Idaho is ruined

DeerMadness

Very Active Member
Messages
2,946
The mule deer populations are the lowest I have ever seen them in 50 years since I was 12. Predators and shooting does, winter range disappearing in some areas. I always found bucks and shooters at that. It will be like Utah where we have to draw tags within the next 3 years mark my words. It's nearly hopeless to draw an Antelope tag and Bull Elk hunting is limited. Unless you are young and a beast then good luck.
 

DeerMadness

Very Active Member
Messages
2,946
Don't worry... Idaho blamed all of their issues on the non-resident. Problem solved.
I don't even care what other people said as it isn't just non -residents. This , that, who, what- I won't be able to fix it and it really bums me out. If there was even a 20 % or more success rate we could have something to hope for..but what we have is hideously sad.
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

Very Active Member
Messages
1,364
Well?!

They gotta limit technology!

Give the critters a chance by getting closer rather than wounding in numbers until something drops!

flooding the hills with long range bombers and soon-to-be single man drones to hit the remote areas, there ain’t no hope for anyone’s dreams!

Let’s get back to hunting rather than shooting!
 

Globalhunter

Active Member
Messages
109
I've spent the last 3 years hunting Idaho...a lot! No "general tag" areas for anything, all limited areas...mostly hunting for elk. But I have spent 50 - 65 days per year in the field (in the summer / fall) and the deer situation in every unit I've been to is absolutely, completely and totally pathetic!

At least where I've been to...I can't honestly figure out why guys are even wasting their time, much less their money / effort? I run into deer hunters all the time...I always tell em what I've seen, but usually my info to give isn't much! But I sure see a ton of elk, and lots of moose!
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

Very Active Member
Messages
1,364
You mean like a Helicopter? How many people do you think are gonna have these?
Look em up. They’re coming!

I would guesstimate within the next 5-10 years that the single person drone situation will explode and the dwr will have to throw regulations on that before it becomes a problem. I think your flat brimmer rich punks will be the first to abuse them. Then once prices come down, your middle class hunter will be next to crowd the airways and back country. Like all new regulations placed on honest hunters every year that do not affect the poacher, I do not see good things resulting from these drones. A lot of accidents and back country rescues, a lot of regulations on the honest hunter but the die-hards will find loopholes to further abuse the privilege of using them when they should not.

Aside from these concerns, how many years can our wildlife put up with technology that isn’t regulated???

There will be no sacred place for the critters anymore. Driven to extinction with little effort on the part of who chooses to use this technology.
 
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mtlionchaser

New Member
Messages
4
I was be on Stoked that my wife drew a Unit 54 late hunt. We started Scouting on the 10th of November and went 10 days solid from daylight to dark. We came home for the weekend and will return on Tuesday. I’m having my doubts though. We couldn’t turn up a buck over 130”-140”. This is sold as a premier unit. It possibly could be Im a bad Hunter. We would see 30-40 does a day and maybe a forkie or Spike. Absolutely not rut activity which we may have missed. Yes I know it’s hunting and it’s all about the experience which has been fun seeing some awesome new country. My 7 year old daughter ground it out with us the full 10 days with out a complaint.
 

kickerbuck

Active Member
Messages
464
Look em up. They’re coming!

I would guesstimate within the next 5-10 years that the single person drone situation will explode and the dwr will have to throw regulations on that before it becomes a problem. I think your flat brimmer rich punks will be the first to abuse them. Then once prices come down, your middle class hunter will be next to crowd the airways and back country. Like all new regulations placed on honest hunters every year that do not affect the poacher, I do not see good things resulting from these drones. A lot of accidents and back country rescues, a lot of regulations on the honest hunter but the die-hards will find loopholes to further abuse the privilege of using them when they should not.

Aside from these concerns, how many years can our wildlife put up with technology that isn’t regulated???

There will be no sacred place for the critters anymore. Driven to extinction with little effort on the part of who chooses to use this technology.
Just like 4wheelers, Razors, Side by Sides, ect they should of been outlawed a long time ago! Technology, Fences, Loss of habitat, HWYS, Predators, Poaching, Overhunting, Social Media, Magazines and lots of hard core hunters ect..... IT'S OVER SOON FOR MULE DEER!!!
 

