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knew things were bad but...

Old 12-20-2011, 07:58 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,925
Default knew things were bad but...

I made a post earlier this year about the lack of deer I was seeing.Figuring at the time it was just me here we are 2 months later and Ive kept track of things locally as best I could.Bow season closed and shotgun season opened at the begining of the month.Ive never seen so few bowhunters out and about, and most of the ones I talked to simply gave it up because they werent seeing anything or they still have tags, hunting pressure was very light most of the season.

Shotgun season opened and it was much the same, the party hunters werent seeing much, many tags went unfilled and people are not impressed.So I branched my search out a little and did some more digging around the internet.Other forums more closely related to Iowa hunting are full of people from all over the northern 2/3 of the state telling the same story and asking the same question, where are all the deer.

I went to the DNR websight and looked at the up to date deer harvest report and was actually suprised by it, my county only had 288 deer killed in it since the first of Oct, the next county over had 364 in the same time frame.I ran into a buddy of mine who actually works for the DNR and he was asking me where the deer have gone, not a good sign.

A few years back our Governer and the insurance lobby teamed up to lower the deer population, they started ggiving out stupid amounts of doe tags in an effort to lower the population, theyve done that but they show no signs of slowing down.Last year the DNR wanted to cut back on doe tags and the Gov vetoed it as he didnt want to lose the revenue they generated.Problem is were still killing just as many deer statewide with a low population as we were two years ago with a much higher population.

Ive written the DNR and asked if they were at least monitering the situation but have gotten no reply. I wound up killing a spike buck the last day of bow season as I couldnt see the sense in killing a doe.Muzzleloader season opened yesterday and I havent even been able to convince myself to get a license, dont even know if I will this year.Went out last night and drove around damn near 40 miles of great deer country, I seen exactly 4 does.

I really dont know if theres a way to address this issue, Im not looking to get back the population we used to have as it was crazy high, but we cant keep this up either or were gonna be reduced to squirrell hunting before long
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:43 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,926
Default The Price of Opposition

My Analysis of the Deer Reduction:

First, there was an overabundance of deer in the last ten year period, in many states. States had to do something. Too many deer cause too many accidents and non-hunting voters outnumber hunters.
Many states had difficulty overcoming opposition to the reducing of the deer herds, in many areas, even before the reduction even happened. The states had a window to do something then and not later. They knew the hunter population would fall, with the baby boomers starting to reach 65 years of age, in the year 2011. The continuing of as many deer and a coming reduction of willing hunters, didn't make the acceptance by the states of large deer herds possible.

Some hunters were the ones who appreciated large herds of deer, since it made the hunting easier. Many of them wanted large herds made permanent.
Making hunting easier was never going to happen. Everyone was going to see less deer in the woods, the farms and on the highways.

The old days are gone. The opposition to reducing large deer herds will mean the state will reduce herds before they increase them. Hunters will pay for some of the stringent opposition to reducing deer numbers for deer hunting.

For some hunters it will be so for the rest of their hunting careers. They can either learn to hunt harder for less deer, or retire. No state will ever willingly return to. or vote for, the days of very huge deer herds.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:44 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South East Pa.
Posts: 526

I don't know what state you are in but here in Pa. we went through the same thing. There is nothing you can do. They will put some arrogant SOB in charge, give him some kind of hokey credentials and let the slaughter begin. The first places to go dead will be state game lands. Your buddies with good private property to hunt will ignore what you are saying. The dribble down affect will eventually hit their property and they will then want to do something only it will be too late. The only good side to it is that so many people will drop out of hunting that in a few years there will be huntable numbers of deer in the state land again. Not over run, but an amount of deer that will keep it interesting. I know the Pa. Game Commission wants to wipe them out too, but can't find a way yet. Stick it out a couple years.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 52

Indiana has the EXACT same problem, I think all the states are feeling it right now..
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 8

