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Discussion Starter #1
and how much is too much.

I seem to notice PA is not the only state to wonder if limits and seasons on antlerless deer have gotten too liberal.

Anyway just my observations.
 

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Been grappling with the issue in PA since the beginning of the 20th century.

The history and actions of the early GC is amazing in how the same issues are being discussed over a 100 years later.
 
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I personally don't understand why taking 1 buck and 1 doe per hunter per season is't enough for some people, but that's just my opinion.
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 personally don't see people getting extra doe tags to be greedy. If we were talking buck tags I'd say oh yeah. Doe tags though, not so much...
 

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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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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Remember guys, we are a management TOOL.
^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.
 

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I personally don't understand why taking 1 buck and 1 doe per hunter per season is't enough for some people, but that's just my opinion.
2 or 3 a year for me is plenty. But some guys feed their family venison all year long.
 

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I personally don't understand why taking 1 buck and 1 doe per hunter per season is't enough for some people, but that's just my opinion.





That is why in some areas in Pa they issue a lot of doe tags. A lot of deer are shot by the minority and in areas they need thinning. In the SRA's, deer are not scarce, the places they hole up in are. But in my opinion, Pa should be an "earn a buck" state. But just my opinion.
 

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^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.
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
I agree with you that hunters should use all of the meat they can from a deer after they harvest it.

But, in many areas those that are killing three, four, five and even six or more does are the hunters doing the best thing possible for the future of deer populations. With declining hunter numbers in some areas the remaining hunters need to kill more deer just to keep the deer populations in balance with their food supply and habitat. The fastest way to end up with very few deer for the future is to carry too many deer through the winter and allow them to damage their food supply. That then results in reduced fawn recruitment and a deer population that effectively starts reducing its own numbers. That can go on for years and even decades until you end up with less and less quality habitat and ultimately fewer and fewer deer and little chance of ever have much of an increase in deer numbers for the future.

In short there is absolutely nothing wrong with hunters killing multiple deer as long as they have the permits for them, even if they have to give some of the meat away to use it all.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
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.
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.
 

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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.
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.

No, I don't "need" to eat deer, but I have the access to deer meat by virtue of where I live and hunt and tags/seasons available to me. For those who say such things about hunters being greedy, I'm simply giving an example where I'm killing three a year and using them all within my household. I'm not trying to fill tags just to fill tags. I could have filled more tags throughout the year if I wanted to rack up a body count. I set out in Sept to put 3 in the freezer. That's what I did.

With the kids getting bigger and meals not stretching as far for the same amount of venison, I may need to bump it to 4 in a year or two if the tags are available.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Understood but you hunt in an area where harvesting 3 deer a year is not negatively impacting the herd.

Down in the mountains of WV they closed the firearm hunting of female deer on the national forests to increase the population. I'm sure hunters complained when they did that.
 

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Some places beg you to shoot more, the Special Reg's areas are one of those places. I have hit double digits in bow kills twice over the last 5+ years, my average is slightly lower than that but I assure you. I am not putting a dent in the herd. We see groups of deer in the second season you would not believe. Do I need more than a few personally? Nope.. Do I feel like I am doing my part thinning a herd of doe? Nope.. Does the guy who has had nothing to eat the last two days worry about the beef in his soup or where it comes from. From a meal I provided from Hunters sharing the harvest. Yup we donate there all the time, and will continue to do so till we see a more of a balance from the herds of deer we hunt. So, wondering if why one person needs to shoot more than a few in a season is all well and good, situations are different in every part of the state. And down here, with a liberal allotment of smoothie tags, we use them up. And we still, after killing 12-15 in an area do not see a reduction in the housing developments or the parks.


It is also a lot of hard work dragging 2 at a time out to the road and off to the food bank.... Fun no doubt... But a lot of work.
 

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Three farmers from the Potter/Tioga county border area, came to the PGC Sunday session last week.

They mostly found some fault with PGC's dropping of the concurrent bear season in 3A, during the first week of deer season. Had that for a few seasons, dropped for this past deer season. They didn't say all that much about high deer numbers in that area, although one I spoke with afterwards, said there are still too many deer around.

His farm is about 5 miles south of my camp. Don't know him personally, knew who he was when he gave his name and location, while speaking to the board.

This is an area where extra does should be taken. But they've cut the 3A allocation twice in the past two years AND added 3A to bucks only the first five days - mostly because hunters are complaining about "not enough deer" in the southern areas of both counties just above Rt. 6.

Generally in that border area (New York/NE Potter/NW Tioga), we're pretty much right back where we were by the time HR started, for deer numbers. Bears have also been presenting problems for farmers, both with corn fields and beef calf predation.

Came back from camp earlier today, after a run up there early Sat. morning for a family funeral.

Drove around for a half hour near camp last evening, over 70 deer out feeding within less than a two square mile area. The Sunday night before this past deer season, closer to 90 out on much of the same drive around with spotlight.

While there are some posted areas where little hunting takes place (much of it now owned as hunting land), that serve as refuge areas, deer numbers have bounced back pretty well because it's mixed woods and Ag lands, which makes for nearly perfect deer habitat.
 
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