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West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

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West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

Old 12-28-2004, 05:39 PM
  #31  
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

Pennsylvania is DOING IT RIGHT, unlike West Virginia when it comes to managind the deer herd.
The county inwhich I hunt (Greene) in PA has an antler restriction, there has to be ATLEAST 4 points to (1) side in order to harvest a BUCK.
I would be in favor of a method of harvesting only larger, mature bucks. However, my only gripe about antler restrictions is that the BEST 1.5 year old bucks (genetically) are elegible for killing. And what about those mature deer that dont have great headgear? You'd be suprised how many just dont have the genetics to grow 4 points on one side. Leaving them to breed is NOT going to improve the deer herd, nor is killing off the 1.5 year old 8 points. Yes, many small bucks will live to see another year. But personally, the area I hunt, plenty already do make it.
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Old 12-28-2004, 05:46 PM
  #32  
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

Very true! But Josh, don't you think it's alot better way to manage our (West Virginia) than our pathetic DNR is doing?
Everytime our deer kill is down the DNR points to the weather, or the mast, or how the coyotes have moved in or some other off-the-wall lame @$$ excuse. Did they (DNR) ever think for a minute that selling all those tags and letting you slaughter does for 3 (THREE) WEEKS just might play a big part at hurting our herd?
Something definately needs to be done and innitiating a "antler point restriction" would be a better start than letting th DNR and our insurance companies run our hunting.
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:47 PM
  #33  
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

Personally, if it was me (and its not, and I still dont see it changing in the near future), I would keep the bow tags the same. (3 deer, 2 can be bucks.) 1 Buck tag for rifle. 1 doe tag for doe season. And 1 muzzleloader tag (either sex). If the buck tag is unfilled during rifle, it can be filled in muzzleloader as well. I think by reducing the doe harvest, yet allowing any buck to be harvested would be a better solution. I would much rather see a 1.5 year old spike shot and used to feed a family, than to see one shot under AR's and left to rot because the "hunter" doesnt want to get a fine. I'm really growing on your methods, and you'd be welcome in my hunting camp anytime.

But rather than spend the money on changing the tag system, I would much rather see CO's (conservation officers) patroling at night, busting some of these aweful poachers! Its not unusual to hear 20 shots a night, and walk around (on private property, mind you) and see 5 or 6 dead deer. Yet the DNR just doesnt care. Wildlife is the ULTIMATE renewable resource, but overuse will result in none to use.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:52 PM
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

Mason Ridge,

If you don't shot does, you are part of the problem! Everyone else is seeing way too many does and very little bucks. HELLO! There is too many does. PERIOD! Too much of the old ways exist. "I got me a 4 pt." WOO HOO WHOOP DEE DOO! Shoot a doe instead and the bucks will get bigger. You keep blaming the DNR (albeit not perfect), but the does need thinned out. We don't need to say we saw 20-40 deer to give us a warm and fuzzy. We need to say we saw a comparable number of does with bucks. Even if that number is lower than our normal amount.
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Old 12-28-2004, 10:41 PM
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

I disagree with you jetblast. I have hunted WestVirginia for 25 years now. I have never
seen the deer population as low as it is now. Three of us hunted in rifle season
together and in 2 hard days of hunting we saw 2 deer. I myself stand hunted in
various locations and saw no deer in 2 days were in years past I would have seen
50 to 75 deer in 2 days of hunting. No doubt in my mind in Grant county where I hunt
the numbers are way down do to over harvesting, poaching, predators, etc., etc.
Now if we shoot all the does we can what happens to the fawns that were to be born
in the spring? Yep, gone as well. That is what does are left now which are not many
now. The club I belong to which has around 100,000 acres was smart enough to
shut down doe season for this year due to low deer herd numbers. This is JMHO.
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Old 12-29-2004, 07:19 AM
  #36  
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Old 12-29-2004, 10:58 AM
  #37  
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

