A Possible Solution to Increase Utah's Muley Numbers

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Prince

Guest
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.
 

ktg

Active Member
Messages
659
LAST EDITED ON Dec-19-03 AT 03:39PM (MST)[p]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.
 
B

bobcatbess

Guest
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!!!
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
9,486
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
 

Jerry

Active Member
Messages
262
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".
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
9,486
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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manny15

Guest
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, that's 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..?....
 

steelie

Member
Messages
38
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

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

COHunter

Active Member
Messages
634
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.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
9,486
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

Guest
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.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
9,486
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

Guest
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

Guest
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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graybeard

Guest
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
 

BUCKSPY

Very Active Member
Messages
2,070
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
 
F

freedivr2

Guest
LAST EDITED ON Dec-21-03 AT 10:37PM (MST)[p]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

Guest
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.
 

COHunter

Active Member
Messages
634
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 ????
 

300wtby

Active Member
Messages
117
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
 
P

Prince

Guest
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.
 
4

4x6

Guest
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!
 

300wtby

Active Member
Messages
117
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
 

ktg

Active Member
Messages
659
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.
 

Packout

Very Active Member
Messages
1,439
LAST EDITED ON Dec-22-03 AT 10:18PM (MST)[p]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.
 
S

SMELLYBUCK

Guest
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?
 
P

Prince

Guest
LAST EDITED ON Dec-23-03 AT 12:48PM (MST)[p]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.
 

Packout

Very Active Member
Messages
1,439
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

Guest
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.
 
B

BearDown

Guest
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.
 
B

bobcatbess

Guest
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!!!
 

ThunderImpulse4

Active Member
Messages
445
Bess you got so much to say you are under two names now? Judus!!!!!!

You think hunting is bad now wait another 10 days and we will see how bad it can get!

I bet some of yall might even suggest PETA to take over the deer herd management.

Bunch of cry babies I am getting my popcorn and a 12 pack ready
 

270Whatelse

Active Member
Messages
514
To the OP Pennsylvania has ""NEVER"" closed down deer hunting even for a year this whole story post is a crock.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
7,415
Didn't they close the Henrys down for a few years at one time?
Yes, along with Book Cliffs.
Both were closed after removing the Antler Point Restriction and they were decimated enough to implement closures and recovery efforts, then reopened as LE's.
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
24,436
How Bout the BumbleBee Unit?

How Bout San Juan?

Managed So F'N Poorly they had to be Shut down!

Shouldn't Have Never Ever been any of them Closed!

With Proper Management of Course!

I Seen it First Hand in the Book Cliffs!

There wasn't a Fawn With Nubs Left when the Slaughter was Done!

Then People Wonder Why it's Never Recovered!

Then Most People Ventured to other Units in PISS POOR Shape after Closing Several Units/Areas to THRASH them Areas as Well!

The TARDville Way!
 

Slightlysober

Active Member
Messages
968
How Bout the BumbleBee Unit?

How Bout San Juan?

Managed So F'N Poorly they had to be Shut down!

Shouldn't Have Never Ever been any of them Closed!

With Proper Management of Course!

I Seen it First Hand in the Book Cliffs!

There wasn't a Fawn With Nubs Left when the Slaughter was Done!

Then People Wonder Why it's Never Recovered!

Then Most People Ventured to other Units in PISS POOR Shape after Closing Several Units/Areas to THRASH them Areas as Well!

The TARDville Way!
Makes you wonder why all the other western states are hesitant to take any advice from Utahns like @slamdunk!
 

mickeyelk

Very Active Member
Messages
1,572
Just read your post. Penna. never closed any seasons unless this was just too a small specific area. What they did was have a point structure put in place with 3 points or better. So all those small bucks got to grow bigger. Yes , there are more deer now and better quality.
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
Messages
4,658
Rumor is if there isn't a bunch of precipitation real quick, the sheep arent allowed on the west desert this winter.


We need some water. First.

Then we need a bunch of fire. Our forests are wastelands of unproductive deadfall piles. Its too late to log what's laying on the ground.


I agree with Brian kind of.

But you should get to make a choice. LE or GS.

In both elk and deer.

It would help with point creep. Help with pressure.

Let the individual hunter choose to limit themselves.

Oh. And I might know where over 500 other tags might need to be limited as well.

As to closing units. Rumor has it Oak Creek will be shot out this year. It was limited, but then there were landowner tags on top of that limit. Plus im guessing banquet tags, probably expo tag, plus sportsmans and gov?

Limit needs to be a HARD LIMIT.

But lets get real. It didnt rain all summer. Our forests are dead.

