FWP adjusts mule deer quotas in response to spring surveys

Crack down on poachers and thieves of fair chase hunting

That’s one suggestion I don’t see commented as much as doe tags or FWP management. I know it holds much smaller value in terms of long term management but it DOES hold value for mature animals. If every herd only has one that is a mature monster, I can see there being an asshole, in every district, 1-for-every-herd, to go at night and shoot it.

If I come around a dirt road corner and see someone shooting a deer or elk off a truck mirror I cannot begin to imagine what I’d do. Id likely be the one who ends up incarcerated. But I about guarantee that person will not be taking that elk/deer home with them. Mark my words.

I’ve heard a lot of stories from a lot of old timers especially, who have got their biggest bulls and yada yada, shooting them in the middle of the road in the dark back in the 90s.

Just my peeves and ranting…
I know ive argued enough about tag allocations and opportunity reduction but I have to admit, I’ve seen the lack of mule deer over the last two or 3 years.. This year May be worse than the others. It kills me to drive for 12 hours all around the state and only see but ONE deer the whole day. Wife and I agreed it’s abnormal.
 
Crack down on poachers and thieves of fair chase hunting

That’s one suggestion I don’t see commented as much as doe tags or FWP management. I know it holds much smaller value in terms of long term management but it DOES hold value for mature animals. If every herd only has one that is a mature monster, I can see there being an asshole, in every district, 1-for-every-herd, to go at night and shoot it.

If I come around a dirt road corner and see someone shooting a deer or elk off a truck mirror I cannot begin to imagine what I’d do. Id likely be the one who ends up incarcerated. But I about guarantee that person will not be taking that elk/deer home with them. Mark my words.

I’ve heard a lot of stories from a lot of old timers especially, who have got their biggest bulls and yada yada, shooting them in the middle of the road in the dark back in the 90s.

Just my peeves and ranting…
I know ive argued enough about tag allocations and opportunity reduction but I have to admit, I’ve seen the lack of mule deer over the last two or 3 years.. This year May be worse than the others. It kills me to drive for 12 hours all around the state and only see but ONE deer the whole day. Wife and I agreed it’s abnormal.
Correct me if I am wrong. What I think I am hearing is "mule deer are not like cockroaches in region 3"
You are coming around. I was beginning to wonder.

Just jerking your chain.
 
I’ve never hunted the Custer much , but I’m just gonna guess that say 5 years of absolutely 0 doe harvest on the Custer and the numbers would be much better wouldn’t they ? I mean I don’t think it’s really that complicated
According to fwp the amount of doe tags they issue has no effect on the mule deer population. Them cutting tags is just to make the hunting public feel good.
 
I’m not saying don’t complain. I’m saying complaining is only half of the tools at your disposal when making comments and providing feedback, and people rely too heavily on the complaining part.

Just an observation….in this very thread about FWP reducing doe tags this year, people are still bitching about tags not being reduced in 2011-2012, nothing ever changes, blah blah blah. Except something did just change, however small a step it may be. Those old complaints are not super useful to the agency in evaluating public sentiment about the current reduction in tags.

I guarantee you a lot of people will be actively complaining about this reduction. If folks who agree with it aren’t willing to actually give FWP some credit and support on it, it is far less likely to remain in place for long.

But do as you will.
I appreciate what you are saying but it does matter, plenty of people tried to lead them off the cliff they lead us to. Even this year when I met with the wildlife manager, I was asked did you keep a journal you probably aren’t remembering correctly. The animals didn’t necessarily die they just migrated. To shangobango’s comment they said in 2018 they had near record counts on the forest, I asked what the counts were early 2000’s and they don’t have them. At some point I realized these guys know far less than I do and I don’t know much. They told me people shoot a lot of old bucks they just work hard for them. You have to lace those boots up. I was ready to point out every spot I hunt and tell them the changes in deer NUMBERS not buck size that I have seen. There was no interest in that. They have exactly what is coming to them they burnt down one of the best wildlife resources in the west. I have showed up for meetings I have made my comments I have talked to biologists and staff, not sure what else I can do but complain.
 
