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And many rifle hunters haven’t been vehemently opposed to literally anything the archery contingency lobbies for?
So by this statement you believe that the archery season should be opposed because it takes opportunities away from other seasons/arms.
Nope, read my posts you quoted again... slower and aloud if necessary... you'll see it.

Here you say you "don't oppose the extension" which contradicts the first part. :beammeup:
And again, Nope, read my posts you quoted again... slower and aloud if necessary... you'll see it. There is no contradiction at all.
 

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The point was that the PGC stated they couldn’t expand any muzzleloader opportunities for bucks due to concerns about the herd but then they give archers, who primarily target bucks, another week after their highest harvest ever.
No matter how many times you try to claim it, the numbers show that archers shoot a doe for every buck they shoot.

Archers absolutely do not “primarily target bucks”!!!

Please kindly find a new marching tune.
The fact that the harvest is almost one to one would have more meaning if the legal buck to doe ratio was exactly 50:50 as that would mean they are harvesting equal amounts. However we know the legal buck to doe ratio is nowhere near 50:50 and is most likely less than the 40:60 ratio reflected by the rifle harvest. If archers didn’t target bucks then their harvest would split just like rifle hunters near 40:60 based on the available deer. However it doesn’t, archery favors bucks by a full 11% compared to rifle which correlates to archers targeting bucks at a much higher rate.

Looking deeper at the WMU data the archery divide between buck and doe harvest would be greater if not for the urban SRA of 2B, 5C and 5D where archery is the only way to hunt many properties. In those WMUs with unlimited doe tags archery hunters take does at a higher rate than the rest of the state which offsets the state total. take out those 3 WMUs and the overall archery harvest for the state becomes 55% bucks and 45% does.

I have attached a chart of the WMU harvest percentages, green means the buck kill was higher and red means the doe kill was higher. The first column is the archery buck harvest as a percentage of the total archery harvest, the second is the percentage difference between the buck and doe numbers and the third is the numerical difference. It is then repeated for rifle on the right side. The second chart is the harvest numbers for archery, muzzleloader and rifle.

77193D53-9D7C-40CE-A7F7-3E97196B93B0_1587699195948.jpeg

87430D39-78B3-4872-86B2-CD92B17511BE_1587699656557.jpeg

Or we could just point out the fact that the whole purpose of the extra week is to allow additional archery opportunities during the rut which only serves one purpose, shooting a buck. Otherwise the rut would be irrelevant and bow hunters would be asking for a week in September when deer are still on their predictable summer feeding patterns.
 

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Archery harvested 45% of all bucks but only 31% of all does, that seems like predominantly hunting bucks does it not? If you break down the percentages of the individual seasons rifle is 40% bucks and 60% does while archery is 51% bucks and 49% does over the last 8 years.

So assuming that the more “shoot what shows up first” nature of rifle is more indicative of buck to doe ratios then the archery harvest skews 11% to favor shooting bucks over does.
Lets cut the bull...the reasons more doe are taken by "gun" hunters are:

(1) Shorter seasons, to protect the resource.

(2) Many "archers" AKA DEER HUNTERS save a doe tag or two to hunt gun and the ML seasons.

I'm sure you are advocating for time to "gun" hunt the rut so "gun hunters" can "shoot what shows up first".
Honestly I couldn’t care less about the rut, I hunt for meat so while it is nice to get a buck I see it as a pleasant surprise when it happens rather than an outright goal. The only thing I want is to be able to spend more time hunting with a rifle simply because I enjoy rifle hunting more whether I actually shoot something or not. I personally like to hold out for big does and bucks while simply enjoyIng watching the smaller does and button bucks frolick through the woods.

But I hunt with a number of people who follow the “if it’s brown, it’s down” mentality so I know for a fact there is a segment of hunters that simply shoot the first deer they see without any regard if it is a doe, button buck, barely legal 5 point or a monster 8. Most of the time if they shoot something it is usually a doe or button buck but occasionally they get lucky and shoot a buck.

Archery harvested 45% of all bucks but only 31% of all does, that seems like predominantly hunting bucks does it not? If you break down the percentages of the individual seasons rifle is 40% bucks and 60% does while archery is 51% bucks and 49% does over the last 8 years.

So assuming that the more “shoot what shows up first” nature of rifle is more indicative of buck to doe ratios then the archery harvest skews 11% to favor shooting bucks over does.
So what??? I'm a hunter. I hunt with anything the state allows. I'll decide. I'll also decide when and with what I shoot my buck and my does. That's what ya get when you don't have a stigma about what weapons you use.....LOT'S of choices.
The point was that the PGC stated they couldn’t expand any muzzleloader opportunities for bucks due to concerns about the herd but then they give archers, who primarily target bucks, another week after their highest harvest ever.

So since it is clear that the herd could withstand additional harvest they why was that additional opportunity given only to archers who already have the longest season by several weeks? That week could have easily been given to the early muzzleloader hunters with similar harvest numbers but it was not.

Also I did hunt archery for over a decade before deciding that my love of hunting wasn’t worth the risk of wounding a deer so I gave it up. If there comes a time when bows improve enough to meet my requirements then I’ll most likely pick it back up. Until then I hunt rifle, inline and occasionally flintlock with rifle being my preferred option which leaves me with 3 weeks in the fall season to hunt. I’m not sure some additional days to hunt is to much to ask for.
What’s with the underhanded comments about wounding deer with a bow? I see these shots taken quite often by rifle/muzzy guys, suggesting they archery hunters just wound deer left and right and leave them rotting all over the woods and they if you hit a deer literally anywhere with a rifle it will die....

