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I've talked to quite a few.......

My experience was a little the same and a little different. My place in Ringgold held deer. Saw quite a few all season, and the usual doe group on day one of gun. Had some smaller bucks and does jog through day 2 and I took a mediocre buck and a doe. I'd say my place from last year to this year was better. Never saw a shooter buck all last bow season, but saw quite a few this year. On the other hand, driving back and forth through Dallas, Madison, Union and Ringgold, I really did not hardly see deer on my drives down and back. Not like normal. Hardly any in the fields feeding in the mornings or evenings. I know there are deer out there, but it didn't seem "normal" on that route. Saw some guys in orange first season weekend, but not the crazy numbers like in the past.
Garden Grove area. Numbers way down from normal years. EHD claimed a few and the local poachers hammered the big ones pretty hard this year. Hoping the DNR gets all of them locked up. I believe poaching is way worse than everyone realizes.
Poachers have always got their deer but now with thermal scopes they are harder to catch. I still see plenty of deer just nothing I want to shoot where I hunt but I think the colder weather earlier in the season got the deer use to it earlier and now their bodies have slowed their metabolism so they don't have to come out to the fields until after dark. But the combination of many of the reasons listed has them just harder to see during hunting hours.
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