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PA Deer Management

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PA Deer Management

Old 03-11-2004, 09:04 AM
  #1  
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Location: milford Pennsylvania USA
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Default PA Deer Management

Just Curious as to what you folks who are so Anti Dr. Alt feel PA Deer Management decisions were based on prior to Dr. Alt coming on board to work with Bret Wallingford and others? Especially since time after time biologist recommendations were turned aside and disgarded. also, just why should we go back to the way it was. Stop now, saying you don't want to go back to the way it was is not an answer. No Anti-Alt person out thier was ever at such odds with deer management before, save for a shift in doe licenses one way or the other. Have at it.
Yours truely, Juniorpc.
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Old 03-11-2004, 09:11 AM
  #2  
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

I do not really consider myself a "for Alt" or "against Alt" type person. I am for some of his proposed changes but I also believe that he is not doing enough with issues like micromanagement and differentiating betwen public versus private land and hunter density when allocating doe licenses. I would not mind going back to the county doe tag system if for no other reason than the units were smaller....even if they were just based on political boundaries. How about we take every WMU and slice it in half...
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Old 03-11-2004, 09:53 AM
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

The management decisions prior to AR were based on the same OWDD tables as Alt used , prior to switching to the new OWDD goals . The diffference is the previous biologists didn't lie about the effects of herd reduction like Alt did. They didn't claim that we could double the number of 8+ PT or that we would have more and bigger buck that we have ever seen before. They didn't send mixed messages by claiming we can carryover more buck in over browsed areas without hurting the habitat even more. They didn't tell hunters to pass on small anterless deer in order to protect BB. They knew that 44% of the anterless harvest is fawns and that telling hunters to pass on BB would decrease the efficiency of the doe tags issued.

The lies and conflicting goals are the reasons why Alt generates the distrust that he does.
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Old 03-11-2004, 01:00 PM
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

According to dead deer, he makes Alt sound like Bill Clinton. Sorry, just a joke. Anyway, I'm all for reducing the doe population and seeing more 8 pointers out there, plus passing up on the button bucks. I have seen more bucks but there are still many problems that Mr. Alt needs to correct that he and the Game Commission are not addressing. Like not enough food for the current herd size and I too like the county doe permits versus the WMU's. Anyway, let's all talk about the real problems and pass them along to the Game Commission.

T
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Old 03-11-2004, 01:09 PM
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Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

They didn't tell hunters to pass on small anterless deer in order to protect BB.
I'd love to hear why this is a bad thing! Do tell.

They knew that 44% of the anterless harvest is fawns and that telling hunters to pass on BB would decrease the efficiency of the doe tags issued
I think you numbers may be wrong....it's more like 22%. I'll double check it though.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:14 PM
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

I do not consider myself "for" or "anti" Alt. I do
agree with the AR's and passing up bb if possible.
I think he wants to many doe shot. I don't think he
does a good job separating public land vs. private
land deer numbers. I don not know where he got the
1.6 million deer estimate for Pa. I think he does a
good job on telling hunters the importance of habitat
and food supply deer need to benefit from. Right now
I think overall he is doing an ok job but needs to
back off on reducing doe numbers. Doe need to be managed too but not over
harvested. He did good things
for the bear hunting in Pa and hopefully he does the
same for deer hunting.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:41 PM
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

"I'd love to hear why this is a bad thing! Do tell."


If the priority isn't to reduce the herd ,but to have more buck,then passing on fawns makes sense. Alt made the number one prioity balancing the herd with the habitat ,which means reducing the herd to the OWDD goals. Since fawns comprise 44% of the anterless harvest,if all hunters passed on small deer ,the anterless harvest would decrease significantly ,since fawns are much easier to harvest than adult doe.

According to the latest data, Alt's plan has failed to reduce the herd ,even with 1 M anterless tags and the concureent season and a longer early ML season.

Maybe you can explain why previous biologist were able to control the herd with many fewer anterless tags and only a 3 day anterless season.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:42 PM
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

PABowhunter, I think eventually there will be smaller units. Just years away though. I beleive he's on the right track there just doesn't have the staffing or money to make them smaller and still oversee them properly.
Deaddear, at every Alt run meeting I was at he talked about making sure the small deer you were shooting was a doe fawn and not a buck fawn. I even think it's talked about in the book you get with your hunting license complete with drawn pictures of a button buck.
Total harvest was devised the same way- true. With two distinctions- no one was up in arms about it and there were plenty of times that the Commissioners ignored the Biolgists management recommendations.
I do think the smaller racks on some older deer in areas like pike county is a suprise, but do you then really want to shoot less deer in areas that have poor habitat. You would want to harvest more. I would think you would still want bucks in older age classes, biologically speaking that's a benifit so why argue the restrictions- even in those areas they will still allow more bucks into the next age class, just fewer than expected. Maybe those areas should be four points to a side and 15 inch spread?!
I also beleive that more needs to be spent on habitat improvement, but WHO pays for that. Try a license increase to fund it and see where that gets you. Also, most places in PA you would need to fence after selectivly cutting it because the deer would not let it grow up into something that would be of benifit. There are simply too many of them an too poor habitat and thier the culprit. Unified Sportsman want to blame it on acid rain. Heck they didn't even care about it until habitat became an issue. Then all of a sudden they need a reason other than too many deer. No ones up in arms about folks not sending in their harvest tags, everyone would be up in arms if license fees increased to pay for the equipement/personell to pay for check stations, and still we groan on about how the PGC doesn't have an accurrate count. You can't have it both ways. Enjoy, Juniorpc.
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Old 03-11-2004, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

You are right Alt ask us to pass on BB ,but he also encouraged hunters to shoot mature doe.

