R7 mule b tags

Greenhorn

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Don’t understand why they don’t just make these tags not valid on NF and BLM. Seems like that would be a simple solution. I’ve hunted that region a good bit on public and don’t see a reason for all the doe tags, the deer numbers are simply not there to warrant it.
If you've ever been to a public FWP meeting, you'd realize there's a large outspoken mob of residents that would likely break down and cry if they couldn't hunt everywhere, anytime, for the entire fall, with their entire extended family. They all need tags and long seasons, equal opportunity. Feel the Bern.
 

SAJ-99

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SAJ-99, not to change the subject from deer to elk, but here's a question for you.

Lets say you had an elk area, maybe specifically unit 202 near Missoula. Historically you flew that unit and found 600-800 elk. A couple years ago, you flew it and found only 8. Then you flew it again this year and found none, as in, not a single elk. You also concluded that in Mineral County in the surrounding units, you had 9 calves per 100 cows and just stated that bull to cow ratio's were really low. You also set up a check station on one of the major drainages in the area for most of the 5 week rifle season and check 2 bull elk the entire time.

Speaking biologically, what would you do with that area:

1. Think about closing the season.
2. Continue with 11 weeks of OTC elk hunting same as you've done since the 1950's.
3. Shortening the season or going to permit only.

Take a guess what decision the FWP made, and then try to tell me how you would have any faith in a Department that made that decision.

Look, I get no pleasure from blasting the FWP, but they have ruined a lot of good hunting in Montana, just a fact. Most any other state I can think of, would never allow this crap to continue, but MTFWP flat wont make any kind of meaningful changes.

People in upper management of the Department should be fired over this. IMO.

Its tragic, it really is.
You have already jumped to an answer without asking "Why" and fully understanding the problem. You may be right, but if FWP did this every year they would be criticized for changing the rules and never allowing hunters to plan anything. It really is a no-win. Elk are entirely different than deer and I admit that it seems FWP makes changes as a reaction and is often late with the change. They have a tough job because as someone said, people would be up in arms if they didn't get to hunt their spot. You can see from the link below, FWP certainly is aware that the surveys didn't show elk where they would normally see elk. Weather has a lot to do with that and FWP may have assigned that as the reason. You can see from the June doc (last page) that they recommended that 283 be closed to the B license. I am not sure what decision was made. I know that for every person screaming that there are no elk, there is another screaming that there are too many elk. What is tragic is when FWP makes decisions that are not based on scientific data, and we all know this takes place. Politics and money rule.

 

BuzzH

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You have already jumped to an answer without asking "Why" and fully understanding the problem. You may be right, but if FWP did this every year they would be criticized for changing the rules and never allowing hunters to plan anything. It really is a no-win. Elk are entirely different than deer and I admit that it seems FWP makes changes as a reaction and is often late with the change. They have a tough job because as someone said, people would be up in arms if they didn't get to hunt their spot. You can see from the link below, FWP certainly is aware that the surveys didn't show elk where they would normally see elk. Weather has a lot to do with that and FWP may have assigned that as the reason. You can see from the June doc (last page) that they recommended that 283 be closed to the B license. I am not sure what decision was made. I know that for every person screaming that there are no elk, there is another screaming that there are too many elk. What is tragic is when FWP makes decisions that are not based on scientific data, and we all know this takes place. Politics and money rule.

I fully understand the problem...its called NO management.

As to 283, they hit the panic button because they issued about 12,000 elk b-tags for private land in region 2. Then, when the elk that winter north of Missoula in 283 are all of sudden missing a big part of that herd, they wonder why? Yeah, its a real friggin' head scratcher where those elk went. I'm tired of excuses as to why they aren't finding elk "where they normally do". I've heard it all, we flew too early, we flew too late, the POS helicopter broke down, the weather, green up, elk were in the trees. Every stop to think there just may not be any elk to see? Nahhhh got to be another reason, any straw that can be grasped to explain crap numbers.

The reasons I've heard directly from the FWP leadership as to why they aren't doing something about the elk hunting West of Missoula is, "well, when the numbers are this low, killing a few more wont matter".

Sound biology there.

What changes have they made...I can tell you since at least the mid-1950's the only thing they've done in nearly all the general areas in Montana is lengthen the season by 1 day, add a couple days of youth deer season, and opened up doe/cow seasons for youth.

That's the changes they've made...more pressure on declining animals.

If pressured, they reference some decades old study that states Montana hunters want "opportunity".