In NC, the sky is the limit, which I find to be repulsive. Bow season starts mid Sept, muzzleloader joins the mix in mid October, and rifle comes in mid November. There are no restrictions on sex for the entirety of the season. If you use up all of your tags, you can simply just go buy more for dirt cheap (either sex). It also seems like the majority of guys I meet that hunt in NC will go to the grave with the "If its brown its down" mentality. I've seen very very little activity this season and was curious if it was just us.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:44 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Alabama
Posts: 37

Nope not just you, its everywhere. Here in Alabama they keep extending the season and encouraging the shooting of does. The problem here is that the coyote population has increased ten-fold so the fawn survival rate has steadily declined - less fawns + more predators = destruction. I'm afraid the worse is yet to come before it levels out.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:51 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 240

In Mich. its the same way. But hunters need to wise up also. They are the one that pulls the trigger. When I started hunting 45yrs ago I think that there was less deer. But we didn't have great bows and mussleloader ect. People who had a doe permit waited till the end of the season to fill it. Now daylight on opening day BOOM another doe goes down. Hunters need to think more not just the politicians.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:58 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Virginia / West Virginia
Posts: 4,906

In VA and WV where I am, its very liberal limits on bucks and does and has been for quite a while. My property in VA....the deer have all but disappeared this year. WAY different than the last 12yrs I've owned it. I saw 4 does this morning cross near my house and those were the first 4 deer I've seen of any type here in the last month. That includes hunting and not hunting...and I live on the land. Very strange. I don't know if its a change that is temporary (like better food elsewhere - doubtful) or more likely because the herd is down. I guess time will tell. No fawns with these does either, thats kinda strange too.

Our place in WV still has too many deer, and we shoot alot each season.....and mostly does. WV DNR screwed up royally a while ago with management in our area, and its gonna take a long time to get it back to good levels.

I'm all for good management...but wiping out the herds isn't good either. I think the powers that be can't seem to find a good medium, they take it too far in one direction (either way) and react too late which creates problems in both directions.

Coyote's have taken a toll as well....something that has really changed in our area over the past 10yrs.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:15 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,925

Found this artical today in the DNR website, maybe they are starting to listen.I also a reply to my email asking if it was ok to bring the email I sent them to the next legislatine session concerning this, made me feel somewhat better anyway.

Articles Detail
Iowa Deer Harvest Down
53 minutes ago by Iowa DNR
Deer hunters reported taking nearly 70,000 deer during the recently completed shotgun deer seasons. The kill is about 9 percent lower than what was reported in 2010 and about 30 percent below the reported harvest in 2006. The number of licenses issued for these seasons was about the same as in 2010 and 5 percent lower than in 2006.
“The reduced kill is a result of the reduced deer population,” said Dale Garner, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau. “Deer numbers in many areas are near the department’s objective and we are now encouraging hunters to be more selective with their harvest.
“We have been hearing complaints from hunters that they are not seeing the number of deer that they had in the past and some are voicing their concerns that the herd reduction may have gone too far,” Garner said. “My advice to those hunters is to work with the landowner to see if the deer population is at a desirable level and adjust the local doe harvest accordingly.”
The DNR will review the harvest and population surveys after the seasons are complete in January and make proposals to reduce the deer kill and stabilize deer numbers. Reductions in the harvest were proposed in 2011 but not adopted.

Yes hunters do need to use common sense when they start shooting does in areas where the populations down.But at the same time we have ridiculously short shotgun seasons here.First season is 4 days long, second season is 8 days long.This is when most {not myself} hunters are in the field.Since they also have jobs it means many of them have 2 to 4 days to kill a deer for the year.If theyre not seeing any to start with it makes it hard to justify waiting for a good one when a shot presents itself.I bow hunt wich gives me almost 3 months to kill a deer, and late muzzleloader gives me almost 3 weeks to find a buck, I can be more selective but some dont have that luxury.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ne Pa.
Posts: 76

The deer are far and few between here in ne pa. I only saw 10 deer in all of archery and about 10 in rifle season. How can we get youths to hunt when there is none around? Saw a couple of coyotes also. They do not help any.

Good Old Pa

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