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Good article and if it's not a scathing indictment of the mismanagement of the deer herd, I don't know what is. From this chair, the biologists bend more to politics than science.
Yup. A lot of us have been saying for a long time we're not taking half the doe we should be...
Sure, there's some regions doing better than others, but we're way behind the curve, and getting farther away each year.
Between declining hunter numbers and more private land being posted or developed, the "tag floodgates" need to open soon.
 

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Yup. A lot of us have been saying for a long time we're not taking half the doe we should be...
Sure, there's some regions doing better than others, but we're way behind the curve, and getting farther away each year.
Between declining hunter numbers and more private land being posted or developed, the "tag floodgates" need to open soon.
Isn't the floods gates already open? Counting DMAP, Red tag, and over 900,000 doe allocations, i bet that is over 1 million doe tags a year and now we have the lovely Concurrent season state wide. I will agree you are not going to get a handle on doe harvests with all the posted land where the deer go to once the shooting starts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
KR...how many does does your camp shoot?
we shoot 2-3 does a year, depending on what the herd looks like... We only have 150 acres and see 2-3 new fawns make it to fall each year. Most of the neighbors take 2-3 also. I run a bunch of trail cameras all year long, and feel confident that we typically have 5-8 deer that live on our 150 acres (visit our food plots on a regular basis).
 

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Good article and if it's not a scathing indictment of the mismanagement of the deer herd, I don't know what is. From this chair, the biologists bend more to politics than science.
Yup. A lot of us have been saying for a long time we're not taking half the doe we should be...
Sure, there's some regions doing better than others, but we're way behind the curve, and getting farther away each year.
Between declining hunter numbers and more private land being posted or developed, the "tag floodgates" need to open soon.
Assuming a 60:40 doe to buck ratio and a total population of 1.5 Million deer that means the PGC already has more doe tags available than there are does in the state.

Also I look at 4A where I hunt, they opened the flood gates to allow 6 tags per hunter and we still have 14,000 tags left for sale. If they truly want more does killed then they are going to have to open more firearms opportunity since the bow hunters aren’t getting the job done.
 

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Isn't the floods gates already open? Counting DMAP, Red tag, and over 900,000 doe allocations, i bet that is over 1 million doe tags a year and now we have the lovely Concurrent season state wide. I will agree you are not going to get a handle on doe harvests with all the posted land where the deer go to once the shooting starts.
In my opinion, no, the flood gates aren't truly open...

The elephant in the room is the posted land and suburban developments. The deer there have no need or desire to leave, for now. Things keep trending up, they'll leave in search of food eventually. Access can be had if you're persistent and polite, and sometimes creative.

I can easily fill as many 5C tags as I can get.. Problem is I can't get enough now with the new process. Even then the tag:harvest ratio here is 4.6:1, (70K tags, 15.2K harvest) which means no where near enough guys that are buying those tags are trying very hard. Allocate 150K (or more) for 5C and we'll start making a dent and righting the curve.
3C, my northern property, the ratio is 3.4:1. A little better, but still in the "folks aren't really trying" territory. For more than a decade, I could, and frequently have, tagged out on doe in 3C in a day. Same goes for the rest of my crew there. I'm not kidding when I say I could end my 3c season next week if I take the crossbow along when I'm at the property for 4 days. Bear included hopefully. But I won't, I'll pace myself to spread out the butchering work (especially since I'm having hand surgery the following week.)

Just looking at the ratios and season lengths (combined) over the last 20 years, it seems pretty clear to me that the biggest issue with the doe harvest is a significant percentage of PA hunters that just don't kill doe. Sure, they buy the tags as "insurance", but a lot buy them to "protect" their future buck harvests, which really counterproductive to both their intended goal, and the overall management of the herd and habitat.

I say double the allocations statewide for a few years. Bring back HR. Get the populations significantly lower outside the suburbs and see if the deer holed up there migrate out a bit, then maintain high allocations in the SRAs and maybe even their immediate neighbor WMUs for a while longer. Let the habitat regenerate and reset allocations to keep things more stable.
If it means the end of me putting 6-8 in the freezer each year and donating several, so be it. I'd be much happier knowing that things will still be around and stable for my kids and eventual grandkids.
 