Honestly, if the FWP is going to continue to ignore their own data and just continue to do the same thing, save the money, get rid of all your biologists, have the same seasons for the next 10-20 years and call it good.

Its madness...
 

SAJ-99

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I agree, so don't get angry with me. :) The situation is completely different than region 7 deer.
I believe FWP is working on a new elk management plan. Get out your pen and paper and write a letter. Maybe a more dynamic process will be useful.
 

BuzzH

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I agree, so don't get angry with me. :) The situation is completely different than region 7 deer.
I believe FWP is working on a new elk management plan. Get out your pen and paper and write a letter. Maybe a more dynamic process will be useful.
If you want to write a letter have at it...I'm over it.

I already wrote my last letter...I explained in great detail why I'll never buy another elk tag in Montana until they start managing. I also explained that even though I can still find a small handful of bulls in a unit I've hunted since 1979, that I wont be part of killing the few that are left. I stapled my last Montana elk tag to the letter, photo copied it, and sent it to the Director of the MTFWP and the Governor. It was a very professional letter explaining my families experiences and what we've seen since the early 1940's. Never even got a response...so, that tells me they flat don't care.

It was a last ditch effort on my part. I attended meeting after meeting, had 1-1 meeting with biologists, the commission, and it got nowhere. No season changes, no limited tags, more excuses, told I wasn't hunting hard enough, wasn't hunting the right part of the units, wasn't hunting far enough back, wasn't hunting enough days. You name it, I heard all the excuses, lies, and bullshit I can stand.

As far as I'm concerned they can hunt elk 365 days a year with no closed season and no tag required in Montana...treat them like knapweed.

Deer are being treated about the same way...and if not for my Family still living in Montana, and using deer season as an excuse to visit, I wouldn't bother even buying that.
 

onpoint

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SAJ-99, your posts, (not really)sorry for the jab, make you sound as if you really aren't that familiar with the issue(s). Or maybe you're an eternal optimist. Or maybe who knows what.................
I have many years of exhaustive files consisting of "letters" & emails, as well as a memory that has forgot more conversations (at various levels of heat...) than it recalls, regarding so many of these types of MT issues.
The evidence is overwhelming, it is hard to affect change, no matter who you are, in the MT agency responsible for fish and wildlife issues ( no matter what the issue). Especially when so many speak one thing and do the other - ie, shoulder season comment vs shoulder season participation - , or don't speak at all (ie, local resident anglers that have given up on the Madison River).......
Do you know something I (we) dont???...........
Hope you're writing a lot of letters, going to meetings and speaking up, being an ACTIVE member of sportmen's/women's orgs, bugging your local MFWP staff, and badgering your irritated friends to get on it.....
 

SAJ-99

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I haven't had the lengthy experience of many on this site, but that isn't a bad thing. I am not skewed by the past (or haven't been beaten down yet). What I can see is the approach used by many hasn't worked. So try something new, but don't stop trying. I agree with many of the problems. I complained that there was a meeting in the spring regarding elk that was never announced. I would have happily attended but didn't know it was going on. Maybe that was on purpose. Hunters have power but need to organize better. I think landowners tend to get heard better.

Back to the point of this post, no one is able to determine if 11,000 mule doe tags are too many. When I look at the numbers, someone could argue they could sell 20,000 because it won't affect harvest that much because the tags won't get filled.
 

onpoint

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And hey Buzz.....
If you're truly done "writing letters", are you done coming and here and bitching like you're the smartest guy on the internet regarding this stuff?? I mean it in all seriousness.
If your home stater's might as well rape and pillage the wildlife resources until they're gone, why bother coming on here and railing? If so, it's useless jibberish.
And, if it's all the agency's fault, and the public truly has no culpability - they're just hapless idiots doing what da' fish an' game tells 'em to - why bother coming on a forum devoted to this stuff and waste your time.
Except maybe to show off your dead shit and spout knowledge.
I happen to like a lot of what you say, as well as agree - but if you ain't part of the solution you're part of the problem. And yeah the problem is quite large.
You're a tough guy, so I know I'm not hurting your web emotions.
FWIW, I struggle regularly with the "Aw, f%#kits" about the state of affairs in your home country - haven't talked myself into throwing in the towel yet.
Neither will you, problee......
 