I agree with Jim Bell
I'm originally from WV and still go back there and hunt every year with friends and family. I have two diferent pieces of land in hardy county--1 is up in the hills where the deer kill was down overall and deer seen was also down. the other was a low lying farm where we saw record numbers of deer and bucks in particular.
I had a chance to shoot 6 different bucks between the two (none of them very big) and I choose to pass on them, then shot a doe later.
I think coyotes are probably a bigger problem then most realize (we saw tracks all over on the mountain property) and NOOOOO they are not decreasing (as someone said earlier) just b/c they are legal to shoot.
But what hurts most of all is the age old tradition there of making sure that "you get your buck" no matter how big it is. A lot of hunters (good guys) back there have given over to think that they never will see a big one--so they just shoot their little forkhorns or spikes, then when asked, they can reply with assured satisfaction "yeah, I got my buck"--two buck limits per weapon make this attitude even easier--"I'll shoot the first one I see--then trophy hunt at least until the end of the week". And if this is the way that most hunters in WV want it, than so be it.
But hopefully, attitudes will change with new generations of hunters. One thing they should do is say ONE BUCK--perhaps one for bow and one for gun. That makes a person debate whether they want to pull the trigger on that scrub or not. That's what happens here in MT--You get One--combined bow and rifle--so believe me there is a psychological deterrent to shooting any ol' buck--and who cares if you don't shoot it--than you just get to hunt longer.
hb
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:02 AM
  #38  
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

Where I hunt in Hampshire...we still saw plenty of deer...less but plenty. We have been managing our own property for the last 7 seasons. Letting most bucks walk and shooting does. Our population has gone down mostly by choice, but is now down to reasonable size for the property size. Also our buck size has gone up, and we are killing 1 or 2 nice bucks every year. I have hunted WV for about 20yrs and I will agree that the DNR does a poor job. However, I can't really speak for other areas of the state...but around where I hunt...it doesn't matter what the laws are. Nobody follows them anyhow. They shoot whatever they want, in season or out, and numbers don't matter. They don't care, they aren't checking them in anyhow. So the problem lies not so much totally on the DNR, but on the slobs that hunt. I know guys that haven't EVER checked a deer in. Sad but true. And there aren't enough game wardens to even respond when you call them. I don'know if it is the same in other areas, but based on where I hunt, and the folks I know that hunt other areas...they all seem to have the same problem. Couple that with the fact that the ones that do follow the rules usually shoot as many bucks as they can (to prove their manhood) and I don't see it ever getting much better without some sort of antler restrictions.

Another problem, at least where I hunt is the coyotes. They have definitely taken a toll on our herd. We found 4 dead coyote kills in a 3 week period this season. 3 were fawns. We did manage to take 10 this year so far between trapping and shooting, but I doubt it made a dent in them.

I wouldn't blame the doe kill on the problem. It may contribute to the problem in some areas, but I doubt its the actual culprit...more like a pat of it. Heck in VA where I hunt, you can shoot 2 deer per day...every day...for 3 mos, and we still can't get the numbers down to manageable levels in alot of areas.
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:23 AM
  #39  
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

Ill give examples from the 3 states I hunt .

Pa ,1 buck , no does unless you have a permit , antler restrictions aply , I believe they are going to have a "free for all" week of doe season next year , thats the rumor , and their herd is out of control , overpopulated .

Fl ,1 buck and 1 doe every day of season [on private land] , no antler restrictions , we still have some deer down here but you have to hunt hard to find them .

Ga ,12 does and 2 bucks per year , antler restrictions , Georgia has a well ballanced herd .

Georgia is down the middel , and has a good healthy herd , good management . Florida [where I live ] is a joke , thats like 180 deer one person can kill in a year . I dont know anyone who has , but I know plenty of guys who take way more than their "fare share" . Pa has a problem , sick deer , too many does on a farm for example , over browsing , and lots of car accidents . They need to add 1 more buck to the mix and include several does when you buy your licence .
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:41 AM
  #40  
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Default RE: West Virginia Deer Hunting Hurting!

I totally agree with you "dsheally", you are exactly right! As for you "jetblast", you need to get out of the hole you have been hunting in and go hunt on some public property to see what most of us are talking about.
I've been deer hunting for 35 years now and theses last couple of years of hunting have been the worst that I've ever seen. I've seen herds survive through bad winters and everything but what is going on now is BS!
Sure, I agree, where some of you hunt you might be seeing excessive does but for the most, hunters would rather enjoy just seeing a few doe. Some counties have lost their herds, more so in the last couple of years.
When I was 20-25, when someone was talking about a herd of deer they say while hunting, they usually were talking about 25-30 deer running together, not anymore. Today's West Virginia herd might consist of 2-3 deer, regardless if they all are does.
I guarantee if you took a poll from the hunters in West Virginia who don't have access to PRIVATE property and hunt Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and/or PUBLIC property, most would tell you that the DNR is doing a lousy job of management as well as NOT seeing nearly the numbers they have grown accustomed to in recent years of hunting. THIS IS A FACT!
Take Preston County for example, this county used to be one of the top deer counties in the state, their deer kill is down dramatically. Ask some of these peope up north what they think is wrong, they'll sure to tell you.
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