Newsflash: I shed hunt A LOT and I can’t tell you how many dead deer I find that were lost by gun hunters, usually along the edges of power lines, gas lines, etc. And unfortunately, this becomes even more of an issue with muzzys/flintlocks as they often leave little to no blood trail to follow.

Again, not attacking rifle or muzzy hunters, but the reality is that far more deer are wounded a lost by hunters than by archery hunters.
You miss understand, I made no such insinuations about other hunters wounding deer. That statement was based solely on my personal experiences while archery hunting over the years. I had several instances where I shot at a deer with a bow and they moved between the time I shot and the time the arrow got to them. Luckily they were all clean misses but after evaluating the video from the last one I figured it was only a matter of time before one was a bit too slow and ended up gut shot or some other significantly debilitating wound.

Since I was not comfortable with that level of risk and hate the thought of wounding a deer I elected to stop bow hunting and stick to firearms which I am much more comfortable with. I only take shots I have the utmost certainty of making and after learning about string jump I simply never had enough faith in my archery gear to pull the trigger no matter how confident I was in my own shooting ability.

This isn’t just with bows either, I’m the same way with any weapon I hunt with. Case in point in muzzleloader and rifle seasons I had two deer stand in almost the same place, it was a tight shot through a thicket and just below the top of the ridge. I let the doe pass in muzzleloader because I wasn’t confident that my muzzleloader was accurate enough to make the shot, with the rifle I calmly picked my opening and dropped him without a second thought.

I know a lot of gun hunters are content with shooting their cheap rifles once a year and getting pie plate groups with the cheapest ammo they can find before setting off into the woods to wing rounds at any deer they see in an attempt at accuracy through volume, I am not one of those people.
 

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Nope, read my posts you quoted again... slower and aloud if necessary... you'll see it.


And again, Nope, read my posts you quoted again... slower and aloud if necessary... you'll see it. There is no contradiction at all.
If I'm confused...then tell me what does archery season do at the "expense" of other seasons and arms?
 

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The point was that the PGC stated they couldn’t expand any muzzleloader opportunities for bucks due to concerns about the herd but then they give archers, who primarily target bucks, another week after their highest harvest ever.

So since it is clear that the herd could withstand additional harvest they why was that additional opportunity given only to archers who already have the longest season by several weeks? That week could have easily been given to the early muzzleloader hunters with similar harvest numbers but it was not.

Also I did hunt archery for over a decade before deciding that my love of hunting wasn’t worth the risk of wounding a deer so I gave it up. If there comes a time when bows improve enough to meet my requirements then I’ll most likely pick it back up. Until then I hunt rifle, inline and occasionally flintlock with rifle being my preferred option which leaves me with 3 weeks in the fall season to hunt. I’m not sure some additional days to hunt is to much to ask for.
You do realize that it's YOU and not the PGC that limits your amount of time you spend deer hunting. They have the seasons available and you decide which you will participate in: all, some or none. Why complain on here about the choices YOU make.
 

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can the population sustain an additional 25,000 or so deer, buck and doe removed from the herd ?? if so, wheres the harm in allowing a hunter using a Flintlock to take a buck in the early season or rut if they choose to do so. i seriously doubt they will account for more buck than the archers will take during that 7th week. Archers will kill more buck than the Flinters will.


how many deer are killed in October with muzzle loaders and rifles ? compare that number to the archery kill during the same week. i bet archers kill more.
 

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The fact that the harvest is almost one to one would have more meaning if the legal buck to doe ratio was exactly 50:50 as that would mean they are harvesting equal amounts. However we know the legal buck to doe ratio is nowhere near 50:50 and is most likely less than the 40:60 ratio reflected by the rifle harvest. If archers didn’t target bucks then their harvest would split just like rifle hunters near 40:60 based on the available deer. However it doesn’t, archery favors bucks by a full 11% compared to rifle which correlates to archers targeting bucks at a much higher rate.
The ratio of legal animals in the woods has nothing to do with it....archers kill equal amounts. You are grasping for straws now. Not to mention you cannot determine how many doe tags any given PA archer has....and the fact that a lot of archers save a doe tag for rifle and/or flintlock season. A lot of archers also love to hit the woods in other seasons because they love to just hunt deer....most are not tied to just stick and string.



Looking deeper at the WMU data the archery divide between buck and doe harvest would be greater if not for the urban SRA of 2B, 5C and 5D where archery is the only way to hunt many properties. In those WMUs with unlimited doe tags archery hunters take does at a higher rate than the rest of the state which offsets the state total. take out those 3 WMUs and the overall archery harvest for the state becomes 55% bucks and 45% does.
Wow...HUGE discrepancy there at 55 to 45 statewide without the SRA's included. If you had numbers of 70/30 or even 65/35, I would say are correct to say that archers primarily target bucks....but 1.2 bucks for every 1 doe outside the SRA's is not overwhelmingly in favor of your claim.

