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Author Topic: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis  (Read 2573 times)

Offline 2MANY

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2018, 08:12:35 AM »
If their hard up for a spot that is.

Offline Branden

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2018, 09:57:16 AM »
If the post hunt buck doe ratio is over 30/100 then what’s the problem with unlimited resident hunters hunting bucks? If they are killing does that’s a different story. But I don’t believe they are.

Also I see a few comments saying resident hunters need to be limited. Problem with that is then those hunters will go crowd another unit until that unit needs to be draw only and it’s a domino affect. How many are for turning Washington’s best general season units to draw only?

Again Robb is only looking out for his bottom line. If he wanted to help the herd he would push for opening day to be on October 1st. Or cut the season down to one week.

Offline Bwana Bob

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2018, 10:33:16 AM »
I hunted region F this past season, late Oct to Nov 6. I drew this tag as a second choice tag. I had some info on the area from a few hunters that had hunted it in the past but I wasn't ready for all the people and pressure. It rivaled opening weekend here in WA. I've hunted deer before in WY but mostly limited draw areas or other regions that did not have a close to the rut season. I had better hunts in those areas even if I didn't shoot a buck. Way less people and the ability to get away from them. The area biologist did warn me that F had a hard winter and some winter kill. I talked to two resident brothers that I met in the Sunlight basin and they said it was the lowest amount of deer and especially fawns they seen in the last 15 years of hunting there.

Its been talked about limiting the residents to only one region to hunt but its not my business as a non res to tell them whats good for them. WA has a lot bigger problem with its deer herd and to many hunters. One thing I noticed is all the small basket racked bucks many non residents shot. That can't help either but tough to fix. I would like to think reducing the amount of tags even further would help but from what side that should come from is hard to say. 

Would I hunt F again, probably not but you could kill a decent buck there if you got lucky.  Hoping to burn my 6 deer points there and hunt a limited draw area before I get too old.

Offline whacker1

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2018, 12:56:48 PM »
following along.  lots of discussion about winterkill, population in general, and hunting pressure.  if they limit tags to a quota, won't the same apply to non-resident tags at a percentage of said quota?  won't it take longer for Robb's returning customers to draw tags from out of state?

I would agree that the tools they have to work with are to utilize a resident draw quota and change season dates, as the most significant impactful solutions, but curious to see where this conversation goes if anywhere.


Offline dscubame

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2018, 01:21:26 PM »
"The only strategy that is sustainable long term is a resident and nonresident draw, or a “Limited Quota System.” In my opinion, we need to reduce harvest by a minimum of 50%, have mandatory harvest reports, keep our seasons at the traditional length (Sept 15th to October 14th) to spread hunters out, keep the 3 point or better regulation in order to save the young bucks, and develop an unlimited management tag for our youth. The youth tag could be for the many, 3-point mature bucks in the herd. These mature 3x3s and 2x3s are competing with the rest of the herd on the winter grounds and need to be harvested. Most of these big 3x3s and 2x3s are dying of old age. Our winter grounds are full of them. These bucks would keep our youth in the field as well as aid in the herd’s winter ground survival. This strategy would require that a resident preference point system be developed for deer and elk."

I tend to agree with this part of the article and specifically some sort of resident preference point system.
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Offline Bigshooter

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2018, 02:49:38 PM »
After the winter of 2007-08 we heard all about how the deer herd in G and H was done for unless things were drastically changed.  Then we had a bunch of mild winters and all of the sudden G and H was the place to hunt again.  The one thing that will really improve G and H are mild winters and we have no control over that.  Knee jerk reactions won't grow the herds.  But If you really want to still help, improve the winter range because that's about the only thing that we as people can do to help.

