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A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers

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Prince
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Dec-19-03, 
03:20 PM (MST)
"A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

After reading so many suggestions regarding increasing the mule deer numbers in Utah, I thought I'd express some of my feelings based on some ideas that have proven successful in the past.

1. When the mule deer numbers in a particular limited entry unit in Utah were very low several years ago, the UDWR shut the area down for five years. Now, the area boasts some incredible deer numbers, and this is after the area reopened a few years ago. True, the area doesn't produce a lot of giants, but the deer numbers (including the extremely high number of bucks) are very impressive.

2. A neighbor of mine recently moved to Provo from Pennsylvania. He said that the wildlife officials in that state shut the whole state down for five years to deer hunting because their whitetail numbers were so low. Now, he says, that the state is overrun with whitetail and that the hunting opportunities for multiple deer per year on both sexes is incredible.

3. Is something as drastic as shutting down the entire state of Utah to deer hunting for five years the answer? I'm sure that the UDWR would never agree to giving up the revenue that comes from five years of hunters applying and paying for tags. Also, I'm sure there are several hunters who would raise a fuss if they couldn't hunt every year. But if something drastic isn't done soon, what will our mule deer hunting opportunities be in five years or 10? Before many of you begin to write angry responses to me telling me how wrong I am, consider that this strategy has worked wonderfully well in a large limited entry unit in Utah and in another state.

4. Do I want to give up mule deer hunting in Utah for five years in a row? No, but what about one year or maybe even two? There would still be limited entry and CWMU opportunities in Utah for mule deer, since these areas seem to be managed separately from the rest of the state as a whole. Also, wouldn't it seem more likely that poaching would decrease, since it would seem extremely suspicious if a man/woman was caught shooting a deer in any area besides a LE or CWMU unit?

5. As far as money goes, $35 seems very inexpensive to me considering the quality of the hunting experience. How many folks pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars to take a two or three day vacation? A single night out with a spouse is usually considerably more than $35. If the state were to shut down the general hunts for a year or two, what about charging twice as much for resident tags, and issuing half as many, once the general units reopen? If a hunter didn't draw out, he would get a bonus point, which would almost guarantee him/her a tag the following year. Sure, it might mean that for the first few years a hunter may only be able to hunt every other year (for mule deer, that is), but consider the quality of the hunt once the hunter did draw, and once things improve, maybe more tags could be issued in the future.

6. Finally, as far as the UDWR getting its money, it's not like they couldn't come up with other solutions. While the general areas are closed for a year or two, couldn't they raise the prices of fishing, small game, combination, and other big game species permits by $5 until the hunting ban was lifted? All of us who put in for LE and CWMU mule deer units would still be applying, so that money wouldn't be lost. Plus, the applying for and purchasing of tags for other species would still occur, so they wouldn't lose that money. And if they end up missing out on some revenue for a couple of years, well, then who hasn't had to tighten the belt once in awhile if it meant preparing for a brighter future?

Okay, I'm done. For those of you who disagree with me, let the bullets fly, but I'd also like to hear from those of you who may agree with me.

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: A Possible...  ktg      Dec-19-03   1 
  RE: A Possible...  bobcatbess      Dec-19-03   2 
 RE: A Possible...  Founder      Dec-19-03   3 
  RE: A Possible...  Founder      Dec-19-03   5 
 RE: A Possible...  Jerry      Dec-19-03   4 
 RE: A Possible...  manny15      Dec-19-03   6 
  RE: A Possible...  steelie      Dec-19-03   7 
 RE: A Possible...  manny15      Dec-19-03   8 
  RE: A Possible...  COHunter      Dec-20-03   9 
   RE: A Possible...  Founder      Dec-20-03   10 
    RE: A Possible...  freedivr2      Dec-20-03   11 
     RE: A Possible...  Founder      Dec-20-03   12 
      RE: A Possible...  MrBaitnFish      Dec-21-03   13 
 RE: A Possible...  Modi      Dec-21-03   14 
  RE: A Possible...  ktg      Dec-21-03   15 
   RE: A Possible...  graybeard      Dec-21-03   16 
    RE: A Possible...  BUCKSPY      Dec-21-03   17 
     RE: A Possible...  freedivr2      Dec-21-03   18 
      RE: A Possible...  hedges      Dec-22-03   19 
       RE: A Possible...  COHunter      Dec-22-03   20 
        RE: A Possible...  300wtby      Dec-22-03   21 
         RE: A Possible...  Prince      Dec-22-03   22 
          RE: A Possible...  4x6      Dec-22-03   23 
          RE: A Possible...  300wtby      Dec-22-03   24 
 RE: A Possible...  ktg      Dec-22-03   25 
  RE: A Possible...  Packout      Dec-22-03   26 
 RE: A Possible...  SMELLYBUCK      Dec-23-03   27 
  RE: A Possible...  Prince      Dec-23-03   28 
   RE: A Possible...  Packout      Dec-23-03   29 
    RE: A Possible...  freedivr2      Dec-25-03   30 
     RE: A Possible...  BearDown      Dec-25-03   31 
      RE: A Possible...  bobcatbess      Dec-25-03   32 

