DEER HERDS -- TIMES ARE CHANGING

yoteduster

Active Member
Messages
998
I guess you could say I had a real eye opener this past deer season. A good friend of mine drew a really hard to draw deer tag in So. Eastern Wyo this year I guess you could call it a trophy tag and i was able to tag along with him. Now I've hunted this country (unit) several times back in the late 80s and early 90s and a guy would see several trophy quality bucks every day not so this past season. You might say that this was a very tough hunt not only was the quality of bucks really poor but the total number of deer seen was pretty sad compared to thirty some years ago.
Also this past season I was fortunate enough to draw a 3rd season tag in N.W. Colo. Now I should let you all know that I'm 73 years old with a really bad back and sort of a bum leg and for this hunt I had some cracked ribs to go along with every thing else. So I guess you know I didn't really get out and stomp the ridges and canyons but this country (unit) was some of my old stomping grounds and I know it well and besides that it's fairly easy to hunt if you know your way around. Again in my opinion the total number of deer seen and the quality of bucks seen was sad compared to the last time I hunted there in 1986. Now don't get me wrong, both these hunts this past season were alot of fun and we harvested a couple decent bucks( sorry I don't do pics unless my wife makes me and she wasn't with us) most of us Utah hunters know what our general season hunts are like..so my question is if our deer herds have went down hill this bad in the last thirty some years and our states dwrs don't wake up what's our deer heards going to like down the road for our children and grandchildren
 

Cooper

Very Active Member
Messages
1,577
I’ve noticed the same decline on the winter range that’s closest to me. Definitely not what it was even 10 years ago and 30 years ago would have been like a dream to see that many deer
 

yoteduster

Active Member
Messages
998
Yes sir it's a sad deal..I talked to our local biologist about high fences and was told udot is against it and then it'll be hell trying to find some of these poor organizations to foot the bill even though they are bringing in million of dollars for wildlife but we do need high fenced from Roosevelt to the top of strawberry.. It would save hundreds of deer annually but after all none of this area is limited entry deer units...
 

ICMDEER

Very Active Member
Messages
2,788
I agree with your post. I hunt deer in several states and numbers are not nearly as high as they used to be. The 70's and 80's were the good times, but we didn't know it then. I used to drive 30 miles each way to work in the 80's and 90's. And I'd see 300-500 deer every morning. I take that same drive now and see maybe 30-40 deer. And I still see the same number of vehicles, maybe 2-3 every time. Rural Wyoming.....

As everybody knows, there are many factors. The increase in predators, the loss of habitat in some areas. competition from elk and whitetails, CWD, EHD, and more.

It's a big effort to bring back those glory days, but it is also a worthwhile endeavor. Lots of people on MM and elsewhere are doing things to help mule deer and it is appreciated. Keep the faith and do what you can.
 

mossback50cal

Very Active Member
Messages
1,099
I see the same. I was born in the early 80's, so my experience is the 90's on. I remember deer camp as a small kid and seeing deer in almost every direction. Now, you are lucky to see a herd of deer in an entire hunt in that same area. It was wiped out by cougars in the mid 90's and has never rebounded. Other areas I used to bow hunt in the late 90's-early 2000's, would see 30 or more bucks a day. Hundreds of does it seemed. Now, you are lucky to see a buck or two and ten does. That's a quality unit in NM. They were giving out 1500-2000 tags a year for that unit. Cut it down to a few hundred about five years ago. I haven't had the pleasure of drawing it since, but would absolutely love to see the deer numbers now. Always draw the first area I was mentioning, and have fun either way. Sure was a lot more fun when you actually saw deer.
 

smokepolejohnson

Active Member
Messages
938
Yes sir it's a sad deal..I talked to our local biologist about high fences and was told udot is against it and then it'll be hell trying to find some of these poor organizations to foot the bill even though they are bringing in million of dollars for wildlife but we do need high fenced from Roosevelt to the top of strawberry.. It would save hundreds of deer annually but after all none of this area is limited entry deer units...
I’ve been driving that stretch regularly in the midnight - early dawn hours for years and it needs to be done. The large amount of tankers are the biggest culprits, I’ve hit a few, for years I started trailing the tankers and I only have to dodge airborne legs, and road rashed rib cages, haven’t hit another one yet.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,326
I drove 22 miles two days ago and I counted 12 deer hit on the road, HWY 40 Eastern Utah
This is a big problem!!!!!
I counted 14 freshly hit deer from the mouth of Provo canyon to the Airport in Heber.

It's terrifying to think how big of impact that has on the lower wasatch when the majority of those deer were pregnant does and probably only a one week time frame.

I'm dumbfounded how there are still any deer left at all in urban areas.
 

Zeke

Long Time Member
Messages
9,820
I was born early 50’s and have seen dramatic changes in numbers of deer, increased road traffic, depletion of winter range, drought and people/hunter population numbers.
It will never be the same but certainly could and should be way better than it is right now.
Lots of people are doing good things and I’m hopeful this has a positive impact on our herds.

