Montana - Time to Shake it Up?

I don't think there was anything keeping a NR from applying. Question on the form asked if you were a R or NR.
That’s true. I think you would be a great representative. But I just worry who’s gonna realize the real problem with mule deer if we are talking state wide , will come down to both R and NR giving up opportunities
 
Why is the agency so set in their ways? How do they get 100% buy in from the staff? It just doesn’t make much sense to me. They would manage a resource right to the ground before considering any changes.
In my experience that what I perceived from them as well. When the "new" mule deer district was set up in HD 103 (Specifically north Fisher River HD 103-50) the biologist(s) had a fit. The whole redistricting was brought up and implemented from local fed-up sportsman....worried about the mule deer population. It was an easy area for others to shoot forked horn mule deer from the road. I attended 4+ meetings, where other (lack of a better word) "transplants" felt it wasn't fair, and that it would be managed as a trophy district. There is sizable deer in that area, and they were taking a beating years past. The locals got their way (thank God) and created a special district where only 13 permits are issued. Moral of the story, the Biologist(s) (without any data) said that the mule deer were doing fine, and that this would take "OPPORTUNITY" from other sportsman in the area wanting to kill a mule deer.
 
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Correction, 12 weeks....Muzzy.....and why not?

Because the actual resource - the deer themselves - are at the bottom of a 10 year cycle that also saw severe habitat degradation, increased disease concern, overuse from near unlimited doe hunting, and the constant hunter pressure moves deer & elk off of public ground where everyone has a fair shot at chasing them to private where they are either a nuisance for the landowner, or a problem for the rest of us.

If people really believe that hunting is conservation, then we also need to recognize that the removal or reduction in opportunity for the good of the resource is entirely worthwhile, and the correct course of action.
 
Because the actual resource - the deer themselves - are at the bottom of a 10 year cycle that also saw severe habitat degradation, increased disease concern, overuse from near unlimited doe hunting, and the constant hunter pressure moves deer & elk off of public ground where everyone has a fair shot at chasing them to private where they are either a nuisance for the landowner, or a problem for the rest of us.

If people really believe that hunting is conservation, then we also need to recognize that the removal or reduction in opportunity for the good of the resource is entirely worthwhile, and the correct course of action.
Mule deer are suffering from the mismanagement of the elk herds. Huge herds are outcompeting the Mule deer. I've hunted in area 380 for 50 years and especially the south half was really great deer hunting. Now we see way more elk than deer. The first elk I killed on the ranch I hunt was a few years after the trophy permit went into place. The ranch owner told me he was 80 years old, raised on the ranch and had never seen an elk in those hills in his life. Now elk are overrunning the area. FWP talks about concern for the Mule deer but heaven forbid they change their elk management practices in the Elkhorns to help the declining Muley numbers.
 
Mule deer are suffering from the mismanagement of the elk herds. Huge herds are outcompeting the Mule deer. I've hunted in area 380 for 50 years and especially the south half was really great deer hunting. Now we see way more elk than deer. The first elk I killed on the ranch I hunt was a few years after the trophy permit went into place. The ranch owner told me he was 80 years old, raised on the ranch and had never seen an elk in those hills in his life. Now elk are overrunning the area. FWP talks about concern for the Mule deer but heaven forbid they change their elk management practices in the Elkhorns to help the declining Muley numbers.
What are you proposing for the elk horns? Increasing cow permits to reduce numbers of elk or getting rid of the trophy management and going to general? With all due respect, that’s probably an oversimplification across the state. I know of units in Montana with few to no elk and severely declining mule deer numbers also. How long ago would you say that the change from great deer hunting happened? Was it a slow gradual decline or a sharp one? I suspect your right that elk numbers in many units do have some effect on mule deer for sure. I’m unsure how great that effect is and unconvinced it is the primary driver for the mule deer declines in Montana and actually west wide.
 
Mule deer are suffering from the mismanagement of the elk herds. Huge herds are outcompeting the Mule deer. I've hunted in area 380 for 50 years and especially the south half was really great deer hunting. Now we see way more elk than deer. The first elk I killed on the ranch I hunt was a few years after the trophy permit went into place. The ranch owner told me he was 80 years old, raised on the ranch and had never seen an elk in those hills in his life. Now elk are overrunning the area. FWP talks about concern for the Mule deer but heaven forbid they change their elk management practices in the Elkhorns to help the declining Muley numbers.


The Elkhorns have over a thousand less elk today than they did a decade ago, and are well under objective.

Spikes with a general tag, tons of B permits, and antlerless opportunity on a general tag on private, BLM, and State lands has been the MO for years now. Incredibly liberal seasons resulting in high elk harvest.

And yet mule deer there arent doing well. Makes one wonder if it’s the thousand or so Mule deer buck permit hunters as opposed to elk. The mule deer counts are abysmal but nothing big changes in that arena.
 
I’m unsure how great that effect is and unconvinced it is the primary driver for the mule deer declines in Montana and actually west wide.
There’s many reasons for the mule deer decline . Recent drought years , hard winters , elk in places they didn’t use to be . However I think the main reason is over hunting /lead poisoning .
 
Mule deer are suffering from the mismanagement of the elk herds. Huge herds are outcompeting the Mule deer. I've hunted in area 380 for 50 years and especially the south half was really great deer hunting. Now we see way more elk than deer. The first elk I killed on the ranch I hunt was a few years after the trophy permit went into place. The ranch owner told me he was 80 years old, raised on the ranch and had never seen an elk in those hills in his life. Now elk are overrunning the area. FWP talks about concern for the Mule deer but heaven forbid they change their elk management practices in the Elkhorns to help the declining Muley numbers.
Mule and elk have completely different diets in the winter, and there is an over abundance of food in the spring/summer and early fall, so there is no competition for food sources . Mule deer are suffering from over hunting in the rut, loss of migration corridors, habitat loss, energy development, loss of sagebrush, drought, vehicle collision. etc way before they are suffering from an over abundance of elk.
The idea of an increase in elk numbers is an easy excuse for the governor/commission to turn over limited districts to general tags, and say they are trying to save the Mule deer. I've spoken to FWP Biologists that have floated this nutty idea.
 
Elk absolutely compete with mule deer on winter range but killing bulls isn't going to fix it. Denying it makes people sound willfully ignorant.
I guess im skeptical. Do you have proof?

I was told feed wasnt a limitation
 
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