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Montana on the Upswing?

Fsmith

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Mar 27, 2018
Messages
158
Location
Montana
Some real critical thinkers in that article...We just don't know why hunter numbers are down???

Maybe 8% success has something to do with that? People get tired of taking their rifles for a hike. Gee, I wonder if the displaced hunters in region 1 are going East and pounding their 7 mule deer does instead of grinding it out for 8% success on 1.5-2.5 year old whitetail bucks?

Pretty complicated stuff...
Our biologists at work....
 

Fsmith

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Mar 27, 2018
Messages
158
Location
Montana
I don't buy it either. Budgets are certainly an issue. They'll become even more of an issue in the future as non consumptive users put additional strain on resources (re: previous thread on elk disturbance), requiring additional enforcement efforts.

Montana's adaptive management plan for mule deer isn't really all that adaptive. Nor does it take more money to implement one. If people are dead set on five weeks of deer hunting, move the start date up to October 10th so hunters aren't continually pounding deer in the rut. There are very few exceptions where rifle hunting elk in the rut is allowed, yet it's expected as a God given right for mule deer. I don't understand it. What do you think elk hunting would look like if we shot the shit out of elk for five weeks a year during the middle of the rut?
Shhhh! If you say that too loud they might adopt that management plan.
 

onpoint

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Feb 12, 2011
Messages
2,579
Location
Gallatin Valley, MT
I read this thread with some amusement (poor choice of words for some concern...):


Lotsa' likes.😒
Think about the fact that future wildlife managers, having made it to the commitment of college level, are taking a workshop about the hunt and hunting. When I attended MSU (fish and wildlife mgmt biology) in the 80's, most of my class mates and I missed a lion's share of fall 1/4 classes, as we had grown up hunting and knew the value (and unbridled joy) of being out there long before we ever graced the doors of a higher education campus. Our grades may have suffered, but damn we had fun, and it made us better at what we did. It was personal.......
There has been a marked change in the constitution of the type of individual who has entered the field of wildlife mgmt. Many very intelligent people, book smart as hell, but no real practical outdoor experience before entering the field. Some very intelligent bio's around with little real feel for what they are tasked with managing. Not all fit this description, but enough to matter.
Reference hunting wife's response from the above thread - "....this new era where they have zero understanding and sometimes a negative perception of that tool before they get a job".

To do the job well, it has to be in one's gut. It has to hurt when things get f%$^ed up. It's got to be personal. Personal enough that one in it is willing to stick the neck out. Conformist's make shitty wildlife mgr's.

Anybody thinking this cultural change has little to do with what has happened regarding this very topic is fooling themselves.

But, yea, it's great these future managers of our resources are finally getting an intro (at 20 years old) to what actually pays for what they will be doing...............
 
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brockel

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May 13, 2016
Messages
1,415
Location
Baker,MT
If Montana started the mule deer season a week earlier and ended it the first full week of November giving 3 weeks for mule deer and continued like normal for whitetail I wonder how that would help the mule deer numbers? Still gives the people their liberal deer season and gives the mule deer a break through the rut. Just spitballing ideas
 

HighWildFree

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Aug 18, 2013
Messages
204
Location
Missoula, MT
If Montana started the mule deer season a week earlier and ended it the first full week of November giving 3 weeks for mule deer and continued like normal for whitetail I wonder how that would help the mule deer numbers? Still gives the people their liberal deer season and gives the mule deer a break through the rut. Just spitballing ideas
I think like others have pointed out, the biggest hurdle now will be CWD. No matter what you propose, FWP will want to know how they can meet their CWD objectives of lower buck ratios and as it stands anything to increase buck numbers goes against the current thinking on how to minimize CWD prevalence.
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
Messages
7,559
Location
Montana
@Ben Lamb or any in the know, what came of this budget request?

FWP is also seeking more than $129,000 to employ a wildlife planner to oversee the development of a new deer and elk management plan for the state, and to continue on to see implementation of the program. The old management plan for elk is outdated, McDonald said, with elk now more numerous and distributed differently on the landscape.
“The state has an obligation to its citizens to adequately manage these” species, said lobbyist Ben Lamb, who was representing the Montana Wildlife Federation in addition to others.
“It is really important for these positions to have permanence, not only for the employees, but also for landowners and the public” to help build trust, he said.
 

cmhunt

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Jul 16, 2013
Messages
22
CWD is here and here to stay. I'd love to know how long it's actually been present in Montana. Probably alot longer than FWP would like to admit, but hey sounds like a good way to waste millions of dollars studying and trying to eliminate something other states have dealt with for years. God forbid we bring up the millions of dollars FWP wasted on the mussel crisis when none were actually found and now it's no more check stations and back to normal at canyon ferry and tiber. Montana FWP is the laughing stock of the west and always will be.
 