Also, please keep in mind that rifle season (between last year and this coming season) has been expanded the same amount of days on a percentage basis as compared to the added time for archery this coming November (rifle - 2 days added to 12 days = 16.7% increase; archery - 6 days added to 36 days = 16.7% increase). Granted, the late archery season had additional opportunity added last season as well....but no one really complained about that too much - imagine that.

OK, I'm done....march onward with your agenda.
 

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Looking deeper at the WMU data the archery divide between buck and doe harvest would be greater if not for the urban SRA of 2B, 5C and 5D where archery is the only way to hunt many properties. In those WMUs with unlimited doe tags archery hunters take does at a higher rate than the rest of the state which offsets the state total. take out those 3 WMUs and the overall archery harvest for the state becomes 55% bucks and 45% does.

I have attached a chart of the WMU harvest percentages, green means the buck kill was higher and red means the doe kill was higher. The first column is the archery buck harvest as a percentage of the total archery harvest, the second is the percentage difference between the buck and doe numbers and the third is the numerical difference. It is then repeated for rifle on the right side. The second chart is the harvest numbers for archery, muzzleloader and rifle.

I was interested to see which areas were not shooting at least an equal amount of does, so I put a red star in the WMU's where archers shoot more does than bucks and a green star for where archers shoot more bucks than does....excluding the SRA units of 2B, 5C, and 5D.

If the buck harvest was greater than 10% different on your chart, I added a green plus sign to show a significantly higher buck harvest - I rounded the 3A percentage of 9.77% up to 10% so it got a plus sign.

2A was a surprise to me, given that (if I recall correctly) 2A had doe tags that went unsold last year. Rifle hunters picked up the slack though.

The other nuance I noted was the northern tendency for higher archery buck harvests, especially the WMU's with 10% or higher difference. Some of those WMU's have very low doe allocations, and some deer camps that still operate under the no doe hunting moniker. Reference all the HPA chatter about concerns with the concurrent rifle season in those areas...most claiming the deer herd is still very much in recovery mode.

As a matter of fact, 4 of those WMU's also had higher buck harvest in rifle season - 2G, 2H, 3A, and 3D. Granted, 3A's was only by 100 total bucks in rifle season. It could be claimed that in some areas rifle hunters primarily target bucks.

5 out of 6 WMU's with buck harvest greater than 10% difference were north of I-80 (3D is split by I-80, but a lot of area in it is north of I-80)....the exception being 2D.

Food for thought.
 

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Looking deeper at the WMU data the archery divide between buck and doe harvest would be greater if not for the urban SRA of 2B, 5C and 5D where archery is the only way to hunt many properties. In those WMUs with unlimited doe tags archery hunters take does at a higher rate than the rest of the state which offsets the state total. take out those 3 WMUs and the overall archery harvest for the state becomes 55% bucks and 45% does.

I have attached a chart of the WMU harvest percentages, green means the buck kill was higher and red means the doe kill was higher. The first column is the archery buck harvest as a percentage of the total archery harvest, the second is the percentage difference between the buck and doe numbers and the third is the numerical difference. It is then repeated for rifle on the right side. The second chart is the harvest numbers for archery, muzzleloader and rifle.

I was interested to see which areas were not shooting at least an equal amount of does, so I put a red star in the WMU's where archers shoot more does than bucks and a green star for where archers shoot more bucks than does....excluding the SRA units of 2B, 5C, and 5D.

If the buck harvest was greater than 10% different on your chart, I added a green plus sign to show a significantly higher buck harvest - I rounded the 3A percentage of 9.77% up to 10% so it got a plus sign.

2A was a surprise to me, given that (if I recall correctly) 2A had doe tags that went unsold last year. Rifle hunters picked up the slack though.

The other nuance I noted was the northern tendency for higher archery buck harvests, especially the WMU's with 10% or higher difference. Some of those WMU's have very low doe allocations, and some deer camps that still operate under the no doe hunting moniker. Reference all the HPA chatter about concerns with the concurrent rifle season in those areas...most claiming the deer herd is still very much in recovery mode.

As a matter of fact, 4 of those WMU's also had higher buck harvest in rifle season - 2G, 2H, 3A, and 3D. Granted, 3A's was only by 100 total bucks in rifle season. It could be claimed that in some areas rifle hunters primarily target bucks.

5 out of 6 WMU's with buck harvest greater than 10% difference were north of I-80 (3D is split by I-80, but a lot of area in it is north of I-80)....the exception being 2D.

Food for thought.
One other thing to note in that map, many of those areas where more does were shot are partially or fully under DMA areas such as my hunting area of 4A. Many of these areas have a high doe allocation along with a number of DMAP tags available leading to additional doe opportunities.
 

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You know, I wouldn’t be that opposed to a proposal for a 3 day muzzy season during the rut, much like they do in states like Iowa it Illinois. But the rules would be flintlocks or in lines, by no scopes. A modern scoped in-line shoots better than many rifles like the 30-30 or 45-70. It’s nothing to have a scoped in-line that is deadly accurate out to 250 yards.

THAT is the biggest concern I think most people have when it comes to talking about muzzys during the rut, SCOPED IN LINES. They are essentially rifles and not even close to being considered a “primitive” weapon.

So I wouldn’t be all that opposed to having a 3 day season for flinters/open sighted in lines, with a special permit that you have to purchase, but not scoped in lines and rifles.
.
I think it's kind of absurd to be ok with allowing a range-limited-by-lack-of-optics firearm, expressly because it less "effective" at cleanly harvesting a deer at longer ranges, but ok with iron sighted inlines, which you admit are just as accurate as 30/30 45/70s, but then not allow iron-sighted centerfire as well..

