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Bear Divergent
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I am 55 years young and I can remember in my teens when we had 15 to 20 family members hunting together on the first day. Last year I hunted by myself the entire season. I am also a school teacher. When I first started teaching I always had a buck pole with 40 to 50 students participating but I stopped a few years ago due to lack of interest. Kids just do not hunt anymore unless you count shooting something on a video game.
 

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People are tagging out early.
A small part of the equation. The largest part is we have lost around 350,000 deer hunters and of the roughly 750,000 that we still have, surveys are showing that they spend much less time hunting than they used to. The increased harvest earlier in the season does not account for the dramatic decline in participation in rifle season.
 

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Not gamelands but i will have the woods to myself on State Forest land in Potter on the opener. With the exception of the nit wit that came in and climbed a tree 40 yards from me 30 minutes after shooting light last year on the opener i didnt run into anyone else. Been like that 5-6 years now. You dont even know its rifle season.
 

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The genY and genZ are not following through with what was passed down for generations. Not sure if you can pin it down on one thing. It is happening with hunting camps also. Alot of camps in my area are either being sold or being used for recreation, not hunting.
Some of the neighboring camps have turned into Bed and breakfast rentals
 

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This is my first time going to potter for the rifle opener. I usually would go up the second week and that was mostly a ghost town. I decided to go first week since my local spot gets crazy busy the first couple days. I am hoping potter isn’t that crazy.
 

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Potter gets hunted hard in certain spots (mostly access from route 6) and other public land will be empty. Hard to predict if never hunted that spot the first day. The last thing I worry about when hunting is hunting pressure their is pretty much none. I see more hunters during bear season then I do the first day of rifle.
 

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This is my first time going to potter for the rifle opener. I usually would go up the second week and that was mostly a ghost town. I decided to go first week since my local spot gets crazy busy the first couple days. I am hoping potter isn’t that crazy.
What part of potter? Many parts of Potter on the opener is pretty much a ghost tow.
 

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I actually have been hunting private ground mostly because it’s in my back yard and the guy didn’t care when I asked. Has 90 acres, shot a bear and 8 point from the same stand this year. called the guy who has 500 acres that borders it. Said be careful and have fun. Have yet to see another hunter, stand, side by side anything. Just no hunters which is fine by me, and friendly land owners.
 

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The genY and genZ are not following through with what was passed down for generations. Not sure if you can pin it down on one thing. It is happening with hunting camps also. Alot of camps in my area are either being sold or being used for recreation, not hunting.
So then those gen y and z folks were raised by someone who did not effectively pass the tradition on. . . . . Otherwise, there would be no issue.

Things change, more hunters are versatile and flexible now, more archery hunter, more muzzleloader hunters, longer seasons, lots of things are elevating hunters ability to take deer before rifle season rolls around. While we are also losing hunters........
 
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