I'm not sure how wanting to do away with NR rollovers and moving to only allowing one doe/fawn application in the initial draw period somehow equates to "none of you give a damn about the animals you're hunting." I've read your rant three times but can't figure out what you're advocating: do you want us to kill more does, less does, more antelope, less antelope? The only thing really clear is that it's all the residents fault, right? I understand that many of the systems we have in place were created in different times (I assume the point of your history lesson), but that's why I'm a fan of changing things...because times have changed. Sometime around 2013/2014 there stopped being enough resident tags to go around, so I'm simply suggesting some minor changes to alleviate that somewhat. Carry on.Just a question, from a guy who formerly was in charge of the guys managing big game in WY: Why do I get the feeling every time I read this same bitching, which I've heard for all of my 53 years in this state, that none of you give a damn about the animals you're hunting? Is it the Me Generation?
Over nearly thirty years, we went from the earth being covered with antelope in the 1970s and 1980s, followed by declines since then, to the situation today, with populations much lower in all areas. We are now living with the effects of too many antelope for too many years. Those large numbers of antelope you all loved beat the hell out of the habitat, like the mule deer in western Wyoming from the 1950s through the 1980s, and now, with the drought, even the crappy habitat is in poorer shape. There aren't as many twins, a sure sign of habitat problems, widespread sagebrush control has removed important winter range throughout Wyoming, to be replaced by cheatgrass, and due to drought, there not only isn't much water, the shrubs that help provide protein to keep a doe alive don't have enough protein, and broad-leaved plants(forbs) needed to help a doe produce enough quality milk to keep fawns alive are nearly non-existent . Wet meadows became dry in places like Shirley Basin in the 1990s, and springs in many draws quit running. Same results in much of Wyoming. Yet I keep hearing "nothing has changed". BS!
Part of the problem with controlling antelope was residents who wanted to kill the last trophy buck, but wouldn't shoot a doe. Because they didn't have to, due to the high number of antelope and numbers of antelope on public land, residents wouldn't go to private land and wouldn't pay trespass fees. I agree it took nerve for landowners to bitch about numbers of antelope, then demand a trespass fee. So, to encourage doe harvest required to control numbers of antelope(because bucks don't have fawns), prices of doe licenses were reduced, and people could have multiple licenses, five in many areas, and all they wanted in parts of NE Wyoming where most residents wouldn't go. The rollover started then to get licenses issued, not have to send return checks, and make people reapply when licenses were available. Remember, it wasn't the computer age yet. Nonresidents managed antelope, not residents, those people with five doe/fawn licenses for the price of a buck license from states all over the country who recognized there's 6 pounds difference in the hog-dressed weight of buck and doe antelope, loved a bargain, and weren't afraid their manhood was in jeopardy from killing females. Mark my words, had that not happened, antelope would be in much worse shape than they are today.
At the same time, we didn't want to ruin the quality of hunting for bucks, nor make the hunting in those days a worse madhouse than it was. A guy hunting bucks should be able to go out the last couple of days of the season and still find a quality buck, given that not all areas have the same quality genetics. Warden Roger Bredehoft, then in Jeffrey City, suggested maintaining a post-season buck:doe ratio of 40 bucks per hundred does, and managing herds by increasing doe/fawn licenses. That eventually was adopted statewide, and far as I know it is still in place in most areas today. Don't know about you, but I don't want to have to kill a yearling buck in a quality hunting area because managers issued too many licenses. When herds are reduced, the number of licenses to hunt bucks declines, and the drawing odds get worse for type 1 licenses, to maintain some quality. Ditto the number of doe/fawn licenses. I do not agree with the current G and F decision to reduce licenses in areas where habitat is poor and thus leave more animals out there in winter, stressing more of them, but it plays better with the current political climate. Ranchers do not add to their herds when the range is in poor shape, they sell animals. Healthy females produce more young, and the less competition for food, the healthier the doe, even on poorer habitat.
As for general licenses, antelope are open country creatures, and easy to eliminate, thus the limited number of licenses. When settlers came west, elk were eliminated from open country, as were white-tails and mule deer near settlements, shot for winter meat. Elk are now moving to places they once lived due to sanctuaries on private lands.
And before anyone asks, I have drawn three licenses to hunt buck antelope in 10 years and twelve doe/fawn licenses.