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Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

Old 10-29-2008, 09:11 PM
  #421  
RSB
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

[quote]ORIGINAL: 4evrhtn

ORIGINAL: 4evrhtn

ORIGINAL: RSB


I agree that I am seeing far fewer deer then there used to be, but I am still seeing plenty of deer in ALL of the places where anyone that knows much of anything about deer would expect to find deer.
I have scouted year round, hunted water sources, varied food sources, planted food plots, hunted staging areas where deer have always browsed prior to coming out into bigger timber and fields,supplied minerals ( example-Dicalcium Phosphate) from lateFeb till mid August, hinge cut timber for bedding areas, hunted"historical" bedding areasand planted fruit trees. I have trail cam pics of two approx. 2 1/2 yr oldbuck that have improved in rack size considerably in the last year due to in large partthe mineral supplementation. I am as scent-free as possible I purchase a new scentlok outfit every 3 years and wash it often, scent-free soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, spray, wafers, wear rubber bottom boots, etc.But for all my efforts and miles walked, hours sat and varied techniques in hunting I have only counted 8 deer in total after too many hours to count(minimum 25 hrs per week). The only two bucks were a 5 and 4 point. One adult doe, the rest yearlings and fawns.
I do all the same things in Ohio (for instance) and I saw more deer in one day there than I have all season here in Pa. I saw more buck in 2 days than I have total deer in Pa.
Your claim that the deer are "behaving as deer are intended" doesn't wash with me. The only way for deer to do what deer do naturally is to take man out of the equation. PAGC programs dictate behaviors and populations so don't claim things are so perfectto statethings are the way they "naturally" should be. Anyone "who knows much of anything" knows better!

Please bless me with some insight from your expertise to help me become more successful at seeing all these deer in Pa that I apparently know nothing about. Is the secret to count the same deer over and over again?
RSB, I am still waiting to receive your help in educating me on how to find all these deer.

I don’t know where you are hunting so it is pretty hard for me to offer you much advice on where to find deer in your hunting area. I don’t think you are looking for advice anyway but just in case you really are I’ll give my take on the situation.

All I can say is that I hunt in units 2G and 2F where everyone says there almost no deer yet I seem to find deer in pretty much all of the places I expect deer to be living. During the day I can find them in the places that are so think you can’t get close enough to see one. I know they are there though because of all the sign they have left behind.

During the early morning and late evening I find them on the edges of the bedding areas that are so think hunters don’t ever go in them as they are moving toward the best food item areas. I might be miles from the vehicle when it gets to dark to see for a clean or safe shot and find that the deer simply don’t move until most other hunters have already quit for the day.
What I can tell you is that I and the majority of the other hunters I know, who spend their time hunting instead of complaining, are still being pretty darn successful, even if they aren’t seeing as many deer as they once did. I will agree though that there are certainly a lot more pockets of poor habitat areas that aren’t worth hunting anymore since the deer don’t have to live in the areas with worthless habitat just to find enough food to go around any more.

As for the scent free clothing and other such gimmicks and gadgets I don’t think they really make that much difference unless you can first place your self in the place where deer are most likely to want to be. Can you tell us five of the best deer browse species in your hunting area? Can you identify each of those most preferred browse species. Even finding the best food source isn’t enough though if you can’t figure out where the deer are spending their daytime hours and then figure out just how close you can set up that area without spooking them. Also remember that a deer will know every place a person has walked or been for almost a week after they were there. Most deer avoid those people trails until well after dark.

R.S. Bodenhorn
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:34 PM
  #422  
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ORIGINAL: bluebird2

Correct me if I am wrong here, but the above stated data seems to point out that our current deer management system is indeed producing a higher percentage of closer to mature bucks?
ARs always produce a higher percentage of 2.5+ buck in the herd , but it is a meaningless figure to the hunters in the field. To them the meaningful figure is the number of 2.5+ buck available to be harvested and that number was less in 2007 than in 2002, the first year of ARs.

You certainly can’t say that is an accurate statement. In fact I can pretty much guarantee that is not an accurate statement.

In 2002 hunters harvested 52,607 bucks 2 ½ and older under pretty good hunting conditions on the peek hunting days of that season. The harvest of 2 ½ and older bucks was higher then that every year from 2003 through 2006 and ranged between a low of 57,961 in 2005 to a high of 62,399 in 2004. Last year, 2007, there were 48,048 bucks 2 ½ and older harvested during a season with the worst hunting conditions on the peek days of any season in my hunting or working career.

