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Author Topic: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?  (Read 21901 times)

Offline Snapshot

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How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« on: April 06, 2014, 01:38:47 PM »
On another thread the topic of early Elk Season timing is proving to be on the minds of many. I think we need to understand how we got to where we are in order to find our way back.

I believe the reason we lost the Sept 8-21 elk season was that one wealthy hunter caught the ear of the people who influenced the season setting process by, 1) pointing out that there were permit-dollars to be made if they’d offer Modern Firearms tag holders a chance to hunt a rutting bull, and, 2) suggesting that bowhunters were taking an inequitable proportion of Mature bull elk. I believe the second claim was contrived as a means of achieving the goal of rifle hunting during the rut.

It is easy to imagine that any idea promising increased revenues was going to gain traction and make the decision-makers take notice. What isn’t so easy to imagine is why our biologist would go against widely accepted elk biology and skew the data to support the claim of inequity in mature bull harvest. [I believe it was because he was told to do so by his boss or his bosses.]

Please understand that the WDFW’s own Game Management Plan has for at least the past 18 years said, “Mature bulls are defined as being older than four years, which is usually equated to having antlers with at least six tines on one side.” [I write 18 years because I’ve only been referencing the Plan for that long.]

Here was the ruse: Because the bull harvest statistics up to and including 2007 did not show that bowhunters were taking more than their share of mature bulls (which is what the influential wealthy hunter claimed), the numbers were fudged to make it look like bowhunters were taking more than their share. This was done by changing (only for the sake of the Season Setting Process) the definition of a Mature bull to include bulls with at least five tines on at least one side.

That is right…for the purpose of selling the Game Commission on the idea of allowing Modern Firearms permits during the peak of the rut, the Department included the five point bulls in the equations. [Ask an elk biologist how old an elk has to be to have five points on one side and the answer will be “2-1/2 years with good genetics and feed.”] Including the raghorns changed the results and so what the Commission saw was that bowhunters were taking more than their share of Mature bulls. Under the rules of Resource Allocation the Commission was compelled to accept the Department’s recommendation to, 1) create a new Modern Firearms tag permit for hunting bulls with a rifle during the third week of September, and, 2) to make adjustments to the archery season timing.

One longstanding argument against allowing modern firearms hunters in the woods during archery season was bowhunter safety concerns. This argument was held up alongside their data showing bowhunters taking too many mature bulls and the stage was set.

The Department couldn’t sell the dates of Sept 1-14 like it was prior to 1999-2001 because the Commission remembered bowhunters’ reasons for wanting to get away from that time slot: 1) forest overcrowding due to the Labor Day holiday, and, 2) the warmer weather and the fire dangers/meat loss issues that came along with that. And so someone came up with the idea of a floating start with season opening the Tuesday after Labor Day. That was latched onto like a piglet to a teat and to rub salt into the wound they also chopped a day off the season length. All because someone said bowhunters were too good at taking mature bulls.

A goal of mine prior to the 2008-10 season setting process was to gather mature bull harvest data to find out exactly what effect, if any, the changing of the dates had on the harvesting of mature bulls. I saw the 2008 data and no effect was evident there. But then some life changes and distractions kept me from working on that goal. I wonder, has anyone compiled the mature bull harvest data from 2009-2013? If only six point or better bulls, as per the Game Management Plan, were compared I believe we’d be right on track in our mature bull harvest and we could shoot down the argument that got us to where we are now. And maybe in doing so we’d have some justification for getting back to the dates of Sept 8-21.
I'd just like to remind everybody that it's about the hunting, not just the killing. In other words, it's about the total experience, the sport itself and the challenge involved. Bowhunting, done right, is a justifiable and honorable pursuit. Done for the wrong reasons, simply chalking up kills and seeking personal glory, it's taking away rather than giving back to a principled way of life that has to be experienced to be understood. G.StCharles

Offline skidynastar33

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 02:20:46 PM »
Next year it will be the 8 - 20. Tues after Labor Day opening is what's it has always been since I started. (7years) not sure what it was before.

Offline washelkhunter

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 02:24:12 PM »
For 2015 why not push for the 2nd sat of Sept to Oct 1st. and combine AR w ML into a PW season? No compounds and no inlines. True Primitive Weapons. Long bows and recurves only and sidelock muzzies limited to round ball only. Relegate the modern compounds and inlines to the MF slot.   :tup:

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 02:41:57 PM »
For 2015 why not push for the 2nd sat of Sept to Oct 1st. and combine AR w ML into a PW season? No compounds and no inlines. True Primitive Weapons. Long bows and recurves only and sidelock muzzies limited to round ball only. Relegate the modern compounds and inlines to the MF slot.   :tup:

I really cannot feature this happening.  Nice thought though.
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Offline bobcat

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 03:33:45 PM »
For 2015 why not push for the 2nd sat of Sept to Oct 1st. and combine AR w ML into a PW season? No compounds and no inlines. True Primitive Weapons. Long bows and recurves only and sidelock muzzies limited to round ball only. Relegate the modern compounds and inlines to the MF slot.   :tup:

I really cannot feature this happening.  Nice thought though.

