Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Deer Hunting => Topic started by: GoldenRing270 on November 17, 2017, 07:36:05 AM

Title: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: GoldenRing270 on November 17, 2017, 07:36:05 AM
I really didn't want this to turn into another "bashing thread" and was hoping we could stick to discussing realistic positive changes to help Washington's mule deer.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to discuss the management of our fish and wildlife without certain topics coming up.

I had originally proposed that we end the harvest of mule deer does and was looking for ideas as to how we could get the regulations changed. Small changes in the right direction could have a big influence for the future of our mule deer herd. I deleted my original post because by the second page of this thread I was already responding to comments that I felt distracted from the intent of the original message.

Anyway, there are some great ideas being tossed around. Carry on with the discussion.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bearpaw on November 17, 2017, 08:16:51 AM
 :yeah:

The first thing wildlife managers do in other states to reduce a population or slow population growth is to increase antlerless harvest. Take antlerless harvest away and herds will grow.

This is especially needed after a hard winter greatly reduces herds.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: vandeman17 on November 17, 2017, 08:19:21 AM
I am all for ANY LOGICAL changes to how mule deer are managed. Every year I think about one of my old man's favorite sayings

"What is the definition of insanity?"
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: huntnphool on November 17, 2017, 08:26:34 AM
 But, but........that will throw the buck to doe ratio off......and, and.....I don't care about antlers, I just want the meat.....so don't take away my opportunity.....or, or.....I have to hunt every year, I don't care.

 I remember a thread a few years ago where several members, bone and myself included, were chastised by members on this forum for admitting that our families.......for years, purchased doe tags.......and never filled one of them.

 It will be interesting to read the comments a few years later, when someone suggests removing opportunity for everyone.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: jdb on November 17, 2017, 08:54:32 AM
I'm all in on what ever it takes to fix Washington mule deer populations but they haven't allowed does to be taken in the entire 300 series gmus for over a decade and that population is still declining. I really feel more drastic measures need to be taken.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on November 17, 2017, 09:00:32 AM
I'm in.
Draws for almost all eastside mule deer units on buck tags...God help me...like Oregon does.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Naches Sportsman on November 17, 2017, 09:04:11 AM
I'm all in on what ever it takes to fix Washington mule deer populations but they haven't allowed does to be taken in the entire 300 series gmus for over a decade and that population is still declining. I really feel more drastic measures need to be taken.
Not all. There's a few gmu's that allow the harvest of does.

Just 342-364 if you aren't counting the Indians.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: time2hunt on November 17, 2017, 09:12:31 AM
We need serious predator control in the 300 units. Between the coyotes, cats , bears and wolves itís lucky anything has survived.


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Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: jdb on November 17, 2017, 09:22:12 AM
We need serious predator control in the 300 units. Between the coyotes, cats , bears and wolves itís lucky anything has survived.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
agreed!
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: jdb on November 17, 2017, 09:23:55 AM
I'm all in on what ever it takes to fix Washington mule deer populations but they haven't allowed does to be taken in the entire 300 series gmus for over a decade and that population is still declining. I really feel more drastic measures need to be taken.
Not all. There's a few gmu's that allow the harvest of does.

Just 342-364 if you aren't counting the Indians.
pretty sure 340 and 368 have no doe harvest either but regardless I think everyone knew the point I was trying to make.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: ribka on November 17, 2017, 09:29:22 AM
I'm in.
Draws for almost all eastside mule deer units on buck tags...God help me...like Oregon does.

And they need to shut down roads lock gates in wintering grounds to slow down the slaughter by certain groups
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: jdb on November 17, 2017, 09:35:37 AM
 :yeah: :yeah: :yeah:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on November 17, 2017, 09:39:18 AM
A organized plan is what we need, submit next year and maybe, just maybe at the next 3 year season setting process we could see our ideas proposed for the regs. A lot of work to do. A live document would be the way to go at the moment and then when we submit and show up it would help to look like this>>>
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: vandeman17 on November 17, 2017, 09:43:22 AM
I would be happy to travel to any location to take part in something similar to above
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: jdb on November 17, 2017, 09:44:12 AM
So how do we make this happen?
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: fastdam on November 17, 2017, 09:45:10 AM
All this will acomplish is more deer for wolves and indians.  That's all. I think it needs to go to a draw system and the indians need to be shut down if you want to see herd growth. 
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: jdb on November 17, 2017, 09:54:17 AM
Yeah but your a tieton hillbilly  ;)
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: mazama on November 17, 2017, 11:05:19 AM
Controlling the hunters and their seasons will not help,i pulled out a hunting pamphlet from 1978,i have them that far back,that year the season went from oct14-nov12, they gave out 500 permits in 218 chewak and 1300 in 224 pearrygin,we cannot change the winterkill, so what has changed, hound hunting has been stopped now couger roaming allover 2000-4000 estimated in state,1 couger could eat up all the permit deer in one area-and a common theme on here is tracks,tracks,tracks-WOLVES-WOLVES-WOLVES,cut out all hunting predators can expand faster.Before the predator problem animals were able to make a comeback even after a bad winter.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Special T on November 17, 2017, 11:07:16 AM
Where is the hard data on harvest by the state? Do they have a breakdown beyond just numbers? Surely when reporting they have some kind of breakdown.

I've only killed black tail. When doing online reporting do they ask species as well as sex and points? Obviously some units have whitetail and Mule deer.

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Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: anglinarcher on November 17, 2017, 11:13:21 AM
I agree with taking away the doe tags for mule deer but I think we also need to go to a draw only for mule deer buck tags as well. Maybe then we can get some numbers back as well as size.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: ghosthunter on November 17, 2017, 11:22:45 AM
I am for no doe harvest.
I am for no harvest of any mule deer period for three years.
I am for no 3 pt restriction, because I don't think that works.

I am against a draw only for mule deer, because I think that will kill hunting for a lot of hunters who want to hunt  with family and friends.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bigmacc on November 17, 2017, 11:24:56 AM
Another idea is odd/even for mule deer...example-if your wild ID number ends in a odd number then you can hunt that year, if its even you hunt the next year, at least you could hunt muleys every other year compared to a draw where your at the mercy of getting your name drawn :dunno: also if you have numerous people in your camp chances are good that at least a couple will have tags one year and the others will have tags the next so you can still have your traditional camps, just extra cooks and extra spotters each year :chuckle:....  just a thought that I,ve kicked around for awhile. And of coarse, no doe tags, special permit tags OR late quality tags in areas that mule deer herds are hurting or have been on the decline (THE METHOW FOR EXAMPLE)
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: trophyhunt on November 17, 2017, 11:43:59 AM
All this will acomplish is more deer for wolves and indians.  That's all. I think it needs to go to a draw system and the indians need to be shut down if you want to see herd growth.
:yeah: the natives (yakamas)provided deer and elk weekly to the biggest poacher in our stateís history.  Chances are pretty good that someone took his place after he got caught, and the supply probably hasnít slowed down.  We need guys like plat to run his tribe and actually enforce their own laws about selling meat! And actually having harvest limits. Zero limits on deer and elk is beyond stupid!
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: trophyhunt on November 17, 2017, 11:47:52 AM
Iím not saying itís  all the tribes fault, I believe wolves are a big problem as well. Iíve always thought if you canít beat them join them, how about we open up everything over the counter in the 300 units and we kill everything. If the Indians Donít have anything more to harvest maybe then they will come to the table with some sort of agreement. And I am not advocating poaching and Iím not all for this Iím just saying what do you think about this idea, is there any other way to get some cooperation with the tribes?
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 17, 2017, 11:51:29 AM
 :chuckle:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: DaveMonti on November 17, 2017, 11:52:01 AM
Well, that about sums up the single idea approach.  Everyone has their ideas of what needs to be done.

How many of these ideas are supported by data?  As far as the "doe" question goes, how many doe (or antlerless) deer are taken each year in this state?  In each unit?  How do those number of "antlerless" compare to the total number of deer in the state or in the units where the antlerless deer are harvested?

I don't have these answers.  I do, however, know that any "solution" that actually works is supported by data and sound reasoning.  While stopping the harvest of antlerless deer may SEEM like an intuitive solution to the problem of low deer numbers, does the data support that?  Does someone want to pour effort into a perceived solution that may not be supported by data? 

Suppose there are 4000 deer in a unit, and each year, 50 antlerless deer are taken from that unit.  Say that 40 of those antlerless deer are female with the rest being young antlerless bucks.  Will saving 1% (40/4000) of the population each year is going to make a difference in deer numbers?  Of those 40 female deer you save, how many survive the winter, predators, vehicles?  If you assume that of the 4000 deer, 3000 of them are does (I have no idea if this is right) but in buck heavy harvest areas, I expect there are more bucks than does), you are saving 40 of 3000 female deer.  What is the impact of an additional 1.3% of the doe population on the herd for the next year?  5 years? 

I have no idea of these numbers are anywhere NEAR the truth.  I don't have a solution.  I don't even know if there is a real problem as I've not looked up deer population trends for the past 20 years.  I'm not "for" or "against" a ban on antlerless hunting.  My point is that everyone has a "solution", and those solutions tend to be based on perception and not data.  If you want to make an impact, present an argument to the governing body that has DATA associated with it, and real analysis that shows results.  If you do not, you OR the governing body has NO idea how impactful your solution is. 

Now, I understand that REAL DATA is hard to come by, and it takes work, and most people have no idea of where to get the data, and if they did, it would probably be somewhat difficult to gather and compile, so guess what?  It's too hard! to get the data.  It's much easier to go with perception, which is highly emotional. 

So on and on we go, people throwing out emotional based solutions that are as varied as the personalities on this forum and no solutions get implemented because there is no data supporting how the solution may change the status quo. 

I know this idea is going to be met with hostility.  Nobody want's to hear that their "perception" isn't necessarily valid, or enough "evidence" to base real changes on.  And nobody want's to be faced with the task of collecting the data, if it even exists.  So my observations will not go over well with anyone who has an emotional based "solution". 

Now, just remember, before you go on and tell me "Well, if you have all the answers, what does your data tell you?" 
I don't have the data.  I have not decided to wade into this mess.  I just spend most of my hunting time in other states.  I don't profess to have the solutions or the data or the desire to do any of this.  But if you are so motivated, take some advice and start with the data. 
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Sitka_Blacktail on November 17, 2017, 11:52:44 AM
All this will acomplish is more deer for wolves and indians.  That's all. I think it needs to go to a draw system and the indians need to be shut down if you want to see herd growth.