We need to start with the basics first. Food, water, shelter.

Im praying for a wet, lightening filled spring next year.
 

eelgrass

Long Time Member
Messages
25,369
Let's revisit this in another 17 years. It takes a lot of patients to build a deer herd. :)
 

Hawkeye

Very Active Member
Messages
2,541
There are many factors that are negatively impacting our deer herds, including predators, road and highay mortality, habitat degredation, loss of winter range, drought, etc. Simply cutting tags and shutting down hunting may save a few bucks in the short term but it will not grow our herds.

Just to highlight the issue, on an average year in Utah hunters harvest roughly 30k-35K deer. The DWR does know how many mountain lion we ahve in the state of Utah but a very conservative estimate is 3K. Research shows that on average, a lion consumes one deer per week. That means that over 100K deer are likely lost to lions each year and that does not even take into account the predation caused by coyotes and black bears. Simply put, sportsmen are taking a small fraction of the number of deer (mostly bucks) that we lose every year to predators. Next, think about how many deer we lose each year to highway mortality? Thousands? Tens of thousands?

If we really want to grow our herds then we need to focus on those impacts that we can limit or control. We cannot control the weather but we can take steps to reduce predator numbers and fence highwways. I am okay with cutting tags or shutting down a unit as a last stop effort but those measures will not grow our deer herds. Let's focus on those things that will actually make a difference.

I have included a copy of the Utah Statewide Mule Deer Management Plan in case you want to do some reading to see what the DWR is currently doing: https://wildlife.utah.gov/pdf/bg/mule_deer_plan.pdf

Hawkeye
 
Messages
97
The trouble is the number of deer they say we have is so much less. Now if you factor in the deer killed by hunters, predator's, roads, etc. It is scary to think how so few deer we really have in Utah mountains. The Beaver unit has gone beyond help. The only thing left is to shut it down like the Paunsaugunt and hope it rebounds in five years. I think the same is true in many units. A bandage has been attempted for to many years and now it is time for surgery.
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
Messages
5,942
Alright guys I don't normally do this but I am willing to be the wildlife czar for Utah for the price of 350K a year for a ten year contract. After 10 years you will have piles of deer. GUARANTEED. Screw the wildlife boards, the meetings, the bureaucracy, etc. Just me making it right. I'll be sitting by the phone waiting for the call.
 

nebo12000

Active Member
Messages
636
One of the problems with decreasing deer numbers could be Chronic Wasting Disease. Along with the drought, predator numbers and too high of permits as well as numerous different hunting seasons --- Mule deer herd numbers will continue to struggle.
Went to the CRAC and Wildlife Board meetings last year and it was stated by a wildlife biologist that we could very easily be in a "predator pit", which essentially is, that any increase in population numbers that occur in spring birthing rates is completely wiped out by predation, thus no growth. Along with other mortality factors its no wonder the herds are struggling.
Its my understanding that when they closed the Henrys years ago, they did very intensive predator removal during those years. It seems the outcome turned out to be very successful.
I would support closing 3-4 units every 3 years and then opening them to limited hunting for the next 2 years.
If any of you don't think that every deer unit isn't already a "draw" or "limited entry" unit already-- think again.
We need to be more concerned about the resource than the "opportunity" or the money involved
 
Messages
97
I am with you Nebo. We cannot correct the problem without shutting down units and taking measure such as intensive predator control. Not going to get fixed by just reducing the number of buck tags, because now we do not have deer numbers to work with. It is going to take a total shut down of these problem units at this point.
 

BurntRidge

Member
Messages
27
I don’t think shutting down a state is necessary, however I believe the state shouldn’t be hunting these deer hard from the beginning of August to late November. I don’t think we should be hunting deer during prime rut. I don’t think we should be allowed to hunt with any powered optics on a muzzle loader. As much as I love bull hog projects and chainings, around where I live they have created slaughter houses once the deer migrate off the high country. These deer don’t have a chance right now. It’s only going to get worse.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
7,415
@Tristate
Serious question, not an argument.
You've stated "every tag sold should be counted as a dead deer".
Please explain how that figures into the equation when success rates are say 30% on general season units?
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
Messages
5,942
After you thoroughly evaluate your herd within a unit and what your goals are for harvest you only sell the number of tags which match the harvest goal for the unit that year.

For instance if the state has a general unit which they want 300 bucks killed out of then YOU DO NOT SELL 1000 BUCK TAGS AND BET ON ONLY %30 SUCCESS. Just sell 300 buck tags. Every tag sold is a dead animal and not a gamble on "opportunities ".
 