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ktg
(656 posts)
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Dec-19-03, 
03:37 PM (MST)
1. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

LAST EDITED ON Dec-19-03 AT 03:39 PM (MST)

I agree, but the DWR will NEVER go for it. Imagine how the hunting would be after a 5 year closure of the whole state! Then issue only as many buck tags as there are bucks, or less, instead of twice as many like now; and doe tags to control the total population. How much do you think the DWR could charge for tags then and still sell them all? If they are out for money, they aren't using their heads very well.

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bobcatbess
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Dec-19-03, 
05:52 PM (MST)
2. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"


LET'S SEE

WHEN THE UDWR CLOSES AN AREA THIS USUALLY MEANS IT SHOULD OF BEEN CLOSED 20 YEARS AGO!!!

THE FEW THINGS GOOD THAT I'VE SEEN HAPPEN WITH THEIR (DWR) MANAGEMENT THAT TOOK SEVERAL YEARS TO ACHIEVE WAS USUALLY DECIMATED IN ONE OR TWO SEASONS!!!

I WILL HANG MY HAT AND MY GUN FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS IF I HAVE TOO,I DAMN SURE WOULDN'T GET A KICK OUT OF SHOOTING A TWO POINT,AND THATS WHAT IT'S COMING TOO!!!

THE ONLY bobcat THINKING:BIGGER IS BETTER LATER,THAN TINYER SOONER AND QUICKER!!!

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Founder
(6509 posts)
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Dec-19-03, 
06:01 PM (MST)
3. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Ok, I'll give you my opinion.

1. Each time an area is closed, the hunters who traditionally hunt that area move to another area, increasing pressure and ultimately killing more bucks in the areas that are still open. Closing an area is fine, but only 1 or 2 per year, and when they reopen, they need to be limited to sustain a healthy population and buck/doe ratio. And, to control the area from being over hunted the first year open.

2. Hundreds, if not thousands of jobs would be lost if they closed hunting down for 5 years. UDWR jobs, sporting good store jobs, etc. The impact would be far to great, never happen until the last deer dies. And even then, I'll bet they'll sale you a tag if you'll buy it!

3. When a unit is shutdown, it's for a reason---low deer numbers. While shutdown, the deer herd will recover some, but not enough to open it back up to everyone. So, that means each time they close a unit, it will be reopened as a limited entry. Currently, most limited entry units in Utah take 4 or 5 years to draw. If the entire state were limited, and the same number of people desired to hunt, you would probably only draw a tag every 10 years.
For example, 2% of Utah's deer herd lives in the Paunsaugunt limited entry unit. There are approx. 280 buck tags for the unit each year. To have the same average buck age statewide, multiple 280 by 50 and that will tell you approx. how many people get to hunt each year---14,000. (If managed for the age structure in the Book Cliffs, maybe 20,000 people could hunt deer each year)

4. Already covered above.

5. I agree that it wouldn't hurt to raise license prices if tags were reduced. However, as far as increasing the quality of the hunt. That's a tough call. Most people don't hunt for trophies, so it wouldn't matter that much to them, only you and I. And, for them to only get a tag every 10 years, it wouldn't be worth it.

6. Again, already covered. Can't close the entire state, and can get money elsewhere.

I do agree with you that something needs to done.