There are biologists in Montana that do a good job and make proactive decisions based on their observations as well as public feedback. Those are the ones I like to give credit to.

Example: I stay in close contact with the three closest biologists to where I live. Last year one of them wasn’t seeing much for mature bulls in a unit he manages. He talked to every tag holder on the phone and then contacted me and a couple other guys that spend a lot of time in there. We all had the same report….plenty of bulls but not many mature bulls. He chose to lower that quota by 20% this year in hopes to improve the quality of bulls.

I have no problem giving him credit for making that decision.

I think in some cases biologists face a lot of pressure from the folks they work under as well.

I know a local biologist, who for two years in a row proposed more conservative permit allocation for the district he manages. For two years he proposed reducing the amount of permits by X, only to be told by his leader ship that that was too big of a cut.

This coming year they are finally cut because the facts are even more undeniable, but in my mind it’s not the biologist’s fault. Makes me wonder if there are other examples like that across the state.
 
I think in some cases biologists face a lot of pressure from the folks they work under as well.

I know a local biologist, who for two years in a row proposed more conservative permit allocation for the district he manages. For two years he proposed reducing the amount of permits by X, only to be told by his leader ship that that was too big of a cut.

This coming year they are finally cut because the facts are even more undeniable, but in my mind it’s not the biologist’s fault. Makes me wonder if there are other examples like that across the state.
Well why don’t they just say it straight when they talk to the public. I would respect them a lot more if they just said we are going to manage for extremely low deer numbers and age class on accessible lands. We are going to keep minimal game on public lands that is how we are going to manage you might not like it but that is what we are going to do. They usually sell it as things are looking good!
 
No you didn’t. I gave you an example of a good biologist that works for MT FWP. You f*cked it up.
Oh shoot, by golly I must have missed that. I stand corrected. Great example elk management on a deer thread. There’s one I guess. Thanks for f&cking pointing that out.
 
Oh shoot, by golly I must have missed that. I stand corrected. Great example elk management on a deer thread. There’s one I guess. Thanks for f&cking pointing that out.
Decent point. Any examples of people that know bios standing up for deer? I would think maybe some in region 2.
 
I think in some cases biologists face a lot of pressure from the folks they work under as well.

I know a local biologist, who for two years in a row proposed more conservative permit allocation for the district he manages. For two years he proposed reducing the amount of permits by X, only to be told by his leader ship that that was too big of a cut.

This coming year they are finally cut because the facts are even more undeniable, but in my mind it’s not the biologist’s fault. Makes me wonder if there are other examples like that across the state.
There are.
 
I think in some cases biologists face a lot of pressure from the folks they work under as well.

I know a local biologist, who for two years in a row proposed more conservative permit allocation for the district he manages. For two years he proposed reducing the amount of permits by X, only to be told by his leader ship that that was too big of a cut.

This coming year they are finally cut because the facts are even more undeniable, but in my mind it’s not the biologist’s fault. Makes me wonder if there are other examples like that across the state.
I think this is super common. Bio’s should be the ones to get it right. They are the experts. They should have the data and the education and hopefully a little experience to put the data in the correct frame of reference to recommend the best course of action. And sometimes, hell probably most times, that course of action is not popular whether it be to their boss, the commission, the new director or the public. Largely a thankless job like any public servants. But that’s the job of a public servant and we, the public, expect them to get it right.

I have one story where they definitely got it right and I was very wrong. 20 years ago(plus😂) I hunted several units for archery elk that eventually became limited entry as part of the 900 bundle and now as stand alone limited entry archery units. At the time I could hunt them with a general tag. I was a go’er(still am) so I rarely even saw anyone while out hunting these units. I cussed/discussed, commented every chance I could when this change was proposed. A few years later it was never more evident I was wrong and these units needed some limits. Anyway, I remember the local bios at the time saw the increased pressure way before I did and proposed a change that was implemented and needed well before my young self did. That’s what we should rightly expect from the bios. And that’s what l expect from them on deer management
 
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