No, it will also put more pressure on Whitetails and Blacktails.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: huntnphool on November 17, 2017, 11:58:24 AM
Another idea is odd/even for mule deer...example-if your wild ID number ends in a odd number then you can hunt that year, if its even you hunt the next year, at least you could hunt muleys every other year compared to a draw where your at the mercy of getting your name drawn :dunno: also if you have numerous people in your camp chances are good that at least a couple will have tags one year and the others will have tags the next so you can still have your traditional camps, just extra cooks and extra spotters each year :chuckle:....  just a thought that I,ve kicked around for awhile. And of coarse, no doe tags, special permit tags OR late quality tags in areas that mule deer herds are hurting or have been on the decline (THE METHOW FOR EXAMPLE)

 Where did you get that idea? :rolleyes:

http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,86231.msg1080089.html#msg1080089
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bigmacc on November 17, 2017, 12:25:20 PM
Another idea is odd/even for mule deer...example-if your wild ID number ends in a odd number then you can hunt that year, if its even you hunt the next year, at least you could hunt muleys every other year compared to a draw where your at the mercy of getting your name drawn :dunno: also if you have numerous people in your camp chances are good that at least a couple will have tags one year and the others will have tags the next so you can still have your traditional camps, just extra cooks and extra spotters each year :chuckle:....  just a thought that I,ve kicked around for awhile. And of coarse, no doe tags, special permit tags OR late quality tags in areas that mule deer herds are hurting or have been on the decline (THE METHOW FOR EXAMPLE)

 Where did you get that idea? :rolleyes:

http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,86231.msg1080089.html#msg1080089

Great minds think alike :chuckle:, I figured if you weren't gonna jump on this thread then I,d throw it out here, its a great idea and I actually think it would work, ever since you brought it up I have thought about it a lot. I will admit though that my dad had a similar idea back in the 70,s when he was trying to convince some of the game guys in the Methow at the time to start gating roads or the herd would eventually be decimated, his idea was a system that had numbers 1 through 9 that all hunters were assigned and would stay with them for life, it would cost 100 dollars initially to buy in and when that number was drawn then you could hunt the Methow. example-one year the number 5 gets pulled from a hat(or drawn) all folks that bought in and that were number 5,s hunted that year and so on, it was kind of a highbred draw/lottery/ deal(I can't remember exactlyhow my dad had it set up), but I remember a few Game guys were brought up to our camp to hear the Idea, lots of notes were taken......and guess what years later a wild ID system was put in place :dunno:..who knows :dunno:

Oh yes I just remembered another part to his "idea"....every 3 years you had to "re-buy in" a hundred dollars, you could keep your original number or be assigned a new one, all buy-in money was to go in a fund specifically to be used on feeding programs during bad winters in the Methow....if I remember any more specifics I will throw them out there.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Rainier10 on November 17, 2017, 12:28:35 PM
I would like to chime in with my in the field observation of the local deer herd at my cabin which is smack dab in the middle of mule deer wintering grounds, actually says so right on my tax records.  Spent last weekend at the cabin, right in the middle of the rut.  Looking over about 4,000 acres of prime habitat.  75-100 does and yearlings, 3 bucks, a spike, a spike by two and a decent 2x2.  The 2x2 was attached to the rear end of a hot doe.  Normally more bucks filter into the area over the next month or so.  It will be interesting to see if they do.  Normally at this time of the year there are 12-17 bucks and 150 does.  There are normally more mature bucks as well.

I will say that I think loss of habitat is the number one problem and with that loss of habitat it puts more deer in peoples back yards where they are easier to harvest.  Because you can only harvest bucks they are just getting hammered.  The guy with two or three bucks coming in shoots one and then tells his buddies come on over there are two more left.

I agree that predators are an issue and I am doing my best to take them out of my area.

Just my  :twocents:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Killmore on November 17, 2017, 12:32:12 PM
We haven't had doe permits in 340-336 gmu for years, the herd size have not increased from this, didn't the muckleshoots do a study a couple years back on the deer herd?
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: MonstroMuley on November 17, 2017, 01:30:08 PM
All Great Ideas ... DaveMonti Nailed It ... "Where's the Data?"  :dunno:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: runamuk on November 17, 2017, 01:34:47 PM
We haven't had doe permits in 340-336 gmu for years, the herd size have not increased from this, didn't the muckleshoots do a study a couple years back on the deer herd?
I believe it was in 2014ish they were collaring and doing surveys to gather more information on the herd.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bigmacc on November 17, 2017, 05:15:24 PM
All Great Ideas ... DaveMonti Nailed It ... "Where's the Data?"  :dunno:

Methow herd, peak 30 to 40k....now days around 19k or less, (F and W numbers).way less according to some "other folks" data, including mine, but at least we see the trend... :twocents:
Title: Re: Please Delete
Post by: h20hunter on November 17, 2017, 05:17:30 PM
Why delete?  :dunno:
Title: Re: Please Delete
Post by: bigmacc on November 17, 2017, 08:19:06 PM
Was it one of my posts? sorry.
Title: Re: Please Delete
Post by: DaveMonti on November 17, 2017, 08:23:31 PM
The OP wanted to discuss ONLY the option of not allowing doe hunting as a means of improving deer numbers and asked that people don't stray into other "solutions".  Being that everyone immediately started offering other solutions, I suspect he got frustrated and decided to bail out of the conversation.

Title: Re: Please Delete
Post by: bowman on November 17, 2017, 08:42:59 PM
Informative post. Mods please don't delete. There has been nothing negative or offensive to other members. Only a discussion that has been informative to other members, such as myself.
Title: Re: Please Delete
Post by: h20hunter on November 17, 2017, 08:46:18 PM
Not slated for deletion at this time. Carry on.  :tup:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bowman on November 17, 2017, 10:08:11 PM
I am like many others on this forum and I am clueless to the "chain of command" for WDFW.  Can someone enlighten us for who answers to who (regards to deer)?
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: greenhead_killer on November 18, 2017, 03:02:30 AM
1:I think we need to start the season earlier. Not let weather play in any factor of general season harvest.
2:go to a draw for a season 1-4 much like Colorado does. Keep rut tags the same as far as timeline.( Maybe shorten that hunt to a 10 dayer instead of a 20 day season?)start gen season 1 oct 1st and go for there. Each Ďseasoní is a 5 day hunt with days in between to give them a break.
3:take away antlerless harvest until herd numbers reach healthy numbers.
4:let us run dogs on cats again! Bigger than the wolves at this point is the over population of cats running around with nothing to keep them in check.
5:get rid of 3pt min. Itís targeting mostly mature deer which will be the guys making it through winter anyhow.
6:run a special 2pt Ďmatureí buck hunt. Have to pass a test verifying you c am tell the difference between a young 2pt and an older guy before they will issue the tag

Thatís my 2cents on the issue.
Side note, Iíve got 40 acres in nc wa. First time in 13 years I didnít see a legal 3pt or better md while hunting or on any of the half dozen cams I have in surrounding areas. Something needs to change
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: ironhead14 on November 18, 2017, 06:48:12 AM
How about killing some damn predators???  They are what are destroying the game animals!
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Elkcollector82 on November 18, 2017, 07:05:58 AM
Doesnít matter what you change. If you donít control the predators. Your not going to rebuild any herd. So start by seriously hunting the big cats before December 31. That away hunters can nock down more then the quota in a gmu. Thatís my thoughts. Also Washington needs to sell additional cougar tags like Oregon does.

Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: NOCK NOCK on November 18, 2017, 07:16:20 AM
Well, that about sums up the single idea approach.  Everyone has their ideas of what needs to be done.

How many of these ideas are supported by data?  As far as the "doe" question goes, how many doe (or antlerless) deer are taken each year in this state?  In each unit?  How do those number of "antlerless" compare to the total number of deer in the state or in the units where the antlerless deer are harvested?

I don't have these answers.  I do, however, know that any "solution" that actually works is supported by data and sound reasoning.  While stopping the harvest of antlerless deer may SEEM like an intuitive solution to the problem of low deer numbers, does the data support that?  Does someone want to pour effort into a perceived solution that may not be supported by data? 

Suppose there are 4000 deer in a unit, and each year, 50 antlerless deer are taken from that unit.  Say that 40 of those antlerless deer are female with the rest being young antlerless bucks.  Will saving 1% (40/4000) of the population each year is going to make a difference in deer numbers?  Of those 40 female deer you save, how many survive the winter, predators, vehicles?  If you assume that of the 4000 deer, 3000 of them are does (I have no idea if this is right) but in buck heavy harvest areas, I expect there are more bucks than does), you are saving 40 of 3000 female deer.  What is the impact of an additional 1.3% of the doe population on the herd for the next year?  5 years? 

I have no idea of these numbers are anywhere NEAR the truth.  I don't have a solution.  I don't even know if there is a real problem as I've not looked up deer population trends for the past 20 years.  I'm not "for" or "against" a ban on antlerless hunting.  My point is that everyone has a "solution", and those solutions tend to be based on perception and not data.  If you want to make an impact, present an argument to the governing body that has DATA associated with it, and real analysis that shows results.  If you do not, you OR the governing body has NO idea how impactful your solution is. 

Now, I understand that REAL DATA is hard to come by, and it takes work, and most people have no idea of where to get the data, and if they did, it would probably be somewhat difficult to gather and compile, so guess what?  It's too hard! to get the data.  It's much easier to go with perception, which is highly emotional. 

So on and on we go, people throwing out emotional based solutions that are as varied as the personalities on this forum and no solutions get implemented because there is no data supporting how the solution may change the status quo. 

I know this idea is going to be met with hostility.  Nobody want's to hear that their "perception" isn't necessarily valid, or enough "evidence" to base real changes on.  And nobody want's to be faced with the task of collecting the data, if it even exists.  So my observations will not go over well with anyone who has an emotional based "solution". 

Now, just remember, before you go on and tell me "Well, if you have all the answers, what does your data tell you?" 
I don't have the data.  I have not decided to wade into this mess.  I just spend most of my hunting time in other states.  I don't profess to have the solutions or the data or the desire to do any of this.  But if you are so motivated, take some advice and start with the data.