SAJ-99

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Jan 5, 2019
Messages
825
Location
Montana
This has turned into a pure bitch session with blame on FWP and hunters from Washington, and all with a hint of “everyone else is doing it so I have to too”. You can always spend $15 on the permit and eat the tag soup before the season starts in the name of age class improvement.
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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Where the Wild Things Are
CWD is here and here to stay. I'd love to know how long it's actually been present in Montana. Probably alot longer than FWP would like to admit, but hey sounds like a good way to waste millions of dollars studying and trying to eliminate something other states have dealt with for years. God forbid we bring up the millions of dollars FWP wasted on the mussel crisis when none were actually found and now it's no more check stations and back to normal at canyon ferry and tiber. Montana FWP is the laughing stock of the west and always will be.
FWP certainly has its issues. Aquatic invasives is not one of them. It’s something every state should be thinking about.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
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5,758
Location
Chugiak, AK
MT deer tags are $16. Think about this. The argument for hunting Africa, is give the animals a value, and you will save them...

Take a swing by the local transfer station during hunting season, you'll see many half wasted carcasses in the dumpster. MT hunters do not value their game. The value is on how many tags they can punch... or how much they can give away to the needy. Kill just to kill... and dont tell me what I can do with my meat. YMMV.
 

BuzzH

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Jan 9, 2001
Messages
12,046
Location
Laramie, WY
This has turned into a pure bitch session with blame on FWP and hunters from Washington, and all with a hint of “everyone else is doing it so I have to too”. You can always spend $15 on the permit and eat the tag soup before the season starts in the name of age class improvement.
Hunters, whether from Washington or not, aren't the people responsible for wildlife management...they aren't to blame for what the MTFWP authorizes.

Lets not blame the supposed "professionals" being paid to manage the resource...its the hunters fault for not lighting their tags on fire.

Unbelievable.
 

shoots-straight

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Oct 6, 2005
Messages
6,057
Location
Bitterroot Valley
This has turned into a pure bitch session with blame on FWP and hunters from Washington, and all with a hint of “everyone else is doing it so I have to too”. You can always spend $15 on the permit and eat the tag soup before the season starts in the name of age class improvement.
Thanks for your meaningful comments. I know that I'm dummer for reading it, and even less than knowledgeable for responding.
 

bigsky2

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Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
363
money to implement one. If people are dead set on five weeks of deer hunting, move the start date up to October 10th so hunters aren't continually pounding deer in the rut. There are very few exceptions where rifle hunting elk in the rut is allowed, yet it's expected as a God given right for mule deer. I don't understand it. What do you think elk hunting would look like if we shot the shit out of elk for five weeks a year during the middle of the rut?
I've always thought moving the season dates up would be a good compromise with the people that would throw a fit about shortening the season. Even better would be to move the dates up one week and shorten the season by a week. That would still leave you with a 4 week season, which is plenty of time to fill a deer tag, and it would eliminate two weeks of rut hunting.

I actually e-mailed all the FWP regional advisory members and the MT Mule Deer Foundation chapter presidents about trying to push for something like this. Most of the MDF chapter presidents were for it but the guy in Bozeman was adamant that things say the same because we can't reduce opportunity.
 
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Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
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If Montana started the mule deer season a week earlier and ended it the first full week of November giving 3 weeks for mule deer and continued like normal for whitetail I wonder how that would help the mule deer numbers? Still gives the people their liberal deer season and gives the mule deer a break through the rut. Just spitballing ideas
If they shorten the mule deer season but leave it open to whitetail in November, our mountain whitetail west of the divide would be decimated. The only way I would be on board with something like that would be if they made you choose your species pre-season, and not have the ability to hunt mule deer in October in Eastern MT, then whitetail in November in Western Montana.
 

MTGomer

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Sep 25, 2015
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MT —> AZ
I would like to see all general rifle hunting for mule deer, in every unit put on a limited draw. Something like Oct 15-Oct 31 or Nov 5.
And eliminate OTC for mule deer does on public land.
Would make mule deer hunting worth the $600 tag.
 

brockel

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May 13, 2016
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Baker,MT
If they shorten the mule deer season but leave it open to whitetail in November, our mountain whitetail west of the divide would be decimated. The only way I would be on board with something like that would be if they made you choose your species pre-season, and not have the ability to hunt mule deer in October in Eastern MT, then whitetail in November in Western Montana.
You think you’d see that many more people out west hunting whitetail? I’m not saying a tag for each.
 

Randy11

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You think you’d see that many more people out west hunting whitetail? I’m not saying a tag for each.
Yeah, I do. One of the only things keeping our whitetail hunting sustainable is the fact that so many of our local hunters go East instead. With our high population and easy access to whitetail, it would transfer a ton of harvest from your Eastern mule deer to Western whitetail. I could see lots of guys hunting early over there, not killing a buck, then going out on the weekends around here in November and whacking a whitetail.
 

timmy

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Jan 29, 2016
Messages
283
You think you’d see that many more people out west hunting whitetail? I’m not saying a tag for each.
No. People would still come to eastern Montana to hunt their whitetails maybe more western Montana guys would hunt whitetails locally but it wouldn’t add a bunch of destination hunters.
 
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