Splitting hairs/false equivalance to create/maintain the conditions conducive to keeping the rut/pre-rut strung weapons only...
Archery harvested 45% of all bucks but only 31% of all does, that seems like predominantly hunting bucks does it not? If you break down the percentages of the individual seasons rifle is 40% bucks and 60% does while archery is 51% bucks and 49% does over the last 8 years.

So assuming that the more “shoot what shows up first” nature of rifle is more indicative of buck to doe ratios then the archery harvest skews 11% to favor shooting bucks over does.
Lets cut the bull...the reasons more doe are taken by "gun" hunters are:

(1) Shorter seasons, to protect the resource.

(2) Many "archers" AKA DEER HUNTERS save a doe tag or two to hunt gun and the ML seasons.

I'm sure you are advocating for time to "gun" hunt the rut so "gun hunters" can "shoot what shows up first".
Honestly I couldn’t care less about the rut, I hunt for meat so while it is nice to get a buck I see it as a pleasant surprise when it happens rather than an outright goal. The only thing I want is to be able to spend more time hunting with a rifle simply because I enjoy rifle hunting more whether I actually shoot something or not. I personally like to hold out for big does and bucks while simply enjoyIng watching the smaller does and button bucks frolick through the woods.

But I hunt with a number of people who follow the “if it’s brown, it’s down” mentality so I know for a fact there is a segment of hunters that simply shoot the first deer they see without any regard if it is a doe, button buck, barely legal 5 point or a monster 8. Most of the time if they shoot something it is usually a doe or button buck but occasionally they get lucky and shoot a buck.

Archery harvested 45% of all bucks but only 31% of all does, that seems like predominantly hunting bucks does it not? If you break down the percentages of the individual seasons rifle is 40% bucks and 60% does while archery is 51% bucks and 49% does over the last 8 years.

So assuming that the more “shoot what shows up first” nature of rifle is more indicative of buck to doe ratios then the archery harvest skews 11% to favor shooting bucks over does.
So what??? I'm a hunter. I hunt with anything the state allows. I'll decide. I'll also decide when and with what I shoot my buck and my does. That's what ya get when you don't have a stigma about what weapons you use.....LOT'S of choices.
The point was that the PGC stated they couldn’t expand any muzzleloader opportunities for bucks due to concerns about the herd but then they give archers, who primarily target bucks, another week after their highest harvest ever.

So since it is clear that the herd could withstand additional harvest they why was that additional opportunity given only to archers who already have the longest season by several weeks? That week could have easily been given to the early muzzleloader hunters with similar harvest numbers but it was not.

Also I did hunt archery for over a decade before deciding that my love of hunting wasn’t worth the risk of wounding a deer so I gave it up. If there comes a time when bows improve enough to meet my requirements then I’ll most likely pick it back up. Until then I hunt rifle, inline and occasionally flintlock with rifle being my preferred option which leaves me with 3 weeks in the fall season to hunt. I’m not sure some additional days to hunt is to much to ask for.
What’s with the underhanded comments about wounding deer with a bow? I see these shots taken quite often by rifle/muzzy guys, suggesting they archery hunters just wound deer left and right and leave them rotting all over the woods and they if you hit a deer literally anywhere with a rifle it will die....

Newsflash: I shed hunt A LOT and I can’t tell you how many dead deer I find that were lost by gun hunters, usually along the edges of power lines, gas lines, etc. And unfortunately, this becomes even more of an issue with muzzys/flintlocks as they often leave little to no blood trail to follow.

Again, not attacking rifle or muzzy hunters, but the reality is that far more deer are wounded a lost by hunters than by archery hunters.
You miss understand, I made no such insinuations about other hunters wounding deer. That statement was based solely on my personal experiences while archery hunting over the years. I had several instances where I shot at a deer with a bow and they moved between the time I shot and the time the arrow got to them. Luckily they were all clean misses but after evaluating the video from the last one I figured it was only a matter of time before one was a bit too slow and ended up gut shot or some other significantly debilitating wound.

Since I was not comfortable with that level of risk and hate the thought of wounding a deer I elected to stop bow hunting and stick to firearms which I am much more comfortable with. I only take shots I have the utmost certainty of making and after learning about string jump I simply never had enough faith in my archery gear to pull the trigger no matter how confident I was in my own shooting ability.

This isn’t just with bows either, I’m the same way with any weapon I hunt with. Case in point in muzzleloader and rifle seasons I had two deer stand in almost the same place, it was a tight shot through a thicket and just below the top of the ridge. I let the doe pass in muzzleloader because I wasn’t confident that my muzzleloader was accurate enough to make the shot, with the rifle I calmly picked my opening and dropped him without a second thought.

I know a lot of gun hunters are content with shooting their cheap rifles once a year and getting pie plate groups with the cheapest ammo they can find before setting off into the woods to wing rounds at any deer they see in an attempt at accuracy through volume, I am not one of those people.
Apologies. My point was that I always hear people going on and on about archers wounding all these deer and it supposedly being the main reason why they hate archers and hate archery season.