Yeah, too many people with money invested in compound bows and inline muzzleloaders. They would never do away with those seasons. I could see doing away with the general seasons though, and make all elk huning by permit only.

Offline kentrek

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2014, 04:08:28 PM »
For 2015 why not push for the 2nd sat of Sept to Oct 1st. and combine AR w ML into a PW season? No compounds and no inlines. True Primitive Weapons. Long bows and recurves only and sidelock muzzies limited to round ball only. Relegate the modern compounds and inlines to the MF slot.   :tup:

I really cannot feature this happening.  Nice thought though.

Yeah, too many people with money invested in compound bows and inline muzzleloaders. They would never do away with those seasons. I could see doing away with the general seasons though, and make all elk huning by permit only.

Dont kill what opportunity we have left...

Offline washelkhunter

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 08:21:42 PM »
What? You would'nt give up your compound for the op'ty to hunt in the middle of the rut and have a season that runs for 19 days at the best time of the year? And its deer season too!

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 09:28:17 PM »
What? You would'nt give up your compound for the op'ty to hunt in the middle of the rut and have a season that runs for 19 days at the best time of the year? And its deer season too!

I'm not saying I wouldn't rather hunt that time frame with a flintlock than my compound with the current seasons but I'm trying to look at what would realistically happen and that doesn't fit the bill in my opinion.
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Offline huntnphool

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 09:45:54 PM »
Unless WDFW change their story, the season should start the 8th again in 2015
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Offline washelkhunter

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 10:07:40 PM »
What? You would'nt give up your compound for the op'ty to hunt in the middle of the rut and have a season that runs for 19 days at the best time of the year? And its deer season too!
[/quote

I'm not saying I wouldn't rather hunt that time frame with a flintlock than my compound with the current seasons but I'm trying to look at what would realistically happen and that doesn't fit the bill in my opinion.


I think its sellable, and sidelock includes no: 11 percussion caps.

Offline elk247

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 10:21:32 PM »
For 2015 why not push for the 2nd sat of Sept to Oct 1st. and combine AR w ML into a PW season? No compounds and no inlines. True Primitive Weapons. Long bows and recurves only and sidelock muzzies limited to round ball only. Relegate the modern compounds and inlines to the MF slot.   :tup:
I was with you until you gave the inline and compound guys the shaft. An exclusive traditional peak rut hunt would be great.

Offline washelkhunter

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2014, 11:19:18 PM »
I didnt give them the shaft. Mod compounds and muzzies today have no compare with what the original intent of the primitive season was all about. These weapons have outpaced their perceived category.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 09:48:54 AM by washelkhunter »

Offline huntnphool

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2014, 11:29:17 AM »
Mod compounds and muzzies today have no compare with what the original intent of the primitive season was all about. These weapons have outpaced their perceived category.
What year did the "primitive weapon" categories begin and what was "perceived" by WF&G?
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Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2014, 11:41:36 AM »
 :yeah:  slippery slope there Sir
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Offline Broken Arrow

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2014, 11:55:42 AM »
what about us atlatl and spear hunters, why not give us the whole month... :bash:

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2014, 11:58:54 AM »
what about us atlatl and spear hunters, why not give us the whole month... :bash:

Yeah they should be able to hunt June-August.   :chuckle:  I also found a rather jagged rock yesterday that is likely similar to what my grandfather's ancestors probably used to brain a fawn with back in the first centurty.

I find it interesting that everytime somebody comes up with "The Perfect Solution" that it usually ends up being more complicated and convoluted than what is already in place.   :twocents:
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Offline elk247

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2014, 12:32:14 AM »
I didnt give them the shaft. Mod compounds and muzzies today have no compare with what the original intent of the primitive season was all about. These weapons have outpaced their perceived category.
I agree a traditional season would be cool. But I wouldn't trade the archery and muzzle loader season away for the opportunity. In all reality you can hunt the pre-peak rut or post-peak rut now with a muzzle loader or archery gear. Give or take a week. Archery the first week of october is the next best as thing to late september. The shaft I was referring to is lumping the compound and inline guys in with the rifle hunters. Bowhunters would never have a chance. Try and put the sneek on an animal wearing blaze orange only to have a rifle hunter shoot over your head from 700 yards away? No thanks. We would be bird dogs with a bow.

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2014, 05:50:08 AM »

What? You would'nt give up your compound for the op'ty to hunt in the middle of the rut and have a season that runs for 19 days at the best time of the year? And its deer season too!

Can we ban a muzzleloader from the WSB forum?


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Offline dreamingbig

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2014, 05:54:30 AM »

On another thread the topic of early Elk Season timing is proving to be on the minds of many. I think we need to understand how we got to where we are in order to find our way back.