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FY
Isn't the floods gates already open? Counting DMAP, Red tag, and over 900,000 doe allocations, i bet that is over 1 million doe tags a year and now we have the lovely Concurrent season state wide. I will agree you are not going to get a handle on doe harvests with all the posted land where the deer go to once the shooting starts.
FYI, it was the catering to the doom and gloom bunch who thought we were taking too many doe due to the concurrent seasons that helped reverse some of the good that was done by herd reduction. If you want to see part of the problem, look in a mirror!
 

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Still waiting to see the good I dont need a mirror to see the problem, all one has to do in many areas is step foot in the woods and see how void the game is. Not just deer.
 

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Assuming a 60:40 doe to buck ratio and a total population of 1.5 Million deer that means the PGC already has more doe tags available than there are does in the state.
That 1.5 million guestimate has been pretty consistent since 2007.... my gut tells me it's understated... probably by a lot.
And after pouring over the 20/21 Deer Population Report, for probably the 20th time, no where do they outright state an estimate.
Adding up the post-hunt population estimates for each WMU, I get 1.48 million, but that includes the null values they report for 2B, 5C and 5D.

Also I look at 4A where I hunt, they opened the flood gates to allow 6 tags per hunter and we still have 14,000 tags left for sale. If they truly want more does killed then they are going to have to open more firearms opportunity since the bow hunters aren’t getting the job done.
Agreed, many WMU's could benefit from longer/added firearms opportunities.
Problem is that unless an allocation increase goes hand-in-hand, it won't matter. I contend that the guys willing to kill does are doing it to the limit of available tags already. You could give me 2 more weeks of rifle or allow me semi-auto, it won't make a difference. Can't kill more if I can't get more tags.

I honestly don't know that the PGC knows what it's doing setting the allocations at this point. Diving into the harvest report and allocation proposed paints a pretty clear picture. They laid out a very concise methodology for setting the allocations, but in summary, ignore the very outcomes and arbitrarily provide "options" for the BOC to select from, which become arbitrary political decisions.
Case in point, when you go thru the WMU specific worksheets, many WMUs that saw significant reductions in allocations this year had more indicators pointing toward increasing allocations rather than reducing them, even with the addition of concurrent seasons, yet the presented recommendations ignored the robust stated methods and said reduce.... Yeah, that's great when sentiment is trending toward too many deer, deer vs human impact is increasing and has been high for 10 years, population is increasing (based on the noted post-harvest values), and forest regeneration is decreasing... Sure, cut the allocation 34%, what could go wrong? :rolleyes:
 

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Which WMU?
View attachment 174586
Above is the population guestimates I pulled from the latest Report...
I hunt mainly 4B (Perry) but hunt 2G (Southern Potter) for rifle season. The state forests and SGLs in my part of 4B, your lucky to see a tail even during rifle. Not sure if you remember but i typed up last year how my brother and his crew of 20 guys drove from morning until dusk for 2 straight days on Tuscarora state forest (4B) only to jump i think it was 3-4 deer in 2 days. That mountain is crazy thick and used to have a fair amount of deer.
 

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I hunt mainly 4B (Perry) but hunt 2G (Southern Potter) for rifle season. The state forests and SGLs in my part of 4B, your lucky to see a tail even during rifle. Not sure if you remember but i typed up last year how my brother and his crew of 20 guys drove from morning until dusk for 2 straight days on Tuscarora state forest (4B) only to jump i think it was 3-4 deer in 2 days. That mountain is crazy thick and used to have a fair amount of deer.
Ok, that's two of the tougher units, no doubt.... still, 27.5-28 deer per square mile... they gotta be hiding somewhere.
How's the understory in those areas you guys are hunting?
 

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Ok, that's two of the tougher units, no doubt.... still, 27.5-28 deer per square mile... they gotta be hiding somewhere.
How's the understory in those areas you guys are hunting?
There is a lot of growth in most of the areas and some of the areas are pretty thick. I actually hunt a farm not far from me that is 1000 acres and those guys that own it are getting frustrated the last 2 years with deer sightings and even sign. Lots of cornfield and soybean fields in this area but you dont see many out in the fields anymore. I usually get at least 2 a year but i really have to work hard and put alot of time in to get them.
 

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No possible way 2g has 27 deer per square mile.
I cut/pasted those numbers into Excel from the 2021 Deer Population Report (on PGC's website, in all 69 pages of it's PDF glory, for what it's worth...)

Funny thing is, I still contend their numbers are low for a lot of units...
 

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I will sacrifice myself and help you empty the cans.
Can always use the help. (y) Family farms aren't dead yet. I little hung over maybe ,,,,,,,,,,:ROFLMAO::LOL::D
 
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