Montana mule deer rant

brocksw

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Id be in favor of a pick your poison all around. District specific, weapon specific, season specific. I like the ND approach to seems similar to Saskatchewan and I personally don't think one could combat their take and structure.

A 900 archery buck tag starting in August would be absolutely awesome. Ending the end of September that would be sweet. After that rifle is 1-20. If you archery hunt that's your choice, if you rifle hunt then you can't archery hunt.
So all done by Oct 20. No mule deer hunting after that?

I think you would want to split the Bow OTC rut hunters up from the "limited" rifle hunter permits by unit or season. Like have 2 "rut" seasons, one early for limited rifle permits and one late for archery OTC, to me that makes the most sense. I can agree with all rest.
What about choosing weapon? So, to archery hunt the rut, you'd have to give up a rifle tag all together and committ to archery all fall or at least for your special permit unit/season. Kind of like a special permit archery elk, but for mule deer in November and no general tag to fall back on.
 

TOGIE

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What about choosing weapon? So, to archery hunt the rut, you'd have to give up a rifle tag all together and committ to archery all fall or at least for your special permit unit/season. Kind of like a special permit archery elk, but for mule deer in November and no general tag to fall back on.

here we have to choose weapons. i can get a september archery buck tag and that's all my buck tags for the year.

or could get a muzzleloader buck tag during the sept muzzleloader season but then that's all the buck tags i can get for the year. or i could get a rifle buck tag during one of three rifle seasons and that's all the buck tags i can get. you can almost always get a doe tag too if you have solid application strategy.

but there are even some doe tags where if you pick one up you can't get a buck tag anymore or if you have a buck tag you can't get that doe tag.

we have an abundance of tags because we have an abundance of deer. despite the shifted seasons and claims we're now blasting them into oblivion like montana, things are still run pretty tightly down here, adn we all have a really good time going deer hunting.
 

EYJONAS!

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So all done by Oct 20. No mule deer hunting after that?

Saskatchewan has I think a 10 day season. For rifle tags, the draw on these areas isn't a slam dunk to draw. Sounds like about every 5 to 7 years. Their muzzy season is also a draw for mule deer as well and I think it is about 3 years or so is about the odds.

Something like that maybe, very restricted.

ThEy AlSo DoNt ShArE wItH Nr...... i know this would never happen.

If a person that's "hunting a jerky buck" can't get a tag notched in 20 days with a rifle. They should probably take up quilting or beadwork for a hobby then.... lots of folks say they're not trophy hunting and it's all about just being out, managing for "trophy quality" isn't right..... well if that isn't what you're looking for then 20 days with a rifle should be PLENTY of time to get it done and fill your freezer.
 

brocksw

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Saskatchewan has I think a 10 day season. For rifle tags, the draw on these areas isn't a slam dunk to draw. Sounds like about every 5 to 7 years. Their muzzy season is also a draw for mule deer as well and I think it is about 3 years or so is about the odds.

Something like that maybe, very restricted.
I guess I'm not familiar with their mule deer population, hunter #s, success rates or anything. But, here's their season dates.
1669675745385.png
 

Beignet

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Why not more of what they do in some units up on the Front: Two week general season then a few limited entry “rut” tags after that?
 

Beignet

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Does every montanan get a general tag?
Yup. You’ve got the first two weeks of the season to try and find a buck when they’re all scarce on the landscape. After that if you want to shoot a buck when they start coming into the open it’s a hard tag to draw.

Don’t have the regs sitting in front of me, but that’s what I remember from hunting them in the past.
 

neffa3

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Does every montanan get a general tag?
Sure. Middle of Oct and many of those bucks are plenty safe.

It's been beaten to death, but pick your weapon, Sept archery, 10 day smokepole hunt in early oct, then 10 day rifle hunt to end before Nov. Then just some draw tags for each in Nov/Dec.
 

JLS

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Almost Arkansas…..
This is a waste of bandwidth, but these are essential IMO to change mule deer hunting for the better:

1. Rifle season ends no later than 10/31. 10/20 or so is better.
2. No doe harvest on public land.
3. Hunters must choose district or zone.

It’s also important to consider how this will impact whitetail deer in the western part of the state. If you shift pressure you’ll need to adjust tag structures.
 

Nameless Range

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This is a waste of bandwidth, but these are essential IMO to change mule deer hunting for the better:

1. Rifle season ends no later than 10/31. 10/20 or so is better.
2. No doe harvest on public land.
3. Hunters must choose district or zone.

It’s also important to consider how this will impact whitetail deer in the western part of the state. If you shift pressure you’ll need to adjust tag structures.


I wonder if any potential changes to deer hunting should be made to both species, and we shouldn’t single out mule deer as the only one that needs “protecting”.

Though Whitetail deer range is expanding in a lot of Montana, I get the sense that there is an increase pressure on whitetails occurring as well. Anecdotally, I hunted whitetails this year because mule deer hunting is in the shitter where I grew up doing it. I wouldn’t bet that I’m not the only one who switched their focus to whitetails because of a similar reason.
 

Beignet

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Has anyone east considered writing an opinion letter for publication in a regional paper to bring the mule deer mismanagement concerns to light in a more public way? It sound like more and more residents out east are waking up to the fact that there’s less deer on the landscape. Calling for an extreme curtailing of doe tags while this drought continues would be a good place to start, and perhaps an achievable pressure campaign.

I’d be happy to help with some editing. I don’t live or hunt over there and am not qualified to comment. It’d surely land with more impact if written by someone with roots and history in the area.
 

brocksw

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Sure. Middle of Oct and many of those bucks are plenty safe.

It's been beaten to death, but pick your weapon, Sept archery, 10 day smokepole hunt in early oct, then 10 day rifle hunt to end before Nov. Then just some draw tags for each in Nov/Dec.
My apologies. I know I've engaged on this same topic before as well. I just really question every resident getting a rifle tag, regardless of season dates. To me that's the foundational question to all this. Without that change I really don't feel like MTs are gaining that much. Wyoming doesn't offer any rifle mule deer rut opportunity and their success rate overall isn't that far behind MT. Unless I'm missing something? But I'm suspicious (and I could be wrong) that MT simply has too many hunters to be handing everyone a rifle at any point during the fall. Change is going to be hard and I'd just hate to see MT fight for a change and have the results not be all they hoped.
 

Finnman

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Not mule deer, but...
 

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