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Author Topic: North central mule deer  (Read 11039 times)

Offline no.cen.wa

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2017, 10:50:27 PM »
I would be in favor of just dumping special hunts all together! The only special hunt I remember in the 60s was for a doe tag, most of us that put in would never use it, we called it "save a doe tag" It really doesn't matter, it'll never happen, there is just too much money they would lose in application fees.
I still think a very short season, 3,4,5 days would make a big difference and giving the big bucks, 3 point and more alittle break by going any buck once in awhile. We can let the WDFW keep their "cash cow" special permits and the bogus draw.
John G

Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2017, 07:31:21 AM »
IMO no.cen.wa thats what I find interesting with UBA,s idea. some folks will hunt the general season (still 8-10 days) but by buying a general season tag it null and voids you from participating in that years special permit draw. If you put in for a chance at a special permit you are null and void for hunting the general. There are a lot of folks who may opt for the special permit and their odds may be a little better :dunno: I think it would help out general season hunters by taking a lot of hunters out of the woods and it would take a lot out of the drawing thus increasing their odds. Heck increase the special permit fee by 8 bucks to compensate for the folks who may just want to hunt the general :dunno:. It just sounds like something like this may work and keep most(not all probably) hunters happy. I think some thought needs to be put into it and tweaked a little but hey its an idea, better than just throwing a bunch of doe tags at the issue and thinking that always fixes the problem which is what the current strategy seems to always be by those in charge :dunno:.... :twocents:

Offline no.cen.wa

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2017, 08:28:35 AM »
We all know something needs to be done, I always thought the blanket 3pt mule deer rule was NOT management, the deer that migrate like the methow herd needs different rules than the herds that stay in more local areas. Thats probably harder to patrol but they seem to be able to change fish and shellfish rule on a whim with little to no advance warning to fisherman. So, I suppose they just don't want to be bothered by watching the mule deer herd that close.

Offline OutHouse

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #53 on: August 04, 2017, 09:55:34 AM »
I agree with comments about things declining since hwy 20 was built over to Winthrop. I'm not old enough to have personal knowledge of this, but I know an older fella who helped build the North Cascades Hwy and he's been up in Mazama for about 50 years. He said before the hwy, herds of mule deer could be viewed in the middle of the valley on a regular basis.

The poaching and rules violations are also rampant. Getting the wildlife officers to come up to the top end of the valley is like pulling teeth, except you never get the tooth out. Two years ago I was doing archery and there was a guy near my area who was bating with tree stands. He shot a huge whitetail doe (probably 150 pounds), ripped off the hindquarters and left the rest of the meat. Then continued hunting! Myself and my brother were witness to this, called the officer in Omak I think, and he said "gosh that's a long drive all the way up there". I told him you have a clear case of waste of wildlife here with witnesses etc. and you don't want to pursue it? It was ridiculous--he tried to argue that waste is subjective or some nonsense.

Offline muleracks

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2017, 03:44:44 PM »
We use to go up and look at does on Harmony Heights above Brewster and would count over a hundred does and maybe see a spike or 2 point during the late part of the General season.  That was in the early 60s.  Won't see that this year.

Offline sjhgraysage

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2017, 03:07:14 PM »
This has been interesting / good reading. I have friends who grew up in the northwest Ferry county area and even in the mid and late 70's commented on how deer hunting then it was nothing like it was 10 to 15 years earlier. 
I believe the entire state's mule deer herd is struggling.
What is hard to believe is that our Wildlife Dept is so slow in seeing what Colorado, Nevada, and other mule deer states have already seen, and went to permit only deer hunting. Hunters have to be managed as well as the game animals. I think we past the point of seeing the reality that permit only hunting is the only way to manage both game and hunters. I know it won't be popular with a percentage of hunters, but I believe we owe to our wildlife. Rant over.  :twocents:

Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #56 on: August 07, 2017, 06:04:22 PM »
I agree with comments about things declining since hwy 20 was built over to Winthrop. I'm not old enough to have personal knowledge of this, but I know an older fella who helped build the North Cascades Hwy and he's been up in Mazama for about 50 years. He said before the hwy, herds of mule deer could be viewed in the middle of the valley on a regular basis.

The poaching and rules violations are also rampant. Getting the wildlife officers to come up to the top end of the valley is like pulling teeth, except you never get the tooth out. Two years ago I was doing archery and there was a guy near my area who was bating with tree stands. He shot a huge whitetail doe (probably 150 pounds), ripped off the hindquarters and left the rest of the meat. Then continued hunting! Myself and my brother were witness to this, called the officer in Omak I think, and he said "gosh that's a long drive all the way up there". I told him you have a clear case of waste of wildlife here with witnesses etc. and you don't want to pursue it? It was ridiculous--he tried to argue that waste is subjective or some nonsense.