Zeke
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

Very Active Member
Messages
2,233
Well, look at it this way… last year’s observations ain’t coming back just like the 80’s deer herds ain’t coming back.

Cherish every chance you have to hunt because it ain’t ever going to get any better.

I predict that eventually your only choice to hunt will be guided high fence because of the way we are trending….

But don’t worry….BIG Money will save your herds!
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,326
the road around deer creek is terrible,the dollar amount of damage to vehicles alone in one year would more than likely pay for the high fence to continue up to heber city!
The state of Nevada has gotten auto insurance companies to kick in millions of dollars to fencing projects, tunnels and crossings to significantly reduce the collision costs.
Utah needs to follow suit.
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
Messages
7,694
Well, look at it this way… last year’s observations ain’t coming back just like the 80’s deer herds ain’t coming back.

Cherish every chance you have to hunt because it ain’t ever going to get any better.

I predict that eventually your only choice to hunt will be guided high fence because of the way we are trending….

But don’t worry….BIG Money will save your herds!

#conservation
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
Messages
7,694
The state of Nevada has gotten auto insurance companies to kick in millions of dollars to fencing projects, tunnels and crossings to significantly reduce the collision costs.
Utah needs to follow suit.


That's a great idea.

If only a conservation group in Utah, had a lobbyist who is tight with Utah politicians.

I'm doubting he will take my calls😁
 

2lumpy

Long Time Member
Messages
5,200
Well, look at it this way… last year’s observations ain’t coming back just like the 80’s deer herds ain’t coming back.

Cherish every chance you have to hunt because it ain’t ever going to get any better.

I predict that eventually your only choice to hunt will be guided high fence because of the way we are trending….

But don’t worry….BIG Money will save your herds!
“I predict that eventually your only choice to hunt will be guided high fence because of the way we are trending….”

That is absolutely correct, first mule deer and some years later, after the desire to preserve Federal Public Land has been lost, elk populations will follow. Preserving mule deer on public land is no bureaucracies serious intention…….. unless it is an unrelated coincident. Coincidental mule deer management, like any other accidental good fortune…….never lasts long. Ideal weather is most certainly coincidental.

“But don’t worry….BIG Money will save your herds!”

Yes, if mule deer survive, as a huntable species, it will ONLY be because of Big Money businessmen and they will most certainly charge all the market will bear, on that you may rest assured.

No sarcasm nor malice intended, just sharing what I see, based on what we are all seeing based on the past and present reaction to the glaring treads.
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
29,194
Times Have Been Changing for 50 F'N Years Now!

Like You've Heard Me Say Like a Broken F'N Record For Decades!

It Ain't Coming Back!And Even if it Did Rebound just a Little MONEY & GREED Would Take it Back away Quickly!

I'll Say it Again:

When 2 Points Become the Cream of the Crop The IG'ers & Social Media Whores Will Be Posting Them Like They've Killed Some Kind of a GAWD-DAMNED Trophy,Parading The Poor Little PISSCUTTER Buck around in the Back of their 125K Main Street 4 Wheel Drive Pick-Up!

When You F Something Up Past The Point of Return it's Perty SAD!
 

MountainSqwabler

Active Member
Messages
236
Man and my dad drew 3rd season muley tags for N.W CO this last season too, in an area we have hunted before and seen and taken monster bucks in. Normally we role over 50???60 bucks a day. This year over the probably 5 days we hunted we looked over maybe a total of 20 bucks, all were pretty small. Even in other units though while we drive the mountains during the off season I have seen fewer and fewer good quality bucks and in general less bucks of any size. I worry about the trend that has been taking the numbers down, and size. In the 1950s or even maybe 30s you find evidence today of 200inch bucks being taken fairly often. Now a 200 inch muley is very far and few and is an absolute unit. In the coming years will a 170...or 180" buck become a monster? I hope not...
 

rocky2track

Active Member
Messages
289
I live in western Wyoming next to both the Wyoming Range and Sublette mule deer migrations. The first overpass/underpass/high fencing project included 12 miles of US Hwy 191 and 189/91 west of Pinedale, WY. That cost was $10 million...10 yrs ago, so now that be around 12-13M for 12 miles of hwy. The Dry Piney project around Labarge and Big Piney, WY will start this spring, will fence 19 miles of hwy, 8 underpasses and will cost just under $14 Million. That's $24 Million for 31 miles of 2-lane Hwy. Interstate hwys would be even more costly. So, figure on average approximately $800,000 per mile of hwy. Natural draws/ravines are used for the underpass locations. If those aren't available, then hwys need to be raised to accommodate the bridge underpass 20' wide x 12' high inside clear span is what they're being designed at. It works in our area as these sections of hwys are migration corridors.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,326
Big money
Internet fame
Advanced technology
That's a great idea.