I have a neighbor and I’m allowed to hunt turkeys and deer with a rifle on his property but he will not allow me to hunt with a bow. I’ve tried to have cordial conversations with him and question him on why he won’t allow it and he claimed over and over again that he has found piles and piles of dead deer on his property “with arrows sticking out of them”. I don’t say anything because it don’t want to lose the access I have, but I spend more time walking his property than he does, and in all the years I’ve been shed hunting and turkey hunting on his land, I have NEVER found a deer with an arrow sticking out of it. On the other hand, he routinely tells me about a buck that he shot at during rifle season, from the barn 300 yards away, and how either he “drew a little blood” and couldn’t find it, or that he didn’t even bother to go and look because he’s shooting a .270 Weatherby and if he’d of hit it, it would have went down. And guess what, I’ve found a fair number of dead bucks in the creek bottom off the back of his field. Not saying that he shot them, but it makes you wonder. It also made me curious how he claims to keep finding all these dead deer in his property, pin cushioned with arrows, yet he doesn’t allow archers on his property...

I had suspected for quite some time what the real reasoning behind it was, and the real reason behind the hatred and anger directed at archers year after year, and he finally let the cat out of the bag a couple years ago. In a conversation with another neighbor, he finally blurted out that his real reason for hating archery hunters is that they get “first dibs” at all the bucks and “how is that fair” that he has to wait until rifle season to hunt...

This is EXACTLY how most ranting and raving in this thread feel, and that’s perfectly fine, but then just come out and say it. Not directed at you, but people need to stop making up things like archers leaving dead deer rotting all over the woods or archers being arrogant and telling people where and when they can and can’t hunt. Just come right out and say “I hate archery season and archers because they have 6 (now 7) weeks to shoot up all the bucks and not leave anything for the rifle or muzzy guys. Just say it! Nothing wrong with that opinion, just don’t make up ways to attack all archers by claiming they are all arrogant SOBs who wound more deer than they kill, and are all members of some sort of secret society that makes smokey back room deals with the commissioners to “screw” every other group of hunters in the state...
 

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Apologies. My point was that I always hear people going on and on about archers wounding all these deer and it supposedly being the main reason why they hate archers and hate archery season.

I have a neighbor and I’m allowed to hunt turkeys and deer with a rifle on his property but he will not allow me to hunt with a bow. I’ve tried to have cordial conversations with him and question him on why he won’t allow it and he claimed over and over again that he has found piles and piles of dead deer on his property “with arrows sticking out of them”. I don’t say anything because it don’t want to lose the access I have, but I spend more time walking his property than he does, and in all the years I’ve been shed hunting and turkey hunting on his land, I have NEVER found a deer with an arrow sticking out of it. On the other hand, he routinely tells me about a buck that he shot at during rifle season, from the barn 300 yards away, and how either he “drew a little blood” and couldn’t find it, or that he didn’t even bother to go and look because he’s shooting a .270 Weatherby and if he’d of hit it, it would have went down. And guess what, I’ve found a fair number of dead bucks in the creek bottom off the back of his field. Not saying that he shot them, but it makes you wonder. It also made me curious how he claims to keep finding all these dead deer in his property, pin cushioned with arrows, yet he doesn’t allow archers on his property...

I had suspected for quite some time what the real reasoning behind it was, and the real reason behind the hatred and anger directed at archers year after year, and he finally let the cat out of the bag a couple years ago. In a conversation with another neighbor, he finally blurted out that his real reason for hating archery hunters is that they get “first dibs” at all the bucks and “how is that fair” that he has to wait until rifle season to hunt...

This is EXACTLY how most ranting and raving in this thread feel, and that’s perfectly fine, but then just come out and say it. Not directed at you, but people need to stop making up things like archers leaving dead deer rotting all over the woods or archers being arrogant and telling people where and when they can and can’t hunt. Just come right out and say “I hate archery season and archers because they have 6 (now 7) weeks to shoot up all the bucks and not leave anything for the rifle or muzzy guys. Just say it! Nothing wrong with that opinion, just don’t make up ways to attack all archers by claiming they are all arrogant SOBs who wound more deer than they kill, and are all members of some sort of secret society that makes smokey back room deals with the commissioners to “screw” every other group of hunters in the state...
Bugle, I can only speak for myself, and my opinions based on personal experience, observations, and interactions with other hunters:

I too have, and hope at some point to resume, hunting the Archery seasons.
Changes in circumstances years ago, marriage, starting a family, changes in employment and priorities, shifted my hunting time from roughly 40% archery/60% firearm to ~5% (at most) Archery/95% firearm.

I spend a majority of my time afield on our property upstate, but continue to spend a significant amount of time on SGL, public, and private ground around home here in 5C (SRA), especially during the late seasons and small game.

Anecdotally, based on what I've observed here in the SRA, (no rifles allowed, just Archery gear, shotguns and MLs) of the 2 dozen or so dead and unrecovered deer I've stumbled across in the last decade, only 2 clearly appeared to have been shot with a firearm (both looked gutshot with rifled slugs based on entrance/exit wounds). The rest had all been hit with bolts/arrows, as either evidenced by the entrance/exit wounds on those found largely intact, or timing (finding a 2ish week old carcass on the 2nd day of October ML, what else could it be?)
Combined with the ratio of "Hit one, prayers please I find it in the morning" and "Anyone know a bloodhound in X area?" posts here and elsewhere from hunters in Archery seasons vs firearms seasons, I do honestly believe the rate of wounding/lost deer is significantly higher for Archers than firearms hunters. The magnitude might be similar though, due to overall number differences in the totals of who hunts which or both seasons...

