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Author Topic: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660  (Read 3667 times)

Offline Rainstorm Hunter

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New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« on: August 21, 2017, 07:48:46 PM »
Recieved a letter from WDFW today with a survey regarding Blacktail hunting in GMU 660..... it talked about "Trophy Blacktail" hunting being a priotity for the unit, and that fish and game wants to double the number of 4 point and better bucks harvested from the unit in the next 3 years. The survey asked which of the following options would be most acceptable and least acceptable. One option was to end the early buck season for rifle hunters 4 days early, another 7 days early. They also are considering making the unit a 3 point or better unit for general season. They also discussed making it a spike or 2 point only unit and making anything bigger by "Permit Only". As well as mentioning the possibility of making extended buck a permit only hunt. I'm about sick and tired of this stuff. As a local, there is a couple places to actually hunt in the area that you don't have to buy a weyco permit to hunt, and now they want to do this??  I wrote a strong letter of opposition and hope some of my fellow hunters do the same..... sounds like there may be a public meeting coming up next month on the issue  :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash:
Have a good day.....

Offline youngbull

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 08:06:01 PM »
I argued with the state biologist about this at the hunting expo. I cant see that producing any more trophies than normal in any unit. Limiting access will only help people who dont give a rip about their objectives.  I beleive most areas produce decent bucks if you put some time in.

Offline Rainstorm Hunter

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 08:16:06 PM »
I argued with the state biologist about this at the hunting expo. I cant see that producing any more trophies than normal in any unit. Limiting access will only help people who dont give a rip about their objectives.  I beleive most areas produce decent bucks if you put some time in.
Precisely, all that new restrictions will do is reduce trophy buck harvest. The last week of october, and extended buck is when the big boys get stupid. Take that away and your chance of harvesting them goes down drastically. Not impossible but greatly reduced. I'd just really like to talk to the biologist who has come up with this and see who is pushing for this??

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 08:32:28 PM »
 :yeah:....... seems odd to single that unit out.

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 08:52:14 PM »
Where is the 660 at ? I'm personally a blacktail junky I don't hunt any other deer ! I would " IF" anything would like it to become a pick either Eastside or westside for deer . No minimum on antler just east or west
The woods get pounded the last week when it's closed on the east side . That's the only change that I think would help our blacktail because then in my belief a lot of the younger bucks survive another year
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Offline steeleywhopper

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 09:49:37 PM »
Par for the course, limit harvest of deer just like they have abolished the harvest of steelhead in the North Sound rivers.  No fishing from a boat in area 8-1, 8-2, and 9, would not be surprised if they say no hunting with bullets next.

Offline Eric M

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 03:19:53 AM »
Are they just basing this on the harvest reports? Seems like it's just a guess by them what's there and what isn't. 1st guy-More spikes get killed here than other size deer. Other guy- Should we make it spike only? 3rd guy-maybe only allow 3 point or better to be killed? 4th guy (managerial type)- We have to do something! Hunter- Maybe we don't look for trophies and we are only shooting meat bucks. Oh wait no one was listening. :dunno:
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 04:28:32 AM by Eric M »

Offline BigGoonTuna

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 04:29:57 AM »
i bet it's an idea floated by timber interests to increase permit sales, if i'm not mistaken that area is almost entirely locked up in the weyco twin harbors south unit?
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Offline Rainstorm Hunter

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 05:00:52 AM »
i bet it's an idea floated by timber interests to increase permit sales, if i'm not mistaken that area is almost entirely locked up in the weyco twin harbors south unit?
You would be correct

Offline SeatoSummit88

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 08:40:05 AM »
Thanks for the share Rainstorm!  That's nuts! I hunt that unit and pay (like a lot of other hunters) a lot of freakin' money to get a Weyco Pass. I lived around that area for about 5 years and usually it seemed that there were only the select few lucky enough to get a "trophy 4 point".  They should understand that not only are there 600 permit holders, but also two surrounding units that hold the same size bucks.  It is very true that there are larger bucks everywhere; however with the large amount of pressure that unit and the couple surrounding get; it seems to be a spike and fork horn unit more so!  When I use to live down in Westport, the logging road gates were open constantly which lead to positive and negative outcomes.  It allowed ethical hunters to get out and scout more often outside the seasons; however it allowed unethical hunters to spotlight, harvest game at night and outside of general seasons.  If I pretend in my mind that they are looking to increase the BT population around that area and get hunters the ability to harvest bigger bucks, then I can see positive future. But then again, I open my eyes and see dollar bills falling off the reprod saplings all over the place. It would be nice to harvest "manageable bucks"; but then again we aren't in Kansas anymore Dorthy; and there isn't an Alfalfa field to our left, a Corn field to our right, a draw with maple trees thick as mud, acorns on the ground; and a perfect ground blind that has no hunters around the area.    WDFW, just give us sportsman something to look forward to!
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Offline PolarBear