If only a conservation group in Utah, had a lobbyist who is tight with Utah politicians.

I'm doubting he will take my calls😁
One thing to keep in mind, and one I will point out.
There are reasons game cross roads, winter ground travel, food and or water.
Fencing cannot be put into place keeping them from necessities which is where conservation projects come into play.
You've got to give them reasons to not cross the roads.
This is what MDF does.
 

DBLung

Active Member
Messages
321
I've read where different areas can have different factors for deer herd quality. In south central Utah where I live, it was known as a houndsman's paradise. Houndsmen would come from all over the state to run lions and were very successful. Deer numbers have been low for years. Last year the DWR opened up $30 lion tags over the counter. Of course houndsmen were up in arms about it, and their vocal tirade against the DWR is still being shouted every chance they get. I don't know the exact numbers, but last year there were over 70 lions harvested along the valley on the east side of my home town. I think they are taking a decent number again this year.

The results are quite astonishing. Our ranch has more than double the deer wintering on it this year. It's still not quite like it was back in the 80's and early 90's. But none the less, there are even some okay bucks running around. Now the highway is killing more than usual. Unfortunately high fences and over passes wont work. There are too many roads connecting to the highway. I believe a lower night time speed limit is all we can do to make it better. Too bad there are 5000 college students who would never drive that slow.
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
Messages
7,694
Big money
Internet fame
Advanced technology
One thing to keep in mind, and one I will point out.
There are reasons game cross roads, winter ground travel, food and or water.
Fencing cannot be put into place keeping them from necessities which is where conservation projects come into play.
You've got to give them reasons to not cross the roads.
This is what MDF does.


How's that work with migratory herds?
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,326
I've read where different areas can have different factors for deer herd quality. In south central Utah where I live, it was known as a houndsman's paradise. Houndsmen would come from all over the state to run lions and were very successful. Deer numbers have been low for years. Last year the DWR opened up $30 lion tags over the counter. Of course houndsmen were up in arms about it, and their vocal tirade against the DWR is still being shouted every chance they get. I don't know the exact numbers, but last year there were over 70 lions harvested along the valley on the east side of my home town. I think they are taking a decent number again this year.

The results are quite astonishing. Our ranch has more than double the deer wintering on it this year. It's still not quite like it was back in the 80's and early 90's. But none the less, there are even some okay bucks running around. Now the highway is killing more than usual. Unfortunately high fences and over passes wont work. There are too many roads connecting to the highway. I believe a lower night time speed limit is all we can do to make it better. Too bad there are 5000 college students who would never drive that slow.
This is fantastic!
I would encourage you to report it to the local biologists, this is something they like to hear.
 

MountainSqwabler

Active Member
Messages
236
This is fantastic!
I would encourage you to report it to the local biologists, this is something they like to hear.
I wish colorado parks and wildlifes biologists would listen more. Plenty of studies done and other biologists giving information. But it all seems to fall on deaf ears. Wyoming is doing some good things that really catch my attention.
 

bugleb

Active Member
Messages
296
Wyoming has a small chance of getting a little better when it recovers from a pair of hard winters recently. Utah is a hopeless case. The population has increase four fold since I was a kid. That makes too many people for the deer to recover much at all.
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
Messages
7,460
Tri would probably know more about fencing deer in than he would fencing them out


I know how to build fence. That's the kind of stuff you learn when you get off your a55 and work to solve problems instead of crying about them for years and praying the gubmint will fix something for you.
 

hornkiller

Long Time Member
Messages
3,920
Exactly my point. Internet whining stands exactly zero chance of raising any money. You are nothing more than dead wait to a problem.
My point was the millions on top of millions $.f.w. has raised for how many years has helped the hunting where and when unless your rich prove me wrong!
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
Messages
7,460
That's what I thought troll!


If you "thought" something no body could tell.

Keep whining on your googler. That'll fix the deer.

Maybe if you whine enough somebody will invent an app for your phone that fixes deer herds.😂

Face it boy. At some point your going to have to get off your lazy butt and actually work if you want better deer.
 

hornkiller

Long Time Member
Messages
3,920
If you "thought" something no body could tell.

Keep whining on your googler. That'll fix the deer.

Maybe if you whine enough somebody will invent an app for your phone that fixes deer herds.😂

Face it boy. At some point your going to have to get off your lazy butt and actually work if you want better deer.
I figured that out 10 years ago and moved out!
If millions on top of millions on top of millions raised couldn't help what am I gonna do?
I don't care about ut and the deer heard!
All I want is a buffalo tag but con organization's have f'd that up and f'd so many people for so many years in UT they don't realize how bad they are getting it!
Your so called 1% of tags is a pipe dream bud!
As long as WLH sends you 1 mount a year you will stay sucking won't you?
 