I believe the reason we lost the Sept 8-21 elk season was that one wealthy hunter caught the ear of the people who influenced the season setting process by, 1) pointing out that there were permit-dollars to be made if they’d offer Modern Firearms tag holders a chance to hunt a rutting bull, and, 2) suggesting that bowhunters were taking an inequitable proportion of Mature bull elk. I believe the second claim was contrived as a means of achieving the goal of rifle hunting during the rut.

It is easy to imagine that any idea promising increased revenues was going to gain traction and make the decision-makers take notice. What isn’t so easy to imagine is why our biologist would go against widely accepted elk biology and skew the data to support the claim of inequity in mature bull harvest. [I believe it was because he was told to do so by his boss or his bosses.]

Please understand that the WDFW’s own Game Management Plan has for at least the past 18 years said, “Mature bulls are defined as being older than four years, which is usually equated to having antlers with at least six tines on one side.” [I write 18 years because I’ve only been referencing the Plan for that long.]

Here was the ruse: Because the bull harvest statistics up to and including 2007 did not show that bowhunters were taking more than their share of mature bulls (which is what the influential wealthy hunter claimed), the numbers were fudged to make it look like bowhunters were taking more than their share. This was done by changing (only for the sake of the Season Setting Process) the definition of a Mature bull to include bulls with at least five tines on at least one side.

That is right…for the purpose of selling the Game Commission on the idea of allowing Modern Firearms permits during the peak of the rut, the Department included the five point bulls in the equations. [Ask an elk biologist how old an elk has to be to have five points on one side and the answer will be “2-1/2 years with good genetics and feed.”] Including the raghorns changed the results and so what the Commission saw was that bowhunters were taking more than their share of Mature bulls. Under the rules of Resource Allocation the Commission was compelled to accept the Department’s recommendation to, 1) create a new Modern Firearms tag permit for hunting bulls with a rifle during the third week of September, and, 2) to make adjustments to the archery season timing.

One longstanding argument against allowing modern firearms hunters in the woods during archery season was bowhunter safety concerns. This argument was held up alongside their data showing bowhunters taking too many mature bulls and the stage was set.

The Department couldn’t sell the dates of Sept 1-14 like it was prior to 1999-2001 because the Commission remembered bowhunters’ reasons for wanting to get away from that time slot: 1) forest overcrowding due to the Labor Day holiday, and, 2) the warmer weather and the fire dangers/meat loss issues that came along with that. And so someone came up with the idea of a floating start with season opening the Tuesday after Labor Day. That was latched onto like a piglet to a teat and to rub salt into the wound they also chopped a day off the season length. All because someone said bowhunters were too good at taking mature bulls.

A goal of mine prior to the 2008-10 season setting process was to gather mature bull harvest data to find out exactly what effect, if any, the changing of the dates had on the harvesting of mature bulls. I saw the 2008 data and no effect was evident there. But then some life changes and distractions kept me from working on that goal. I wonder, has anyone compiled the mature bull harvest data from 2009-2013? If only six point or better bulls, as per the Game Management Plan, were compared I believe we’d be right on track in our mature bull harvest and we could shoot down the argument that got us to where we are now. And maybe in doing so we’d have some justification for getting back to the dates of Sept 8-21.

This is spot on!  Money talks.  What I don't get is how they figure the 8th to 21st affected their ability to have a few rut hunts for MF from the 22nd to 30th time slot.

To add insult, this year they increased the one permit rut hunts to two in most units which I believe is just the start.  Before long it will be ten then 25.  Why?  Easy, more money.  They don't care about equality.  If they did then the rut hunt would be available for all user groups to apply.


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Offline D-Rock425

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2014, 08:48:04 AM »
Next year it will be the 8 - 20. Tues after Labor Day opening is what's it has always been since I started. (7years) not sure what it was before.
it has not been this way for 7 years.

Offline motg9_6

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2014, 10:45:11 AM »
Other states get the entire month. We get hosed.

Offline washelkhunter

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2014, 10:51:20 AM »

What? You would'nt give up your compound for the op'ty to hunt in the middle of the rut and have a season that runs for 19 days at the best time of the year? And its deer season too!

Can we ban a muzzleloader from the WSB forum?


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No you can't. I am archer as well. 

Offline huntnphool

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2014, 10:53:16 AM »

What? You would'nt give up your compound for the op'ty to hunt in the middle of the rut and have a season that runs for 19 days at the best time of the year? And its deer season too!

Can we ban a muzzleloader from the WSB forum?


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What's WSB?
Washington State Bowhunters, the section this thread is located in! ;)
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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2014, 10:54:01 AM »
WSB = Washington state bowhunters which is the forum you are posting in! :(


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Offline skidynastar33

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Re: How do we get back Sept 8-21 season?
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2014, 11:17:33 AM »
Went back and look and 2008 was the last year of 8-21. 2009 was 8-20 and from there till now it relates to the Tuesday after Labor Day as opening