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Splitting mule deer and whitetail tags, the Task Force can't see the forest for the trees.

JM77

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Casper, Wyoming
The Wildlife Task Force, with relatively little discussion and no insight from 'on the ground' wildlife managers, voted to recommend that mule and whitetail deer be managed with a completely different set of licenses. In other words, there would be no more "deer" license. There would be mule deer only tags and whitetail only tags. There are several reasons this would be detrimental to management and drawing odds.

First, every sportsperson could apply for both limited quota(LQ) mule deer and LQ whitetail. Obviously, this would make drawing a LQ or NR region mule deer tag that much harder to draw and tank the odds to draw LQ type 3 whitetail tags.

Second, if you don't draw an LQ tag, you could purchase a general
license(resident) for each species. With the ability to hunt both deer separately, it's obvious mule deer buck numbers statewide could take a pounding. Do mule deer in Wyoming need any more pressure? Many hunters now hold out for a good mule deer and hunt whitetail in November or kill a whitetail during the antlered season for their deer. It is obvious not much thought went into this idea, given the reasoning was to better manage each species, when just the opposite could happen. Imagine the Black Hills in November if every resident hunter could buy a general whitetail tag to hunt there after killing a mule deer somewhere else.

Third, if a hunter chooses to buy a general for just one species, they could not shoot the other species during "deer" season. It would suck if you saw a nice whitetail and only had a mule deer tag. It seems G&F upper management is looking for a way to get every deer hunter to buy two tags. Meanwhile G&F employees on the ground do not support this idea in general.

Fourth, no state I can find manages deer any different than Wyoming does now; a deer license governed by regulation for season and take.

This idea is now going through the process in the interim session of the Travel, Rec and Wildlife Committee. The draft is 23LSO-0009 and will be discussed on Aug 30th in the afternoon. There has been one meeting already and sportsman spoke out against the idea and made significant headway with the legislators to kill the idea. I am attaching the emails of the committee members that are meeting next week in Thermopolis. It is important for sportsman either to attend and comment, or make phone calls if you know a member or send emails to each legislator. One more showing of public opposition and the committee will most likely not sponsor the legislation. If they do sponsor, killing this bill in Cheyenne will be tougher.
Get involved, show up, call or write.
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RobertD

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I appreciate you posting this.

I had been looking for some insight into why this split is a bad idea, this post sheds some light on that.
 

LuketheDog

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Sedalia, Colorado
Fourth, no state I can find manages deer any different than Wyoming does now; a deer license governed by regulation for season and take.

Colorado has a pile of whitetail-only tags for units east of I-25, and even for a dozen or so units west of 25. I guess I don't understand your reasoning for why this is bad for managing the deer herd though. If either deer herd is suffering or booming the state can issue less or more tags accordingly, instead of people just going out there and shooting any buck or doe they feel like. 🤷‍♂️
 

mulecreek

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Rock Springs, WY
Colorado has a pile of whitetail-only tags for units east of I-25, and even for a dozen or so units west of 25. I guess I don't understand your reasoning for why this is bad for managing the deer herd though. If either deer herd is suffering or booming the state can issue less or more tags accordingly, instead of people just going out there and shooting any buck or doe they feel like. 🤷‍♂️
They can already do this with the whitetail only tags. This change is a solution in search of a problem.
 

375H&H

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They can already do this with the whitetail only tags. This change is a solution in search of a problem.
Agreed. And count me as one of the many residents who if had to choose mule deer or whitetail only, the mule deer would get my tag every time. No question pressure would certainly increase on mule deer bucks.
 

rtraverdavis

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OREGON
Colorado has a pile of whitetail-only tags for units east of I-25, and even for a dozen or so units west of 25. I guess I don't understand your reasoning for why this is bad for managing the deer herd though. If either deer herd is suffering or booming the state can issue less or more tags accordingly, instead of people just going out there and shooting any buck or doe they feel like. 🤷‍♂️
But if you draw one of those whitetail-only tags, can you also draw a mule deer tag in the same year? Why double-down on pounding the resource in a situation where you have resident OTC general tags like in Wyoming? Wyo mule deer don't need any help in declining.
 