Cooper

Very Active Member
Messages
1,577
I figured that out 10 years ago and moved out!
If millions on top of millions on top of millions raised couldn't help what am I gonna do?
I don't care about ut and the deer heard!
All I want is a buffalo tag but con organization's have f'd that up and f'd so many people for so many years in UT they don't realize how bad they are getting it!
Your so called 1% of tags is a pipe dream bud!
As long as WLH sends you 1 mount a year you will stay sucking won't you?
You got called boy!!! You hit a nerve, now it’s gonna get real!!
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
Messages
7,460
I figured that out 10 years ago and moved out!
If millions on top of millions on top of millions raised couldn't help what am I gonna do?
I don't care about ut and the deer heard!
All I want is a buffalo tag but con organization's have f'd that up and f'd so many people for so many years in UT they don't realize how bad they are getting it!
Your so called 1% of tags is a pipe dream bud!
As long as WLH sends you 1 mount a year you will stay sucking won't you?


You still are making almost no sense. As best I can tell all you are doing is making excuses for sitting on your butt and crying on the internet.

Cooper,

He didn't hit a nerve, he just behaves like a kid. I call people boy in hopes they will at some point realize they would like to grow up.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,326
@hornkiller
Not trying to argue but I have posted dozens of posts showing projects and videos from conservation efforts throughout the state and the west.

You want data showing where they have helped?
I don't immediately have that to offer you, but I will go to work looking for something I can share.
Challenge accepted.

I can tell you this much in the mean time, it doesn't take data to know that replanting a burn scar, building a guzzler, clearing dense juniper and cedar areas on winter range and planting forage foods doesn't kill deer.
Nor does capturing and collaring deer to study their movements throughout corridors so we know where they need help.
Also the many collaring studies conservation groups have done along with state wildlife biologists to determine predator impacts and where depredation needs done is helping significantly.

Your claim is these projects have been a waste?

Let me ask you this.
As our deer numbers appear to still be in the decline, would they be on the rise without conservation?
What are your thoughts on where things would be without conservation efforts?

And lastly........what are YOU doing to help our Mule Deer herds?

Look this up, its in PDF and too big to post.
Screenshot_20220225-091310_Drive.jpg
 
Last edited:

hornkiller

Long Time Member
Messages
3,920
@hornkiller
Not trying to argue but I have posted dozens of posts showing projects and videos from conservation efforts throughout the state and the west.

You want data showing where they have helped?
I don't immediately have that to offer you, but I will go to work looking for something I can share.
Challenge accepted.

I can tell you this much in the mean time, it doesn't take data to know that replanting a burn scar, building a guzzler, clearing dense juniper and cedar areas on winter range and planting forage foods doesn't kill deer.
Nor does capturing and collaring deer to study their movements throughout corridors so we know where they need help.
Also the many collaring studies conservation groups have done along with state wildlife biologists to determine predator impacts and where depredation needs done is helping significantly.

Your claim is these projects have been a waste?

Let me ask you this.
As our deer numbers appear to still be in the decline, would they be on the rise without conservation?
What are your thoughts on where things would be without conservation efforts?

And lastly........what are YOU doing to help our Mule Deer herds?

Look this up, its in PDF and too big to post.
View attachment 69277
Slam I was mostly talking about $.f.w.!
I am a member of MDF i have been for years!
I have seen your projects and thank you and everyone that has helped with them!
I never claimed any projects that truly help are a waste!
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,326
Slam I was mostly talking about $.f.w.!
I am a member of MDF i have been for years!
I have seen your projects and thank you and everyone that has helped with them!
I never claimed any projects that truly help are a waste!
Well then I owe you an apology.

I was assuming you lumped MDF into this statement-
"All I want is a buffalo tag but con organization's have f'd that up and f'd so many people for so many years in UT they don't realize how bad they are getting it!"

I apologize @hornkiller
 

hornkiller

Long Time Member
Messages
3,920
Well then I owe you an apology.

I was assuming you lumped MDF into this statement-
"All I want is a buffalo tag but con organization's have f'd that up and f'd so many people for so many years in UT they don't realize how bad they are getting it!"

I apologize @hornkiller
No need to apologize!
I should have worded it differently or stayed completely out of it!
Your good slam👍
 

notdonhunting

Very Active Member
Messages
1,418
hornkiller
You are obviously not a Utahn and you say you don't care about Utah deer herds.
So then how do you know if the Utah conservation groups are helping deer # in Utah?

Deer numbers have been steadily declining for 40 plus years and they have been steadily declining in all western states. Yes everyone has dropped the ball on the health of muley deer, most everyone thought they would rebound on their own.
The Western Hunting Conservation Expo was started in 2007. So because they make millions it means the deer numbers should be instantly fixed. It takes years to do studies and then to get the managment plan implemented that can help the deer numbers it takes several more years and then to see results from whatever managment plan it takes several more years. All of this has taken place during the most extensive drought in more than 50 years and during masive growth in human population and loss of habitat throughout the mountain west. The winter range conditions has had little to no improvements in over 50 years (Brush/Browse does not stay fruitful with nourishment for ever).
So all of this should get fixed in 15 years.