On our 3C property, which is posted, we've recovered rather few "lost" deer.... maybe 5 or 6 in the last 10 years. Easily 5x that in obvious vehicle struck or predated deer. Those that were "shot" were equally divided between bow/firearm, which surprises us, as no one on the neighboring properties admits to hunting with anything other than a rifle/ML, so we assume the 3 arrow/bolt struck deer we've recovered in the last 10 years were likely results of drive-by poachers.

I tend to attribute the higher rates of wounded/lost deer from archery I've observed moreso to the inherent limitations/lower "effectiveness" of archery gear itself than I do to the typical abilities/ethics of those wielding them. I think archers are just as likely to suffer buck fever or in-the-moment lapses in judgement as firearms hunters. The difference is in the inherent margin of error allowed by the various gear. Over-estimations in ability, under-estimations in distance, and tunnel vision effect both groups, but the same degree of error has a much greater impact when launching an arrow or bolt vs a bullet.

To be very clear, I don't hate archery or archers. I simply believe that those who call themselves archers and feel superior to those who choose (for whatever reason) to be primarily something other than an "archer" are self-deluded, self-absorbed, and not the type I wish to associate with. Those that take it steps further and advocate for increasing their own pet opportunities while simultaneously lobbying against other expanded opportunities, especially those that would have zero impact on "their" hunts and harvest, I find selfish and distasteful... putting it mildly.
But there's clowns like that in both camps...

I know just as many hunters that only hunt with 1 "type" of gear as I do those that hunt with all types. The "elitist" attitude does, however, seem to gravitate toward one group over all others.... I try not to paint with a broad brush or judge individuals based on the actions of the group, but some sure make it difficult at times.... I'm only human though.

Hope that clears things a little.
 

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Apologies. My point was that I always hear people going on and on about archers wounding all these deer and it supposedly being the main reason why they hate archers and hate archery season.

I have a neighbor and I’m allowed to hunt turkeys and deer with a rifle on his property but he will not allow me to hunt with a bow. I’ve tried to have cordial conversations with him and question him on why he won’t allow it and he claimed over and over again that he has found piles and piles of dead deer on his property “with arrows sticking out of them”. I don’t say anything because it don’t want to lose the access I have, but I spend more time walking his property than he does, and in all the years I’ve been shed hunting and turkey hunting on his land, I have NEVER found a deer with an arrow sticking out of it. On the other hand, he routinely tells me about a buck that he shot at during rifle season, from the barn 300 yards away, and how either he “drew a little blood” and couldn’t find it, or that he didn’t even bother to go and look because he’s shooting a .270 Weatherby and if he’d of hit it, it would have went down. And guess what, I’ve found a fair number of dead bucks in the creek bottom off the back of his field. Not saying that he shot them, but it makes you wonder. It also made me curious how he claims to keep finding all these dead deer in his property, pin cushioned with arrows, yet he doesn’t allow archers on his property...

I had suspected for quite some time what the real reasoning behind it was, and the real reason behind the hatred and anger directed at archers year after year, and he finally let the cat out of the bag a couple years ago. In a conversation with another neighbor, he finally blurted out that his real reason for hating archery hunters is that they get “first dibs” at all the bucks and “how is that fair” that he has to wait until rifle season to hunt...

This is EXACTLY how most ranting and raving in this thread feel, and that’s perfectly fine, but then just come out and say it. Not directed at you, but people need to stop making up things like archers leaving dead deer rotting all over the woods or archers being arrogant and telling people where and when they can and can’t hunt. Just come right out and say “I hate archery season and archers because they have 6 (now 7) weeks to shoot up all the bucks and not leave anything for the rifle or muzzy guys. Just say it! Nothing wrong with that opinion, just don’t make up ways to attack all archers by claiming they are all arrogant SOBs who wound more deer than they kill, and are all members of some sort of secret society that makes smokey back room deals with the commissioners to “screw” every other group of hunters in the state...
Bugle, I can only speak for myself, and my opinions based on personal experience, observations, and interactions with other hunters:

I too have, and hope at some point to resume, hunting the Archery seasons.
Changes in circumstances years ago, marriage, starting a family, changes in employment and priorities, shifted my hunting time from roughly 40% archery/60% firearm to ~5% (at most) Archery/95% firearm.

I spend a majority of my time afield on our property upstate, but continue to spend a significant amount of time on SGL, public, and private ground around home here in 5C (SRA), especially during the late seasons and small game.

Anecdotally, based on what I've observed here in the SRA, (no rifles allowed, just Archery gear, shotguns and MLs) of the 2 dozen or so dead and unrecovered deer I've stumbled across in the last decade, only 2 clearly appeared to have been shot with a firearm (both looked gutshot with rifled slugs based on entrance/exit wounds). The rest had all been hit with bolts/arrows, as either evidenced by the entrance/exit wounds on those found largely intact, or timing (finding a 2ish week old carcass on the 2nd day of October ML, what else could it be?)
Combined with the ratio of "Hit one, prayers please I find it in the morning" and "Anyone know a bloodhound in X area?" posts here and elsewhere from hunters in Archery seasons vs firearms seasons, I do honestly believe the rate of wounding/lost deer is significantly higher for Archers than firearms hunters. The magnitude might be similar though, due to overall number differences in the totals of who hunts which or both seasons...