Brian Latturner
MonsterMuleys.com

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Founder
(6509 posts)
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Dec-19-03, 
06:19 PM (MST)
5. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Follow-up:

IMO, the first thing Utah needs to do is make people choose--Deer or Mature Bull Elk. If they want to hunt mature bull elk, then no deer hunting. Spike hunts and cows would still be available. There's currently, approx. 15,000 mature bull tags sold in Utah each year, that would save about 4,000 bucks from being killed.

Also, in conjunction with the above, get the elk hunts in limited entry units out of the rut! I believe that currently, Utah manages most limited entry elk units for a 100% success. That's not hunting IMO. Get the hunts out of the rut, reduce success rate to 33% and then they could offer 3 times as many tags for every unit without loosing quality. Then, still make people choose. And, we could all hunt a limited entry elk unit in Utah more than once every 10-15 years!

Next up, split the state into the 25 units as suggested by Game Biologists. Then manage each unit individually for the desired buck to doe ratio---such as Colorado does. IMO, the current "Regions" that Utah has are too large to effectively manage.

What do you guys think?

Brian Latturner
MonsterMuleys.com

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Jerry
(41 posts)
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Dec-19-03, 
06:09 PM (MST)
4. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

In Nevada, we have accepted getting a tag every 3 years or so. We also pay more for resident tags, I think its $38 for deer, and like 128 for elk, and 63 for antelope. I am not rich by any means, but when you add up the cost of the hunt, wouldn't paying twice as much for a tag be worth the extra quality experience? I've never hunted Utah, but I would think the extra $20 would greatly reduce some of the aggravation hunters are feeling on their "Vacation".

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manny15
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Dec-19-03, 
09:59 PM (MST)
6. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

I sure feel for you Utah boy's, but it's been like that here in Cali. For about 15 years so were used to it, thatís why we come to your state to hunt your big deer.

The Cali. DFG only give out about a couple hundred rifle tags and 25 muzz tags for most of our mule deer zone's, and their still on a downward slide with about 7% success rate, and we started the zone managing thing about the same time the decline happened, you can't save something without a sacrifice some where and if DFG ain't willing to sacrifice some cash i.e.: (jobs) well.........

There are allot of rich guy's buying up most of the coveted tags, find a way to make 'em pay for the restructuring of the herds, give more of a tax credit..?....

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steelie
(4 posts)
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Dec-19-03, 
10:19 PM (MST)
7. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

How about making it mandatory for everyone in the state to join the dedicated hunter program (or a program like it), meaning everyone has to do service hrs, attend RAC meetings, or no hunting. At least 1/2 the 97000 hunters/ year would be far too lazy for this, so there would be a huge decrease in harvest. And think of the stuff that could be improved with all those service hours......

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manny15
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Dec-19-03, 
10:20 PM (MST)
8. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

WELL MAYBE YOU GUY'S SHOULD IMPLAMENT A ROADLESS WILDERNESS AREA, AND DON'T FORGET ABOUT OVER GRAZING BY CATTLE.

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COHunter
(628 posts)
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Dec-20-03, 
10:52 AM (MST)
9. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Are Utah's Deer herds really that bad ???
I've never hunted Utah, but when I drive through it, the area's around Richfield and Ceder City seem to be loaded with Deer, and thats just seeing them on the Interstate.
Are these limited entry units, therefore explaining the good numbers of Deer ?

just curious.

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Founder
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Dec-20-03, 
03:16 PM (MST)
10. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

COHunter,

Utah really isn't that bad, we just all want it better. We want big bucks in every canyon! Who doesn't?
Those areas you mentioned are not limited entry, just traditional wintering areas.
To be honest, Utah does offer good hunting considering the large number of deer hunters who hunt each year---95,000+. And, half the state is desert with a very low number of deer. More than anything, drought is what has been hurting Utah the most. Winter feed is in very bad shape, but there's nothing we can do about that. We have to rely on Mothernature to do her part.

Utah has a reported deer population of approx. 280,000. I don't know for sure what it is in Colorado (I think about 350,000), but I would guess that in traditional deer habitat (mountain country), Utah has close to as many deer per square mile as Colorado.

Its really not that bad. However, many of us think, and hope, that it can be better.
I think in every state hunters think it should be better. Every state I hunt people say, "It used to be real good". I heard that numerous times in Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho this past year.

