Technology Creep

Nameless Range

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I really enjoy the Meateater podcast. In Steve Rinella's most recent podcast he ended with this,

With technology creep and the inevitable rise in efficacy of hunters, fish and game agencies are going to adjust, and they have a couple tools at their disposal: shorter seasons and fewer tags, or moving seasons to less opportune hunting times......Like it or not, it's coming to you.

If the future of hunting were a prediction market, I'd put my money on those outcomes as the most probable actions of fish and game agencies to reduce hunters' effect on the resource. That said, there is another option, though certainly less likely, that wasn't and isn't discussed - that being reducing the technology allowed by hunters.

The golden age of bowhunting elk in which we currently live can't last forever, with today's gear and technology associated with recon, everyone is slaying them. Sooner or later the state of Montana will shorten the season, or increase the amount of districts requiring a draw. This will happen incrementally, district by district, until we are looking at the aggregate of districts and realizing that statewide, our opportunities have been severely diminished. It's like bringing the frog in the pot to a slow boil.

But we really do have other options, I'd sooner prefer the state of Montana ban game cameras than put districts to draw. I'd rather keep my 6 week bow season on OTC tags with traditional archery gear than a two week season with my compound. These are extreme examples and technology could be limited in all sorts of ways that would reduce hunter efficacy, which would be the goal. I like to hunt more than I like to be succesful with ease.

Take rifle season. I for one would be fine with no longer allowing rut hunting for mulies, but I'd take a Montana that only allows muzzle loaders statewide over a Montana that follows the lead of Utah where I only get to hunt mulies once every two or three years with high-powered centerfires. Just thinking out of the box off the top of my head. I haven't researched how these effect efficacy, but I would seriously rather keep my opportunity and 12 week ungulate season and employ these tools of technological limitation than limit my opportunity and go the way of LE tags and shorter seasons. Things like:

-Limiting archery gear to traditional
-Muzzleloader only
-Open sights only on centerfire
-No game cameras
-Etc.

I know this is unlikely, and I'm not even necessarily arguing for it, but to say the only two options for reducing hunters' effect on the resource are less tags or shorter seasons just isn't true. Of course Fish and Game agencies would be up against a crapload of industry money and boys with their toys, but me personally, I want to hunt as much as possible. Whether it be with my open sighted Moisin or my recurve, I'd rather hunt with those for 12 weeks than with my .308 and my compound for 3 weeks every two years.

Meanwhile the frog in the pot just bought a bow that approaches 350 fps and will be putting cameras up once bear season is over......:D
 
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shoots-straight

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I've been preaching the same feelings for years. People love their technology, but you pay a high price for it. More than just a dollar amount.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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Visit a waterhole in any of the premier elk or deer units in AZ and count the cameras. It's a joke. Might be time for a couple states to address the issue on public lands. Private do whatever you want with cameras, but public...

I don't mind some technology restrictions like no scopes on muzzleloaders, etc. Those muzzleloaders like the ultimate muzzleloaders pretty much defeat the technology restriction IMO.

It would be tough to regulate compound bows, but maybe the seasons need to get shortened to compensate for the efficiency of today's archery equipment. Might decrease the stress on the animals as well if we shorten the season.
 

BuzzH

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Another option is a short season, use whatever technology you want.

I have the biggest problem with advances in archery and ML's as the intent of those seasons was not one to help control wildlife populations. They got special seasons on the argument that the impacts they had to the total population were small and success rates were low due to primitive weapons.

That's not the case anymore, so I say, if no limits are put on technology in a primitive season, then one season with the same dates, choose your weapon.
 

hank4elk

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+1 Buzz

Seems there are more bow folks crawling the hills here, way longer than ever.
I've always just had 5 days to make it happen here.
For bow,2 weeks in season, then you get to go later in year again if you want for some critters?
The Primitive weapons lower success theory went out the door with technology 15 yrs ago,IMHO.
I also think the premium units should be once every few years to apply or OIL,for bow or any weapon.
 

Cornell2012

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At the same time, the technology has helped the general population make better shots and cleaner kills. I'd rather have a reduction in tag numbers than have a bunch of guys who are used to centerfires with scopes go out with an open-sight or muzzleloader and try shooting an animal at their usual range, just to injure it and never recover the animal.

There are probably some things we could do to make it more challenging. Banning cameras, as suggested, could be one of them. Maybe no spotting scopes allowed, and limit the magnification power on scopes and binoculars (probably help more in open western areas than others) (not banning binoculars because then you'll get the people who just use their rifle scope as a spotting scope and that is unsafe at best). Reducing road access during hunting season could be another. Generally I am in support of methods to make it more difficult to find game, but once you find it and are close, I fully support the technological advancements to make a clean kill.
 
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Randy11

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I think about this a lot, and have gotten into a lot of discussions/arguments with guys over it. The fact of the matter is that 90% of the population has never thought about it in this regard.

