Watch today's Wildlife Board work session

Amy

Active Member
The Utah Wildlife Board is meeting today for a work session. The board members will be discussing a variety of topics but not taking action on any of the items.

We will be livestreaming the work session via YouTube, starting at 9 a.m., if you're interested in watching or listening.


Amy Canning
Communications Specialist
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
 

SureShot

Active Member
Sure was refreshing to hear Wade Heaton say that neither the public opinion or the RAC recommendations matter. The only people that matter are the 7 board members. Aren't we so lucky to have that mentality on the board.
Absolutely. And, he didn't say their opinions and recommendations don't matter. He said they were to be taken under consideration, but they weren't the final decision makers. And he was right.

This current board has done more to improve the quality of our herds in the last year or two than any other in the past 20. And, they're doing it because they're doing what's best whether everybody agrees with it or not. I am 100% supportive of the direction things are going.
 
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WhiskeyDog

Active Member
Absolutely. And, he didn't say their opinions and recommendations don't matter. He said they were to be taken under consideration, but they weren't the final decision makers. And he was right.

This current board has done more to improve the quality of our herds in the last year or two than any other in the past 20. And, they're doing it because they're doing what's best whether everybody agrees with it or not. I am 100% supportive of the direction things are going.
I'd have to disagree. I think our game management is in a downward spiral. I think the university studies are positive, but the wildlife board decisions have been a whole bunch of negative.
 

deerkiller

Active Member
Yeah I think our management the last couple years has taken a hard nose dive on many units for many species. Sure there’s still a few isolated herds that haven’t been hammered yet, but give it time. They’ll work on them shortly.

they have no idea what’s going on. 8 months ago we had the highest deer numbers we’ve seen in 30+ years. Fast forward 3 months and they tell us all the deer have died and we need major tag reductions. They have no idea what’s really out there and they have made it very apparent that the public input doesn’t mean ****. It’s a guess at best. And they are crappy guessers
 

SureShot

Active Member
I'm not talking about the division; I'm talking about the board...and Wade in particular. Approving fewer tags than the division recommended, pushing for higher buck:doe ratios, getting very aggressive on predator control. All good stuff as far as I can see.
 

WhiskeyDog

Active Member
I'm not talking about the division; I'm talking about the board...and Wade in particular. Approving fewer tags than the division recommended, pushing for higher buck:doe ratios, getting very aggressive on predator control. All good stuff as far as I can see.
I am also speaking of the board and Wade specifically. He passes what is good for him. We're now at the point we have so poorly managed some species that we have to attempt to wipe out other species to cover up the failures. But keep drinking that koolaid.
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
Here I sit as always trying to figure out how we put a public asset, wildlife, in the hands of commercial business, guides/outfitters?

We may as well put Moss and WLH on there too and stop the illusions.

As deerkiller said, last falls language and this springs cuts don’t match. And that was with a normal winter and mild spring.

However deer # are obviously flourishing everywhere the guides are, not a cut to be found.
 

twopointdn

Member
There is always things to improve on but I’m not overly disappointed with the decision they made this year. I still wish they would have private land and public land tags similar to Colorado in the general deer units with a lot of private ground. The small percentage of public ground receives 80% of the tag holders hunting on it and it gets pounded. Reducing tag quotes for the entire unit alone will not help the quality of the hunting on public land in these types of units. Also the large amounts of private ground over inflict the buck to doe ratios in comparison to what is available to the public land hunters. It was nice that they are starting to recognize this situation but I think they need to look at it a little harder and take Colorado’s model on this one.
 

elkantlers

Very Active Member
This current board has done more to improve the quality of our herds in the last year or two than any other in the past 20. And, they're doing it because they're doing what's best whether everybody agrees with it or not. I am 100% supportive of the direction things are going.
I will disagree as well. Our Current board is a nothing more than a bunch of special interest puppets. Not one single member makes a decision that doesn't benefit themselves, their buddies or SFW.
It's embarrassing what we have making decisions about our wildlife.
 

SureShot

Active Member
Well, I guess I must be special interest, too. I want to see more bucks and more big bucks when I go hunting and that's what they seem to want as well.
 

deerkiller

Active Member
Well, I guess I must be special interest, too. I want to see more bucks and more big bucks when I go hunting and that's what they seem to want as well.
The only way for them to accomplish that with the direction they are currently headed is severely limit opportunities for people to go hunting. More than they did 8 years ago. The “opportunity” type general hunt they sold us all on back in 2012, is now turning out to be a lie. We were told going to a unit by unit management practice would allow for fine tuning that certain units would need to produce opportunities. Well, they didn’t stick to their word. There hasn’t been much unit by unit management. One unit takes a hit, the whole damn state goes down with it.
 

elkfromabove

Very Active Member
The only way for them to accomplish that with the direction they are currently headed is severely limit opportunities for people to go hunting. More than they did 8 years ago. The “opportunity” type general hunt they sold us all on back in 2012, is now turning out to be a lie. We were told going to a unit by unit management practice would allow for fine tuning that certain units would need to produce opportunities. Well, they didn’t stick to their word. There hasn’t been much unit by unit management. One unit takes a hit, the whole damn state goes down with it.
They, the DWR, is just doing what they were told to do. The DWR didn't promise more opportunity, the Wildlife Board did when they promoted Option #2! What they missed, and almost everybody else including most of you missed, is that when you change the rules of the game, you change the way it is played. When you limit the area (or time or method) allowed to hunt, hunters make the adjustments it now takes to still accomplish their goal of harvesting an animal.

I've been doing some extensive research on how the buck deer harvest affects the population (It doesn't according to the stats since 1974.) and one thing I discovered is that the success rate for the general rifle hunts since Option #2, increased in all but one unit. On some units it almost doubled! (The same thing happened when we went to Region tags from statewide tags, but it wasn't quite so drastic.)

Blame whoever you want, but managing hunters has very little to do with any of the decline and managing hunters isn't the cure.
 
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deerkiller

Active Member
They, the DWR, is just doing what they were told to do. The DWR didn't promise more opportunity, the Wildlife Board did when they promoted Option #2! What they missed, and almost everybody else including most of you missed, is that when you change the rules of the game, you change the way it is played. When you limit the area (or time or method) allowed to hunt, hunters make the adjustments it now takes to still accomplish their goal of harvesting an animal.

I've been doing some extensive research on how the buck deer harvest affects the population (It doesn't according to the stats since 1974.) and one thing I discovered is that the success rate for the general rifle hunts since Option #2, increased in all but one unit. On some units it almost doubled! (The same thing happened when we went to Region tags from statewide tags, but it wasn't quite so drastic.)

Blame whoever you want, but managing hunters has very little to do with any of the decline and managing hunters isn't the cure.
I’m not talking about the DWR in the conversation. We are talking about the WB. Although, don’t try to paint the picture that the DWR is innocent in this mess we are in now. They’ve had more than their fair share of duck-ups. They recommend tag numbers and the WB usually approves their proposals

and I’m not complaining about success rates. I’ve never struggled to kill a 4x4 on any general tag I’ve had.
 

deerkiller

Active Member
Well, I guess I must be special interest, too. I want to see more bucks and more big bucks when I go hunting and that's what they seem to want as well.
Would you rather hunt every 1-2 years and see smaller bucks? Or every 5-7 years and see bigger bucks?

I’d rather go hunting every year. If i look long enough, I’ll find something worth chasing. But even if I don’t, just going hunting every year is better than staying home on only hunting every 5 or so years
 

SureShot

Active Member
Definitely the latter for me. Between me and my family, I'd still be out hunting every year...I just wouldn't always have the tag.

My idea, which will probably never happen, is to split up a few more of the really big units (e.g. Manti) and then make a handful into 12-14 buck:doe targets--or even 10-12 if they want (since it doesn't affect the herd anyway, right?). Then, they can give out enough permits on those units that nobody will ever have to go without a tag ;). All of those people who have to hunt every year can go do it.

Keep a few units at 15-17, a few at 18-20 and add a few at 23-25. Then, you'll have something for everybody. You want to hunt every year? Go have fun chasing 2 points. You want to wait a few years for better quality? Go for it. You want to see big bucks? OK, but you may have to wait a while between hunts.

Even better, let's combine the general season and limited entry units into a single system with different tiers of quality and opportunity and let each person decide between opportunity and quality.
 

Hawkeye

Very Active Member
Just like our federal government, the WB system is only as good as the people chosen to represent us. SFW and other special interest groups wield massive power and influence with our state leaders. As a result, these groups miraculously get their people appointed to RACs and the WB over and over. The system is broke but nothing will change as long as the same groups with their hands in the cookie jar are the ones making the decisions. Unfortunately, I don’t see things changing anytime soon.

Any bets on whether the current WB will exercise the option to grant the current groups another 5 years? You know, that recent rule change by the WB that provided a five-year extension to eliminate competition?

Hawkeye
 

elkfromabove

Very Active Member
Just like our federal government, the WB system is only as good as the people chosen to represent us. SFW and other special interest groups wield massive power and influence with our state leaders. As a result, these groups miraculously get their people appointed to RACs and the WB over and over. The system is broke but nothing will change as long as the same groups with their hands in the cookie jar are the ones making the decisions. Unfortunately, I don’t see things changing anytime soon.

Any bets on whether the current WB will exercise the option to grant the current groups another 5 years? You know, that recent rule change by the WB that provided a five-year extension to eliminate competition?

Hawkeye
Any bets on whether most of you on this forum will remain silent during this process and will continue to support the current EXPO promoters with your attendance and/or your $5.00 permit application fees?
 

deerkiller

Active Member
Any bets on whether most of you on this forum will remain silent during this process and will continue to support the current EXPO promoters with your attendance and/or your $5.00 permit application fees?
I’m pretty sure it’s $10 now...

I haven’t been since 2015, prior to that I hadn’t been since 2010. I caved the one year since my girlfriend (now wife) was just getting into hunting and had heard about it and wanted to go. I told her it wasn’t as cool as she imagined, but took her so she could see for herself. As we walked out of there she said “yeah that wasn’t as great as they made it sound. It was really dumb honestly.”
 

elkfromabove

Very Active Member
I’m not talking about the DWR in the conversation. We are talking about the WB. Although, don’t try to paint the picture that the DWR is innocent in this mess we are in now. They’ve had more than their fair share of duck-ups. They recommend tag numbers and the WB usually approves their proposals

and I’m not complaining about success rates. I’ve never struggled to kill a 4x4 on any general tag I’ve had.
I'll concede that the DWR isn't totally innocent in this mess we are now in because they are, indeed, reluctant to recommend the full number of buck tags the latest Statewide and Unit management plans call for. However, my point still stands that it matters very little to the population numbers how many buck deer are taken, as long as there are enough left to breed more than 90% of the does. And, our current deer management plans are more than adequate for that purpose!

As for the success rate increases, it may not affect your personal hunting style, but it certainly does reduce the number of tags the DWR is able to issue, thus more lost opportunities.
 

gundog2

Member
Yes, perhaps 15 forkies can breed 100 does if they are all come together in the same area, but I am not so sure that the UDWR has a post season survey system that adequately accounts for all possible breeding areas or that it adequately accounts for the shor-term and long-term redistribution of deer following intensive hunting pressure on public lands. I would echo post #13, by twopointdn, for the need to manage public and private lands in different ways. Is this as good as it gets? Really?
 

cannonball

Very Active Member
Frankly, my friends, If you're not nearly social security age, you don't know a darn thing about the deer herds. When you hunt deer from the middle of August to November and December, then kill all of the does in the fields that have been chased there by predators, it's a wonder we have any deer left. This along with the pressure stressing the does so the fawn crop is way down. It really would be nice to have these young DWR employees, as well as the WLB, grasp the vision rather than just get into their group mentality that creates tunnel vision.
 

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