Brian Latturner
MonsterMuleys.com

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freedivr2
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Dec-20-03, 
09:54 PM (MST)
11. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Brian, I couldn't disagree with you more at least with respect to Southern Utah. You obviously didn't hunt Southern Utah this year, did you? I did. In 6 days we worked pretty hard, and saw a total of 3 bucks. Lots of does, but 3 bucks. Oh...and they were all together, and all dinks.

Fact is, there are areas in Utah that have plenty of animals, no question. But in the area we went (Boulder Mountain area, typically a great areas), even the locals (in Escalante, where my in-laws live) were lamenting about no bucks being around, and that they are putting together a PETITION to their Fish and Game to put a 2 year moratorium on hunting. These are the LOCAL guys putting this together, not some no-nada out-of-stater like me complaining. These are the fellas that scout and scout and see no bucks, and sure enough, season comes around and find no bucks. This year my father in law found 2 sets of sheds in the areas he usually goes to, and just as recent as a couple years ago, he was coming home with armfuls of sheds for a morning hike. Are the bucks still there? All indications is that they have either totally moved out or have dwindled to pitiful levels in that area. If it's like that in other drought stricken areas of the state, then I'd have to say it's not so hot.

Aside from WHATEVER that state's Fish and Game decides to do, Personally, I'm going to do what I believe is right; that is, plan to not hunt any part of Southern Utah until their buck numbers come back up, be it 2 years, 5 years, or whenever. It was pretty sad to see NOTHING but does around wherever we went (and we went both high and low, sage and aspen and cedar, we tried it all), but no bucks....Their dept. of fish and game might not mandate the moratorium that it SHOULD mandate due to a huge loss in revenue, but I have to live with my own conscience.

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Founder
(6509 posts)
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Dec-20-03, 
11:29 PM (MST)
12. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Hey freedivr2,

I didn't hunt south this year, but my dad did and he reported the same as yourself, not many bucks. But, I still don't think it's as bad as people make it sound. I mean really, read some of the posts. Is it so bad that hunting needs to be closed? For someone who doesn't live here, they might think we only have a couple deer in the entire state.

Compare Utah to California, then tell me we have it bad. Tags are next to impossible to get there, and they only have a 7% success rate. That's bad!

According to the F&G, rifle deer hunters still have nearly a 31% success rate. That's not that bad, there are worse places.

I'm certainly not saying the hunting is great, but I don't think its reached the point where we need to risk loosing hunting altogether by shutting it down. Sure, more stricted management is in order, but not closing it because of a lack of deer.

I can't speak for your experience in southern Utah this year, but I did hunt down there for 16 years prior to this year, and I never found it to be that bad. Found big bucks every year. However, I will admit that I've witnessed the overall deer herd decline, in every management unit I've scouted or hunted.
Sure, things need to change to ensure we don't end up with stats like California, but its certainly not as bad as some of these posts make it sound.

Speaking of personal experience, I hunted (out of state) Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho this year. Of those three states, Wyoming clearly had better buck numbers and better bucks than I've found in Utah. Colorado seemed to be about the same, maybe a touch better, not much. Idaho was probably worse than Utah as far as buck numbers.
In ALL 3 states, I ran into more people than I ever have my spots in Utah.

My opinion, of course.

Brian Latturner
MonsterMuleys.com

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MrBaitnFish
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Dec-21-03, 
00:53 AM (MST)
13. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

I keep hearing people say "Charge more for tags" that would be great if the money went to benefit wildlife, but it doesn't. License dollars go to the state general fund and the dwr never sees much of it. So all we would be doing is making the governor fatter and paying more than we already need to be paying for education and other programs. Why not get hunters to start a petition to make an amendment in the state constitution that all or at least the lion's share of license revenue goes to the division and back to wildlife where that money belongs. We proved we can make things happen with prop. 5. I can't believe more hunters don't demand more from the money they freely spend, under the assumption it is going back to wildlife when it isn't. If the state needs funding that badly start a damn lottery. Don't misappropriate the hundreds of dollars I spend on licenses every year.