With two distinctions- no one was up in arms about it and there were plenty of times that the Commissioners ignored the Biolgists management recommendations.
The difference is the herd was either stable or increasing and hunters realized it was necessary to harvest anterless to keep the herd under control. Back then the biologists were not talking about cutting the herd by 50%. Also , they never issued 1M anterless tags.

do think the smaller racks on some older deer in areas like pike county is a suprise, but do you then really want to shoot less deer in areas that have poor habitat.
AR results in less deer being harvested in the poorest habitat. If hunters pass on BB and AR saves 50% of 1.5's and 20+% of 2.5 buck, you are bound to have more overwintering deer than without AR.

so why argue the restrictions- even in those areas they will still allow more bucks into the next age class, just fewer than expected. Maybe those areas should be four points to a side and 15 inch spread?!
In poor habitat AR saves more buck ,not less buck so restrictions should be lower ,not higher.

Also, most places in PA you would need to fence after selectivly cutting it because the deer would not let it grow up into something that would be of benifit.
That simply is not true and is just more of Alt's propaganda . I observed good oak regenration at 40 DPSM . WMU 2 G has been at or below its density goal for five years and it is currently at 12 DPSM and Alt still claims they don't have regeneration in 2 G. So ,should we kill all the deer in 2 G and who do you expect will hunt there at less than 10DPSM?
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Old 03-11-2004, 08:24 PM
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Default RE: PA Deer Management

Button bucks comprise 22 percent of the antlerless harvest but fawns comprise 44 percent of the antlerless harvest as deaddeer said.This is my take on the whole Alt management scheme.I can live with ar simply because I don'y shoot sub ar bucks.That's a personal decision but in reality ar has the potential of decreasing the size of the bucks overtime.Read the mississippi report if you get a chance.It's very interesting.I can also live with concurrent seasons and a smaller herd.I see the need to balance the herd with the habitat but Alt's goals are presently 50% lower than the maximum carrying capacity needed for regeneration.We've been below 15 dpsm near my house since 1999 and below 21 dpsm for almost ten years.The deer are no heavier and the racks aren't any bigger than they used to be.I killed a 174 lb 8 point that grossed over 140 inches in 1993.Also,as far as the enclosures are concerned,check out the ones around here,They look no different inside than out.Is it possible there is more blame than just the deer?

Throughout Alt's roadshow he claimed our b/d ratio was way out of wack.It's been around 1 / 2.1 for many years.That's perfectly acceptable in a heavily hunted state according to qdm standards.He claimed we had a breeding ecology problem,yet 91 percent of our adult doe were being bred,most during the two week peak of the rut.He claimed we would double the number of 8 point bucks.He said we would have MORE and bigger bucks than ever before.He said we've been killing too many bucks and not enough doe.The previous deer managers were a disgrace according to him.I guess he forget to check the harvest statistics.We've been killing more doe than buck since the late 80's.HE said our buck harvests would return to normal after the first year of AR.That didn't happen and won't ever happen as long as the herd is being reduced to the levels he's shooting for.Most people that left his antler waving presentation thought we just had to kill enough does to make room for the bucks saved by ar.I guess he forgot to mention the true goal was to reduce the herd to below 15 dpsm(it's now posted on the pgc website).How many of you knew that was the goal and support it?

This past year was good in many areas.I hunt in a few places that saw an improvement in buck size and numbers.Not surprisingly,these areas are private and almost triple the deer density goals.A large part of the state saw a big decrease in both antlered and antlerless harvests.Rather than admit there were less deer,he blamed it on the weather and poor mast crop.I don't know about you but I saw many years with fewer days to kill deer that had far worse conditions.It didn't stop me or anyone I hunt with.We all killed our deer.Besides part of the reason Alt implemented the concurrent seasons was to offset poor weather on the first day of doe season.Why didn't he just admit we had less deer then?Simple,it didn't fit his agenda of slowing down the antlerless harvest.Pa is in danger of losing it's forest certification and Alt can't let that happen.Probably the biggest thing that ticks me off is the fact that Alt is claiming the herd has not been reduced.That statement is impossible to be true if we had the 8% decrease in 201 that Alt claimed followed the next year by the biggest kill in history.Honestly,don't you see anything wrong with that?

If you support Alt,please expain how his claims of more and bigger bucks than ever before will come true if we reduce the deer density to less than 15 dpsm.Also,do you support having that small of a herd?If you don't,then you can't support him because that is the ultimate goal he is after.It's quality timber management not quality deer management.Let me list the deer density goals for each unit.These were taken from the pgc website.1a-9dpsm,1b-12dpsm,2a-13dpsm,2c-15dpsm,2d+2e-14dpsm,2f-17dpsm,2g+3a-15dpsm,3b-13dpsm,3c-14dpsm,3d-13dpsm,4a-15dpsm,4b-11dpsm,4c-12dpsm,4d-14dpsm,4e-11dpsm,5a-8dpsm,5b-5dpsm,5c-6dpsm.Currently,2g is the only unit under the goal.I live in that unit and I can tell you for a fact that when the goals are met,none of Alt's predictions will come true.
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