That is only a slight decrease in the harvested number of 2 ½ and older bucks last year then during the 2002 season, or for that matter the seasons in between. There is nothing that accounts for how many bucks of that age classavailable and escaped harvest during each of,or any of, those years.

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Old 10-29-2008, 09:47 PM
  #423  
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ORIGINAL: FiveMiler

You know, I've worked with WCOs on many cases involving baiting, illegal treestands on SGLs, hunters killing deer in one WMU and tagging it with a tag from another WMU, poaching etc. Some of these occurances were found while I was hunting, other infractions were heard being talked about on portable radios. In every case, it was important to document what you seen, what you heard, and what you know. In just about every case, I had to give up my hunting time, back out of the area, and notify the authorities. Small things like making note of communications on certain channels, license plate numbers, vehicle make and model, can all make the investigation much easier to a WCO. Nonchalantly taking notice to small details helps alot. When I hear things going on on the radio nearby, I make a beeline to my vehicle and stand there with the trunk open making like I'm getting ready to pack it in, while waiting for the suspicious party to drive by. When they do, I non chalantly fall in behind them. After I get a plate number, I turn off. Very simple.

Nailing these slobs has to start with us. WCOs can't be everywhere, but they sure can be somewhere through our eyes and ears. I'm not doubtingSproul one bit concerning a camp that had 7 spikes hanging. But in order for this kind of activity to be noticed, LEO has to know about it. I don't know much about the WCOs in Clinton County. But I can tell you that the WCOs in 3 counties that I hunt regularly would have a field day with a crew that had 7 spikes hanging, and would probably walk away with several citations having been written out on that day. If there were infractions in that camp, they'd surely find them. They have their methods, all they need is a few clues.

That is a some darn good advice.

I want to thank you for not only a good post but also for taking an active stand as a responsible hunter and citizen. My hat is off to you Sir!

R.S. Bodenhorn
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:10 PM
  #424  
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

ORIGINAL: RSB

ORIGINAL: bluebird2

Correct me if I am wrong here, but the above stated data seems to point out that our current deer management system is indeed producing a higher percentage of closer to mature bucks?
ARs always produce a higher percentage of 2.5+ buck in the herd , but it is a meaningless figure to the hunters in the field. To them the meaningful figure is the number of 2.5+ buck available to be harvested and that number was less in 2007 than in 2002, the first year of ARs.

You certainly can’t say that is an accurate statement. In fact I can pretty much guarantee that is not an accurate statement.

In 2002 hunters harvested 52,607 bucks 2 ½ and older under pretty good hunting conditions on the peek hunting days of that season. The harvest of 2 ½ and older bucks was higher then that every year from 2003 through 2006 and ranged between a low of 57,961 in 2005 to a high of 62,399 in 2004. Last year, 2007, there were 48,048 bucks 2 ½ and older harvested during a season with the worst hunting conditions on the peek days of any season in my hunting or working career.

That is only a slight decrease in the harvested number of 2 ½ and older bucks last year then during the 2002 season, or for that matter the seasons in between. There is nothing that accounts for how many bucks of that age classavailable and escaped harvest during each of,or any of, those years.

R.S. Bodenhorn
Do you mean to tell me that deadeer, I mean bluebird was coughing up cherry picked data?[:-]

Intellectual dishonesty is usually a telltale sign of a weak argument, and I don`t see this being an exception to th rule........
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:17 PM
  #425  
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

ORIGINAL: fellas2

I guess my question is who wants to change the current hunters mentality ? Is it a select few landowners,is it the PGC, is it special interest groups ?
My dad always told me ,if it ain't broke don't fix it.With the years of hunting under my belt and the number of deer I've killed,I don't want to shoot the first scrub buck that walks by either,but I don't want a exercise in futility trying to find a place to hunt and when I do, waste days upon days with my sons hoping to get a a glimpse of something.We harp on the fact of getting kids involved in the sport,not just to keep the out of trouble but to share the love of the outdoors like I have for the past 40 years, but it's a tough task when things are headed in the direction they are.Soon the only people who will be able to hunt are the guys willing to pay $15.00 an acre for a lease or $1500.00 for a five day hunt on some one elses private preserve.
sadly, you are right.

this is why i said in wmu2g, that the only hunters that can shoot a doe is a kid.not us.

but kid must go by the AR rule,as it is being abused bigtime .

this would get kids interested,maybe.