Messages
50
The problem I see with shutting down a unit is everybody’s gonna want to hunt it once it opens up and it will become very difficult to get a tag for it
 

Gator

Long Time Member
Messages
16,926
yes that part is true, it is that way right now for some units.
I guess it would take POINTS to draw any of those units that was shut down so maybe it would move that point creep away?
Could be a great idea or the worse one.
At this point it is worth looking into. IMO
 
Messages
97
At this point there is no other choice but to shut down some units. I don't think there is another way to revive the deer numbers without a total shut down. The DWR has not shown us any other method that works.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,501
Well I guess we could implant whitetails. That would give all of us something to hunt when the last Muley is go. think about it.
There were photos taken last week of two whitetail up around Bear Lake. They were on one of the Utah fishing facebook groups but I don't remember which one.
 
Messages
97
By closing a unit, you would be shutting down people to hunting and while it is closed go in and hammer the predators if that is the problem. Do what needs to be done for 3-5 years while there are no people hunting. Then yes you will have to open it up slowly on numbers of hunters. But what fun is it now to have a tag and go out and see no bucks or deer for that matter.
 

Vanilla

Very Active Member
Messages
1,996
It is amazing to me how many hunters actually hate hunting and hate other hunters hunting. People are calling for management on general season units like the Henry’s and Pauns. Some of you will not be happy until there are only 1,000 deer permits available in Utah statewide. Who do you think is going to get those? There won’t be a draw, there will be an auction. I hope you have Instagram so you can watch a few guide services post all the deer killed for the rest of us spectators to admire. Seems like a really cool system. Yeah, let’s shut down and then turn the Nebo into the Pauns! Maybe we can sell off a bunch of the land so it can become a giant CWMU while we are at it?

PETA absolutely doesn’t have to work at all in Utah. The hunters are doing their bidding for them.

Hopefully the few that are calling for this never become the majority. If so, there won’t be any tags to draw, and the deer herds will still suck. This 2003 thread should have been left dead.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,501
It is amazing to me how many hunters actually hate hunting and hate other hunters hunting. People are calling for management on general season units like the Henry’s and Pauns. Some of you will not be happy until there are only 1,000 deer permits available in Utah statewide. Who do you think is going to get those? There won’t be a draw, there will be an auction. I hope you have Instagram so you can watch a few guide services post all the deer killed for the rest of us spectators to admire. Seems like a really cool system. Yeah, let’s shut down and then turn the Nebo into the Pauns! Maybe we can sell off a bunch of the land so it can become a giant CWMU while we are at it?

PETA absolutely doesn’t have to work at all in Utah. The hunters are doing their bidding for them.

Hopefully the few that are calling for this never become the majority. If so, there won’t be any tags to draw, and the deer herds will still suck. This 2003 thread should have been left dead.
It's amazing to me how many hunters actually hate deer and hate having deer on the unit they are hunting. So yeah lets keep issuing 80,000 tags a year and see where end up in another 17 years.:rolleyes:

If there are only 1,000 deer tags available those tags will be going to lifetime license holders. The lifetime license contract agreement guarantees a deer tag unless there are NO deer tags and the hunt shut down completely.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
7,415
It's amazing to me how many hunters actually hate deer and hate having deer on the unit they are hunting. So yeah lets keep issuing 80,000 tags a year and see where end up in another 17 years.:rolleyes:

With the trend we are currently on, you can knock off ten years and say "7".
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
24,436
Hey Niller?

You Want Me to Re-Post HELL-RIGHT?


It is amazing to me how many hunters actually hate hunting and hate other hunters hunting. People are calling for management on general season units like the Henry’s and Pauns. Some of you will not be happy until there are only 1,000 deer permits available in Utah statewide. Who do you think is going to get those? There won’t be a draw, there will be an auction. I hope you have Instagram so you can watch a few guide services post all the deer killed for the rest of us spectators to admire. Seems like a really cool system. Yeah, let’s shut down and then turn the Nebo into the Pauns! Maybe we can sell off a bunch of the land so it can become a giant CWMU while we are at it?

PETA absolutely doesn’t have to work at all in Utah. The hunters are doing their bidding for them.

Hopefully the few that are calling for this never become the majority. If so, there won’t be any tags to draw, and the deer herds will still suck. This 2003 thread should have been left dead.
 

BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
3,255
I could agree with Tristate's post about counting every tag as a dead animal. If the DWR knows how many bucks they can spare each year, then sell that many tags. But a deer tag means you hunt every season until you get your deer, or eat tag soup. Cost of a tag is like $120 to maintain the money generated.