On our 3C property, which is posted, we've recovered rather few "lost" deer.... maybe 5 or 6 in the last 10 years. Easily 5x that in obvious vehicle struck or predated deer. Those that were "shot" were equally divided between bow/firearm, which surprises us, as no one on the neighboring properties admits to hunting with anything other than a rifle/ML, so we assume the 3 arrow/bolt struck deer we've recovered in the last 10 years were likely results of drive-by poachers.

I tend to attribute the higher rates of wounded/lost deer from archery I've observed moreso to the inherent limitations/lower "effectiveness" of archery gear itself than I do to the typical abilities/ethics of those wielding them. I think archers are just as likely to suffer buck fever or in-the-moment lapses in judgement as firearms hunters. The difference is in the inherent margin of error allowed by the various gear. Over-estimations in ability, under-estimations in distance, and tunnel vision effect both groups, but the same degree of error has a much greater impact when launching an arrow or bolt vs a bullet.

To be very clear, I don't hate archery or archers. I simply believe that those who call themselves archers and feel superior to those who choose (for whatever reason) to be primarily something other than an "archer" are self-deluded, self-absorbed, and not the type I wish to associate with. Those that take it steps further and advocate for increasing their own pet opportunities while simultaneously lobbying against other expanded opportunities, especially those that would have zero impact on "their" hunts and harvest, I find selfish and distasteful... putting it mildly.
But there's clowns like that in both camps...

I know just as many hunters that only hunt with 1 "type" of gear as I do those that hunt with all types. The "elitist" attitude does, however, seem to gravitate toward one group over all others.... I try not to paint with a broad brush or judge individuals based on the actions of the group, but some sure make it difficult at times.... I'm only human though.

Hope that clears things a little.
Hey, we all have our own experiences and observations. I know arrogant archers, rifle hunters, upland game bird hunters, waterfowlers, etc. I’ve never found that the type of weapon in their hand was the determining factor to a “holier than thou” attitude.

I know archers who have lost deer. I know fun hunters that have lost deer. I know waterfowlers and upland game bird hunters that have winged birds and lost them. It’s happens. But it seems as though a lot of rifle deer hunters like to use the “archers are wounding deer and piling them up like cord wood” argument whenever they want to debate or attack archery hunters or archery seasons. It’s just like it’s always used as an underhanded jab at those “elitist” hunters who think their crap don’t stink, yet lose piles of deer every year. Again, not directing it at you, just things that I’ve noticed over the years.

As I said, my experiences have been that I find quite a few dead deer with bullet holes in them while I’m flintlock hunting or shed hunting. Most of these are just inside the tree line from a power line or pipe line or field edge. It’s not surprising because I’ve personally witnessed more than a few guys empty their rifles at a deer running across a power line and never go down to check it any of the shots connected. When asked why they weren’t going to check, a common “I’m shootin an ought six, if I’d have hit it, it would’ve went down” response is given.

In MY experience, all the archers that I know closely are very good blood trailers and make every effort possible to recover a hit deer.

In MY experience, most of the rifle only hunter I know have a hard time figuring out where the deer was even standing when they shot at it, let alone find blood and be able to trail it. On more than one occasion I’ve walked up to someone who had just shot and they told me that they missed. When I ask where the deer was at or where they last saw it, they motion over there and I’ve found blood and the deer. They would have just walked away without even checking to see if there was blood or hair.

But I’m not here to bash anybody, just pointing out that I tire of seeing these constant snide comments about archers being arrogant, unethical slobs who fling arrows with reckless abandon and leave wounded deer all over the place is getting old. If you have disdain because you feel that archers have an “unfair advantage” because of the length and timing of the season, fine, just say it. Don’t start mud slinging and name calling and act like it is “justified” because bow hunters are the worst...
 

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Apologies. My point was that I always hear people going on and on about archers wounding all these deer and it supposedly being the main reason why they hate archers and hate archery season.

I have a neighbor and I’m allowed to hunt turkeys and deer with a rifle on his property but he will not allow me to hunt with a bow. I’ve tried to have cordial conversations with him and question him on why he won’t allow it and he claimed over and over again that he has found piles and piles of dead deer on his property “with arrows sticking out of them”. I don’t say anything because it don’t want to lose the access I have, but I spend more time walking his property than he does, and in all the years I’ve been shed hunting and turkey hunting on his land, I have NEVER found a deer with an arrow sticking out of it. On the other hand, he routinely tells me about a buck that he shot at during rifle season, from the barn 300 yards away, and how either he “drew a little blood” and couldn’t find it, or that he didn’t even bother to go and look because he’s shooting a .270 Weatherby and if he’d of hit it, it would have went down. And guess what, I’ve found a fair number of dead bucks in the creek bottom off the back of his field. Not saying that he shot them, but it makes you wonder. It also made me curious how he claims to keep finding all these dead deer in his property, pin cushioned with arrows, yet he doesn’t allow archers on his property...
Those types of people are some of the ones I have a problem with, owning an accurate rifle in a big caliber doesn’t make you Carlos Hathcock. Far too many people assume that just because it looks like a big cartridge that it will kill things simply if they hit it but terminal ballistics is so much more involved than that.

