To many pesky deer

Hilljackoutlaw

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seeth07

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I keep trying to preach and inform this forum about this every time someone complains about the perceived increase in hunters in the west. Fact is that the tags available in the west have remained either stagnant or declining over the last decade (few exceptions like I believe Montana due to the huge increase in resident hunters buying OTC tags) while the eastern 2/3rd is experiencing some drastic drops in hunter numbers.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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I keep trying to preach and inform this forum about this every time someone complains about the perceived increase in hunters in the west. Fact is that the tags available in the west have remained either stagnant or declining over the last decade (few exceptions like I believe Montana due to the huge increase in resident hunters buying OTC tags) while the eastern 2/3rd is experiencing some drastic drops in hunter numbers.
Our deer camp in PA. has gone from 20 some hunters on opening day when I was 12 to basically 5 if we're lucky. We can barely wrestle up a deer drive anymore.
 

Bob-WY

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I learned to hunt and grew up hunting in NH. "to many pesky deer" was NEVER a problem. My kids, and my cousins etc. all got into hunting, many lost interest because of lack of success or even sightings. Simply seeing 1-2 deer in a season made it a RESOUNDING SUCCESS. Anyone in the group getting a deer, HUGE WIN
 

stealthy_bowman

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I live in Hunterdon county NJ which has the highest deer density in the state and maybe even the country. When I was a kid, opening day of gun season literally sounded like a war going on with non stop shooting all day long. Last year was the first year I didn’t hear a single shot on the gun opener. Not for lack of deer mind you, but simply because no one participates anymore.
Much of the remaining hunting happens in the early archery season, weather is better and folks can use crossbows. Even with that though, participation is a pale comparison to what it once was in the 80s and 90s. Not really sure what will happen moving forward, but it definitely feels like deer hunting is dying here, despite a plethora of deer everywhere.
 

LCH

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I would say here in Indiana, there are just about as many deer hunters as the state can support. Most tracts are small, 20 - 40 acres, and those with owners who allow hunting probably have 2 - 3 people hunting them.

A lot of the public land (not all) is on a draw to limit the number of hunters, and some other public properties limit antlerless harvest.

We do certainly have a robust enough deer population to handle some increased harvest, we just don't have a lot of access.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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We do certainly have a robust enough deer population to handle some increased harvest, we just don't have a lot of access.
I think this has played a part in Pennsylvania. When I was young we could hunt everywhere on the run. 1000s and 1000s of acres to put on deer drives, still hunt, or sit in one of 100s of saddles or on one of 100s of benches. Now we have our farm and the neighboring farm to hunt on and of course state game lands which is good in archery, but can be not so fun in rifle.
 

seeth07

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We do certainly have a robust enough deer population to handle some increased harvest, we just don't have a lot of access.
100 Percent this is a factor. People out west complain about access. All I can do is laugh. Try finding public land east of the Mississippi. Private is not like it used to be either here in Wis and it sounds like its the same everywhere. Ised to run wild, easy to get permission. No every piece seems to have no access or it's leased. I know I'm to blame. I own now 80 acres and swap the tillable on it to be able to hunt a total of 500 acres. It's super greedy since just my wife and I mostly hunt it but I have the means and ability to "horde" the deer so I do. I never turn down a kid to hunt it though!
 

pilsner

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I would say here in Indiana, there are just about as many deer hunters as the state can support. Most tracts are small, 20 - 40 acres, and those with owners who allow hunting probably have 2 - 3 people hunting them.

A lot of the public land (not all) is on a draw to limit the number of hunters, and some other public properties limit antlerless harvest.

We do certainly have a robust enough deer population to handle some increased harvest, we just don't have a lot of access.
I fondly recall the days of up to 8 doe tags PER PERSON and PER COUNTY for some of the ag counties in central Indiana.
Got a metric shit ton of farm land access since I was willing to pass bucks and just fill doe tags.
Although a good number of the does were basically culled and not hunted. Made it very easy to fill freezers.

Most every farmer I talked to begged for someone to come shoot does out of their fields but every other hunter who wanted access only wanted to fill their one buck tag and be done.

People literally turned down hunting access because they wouldn't shoot does.
One of the dumbest thing Ive ever seen hunters do.
 