Well I believe it also(that the opening of the north cascade pass) was a huge contributor to the decline in the Methow herd. In its day it was the largest mule deer herd in the state, it wasn't kept a secret intentionally its just that pre-pass most people had no idea where the Methow valley was let alone where the "little town at the end of the road", (Winthrop) was. In the area we hunted (that covered a huge area, probably 10 square miles) everybody knew everybody, they knew where other folks hunted and they stayed out of their way. I'm sure a lot of you folks with history in the Methow have the same stories. My family started hunting it in 1917, my great grandparents had friends that had huge land parcels over there(mostly the north part of the valley). 95 percent of the land my family started hunting back then and into the 20,s is now Gov.land, DNR, forest service, national forest or game dept. land. Some was sold, some was donated to the game dept. Very little is still private property and the small percentage that is has been sold over and over again and is mostly located around the town of Winthrop. Heres a good one for you, I think it was back in the 40,s :dunno:, my great grandpa was friends with the folks that owned a big hill along the side of a lake called Pearrygin lake, my dad was in the marine corp at the time and was young(and dumb :chuckle:). My great grandpa wrote him a letter and asked if he wanted to go in halves and buy a couple thousand acres by this lake over by where they hunt, of coarse my dad knew where it was because he had been hunting the area since he was a boy. My dad turned down the deal for a lot of reasons like buying cars, etc.etc(the reasons most 20 somethings have for not wanting to invest :chuckle:). Well the trigger was never pulled on the deal, and is one of my dads worst regrets in life, that parcel of land that was offered to my great grandparents was offered to them at $7.50 an acre and is now known as Studhorse Mountain. The pass opened this valley up to a lot of people, new opportunities, new ventures, and an influx of people that came and stayed. Large ranches and large tracts of property that had been in families for generations were being chopped up and sold and the rest is history. Pressure,and People(2 of the 3 P,s) started when the pass was opened IMHO. 

Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2017, 06:31:00 PM »
One more story and I'm done :chuckle:, we all know by now the Methow herd is not what it used to be and is getting worse, I speak the truth :tup:,,,,Late 1960,s we were hunting down the valley(south) from where we usually hunted. We were young and in shape and the migration had kicked in a day or two earlier. An old friend of the family had sent us to an area I was not familiar with but I decided to listen and involve my pardners in this also. We put on a lot of miles, bucking snow that was 2 ft deep and a wind that cut straight through you. We saw deer around every corner, deer around every bend, around every bunch of buckbrush and water hole. We estimated somewhere around 4 miles(one way) and 250 or more deer. Does, spikes, small 2,s , 3,s , and a nice non typical we could not get a clean round into and let live. We headed back. We were cold, tired, hungry and shot. We rolled into our real camp about an hour before quitting time. When we came around a Big old pine (that our tents were next to) we came face to face with a couple dandy bucks, a 4by6 and a 4by5 that were 20yards from our tents!....no folks, the Methow is no where near what it used to be.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #58 on: August 08, 2017, 07:19:35 PM »
We as hunters need to get behind, get in front, or demand something be done about this herd or IMO it will be lost. The dept. needs to listen to ideas and have an open mind. They can still make money, save this herd, offer a quality experience for hunters and save other herds in the process. I wish it was still the DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME :'(......If this herd continues the slide its on, I predict in15 to 20 years it will be lights out, then all the other herds up around Wenatchee, Entiat and other parts of the state will follow. Dominoe effect, more hunters every year will be forced into other areas. Statewide draw only for mule deer?..... might not be a bad deal :tup: It will all start with the Methow folks, something needs to be done.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2017, 11:22:29 AM »
Well just a report, my son and another partner just got back from 6 days of scouting in the Methow(I was there for 3 days). This is the real deal folks- bad, bad, and another bad! We hit haunts from mid valley up into the 30 mile area, elevations from 2000 feet to 7000ft. Total boot miles put on 20-25, truck miles within the valley-489, glassing hours somewhere around 15. Now I know enough about this area and this time of year to know we are scouting local deer and mid level deer, we were not up into country that the big migration comes out of but even the 4 to 7 thousand ft deer are migrators because they will move out when weather pushes them, they just don't travel as far. Between the 3 of us we seen 64 deer 9 of those being bucks and 2 of those 9 were legal. To put into perspective, roughly this same scouting trip 8 years ago was 193 deer spotted,26 being bucks and 14 of 26 being legal. Same trip 20years ago- 322, 46 and 19 of 46. Same trip 30 years ago-478,79 and 30 of 79. Heres the eye opener, 40 years ago-789, 146, 49 of 146. I'm sure everyone sees the trend. I know this isn't scientific, its just an observation by boots on the ground, a lot of other folks we know are seeing the same kind of trend. Ive seen some posts on here that are reflecting the same kind of declines.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 11:51:59 AM by bigmacc »

Offline Gringo31

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #60 on: August 18, 2017, 11:25:46 AM »
Thank you for caring and for sharing.

Solid info  :tup:
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Offline bearhunter99

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2017, 11:57:02 AM »
We as hunters need to get behind, get in front, or demand something be done about this herd or IMO it will be lost. The dept. needs to listen to ideas and have an open mind. They can still make money, save this herd, offer a quality experience for hunters and save other herds in the process. I wish it was still the DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME :'(......If this herd continues the slide its on, I predict in15 to 20 years it will be lights out, then all the other herds up around Wenatchee, Entiat and other parts of the state will follow. Dominoe effect, more hunters every year will be forced into other areas. Statewide draw only for mule deer?..... might not be a bad deal :tup: It will all start with the Methow folks, something needs to be done.