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Modi
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Dec-21-03, 
11:20 AM (MST)
14. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

I will agree with Brian. It really isn't that bad. I think there are good bucks all over the state. I think that the majority of hunters don't hunt like they use to. Remeber when schools would shut down for the hunt? Less hunters out there to push the deer around and be seen. Most hunters now are road hunting or atv hunting, and don't get out into the brush. And specialy during the drought, the bucks bed all day and are not seen. Just my opinion, but i think there are more out there than we see. Raising tag fees will just make the state more money and the deer won't see any benifit at all!!

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ktg
(656 posts)
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Dec-21-03, 
12:12 PM (MST)
15. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Brian & Modi, do you guys work for the DWR?

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graybeard
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Dec-21-03, 
02:51 PM (MST)
16. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

The only solution that'll work is hunter restriction, WHY, because it's the only thing we can control. Brian, UT herd numbers 280,000 at best, but CO figures are 560,000 deer not 350,000. Both CO and NV took serious action when their herds started to dramatically decline. It's past time for UT to do something dramatic. Should we close the whole state? No!! Cut license numbers. 20 years ago we were right there at 500,000 deer. By the way, WY human population just hit 500,000 people statewide. That's one reason the deer are doing well there. Of course the other reason is they let their biologists set the standards rather than the need for revenue. WY problems are directly related to drought, it's not the biggest factor here. I've lived in UT all my life but have not bought a deer licence here in at least ten years. I doubtI'll ever hunt here again unless I draw a great tag. That's another thing, our "premium" units are no better than most of the units in other states. They were great when they first opened them but overhunting them has brought them down to 30 bucks per hundred does. I agree with Brian on the CHOICE issue. You guys better be willing to sacrfice a species to hunt, especially mule deer. "Limit the number of hunters"!!!! That's it!!!! Steve

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BUCKSPY
(2070 posts)
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Dec-21-03, 
08:57 PM (MST)
17. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

We don't have a half million deer. We just like to think so. That way we can sell everyone with a pulse and some money a tag.

New Colorado Division of Wildlife Motto

Give us your hagard
Give us your tagless
We'll take their money and
send them home bagless

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freedivr2
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Dec-21-03, 
10:23 PM (MST)
18. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

LAST EDITED ON Dec-21-03 AT 10:37 PM (MST)

Great rip, Buckspy! Ain't that the truth......

No offense Brian, but it seemed like you were kinda making some counter-points to your own points. BTW, the average harvest in Calif. is NOT 7%. Our biggest zone, the one with the most tags sold (Zone A) has been historically at a 25-30% harvest rate, even through the drought. Some zones near Tahoe sport 30-50% success rates. The worst zones in the state (course, in my part of the state) average about 10-14%. Your 7% overall figure is plain wrong, check out the harvest stats at the Dept. of Fish & Game website. I also hunted Colorado this year and I'll tell you this, I saw WAY more bucks the first couple of days than I have ever seen anywhere during the season. Colorado rocks as far as I'm concerned!

I agree that Southern Utah for the past 10-20 years on average has been fair to good in most spots. My point was that THIS year it was dismal. That opinion comes NOT so much from this overly opinionated out-of-state hunter, but from the locals in the area, whose frustrations were brought to MY attention in town during the season. Also, as I mentioned, my father-in-law lives in Escalante, and he loves to go out and hike all the time, and scouts both the forest and desert for bucks in the summer and early fall. He warned me this summer that it looked to him that the bucks had completely moved out of that area or died off. And I'm sorry to say I think he's right. So. Utah has a problem, no sense covering our eyes or wishing it away. Kinda like ignoring the wolf PROBLEM in Idaho and Wyoming (BTW, thre is a GREAT article in this month's NRA "American Hunter" magazine about that for all you who believe the Wolf is other than a serious problem for elk and deer populations).

Shut off the hunting in selected areas for a period of time? Of course that's the answer. I know that's a strong approach, but if we want to restore numbers to the herd in short order, it's the only medicine that will work. Cutting a few tags or restricting antler points will assist, but will NOT triple the number of bucks by a few years from now. Don't crutch it, fix it.

As much as I hated to see it, we've had moratoriums (and have one right now on rock cod) on selected species of fish which had been commercially overfished in years past. You'd be suprised how the populations rebound quickly when you quit killin them for a couple years. Pretty amazing. Tough medicine, but it works very well.