I can testify I know one unit in Utah that the deer numbers have slightly increased over the last few years and it is because of some of these studies that slamdunk is talking about and what they had discovered from their study the DWR has made some managment changes that has helped deer numbers. If it is only needing some managment of elk and predators it can be a quicker fix than if it is extensive habitat improvements.

I know the same guys will come on here and say "the sky is falling" but I would rather try and look for improvements and recognize the effort that many individuals and organizations and what they are trying to do to help all wildlife In Utah. But no matter what is done it is not going to be cheap, easy or quick.
 

hornkiller

Long Time Member
Messages
3,920
hornkiller
You are obviously not a Utahn and you say you don't care about Utah deer herds.
So then how do you know if the Utah conservation groups are helping deer # in Utah?

Deer numbers have been steadily declining for 40 plus years and they have been steadily declining in all western states. Yes everyone has dropped the ball on the health of muley deer, most everyone thought they would rebound on their own.
The Western Hunting Conservation Expo was started in 2007. So because they make millions it means the deer numbers should be instantly fixed. It takes years to do studies and then to get the managment plan implemented that can help the deer numbers it takes several more years and then to see results from whatever managment plan it takes several more years. All of this has taken place during the most extensive drought in more than 50 years and during masive growth in human population and loss of habitat throughout the mountain west. The winter range conditions has had little to no improvements in over 50 years (Brush/Browse does not stay fruitful with nourishment for ever).
So all of this should get fixed in 15 years.

I can testify I know one unit in Utah that the deer numbers have slightly increased over the last few years and it is because of some of these studies that slamdunk is talking about and what they had discovered from their study the DWR has made some managment changes that has helped deer numbers. If it is only needing some managment of elk and predators it can be a quicker fix than if it is extensive habitat improvements.

I know the same guys will come on here and say "the sky is falling" but I would rather try and look for improvements and recognize the effort that many individuals and organizations and what they are trying to do to help all wildlife In Utah. But no matter what is done it is not going to be cheap, easy or quick.
Spent 28 years in ut and know all about hunting in all corners of it!

Still do every year and haven't seen it get any better since the rise of $.f.w.!

Sure they spend some money on projects but alot of the things they spend big $$$ on have nothing to do with ut!

Never said the deer heard should be fixed instantly!

It just pisses a guy off watching everyone helping the top dogs at $.f.w. go on personal hunts and buy ranches ect!
 

notdonhunting

Very Active Member
Messages
1,418
Spent 28 years in ut and know all about hunting in all corners of it!

Still do every year and haven't seen it get any better since the rise of $.f.w.!

Sure they spend some money on projects but alot of the things they spend big $$$ on have nothing to do with ut!

Never said the deer heard should be fixed instantly!

It just pisses a guy off watching everyone helping the top dogs at $.f.w. go on personal hunts and buy ranches ect!

I hear accusations and I hear alot of complete nonsense in accusations but I never see any evidence that they have misappropriated any funds raised from the sell or raffle of tags.

If everyone is so sure of misappropriated funds show some evidence.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,326
hornkiller
You are obviously not a Utahn and you say you don't care about Utah deer herds.
So then how do you know if the Utah conservation groups are helping deer # in Utah?

Deer numbers have been steadily declining for 40 plus years and they have been steadily declining in all western states. Yes everyone has dropped the ball on the health of muley deer, most everyone thought they would rebound on their own.
The Western Hunting Conservation Expo was started in 2007. So because they make millions it means the deer numbers should be instantly fixed. It takes years to do studies and then to get the managment plan implemented that can help the deer numbers it takes several more years and then to see results from whatever managment plan it takes several more years. All of this has taken place during the most extensive drought in more than 50 years and during masive growth in human population and loss of habitat throughout the mountain west. The winter range conditions has had little to no improvements in over 50 years (Brush/Browse does not stay fruitful with nourishment for ever).
So all of this should get fixed in 15 years.

I can testify I know one unit in Utah that the deer numbers have slightly increased over the last few years and it is because of some of these studies that slamdunk is talking about and what they had discovered from their study the DWR has made some managment changes that has helped deer numbers. If it is only needing some managment of elk and predators it can be a quicker fix than if it is extensive habitat improvements.

I know the same guys will come on here and say "the sky is falling" but I would rather try and look for improvements and recognize the effort that many individuals and organizations and what they are trying to do to help all wildlife In Utah. But no matter what is done it is not going to be cheap, easy or quick.
Great post 👍
 

DonVathome

Very Active Member
Messages
1,666
I here stories about what it used to me like and I wish I could have seen it! Closest I came was in CO unit 76 hunting elk in 2007. I COULD have pulled am archery deer tag and really wish I would have. Some of the deer I saw confused me. Honestly I my brain said elk even though I knew it was a deer. 180 deer standing on the side of the road, during muzzy season at lunchtime. My dad saw many of them with me. Sitting a trail one day he said he had a noticeably bigger one walk right past him. I really wonder how big it was because we saw several 170-180 bucks.
 

