of new fawns so they are making a comeback.

Pyrites
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Schroder
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PostFri Feb 11, 2022 6:22 am 
They've all come to Whidbey Island. No shortage here. We even have a bear now.

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Bootpathguy
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PostFri Feb 11, 2022 7:49 pm 
Schroder wrote:
They've all come to Whidbey Island. No shortage here. We even have a bear now.
Is that bull elk still on the island?

Experience is what'cha get, when you get what'cha don't want
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Dick B
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PostFri Feb 11, 2022 8:45 pm 
Once when I was going to Langley High School on South Whidbey, we ferried to Friday Harbor to play against their team in basketball. The kind folks put our team up in their homes for the night. We were told, at the time, that the Island was overrun with rabbits, and guys would shine and shoot them at night. They even set up their vehicles so the hunters could ride and shoot from the rigs. I don't know if there was any truth to that or not. We had little cotton tails on the Whidbey but were not a problem - well maybe some in the gardens. No elk or bear at that time. Wonder how they got there? Bridge, ferry or a long swim?

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Randito
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Randito
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PostFri Feb 11, 2022 9:03 pm 
Even Bellevue has been overrun with rabbits in recent years. More coyote sightings on security cameras too. So many posters of small lost dogs. The dog is not "lost"

Slim
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Feb 11, 2022 10:06 pm 
A few years ago there were lots of rabbits on Squak you hardly ever saw coyotes and Bob cats would make headlines. Now I get two or three coyotes every week on my trail cam and a couple Bob cats every month. You seldom see rabbits when walking around. They follow a cycle. Not as distressing as deer and cougars. In Canada it was wolves and deer. Fun lesson in apex predators and prey. When deer went down moose would go up. Chronic wasting disease in deer and elk is a nasty one related to mad cow.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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ChrisSJI
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PostFri Feb 11, 2022 10:23 pm 
As Mike said, there was a big population crash last summer caused by a virus. The island deer had their own pandemic. One died not far from our house during the big heat wave. The smell through the windows was bad. Honestly, its been nice not to have to chase as many away. Im sure theyll bounce back soon enough.

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mike
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PostSat Feb 12, 2022 10:26 am 
Dick B wrote:
...the Island was overrun with rabbits, and guys would shine and shoot them at night. They even set up their vehicles so the hunters could ride and shoot from the rigs. I don't know if there was any truth to that or not....
True. Here's an article about it written by some friends of mine. I still have some old rabbit warrens on my property. People had to spend 10k's to fence them out if you wanted to use your property. It was said that 10 rabbits + 1 cow

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Dick B
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PostSat Feb 12, 2022 12:17 pm 
Mike. Thanks so much for the update on the San Juan rabbits. So what I was told many years ago was true. I do remember something about the rabbits being domestic ones gone wild. I Googled the rabbit infestation in Australia and the numbers there are again on the rise. It seems any environment where there are no natural predators is susceptible to infestations by nonnative species. Islands would be high on that list. Introduced plants also can also become a real problem. Down on the south coast of Oregon around the town of Bandon, gorse was introduced in 1873 from Ireland. It quickly spread out of control, and is almost impossible to irradicate. It was responsible for the town burning in 1936.

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