Everyone should look up the migration of the deer named Mo.  Very interesting and it has to do with G and H.
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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2018, 03:34:53 PM »
It's interesting to read everyone's perspective on this issue. People are human, everyone looks out for their own interest, including most of the comments in this topic. Nonresident don't want further limitations, residents want annual opportunity, and outfitters want to maintain their business. Each user group blames the other!  :chuckle:

The bottom line is that mule deer herds were slowly recovering all over the west from previous hard winters until we had another hard winter. Now we are back to square one and everyone is in a panic in all the impacted states. I honestly think everyone just needs to take a step back and look at history of deer herds, it's a constant up and down cycle for herd numbers everywhere and the biggest herd decreases are hard winters, second and third one way or the other are probably predation (including hunters) and the habitat available for any given herd. But when you get a hard winter it cuts the herd in half and sometimes even less!

I'm pretty confident that elimination of antlerless hunting opportunity and predator control are the best methods to help a herd recover. If you minimize the impacts (hunting and predators) on the females the herd will recover faster. No doubt if you limit buck hunting the buck to doe ratios and the number of quality bucks will rise but I'm not of the opinion you must limit buck hunting to increase herd numbers unless it appears does are not being bred due to a lack of bucks. I'm further not convinced that buck hunting must be eliminated to grow big bucks. Mule deer herds have recovered in the past to produce big bucks again a few years after winter kills in many areas with unlimited tag numbers. Obviously giving up buck hunting opportunity will produce big bucks faster but there are trade offs if you do that and I'm not sure the trade offs are worth it in every case?

Just last night on the Salt Lake news they were discussing Wyoming Deer tags, I do think there will be some changes, they say deer numbers are the lowest in decades, last winter really impacted western WY badly!
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2018, 04:38:22 PM »
cougar says: "eat a buck, save a doe"

One possible benefit of leaving a surplus of bucks in the herd is that predators eat bucks too, one sacrificial buck is one doe saved in the absence of aggressive predator control.

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2018, 04:47:19 PM »
Utah and Idaho have it together on Predator control, I'm not sure about WY, I think they have pretty conservative cougar quotas?
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Offline Special T

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2018, 10:43:07 PM »
They seem to have plenty of Grizzly.

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Offline 2MANY

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2018, 08:06:46 PM »
Talked to one of the dominant Region G guides on the phone today.
He said straight up the problem is the unlimited resident tags.

Offline Indian Summer

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2018, 06:32:15 AM »
They seem to have plenty of Grizzly.

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Not in Region G. No griz there. It’s ironic that Rob Wiley is the subject of this thread when he is responsible for killing more trophy class bucks than all of the other Outfitters combined. Also since he is talks about creating a regulation to restrict scoped rifles and go to open sites only. Meanwhile as far as using technology goes it’s well known that he uses airplanes all pre season to locate the biggest bucks AND he runs a long range shooting school to help hunters increase their idds of success. I have a very good long time friend who guided for him for several years and I’m pretty sure he’s just looking out for number one.
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Offline WAcoueshunter

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2018, 10:29:04 AM »
As has been noted by others, the actual herd itself ebbs and flows with winterkill.  This is less about the number of deer total, and more about the number of mature bucks in the herd.  No question the unlimited resident tags have an impact on that, combined with better technology, the drive for Internet fame, etc.  For mule deer junkies, where else can you live and hunt 200" bucks every year?  People move there for this opportunity.  Every year you see giant bucks killed on the opener by guys in their blue jeans.  That's not an accident, those bucks get found and are watched all summer by the residents.  I ran into one guy last year in G who made the 3-hour commute that morning to be there at first light.  This was about 12 days into the season.  He was looking for a particular buck he had pre-scouted and chased on the opener, and was hoping to find him again after he vanished.  That same scenario plays out over and over with the hard core residents looking for the biggest bucks.  It happens with the outfitters too, but not with most DIY non-residents who don't have the ability to scout like that in advance. 

Offline bigmacc

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2018, 11:19:03 AM »
As has been noted by others, the actual herd itself ebbs and flows with winterkill.  This is less about the number of deer total, and more about the number of mature bucks in the herd.  No question the unlimited resident tags have an impact on that, combined with better technology, the drive for Internet fame, etc.  For mule deer junkies, where else can you live and hunt 200" bucks every year?  People move there for this opportunity.  Every year you see giant bucks killed on the opener by guys in their blue jeans.  That's not an accident, those bucks get found and are watched all summer by the residents.  I ran into one guy last year in G who made the 3-hour commute that morning to be there at first light.  This was about 12 days into the season.  He was looking for a particular buck he had pre-scouted and chased on the opener, and was hoping to find him again after he vanished.  That same scenario plays out over and over with the hard core residents looking for the biggest bucks.  It happens with the outfitters too, but not with most DIY non-residents who don't have the ability to scout like that in advance.