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 08:47:51 AM »
660 isn't known for having lots of big bucks or even decent buck numbers.  It does better with elk.
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Offline SeatoSummit88

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 09:25:51 AM »
I agree PolarBear,

I saw a couple of does and a 2 point off the main highway, but heard a bull once out there on Saturday.
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Offline WSU

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 09:26:37 AM »
I wonder if harvest of mature bucks is even a problem that needs addressing?  It seems to me that blacktails are hard enough to kill that escapement likely isn't a problem anyway.

Offline DRobnsn

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 10:40:19 AM »
I haven't been to 660 in a few years but doesn't it have a fair amount of timber that is close to being harvest able? Sure would suck to put in for a permit for a "trophy" area just to have them log the whole thing on you.

Offline pope

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 05:59:40 PM »
Where is the 660 at ? I'm personally a blacktail junky I don't hunt any other deer ! I would " IF" anything would like it to become a pick either Eastside or westside for deer . No minimum on antler just east or west
The woods get pounded the last week when it's closed on the east side . That's the only change that I think would help our blacktail because then in my belief a lot of the younger bucks survive another year
My :twocents: Jakeland

I would support this. Choose east or west for deer, just like elk. I suspect this would be incredibly unpopular. Fewer restrictions on predator hunting would help blacktail populations more than antler restrictions.

Offline deerhunter_98520

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 04:40:51 PM »
I have hunted 660 for 20 years and to find a 4 pt or bigger is very hard I've been lucky enough to get 3 and a few large forks. He'll just finding bucks or deer in general anywhere in the unit is hard for most hunters. I spend alot of time scouting and finding pockets of deer. If wdfw does this I'm done hunting here, I'll go out of state more. I'm already spending $250 on a permit just to access the land and now they want to change the unit ton"trophy". 660 is basically all weyco land as it is. This state is getting worse and worse every year. Wow unbelievable
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Offline bobcat

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2017, 06:32:34 PM »
I got the questionnaire but have been busy and haven't had a chance to even read it yet. I'll fill it out and return it when I have more time to think about it. But I will say I don't think we should be so critical of the WDFW over this. I'm glad they're looking at ways to improve our blacktail deer populations. They have to start somewhere, and right now they're apparently taking the first step by asking for our opinions. I think it's great. I've often wondered if a 2 point minimum on blacktail deer could improve numbers. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Offline grundy53

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2017, 06:42:47 PM »
I wonder if harvest of mature bucks is even a problem that needs addressing?  It seems to me that blacktails are hard enough to kill that escapement likely isn't a problem anyway.
You're spot on.

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Online JakeLand

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2017, 08:10:04 PM »
I got the questionnaire but have been busy and haven't had a chance to even read it yet. I'll fill it out and return it when I have more time to think about it. But I will say I don't think we should be so critical of the WDFW over this. I'm glad they're looking at ways to improve our blacktail deer populations. They have to start somewhere, and right now they're apparently taking the first step by asking for our opinions. I think it's great. I've often wondered if a 2 point minimum on blacktail deer could improve numbers. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
ya a 2 point minimum might help! But I truly do think a east side or a westside deer tag would do better for blacktail then a 2 point minimum  :dunno:

Offline fishnfur

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2017, 11:33:46 PM »
660 - MINOT PEAK
                                                  Total               POINTS                    Hunter   Hunter   Hunter
Method       Antlerless   Antlered Havest    1     2   3   4   5+  Number Success  Days       Days/Kill


Archery                   17   6     23           6     0    0   0   0   103       22.4%   916           39.8
Modern Firearms       0      178     178         57       88   23   8   2   491       36.2%   2,673   15
Multiple Weapons   2   13      15          3     4     4    2   0     36       41.6%   267           17.8
Muzzleloader           0   2       2          2     0    0   0   0     18       11.2%   78           39
TOTALS                  19   199     218        68    92   27   10   2   n/a        n/a   n/a           n/a


I posted the 2016 harvest data above.  The whole thing makes me scratch my head.  As I've said before, I'm not very trusting of government agencies.  I always suspect they have a hidden agenda when they suggest things like this.   I don't hunt the unit, and probably never will, so I have no real worries if they proceed as planned, but  I just don't understand what they're trying to achieve by instituting antler restrictions here.