Dave, I have read all of these topics/posts......You are SPOT ON, couldn't agree more.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Slamadoo on November 18, 2017, 08:45:14 AM
Honestly, I think the best and most effective way that anyone of us could help is by joining the Mule Deer Foundation. This organization is already a conservation group dedicated to the future of Mule Deer and Mule Deer hunting. If you look at the work that RMEF has done for elk over the past two decades, it isn't a coincidence that our elk numbers across the west are so high. RMEF has way more influence than MDF and many other conservation groups because of the size of their membership. Now much of the work that RMEF does, has positive effects on Mule Deer, but imagine if the MDF had the same financial muscle as RMEF to put towards Mule Deer conservation. Especially when it comes to habitat.Join the MDF and encourage others to do so as well. Collectively, we need to put our money and volunteer hours where our mouth is.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Smokepole on November 18, 2017, 09:07:55 AM
A quick fix won't help.  A comprehensive recovery plan is needed that addresses:

harvest of does
harvest of bucks
mortality of injured deer by various hunting methods
road kill
winter kill
wolves, bear, cougar predation
loss of habitat due to extreme wildfires
loss of habitat from development in winter range
etc. etc.

As one of these threats worsens, so do the others.  They are linked.  Treat mule deer as if it were an endangered or threatened species.  You can't just pick one action and expect the results you want.  The threat to the deer comes in many forms, and grows exponentially.   :twocents: 

Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bearpaw on November 18, 2017, 09:52:28 AM
Well, that about sums up the single idea approach.  Everyone has their ideas of what needs to be done.

How many of these ideas are supported by data?  As far as the "doe" question goes, how many doe (or antlerless) deer are taken each year in this state?  In each unit?  How do those number of "antlerless" compare to the total number of deer in the state or in the units where the antlerless deer are harvested?

I don't have these answers.  I do, however, know that any "solution" that actually works is supported by data and sound reasoning.  While stopping the harvest of antlerless deer may SEEM like an intuitive solution to the problem of low deer numbers, does the data support that?  Does someone want to pour effort into a perceived solution that may not be supported by data? 

Suppose there are 4000 deer in a unit, and each year, 50 antlerless deer are taken from that unit.  Say that 40 of those antlerless deer are female with the rest being young antlerless bucks.  Will saving 1% (40/4000) of the population each year is going to make a difference in deer numbers?  Of those 40 female deer you save, how many survive the winter, predators, vehicles?  If you assume that of the 4000 deer, 3000 of them are does (I have no idea if this is right) but in buck heavy harvest areas, I expect there are more bucks than does), you are saving 40 of 3000 female deer.  What is the impact of an additional 1.3% of the doe population on the herd for the next year?  5 years? 

I have no idea of these numbers are anywhere NEAR the truth.  I don't have a solution.  I don't even know if there is a real problem as I've not looked up deer population trends for the past 20 years.  I'm not "for" or "against" a ban on antlerless hunting.  My point is that everyone has a "solution", and those solutions tend to be based on perception and not data.  If you want to make an impact, present an argument to the governing body that has DATA associated with it, and real analysis that shows results.  If you do not, you OR the governing body has NO idea how impactful your solution is. 

Now, I understand that REAL DATA is hard to come by, and it takes work, and most people have no idea of where to get the data, and if they did, it would probably be somewhat difficult to gather and compile, so guess what?  It's too hard! to get the data.  It's much easier to go with perception, which is highly emotional. 

So on and on we go, people throwing out emotional based solutions that are as varied as the personalities on this forum and no solutions get implemented because there is no data supporting how the solution may change the status quo. 

I know this idea is going to be met with hostility.  Nobody want's to hear that their "perception" isn't necessarily valid, or enough "evidence" to base real changes on.  And nobody want's to be faced with the task of collecting the data, if it even exists.  So my observations will not go over well with anyone who has an emotional based "solution". 

Now, just remember, before you go on and tell me "Well, if you have all the answers, what does your data tell you?" 
I don't have the data.  I have not decided to wade into this mess.  I just spend most of my hunting time in other states.  I don't profess to have the solutions or the data or the desire to do any of this.  But if you are so motivated, take some advice and start with the data.

You bring up some good points to consider regarding data. I'll offer this, deer management is not a new thing, states have been managing deer for decades and numerous studies have been done in state after state. It's a pretty well know conclusion that antlerless harvest is increased to reduce herd numbers or to reduce herd growth. When herds decline many states reduce antlerless harvest until herds rebound. I'm not sure how many times the wheel has to be reinvented before everyone understands that a wheel rolls downhill without being pushed? Just some food for thought regarding all the other deer studies that have been done all over the west!
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Oh Mah on November 18, 2017, 10:44:21 AM
More need to get out and take coyotes and cats to save the herd period.Anyone who hunted the 300 units should know this to be a fact.This year there were yotes during the day during season chasing the deer daily.you couldn't walk a road back to camp without seeing cat tracks or scat every 100 yards or less in 342.  :twocents:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: GoldenRing270 on November 18, 2017, 10:47:40 AM
These are all great ideas. I would suggest we start by removing the general archery season on mule deer does. This is something simple that can be accomplished relatively easily. Compound bows have come a long way in the last 10-20 years. Someone can walk into a bow shop and get set up and shoot a doe at 20 yards on the same day. Another concern is the season dates. Archery season starts on September 1st but mule deer doe season begins on Sept. 15th and goes to the end of the month. Many of the high country mule deer does begin migrating to the valley floor around mid September. At the very least why not have the season open on the 1st and close on the 15th? That way the majority of the migrating does will not be effected. Also, from what I have witness and based on talking with game wardens it is a law enforcement nightmare. The first half of September is fairly mellow but on the 15th when mule deer doe season opens all heck breaks loose. It is very common to see hunters standing in the middle of the pavement flinging arrows at does on private land. The doe is wounded and runs a few hundred yards to die and rather than risk getting caught the shooter just drives away. Of course people break the law during all the hunting seasons but the mule deer doe archery season is by far and away the worst. There are a significant number of lazy unethical hunters driving private roads/highways flinging arrows. What possible harm could come from taking away a general season on female mule deer? I just checked the regulations and it is against the law to harvest female crawdads.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Oh Mah on November 18, 2017, 11:00:42 AM
Cutting doe harvest makes too much sense,The dept. not doing this years ago is why so many WA. hunters feel the way they do about the dept.

Dang don't they realize it would leave more for the wolves to eat.  :o
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 18, 2017, 11:31:14 AM
The problem with real data to support an argument is most of the real data comes from WDFW. And we have seen how WDFW can skew the real data to match their goals. Look at how many wolves WDFW says are in the state compared to how many people on the ground are seeing. I saw wolves in the Alpine Lakes in 1997. I called WDFW and was told by Bio "no I didn't"....um ok...

My point is if we rely on the state to make data driven decisions about our deer herds we are in essence leading the herds to slaughter.

My opinion is that the wolves in this state are WDFW's tool to decimate the mule deer herds. The hound hunting ban didn't have the immediate desired effect ( although its catching up to us the last few years) so now its the wolves turn.

You can reduce deer harvest through draw only, eliminate antlerless tags, and so on. But the real factors are predators and habitat.  :twocents:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Humptulips on November 18, 2017, 11:55:04 AM
I'll throw something into the mix. It seems most people on here are all in on ending doe tags.
How do you think this will effect the Department financially? I believe the multitude of special permits have become a money maker for the Department.
How are you going to replace money lost if you do away with doe tags?
Would you be willing to back a license increase if it was for the good of the herd?
I believe that has to be addressed before any proposals go anywhere.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 18, 2017, 11:59:59 AM
I'll throw something into the mix. It seems most people on here are all in on ending doe tags.
How do you think this will effect the Department financially? I believe the multitude of special permits have become a money maker for the Department.
How are you going to replace money lost if you do away with doe tags?
Would you be willing to back a license increase if it was for the good of the herd?
I believe that has to be addressed before any proposals go anywhere.

A valid point. But look at it this way. If the deer herds in general continue to decline the state will loose a lot more revenue than what a few doe tag sales brings in.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Elkcollector82 on November 18, 2017, 12:02:33 PM
These are all great ideas. I would suggest we start by removing the general archery season on mule deer does. This is something simple that can be accomplished relatively easily. Compound bows have come a long way in the last 10-20 years. Someone can walk into a bow shop and get set up and shoot a doe at 20 yards on the same day. Another concern is the season dates. Archery season starts on September 1st but mule deer doe season begins on Sept. 15th and goes to the end of the month. Many of the high country mule deer does begin migrating to the valley floor around mid September. At the very least why not have the season open on the 1st and close on the 15th? That way the majority of the migrating does will not be effected. Also, from what I have witness and based on talking with game wardens it is a law enforcement nightmare. The first half of September is fairly mellow but on the 15th when mule deer doe season opens all heck breaks loose. It is very common to see hunters standing in the middle of the pavement flinging arrows at does on private land. The doe is wounded and runs a few hundred yards to die and rather than risk getting caught the shooter just drives away. Of course people break the law during all the hunting seasons but the mule deer doe archery season is by far and away the worst. There are a significant number of lazy unethical hunters driving private roads/highways flinging arrows. What possible harm could come from taking away a general season on female mule deer? I just checked the regulations and it is against the law to harvest female crawdads.

Iíll be more then happy to give up general archery Doe. Unless your a youth, senior or disabled hunter. Then you can still have a general doe season. But I think every unit east of the PCT should be draw only for rifle. No general rifle seasons on the eastside. Along with making the westside a 2pt or better area. Go away from the any buck. Again unless your a youth, senior or disabled hunter. Along with elk hunting. Eastside should be draw only for rifle, archery and muzzy. You donít draw you hunt the hand full of spike only units or you head west. On the westside it should be 3pt or better. Take that toutle unit and turn it into a gereral area. It ainít worth a poop anyways. On the youth, senior and disabled doe and cow tags. Make them early season before the start of select weapon season. So for archery it would start a week before and go for 5 days. Same for muzzy, rifle. General deer season for rifle stay the same. But take the late season and turn each unit into a draw. Change the late east side late season from 20 days to 14 days. Westside would be for 10 days right after elk season. Take and make additional cougar tags available. Have a statewide quota not a gmu quota. So once 1,500 cougars are killed the season closes tell next year. Just my  :twocents:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Oh Mah on November 18, 2017, 12:30:44 PM
I'll throw something into the mix. It seems most people on here are all in on ending doe tags.
How do you think this will effect the Department financially? I believe the multitude of special permits have become a money maker for the Department.
How are you going to replace money lost if you do away with doe tags?
Would you be willing to back a license increase if it was for the good of the herd?
I believe that has to be addressed before any proposals go anywhere.