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hedges
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Dec-22-03, 
01:17 AM (MST)
19. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Guys I live in the Southern part of Utah. Hunting has gone way down hill the past five years. Places I used to see a couple hundred deer now you'ld be lucky so see a couple herds of 10 or more. I wouldn't say the hunting for big bucks has gone down hill, just the opposite. Hardly any fawns survive winter so what's left? A older class of buck but with the over saling of tags were left with jack to hunt.

This year my group of eight dedicated hunters, which most of us joined so we could get a tag every year, all shot bucks in the 3-7 year old range except me. They are all happy with the bucks they got, but they all wished they wouldn't have to hunt next year. If you didn't guess it its because we all put in over 30 days of hard back breaking days and not to mention the countless hours of scouting ridges not seeing anything. Most of the people we talked to while hunting didn't see any bucks all season long. I don't blame them for not seeing anything actually I'm glad they don't get out and walk or even scout.

The only real solution to getting the herds back up is getting out of the drought but more importantly rehabilitating the winter ranges once we are out of it.

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COHunter
(628 posts)
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Dec-22-03, 
07:43 AM (MST)
20. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Amen Buckspy........Amen

I keep seeing folks post up about how great the CODOW is, but I don't see any post from people that live in CO posting up how great they are. Hmmmmmm ????

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300wtby
(90 posts)
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Dec-22-03, 
09:11 AM (MST)
21. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"


Guys, just to set the record straight on Prince's neighbor who moved from PA to Provo. Pennsylvania has never closed any Deer Season for 5 years! They have never closed any Deer Season for even 1 year (buck or doe). The Game Commission is on a plan to reduce the Deer Herd in PA, there answer is to shoot a greater number of does, establish a minimum number of points to a side for eligible bucks to be shot (which is a great idea). The effort is to allow the younger bucks to grow older and wiser and to effectively increase the age class of the bucks for both breeding quality and trophy quality.

This has significantly decreased the deer herd in our county in the 2 years since its inception. The quality is about the same but the good news is that there are some 1 1/2 year old bucks now making it to their 3rd hunting season which can only help in the quality. The decreased Doe population has really hit home in our county. Hunters used to see as many as 20 to 30 deer per day a few years back, now if you see 5 or 8 deer in a day you have had a good day, some days you don't see any.

As for an "incredible opportunity to fill multiple tags for Buck and Doe. In Pennsylvania it is still 1 Buck per year (no exceptions) its true with the management plan in effect by the Game Commision you can shoot does by buying the tags available. You generally buy a Doe tag then apply for Bonus Doe tags in various areas of the state. So you could effectively kill multiple does if the tags were available.

Will this plan help PA's Whitetail Deer? The jury is still out. I happen to think that the Trophy Buck hunting is only going to get better as the plan ages. I also believe that it will come in our county when you will have had a great season if you see 5 to 10 deer in a 2 week season. They may all be great bucks but this is whats happening in our county. Now we live in a very rural mountainous county in PA (Somerset Co), I do believe that there are other areas in the state with very high deer populations that need to be controled. Those are areas with a high density of human population and housing.

From a Pennsylvania perspective we can only wait to see if the plan works.

Have a Merry Christmas!

300 Wtby.

Dave Halverson

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Prince
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Dec-22-03, 
09:42 AM (MST)
22. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

300 Wtby,

Let me assure you that I did have the aforementioned conversation with my neighbor and that he did say exactly what I mentioned about Pennsylvania being closed to deer hunting for five years. He also said that the deer numbers did rebound and that there are opportunities to harvest multiple deer in Pennsylvania each year. Interestingly enough, he also said that the state is going to attempt to reduce deer numbers, so at least a portion of your stories match. He's a reputable guy, so for now I'm going to continue to believe him.

Brian,

If you'll read my initial post, I mentioned that I don't believe the answer is to shut down the entire state of Utah to deer hunting for five years. I mentioned that a closure of maybe a year or two, with a reduction in tags after the reopening, may be a possible solution. To compensate financially for the reduction in tags, I suggested that the price of the available tags should be raised. And as far as you claiming that thousands of people would be put out of work if the UDWR closed the state to mule deer hunting, let me say once again that hunting in Utah for elk, moose, bison, sheep, goats, antelope, ducks, geese, grouse, etc. would continue, as would all the money raised from fishing licenses. Also, I stated that the LE and CWMU hunts for mule deer could continue, since these areas seem to be managed differently from the general areas in Utah.