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Old 10-29-2008, 10:48 PM
  #426  
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ORIGINAL: Cornelius08

OK, so you want basically the same things I want regarding our deer herd. This is a good start......

That said, do you have a better plan than the PGC has implemented?

"I realize that the current plan is too broad in scope, and that we have gone too far in reducing numbers in many area`s.......

How can ANY plan work in this state with the sheer volume of hunters, and the majority mindset of said hunters?

A question.........why would the PGC want to carry less than is easily sustainable in regardess to the deer herd?

Less deer equals less hunters equals less money? "

Good question. Why dont you ask them. Its undeniable that currently that is exactly whats happening since the data and numbers show it clearly. Only things I can figure are the few who do want fewer deer yet, are simply getting their ways. Audubon/ecoextremists wants far fewer than most deem necessary as does the timber industry. These people would have been addressed to some extent with ANY reduction we would have implemented. I think that exactly who is on the board of commissioners currently has MUCH to do with the mindset and the direction we are headed. Also, less deer equal less money. Some on the board see that as a good thing short term. Some are STRONGLY in favor of alternate funding. What better way to acheive that than to make it the only option? Not saying I have all the answers, just throwing out some possibilities and there are more. Others paying the bills limits even further hunters "say" in wildlife management and more say to eco-extremists, timber etc.

"The old wives tale about auto insurance companies simply does not wash?"

Wether they play any role or not, From my perspective, Id say insurance companies are the least of our worries. I know some of the "ties" that some of the commissioners have, especially those who consistently support less and less deer and everything it takes to get that,and understand full well how theyare seeing these issues and why....and it aint the insurance companies.

"Although I would be willing to entertain the notion that the PGC is being stubborn at this juncture, what possible motive would they have for carrying well under the capacity in whitetails?"

Well, many possibilities of motives exist. Wether you may be willing toentertain them or not, doesnt dismiss the fact there are many possibilities. Its not as important why as it is to address the problems. I just care what is occurring and what our future holds.

Do I have better ideas? Absolutely. Just as a start and very significant in all regards would be smaller wmus. In my opinion, not even debatable. Its the way to manage if all things are to be considered and not just kill the deer widescale... 2nd. Put the deer where the deer can be. Thats absolutely not being done. I believe it has everything to do with whose making the decisions and whyand very little with the "measuring" techniques they are supposed to be following, but seem to only follow when it equates to fewer deer. If it does not, they ignore it, and strive for fewer anyway.

I also dont look highly upon the fact we had an eco-extremist pgc insider placed on the 2a CAC.Person wasnt from 2A, didnt own land in 2A and works with pgc. Also is seeking seat on the board. She voted FOR REDUCTION despite the huge majority of people she surveyed saying they wanted stabilization or increase and a tiny fraction only, wanted reduction. She voted reduction. Despite the fact pgc has been supposedly "stabilizing" the herd, and the fact we already had 50%+ ow herd reduction to this point.

The cacs are a huge farce. Makes any reasonable herd increase nearly impossible. Just generally speaking to make the point, If 6 people in the entire county want less deer, they can effectively prevent increase for the next 15 years as long as 2 of them go every five years and say NO to increase. Doesnt matter if every single person in the county wants more. Its just too bad... Then, if ever that huge obstacle were overcome by some miracle, pgc can just point to any vague unchallengable statitistic in regards to habitat they like, and simply say no!Herd should be scientifically evaluated first, then MAJORITY RULE as long as the desired goal isnt unacceptable. Its not majority rule. Its "If anyone wants less deer at all for any reason no matter how few" they rule.

Only "increases" that will ever be seen are on very few areas of the state that have gone past rock bottom. And thats a real shame.
Just what is the time periodthat you believe this over harvesting of the deer occurred in Greene County and unit 2A? When you did notice there were fewer deer in Greene County?