A valid point. But look at it this way. If the deer herds in general continue to decline the state will loose a lot more revenue than what a few doe tag sales brings in.
Exactly,If they are using sales to determine actions they need to start using the brains they have because if they don't the money train will soon crash and ill bet the antis will not be there to fill the state income void.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Come Get Some on November 18, 2017, 01:40:30 PM
Has anyone addressed the fact that we have a very large population of hunters in Washington. One of the largest hunter per game numbers in the US. With poor winter survival rates and the growing number of predators as well as disease there is no wonder our herds are dwindling. If the WDFW were half as serious about managing the resource ( ALL RESOURCES) as they were about generating revenue by managing the people we might actually get some results. It doesn't only stop at the deer herds, Elk, Fish and fowl are all declining in this state. Too many save the world liberals that are only interested in political agenda's.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Rob Allen on November 18, 2017, 01:53:31 PM
I am no expert but i have listened  to a few.
 I think Mule Deer winter range at least where i live is getting developed into agriculture, especially wine grapes!

I think with  wildlife the first thing you should always look at is habitat quality. Food water and places to live and hide.
In short mule deer need more places with  less humans.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Bigshooter on November 18, 2017, 01:59:47 PM
Declining mule deer numbers are not just a WA problem.  It's a western United States problem.  And not one state has been able to solve it.  The best thing that can happen for mule deer numbers we can't control and that is mother nature.  Hard winters destroy mule deer herds.  Anything that we can come up with is a small bandaid on a fatal wound if we have a bad winter.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Branden on November 18, 2017, 02:15:19 PM
I live in ND now. I was here through a few tough winters. After 2 hard winters in a row they cut rifle tags across the state from 142,000 to 44,000. Absolutely no mule deer doe harvest was allowed. Fast forward the deer herd is on the rise last. last year there was a 34% increase in mule deer this year a 16% increase. So they are increasing rifle tags and all but one unit has mule deer doe tags in it. That is management. The free for all that Washington has going is not management. Its amazing what happens when you cut back on tags how the deer herd can come back.


Take a unit like Swakane for example. A lot of the deer are migratory there. They get hunted in the high country from archers, then the high hunt. Then regular general season which is fairly tough to hunt the migrators at that time but a few guys have it figured out. Then there is a 20 day late rifle hunt. Then an archery free for all again. How is that management? The population in Washington is to big to have general seasons if you want quality hunting. As for the indian issue I read on here once that its only legal for them to hunt as a general hunt if there is a state general season. Someone might look into that. Kinda like bighorns goats and moose. I don't think they can just go out and shoot one like they can deer and elk. I could be wrong though.

Cutting all doe hunting would help. Its at least a good first step.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: jackelope on November 18, 2017, 02:36:26 PM
The Yakama and Muckleshoot tribes have draw tags for sheep and goats. I talked to a couple tribal goat hunters this year. Not sure about moose.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: NOCK NOCK on November 18, 2017, 04:49:11 PM
These are all great ideas. I would suggest we start by removing the general archery season on mule deer does. This is something simple that can be accomplished relatively easily. Compound bows have come a long way in the last 10-20 years. Someone can walk into a bow shop and get set up and shoot a doe at 20 yards on the same day. Another concern is the season dates. Archery season starts on September 1st but mule deer doe season begins on Sept. 15th and goes to the end of the month. Many of the high country mule deer does begin migrating to the valley floor around mid September. At the very least why not have the season open on the 1st and close on the 15th? That way the majority of the migrating does will not be effected. Also, from what I have witness and based on talking with game wardens it is a law enforcement nightmare. The first half of September is fairly mellow but on the 15th when mule deer doe season opens all heck breaks loose. It is very common to see hunters standing in the middle of the pavement flinging arrows at does on private land. The doe is wounded and runs a few hundred yards to die and rather than risk getting caught the shooter just drives away. Of course people break the law during all the hunting seasons but the mule deer doe archery season is by far and away the worst. There are a significant number of lazy unethical hunters driving private roads/highways flinging arrows. What possible harm could come from taking away a general season on female mule deer? I just checked the regulations and it is against the law to harvest female crawdads.


THIS is exactly what WE don't need. You are dividing hunters based on FEELINGS. Seriously, not saying it doesn't happen, but don't point fingers without FACTS.
Data, Data, Data......
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: jdb on November 18, 2017, 05:28:47 PM
The Yakama and Muckleshoot tribes have draw tags for sheep and goats. I talked to a couple tribal goat hunters this year. Not sure about moose.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
i talked to a tribal sheep hunter today
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: DaveMonti on November 18, 2017, 05:48:02 PM

You bring up some good points to consider regarding data. I'll offer this, deer management is not a new thing, states have been managing deer for decades and numerous studies have been done in state after state. It's a pretty well know conclusion that antlerless harvest is increased to reduce herd numbers or to reduce herd growth. When herds decline many states reduce antlerless harvest until herds rebound. I'm not sure how many times the wheel has to be reinvented before everyone understands that a wheel rolls downhill without being pushed? Just some food for thought regarding all the other deer studies that have been done all over the west!

I have no doubt that cutting the doe harvest will result in a faster rebuilding a population of deer.  However, what is lacking in the argument is "how many does are harvested each year".  I am sure the numbers are out there but I don't really care enough to look them up for WA. 

I know when I research harvest statistics in Montana, I see the buck and antlerless harvest numbers.  Some of the units have a high number of  bucks taken, 500-600 or so.  These same units might have only 50 "antlerless" deer harvested, which are not all does.  So, how effective will cutting out the antlerless harvest be in a unit like that?  What I am saying is that if you want an effective solution, you need to go to the data.  I can guarantee you that if you stop shooting 40 does a year in a unit, you won't see a noticeable difference in the numbers in 5 years.  So, is stopping the doe harvest a real "solution" even though it's intuitive?  Do you want to lobby an organization to do that if it's not really known if that is an effective solution? 
The answer to the question of "Will stopping doe harvests in a unit dramatically increase the deer population in the next 3 years?  The answer is that it depends on the number of does taken relative to the overall population. 

So your solution, while intuitive, and maybe even backed by studies done elsewhere, is something you will get behind without even knowing how many does are taken a year, and therefore the impact of your solution is hard to predict.  Now, it may be valid, but it may not.  Add to your solution another 15 solutions that other hunters feel will make a difference, none of which are supported by data, and you have this thread.  A bunch of ideas which people "feel" are the solution, but NOBODY IS PRESENTING ANY DATA! 

If I were a decision maker in the state, and everyone came to me with their solution and not an bit of data to back up a single solution, guess what?  Status quo. 

It may be that in the Methow, a thousand doe are taken a year.  That's a substantial number.  However, I personally really don't know if there 1000 does taken a year, or 72.  No data means your solution has no real basis of effectiveness even though "studies have shown...." 
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Humptulips on November 18, 2017, 09:41:28 PM
Nothing to do so I done a little figuring.
Dave mentioned how not killing 40 does wouldn't make much difference.
I made a few conservative assumptions. Each doe raises one fawn, not twins ever.
50/50 split between the sexes. Assume no depredation. I know, pipe dream. Those 40 does at the end of 10 years end up being right around 4500 deer almost half of which are bucks.
So lets say we kill half the bucks out there every year. That still leaves around 3450 deer, 450 of which are bucks.
Unscientific seat of the pants figuring on the back of an envelope but that is the potential my friend.
We just need to come up with a way to protect our breeding stock.
 
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Jimmy33 on November 18, 2017, 09:48:21 PM
OTC mule deer archery and draw for everything else


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Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: NOCK NOCK on November 19, 2017, 09:13:33 AM
A lot of talk about ending all doe hunting. I agree with DaveM...back it up with data/facts. What are the consequences of doing so.....

Carrying capacity; Habitat has a carrying capacity, much overage to that capacity is not good for any of the critters in that area. We then end up with a unit that is overpopulated with does and not enough bucks to breed them all. How is that benefiting the herd growth?
This year for example, I spent 40+ days deer hunting, I saw way more single does than ones with fawns. Why?
It could be they were not bred, had their fawn/s killed by a predator or human, not enough food to survive, vehicle strike, etc .......
Having lots of does in an area does increase the deer population......but does it increase the huntable population, or just overload the habitat?

Like others have said, this is a multi headed snake, it makes Medusa look like she's bald,  :chuckle:,
Hunters need to think with their brains and make logical, statistical, factual suggestions, not ones based on their feelings.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: GoldenRing270 on November 19, 2017, 09:19:57 AM
If it was all about the data Washington would have done away with antler point restriction years ago. There is plenty of data from other states that shows it has a negative impact on genetics and is not a good way to control harvest. For this reason many other states stopped doing antler point restrictions. Also I'm sure that there is plenty of data on how antlerless harvest effects population growth but this is very simple biology that anyone can understand. Removing the breeding does will negatively impact the overall population for future years. I would like to see us look to the future from a harvest standpoint rather than the what we can get away with at the current moment approach we have been using.

As pointed out by Humptulips even if we stop a seemingly insignificant number of does from being killed it will have a great impact on the population of the herd in the future. Data or no data, not killing females just plain makes sense. I am sure its the same for you guys and gals but I am saving a couple spots on the wall for my daughter should she decide to hunt and I would love it If she could have even better opportunity at mule deer than I have had.

It is so easy for us as hunters to point the finger when it comes to the problems mule deer face. The saying goes... if your pointing one finger you've got 3 more pointing back at yourself. I haven't done all the research but based on a few figures I've read somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 deer were harvested by hunters between the 2014 and 2015 seasons here in the Methow maybe more. No one was complaining. Now fast forward to this year and here we are...

It sounds like Nevada has things close to figured out. I wish Washington and all the states across the west would collaborate with each other. It would be a simple way for every state to learn what works and what doesn't.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Humptulips on November 19, 2017, 10:53:04 AM
I thought I would share this comment from anther forum. The commenter is from Nevada.

"Lions are out of control in most of the west.

Mule deer are hurting in most of the West.