Also, I've done a bit more thinking since my initial post. If Utah's general areas were closed for a couple of years, then the UDWR could say that for a $25 per year fee (during the closed years) a hunter could purchase a "General Season Bonus Point," which would almost guarantee a general season license once the areas were reopened. This would ensure that the UDWR would still get a large part of its money during the closures.

Finally, how much worse is it going to have to get before something drastic is done? I, for one, do hike miles away from the roads each rifle season, and honestly, Utah only seems to get worse each year. I am still seeing a lot of does, but the bucks just aren't there like they used to be, especially in the winter ranges. Regardless of the Pennsylvania issue, the LE area in Utah that I mentioned earlier did rebound dramatically once the UDWR closed the area down for five years, so the practice DOES WORK. There's no denying it.

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4x6
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Dec-22-03, 
10:17 AM (MST)
23. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

well, i made that suggestion on here before as i did in the brigham city rac meeting last year to the dwr and got laughed at there and got told off on this site so what the hell i will say it again close the state or just the areas that need in mainly the northern half for about 3-5 years and you would be suprised on what would happen. but dwr would loose to much money that is CRAP and they know it!!! bunch of crucket sons of bitches!! but that is just my 2 cents!

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300wtby
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Dec-22-03, 
10:50 AM (MST)
24. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Prince,

I'm not questioning your neighbors reputation, I'm sure he probably is a great guy. But as far as Deer Hunting in PA is concerned, if he told you that PA closed Deer Season for 5 years he is not correct.

I can assure you that Pennsylvania hasn't closed the entire state for Deer Season for 5 years anytime since I've lived in this state which is all my life and I'm 46.

You can still only legally shoot 1 Buck per year in PA. This is statewide. As far as the does go read my previous post because you can harvest multiple does if you have the tags.


300 Wtby

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ktg
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Dec-22-03, 
03:49 PM (MST)
25. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

The more I think about it, the more I think there's something fishy at the UDWR. They admit that herd numbers are far below their own objectives yet they issue the same number of buck permits each year and still issue doe permits. In fact, just a month ago or so they issued a bunch of 'emergency' doe tags in the NE region. Every year just before the hunt the DWR says the same thing. Deer numbers are better than last year & harvest should be good, but the hunting never improves. It reminds me of many years ago I told my wife that I wanted her to grow her hair longer. She agreed yet every couple months she would cut it. When I asked what the deal was, she would say that she had to cut it to get it to grow longer. It's now shorter than it was to begin with. I've accepted the fact that she never had plans to grow it longer & she just told me that to get me to drop it. Seem the same at the DWR with their deer management. Someone or someones there must have an agenda, either that or they are piss-poor at what they do. When I was in college I took a Fish & Wildlife class just for fun. 90% of that class consisted of 'activist' types and they were FINATICS about it. I wonder if some of them or their types have crept into positions of power at the DWR.

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Packout
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Dec-22-03, 
10:17 PM (MST)
26. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

LAST EDITED ON Dec-22-03 AT 10:18 PM (MST)

Not trying to stir the pot, but there is NO WAY to compare the managment of Mule Deer to Whitetail deer. They are 2 completely seperate creatures. Why does PA's QDM work, well because they can appease the masses with doe tags. And PA is not instituting the QDM to help the "Breeding Bucks", because they already have too many deer. Those that live in Utah and were involved in the Catastrophies of Antler Point restrictions know they do not work here in Utah.

Anyway, the DWR took has shortened the entire SouthEastern region to a 5 day season so that is a good step. They also kept the 5 day season on in part of SoUt, another good step. All other units are at Buck : Doe ratio goals, all the while Utah is in an Extreme drought. Not too bad I think.

As for the comparison to Nevada earlier in the thread, Nevada's deer herd has been consistently decling for many years. They Micro manage their herds and still can not get them to grow. This past year they cut tags extremely once again.