Just a thought to make Tristate's plan work. Consider this a handshake across the aisle...
 

BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
3,255
Step one: If a CWMU is LE, then it should always be LE. Any CWMU tag, whether drawn, bought, or gifted, costs any Bonus Points a person has (Resident or not). Deep Pockets and landowners can still hunt their CWMU of choice, but they wont be clogging up the LE application system. This will reduce and reverse point creep. Also, mandatory harvest reporting and tooth data continues.
Step 2: No more putting in for both LE and General Season. This will have only one effect, reversing point creep for both LE and GS. Not wanting to miss out on LE hunts, for several years, GS will see a huge reduction in applicants as all LE applicants will be unable to apply. (About 37000).
Step 3: The only deer number that matters when determining tag numbers are "huntable deer on public land".
Step 4: Make muzzy's primitive again.! Scopes.? That was stupid.

Okay, sorry. The Mtn Dew is wearing off and I think I've been typing deliriously. I'll see if this makes sense tomorrow...
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
24,436
Here We Go Again!

And I Quote:

"""Step 4: Make muzzy's primitive again.! Scopes.? That was stupid."""

And 100 Yard StickFlippers Ain't STUPID?

And 1,000+ Yard Rifles Ain't STUPID?

If You're Gonna Change the Rules!

You're Gonna Have to Change them Across the Board!

I Think it's Time to Re-Post HELL-RIGHT Again!

Some of You Have Forgot there are 50+ Reasons Why Game Herds Suffer in this State!





Step one: If a CWMU is LE, then it should always be LE. Any CWMU tag, whether drawn, bought, or gifted, costs any Bonus Points a person has (Resident or not). Deep Pockets and landowners can still hunt their CWMU of choice, but they wont be clogging up the LE application system. This will reduce and reverse point creep. Also, mandatory harvest reporting and tooth data continues.
Step 2: No more putting in for both LE and General Season. This will have only one effect, reversing point creep for both LE and GS. Not wanting to miss out on LE hunts, for several years, GS will see a huge reduction in applicants as all LE applicants will be unable to apply. (About 37000).
Step 3: The only deer number that matters when determining tag numbers are "huntable deer on public land".
Step 4: Make muzzy's primitive again.! Scopes.? That was stupid.

Okay, sorry. The Mtn Dew is wearing off and I think I've been typing deliriously. I'll see if this makes sense tomorrow...
 

jims

Very Active Member
Messages
2,240
Plain and simple go to the head of the problem: Better habitat = more deer!

From what I've heard there is a major cheatgrass problem in Utah? I worked for over 30 years at CSU in Colorado researching and conducting invasive weed research and the past 5 years managing invasive weeds. I've never been more excited about the prospect for long term cheatgrass control that has immediate positive impacts on muledeer browse than what we've discovered in the past few years.

We are finding 3 to 5x more growth of all shrub browse species (antelope bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, sage, sumac, etc) and doubling of native forb species. Another benefit is the loss of dense cheatgrass thatch that sparks and fuels destructive, rampant and costly wildfires. Frequency and intensity of wildfires is decreased where cheatgrass is controlled.

There is a new product available (Esplanade and now Rejuvra) that controls cheatgrass for 3 to 5+ years. The lifespan of cheatgrass seed in the soil is 3 to 5 years!

There has been lots of exciting recent research and publications available on this product. If you seriously want more deer in Utah take care of the root of the problem.....poor deer habitat!

If anyone has any questions please pm me or do a web search on Rejuvra.


 

Gator

Long Time Member
Messages
16,926
Jims is at the head of the class. Facts show what he is saying.
More food source you have the more animals you can run.
Even old Farmers and Ranchers can tell you that.
That why they get grazing permits for the BLM and NF.
 

grizzly

Long Time Member
Messages
4,203
"""Step 4: Make muzzy's primitive again.! Scopes.? That was stupid."""

And 100 Yard StickFlippers Ain't STUPID?

And 1,000+ Yard Rifles Ain't STUPID?

If You're Gonna Change the Rules!

You're Gonna Have to Change them Across the Board!
That is a ridiculous fallacy. Even if EVERY POSSIBLE CHANGE isn't made at once doesn't mean some incremental improvements wouldn't still help.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
7,415
@jims

Yes Utah has a definite Noxious Weed problem, especially in our burn scars which are tens of thousands of acres throughout the state in both summer and winter range lands.