Simple arithmetic"
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Oh Mah on November 19, 2017, 11:24:11 AM
 :yeah: any hunter on the east side would agree i dont know about the west side. cats are everywhere.  :yike:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: GoldenRing270 on November 19, 2017, 12:21:34 PM
It would be great if hound hunting came back but I don't see it happening anytime soon in this state. I do however believe that removing general seasons on mule deer does is something achievable and will help the deer population. I feel like it would be best to invest our attention toward a foreseeable positive change. One step at a time approach and to me this seems like the easiest most effective hurdle to start with.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: JimmyHoffa on November 19, 2017, 01:04:32 PM
:yeah: any hunter on the east side would agree i dont know about the west side. cats are everywhere.  :yike:
I think it is very much the case on the peninsula.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Sitka_Blacktail on November 19, 2017, 04:18:28 PM

You bring up some good points to consider regarding data. I'll offer this, deer management is not a new thing, states have been managing deer for decades and numerous studies have been done in state after state. It's a pretty well know conclusion that antlerless harvest is increased to reduce herd numbers or to reduce herd growth. When herds decline many states reduce antlerless harvest until herds rebound. I'm not sure how many times the wheel has to be reinvented before everyone understands that a wheel rolls downhill without being pushed? Just some food for thought regarding all the other deer studies that have been done all over the west!

I'll do you a little favor and do some work for you ie doe harvest. But you'll have to also listen to my opinion. 

It's a tough job managing a herd when there are so many variables you can't control. Drought, snow pack, fire, habitat loss and more are all working against you. Plus, in nature, in a natural setting, deer herds don't maintain a level population. (neither do any other species) It's all about the roller coaster of ups and downs, from highs to lows.  But hunters don't want that and many won't accept it. They want it to always be high.  That can't be done. it's against the laws of nature. The more you push for high years, the more there will be low years. That's how it works. The best that can be done is to have a middle range of not so high highs and not so low lows. And that takes a lot of work and data. Even then, nature can throw a dog turd in the punch bowl. I believe that is what has happened to the mule deer herds in this state. Two back to back winters with little snow, then two summers of fires burning up important range, especially winter range and then even a normal  snow year can devastate a herd that is dependent on a greatly shrunken winter range.  When the guys who study the herds tell you the herd needs to be reduced so the range recovers, I'd believe them. What point is there to increase the herd before the habitat can support them? That just makes any recovery that much longer. And hunters won't accept that either. What the managers need is public support and a patient hunting crowd. Let them do their job and trust that they are doing the right thing. As habitat improves, they will let the herd grow. Right now they want the herd reduced for the purpose of rebuilding the range.  Personally, I'd rather see the deer harvested and utilized by hunters than to die out on the winter range. 

Now here's the harvest and doe harvest for you of all the 200 units, the last 5 years.  Notice the increase in doe harvest in 2014 was 549 does over 2013. That's the whole increase for a total of 28 game units or an average increase of less than 20 does per unit. In 2015 it was even less at 229 more does taken for an average of about 8 does per unit more.  2016 was 172 more does than 2013 or and average of about 6 more does taken. Note for those same years, the buck harvest was also higher. in 2014 there were 924 more bucks taken  for an average of 33 more bucks taken per unit. in 2015 it was 2,541 more bucks taken for an average of almost 91 extra bucks taken per unit. In 2016 the buck take had dropped down to 172 more bucks than 2013 for an average of about 6 extra bucks per unit.

2012 - 941 does taken, 4,402 bucks, 5,343 total
2113 - 817 does taken, 4,182 bucks, 5,009 total
2014 - 1,366 does taken, 5,006 bucks, 6,372 total
2015 - 1,046 does taken, 6,504 bucks, 7,550 total
2016 - 989 does taken, 4851 bucks, 5840 total
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: DaveMonti on November 19, 2017, 05:51:34 PM
That's good stuff Stika_Blacktail,

If I'm reading this right, the highest doe (or is it antlerless) harvest was in 2014 at 1,366 animals.  You mentioned that this is for the 200 series GMUs, of which there are 28 GMUs?  If this is correct, that means that the average antlerless harvest per unit in 2014 was 48 antlerless per unit.

That's good data.  Now the analysis and potential results after 2, 3, 5 years?  I'd be interested to see this, making realistic assumptions where data doesn't exist.  For example, how many of the 48 antlerless deer per unit were doe?  What is the harvest rate of doe relative to the total population?  What are the rates of other causes of death that might impact the offspring of the "saved" doe? 

As I said, I realize not harvesting doe will likely result in higher future populations, but the data and the analysis will show the impact of it.  In other words, how much will the population grow in 2, 3, 5 years?  Do this for every solution and you find the solution, or a set of solutions which will have the greatest impact. 

There is a LOT to this issue, lots of potential solutions, lots of data and assumptions that will have impact on the analysis. 
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Oh Mah on November 19, 2017, 06:24:21 PM

You bring up some good points to consider regarding data. I'll offer this, deer management is not a new thing, states have been managing deer for decades and numerous studies have been done in state after state. It's a pretty well know conclusion that antlerless harvest is increased to reduce herd numbers or to reduce herd growth. When herds decline many states reduce antlerless harvest until herds rebound. I'm not sure how many times the wheel has to be reinvented before everyone understands that a wheel rolls downhill without being pushed? Just some food for thought regarding all the other deer studies that have been done all over the west!

I'll do you a little favor and do some work for you ie doe harvest. But you'll have to also listen to my opinion. 

It's a tough job managing a herd when there are so many variables you can't control. Drought, snow pack, fire, habitat loss and more are all working against you. Plus, in nature, in a natural setting, deer herds don't maintain a level population. (neither do any other species) It's all about the roller coaster of ups and downs, from highs to lows.  But hunters don't want that and many won't accept it. They want it to always be high.  That can't be done. it's against the laws of nature. The more you push for high years, the more there will be low years. That's how it works. The best that can be done is to have a middle range of not so high highs and not so low lows. And that takes a lot of work and data. Even then, nature can throw a dog turd in the punch bowl. I believe that is what has happened to the mule deer herds in this state. Two back to back winters with little snow, then two summers of fires burning up important range, especially winter range and then even a normal  snow year can devastate a herd that is dependent on a greatly shrunken winter range.  When the guys who study the herds tell you the herd needs to be reduced so the range recovers, I'd believe them. What point is there to increase the herd before the habitat can support them? That just makes any recovery that much longer. And hunters won't accept that either. What the managers need is public support and a patient hunting crowd. Let them do their job and trust that they are doing the right thing. As habitat improves, they will let the herd grow. Right now they want the herd reduced for the purpose of rebuilding the range.  Personally, I'd rather see the deer harvested and utilized by hunters than to die out on the winter range. 

Now here's the harvest and doe harvest for you of all the 200 units, the last 5 years.  Notice the increase in doe harvest in 2014 was 549 does over 2013. That's the whole increase for a total of 28 game units or an average increase of less than 20 does per unit. In 2015 it was even less at 229 more does taken for an average of about 8 does per unit more.  2016 was 172 more does than 2013 or and average of about 6 more does taken. Note for those same years, the buck harvest was also higher. in 2014 there were 924 more bucks taken  for an average of 33 more bucks taken per unit. in 2015 it was 2,541 more bucks taken for an average of almost 91 extra bucks taken per unit. In 2016 the buck take had dropped down to 172 more bucks than 2013 for an average of about 6 extra bucks per unit.

2012 - 941 does taken, 4,402 bucks, 5,343 total
2113 - 817 does taken, 4,182 bucks, 5,009 total
2014 - 1,366 does taken, 5,006 bucks, 6,372 total
2015 - 1,046 does taken, 6,504 bucks, 7,550 total
2016 - 989 does taken, 4851 bucks, 5840 total
great points here.  :tup:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: wolfbait on November 19, 2017, 06:50:54 PM
The problem with real data to support an argument is most of the real data comes from WDFW. And we have seen how WDFW can skew the real data to match their goals. Look at how many wolves WDFW says are in the state compared to how many people on the ground are seeing. I saw wolves in the Alpine Lakes in 1997. I called WDFW and was told by Bio "no I didn't"....um ok...

My point is if we rely on the state to make data driven decisions about our deer herds we are in essence leading the herds to slaughter.

My opinion is that the wolves in this state are WDFW's tool to decimate the mule deer herds. The hound hunting ban didn't have the immediate desired effect ( although its catching up to us the last few years) so now its the wolves turn.

You can reduce deer harvest through draw only, eliminate antlerless tags, and so on. But the real factors are predators and habitat.  :twocents:

 :yeah: :bash: :bash:

Too bad there wasn't this much concern before the WDFW wolf plan came out, now that the deer herds etc. are plummeting everyone is for cutting seasons, something that should probably have been done years ago, which WDFW have in the wolf plan.

But that won't stop the on going slaughter, maybe prolong the outcome. If you have an uncontrolled wolf population pretty soon you don't have any ungulates.

 Carry on......
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: GoldenRing270 on November 19, 2017, 07:43:34 PM
Thanks for posting that up sitka_blacktail and good points made for sure. I agree with you about the natural ups and downs of predator prey dynamics. What is concerning though is the gradual steady population decline. We still have highs and lows in the population but the highs never quite get as high and the lows are dipping down lower and lower.

It would be impossible but very interesting to know exactly how many mule deer were killed by predators during these same years. 30,000 mule deer reported harvests between 2012 and 2016 in the 200 series gmu's. There were probably quite a bit more that never got reported. I have a hard time believing wolves and cougars could kill anywhere remotely close to that number but maybe I'd be surprised. Either way it sure seems like we hunters have taken more than our fair share out of the population over these last several years and without a doubt it has contributed to the situation we are in now.

 
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Sitka_Blacktail on November 19, 2017, 08:05:05 PM
That's good stuff Stika_Blacktail,

If I'm reading this right, the highest doe (or is it antlerless) harvest was in 2014 at 1,366 animals.  You mentioned that this is for the 200 series GMUs, of which there are 28 GMUs?  If this is correct, that means that the average antlerless harvest per unit in 2014 was 48 antlerless per unit.

That's good data.  Now the analysis and potential results after 2, 3, 5 years?  I'd be interested to see this, making realistic assumptions where data doesn't exist.  For example, how many of the 48 antlerless deer per unit were doe?  What is the harvest rate of doe relative to the total population?  What are the rates of other causes of death that might impact the offspring of the "saved" doe? 

As I said, I realize not harvesting doe will likely result in higher future populations, but the data and the analysis will show the impact of it.  In other words, how much will the population grow in 2, 3, 5 years?  Do this for every solution and you find the solution, or a set of solutions which will have the greatest impact. 

