I think the problem is that 20% of the hunters do 80% of the harvesting (made up numbers with no data to support FWIW). To limit all hunters to 2 deer a year would make hunters as a whole in effective at keeping the deer herd in check.
I'm from the city and what pushed me to learn to hunt was seeing the browse lines in the protected natural areas right within the city limits. I hunt a protected wetland suburban property with fresh tracks everywhere all over the property every single day. I live a short walk from the Philly subway and there are deer tracks on my lawn sometimes. We need more hunters - or just more people, in general - willing to see themselves as part of the wildlife management end of things with deer, I agree.Remember guys, we are a management TOOL. There is no right to hunt, nor should there be. If there was, and if for some reason the deer herd got decimated by disease, etc., we would STILL have a right to hunt, while hurting the long-term herd numbers even more. This is science-based management with a defined end-goal, as it should be, and not emotion-based, ie, "I want this or I want that" since everyone wants something different, and nobody pays attention to facts in those cases. Having the herds run by us that we saw in the 70's and 80's is not natural, nor healthy for the herd in many ways, nor the habitat. And it is just feeding false emotions that "I saw X deer today!". Wanna see herds of deer? Go to the zoo or some game farm. Watch those silly shows on TV. Nobody talked much about the winter kills we had back then on hard winters - ie, how many deer we lost to freezing to death with no browse in the northern mts especially. Hardly anybody even went and looked in Jan/Feb/March to see how many died so humans could just "see" a lot of deer. Nobody remembers the horrible browse lines in Potter County, etc that left deer with little food to survive on during hard winters up there. Nobody cared - they "saw" deer, so their emotions were fed, so they were happy, and thats all that mattered. If Alt's plan wouldn't have cut deer numbers the way they did, this EHD/CWD epidemics we've seen cropping up would have been WAY worse......but since it didnt happen here by and large, the naysayers will say it cant happen.
I haven't personally killed a deer in at least 5 yrs. But that's on me, not the PGC. I havent hunted very hard post-back and neck fusions - my issues, not the PGC's. We're doing flintlock drives on SGL's within 400 yds of a state highway and seeing several deer per day. My misfire, etc left me deerless again, but that's not on the PGC! LOL! I see WAY TOO many deer on posted land with neighboring and renting farmers getting angry cuz they're losing thousands of dollars a year night-feeding the falsified herds that the neighbors so vehemently "protect" so they can say "Look at me, I have deer!"
Point - they are out there in numbers in areas that you are not hunting. Go hunt. Quit demanding that the hunt come to you and your stump.
^This^Remember guys, we are a management TOOL.
It starts to appeal to the people who otherwise are out and about in nature and maybe don't understand this aspect of hunting. If you have someone involved in "citizen science" counting birds or helping turtle hatchlings, it's a great way to build that connection. Because those are the people invested in the woods, too. I never got very far with my former FIL who is a bat and bird bander and environmentalist mainly because of the issues over lead shot and the California condor. But a lot of people will support hunting once they understand it in that context.^This^
Too many hunters today don't know that, or care about that. Once we lose sight of this fact, we lose support from the general public. We also need to do a lot more to emphasise this fact about why we hunt. True antis are always going to be just that. But if we emphasise the importance of herd management and the benefits of hunters towards it, we keep support from the general public. When the emphasis is on "got'er done" or "big buck down", we lose some of that support.
I'm in no means trying to take away from the traditions, challenge and enjoyment of what we do. I believe, though, that we need to put the emphasis on what will keep that support.
I agree with you that hunters should use all of the meat they can from a deer after they harvest it.Some hunters think that since they have a tag they have to use or even "reuse" it. I never understood what someone does with some much deer meat when they harvest 3, 4 or 5 deer. (I live in maryland where you can shoot ALOT of deer). I myself butcher my own deer and cut ever bit of meat off that is useable. I clean the rib cage and all. Some people only take the backstraps and rear quarters and feel the need to kill more, but if they would take the time to clean the rib cage and front legs there would get more meat and save another deer. Some hunters are to dumb to realize that if they keep killing the deer, esp does the herd will be reduced quickly and it takes a really long time to build the herd back up.
Thats well and good but too many hunters (not saying you) think they have a right to wild deer meat.I killed three this year...one buck, two does.
I have three kids. We eat venison till the next hunting season, whereupon my wife will start giving me heck if I don't produce venison in a prompt and timely manner. We have not bought beef within my eldest child's lifespan, and she's 14.
I guess my point is that I often see it said on HPA that anyone who kills more than one deer is greedy, or "there's no reason anyone needs more than 2 deer a year"....etc etc etc etc.Thats well and good but too many hunters (not saying you) think they have a right to wild deer meat.
No you don't. The resource should come first or you might not have any deer to eat.