Back in the day, Big Timber used to enjoy having hunters reduce the herd because of the damage they inflicted on their crop trees.  Since Minot Peak is primarily owned by Weyco (and maybe 15% DNR), I would suspect that that company would be against any program that might reduce hunter numbers and thus increase their losses.  Alternatively, it may be that someone at Weyco made this suggestion to WDFW thinking that it might increase hunter interest in the unit and ultimately put more money in their pockets by way of trespass fees. (?)  Possibly, but not all that likely in my mind - only 550 hunters tried to kill a deer here - similar to many of the other "remote" units in the area.  I have no way of knowing if Weyco sold all their unit 660 permits in the past - but I would expect that antler restrictions would reduce hunter numbers.  :dunno:

I look at the stats for 672/Fall River, and I find that that unit had twice the number of 4 and 5 point bucks that Minot Peak did.  In my mind, it would make more sense for WDFW to pick an area with good genetics and good numbers of trophy bucks already in place if they wanted to install this type of program.  Unit 660 falls well into the middle of the pack when comparing the harvest numbers for bigger bucks.  I don't think that this unit fits the bill as the best pick for an area with quality bucks, so some other unseen force seems to be at work here, but I'll be damned if I know what it is.  Perhaps Eric Holman, the State's most informed BT biologist, or the district 17 biologist (Anthony Novack (360) 249-4628 Ext. 238 teammontesano@dfw.wa.gov) could shed some light on the issue.

Ultimately, it seems to me that making the unit a two-point or better unit is the best choice, along with the idea of choosing either a west side or east side hunt.  Having more mature bucks in the woods isn't going to make them any easier to kill.  The majority of the harvest will still be the younger legal bucks ('cause they ain't that smart).  If the timing of the rut doesn't have the big bucks stupid and moving like zombies during the times that deer hunters are in the woods, then those big bruisers are still going to be giving most of us the slip.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 10:42:44 PM by fishnfur »
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Offline bobcat

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2017, 10:17:47 AM »
If anyone has questions, this is from the second email I received regarding the GMU 660 questionnaire:

Quote
If you have questions about the survey, feel free to contact me,  Anthony Novack, District Wildlife Biologist for Grays Harbor and Pacific counties at 360-249-4628 ext 238 or, email Anthony.Novack@dfw.wa.gov

As to whether this GMU is the best choice for this change in management strategy and the fact that it may have less mature bucks taken than a neighboring unit (672) I suspect the lower number of bigger bucks could be due to it being closer to bigger cities (Aberdeen/ Olympia) and it possibly had more hunting pressure historically, along with very likely a lot of poaching. The unit has always been mostly un-gated but now is gated and only open to a limited number of people who buy the access pass from Weyerhaeuser. I think it very well could become a very high quality blacktail unit with the right management.

Offline singleshot12

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2017, 10:25:03 AM »
I have hunted 660 for 20 years and to find a 4 pt or bigger is very hard I've been lucky enough to get 3 and a few large forks. He'll just finding bucks or deer in general anywhere in the unit is hard for most hunters. I spend alot of time scouting and finding pockets of deer. If wdfw does this I'm done hunting here, I'll go out of state more. I'm already spending $250 on a permit just to access the land and now they want to change the unit ton"trophy". 660 is basically all weyco land as it is. This state is getting worse and worse every year. Wow unbelievable
:yeah:
Most blacktail bucks in most areas are genetically 2 or 3 points and that's all they will ever be :twocents:  This state chips away at our opportunity every chance it gets.
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Offline Practical Approach

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2017, 11:36:09 AM »
1.  Black tail deer escapement for mature bucks is fairly high due to terrain.
2.  2/3 or more of the 660 unit is Weyerhaeuser fee access limited to permits thus limiting the number of hunters and further increasing escapement.
4.  Like others have said, black tailed deer are not all going to be 4 point bucks just because they get a little older.  Yes age has something to do with antler development, but so does genetics.

So,

Why recommend further restrictions on one westside GMU that is primarily restricted access and has higher than average escapement already?

Just seems like a strange recommendation.  Maybe I am missing something though.   :dunno:

Offline lamrith

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2017, 01:27:44 PM »
Can someone tell me what you are referring to in terms of Escapement?  I have been trying to guess based on comments, but would rather make sure I have it correct.

Offline grundy53

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Re: New Blacktail restrictions coming for Minot Peak GMU 660
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2017, 01:56:37 PM »
Can someone tell me what you are referring to in terms of Escapement?  I have been trying to guess based on comments, but would rather make sure I have it correct.
The amount of bucks that survive hunting season is the escapement.

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