There is a LOT to this issue, lots of potential solutions, lots of data and assumptions that will have impact on the analysis.

Yes you read it right. I got the info on the WDF&W website in the game harvest reports. I chose the totals by District and GMU because it's the easiest way to get the totals. They are totaled for each district already.

And you are correct to ask how many antlerless deer were does as some were probably towhead bucks.  And you are also correct to point out that statistically not all of those animals would have survived anyway. Statistically, some would have died from predators, some from auto accidents, and some might not have survived winter.  There ARE a lot of issues that the average Joe doesn't realize or think about that the bios have to consider. I wouldn't want their job as you just can't please everyone. But I am glad they are doing it. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Bows4huntn on November 20, 2017, 08:10:28 AM
Really Goldenring?  You have a hard time believing predators could have killed 30,000 animals over a 5 year period? A common number I hear for Cougar is they take an average of 1 deer every week. That's 52 a year I believe,so for 5 years just one cougar would take 250 animals. Multiply that by the number of Cougars in these units then add on the kills from Wolves,Bears, and Coyotes and 30,000 seems like it might be a little on the low side.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Gringo31 on November 20, 2017, 08:19:30 AM
Last number I heard a few years ago was that the cougar population in our state was estimated at 4000.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: baldopepper on November 20, 2017, 09:12:43 AM
One thing I discovered this weekend.  I'm not sure the whitetail, any buck hunt in the NE corner is a good thing for the mule deer up there.  I mentioned in another thread that we'd already found one dead mule deer buck, shot and left on the opening weekend and over this last weekend there was a lot of shooting around the house and I know that there have been a ton of small mulie bucks hanging around the road. I'm a little suspicious about all that shooting.  Went thru the checking station at Miles Creston Rd and Hwy 2 yesterday and mentioned to the warden that I thought it was a problem and he agreed.  Said they already knew of 5 mule shot in the area and had actually had hunters try to bring two more thru the checking station.  If they know of that many, I can't help but wonder how many more were shot and left.  Ton of road hunters out on Hwy 25 this weekend.  I'm seriously starting to think you should have to pass a test showing you really do know the difference between a mule deer and a white tail. (could be set up online easily). I've stopped two different groups on the road near my house that were glassing mulies that asked me when I stopped what kind of deer they were.  I just hope they're not shooting first and identifying after.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: GoldenRing270 on November 20, 2017, 04:14:17 PM
Predators kill a lot of mule deer and I would love to see hound hunting reinstated but I also feel that there is about as much chance of that happening in the next 10 years as there is of a hunt-wa member winning the lotto and distributing the money equally among all the members so that we can quit our jobs and spend the rest of our lives hunting and fishing (come on fingers crossed :chuckle:). I regret having mentioned predators in my last reply... I got distracted from the topic at hand...   

I think we need focus our attention first on taking small steps and working toward realistic goals that could be achieved within the next couple of years. Start by restricting antlerless harvest. From there I'm not sure. The odd/even wild Id every other year mule deer opportunity sounds interesting and this type of idea has a much higher probability of being implemented. I am just playing the odds and willing to make sacrifices that would help the deer.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Humptulips on November 20, 2017, 05:14:48 PM
Last number I heard a few years ago was that the cougar population in our state was estimated guessed at 4000.

I have not seen much that indicates the numbers on cougar are very precise. I believe they are much higher.
Only about 40% of Cougar Management Areas reach the target harvest but most of those seem to be in Eastern WA so I think an increase in the target quotas might benefit Mule Deer.
We should push for the F&W Commission to revisit increasing those quotas.
Maybe you recall they did last year and Governor Insley reversed the decision.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: JimmyHoffa on November 21, 2017, 09:51:59 PM
Really Goldenring?  You have a hard time believing predators could have killed 30,000 animals over a 5 year period? A common number I hear for Cougar is they take an average of 1 deer every week. That's 52 a year I believe,so for 5 years just one cougar would take 250 animals. Multiply that by the number of Cougars in these units then add on the kills from Wolves,Bears, and Coyotes and 30,000 seems like it might be a little on the low side.
I've heard that in some places cougars will take a deer a day.  One of the biggest fawn killers on the coast has actually turned out to be bobcats.  Mostly because you can fit a bunch more in a cougar sized territory.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: DBLDWN on November 22, 2017, 08:48:20 PM
I really liked reading Sitka Blacktails post, great info and pretty much spot on. Thank you. My suggestion would be to get rid of multi season tags, go back to weapon specific, I believe this would spread the user groups out again and get less people on the immediate winter range in the late archery season. Get rid of doe tags for any general season, make doe harvest youth, senior and disabled draw for units that need a reduction. Don't like the idea of the east side draw only for mule deer, I think they should make it a choice of east side or west side just like elk, or make it a county specific tag. As far as predators, bring back the hounds because boot hunting for cats isn't a real effective way to manage them, same for bears. As for wolves, dumbest thing WDFW could have ever done is to re introduce them and am glad the colville Indians are shooting them. As for the yakima indians the free for all needs to stop, I don't care if they shoot a deer and an elk in December to feed their families, but to shoot multiple animals off the winter range just because they can needs to stop. The deer herds at this time can't sustain it. As much as I love to hunt this state and hate to say it, but maybe the best thing for the herd is to shut it down for a couple years like someone had mentioned earlier and let the mule deer get their feet back on the ground especially in the okanogan valley. Just my 2 cents, take it for what it's worth
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: mfswallace on November 22, 2017, 09:13:30 PM
How many total deer, elk and moose do natives harvest per year?
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bobcat on November 22, 2017, 09:32:04 PM
DBLDWN- I agree with most of your post, but this never happened. Not sure why people keep saying that. 

Quote
As for wolves, dumbest thing WDFW could have ever done is to re introduce them
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: ironhead14 on December 02, 2017, 04:50:15 AM
Let's just ban hunting altogether and let the cougars, bobcats,bears, and wolves have all the game animals.  Wait, that is what the WDFW is doing already!
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on January 09, 2018, 08:26:20 AM
If ya'll didn't use up your energy a few months ago:
https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting/
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: huntnphool on January 09, 2018, 09:47:54 AM
 :tup:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Rainier10 on January 09, 2018, 01:46:10 PM
If ya'll didn't use up your energy a few months ago:
https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting/
Yes, so you can still send in responses but the next big meeting will be a commission meeting where the draft rules and regulations will be presented.  There is time for public comment at that meeting.  After that meeting the rules and regs get tweaked just a little based on public comments and then there is one final meeting in April when the final draft gets presented to the commission, they approve it and miraculously 7 days later the regs are available on line and the threads start about "which store has the hard copies out?".

If there is something that you are really passionate about changing, do your research, come to the meeting with facts and a few like minded individuals.  Present your case and you never know what can happen.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on January 25, 2018, 01:19:51 PM
Getcha some: https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting/
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: fastdam on January 27, 2018, 12:40:31 PM
Iím not saying itís  all the tribes fault, I believe wolves are a big problem as well. Iíve always thought if you canít beat them join them, how about we open up everything over the counter in the 300 units and we kill everything. If the Indians Donít have anything more to harvest maybe then they will come to the table with some sort of agreement. And I am not advocating poaching and Iím not all for this Iím just saying what do you think about this idea, is there any other way to get some cooperation with the tribes?








Best idea I have heard ever
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: buglebrush on January 27, 2018, 01:10:09 PM
Predators kill a lot of mule deer and I would love to see hound hunting reinstated but I also feel that there is about as much chance of that happening in the next 10 years as there is of a hunt-wa member winning the lotto and distributing the money equally among all the members so that we can quit our jobs and spend the rest of our lives hunting and fishing (come on fingers crossed :chuckle:). I regret having mentioned predators in my last reply... I got distracted from the topic at hand...   

I think we need focus our attention first on taking small steps and working toward realistic goals that could be achieved within the next couple of years. Start by restricting antlerless harvest. From there I'm not sure. The odd/even wild Id every other year mule deer opportunity sounds interesting and this type of idea has a much higher probability of being implemented. I am just playing the odds and willing to make sacrifices that would help the deer.

It's a huge mistake to give up on the predator issue.  It's the one issue that supercedes them all, and as long as its not fixed the future is hopeless.  We need to have a united, passionate voice at every opportunity demanding predator reduction.  There's other issues that need addressed as well, BUT ANY PROPOSAL THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE INCREASED PREDATOR REDUCTION IS LIKE TRYING TO FIX A FLAT TIRE WITH A BANDAID.  Ungulates can only sustain so much harvest, and unless we get meaningful change it will eventually be the end of OTC hunting opportunity in this state.  :twocents: :twocents:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: JakeLand on January 27, 2018, 05:04:41 PM
Buglebrush nails it
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: HUNTINCOUPLE on January 27, 2018, 06:16:52 PM
Buglebrush nails it

Ya Bugkebush nailed it but......... This state will most likely always be OTC  for the money.  I'm sorry I got sucked in to comment.  Hopefully I don't get banned. :chuckle:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: hunter399 on January 27, 2018, 06:47:35 PM
I did notice that not much changes for mule deer in the proposals for deer seasons ,wdfw must figure they still got some 💰 in mule deer herds and otc tags still.I wish they would just listen to sportsmen sometimes ,there is lots of options and do something before we have to close gmu's for harvest at all.Or we get the oops herd is on trouble let's hit the red panic button.

No mule deer doe harvest
No doe permits for mule deer
4pt antler restrictions
Only hunt mule deer every other year.
More predator control in mule deer areas

If I had my way it would be all of them.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: huntnphool on January 27, 2018, 07:46:34 PM
 Purchase doe tags and eat them.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on January 28, 2018, 08:14:50 AM
Unless we are gonna start a massive social media campaign and hold our own public forums and write letters to the editors or opinion pieces in every newspaper in WA and ABSOLUTELY SLAM WITHOUT MERCY anyone who posts a picture of a mule deer doe anywhere on the Ďnet I think thatís a noble idea but ainít gonna do it...not to mention half those tags are gonna get filled by people who donít care too much about the above and are just happy to shoot a deer. Nope, Iím pretty sure itís a regs change thatíll do the trick.
Personally I donít see a shortage of mule deer does but the bucks get shot to hell...I guess it depends on your GMU.

Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bigmacc on January 29, 2018, 06:03:24 PM
Purchase doe tags and eat them.