I get very involved with planting and re-seeding projects with the MDF, I'll mention this Rejuvra to our project coordinator and see what I can learn.
 

jims

Very Active Member
Messages
2,240
Slamdunk The muledeer will thank you! I do a lot of planting and re-seeding projects as well! Exciting work seeing the positive response of natives! In fact, some of the rare and endangered plant species in our area are increasing where we sprayed Rejuvra.

You may also want to contact Corey Ransom at Utah State University. He has done a lot of work with Esplanade/Rejuvra in Utah.

Wetmule, you are right! We may have to test it out on Covid patients!
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
7,415
Slamdunk The muledeer will thank you! I do a lot of planting and re-seeding projects as well! Exciting work seeing the positive response of natives! In fact, some of the rare and endangered plant species in our area are increasing where we sprayed Rejuvra.

Our MDF chapter is actually having a Halloween party tonight, I'll make it a discussion while pounding down bite size Snicker bars 😁
 
Messages
50
What if we just took the struggling units and made them archery only for a few years, the extended archery area has always produced giants, you would still have the opportunity to hunt but the success would be a lot lower
 

jims

Very Active Member
Messages
2,240
Here's an interesting article about cheatgrass vs muledeer from the Muledeer Foundation:

A Utah Division of Wildlife Resources article about cheatgrass vs muledeer:

An article directly from Bayer about Esplanade with contact info for their representatives:


RESTORING CHEATGRASS INVADED RANGELANDS DECREASES WILDFIRE RISK AND INCREASES WILDLIFE BROWSE

 

hawkbill

Active Member
Messages
921
We have the same problems in Idaho, it’s to bad a smart group of guys and gals with a lot of good ideas for both Mule Deer and the range cannot get something done with the fish and game. I was talking with a friend yesterday, the deer numbers and harvest numbers are way down, the fish and game came out with a statement saying hunters are choosing to hunt later in the season this year. That’s a bunch of BS. Im just waiting for them to blame the mis management on CWD
 

notdonhunting

Active Member
Messages
930
What if we just took the struggling units and made them archery only for a few years, the extended archery area has always produced giants, you would still have the opportunity to hunt but the success would be a lot lower
The Extended Archery units is an example why decreasing the harvest of bucks only translates into a higher percentage of older age class of bucks but does nothing for the overall deer herd numbers in growth.
 

bobo18

Member
Messages
37
Well maybe the solution is limiting access make it a (wilderness areas) keep 1 main road open but you have too walk in. Make people have to earn it like the old timers did before me and for heavens sake get rid of all the trail cams (at every seep & guzzlers) that in itself is ridiculous. I counted 9 trail cams at one guzzler in the Desert on this year’s rifle hunt. Holly crap it’s just terrible to see all that stuff. Have people really gotten that lazy to put miles on the old hiking boots?
 

cannonball

Very Active Member
Messages
1,059
What if we just took the struggling units and made them archery only for a few years, the extended archery area has always produced giants, you would still have the opportunity to hunt but the success would be a lot lower
Maybe we shouldn't. Maybe you should look at the archery success ratio vs the rifle success ratio and thats is not counting all of the wounded deer the archers produce. Maybe they should limit the time in the field. Maybe the pressure pushes the deer into the valley where they require to have doe hunts because Aunt Sally's apples are getting eat by the valley deer. Maybe they should shoot bows without sights. Maybe they should outlaw trail cams. The maybe's are endless.
For what is accomplished, I think the Big Game Board has given up on the deer herd.
 

cannonball

Very Active Member
Messages
1,059
The DWR does know how many mountain lion we ahve in the state of Utah
Hawkeye, You really think they know? I don't think they have a clue. They get their information from the Hounds. To a Hounder there can be all of the female lions in the world on the mountain, but if you can't find a large tom they say we are out of lions on the range. Lions are so nocturnal and reclusive the only way we would see them is with dogs after they are tree'd, nevertheless they do love deer.
The question is are you going to get on the Wildlife Board until they do something about it or are you going to just quit deer hunting? Limited entry deer and & 7% success ratio like California is not too far in the distance the way it is going.
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
Messages
5,942
I have to be straight with you guys regarding mountain lions. State wildlife agencies are usually off in their population estimates of any species. I have seen them go both ways. Any wildlife biologist who says they have the population of a species nailed down in any area larger than 1 acre is full of it. I can go ahead and tell you that the absolute WORSE population estimate mistakes I have seen have been in regards to cat species and bears. What is sad is they right so much law based on these numbers which are absolute garbage. I actually feel bad for the biologists. They work their asses off trying to come up with figures as best they can to keep politicians, hunters, bunny huggers, and judges off their asses and then they give them inaccurate figures which I am sure will be thrown in their faces later in a lawsuit.
 

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