Ultimag

Active Member
Messages
699
I here stories about what it used to me like and I wish I could have seen it! Closest I came was in CO unit 76 hunting elk in 2007. I COULD have pulled am archery deer tag and really wish I would have. Some of the deer I saw confused me. Honestly I my brain said elk even though I knew it was a deer. 180 deer standing on the side of the road, during muzzy season at lunchtime. My dad saw many of them with me. Sitting a trail one day he said he had a noticeably bigger one walk right past him. I really wonder how big it was because we saw several 170-180 bucks.
CO is the #1 state in the u.s for trophy mule deer over 200"
 

jims

Long Time Member
Messages
3,016
Colo pretty much re-wrote the B&C books after they switched totally over to limited draw for deer. Prior to that time there were a lot of young 2x's roaming the hills. It generally takes 6+ years for a buck to reach B&C. It doesn't hurt that Colo deer have excellent genetics. The combo of older age class bucks, great feed, relatively mild winters through most of the 1990's all equated to great bucks during that period of time.

Unfortunately the good ole days may be gone in Colo since the CPW has converted over to late rifle rut season dates and continue to increase tags. It's sad that the CPW's current management scheme using the excuse for increasing tags to target what they say is an epidemic of CWD racing across Colorado. They mention shooting older age class bucks during the rut is a great idea to prevent CWD from spreading? Anyone that has spent time around CWD since the it escaped from the facility in Fort Collins knows that it isn't near the problem that they lead hunters to believe. It's been around in low levels in Colo deer since the 1980's.

I can pretty much guarantee the good ole days are gone in Colo! Each year the rifle rut hunts are open are going to leave fewer and fewer mature bucks available.
 

MountainSqwabler

Active Member
Messages
236
I agree completely Jim's. I moved into Colorado in 2008 and I remember the amount of large (175"+) bucks that I would see just on the side of the road walking about. Now all I see are just a ton of 150" and smaller bucks, and all are farther and fewer than they used to me.....very sad seeing it happening in my time.
 

Ultimag

Active Member
Messages
699
Colo pretty much re-wrote the B&C books after they switched totally over to limited draw for deer. Prior to that time there were a lot of young 2x's roaming the hills. It generally takes 6+ years for a buck to reach B&C. It doesn't hurt that Colo deer have excellent genetics. The combo of older age class bucks, great feed, relatively mild winters through most of the 1990's all equated to great bucks during that period of time.

Unfortunately the good ole days may be gone in Colo since the CPW has converted over to late rifle rut season dates and continue to increase tags. It's sad that the CPW's current management scheme using the excuse for increasing tags to target what they say is an epidemic of CWD racing across Colorado. They mention shooting older age class bucks during the rut is a great idea to prevent CWD from spreading? Anyone that has spent time around CWD since the it escaped from the facility in Fort Collins knows that it isn't near the problem that they lead hunters to believe. It's been around in low levels in Colo deer since the 1980's.

I can pretty much guarantee the good ole days are gone in Colo! Each year the rifle rut hunts are open are going to leave fewer and fewer mature bucks available.
they still produce more B&C BUCKS then any state in the lower 48 & canada .
the good old days of colorado are far from over
 

Bigfoot 1

Very Active Member
Messages
1,333
I guess you could say I had a real eye opener this past deer season. A good friend of mine drew a really hard to draw deer tag in So. Eastern Wyo this year I guess you could call it a trophy tag and i was able to tag along with him. Now I've hunted this country (unit) several times back in the late 80s and early 90s and a guy would see several trophy quality bucks every day not so this past season. You might say that this was a very tough hunt not only was the quality of bucks really poor but the total number of deer seen was pretty sad compared to thirty some years ago.
Also this past season I was fortunate enough to draw a 3rd season tag in N.W. Colo. Now I should let you all know that I'm 73 years old with a really bad back and sort of a bum leg and for this hunt I had some cracked ribs to go along with every thing else. So I guess you know I didn't really get out and stomp the ridges and canyons but this country (unit) was some of my old stomping grounds and I know it well and besides that it's fairly easy to hunt if you know your way around. Again in my opinion the total number of deer seen and the quality of bucks seen was sad compared to the last time I hunted there in 1986. Now don't get me wrong, both these hunts this past season were alot of fun and we harvested a couple decent bucks( sorry I don't do pics unless my wife makes me and she wasn't with us) most of us Utah hunters know what our general season hunts are like..so my question is if our deer herds have went down hill this bad in the last thirty some years and our states dwrs don't wake up what's our deer heards going to like down the road for our children and grandchildren
I agree with you on the decline of deer. Here in New Mexico along with our prolonged drought the mountain lions and coyotes have taken their toll on our once healthy deer population. Then you’ve got an increase in Hunters and pressure and the use of motorized vehicles driving off road that really push what’s left of the deer further into wilderness. You’ve also got Chronic Wasting Disease and who knows what else killing deer before their prime.
 

lostinOregon

Very Active Member
Messages
1,838
In Colorado all you have to do is look at the number of tags being issued, especially in the NW corner. The poorer management seems to coincide with the combination of the parks with fish and game. They are saying it is the right thing to do with CWD, issue more buck tags. Seems odd to me to kill them before they die from natural causes, dead is dead. Tags will continue to increase in Colorado to make the budget balance, not because of anything else.