Or have a "ceremony", tell stories of hunting deer, bucks that got away and how much you miss past hunters. Then toss them all in the fire :tup:, I can't tell you how many doe tags were "sacrificed" by my family over the years, we got drawn or purchased many, probably hundreds........I used to say let the kids have them, but only some, until about 5 years ago we witnessed 3 different abbuses of grownups bailing out of vehicles and shooting does, seen one "guy" jump out and drop 3 does, then the kids got out and  Dad :dunno: proceeded to have the youngsters pose for pictures :bash:, yes we turned them in, couldn't get a lic.plate but gave a decent description of the rig. Don't know what happened. Not right! Ruins it for the "good guys"!!!
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on January 29, 2018, 08:00:07 PM
That drives home my point. Howíd your family eating hundreds of doe tags work out for WA mule deer? Good? Everything going well for em?
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bigmacc on January 30, 2018, 10:47:00 AM
That drives home my point. Howíd your family eating hundreds of doe tags work out for WA mule deer? Good? Everything going well for em?

Back then it probably did help when some folks didn't use the doe tags, the Methow herd for example was at all time high numbers, as I've said before it hovered around 30-40k, the herd was healthy and except for some bad winters here and there the herd held its own and would bounce back strong. The herd now is less than half of what it was since the predator issue has reared its ugly head, and is continuing its tailspin while they continue to sell doe tags, so, your question of "everything going well for em?", no, the herd is in horrible shape because of lots of issues including poor management, but yes I think it helped back then and would probably help now if some of those Methow doe tags were"burnt or eatin", heck theres a really good argument for why they are even available at this time in that valley and why they have been available since the predator explosion! Cats, bear, yotes and wolves take enough does out every day not to mention vehicles so at this day and time in the Methow at least, yes I think destroying doe tags is a good idea, why they are even available is the real issue!....just answering your question to me, my :twocents:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Gringo31 on January 30, 2018, 11:26:47 AM
I follow what you're saying.


If I burn half of the doe tags allotted, the decision next year may be to offer MORE!  It's the decision WDFW makes that is the issue.  You're fighting the symptom.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: GoldenRing270 on January 30, 2018, 12:09:32 PM
Yep and archery mule deer doe hunters have an unlimited over the counter 2 week season. No matter what the causes are for the decline, handing out OTC doe tags is extremely counterproductive toward any type of recovery.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: idaho guy on January 30, 2018, 12:35:18 PM
Predators kill a lot of mule deer and I would love to see hound hunting reinstated but I also feel that there is about as much chance of that happening in the next 10 years as there is of a hunt-wa member winning the lotto and distributing the money equally among all the members so that we can quit our jobs and spend the rest of our lives hunting and fishing (come on fingers crossed :chuckle:). I regret having mentioned predators in my last reply... I got distracted from the topic at hand...   

I think we need focus our attention first on taking small steps and working toward realistic goals that could be achieved within the next couple of years. Start by restricting antlerless harvest. From there I'm not sure. The odd/even wild Id every other year mule deer opportunity sounds interesting and this type of idea has a much higher probability of being implemented. I am just playing the odds and willing to make sacrifices that would help the deer.

It's a huge mistake to give up on the predator issue.  It's the one issue that supercedes them all, and as long as its not fixed the future is hopeless.  We need to have a united, passionate voice at every opportunity demanding predator reduction.  There's other issues that need addressed as well, BUT ANY PROPOSAL THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE INCREASED PREDATOR REDUCTION IS LIKE TRYING TO FIX A FLAT TIRE WITH A BANDAID.  Ungulates can only sustain so much harvest, and unless we get meaningful change it will eventually be the end of OTC hunting opportunity in this state.  :twocents: :twocents:


 :yeah: boom there is your answer. This thread is interesting in an irritating sort of way :chuckle: . I keep going back to the fights over wolves and what their effect would be on deer and elk when wolves started showing up. The members who predicted exactly this happening were ridiculed by members saying they were conspiracy theorists wearing tin foil hats. The results are here and now moose tags are being reduced and smarter hunters than me think cow moose harvest should be completely eliminated. Its admirable that you members are willing to limit and self regulate your harvest of deer to help the herd but it wont matter. Why isn't the wdfw controlling predators? Without that nothing else matters. Just some control over numbers of predators not elimination. What is so hard about acknowledging that? Maybe this is the way the other side plans to end hunting.   :dunno:     
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bigmacc on January 30, 2018, 12:48:21 PM
I,m, not a "conspiracy" type person at all but like I said in my last post the real issue is why there are doe tags even available in some of these areas, especially places like the Methow where the herd is in such a tailspin and predator numbers are booming,  with some of this so called "management" its easy to see why people put on tin foil hats and wonder if there is an "agenda":dunno:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Gringo31 on January 30, 2018, 01:02:19 PM
Quote
Predator populations (especially black bears and cougars) have increased
to long-term sustainable levels in Washington over the past 30 to 40 years. While the public
generally views their increase positively from an ecological perspective, managing carnivores in
the smallest state in the west with the second highest human population presents many challenges.
One of those challenges is addressing potential predator effects on prey species.
WDFW must effectively manage wildlife to meet population objectives in balance with citizen
tolerance and support.


This is from https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01657/wdfw01657.pdf

While I agree with some of it, the part I struggle with is in bold.  Is it the duty of WDFW to be the experts in their job to the best of their ability or is it management by vote of the uneducated citizen?  Two very different things....
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Gringo31 on January 30, 2018, 01:09:22 PM
I'll go on....

Quote
Management of predators to benefit prey populations will be considered when there is evidence
that predation is a significant factor inhibiting the ability of a prey population to attain
population management objectives. For example, when a prey population is below population
objective and other actions to increase prey numbers such as hunting reductions or other
actions to achieve ungulate population objectives have already been implemented, and
predation continues to be a limiting factor. In these cases, predator management actions would
be directed at individuals or populations depending on scientific evidence and would include
assessments of population levels, habitat factors, disease, etc.

In short....WDFW is willing to CONSIDER managing predators WHEN there is evidence that predation is a significant factor IF they've already taken opportunities from US (to save the prey species) AND that didn't work....THEN they'll look at removing predators....

 :yike: :bash:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on January 30, 2018, 09:22:23 PM
I copy all the above. Honestly I suggested that ďmyĒ landowners not allow hunting on their place next year to see if that helps the situation. Now  there will be 500ish doe tags in the ďwashtucnaĒ unit this year. Then I wonder if shooting 20 does and lowering the doe:buck ratio from 30:1 to 25:1 would even make a difference? Then I think... thatís a horrible idea. Then I think weíll if we donít shoot em WDFW will just come in over the winter and shoot does on ďdepredationĒ whatever. Then I think... dude are you effín serious, you hunt Idaho every year, youíve researched and have points in Colorado and Wyoming and you still care at all about Washington??!!
Well I do...a little bit. I harass many people as much as possible. Someday I will stop caring,  but not today.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: DaveMonti on January 30, 2018, 10:19:57 PM
I'll go on....

Quote
Management of predators to benefit prey populations will be considered when there is evidence
that predation is a significant factor inhibiting the ability of a prey population to attain
population management objectives. For example, when a prey population is below population
objective and other actions to increase prey numbers such as hunting reductions or other
actions to achieve ungulate population objectives have already been implemented, and
predation continues to be a limiting factor. In these cases, predator management actions would
be directed at individuals or populations depending on scientific evidence and would include
assessments of population levels, habitat factors, disease, etc.

In short....WDFW is willing to CONSIDER managing predators WHEN there is evidence that predation is a significant factor IF they've already taken opportunities from US (to save the prey species) AND that didn't work....THEN they'll look at removing predators....

 :yike: :bash:

Now you (not you personally Gringo) are starting to understand!  WDFW manages WILDLIFE and does not manage for high populations of game species for the benefit of hunters.  That is what they are chartered to do.  It's that simple, like it or not. 
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 31, 2018, 05:26:54 AM
The Dept and commission are mandated to:
The commission shall attempt to maximize the public recreational game fishing and hunting opportunities of all citizens, including juvenile, disabled, and senior citizens.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Gringo31 on January 31, 2018, 06:29:25 AM
It's all double talk.

If prey species are struggling in number, by their own words, they remove hunting first because they know it will make a difference.  AFTER that, they may look into removing predators.

If I was 17 and could throw an egg right now.... :chuckle:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bigmacc on January 31, 2018, 11:00:48 AM
Like I have said, "they are not the Game Department anymore they represent all wildlife including predators" and our game is not the priority that they were before the switch to WDFW was made. A lot of us remember when all our game animals(25 or so yrs ago) were priority 1, herds were managed for the sportsman, taken care of and watched over. Our family has been friends with numerous Game and Fish dept folks from Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho over the years, some are alive and most have passed. The one common thread they all had was they all were avid hunters and sportsmen and they all had a passion for taking care of our fish and game for future hunting and fishing opportunities for  generations to come. They did a pretty darn good job until the changeover took place(in this state), slowly priorities started to change. I,m sure the WDFW has some good people in there in places that still think that way but now there is too many irons in the fire, too many special interest groups to cater to, its way to political and because of all this our game herds have slid way down the priority pole and other critters such as predators have moved ahead of them. I remember back in the day Game guys comming into camp to ask if any of us had a bear tag, they knew where a big one was if we wanted to go shoot a "fawn killer", yep, thats a quote! One year there was a pack of coyotes on a hillside, a Game fella pulled into camp to see if we" wanted to get some target practice in" and "save a few fawns", he drove us to the spot and about 200 yards away was a den with 5 yotes running around, we killed 3 of them. Bottom line, the Game Department took care of our game and game was top priority, who really knows their priority with the WDFW, and I mean that, who really knows, too many lies, mistrust, politics and deception. The future of our game herds doesn't look as bright as they did when they were watched over by the "real" Game Department I,m afraid.... :twocents:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bigmacc on January 31, 2018, 11:20:42 AM
One more thing and my rant will be over :tup:, I CRINGE when folks on here refer to the WDFW as the "GAME DEPARTMENT", they are not the Game department folks, far from it..... :twocents:
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: wolfbait on February 03, 2018, 05:26:01 PM
Predators kill a lot of mule deer and I would love to see hound hunting reinstated but I also feel that there is about as much chance of that happening in the next 10 years as there is of a hunt-wa member winning the lotto and distributing the money equally among all the members so that we can quit our jobs and spend the rest of our lives hunting and fishing (come on fingers crossed :chuckle:). I regret having mentioned predators in my last reply... I got distracted from the topic at hand...   

I think we need focus our attention first on taking small steps and working toward realistic goals that could be achieved within the next couple of years. Start by restricting antlerless harvest. From there I'm not sure. The odd/even wild Id every other year mule deer opportunity sounds interesting and this type of idea has a much higher probability of being implemented. I am just playing the odds and willing to make sacrifices that would help the deer.

It's a huge mistake to give up on the predator issue.  It's the one issue that supercedes them all, and as long as its not fixed the future is hopeless.  We need to have a united, passionate voice at every opportunity demanding predator reduction.  There's other issues that need addressed as well, BUT ANY PROPOSAL THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE INCREASED PREDATOR REDUCTION IS LIKE TRYING TO FIX A FLAT TIRE WITH A BANDAID.  Ungulates can only sustain so much harvest, and unless we get meaningful change it will eventually be the end of OTC hunting opportunity in this state.  :twocents: :twocents:


 :yeah: boom there is your answer. This thread is interesting in an irritating sort of way :chuckle: . I keep going back to the fights over wolves and what their effect would be on deer and elk when wolves started showing up. The members who predicted exactly this happening were ridiculed by members saying they were conspiracy theorists wearing tin foil hats. The results are here and now moose tags are being reduced and smarter hunters than me think cow moose harvest should be completely eliminated. Its admirable that you members are willing to limit and self regulate your harvest of deer to help the herd but it wont matter. Why isn't the wdfw controlling predators? Without that nothing else matters. Just some control over numbers of predators not elimination. What is so hard about acknowledging that? Maybe this is the way the other side plans to end hunting.   :dunno:   

 :yeah:

Wolf populations double in size each year, by WDF&wolves own admission wolves started "migrating" into WA in 2002, that's 16 years worth of wolves.


WDF&wolves control the wolf numbers.

And then there's cougars etc...

Keep cutting seasons back, won't change the outcome, just prolong. Strict predator control on the other hand will give relief to the game herds.

Too bad hunters etc. can't come together and fight against the predators that are killing off their hunting. :bash: :bash:

Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: KFhunter on February 03, 2018, 05:33:07 PM
I'll go on....

Quote
Management of predators to benefit prey populations will be considered when there is evidence
that predation is a significant factor inhibiting the ability of a prey population to attain
population management objectives. For example, when a prey population is below population
objective and other actions to increase prey numbers such as hunting reductions or other
actions to achieve ungulate population objectives have already been implemented, and
predation continues to be a limiting factor. In these cases, predator management actions would
be directed at individuals or populations depending on scientific evidence and would include
assessments of population levels, habitat factors, disease, etc.

In short....WDFW is willing to CONSIDER managing predators WHEN there is evidence that predation is a significant factor IF they've already taken opportunities from US (to save the prey species) AND that didn't work....THEN they'll look at removing predators....

 :yike: :bash:

Now you (not you personally Gringo) are starting to understand!  WDFW manages WILDLIFE and does not manage for high populations of game species for the benefit of hunters.  That is what they are chartered to do.  It's that simple, like it or not.

All that information has to be from a study, that alone can take a long time to complete.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on February 05, 2018, 06:14:35 PM
Spoke with my local bio, what a novel idea. Great 45 minute conversation, heís certainly not the problem. It felt good to get some thoughts out there in the open and hear his thoughts and rebuttals.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: mfswallace on February 05, 2018, 07:14:22 PM
Spoke with my local bio, what a novel idea. Great 45 minute conversation, heís certainly not the problem. It felt good to get some thoughts out there in the open and hear his thoughts and rebuttals.

And what are the highlights? Does he see the predator pit that  washington is becoming?  Ect???
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on February 05, 2018, 09:51:26 PM
It was a 45 minute discussion about the ďWashtucnaĒ unit, antlerless tags, second deer tags, harvest statistics, herd survey data, hunter survey data, hunting pressure, private land, whitetails, youth opportunity, hunter recruitment, trees (or lack there of), migrations, season timing and probably some other stuff. I donít believe that area and those herds are overly affected by predators other than man. Long story short we decided that I shouldnít shoot the hell outta the resident does with second deer tags where I hunt and in exchange I gave him an earful about second deer tags going to ďgrown ass menĒ instead of being given to a 10 year old on his/her first hunt...
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: bobcat on February 05, 2018, 10:11:27 PM
It was a 45 minute discussion about the ďWashtucnaĒ unit, antlerless tags, second deer tags, harvest statistics, herd survey data, hunter survey data, hunting pressure, private land, whitetails, youth opportunity, hunter recruitment, trees (or lack there of), migrations, season timing and probably some other stuff. I donít believe that area and those herds are overly affected by predators other than man. Long story short we decided that I shouldnít shoot the hell outta the resident does with second deer tags where I hunt and in exchange I gave him an earful about second deer tags going to ďgrown ass menĒ instead of being given to a 10 year old on his/her first hunt...

Do you realize they eliminated 500 2nd deer tags from the same areas in which the 350 Washtucna tags are being proposed? So that's a reduction of 150 2nd deer tags from 2017 to 2018.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on February 06, 2018, 05:55:04 AM
You do realize they will issue 200 additional antlerless tags for muzzleloaders?
And yes, eliminated the antlerless component of the late muzzy hunt.
With much of this stuff thereís about 17 variables and standard errors associated there with, so I guess the moral of the story is have your numbers and thoughts together when you call your local representative.
And letís be honest, we represent us but as Iíve eluded to ďweĒ donít show up at the public input sessions that WDFW holds throughout the state so...ĒweĒ will need to rely on our local bios to relay our local thoughts and opinions up the chain.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Skyvalhunter on February 06, 2018, 05:58:15 AM
What is your suggestion we do?
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on February 06, 2018, 10:34:47 AM
Itís not up to me what YOU do. Not sure you were even asking me...I dunno Iíd say call your local biologist, attend public comment meetings and comment on the proposed game laws :dunno:
Or just complain online and not really do anything.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: fishwhackin on February 06, 2018, 10:39:32 AM
There are a lot of good ideas in this thread and an obvious concern for the mule deer population.  It was mentioned before about the ups and downs and that couldn't be any more true and natural.  I personally think that we need to continue with the harvest as is.  We can give into the predators and "offer" our thoughts to WDFW and help maintain the same numbers we currently have or we can continue to harvest mule deer and get the numbers a little lower.  What happens when the numbers get a little lower?  Well, those wolves and cougar will have to find something else to eat and/or become ill and naturally pass on reducing their numbers where they are at a low (Lower wolf numbers would make several people happy).  When this happens, the mule deer numbers will bounce back for a few years until the predators become healthy again due to the bounty of food.  Of course we will experience good and bad years for hunting success but it will maintain itself until either WDFW takes the tags from us themselves which will do nothing if they do not have a plan already in place and being executed for the predators.  My point is:  Until WDFW implements appropriate predator management, we should never give away our permits or opportunities.  This will only increase the abundance for the predators that will thrive due to their current mismanagement and we will gain nothing.  Don't be fooled by thinking that the numbers will bounce back because of no hunting.  It will be self-defeating.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: huntnphool on February 06, 2018, 10:48:47 AM
There are a lot of good ideas in this thread and an obvious concern for the mule deer population.  It was mentioned before about the ups and downs and that couldn't be any more true and natural.  I personally think that we need to continue with the harvest as is.  We can give into the predators and "offer" our thoughts to WDFW and help maintain the same numbers we currently have or we can continue to harvest mule deer and get the numbers a little lower.  What happens when the numbers get a little lower?  Well, those wolves and cougar will have to find something else to eat and/or become ill and naturally pass on reducing their numbers where they are at a low (Lower wolf numbers would make several people happy).  When this happens, the mule deer numbers will bounce back for a few years until the predators become healthy again due to the bounty of food.  Of course we will experience good and bad years for hunting success but it will maintain itself until either WDFW takes the tags from us themselves which will do nothing if they do not have a plan already in place and being executed for the predators.  My point is:  Until WDFW implements appropriate predator management, we should never give away our permits or opportunities.  This will only increase the abundance for the predators that will thrive due to their current mismanagement and we will gain nothing.  Don't be fooled by thinking that the numbers will bounce back because of no hunting.  It will be self-defeating.

 You have not read the wolf plan.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Gringo31 on February 06, 2018, 10:55:25 AM
One more time...

Quote
Management of predators to benefit prey populations will be considered when there is evidence
that predation is a significant factor inhibiting the ability of a prey population to attain
population management objectives. For example, when a prey population is below population
objective and other actions to increase prey numbers such as hunting reductions or other
actions to achieve ungulate population objectives have already been implemented, and
predation continues to be a limiting factor. In these cases, predator management actions would
be directed at individuals or populations depending on scientific evidence and would include
assessments of population levels, habitat factors, disease, etc.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Skyvalhunter on February 06, 2018, 11:35:22 AM
There in there lies the problem, when the evidence is presented a deaf ear is turned in that direction. Do you actually believe for one moment they are going to go against their pre set quotas? When you set your population objectives so low your rear is always covered.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: fishwhackin on February 09, 2018, 11:39:47 AM
I am aware of the wolf management plan.  I shouldn't have tried to water down my thought.  Get over it and just keep hunting.  It is obvious that the wolves are here to stay and expand as the WDFW desires.  My point was, keep hunting deer and the population decreases which will decrease the wolf population as a follow on (which seems to be what the majority here wants).  Give up hunting opportunities and you create a buffet to allow the wolves to thrive.  Maybe it is more clear now that I put it that way?  We just have to accept there will be up and down years in regards to quality of hunts until WDFW changes their mind.  How do you change their mind is a whole other topic.  Research "common sense conservation/Missouri" and see how the hunters there persuaded the game department.  Until we stand together as a hunting community to protest (not just rant) the WDFW, it will not change.  A year or two with minimal tag and permit sales will get their attention very fast.
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Mr Mykiss on February 13, 2018, 06:01:28 AM
Two more days dudes
https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting/2018-2020/index.php

Anyone been calling your local bios??
Title: Re: A Proposal for Washington's Mule Deer
Post by: Utah on February 17, 2018, 11:00:02 AM
Release the hounds!   Give enough doe tags per unit to increase buck to doe populations! :twocents: