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post #1 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

A few well known groups took out a full page ad in the PA Outdoor News denouncing the current Deer program, and why they are targeted for reduction. Most all of it we heard over and over through the years, from the Forest Certification, to some legislator comments, to even some former Game Commissioners comments. But this particular one by Gary Alt stuck out, and I'm wondering if it was part of a bigger discussion, and perhaps taken out of context. Does anybody know ? Here it is

Alt: "I'm not saying I did the right thing. I did the best with the knowledge I have. But making doe season two weeks, that's another issue. It's not based on science, it's based on politics."

Ok, that comment may be "old hat" for some of you, but it's the first I've heard it. Guess I'm not in the loop. Some of you know that I am a little bent out of shape by the way tags were allocated in 2B (the Random Survey thingy), and the comments Rosenberry made to go along with it. So, when I see a comment like this from another professional, coupled with the "random survey" debacle, I start to question a thing or two.

Is this statement by Alt telling at all ?

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post #2 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 01:33 PM
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

I would have to say that someone is mistaken about what Doctor had to say on the subject of a two-week doe season. I know for a fact and from first hand knowledge that he was very much in favor of a full two-week concurrent deer season. The full two weeks of antlerless season makes it much easier for the professional deer managers to accurately predict the harvest based on the license allocation. Then they figure out how much to adjust the annual allocations to increase or decrease the over winter deer population.

Alt was not in favor of shifting away from the two-week concurrent deer season because that was based on politics rather than science so I suspect that fact would have been what might have lead to him making such a comment.

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post #3 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 01:37 PM
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by R. S. B.
I would have to say that someone is mistaken about what Doctor had to say on the subject of a two-week doe season. I know for a fact and from first hand knowledge that he was very much in favor of a full two-week concurrent deer season. The full two weeks of antlerless season makes it much easier for the professional deer managers to accurately predict the harvest based on the license allocation. Then they figure out how much to adjust the annual allocations to increase or decrease the over winter deer population.
That was my recollection of his position and what I remember him telling the crowd during his tour of Pa. Plus the 2 weeks allowing hunters to be more selective in the antlerless deer they shot. Turns out we shoot like to shoot button bucks at the same rate, though.

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post #4 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 03:43 PM
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

Its no mystery deer management is riddled with politics here. Alt also told of how the governor (whom he called his close friend) got invovlved apparently throwing his weight around instead of letting the pgc team do their job, and according to Alt, permitted Alt & company to bring in outsiders to structure the plan.

It doesnt get any more political than that.

Alt cited the governor getting involved in Wi, as a similarity between Pa & Wi, where he just took part in the Kroll deal.

Whether Alt was or wasnt in favor of a 2 week season, he is certainly saying it was not necessary and it certainly sounded like he had regrets. And his job at the time of the Pa deer management pr shows was to sell the plan of deer reductions. Thats what he was put into place to do. Not to use his wisdom and judgement over "should we or shouldnt we?" Thats NOT why the governor put him into place.

Heck even the folks at audubon admit "fewer deer" isnt "necessary" but a VALUES BASED decision. But one which they support.

Im sure Alt was more than capable of understanding this also.

But I think its a little late to try and insinuate it was about strictly "science" when the man flat out stated in that direct quote, that it was all about politics with little room left for context error.

As for the ad, I saw this statement debated previously and I believe it was pointed out along with supportive link long before the first of the Pa outdoor news ads came out. So I don't believe it was Unified who "discovered" this statement.
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post #5 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

I wouldn't have thought the unifieds were the first to necessarily "discover" that quote, however they are definitley using it as a talking point. The 3 orgs. in the ad are ACSL, USP, and Eastern PA Firearms Coalition, whoever they are ?

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post #6 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:41 PM
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

I think many folks like to look at this comment and try to say that Alt wanted a shorter season. However, I believe that the political aspect of this may be coming in to play in that Alt probably would have liked an even longer antlerless season. This would have left more time for hunters to be selective about the antlerless deer that they harvested and could have resulted in lower harvest rates on button bucks and young doe.