I agree 100% with this statement.  The other herds are not doing much better.  There has been a steady decline in the deer numbers in The Wenatchee Valley as well.  Not seeing anywhere near the numbers there used to be and just finding a legal buck is tough!  In the area I hunt the numbers are probably very similar to what you are posting, just a steady decline in numbers.
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #62 on: August 18, 2017, 02:44:41 PM »
One thing I will add, just to clarify, I know the deer are spread out right now, they always have been during this time of year. The numbers I gave earlier are all from this time of year(mid-late august) going back 40 years and pretty much the same 7 or 8 areas from mid valley to upper valley. If anyone is wondering, we did  not count the pet deer(town deer) :tup:

Offline boneaddict

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2017, 03:44:05 PM »
 :'(

Offline OutHouse

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2017, 02:04:42 PM »
So what would draw only deer look like? Would it include whitetails in GMUs that are mixed species? Would people be able to apply their points to the draw? I could get behind something if there was a solid plan that still provided opportunity, though not every year. If points could be applied from the various special permit categories, then those who don't play that game would wait years to ever draw.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2017, 02:13:43 PM »
I was always a %100 opposed to a draw.  I have been successful for years.....but I purposely didn't notch a tag up there this last year because the herd was in such bad shape.  If I do it again this year, then what is the difference between that and not drawing.   Its not like very many people will do that unless they are forced.  Sadly I have little faith in drawing though.   I only have x amount of good years left of hunting. Now I have to sit at least half of them out.   Im glad I like camera work.  I think Id rather just cut hunting up there for three years period.   Cut back on doe permits and late tags.   wont happen though

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2017, 02:48:41 PM »
I'd like to see either East/West or pick your species for general deer tags.
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline wolfbait

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #67 on: August 22, 2017, 04:51:41 PM »
It will be interesting to see what the WDFW Hunting Prospects says about the Methow valley mule deer herd this year.

Personally I think many GMU's should be closed to deer hunting for at least two or three years. It's asinine to continue hunting a deer herd that has been almost entirely wiped out.

WDF&Wolves will say-Deer hunting was great for the amount of hunters that showed up......

Offline wolfbait

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #68 on: August 22, 2017, 05:35:35 PM »
We as hunters need to get behind, get in front, or demand something be done about this herd or IMO it will be lost. The dept. needs to listen to ideas and have an open mind. They can still make money, save this herd, offer a quality experience for hunters and save other herds in the process. I wish it was still the DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME :'(......If this herd continues the slide its on, I predict in15 to 20 years it will be lights out, then all the other herds up around Wenatchee, Entiat and other parts of the state will follow. Dominoe effect, more hunters every year will be forced into other areas. Statewide draw only for mule deer?..... might not be a bad deal :tup: It will all start with the Methow folks, something needs to be done.

You put out some great info BM :tup:

 Did you happen to notice when the deer started hanging around town? A few winters back a friend and I drove the Methow, put 60 odd miles on the truck, we saw a total of eleven deer, nine of them in Twisp.

 Earlier this summer a friend of mine got six different cougars on his trail cam in one small drainage, at the same location five different black bear. I talk to a friend of mine who raises hay over in Spring Coulee who said he has never seen so may bears as he has this year.

Wolves don't bring the same excitement to folks anymore, we hear of people who have seen them throughout the valley on a regular basis.  When the whitetail started dropping their fawns this year we ran a wolf off of a doe twice.

So now we have an over population of predators that hunt 24/7 365 days, shouldn't take too much brain power for WDF&Wolves to figure out the impact of predation on the herd/herds.


Offline boneaddict

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #69 on: August 23, 2017, 08:54:18 AM »
Winthrop always had a few town deer. Twisp did not, other than behind Hanks.  Theyd cross at the city limits on both ends.  About the time the wolves showed up in force, the deer moved into town was my observation.

Offline Boss .300 winmag

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #70 on: August 23, 2017, 10:07:29 AM »
A lot less deer on the pass too, went over and back last weekend both times late in the evening and only saw one doe. :yike: Way to many predators. :twocents:
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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #71 on: August 23, 2017, 11:56:48 AM »
Saw a few locals down by Biggers Road

Offline buglebrush

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #72 on: August 23, 2017, 01:41:40 PM »
This whole state is completely doomed if it doesn't start managing predators.   :bash:

Offline Cervus

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #73 on: August 23, 2017, 11:03:13 PM »
Lots of good discussion in this thread. For anyone interested in making their case for mule deer management directly to WDFW, there is a meeting in Pateros on Sept 19 from 6 - 8. The timing isn't great with archery elk going on, but it will be a chance to make your voice heard.

 http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/aug2217a/


Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #74 on: September 07, 2017, 03:20:15 PM »
Lots of good discussion in this thread. For anyone interested in making their case for mule deer management directly to WDFW, there is a meeting in Pateros on Sept 19 from 6 - 8. The timing isn't great with archery elk going on, but it will be a chance to make your voice heard.

 http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/aug2217a/

Thanks for the info Cervus :tup: