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Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

Old 01-05-2005, 08:30 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Erie PA USA
Posts: 101
Default Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

What do you think about Gary Alt leaving? I personally liked the guy. I believe he helped and with a few years of the AR there will be more and bigger bucks. Also how about Goliath dieing!!!! THAT SUCKS! i wanted to mount that deer

Huntinlikeaveteran is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 09:05 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 255
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

I enjoyed listening to him too. He talked a good game. But the results in pa (as the largest sportsmens group who supported him) are "almost an embarrassment, almost a disgrace".

the key phrase to remember is one quoted by a current game commissioner, "I bought into Alt's program in the beginning. It seemed to make sense to a non-scientist like me." "We're killing the same big bucks we've killed for 10 years."

Sure Dr. Alt talks a good game, but he does not deliver what he promises.

For those who do not follow along. When Pa adopted statewide AR and herd reductions our harvests were 203,000 buck.

This year 4 years later it has plunged to an estimated 100,000 to 110,000 bucks..... (the results are not in yet)

Doe harvests of course have dropped also. The herd is reduced and hunters are not happy, nor are leaders in the sporting community. Hunters are now divided in pa more than ever.

Thats the Alt legacy.


Here are some more thoughts from recent news and internet boards...

""Ray Martin, a director with the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, the state's largest sportsmen's group, believes the time is right for Alt to leave. While Alt tried to do what he thought was right, deer numbers have dropped so low that they're "almost an embarrassment, almost a disgrace."

"Charles Bolgiano, of Lancaster County, is a director of the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, Alt's most severe critic. He cheered word of Alt's retirement, saying his deer management strategies were built on the politics of satisfying foresters and others at the expense of good science.
"All of that talk of overabundance of deer was just a smokescreen," Bolgiano said. "DCNR (the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) was calling the shots."

Comments in Lancaster paper from Game Commissioner Steven Mohr. One of seven commissioners today:
"Stephen L. Mohr of Bainbridge, who is one of seven members of the Board of Game Commissioners, said Alt never delivered on his promise of more big bucks.
"We're killing the same big bucks we've killed for 10 years," Mohr said. "The only difference is, when you see them laying on the butcher shop floor, there aren't a bunch of spikes around them."

Mohr said he believes the buck kill this year will be around 100,000. That means about one in 10 hunters bagged a buck, he said.
"If you look at that average, some hunters will get a buck once every 10 years," he said. "And then you have guys who get bucks every year, which means somewhere there's a hunter who's only getting a buck once every 20 or 30 years.

"There are Pennsylvania hunters who now will never kill a buck in their lifetime and that bothers me."

I bought into Alt's program in the beginning. It seemed to make sense to a non-scientist like me.

But I guess I started to lose faith in it about a year ago when I heard Alt continue to preach for the fourth year in a row that we need to kill more deer.
Again, I'm not a scientist, but it just became harder for me to accept the fact that the one and only way to save our forests is to kill the deer, kill the deer, kill the deer.
And even if that is the only scientific way to save them, then I guess I'm not in favor of putting the health of our forests above deer hunting.
I have no doubts that there are places where there are too many deer that are causing a lot of damage. The problem is, those deer live in areas that don't get hunted, and Alt's program only focused on killing deer where they are hunted.
So our State Game Lands, state forests, state parks and other public lands, as well as private property where hunting is allowed, have been getting pounded season after season by hunters with an ever-increasing number of doe tags in their pockets, while the islands of privately-owned land where hunting is forbidden remain untouched.
Call me thick-headed, call me a dumb redneck, but that's a plan I just couldn't support any longer. It stopped making sense."
chickory is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 10:20 AM
Boone & Crockett
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 15,452
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

I dont give a rip if the whole bunch leave,including the Governor
cardeer is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Northern Arizona
Posts: 507
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

He leaves and another one comes in-can you tell the change-I doubt it!
DUCKSTAMPEDE is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 11:09 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,355
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

I don't think enough time has lapsed to really make a judgement. When his plans came out, the group I hunt with made this prediction:

- 5 years of tough hunting while the does are reduced, then a slow improvement of overall deer numbers. 10 years will see it back with seeing more deer.

- more 8+ pt buck would be taken, starting really around year 3.

This has pretty much happened, the last two years were VERY tough hunting where we go in Potter Co, deer sign and sightings and kills are WAY down. Buck sightings are up, everyone is seeing 4 pts, I shot a nice 8 pt this year, last year one of the others shot an even nicer 8 pt.

Buck sightings where we hunt is improving, would be curious to fast forward 5 more years to see if they back off the HR portion and let the herd grow back up balanced.

Then again, its going to be interesting to see what happens now over the next 5 years.
Next year is already cast in stone, it will be at least as light on deer sightings as this year.

Bob H in NH is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 64
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

Wow, talk about bias on the web. As you folks can tell Chicory is against a change in the old ways. Just by the quotes he posted, which are only the negative ones, you can tell. Don't think this is representative of the majority of hunters in PA., by any means, as this would be his goal. There is a faction of people from a 600 member club who appose just about anything the PA game commission does. I can only guess he is a member. I hate to demean anyone in public, but to give you out of staters some background, it's hard to avoid doing.
All of those quotes he posted are from members of the USP, a splinter group of guys that once belonged to the much larger PFSC (PA Federation of Sportsmans Club), but didn't see eye to eye with it's membership, so they started a club of their own. Now they claim they have 40,000, 45,000, or I've even seen 60,000, depending on which way the wind blows. Now they just claim tens of thousands since recently claims have been questioned. I ask one of their officers last year and he said about 600 actual members, but if a sportsmans group buys a membership we include all their members. They always seem to be about boosting the perception that more people agree with them than actually do. They've even became the, for lack of a better word, laughing stock of the PA outdoor's community. Heck, they even create bogus survey's and attempt to pass them off as legitimate un-biased ones. That is until hunters started questioning their methods, then it was quitely dropped. Coincidently, the Commissioner quoted is also a member, and the owner of a deer lure company. Can you say conflict of interest?

But on to the PA deer management plan and the man that helped organize it all. Deer mngt. is a very complex issue with alot of variables involved, but in a nutshell. Deer numbers have been at an all time high, and I agree that in recent years it's mostly been in the urban area's where hunting is limited. PA is no different than other states and have growing herd sizes. Three to Four decades ago we had most of those large numbers in the mountainous regions of the state. Those large numbers were never controlled and damage was done, hence the lower numbers in those area's in the last 2 decades. Those large past herds combined with more recent insect, disease, and poor soils have made it very difficult to grow quality deer food and that also means quality timber.
We also have always had a lop-sided harvest of deer, taking as much as 85% of our bucks while only taking around 50% of the doe. This lead to a spread out breeding season and a growing herd. The plan was for antler restrictions to save 50-75% of our yearlings, of which a large part are spikes due to poor nutrition, and create a larger breeding age group for the following year. And naturally those 2.5 year olds sport larger antlers for their second set. Meanwhile offering a larger harvest of does to hunters, which they have been doing (so much for opposition) quite well over the last 3 years.

So the plan was to create more bucks with larger bodies and antlers and less doe to bring the herd into balance with the available food. And it's undeniable that it has happened. The herd is smaller. and bucks make up a larger percentage of the herd. And to top it off there's been some dandy racks taken for those interested in those. Taxadermist's are loving it!

There's always 2 sides to the story.
MeatHunter2 is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 12:18 PM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,471
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

I would rather shoot does then take the tiny bucks they were taking in PA in the old days.
oldelkhunter is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 947
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

Welcome aboard Meathunter2. Stop in the Northeast forum and see what junk Chickory and others are spreading.

What Chick forget to include is that out of that 203k buck taken, the majority were 1.5 year old spikes and 4's. We used to kill 80% of our 1.5 yr old buck each year until AR. In the years that follow we're saved atleast 50% of the 1.5 yr old buck and our 2.5 yr old buck harvest has increased from only 20% before AR to 32% in 2002 and 44% in 2003.
He still falls by the OLD Pa mentality that a spike is better than a mature doe. He is a trophy hunter of the worst kind.
Deer902 is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 03:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 64
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

Thanks 902. I can just imagine. There's a local bbs in pa that a couple of the same type frequent. They even have multiple logins and they converse with themselves to create the allusion that others think (I use that losely) like them. It's got a few armchair biologist on it that are pretty clueless and avoid the facts. And if you disagree, they just start with the name calling.
I just didn't want people from other states thinking we were all just whiners who only cared about getting "our spike" every year. It gives a bad image.
MeatHunter2 is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 247
Default RE: Gary Alt (PA Hunters)

The best thing for Pa. hunters is Gary Alt retiring doe herd way down on Game lands and forest.
Buckslayer1 is offline  

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