Ultimag

Active Member
Messages
170
Just like 4wheelers, Razors, Side by Sides, ect they should of been outlawed a long time ago! Technology, Fences, Loss of habitat, HWYS, Predators, Poaching, Overhunting, Social Media, Magazines and lots of hard core hunters ect..... IT'S OVER SOON FOR MULE DEER!!!
Just like 4wheelers, Razors, Side by Sides, ect they should of been outlawed a long time ago! Technology, Fences, Loss of habitat, HWYS, Predators, Poaching, Overhunting, Social Media, Magazines and lots of hard core hunters ect..... IT'S OVER SOON FOR MULE DEER!!!
It's been over for mule deer long before that
It started with 3,wheelers and long range rifles
Everything else after that was just the finishing nails for the coffin lid
It's no longer big game hunting.
It's now big game shooting for the majority
 

DeerMadness

Very Active Member
Messages
2,946
I agree Bloodtracker and Ultimag. 10 years ago I drew a good tag SE Idaho and I saw big ones during the run and shot a 31" 4x4. I've been back to check it out and it has been lousy. I have a friend that has hunted the Little Lost all his life. He is young and in extreme condition. He saw mostly does and a few medium to dinky bucks.
If anyone can find good deer he can.
I hunted unit 50 when I was 14 which was 1972. There were bucks all over in the hills close to Arco. The Californians were all over that year as we saw the license plates. Now don't get defensive if you are a non- resident. We saw the decline as Idaho oversold so many tags.
We didn't have wolves then and no long range guns as most people didn't shoot over 300 yards. It has been a technological amelioration since then and it has been the long ha decline of mule deer here. If the state was a whitetail state I'm sure we would be ok.
 

cross

Member
Messages
8
Yes, the mule deer numbers are horrible. They have been for years as far as I’m concerned. Moved from whitetail county in North Idaho to southern Idaho almost 20 years ago and was amazed at how serious people are about deer hunting in Southern Idaho. Deer camps! Never seen such a thing before! but it was bad hunting even back then. I would look at IDFG population estimates and they said there were 3 mule deer for every elk in the state. I don’t want to say they’re liars but....

I’ve spent almost two decades in Southern Idaho and spend a lot of Novembers out looking for elk and haven’t seen a big buck yet.
If you want a nice mule deer, save your money and buy a hunt in Mexico or Alberta.
 

roadrunner

Very Active Member
Messages
2,021
Well?!

They gotta limit technology!

Give the critters a chance by getting closer rather than wounding in numbers until something drops!

flooding the hills with long range bombers and soon-to-be single man drones to hit the remote areas, there ain’t no hope for anyone’s dreams!

Let’s get back to hunting rather than shooting!

How you going to police hunters not taking an extreme long shot when they are alone?

Open sight rifles is about all you can do, but they can still fling led while walking the shot in from impact points...
 

Bluehair

Very Active Member
Messages
2,105
I agree Bloodtracker and Ultimag. 10 years ago I drew a good tag SE Idaho and I saw big ones during the run and shot a 31" 4x4. I've been back to check it out and it has been lousy. I have a friend that has hunted the Little Lost all his life. He is young and in extreme condition. He saw mostly does and a few medium to dinky bucks.
If anyone can find good deer he can.
I hunted unit 50 when I was 14 which was 1972. There were bucks all over in the hills close to Arco. The Californians were all over that year as we saw the license plates. Now don't get defensive if you are a non- resident. We saw the decline as Idaho oversold so many tags.
We didn't have wolves then and no long range guns as most people didn't shoot over 300 yards. It has been a technological amelioration since then and it has been the long ha decline of mule deer here. If the state was a whitetail state I'm sure we would be ok.
Ah...but it's only amelioration for humans. You should be in charge of the word of the day. (y)
 

fullthrottle

Very Active Member
Messages
1,130
Idaho does a piss poor job. Frankly the entire system needs to be revamped. And as far as the deer herd goes, what a joke. Best mule deer genetics in the country and they wreck it. Heads should roll...
 

Muleman1

Active Member
Messages
766
The mule deer populations are the lowest I have ever seen them in 50 years since I was 12. Predators and shooting does, winter range disappearing in some areas. I always found bucks and shooters at that. It will be like Utah where we have to draw tags within the next 3 years mark my words. It's nearly hopeless to draw an Antelope tag and Bull Elk hunting is limited. Unless you are young and a beast then good luck.
Sounds like Utah
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

Very Active Member
Messages
1,364
How you going to police hunters not taking an extreme long shot when they are alone?