Benfromalbuquerque

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I grew up Northern Ohio, went to college in the NE and lived in NC. “Too many deer” was a common theme everywhere all my life out there.

I’m a proponent of more predator-permissive policy out West and that’s related to CWD. Meat producers are a strong stakeholder base regarding predator management.

Stakeholders in the Northeast are different. A good bit of real estate is either densely populated or suburban. Some support urban archery and piecemeal parcels together to meet state minimum acreage and give archers that opportunity. Some communities fork over money to have White Buffalo Inc manage things. I’m thinking now would be the time to boost predators in the lower human population areas like the Adirondacks and Maine else CWD continue to spread outside of PA and the deer everywhere in the Northeast are dealt with that way.

 

Dougfirtree

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Not a problem here...

And as many can attest, low participation doesn't always mean low interest. Access hasn't gotten any easier in many of the places where deer numbers are high.
 

Bux_N_Beards

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As mentioned above, access is/has been the issue in my locale. When all the cool kids jumped on the QDM bandwagon, land prices shot up, and people wanted to protect their "shooter" bucks. This led to a spike in lease prices for private land, fewer individuals "managing" (using that term very loosely) larger tracts of land, and a lot of folks either being priced out of the game or losing interest due to the greedy QDM guidelines erroneously inflicted on lease or hunting club members. I've seen it bring out the worst in people, even friends, over the past 25 years. Ironically, in a lot of areas, despite claiming to be "managing" the herd, many of these leases weren't in fact managing their harvest at all, and the population exploded in many areas. Then entered CWD and it's all going downhill, between the game and fish regulations and folks just simply losing interest even more. Sad state of affairs. This will be the first year since I started hunting in the mid 80's that I won't go into the fall season with either permission to a private property, or a lease of my own, and the public around here is a zoo. Never thought I'd see the day, but I'm putting my focus and efforts elsewhere.

And no offense meant to the folks who truly do manage their properties in a balanced way. I know there are plenty who do, myself included. That said, like a lot of things in the life, the bigger is better mentality for deer hunting hasn't panned out so well over time.
 

irishwhiskey

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I guess that here in VA we do it all wrong. 2/3 of state is allowed dogs and 6 weeks to hunt. Other 1/3 - no dogs and 2 weeks. Might be wrong but we seem to keep them in check. Of course the "road hunters" say there are no deer to be found. Automobile Insurance Institute would disagree.
 

Bullshot

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Two days into the rising sun
I live in Hunterdon county NJ which has the highest deer density in the state and maybe even the country. When I was a kid, opening day of gun season literally sounded like a war going on with non stop shooting all day long. Last year was the first year I didn’t hear a single shot on the gun opener. Not for lack of deer mind you, but simply because no one participates anymore.
Much of the remaining hunting happens in the early archery season, weather is better and folks can use crossbows. Even with that though, participation is a pale comparison to what it once was in the 80s and 90s. Not really sure what will happen moving forward, but it definitely feels like deer hunting is dying here, despite a plethora of deer everywhere.
Agreed. Opening day of shotgun, and firearm seasons generally, are becoming utterly boring. Hardly any people hunting and thus few deer moving. It used to be a zoo (and in truth, much more fun as a result). Now I have had to double check to make sure I am not accidentally hunting out of season when I am literally the only one at formerly popular spots. Hardly hear even distant shots. Upside is there is usually no problem finding a place to park!

I think it finally crashed once crossbows and Sunday hunting became legal here. There are fewer people hunting period, and most would have shot their fill of deer by the time late Nov, Dec come around.
 

squirrel

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Most that want access just want to kill a "big one" and either waste it or donate it. "Doe only" permission is either turned down or exploited to "accidentally " shoot a nice buck and either plead for forgiveness or try to sneak it out without getting noticed. Hunters are their own worst enemies.

As an owner and as an invited hunter I can assure you that the easiest most effective way to deal with it is to keep everyone off. This leads to doe sanctuaries and even more over-population.

Never could understand shooting an 18" 5x5 instead of a tasty doe, just touching the tarsals is enough to make you want to peel the skin off your fingers before continuing to skin your kill. Does are kind of like Bubba's shrimp recipes in "forest Gump". endless and tasty.