Generally in wild animal populations, the highest rates of mortality occur in the younger age classes and typically declines rapidly with each subsequent year class. However, due to the absence of antlers on 0.5 year old deer, antler-restrictions are not as effective at protecting this youngest year class as they are at protecting older deer. Therefore, the only way to reduce harvest on this youngest year class is to structure the season in a way that would maximize the opportunities for hunters to wait and harvest older antlerless deer, which would benefit both young bucks and does. This would not only help to balance the buck to doe ratio, but would also help balance the buck to doe age ratios which are also important.

I believe that the politics in Alt's statement come into play in that he wanted an even longer season but knew the political players that be would not support this. The reason they wouldn't support it is nothing more than the same reason Sunday hunting is a sore subject in PA with some folks: It breaks tradition! Nothing more, nothing less.
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post #7 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:43 PM
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

the ACSL and the USP are pretty much the same animal, taking a quote out of context certainly isn't beyond what they would do.




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post #8 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 06:59 PM
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

Context seemed pretty clear to me. It was either political decision, or it wasnt. Pretty clear that according to Alt it was.

Think the statement was pretty clear.

"I believe that the politics in Alt's statement come into play in that he wanted an even longer season but knew the political players that be would not support this"

Nope. Not what was said. He made the season 2 weeks as opposed to the much shorter season prior.

Politics that were AGAINST the deer management plan were against the 2 week season. Yet it happened along with the early season etc. So that theory doesnt make much sense.;.)

Not only did he say it was political but he seemed to have regrets also, when he said he had no regrets about the antlered deer situation BUT with the antlerless 2 week season....
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post #9 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 07:02 PM
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

As for who they are, ACSL has a claimed membership of 200,000. Making it the largest sportsmen group in the state.

Rather surprised you havent heard of them Fleroo, as theyve been discussed here previously and other areas of the net for years now.

Unified, a different group which Im not sure but seems to be centered in another area of the state has far fewer members as I understand it, but still a decent following.

Eastern Pa firearms coalition im not all that familiar with.
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post #10 of 136 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 09:16 PM
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Re: Full Page Ad....... Alt comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by SStafford
Context seemed pretty clear to me. It was either political decision, or it wasnt. Pretty clear that according to Alt it was.

Think the statement was pretty clear.

"I believe that the politics in Alt's statement come into play in that he wanted an even longer season but knew the political players that be would not support this"

Nope. Not what was said. He made the season 2 weeks as opposed to the much shorter season prior.
Is that what Alt said or is that how you interpreting what he said?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SStafford
Not only did he say it was political but he seemed to have regrets also, when he said he had no regrets about the antlered deer situation BUT with the antlerless 2 week season....
I've seen this quote from Alt many times but it still doesn't definitively say that he wanted it to be shorter, but just says it was political. Based on this quote, there is not more support for him wanting it to be a shorter season than there is for him wanting it to be a even longer season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SStafford
Politics that were AGAINST the deer management plan were against the 2 week season. Yet it happened along with the early season etc. So that theory doesnt make much sense.;.)
Its called compromise and is generally the key of politics.

What doesn't make sense is why would Alt change it from a 3 day season to a 2 week season with half of the hunters and politicians kicking and screaming about it and then say it was political? The reason that the anlterless season in some of the WMU's were changed to 1 week (and the second week at that) last year was for political reasons as well. So, if Alt did want a shorter season as you suggest or interpret from his statement, he should be more than happy now and the politicians and hunters should be saying "if they would have only listened to Alt in the first place".

Alt wanted a larger doe harvest to reduce the herd size. Unfortunately the only way to do this was to increase the season length as the PGC could not have sold and used enough tags to bring the herd down to the size he thought was best in a 3 day season. Since most of the antlerless harvest was on the first day of the 3 day season, he likely realized that having additional days during the week probably wouldn't significantly increase harvest. Two or more additional weekend days would put enough hunters in the woods to harvest enough deer and then the PGC could continue to regulate herd size through license allocations. He likely knew the decision wouldn't be popular among hunters, but knew that it needed done.

Many folks question why PA is only worried about the age structure of antlered deer. The reason is that politics won't allow for a longer season to decrease pressure and harvest on younger antlerless deer (both buck and doe) but maintain a relatively high antlerless harvest.

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