Rich
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
5,443
The mule deer foundation has been around since 1988. 30+ years and what to show for it? Nothing. Mule deer herds are in the toilet.

At least the RMEF has elk back east. Booming elk populations all over.

Time to let RMEF take over the MDF.
 

SS!

Long Time Member
Messages
5,443
The MDF is like that one family member who is a loser and can’t get their life together. The one you constantly give money to without expecting anything in return. MDF is the family member everyone makes excuses for them and focuses on minor achievements that wouldn’t even be notable for anyone else. Before you know it they are 50 years old and haven’t accomplished anything in life. Instead of making more excuses for them you just leave them alone. You’ve given up but as long as they don’t hurt anyone else you’ll still let them be in your life. That’s the MDF. 100%.

Spring is almost here. Time to see them plant an few bushes on the winter range. I’ll get the banner ready. Someone else can do the cake and ice cream.
 

lostinOregon

Very Active Member
Messages
1,838
Back when I was still working in Oregon there were discussions about federal legislation that required the cost of wildlife passes to be added to the construction cost of a new highway project. It didn't go anywhere that I know about and I retired while the topic was being discussed. If the conservation groups really want to make an impact on mule deer across the west they would identify migration routes in every state and then fund/through legislation require funding of critical locations. To all the naysayers that say that can't be done the arts folks have done very well at this type of endeavor. In Oregon any state building requires 1 percent of the total cost to go to art. So you are required to spend 1 percent of the total building cost on art. I believe federally it is the same way. So it can be done. You partner with the insurance companies, put some skin in the game to identify wildlife migration routes. Only way this will fly is through a federal program and not state to state as some of the states politics will kill it. Another example is the road construction folks mandated federally through their lobbying efforts that local law enforcement be present in construction zones. That's why you see a trooper sitting at the entrance of a construction zone sitting there with their lights on. That funding is built into the cost of the roadway construction to reduce the number of deaths and collisions in a construction zone. Instead of releasing pheasants and selling landowner tags this would be a major accomplishment and save thousands of deer per year. Arts and construction companies got it done, its time for the wildlife groups to get it done. Just my thoughts from being in those conversations for many years.

Rich
 

Homer

Long Time Member
Messages
11,716
Back when I was still working in Oregon there were discussions about federal legislation that required the cost of wildlife passes to be added to the construction cost of a new highway project. It didn't go anywhere that I know about and I retired while the topic was being discussed. If the conservation groups really want to make an impact on mule deer across the west they would identify migration routes in every state and then fund/through legislation require funding of critical locations. To all the naysayers that say that can't be done the arts folks have done very well at this type of endeavor. In Oregon any state building requires 1 percent of the total cost to go to art. So you are required to spend 1 percent of the total building cost on art. I believe federally it is the same way. So it can be done. You partner with the insurance companies, put some skin in the game to identify wildlife migration routes. Only way this will fly is through a federal program and not state to state as some of the states politics will kill it. Another example is the road construction folks mandated federally through their lobbying efforts that local law enforcement be present in construction zones. That's why you see a trooper sitting at the entrance of a construction zone sitting there with their lights on. That funding is built into the cost of the roadway construction to reduce the number of deaths and collisions in a construction zone. Instead of releasing pheasants and selling landowner tags this would be a major accomplishment and save thousands of deer per year. Arts and construction companies got it done, its time for the wildlife groups to get it done. Just my thoughts from being in those conversations for many years.

Rich
so....the problem is vehicle deaths??
 

2lumpy

Long Time Member
Messages
5,200
Back when I was still working in Oregon there were discussions about federal legislation that required the cost of wildlife passes to be added to the construction cost of a new highway project. It didn't go anywhere that I know about and I retired while the topic was being discussed. If the conservation groups really want to make an impact on mule deer across the west they would identify migration routes in every state and then fund/through legislation require funding of critical locations. To all the naysayers that say that can't be done the arts folks have done very well at this type of endeavor. In Oregon any state building requires 1 percent of the total cost to go to art. So you are required to spend 1 percent of the total building cost on art. I believe federally it is the same way. So it can be done. You partner with the insurance companies, put some skin in the game to identify wildlife migration routes. Only way this will fly is through a federal program and not state to state as some of the states politics will kill it. Another example is the road construction folks mandated federally through their lobbying efforts that local law enforcement be present in construction zones. That's why you see a trooper sitting at the entrance of a construction zone sitting there with their lights on. That funding is built into the cost of the roadway construction to reduce the number of deaths and collisions in a construction zone. Instead of releasing pheasants and selling landowner tags this would be a major accomplishment and save thousands of deer per year. Arts and construction companies got it done, its time for the wildlife groups to get it done. Just my thoughts from being in those conversations for many years.