Last year I tried to recruit some mighty nimrods to thin out some bean-eating bitches and only one showed up, and he wouldn't go out cause it was cold.

Most did want to come during buck season for their doe, I had a pretty good idea why that was. This was re-affirmed while driving around to show a guy the boundaries for coming to shoot a couple does cause "you cant eat horns". In mid-sentence he went bonkers when 2 does and a 150" buck stood up 35 yards away out in the grass telling me to SHOOT! I explained it wasn't big and he went off on how he would have been out of shells upon seeing something so big, my rejoinder was "and that is why you will never hunt here Larry". I have no doubt they have good intentions but they have no restraint at all.

It is amazing what a set of horns do to guys, similar to the rack on a girl. this year I have a Goal of 30-40 does removed and have no idea if I can reach it, and shudder thinking how much lead will get tossed at up-and-coming bucks, while Im not looking. It comes down to do I want beans or deer???
 

bullbugle307

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Jul 19, 2018
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Most that want access just want to kill a "big one" and either waste it or donate it. "Doe only" permission is either turned down or exploited to "accidentally " shoot a nice buck and either plead for forgiveness or try to sneak it out without getting noticed. Hunters are their own worst enemies.

As an owner and as an invited hunter I can assure you that the easiest most effective way to deal with it is to keep everyone off. This leads to doe sanctuaries and even more over-population.

Never could understand shooting an 18" 5x5 instead of a tasty doe, just touching the tarsals is enough to make you want to peel the skin off your fingers before continuing to skin your kill. Does are kind of like Bubba's shrimp recipes in "forest Gump". endless and tasty.

Last year I tried to recruit some mighty nimrods to thin out some bean-eating bitches and only one showed up, and he wouldn't go out cause it was cold.

Most did want to come during buck season for their doe, I had a pretty good idea why that was. This was re-affirmed while driving around to show a guy the boundaries for coming to shoot a couple does cause "you cant eat horns". In mid-sentence he went bonkers when 2 does and a 150" buck stood up 35 yards away out in the grass telling me to SHOOT! I explained it wasn't big and he went off on how he would have been out of shells upon seeing something so big, my rejoinder was "and that is why you will never hunt here Larry". I have no doubt they have good intentions but they have no restraint at all.

It is amazing what a set of horns do to guys, similar to the rack on a girl. this year I have a Goal of 30-40 does removed and have no idea if I can reach it, and shudder thinking how much lead will get tossed at up-and-coming bucks, while Im not looking. It comes down to do I want beans or deer???
You should see the looks I get when I tell folks I'm happy I shot a cow elk instead of the raghorn on my first LQ any elk tag. The areas way over objective on cows, but that doesn't seem to matter to some folks who only hunt for their ego.
 

squirrel

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Dec 29, 2013
Messages
615
As mentioned above, access is/has been the issue in my locale. When all the cool kids jumped on the QDM bandwagon, land prices shot up, and people wanted to protect their "shooter" bucks. This led to a spike in lease prices for private land, fewer individuals "managing" (using that term very loosely) larger tracts of land, and a lot of folks either being priced out of the game or losing interest due to the greedy QDM guidelines erroneously inflicted on lease or hunting club members. I've seen it bring out the worst in people, even friends, over the past 25 years. Ironically, in a lot of areas, despite claiming to be "managing" the herd, many of these leases weren't in fact managing their harvest at all, and the population exploded in many areas. Then entered CWD and it's all going downhill, between the game and fish regulations and folks just simply losing interest even more. Sad state of affairs. This will be the first year since I started hunting in the mid 80's that I won't go into the fall season with either permission to a private property, or a lease of my own, and the public around here is a zoo. Never thought I'd see the day, but I'm putting my focus and efforts elsewhere.

And no offense meant to the folks who truly do manage their properties in a balanced way. I know there are plenty who do, myself included. That said, like a lot of things in the life, the bigger is better mentality for deer hunting hasn't panned out so well over time.
What were some of these draconian restrictions inflicted upon the poor hunters? Ive been brainstorming (and had hardly a sprinkle) on how to best impose my wishes upon guests, both carrot and stick approach.

Came to the conclusion that only allowing access during the doe only season was my only real hope, and it resulted in exactly zero does killed last year. I need to hang with a better class of losers.
 
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