Open sight rifles is about all you can do, but they can still fling led while walking the shot in from impact points...
I guess we’re all entitled to take the long shot with whatever equip we legally have and can hunt with. However, if we witness long range behavior without a followup to the shot fired then we need to report that activity or call it out if you feel comfortable doing so. It’s common sense ethics to follow up on any shot taken. But as long as folks know that they can get away with murder, they will.
 

wildfin

Active Member
Messages
267
I think the tech world is always going to be ahead of any new laws a slow moving gov. operation can come up with, and you will not need a drone to get you were there is not deer. It seems to many people want anything to shoot at, no matter how far and the state,take your pick, needs to suck money out of everything they can. there is no money in better deer hunting,there is no money in restricting ohvs. hunting will be gone long before the tech. the biggest problem I see is,I heard a politician say ,that the greatest minds of our time do not run for public office, the 4th string team is in charge
 

GoHigher

Active Member
Messages
288
It makes sense. It can't just be Utah that is suffering from poor deer numbers. Regs and mgmt differ per state, but its the whole region that is suffering from drought and terrible range conditions.
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

Very Active Member
Messages
1,364
I think the tech world is always going to be ahead of any new laws a slow moving gov. operation can come up with, and you will not need a drone to get you were there is not deer. It seems to many people want anything to shoot at, no matter how far and the state,take your pick, needs to suck money out of everything they can. there is no money in better deer hunting,there is no money in restricting ohvs. hunting will be gone long before the tech. the biggest problem I see is,I heard a politician say ,that the greatest minds of our time do not run for public office, the 4th string team is in charge
Drone tech will be one more variable in the mix of things screwing up the hunt from what it used to be. I am more than willing to walk away from inline muzzy’s and extended hunting season’s, etc, as well as seeing less atv trails dotting the primitive landscape just to see quality rebound. I understand drought and shrinking winter ranges are other variables to look at but the new tech that is and will be introduced will ruin any remaining sacred habitat these critters have especially if permit sales remain the same or increase to unlimited on certain species. I wish that I had solutions to all that is coming or current.
 

Elmacho

Active Member
Messages
479
I am from SoCal and have not hunted Idaho- no plan to....

I can say this, if you were smart enough to invest in idaho property 20 yrs ago, you are set. I dont think I know a single person who does not have a family member either freshly moved to idaho or about to move there in a few years. Kids being sent to college at boise state, grandparents retiring there, people just sick of this **** we have in CA. My realtor clients say its crazy the flight right now--people fleeing to -ID, AZ, NV, MT
 

Calbuck

Member
Messages
48
Have to adjust to changing conditions..IDFG hasn't changed the tag quotas in years and people think they should get to shoot two bucks every year. The management is not adjusting to the herd and the people aren't willing to change to help. The IDFG LOVES that money from excess tag sales. Its a no win situation. I've killed my deer every year back there by hunting hard and getting out of the truck/side x and using my feet. But its getting worse and worse and when you sit down to glass all that beautiful country and turn up 5 does above treeline, and that is ALL, THERE IS A PROBLEM! Elk all over. Antelope here and there. NO DEER. Then I watched a herd of families go riding up the canyon and shoot the HELL out of the group of 10-12 does and fawns up there. DOOMED is all I can say.
 

excaliber

Active Member
Messages
373
The problem is this state is mostly managed for opportunity. There are some real quality Draw hunts but the odds have really taken a hit in the last few years with all the new residents.

I've been here since 2006 and I've yet to see what I would call a smoker buck. It's a shame too as this state has the genetics to produce awesome deer. Elk are doing well. Deer not so much.

We have killer habitat but so much of it is devoid of deer. You'd think there would be deer everywhere in some of the areas. I've never seen such good Mule Deer habitat hold so few deer.

When you manage the OTC units for opportunity like IDF&G does what did you expect would happen?
If there were only 100 deer left in unit 39 they would still let 13,000 deer hunters have at it.

It's all about the money. We have had some really tough winters that last few years. That didn't help at all.

The only way to improve the herds are to reduce Resident tags. Deer and Elk tags are too cheap for us Residents.
19.75 for a deer tag and 30.75 for an Elk tag is a joke.

They need to triple the Resident Deer and Elk tag prices and cut the tags by 33% or more. Reduce tags and start managing the herds. Quit shooting does until the deer herds rebound a bit.