The current long range craze I think could really push this thought into the mainstream. The problem isn't a few select guys that have been shooting long range forever, it's when a large percentage of the population is able to go out and buy a 1500 dollar set up and start hitting gongs at 1000 yards that weekend. I completely understand the reasoning for guys wanting to do this, but the fact of the matter is the resource simply can't handle it going forward.

Other than primitive weapon seasons, I just don't see the state agencies being able to stop this influx of technology in hunting, and invariably, we will see seasons shortened and general tags going limited because of it.
 

Ben Long

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Rinella makes a lot of valid points. There's another factor that Steve misses, though: habitat security. The biggest technology impacting elk is bulldozers and ATVs. Backcountry is another equalizer. There's a good reason why wilderness and non-motorized roadless areas tend to have the most liberal seasons, while areas shot through with roads have the tightest ones. (I am not knee-jerk anti ATV. My family uses them. But they have a cost when they become widespread.)
 

elkmagnet

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I agree with your thoughts NamelessRange. It is funny how some want the other guy restricted but not them.
Cornell I have to state my difference in opinion. I just watched a show that a friend wanted me to see where an "expert" was taking shots out of a 338 at a mule deer at 1200 yds from ridge to ridge in the frank church. " well I guess we miss judged the range on the first shot" and, " you hit over by his neck" or the "good job 1200 yards is a tough shot in a 30 mph crosswind with 40mph gusts."
I personally think technology makes stupid people stupider.
The same crap happens with guys shooting at animals at a hundred yards with a compound and the animal takes two steps before the arrow gets there or guys shooting muzzleloaders at 500 yards trying to compensate for 50" of drop.
 

WyOpitz

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I would be in favor of a primitive weapons season. I also would favor the closing of certain roads. I hunt the Bighorns in Wyoming and there are few places you cannot get to from a road. So much road access, it's a little ridiculous. So many atvs and side by sides just driving the roads all day long.
 

roadhunter

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Another option is a short season, use whatever technology you want.

I have the biggest problem with advances in archery and ML's as the intent of those seasons was not one to help control wildlife populations. They got special seasons on the argument that the impacts they had to the total population were small and success rates were low due to primitive weapons.

That's not the case anymore, so I say, if no limits are put on technology in a primitive season, then one season with the same dates, choose your weapon.

LOL. Another ridiculous solution that shows your true colors. So technology for center fire rifles, turrets, rangefinders, low BC bullets, etc. are OK but it's not OK to use technology for muzzle loaders or archery. Makes no sense.

You really seem to struggle with putting yourself in someone else shoes or looking at things form a perspective than your own. Because you use all sorts of modern technology for center fire rifles you have no problem with it but you want to prevent other hunters who use different weapons from doing the same.thing and you use ridiculous claims to try and make your point.

A good example is crossbows. You and your buddies claim that they will lead to increased harvest and shortened seasons. I have not noticed any of that in the states I hunt. In fact Nebraska actually lengthened archery season after allowing crossbows.
 

jryoung

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I think you misses Buzz's point and surely this will devolve.

But, read the point about "primative" seasons. If you want a special season for primative weapon then keep them primative. Don't call them primative while modernizing them.

Use what you want but be honest about what you're using and expect some restrictions.
 

1_pointer

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LOL! That must have been a Mathews 'stick' bow in the video he posted of Buzz arrowing that big bull a few years back...
 

Gr8bawana

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Many of today's muzzleloaders are anything but primitive and beat the performancce of a 30-30. The same thing could be said about modern compound and crossbows compared to old fashioned recurves.
So I do think game management agencies will adjust seasons and quotas because they know they only have X number of animals that can be safely harvested regardless of the method.
 

VAspeedgoat

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At the same time, the technology has helped the general population make better shots and cleaner kills. I'd rather have a reduction in tag numbers than have a bunch of guys who are used to centerfires with scopes go out with an open-sight or muzzleloader and try shooting an animal at their usual range, just to injure it and never recover the animal.

There are probably some things we could do to make it more challenging. Banning cameras, as suggested, could be one of them. Maybe no spotting scopes allowed, and limit the magnification power on scopes and binoculars (probably help more in open western areas than others) (not banning binoculars because then you'll get the people who just use their rifle scope as a spotting scope and that is unsafe at best). Reducing road access during hunting season could be another. Generally I am in support of methods to make it more difficult to find game, but once you find it and are close, I fully support the technological advancements to make a clean kill.

100% agree with this.
 

jryoung

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Honestly the more people you lock out the stronger the land grab push gets. I'd hate to lose the amount of balance we have now.

For sure, I can see many roads that should be closed in previously logged areas (short access roads mainly). They provide awesome hunting opportunities, and easy walking access.

It's disappointing to see so many think a FS gate is a no trespassing sign though.
 

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