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BuzzH

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Laramie, WY
And hey Buzz.....
If you're truly done "writing letters", are you done coming and here and bitching like you're the smartest guy on the internet regarding this stuff?? I mean it in all seriousness.
If your home stater's might as well rape and pillage the wildlife resources until they're gone, why bother coming on here and railing? If so, it's useless jibberish.
And, if it's all the agency's fault, and the public truly has no culpability - they're just hapless idiots doing what da' fish an' game tells 'em to - why bother coming on a forum devoted to this stuff and waste your time.
Except maybe to show off your dead shit and spout knowledge.
I happen to like a lot of what you say, as well as agree - but if you ain't part of the solution you're part of the problem. And yeah the problem is quite large.
Your a tough guy, so I know I'm not hurting your web emotions.
FWIW, I struggle regularly with the "Aw, f%#kits" about the state of affairs in your home country - haven't talked myself into throwing in the towel yet.
Neither will you, problee......
I don't disagree with anything you said, and in particular that a vast majority of the public are hapless idiots doing the dirty work of the FWP. The hapless idiots are going to read the regulations and trust the department would never do anything that would damage the resource. They buy their licenses and I hold no contempt for them in being trusting of the Department. The average sportsmen does still trust the Department. IMO, the Department uses those people, and they know better than to do that, to provide themselves cover for what they KNOW is not right from a management standpoint. I've seen it over and over and over again.

I may not be the smartest guy in the room, but I'm smart enough to know when elk, deer, sheep, moose, and goats are mismanaged. Smart enough to know, and unfortunately got to witness Bitterroot goat hunting decline from 75 goats a year to 1 now. Watched the Sapphires go from several goats to no open season since the late 70's early 80's. Watched a few of the areas in the Bob get shut down for goats too. Watched as tenderfoot and the little belts went from 2 mule deer bucks a person, to really not having a justifiable season. Watched as mule deer hunting in my country went from seeing 50-60 a day to not seeing a single one in 6 years. Watched whitetail hunting disappear via up to 3 doe tags and an A-tag in my area in a matter of 3 years...going from seeing 20+ bucks a day, to lucky to see that many in 7-10 days now. Same with elk hunting in that area too...to the point I felt guilty for killing one of the few that remained. Went from seeing elk probably every other day, to, a couple seasons ago, cutting ONE lonely elk track in a week of pretty hard deer hunting. Which doesn't really matter I guess, because I didn't have an elk tag anyway. Watched as the FWP lied out their eye teeth about shoulder seasons and the "trial areas" only to quickly turn it into 44 areas with no review before moving forward. Watched as elk B-tags were created even though a vast majority of sportsmen opposed them. Those decisions were made longggg before I sent a comment, that's a fact.

The reason I hold the Agency many times more culpable than the hapless idiots, is because they're supposedly trained, educated, and have the ability to recognize when elk herds, deer herds, sheep herd, goat herds, etc. etc. are tanking. I also believe that they should have access to and know how TF to research wildlife related issues and learn from past mistakes, or past successes. They should be in contact with other professionals, should be able to have better access through the chain of command to demand change, than the hapless idiots.

Which all leads to what good does it do for the hapless idiots to send comments when those charged with managing our wildlife either cant, or wont, make any kind of changes? If professionals are going to ignore their own data, ignore those that show up and write letters, ignore science and just take the status-quo approach...is there a reason for the hapless idiots to become engaged?

Further, why would anyone continue to draw into what they know for 100% fact, is a made hand?

Nah, I've carried my water for 4 decades in Montana and tried to reason with and influence change only to be shut down again and again and again.

I'm squarely in the hapless idiot camp now...I'll hunt the last few deer with my family and call it good, exactly what the "professionals" recommend I do.
 

onpoint

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Gallatin Valley, MT
Thanks for the reply Buzz.
Guess we both agree on a lotta' things.
My problem with the hapless idiot theory, is that humans (including public land hunters in Montana) have more info available to them at their fingertips than in any time in history. They (hunters) shouldn't be able to use any excuse - including believing/blaming the so called "professionals". Blame, ignorance, naivete - all bullshit. Hell there's over half the world on Facebook - people do have the ability(s) to find info these days.
A circular argument that goes nowhere - screw it, no solutions to MT big game hunting woes until all the critters are gone. Happy hunting, all.

I still plan on being a fly in "the professionals" ointment when I get the mind to - I've run into that brick wall for so many years, I kinda' enjoy the headache. Gallows humor...................
 

Duck-Slayer

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Oct 3, 2010
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great state of Idaho....
Anybody buying one of those should be kicked squarely in the groin.
LoL 😂

Mule deer are making a comeback all over the ex-ranching land we used too own, east of Medicine Lake. Still hunt it from time to time but never used to see a mule deer, now that’s 75% of what we see.... might be the hard winters and less “farm yards” for the whitetails......
 
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