R.S. Bodenhorn
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:27 PM
  #427  
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul

dang, i cant get anyone to ask me question?
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:14 AM
  #428  
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I might be miles from the vehicle when it gets to dark to see for a clean or safe shot and find that the deer simply don’t move until most other hunters have already quit for the day.
Isn't that oldlaw still in effect about being out of the woods within an hour after quitting time? Be mighty hard to do that miles from the road, let alone if you shoot one back in there. Maybe quarter it and pack it out like an elk....or would that be illegal to butcher it in the woods to the dergree to permit easy transport? Don't want to think about dragging even a small deer for miles and miles, esp in rough mountainous terrain.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:45 AM
  #429  
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RSB,surely you don't expect us to fall into the trap you're setting with that question! No matter how we answer that one,you'll dazzle us with statistics and baffle us with the brilliant reasoning of the PGC to explain and justify what they've been doing.I ain't goin there,i'm just telling it like it is.
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:40 AM
  #430  
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Default RE: Pa Game Comm. Overhaul





[quote]ORIGINAL: RSB




I don’t know where you are hunting so it is pretty hard for me to offer you much advice on where to find deer in your hunting area. I don’t think you are looking for advice anyway but just in case you really are I’ll give my take on the situation.
4C, 4D
All I can say is that I hunt in units 2G and 2F where everyone says there almost no deer yet I seem to find deer in pretty much all of the places I expect deer to be living. During the day I can find them in the places that are so think you can’t get close enough to see one. I know they are there though because of all the sign they have left behind.

During the early morning and late evening I find them on the edges of the bedding areas that are so think hunters don’t ever go in them as they are moving toward the best food item areas. I
I agree, this has always been the case in my experience.
What I can tell you is that I and the majority of the other hunters I know, who spend their time hunting instead of complaining, are still being pretty darn successful, even if they aren’t seeing as many deer as they once did.
I spend as much time as anyone in the woods. I am in the woods all year round, when I can't hunt I'm training my German shorthair. I cover hundreds of miles each year on foot in the mountains. I see deer but not many, I see deer sign but not much and it is always in a centralized area. Our woods are capable of supporting more deer. It is evident by the browse I see remaining and the lack of impact on the food plots I planted. This doesn't mean that PAGC is doing all that is within their capabilities to increase the quality of thehabitat.
I will agree though that there are certainly a lot more pockets of poor habitat areas that aren’t worth hunting anymore since the deer don’t have to live in the areas with worthless habitat just to find enough food to go around any more.
The mountains I hunt consist of almost the exact same habitat and food sources whether it be at the top of the mountain or at the bottom right next to the corn fields. I guess the whole valley I live in is one of those places not worth hunting. But it isn't b/c the deer don't have food, we just don't have that many deer. I work in Harrisburg and live in the mountains, where do you think I see more deer? I travel a 23 mile roadthat is surrounded on both sides by nothing but forest, on the lower side is a creek which flows into a backup water supply for Harrisburg. I have not seen a deer hit along that road in over a month and a half. I travel it every day. There is no sensible reason for me not seeing one dead deer in all that time.

As for the scent free clothing and other such gimmicks and gadgets I don’t think they really make that much difference unless you can first place your self in the place where deer are most likely to want to be. That is exactly what I do by hunting those food and water sources. And I know for a fact using scent precautions works. I have not been blown at yet this season and in Ohio I had been within feet of deer and surrounded by deer... upwind, downwind, crosswind etc, never once was detected. Rubber soled boots work if they are sprayed down everytime you enter the woods. I watched a doe walk right down a path I used to get to my stand, my buddy was running late and intersected this path when comingin. She never noticed where I had walked but as soon as she came to where he had passed she started stomping and blowing. He takes his "leather boots" off before leaving the woods and she still picked up his scent.

Can you tell us five of the best deer browse species in your hunting area?
Maple, Birch, White Oak, clover, brassica
Can you identify each of those most preferred browse species.
White Oak, clover, brassica
Even finding the best food source isn’t enough though if you can’t figure out where the deer are spending their daytime hours and then figure out just how close you can set up that area without spooking them.
They travel down towards thecreek in the morning and then bed down somewhere down low. They travel upwards in the evening to my food plots and then after feeding awhile head up towards the mountain.
Also remember that a deer will know every place a person has walked or been for almost a week after they were there. Most deer avoid those people trails until well after dark.
Yep!
R.S. Bodenhorn


Being Sincere here, Thanks for your advice. I am doingthe same thingsas you are, just in a different wmu. All I can say is this... hunting in PA is not remotely close to being as enjoyable and exciting as it used to be when I was younger. Those in the higher positions within the PAGC are not doing what is right. THEY NEED TO BE REMOVED!!!!
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