I guess my answer to the question is that Utah's deer are struggling, but with a few normal years of precipitation then we will have the deer back. We are not killing our Does, which have the baby bucks adn provide the growth of the herd. After the deer come back we will have a few good years (if we are lucky) and then we can complain once again after 50% of the herd dies from a horrible winter.

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SMELLYBUCK
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Dec-23-03, 
12:20 PM (MST)
27. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

A lot of us don't spend hundreds of $$$ on hunting, and what we get is a nice supplement to the freezer. I have a $100 black powder rifle (it's low quality but it shoots straight), and a $100 pair of 8X42 Pentax's. Those are my sunk costs. I spend about $50 every two years on ammo. A $70 tag would double my variable costs. How would you like it if someone suggested all deer tags sell for $10,000 just so the state could increase revenue and decrease tags?

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Prince
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Dec-23-03, 
12:46 PM (MST)
28. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

LAST EDITED ON Dec-23-03 AT 12:48 PM (MST)

SmellyBuck:

You have a valid point. I wouldn't like it at all if "someone (raised) all deer tags (to)...$10,000 just so the state could increase revenue and decrease tags." But we're not talking about $10,000, we're talking about an additional $35 if the UDWR doubled the cost of the tags and reduced the number by half. For an individual hunter to save that amount over a one year period, he would need to save less than 10 cents a day, or less than $3 a month. Is it the right answer? Possibly. Just trying to get people to think of solutions to help our struggling mule deer herds.

Packout:

I hope the answer is as simple as getting more precipation in Utah for our mule deer numbers to increase. Only time will tell, I guess.

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Packout
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Dec-23-03, 
02:11 PM (MST)
29. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Prince, I agree that the problem goes much deeper, but hopefully normal precip will bring back both the antler size of some deer and fawn survival. Predator control is also an issue.

I just don't think that lowering Hunter Numbers would bring back our deer herd. Of the 40 deer units in the state, 16 are below buck-doe objective, but only by 1 or 2 per 100. It stands to reason that if we reduce hunter pressure we will kill less deer, but the success rate would increase so it is a trade-off. I do agree that we should pay more for our tags maybe $10, but I would leave the permit numbers where they are.

Happy Holidays

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freedivr2
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Dec-25-03, 
10:10 AM (MST)
30. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

ktg..........what you described is kinda like the old con man "bait and switch" tactic.....

I think it's almost overly obvious that the UDOW is like a drunken sailor when it comes to revenue.....they've gotten used to it and can't do without it despite the conditions at hand. They're doing a TERRIBLE job, not managing their wildlife at all if they're not adjusting down (or up) the tags to the conditions of the habitats and the herds. MORE than just shame on them, people in that organization need to be canned.........

Is it the fault of the ecomonsters you were talking about who have now infiltrated into the USFS and many Fish and Game depts? I don't think so....if anything, those types would LOVE to cut the number of tags. Nope, it's the almighty dollar dictating herd management in Utah, and it's a dang shame.

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BearDown
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Dec-25-03, 
04:05 PM (MST)
31. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"

Heres how you solve the problem.....Make it only leagal to take bucks on SUNDAY!!!!!Heh!!Heh!!Or try this,while your in church try PRAYING for this DROUGHT to end!!!!winkwink!! Actually why don't you guys let the DWR and other qualified people figure it out,I'm sure they are much more qualified than all of you!Also remember the Mule deer herds are suffering everywhere in the southwest, so maybe we all should look at the whole situation and not just one states problem!Maybe if the Mule Deer Association got as much attention as the Elk foundation or like Ducks Unlimited got things might change.

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bobcatbess
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Dec-25-03, 
05:38 PM (MST)
32. "RE: A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers"


YA

LET THE DWR FIGURE IT OUT!!!

YOU'RE JOKING,RIGHT???

YA,THEY'RE QUALIFIED TO TAKE YOUR MONEY!!!

YOU THINK THEY (DWR) CARE ABOUT GIVING YOU ANYTHING IN RETURN???

OH,I ALMOST FORGOT AN EARLIER POST MENTIONED I SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET A TWO POINT,I'M EXCITED NOW!!!

THE ONLY bobcat NOT GETTING TOO EXCITED ABOUT THE 2004 TROPHY MULE DEER HUNT IN UTAH!!!

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