TOGIE

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CO
But if you draw one of those whitetail-only tags, can you also draw a mule deer tag in the same year?

exactly. no.

obtaining a colorado east of i25 white tail only either sex tag precludes you from getting a regular antlered deer tag in the same unit (or anywhere) good for mule or white tail.

limited to one deer "A" tag and they are both deer "A" tags.
 

BuzzH

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Laramie, WY
Agreed. And count me as one of the many residents who if had to choose mule deer or whitetail only, the mule deer would get my tag every time. No question pressure would certainly increase on mule deer bucks.
I agree and if some of the good hunters in Wyoming buy both tags, both species will see increased pressure.
 

manitou1

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Wyoming
I doubt it will make much difference either way. 90% of us hunt mulies out here anyway. If we don't fill a tag a few will resort to whitetail hunting after MD season. If anything it may increase whitetail harvest which really needs to be done anyway. Whitetails need to be treated as the nuisance species they are. They are displacing MD in many places... and we all know MD herds are suffering everywhere.
 

BuzzH

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I doubt it will make much difference either way. 90% of us hunt mulies out here anyway. If we don't fill a tag a few will resort to whitetail hunting after MD season. If anything it may increase whitetail harvest which really needs to be done anyway. Whitetails need to be treated as the nuisance species they are. They are displacing MD in many places... and we all know MD herds are suffering everywhere.
I disagree.

If the goal is to increase whitetail harvest, they can issue all the type-3 tags they want. Its way more effective to do that.

Also, if a hunter only buys the mule deer tag, then see's a whitetail, they can't shoot it like they can now. Meaning, you aren't able to increase harvest on a whitetail you can't legally kill with your mule deer only tag.

Further, if I have both in my pocket, and both tags are species specific, I'm way more likely to fill both. Meaning a mule deer I may normally pass knowing I can use that same tag later for whitetail, will not get a pass.

Its a dumb idea.
 

mulecreek

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I doubt it will make much difference either way. 90% of us hunt mulies out here anyway. If we don't fill a tag a few will resort to whitetail hunting after MD season. If anything it may increase whitetail harvest which really needs to be done anyway. Whitetails need to be treated as the nuisance species they are. They are displacing MD in many places... and we all know MD herds are suffering everywhere.
Anecdotal at best but between me and my two hunting buddies and our kids we start hunting our Gen tags in Western Wyo looking for special bucks and end in Lusk filling them on Whitetail does. That right there is 9 hunters that don't have to even consider taking a younger buck or even a doe MD in the case of youth, so they can at least fill a tag. Its a pretty powerful motivation for us.
 

JM77

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DougStickney

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FFS.

Also, it’s highly dubious whitetail deer “push out” mule deer. The reality is much more likely they are simply filling the void as mule deer continue to decline in many areas.
Whitetail will certainly compete with mule deer habitat and elk do as well. Whitetails are like coyotes good luck getting rid of them.
 

JLS

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Almost Arkansas…..
Whitetail will certainly compete with mule deer habitat and elk do as well. Whitetails are like coyotes good luck getting rid of them.
I live in an area with a pretty even mix of both. In habitat that favors whitetail, you see more whitetail. In habitat that favors mule deer. You see more mule deer.

When you have events/conditions that favors one over the other, you see an increase, but these always seem to be in flux. For example, a huge EHD outbreak knocks the crap out of the whitetail and the mule deer may see an uptick.

Your problem in Montana isn’t competition by whitetail. It’s the fact they are less susceptible to lead poisoning, which makes it appear on the surface the whitetail are “pushing them out”.
 

DougStickney

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I live in an area with a pretty even mix of both. In habitat that favors whitetail, you see more whitetail. In habitat that favors mule deer. You see more mule deer.

When you have events/conditions that favors one over the other, you see an increase, but these always seem to be in flux. For example, a huge EHD outbreak knocks the crap out of the whitetail and the mule deer may see an uptick.

Your problem in Montana isn’t competition by whitetail. It’s the fact they are less susceptible to lead poisoning, which makes it appear on the surface the whitetail are “pushing them out”.
I’m fully aware of our problem. Seems like not many are or care. But again good luck getting rid of whitetail.
 

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