It's all about opportunity.
 

twobears

Member
Messages
66
I have seen the same thing in at least 2 states that i hunt, I'm from Nebraska, and go back to hunt with my family each year, and I can tell you the mule deer numbers are way down, When I was a kid we had them everywhere, and my family has over 3500 acres, of pasture and crp, and we see maybe 10 to 15 deer all season the last few years, and we havent shot a deer for 5 years. Colorado, where i live, has gotten so bad, that I don't even know why anyone would want to buy a tag. I don't know the answer to the problem, I think it's multiple issues, but in the 80's you would see deer everywhere, and now, very few.
 

highfastflyer

Active Member
Messages
202
Look em up. They’re coming!

I would guesstimate within the next 5-10 years that the single person drone situation will explode and the dwr will have to throw regulations on that before it becomes a problem. I think your flat brimmer rich punks will be the first to abuse them. Then once prices come down, your middle class hunter will be next to crowd the airways and back country. Like all new regulations placed on honest hunters every year that do not affect the poacher, I do not see good things resulting from these drones. A lot of accidents and back country rescues, a lot of regulations on the honest hunter but the die-hards will find loopholes to further abuse the privilege of using them when they should not.

Aside from these concerns, how many years can our wildlife put up with technology that isn’t regulated???

There will be no sacred place for the critters anymore. Driven to extinction with little effort on the part of who chooses to use this technology.
Easily fixed with legislation or rule making processes. No flying or aircraft for scouting, any aid or transportation from August 1 to January 31st,
problem solved. Regarding technology and guns, bow technology etc. it might be time to make 9X scopes the largest legal for any rifle hunt. Archery can also be similarly restricted.
 

bigcreekmetal

Active Member
Messages
337
Growing up I hunted Paddock unit 32 and would see tons of deer and either no other hunter or maybe one or two. That was in the 90's. I went back 10 years or so ago with my brother after not visiting the area for 10 or so years and man was I surprised and disappointed! It was nothing at all like what I experienced there growing up. People were everywhere, and when I say everywhere I mean freaking everywhere! I was astounded. I don't remember if we saw does or not but we sure didn't see any bucks. Sure was a bazillion other hunters though. Ive not been back since.

Ive hunted unit 31 for the most part for the last 20 years. I used to see 50 or more deer a day and lots and lots of bucks. Some big some small, but plenty of them. Last 10 years has seen a steady decline. Last 5 years has been a serious decline. This year we didn't put a lot of time in hunting but last year and every other year we put tons of miles in and I can say the animals aren't there. When there is no tracks there is no animals so its not like Im missing them. That bad winter killed a lot of deer where I hunt but they should have started to rebound by now I would think. There are only so many to go around. Its pretty sad. But the elk numbers are great so at least that's in our favor.

I am all for tripling the tag fees and doing away with being able to buy two buck tags. If the population could support such hunting then awesome go for it but it cant anymore.
 

IdahoHntr

Active Member
Messages
192
You guys do realize that 2015 and 2016 were two of the best deer hunting years Idaho has had in 30+ years right? 4 years ago! A few bad years and you'd think the world was going to end. Idaho's deer herds sure have been in worse shape before than they are now. Anybody who hunted deer seriously in Idaho through the 90s and early 2000's has seen some bad deer hunting years.

Winters control the deer numbers. It's pretty simple. When you have a couple bad winters the deer hunting goes to pot for a while. Good time to go kill a few elk. Numbers will rebound, just as they have from bad winters of the past. A couple good winters in a row and we'll start seeing some deer again. We can help it along by killing less does and finding ways to increase fawn recruitment, but give it a little time before you yell that it's the end of the world. Especially when it's only been 4 years since some of the best deer hunting Idaho has seen in decades. Cutting buck tags doesn't save deer herds or Utah cutting from 200,000+ buck tags a year 20 years ago to the 80,000+ today would have given them the best deer hunting in the world. It didn't. Just made it so a lot of people have to wait to hunt (or come to Idaho!). Save does and save fawns anyway possible and that is the only way to help a deer herd grow and rebound faster.

1606264545970.png
 

Foreman4x4

Very Active Member
Messages
2,340
I am from SoCal and have not hunted Idaho- no plan to....

I can say this, if you were smart enough to invest in idaho property 20 yrs ago, you are set. I dont think I know a single person who does not have a family member either freshly moved to idaho or about to move there in a few years. Kids being sent to college at boise state, grandparents retiring there, people just sick of this **** we have in CA. My realtor clients say its crazy the flight right now--people fleeing to -ID, AZ, NV, MT

And they take their politics with them and fugg up everywhere they go.
 