Rich
I like your logic. Wish your suggestion would take root.
 

lostinOregon

Very Active Member
Messages
1,838
No, it's not all vehicle deaths, but it has an impact. There are several legs to the table of mule deer issues, drought, predators, too many tags are up there on the list. To me it is very clear that the impact man has on mule deer migration routes to their wintering grounds. This is just one step in many that need to be taken to solve the mule deer issue.

Rich
 

ihunt4200

Active Member
Messages
118
Big money
Internet fame
Advanced technology
One thing to keep in mind, and one I will point out.
There are reasons game cross roads, winter ground travel, food and or water.
Fencing cannot be put into place keeping them from necessities which is where conservation projects come into play.
You've got to give them reasons to not cross the roads.
This is what MDF does.
and you can see this.....where. Not the dead deer. What they do, do........ take your money at Expo.. #moneyconservation
 

ihunt4200

Active Member
Messages
118
Lmfao and this forum never raised millions on top of millions for wildlife did it!
Im sure a very high percentage of people on this forum have given plenty to conservation over the years. There lies the problem~ who give most to conservation "hunters and anglers" and have had since The Pittman–Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 not to mention all the dedicated hunters and .org members on this forum~~~ yes they/we have a right to ***** just as you do.
 

ihunt4200

Active Member
Messages
118
I hear accusations and I hear alot of complete nonsense in accusations but I never see any evidence that they have misappropriated any funds raised from the sell or raffle of tags.

If everyone is so sure of misappropriated funds show some evidence.
Its all hidden in the numbers and audits.
 

ihunt4200

Active Member
Messages
118
Again.....who are YOU and do you have anything factual to share versus just spewing out nonsense?
Who am I? -> Who are you or do you think you are? Seems like you are the AUTHORITY on conservation here. Why, o because you have done projects. Who hasn't. The only nonsense spewing is you trying to convince these guys that $fw =bad / MDF is the true prophet mean PROFIT.. GTFO with your bible thumping. Theres a huge problem that needs to be addressed and all you can talk about is reseeding a burn and guzzlers wow. hopefully you got a participation trophy... All anyone is asking is why can this not be fixed? why hasn't it been addressed after 16 years of Expo and hundreds and hundreds of Banquets? It's a #1 killer of Mule Deer right here in front of us? whatev' your highness~ Cant wait to read you book.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,326
@ihunt4200
Glad you took a couple minutes to crawl out from under your rock after over two weeks to share more of your thoughtful insights......hope you're doing well 🤗
 

Bigfoot 1

Very Active Member
Messages
1,333
I've read where different areas can have different factors for deer herd quality. In south central Utah where I live, it was known as a houndsman's paradise. Houndsmen would come from all over the state to run lions and were very successful. Deer numbers have been low for years. Last year the DWR opened up $30 lion tags over the counter. Of course houndsmen were up in arms about it, and their vocal tirade against the DWR is still being shouted every chance they get. I don't know the exact numbers, but last year there were over 70 lions harvested along the valley on the east side of my home town. I think they are taking a decent number again this year.

The results are quite astonishing. Our ranch has more than double the deer wintering on it this year. It's still not quite like it was back in the 80's and early 90's. But none the less, there are even some okay bucks running around. Now the highway is killing more than usual. Unfortunately high fences and over passes wont work. There are too many roads connecting to the highway. I believe a lower night time speed limit is all we can do to make it better. Too bad there are 5000 college students who would never drive that slow.
Mountain lions and coyotes are decimating our deer herds here in New Mexico also. I kill them as often as I can.
 

muleybeast

Active Member
Messages
497
It would be nice if we could all get out regularly and bust some coyotes and other predators. Trying to provide safe travel corridors is also huge. Investing in the forage and removing invasive plant species can also help. As you can see it’s a multi prong solution. There is no single magic bullet but a multitude of strategies that need to be applied. Lastly some folks need to understand that all these changes can gradually impact herd size. It will not happen overnight.
 

yoteduster

Active Member
Messages
998
It would be nice if we could all get out regularly and bust some coyotes and other predators. Trying to provide safe travel corridors is also huge. Investing in the forage and removing invasive plant species can also help. As you can see it’s a multi prong solution. There is no single magic bullet but a multitude of strategies that need to be applied. Lastly some folks need to understand that all these changes can gradually impact herd size. It will not happen overnight.
Well said...too bad the DWR and some of the other orgs that have the money don't seem to understand this
 

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