It’s guys like that who give long range shooters like me a bad name. This is 2020, we are in the Renaissance of long range shooting where it is more accessible than it has ever been, there is simply no excuse to be taking pot shots at long range with the wealth of knowledge available today with a few taps on a touch screen. If an 19 year old with a factory hunting rifled, factory ammo and a cheap Nikon Buckmasters Mil-Dot scope can use a free app to make a first round hit on a milk jug at 600 yards all the way back in 2012 people these days have no excuse.
 

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As I said, my experiences have been that I find quite a few dead deer with bullet holes in them while I’m flintlock hunting or shed hunting. Most of these are just inside the tree line from a power line or pipe line or field edge. It’s not surprising because I’ve personally witnessed more than a few guys empty their rifles at a deer running across a power line and never go down to check it any of the shots connected. When asked why they weren’t going to check, a common “I’m shootin an ought six, if I’d have hit it, it would’ve went down” response is given.

In MY experience, all the archers that I know closely are very good blood trailers and make every effort possible to recover a hit deer.

In MY experience, most of the rifle only hunter I know have a hard time figuring out where the deer was even standing when they shot at it, let alone find blood and be able to trail it. On more than one occasion I’ve walked up to someone who had just shot and they told me that they missed. When I ask where the deer was at or where they last saw it, they motion over there and I’ve found blood and the deer. They would have just walked away without even checking to see if there was blood or hair.
As one of the de-facto trackers at our camp along with my dad and brother we are usually the ones called out to help look for deer. I will admit I am amazed by the number of people who just get up and walk to where they think the deer was when someone walks over to help them track. I was always taught to stay in your stand and direct the other hunter to where the deer was standing. Once blood or their tracks were found then you could move up to help track.

The only time I ever move to check is if it is early in the hunt and I need to tag it so I can shoot another one. Even then I only do so when I physically watched the deer drop or I can see the blood trail from my stand and I know the animal isn’t far, if not then I wait until someone can come help me track.

As for people not checking after the shot, they should be smacked plain and simple. I have never once thought that we shouldn’t check the location of the shot unless it was in a field at which point we check the edge for blood and tracks starting at the approximate location that it entered the woods. If we don’t locate blood that way we try to back track into the field or start sweeping the woods at the approximate place of entry.
 

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Discussion Starter #356
I see, now I'm only allowed to run dogs when my season is open? Hate to tell you, but I run my dogs anytime I can and will continue to do so. If arrogant bowhunters dont like it, they can go find some private lands to hunt.
Or you can just be respectful and not go where someone is hunting on a Sunday when you can't hunt. Purposefully trying to ruin someone's hunt when you can't hunt is not a nice thing to do. Please be respectful. If the rules were reversed I wouldn't do that to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #357
I am acutely aware of the effectiveness of a rifle for killing big game, I didn’t like like gambling with the life of an animal every time I let an arrow fly so after a decade of bow hunting I gave it up. My personal requirement to only make shots I have 100% confidence in left no place for archery no matter how well I personally could shoot a bow.

And again can we stop with the “rifle hunters complained about more opportunity”. The complaints about the added rifle days have nothing to do with getting more time to hunt and everything to do with the specific days that they chose and how it greatly impacted the life long traditions of many Rifle hunters.

For example to archery hunters the most important time in your season is the rut, it is historically the best chance at a buck so guys base their Traditions and vacation time around hunting that specific time. This is pretty much the same situation with rifle hunters and the opening day of rifle except it is 5 days instead of 2 weeks.

So that being said how would you feel if the PGC said they were going to give you an extra week to hunt with a bow then removed the first two weeks of November and added three weeks to the end of August? The deer are still on their summer patterns so you would have plenty of opportunity to shoot a deer just like November right? Would you be happy about the extra week or p*ssed off that they ruined your traditions?

Additionally I’m fully on board with the full concurrent season and firmly believe that should have been reinstated before moving to the Saturday opener. Personally I’d hunt with a rifle for 4 straight months if they would let me but that still doesn’t mean I like the Saturday opener.
Nope wouldn't bother me. My tradition is hunting deer.
 

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Man, go ahead and do THAT, extend archery earlier and add three weeks in August and see what happens. You give archers a chance when those big bucks are on those summer feed patterns, gun hunting will turn into "look for anything legal" because anything with halfway decent horns will be dead before Labor Day.


The opportunities at deer on summer feed patterns would absolutely rock.
 

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Man, go ahead and do THAT, extend archery earlier and add three weeks in August and see what happens. You give archers a chance when those big bucks are on those summer feed patterns, gun hunting will turn into "look for anything legal" because anything with halfway decent horns will be dead before Labor Day.


The opportunities at deer on summer feed patterns would absolutely rock.
There are not many places you can shoot a buck in velvet. That might make it worth braving the heat and humidity.
 

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Man, go ahead and do THAT, extend archery earlier and add three weeks in August and see what happens. You give archers a chance when those big bucks are on those summer feed patterns, gun hunting will turn into "look for anything legal" because anything with halfway decent horns will be dead before Labor Day.


The opportunities at deer on summer feed patterns would absolutely rock.

i'd be out there with my crossbow. i have seen some monsters in August and September that disappear when the season rolls around.
 
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