Dang big

Member
Messages
76
Do we want deer or elk?
If you put 10 animals in a corral with the correct amount of feed they will do fine add 20 more without upping the feed some starve.
Years ago there were pockets of elk and slot of deer hard winters affected the deer but they rebounded quickly. Now we have tons of elk out competing the deer for forage, add in predators and excess tags. We have the current state.
Just my 2cents
 

eelgrass

Long Time Member
Messages
25,396
You guys do realize that 2015 and 2016 were two of the best deer hunting years Idaho has had in 30+ years right? 4 years ago! A few bad years and you'd think the world was going to end. Idaho's deer herds sure have been in worse shape before than they are now. Anybody who hunted deer seriously in Idaho through the 90s and early 2000's has seen some bad deer hunting years.

Winters control the deer numbers. It's pretty simple. When you have a couple bad winters the deer hunting goes to pot for a while. Good time to go kill a few elk. Numbers will rebound, just as they have from bad winters of the past. A couple good winters in a row and we'll start seeing some deer again. We can help it along by killing less does and finding ways to increase fawn recruitment, but give it a little time before you yell that it's the end of the world. Especially when it's only been 4 years since some of the best deer hunting Idaho has seen in decades. Cutting buck tags doesn't save deer herds or Utah cutting from 200,000+ buck tags a year 20 years ago to the 80,000+ today would have given them the best deer hunting in the world. It didn't. Just made it so a lot of people have to wait to hunt (or come to Idaho!). Save does and save fawns anyway possible and that is the only way to help a deer herd grow and rebound faster.

View attachment 18371
With the influx of more hunters over time, the harvest numbers may stay the same but the success rate will drop.

From what I can tell, the gold rush is about over in Idaho.
 

BrianID

Very Active Member
Messages
1,412
Idaho's mule deer situation is sad. At least most realize that the number of new residents is the biggest challenge for managing tag numbers. With unlimited OTC tags for residents, the crowding will just get worse.

The number of nonresident tags have had no significant changes in 20+ years. The changes just implemented to nonresident tags will have no significant effect on crowding. It will just more evening distribute nonresidents between units.

I've always liked the OTC opportunity in Idaho but unfortunately we are likely going to see "general season" tags in Idaho similar to Utah in a few years. In reality Utah only has controlled tags for deer. The same is true with Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. Arizona rifle is only draw only tags.
 

Calbuck

Member
Messages
48
I have more bucks in my area of Kali than we've seen in two or three general seasons in Idaho. It's been absolutely piss poor. And come to think of it, a draw unit in Idaho as well.
 

hawkbill

Active Member
Messages
942
Call Mike McDonald the magic valley biologist and tell him about your experience Mule Deer Hunting. Oh I forgot the only thing he’s cares about is protecting the farmers. We have got to get Hunters on the Game and fish commmision and in the legislater. Farmers suck at managing wildlife It shows more and more from season to season
 

Ultimag

Active Member
Messages
170
I have seen the same thing in at least 2 states that i hunt, I'm from Nebraska, and go back to hunt with my family each year, and I can tell you the mule deer numbers are way down, When I was a kid we had them everywhere, and my family has over 3500 acres, of pasture and crp, and we see maybe 10 to 15 deer all season the last few years, and we havent shot a deer for 5 years. Colorado, where i live, has gotten so bad, that I don't even know why anyone would want to buy a tag. I don't know the answer to the problem, I think it's multiple issues, but in the 80's you would see deer everywhere, and now, very few.
Hahahaha, hahaha,,
This is, just hilarious
 

Ultimag

Active Member
Messages
170
quit road hunting, lace up your boots, hike your lazy ass away from the road your vehicle leave theatv/utv/sxs home and actually HUNT the animal 90% of guys that whine & complain that the deer population is, low or they can't find deer in their normal spots translates, to
Me, and Bubba drove all these roads for 5 days.
We never saw, a, deer or elk close enough to shoot from the front seat of our sxs,, the hunting was Terrible the onIy deer we saw, would have required us to actually Hike more then 35 yrds from the road,and that would be way to. MUch workand require us putting down out beer
all the damn non residence are killing our elk and deer
 

264mag

Long Time Member
Messages
9,445
Ive used , a fixed, 6x scope mounted on a, 280 AI for 33 yrs, on everything from yotes to bear
And I've never felt I needed a, bigger Caliber or more magnification.
Most hunters who shoot long range don’t shoot dink’s and come home without a buck , I bet thousands of good bucks and potential bucks are poached and killed by predators
 

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