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Montana mule deer rant

sclancy27

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I think you could say this about any state if you want to compare it to G. Most of Wyoming is marginal as well. Eastern montana is a deer factory if things are managed appropriately.
Well, it should become less marginal when there's no deer to use it.
I guess my point is that it is not just FWP's archaic management that causes some of the issues people are voicing here
 

BuzzH

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I guess my point is that it is not just FWP's archaic management that causes some of the issues people are voicing here
Hey, things are on the upswing for mule deer where I hunt in Montana. Where I used to see 30-60 mule deer in a weeks time, I hadn't seen one for the past nine years.

Saw a lone mule deer doe there this year, nearly dropped my SLC's in the snow I was so startled...maybe MTFWP should give out 5 doe tags so the marginal habitat doesn't degrade.

I'm so sick of the excuses...nothing personal sclancy27, its not your fault. This is on the FWP...all of it.
 

sclancy27

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Hey, things are on the upswing for mule deer where I hunt in Montana. Where I used to see 30-60 mule deer in a weeks time, I hadn't seen one for the past nine years.

Saw a lone mule deer doe there this year, nearly dropped my SLC's in the snow I was so startled...maybe MTFWP should give out 5 doe tags so the marginal habitat doesn't degrade.

I'm so sick of the excuses...nothing personal sclancy27, its not your fault. This is on the FWP...all of it.
I don't think I disagree with you, the vast majority lies at the feet of FWP. As someone likes to say, making the pie bigger is also an option. Both, change in management and increased habitat management, is best.
 

Greenhorn

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I remember the late 90s in eastern MT and thought, just how could you possibly go there and spend a few days looking and not come home with a very nice 170-inch type mule deer buck. Hunting was super fun. Lots of deer, even on public. It's a lot different to say the least.
 

sclancy27

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I remember the late 90s in eastern MT and thought, just how could you possibly go there and spend a few days looking and not come home with a very nice 170-inch type mule deer buck. Hunting was super fun. Lots of deer, even on public. It's a lot different to say the least.
We have a family friend that grew up hunting in the 70's. He gave up hunting in the late 90's/early 2000's because, in his words, "it had gotten so bad".....
 

Mtnhunter1

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Talking hunting with a Warden last week and I asked him his views on the hunting in Montana. He stated that the hunter numbers have out paced the available lands that are open to hunting. I asked him about the deer numbers? He felt that the numbers where down a bit in total and really down on the lands that are open to the hunters. He then said that he'd just got back to work from hunting with his brother and was dismayed with the amount of deer that they had seen, or lack of deer that he had expected to see. Seems that his Mid-Western brother had finally drawn a MT deer tag and was really looking forward to harvest his first mule deer. They hunted 6 days in R-7 on both public and private lands that the Warden had permission on. The Warden's brother did get his mule deer buck. He took home a forked horn muley that he shot the last day of the hunt.

At the end of the conversation, I told him to relay his and his brother's hunt to everyone he works with and all of their bosses. I asked him to do this as they all are ignoring the hunters out in the field....maybe they will listen to the folks that actually work for the entity that is responsible for the management of our wildlife.
 

Nameless Range

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You’ll never even come close. Hunttalk doesn’t speak for the majority of Montana hunters and it’s not even close.

I would bet you are right. I am often brought back to reality - whether it is politics or public meetings - that HuntTalk is not indicative of the whole. That said, I have heard a fair amount of rumblings about the reduction of deer numbers and hunting quality across Montana in places other than HT lately.

It's probably still a small portion of Montana hunters as a whole. If we consider shifting baselines as well, the problem gets worse, as we are getting an influx of new hunters who don't know any better, and view the killing of a 2 point, with a small chance at a 2.5 year old 4 point, as perfectly satisfactory.

I still think it's worth bringing up and pursuing. Narratives can change. I actually think they largely have when it comes to elk, and in a short period of time. Whether that changes FWP's management, is an entirely different thing altogether.
 

DougStickney

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The locals I talk to in southeast Montana are ready for a change. They are as tired of it as I am. Probably not be the majority or even close but it’s increasing by the year. They might not agree on how to fix it but they are acknowledging there is a problem.
 

SAJ-99

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E Washington
Hey, things are on the upswing for mule deer where I hunt in Montana. Where I used to see 30-60 mule deer in a weeks time, I hadn't seen one for the past nine years.

Saw a lone mule deer doe there this year, nearly dropped my SLC's in the snow I was so startled...maybe MTFWP should give out 5 doe tags so the marginal habitat doesn't degrade.

I'm so sick of the excuses...nothing personal sclancy27, its not your fault. This is on the FWP...all of it.
Why do you keep doing it? seriously. I'm asking myself the same question after this year's hunt. My conclusion is if I paid $20 for the tag, my "opportunity" was fine. As an NR, my perspective changed, mostly because I paid $700 for the tag, not even including all the ancillary costs. So from that perspective, the "opportunity" sucked. My solution will be to apply to other states for deer, despite the fact there are plenty complaining about those states' management policies as well. The option is to just hunt my new home state of Washington, where people have given up complaining because the hunting is so bad.

the vast majority lies at the feet of FWP
This is where I disagree with you and Buzz. The blame lies with the vast majority of Montana residents who don't ask for and demand better.
 

8andcounting

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The locals I talk to in southeast Montana are ready for a change. They are as tired of it as I am. Probably not be the majority or even close but it’s increasing by the year. They might not agree on how to fix it but they are acknowledging there is a problem.
They won’t - they’ll just say hey look at all the Facebook posts on montana extrema, hunting Montana , Montana backcountry , Montana trophy bucks/bulls etc and say things are great !
 

brockel

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Baker,MT
They won’t - they’ll just say hey look at all the Facebook posts on montana extrema, hunting Montana , Montana backcountry , Montana trophy bucks/bulls etc and say things are great !

We need to quit worrying about what hunters will think and do what’s best for the resource. I’d love a mountain goat tag every year just as a lot of people would but that’s probably not very good for the resource.
 

FI460

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Ashland, OR
Why do you keep doing it? seriously. I'm asking myself the same question after this year's hunt. My conclusion is if I paid $20 for the tag, my "opportunity" was fine. As an NR, my perspective changed, mostly because I paid $700 for the tag, not even including all the ancillary costs. So from that perspective, the "opportunity" sucked. My solution will be to apply to other states for deer, despite the fact there are plenty complaining about those states' management policies as well. The option is to just hunt my new home state of Washington, where people have given up complaining because the hunting is so bad.


This is where I disagree with you and Buzz. The blame lies with the vast majority of Montana residents who don't ask for and demand better.

One of the things that I always come back to in these discussions: My biology training didn't have a unit for any type of public perception or opinion. We were taught how to do science.

I understand the political/ bureaucratic complications of agency work but that doesn't absolve these folks.
 

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