 :yeah:...My neighbor,s brother shot a huge buck down there a few years ago as a non resident, it scored around 210 I believe, while he was field dressing it a couple guys walked up on him and made him feel really uncomfortable, I guess they acted a little pissed that he was a non resident and apparently he had killed a buck they had been watching since summer. He said it was a pretty tense situation.

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2018, 10:03:45 AM »
Here's the thing with many western states, hunters are moving to these states for the hunting. I see the same thing in MT and ID, resident hunter numbers are up and it's in large part to hunters vacating states with poor management or states that require draws for residents to get a tag. This really is more than just a WY issue.

It's not such and issue when herds are up and everyone is notching tags, but after a hard winter takes half or more of the deer then hunters become even more self serving in their views on management!  :twocents:
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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2018, 09:38:50 AM »
2MANY people.

PERIOD.

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Re: Western Wyoming Mule Deer in Crisis
« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2018, 05:59:56 AM »
more info...

WGFD CONTINUES PUBLIC DISCUSSION OF WYOMING RANGE AND SUBLETTE MULE DEER HERDS

GREEN RIVER--The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) invites members of the public to join them in discussions about the management of mule deer and their habitat in the Green River, Jackson and Pinedale regions. Since 2010, the WGFD has worked collaboratively with the public to develop the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative, a long term management plan which outlined a number of actions to benefit mule deer and their habitat. With that plan now well underway, the WGFD has expanded that effort to include the adjacent Sublette mule deer herd, which basically encompasses the west slope of the Wind River Range and west to the Wyoming Range.

As in the past, these public meetings will involve presentations focusing on three major themes that emerged in the making of the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative: 1) Habitat Management, 2) Population Management, and 3) Research. Local experts on each topic will present what is currently being done and what is planned for the future. In addition, local Game and Fish personnel responsible for management of the Wyoming Range and Sublette mule deer herds will be discussing the impacts of the 2017 winter, recapping the 2017 hunting seasons, and the on-going research being conducted in the Wyoming Range mule deer herd.   

There will be opportunity for the public to provide their comments on these topics or other aspects pertaining to the management of these two mule deer herds. One of the main thrusts of Wyoming’s Mule Deer Initiative is to maintain an ongoing, open dialogue with those interested in mule deer management in the state.

Public meetings will be held:

January 22, 6:00pm, Kemmerer, South Lincoln Events Center (215 WY-233)
January 23, 6:00pm, Green River Game and Fish office (351 Astle)
January 23, 6:00pm, Jackson, Teton County Commissioners’ Chambers (200 S. Willow Street)
January 24, 6:00pm, Thayne Town Hall (115 Peterson Parkway)

The Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative was approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in 2010. The plan was designed to be a working document that could be amended if priorities should change or new opportunities arise to benefit the mule deer herd.

The initial public involvement process to develop the WRMDI involved several rounds of meetings that were well received by the public. The resulting Wyoming Range Mule Deer Management Plan was the first herd-specific plan developed under the auspices of the statewide Wyoming Mule Deer Initiative. Several other similar planning efforts have since been initiated with the public for other mule deer herds in the state.

The Wyoming Mule Deer Initiative is a statewide framework designed to address declining mule deer populations, particularly over the last two decades. These declines are not unique to Wyoming, but have been seen throughout the West.

To learn more about the Wyoming’s Mule Deer Initiative and the ongoing work, visit the Game and Fish website and click on the following link:
https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Habitat/Statewide-Mule-Deer-Initiatives

The State of Wyoming supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Anyone requiring auxiliary aids, regarding this Public Notice, should contact the Jackson Game and Fish Office at 307-733-2321. Every effort will be made for reasonable accommodations.

                                             ~ WGFD ~
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