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Author Topic: North central mule deer  (Read 4662 times)

Offline Martinhunter

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North central mule deer
« on: July 28, 2017, 11:57:16 AM »
Talked to a biologist today about the condition of our mule deer herds in and around north central part of the state and he said the outlook is not looking very good again this year. He said fawn to doe numbers are way down again. I was hoping to hear that things are slowly rebounding over there. A hard winter probably didn't help much either.
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Offline tgomez

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 12:36:29 PM »
Over here in Eastern Washington I am seeing mulie does with 1-3 fawns everyday to and from work.
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Offline Martinhunter

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 12:56:47 PM »
Over here in Eastern Washington I am seeing mulie does with 1-3 fawns everyday to and from work.

That's good to hear, what part of the state? This was just referring to okanogan/methow area.
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 02:53:30 PM »
Talked to a biologist today about the condition of our mule deer herds in and around north central part of the state and he said the outlook is not looking very good again this year. He said fawn to doe numbers are way down again. I was hoping to hear that things are slowly rebounding over there. A hard winter probably didn't help much either.

I am seeing the same thing Martinhunter, numbers are dismall in the Methow, the worst I have seen in 25 to 30 years. I to have talked to some fish and game guys who also said the same as what you were told. I'm hearing another 3 to 5 years :dunno:. I think tgomez is in the Spokane area :dunno:

Offline Martinhunter

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 03:10:42 PM »
Talked to a biologist today about the condition of our mule deer herds in and around north central part of the state and he said the outlook is not looking very good again this year. He said fawn to doe numbers are way down again. I was hoping to hear that things are slowly rebounding over there. A hard winter probably didn't help much either.

I am seeing the same thing Martinhunter, numbers are dismall in the Methow, the worst I have seen in 25 to 30 years. I to have talked to some fish and game guys who also said the same as what you were told. I'm hearing another 3 to 5 years :dunno:. I think tgomez is in the Spokane area :dunno:

Yeah that's too bad.. I think another 3-5 years at the rate it's going the whole damn herd will be wiped out.
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Offline bobcat

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 05:06:53 PM »
It will be interesting to see what the WDFW Hunting Prospects says about the Methow valley mule deer herd this year.

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

Offline jdb

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2017, 05:17:51 PM »
 :yeah: I couldn't agree more.
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2017, 07:33:32 PM »
It will be interesting to see what the WDFW Hunting Prospects says about the Methow valley mule deer herd this year.

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

I 100% agree, it is truly sad whats going on in the Methow as far as deer numbers go (I can't speak for the other areas that have taken a beating, only the area I am familiar with). For those of us that have been kicking around in this valley for 30, 40, 50+ years it is a shame what this herd has become :'(, I guess you needed to be around back then to see how sad it really is.

Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2017, 07:45:04 PM »
As far as the Departments "projections", I,m sure they will be stellar, got to sell those tags. I too wish they would shut the Methow down for a few years, then open it up to draw only! :twocents:...Let me have it!

Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2017, 08:29:42 PM »
 :twocents:
I am not so keen on the idea of shutting it down, Why?  Will just create more pressure in other areas....most of which the deer numbers are well below normal too.  :twocents:

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Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 09:11:09 PM »
:twocents:
I am not so keen on the idea of shutting it down, Why?  Will just create more pressure in other areas....most of which the deer numbers are well below normal too.  :twocents:

I can respect that, then at least for the Methow, leave it open but go to draw only immediately. The pressure in the units within this valley is hammering this herd as well as fires, tough winters and encroachment on habitat. I have mentioned it before that this herd is a mere shadow of what it once was. The amount of people hunting it has skyrocketed, the human population and encroachment has increased along with a booming predator issue, someone(WDFW) needs to step up and do something or the future of hunting in this valley is dismal I'm afraid. :twocents:

Offline Wingin it

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 08:32:07 PM »
It is nothing like it used to be, hasn't been for years! That area is where my mule deer dreams began and it's sad to see what it has become.

Offline OutHouse

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 08:20:12 AM »
I wonder how much of this is caused by the intrusion of more whitetails into the area. When I was a kid we would see a few whitetail every season. Now, especially in lower elevations, at least half the deer I see are whitetail.

Offline no.cen.wa

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2017, 10:32:35 AM »
Just a thought,
I have always harped on the WDFW being "all about the money"
Back in 1999 I sent a letter to Mark Quinn, Regional Wildlife Program Manager. I said I thought the 3pt min. rule was great, his response was a surprise. He said he was very much against it.
He wrote, in 1997 the WDFW started the 3 point antler restriction, they also shortened the season from 14 days to 9 days, that was the shortest since 1945. In 1997 they had the lowest ever turnout in Okanogan county, it went from 22,000 to 8000.(did I say money) That drop in pressure alone would create great hunting, for awhile.
In 1998 WDFW ran an "Emphasis Patrol" on the Gardner 231 unit looking at illegal(less than 3 pts) Gardner was 3 pt since 1983. The illegal Kill rate was 17%, multiply that times all the 3 pt. areas. And some went on to shoot another deer!
So, Whats the answer? not sure, but it sure points to shorter season, maybe change up the 3 pt rule, allow any buck? Rotate any buck and 3 pt. The 3 pt rule puts ALL the pressure on the mature bucks. When it was any buck I would pass on spikes, but if season end was closing, a spike was meat on the table!
Mark also said, Since the 1997, they saw the % of 3 pt and better bucks slowly declining , from 46% in 97 to 31% in 99. Now it's 2017, bet it's not 46%!
So, food for thought
John G
ps, Much like bigmacc, my family has hunted the Methow for years, from 1920s to present. My uncle, Jim Simmons owned what is now the "Tice Ranch". When the depression hit my Grandfather left his restaurant in Wenatchee and leased a ranch just up from my Uncle.
Well, that"s my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Offline boneaddict

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 10:50:01 AM »
It will be interesting to see what the WDFW Hunting Prospects says about the Methow valley mule deer herd this year.

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

 :yeah: AMEN! :yeah:
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Offline boneaddict

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2017, 10:51:41 AM »
I wonder how much of this is caused by the intrusion of more whitetails into the area. When I was a kid we would see a few whitetail every season. Now, especially in lower elevations, at least half the deer I see are whitetail.

not the problem


basic math.  you have a herd of mule deer in one hand, a handful of whitetail in the other.  throw the herd of muledeer into the trash, what do you have left?   ......
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2017, 11:08:26 AM »
Great info no.cen.wa, thanks for passing it along. I to agree with bone on the whitetail issue, I also don't think that is the problem with the Methow herd decline.......The 3 P,s- Pressure,Predators,and people Too much of all 3, :twocents:

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2017, 11:19:53 AM »
Great info no.cen.wa, thanks for passing it along. I to agree with bone on the whitetail issue, I also don't think that is the problem with the Methow herd decline.......The 3 P,s- Pressure,Predators,and people Too much of all 3, :twocents:
Not to mention a few hundred thousand acres of burned up habitat - the 4th P Puff, Poof, Pyre?  :fire.:
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline Seahawk12

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2017, 11:38:46 AM »
In the last 4 weeks I've put around 75 miles on my hiking boots going up and down ridge lines and mountian sides from highway 2 northward towards entiat and the numbers are sparse.
Maybe if less of our resources were wasted on shipping apex predators into our state and defending them and were instead focused on growing our deer/elk herd numbers the reality would be different.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 12:02:23 PM by Seahawk12 »
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2017, 11:40:37 AM »
Great info no.cen.wa, thanks for passing it along. I to agree with bone on the whitetail issue, I also don't think that is the problem with the Methow herd decline.......The 3 P,s- Pressure,Predators,and people Too much of all 3, :twocents:
Not to mention a few hundred thousand acres of burned up habitat - the 4th P Puff, Poof, Pyre?  :fire.:

Absolutely DOUBLELUNG  :tup:

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2017, 11:41:42 AM »
That would be southward from highway 20 to the Entiat

Offline Seahawk12

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2017, 12:01:47 PM »
That would be southward from highway 20 to the Entiat
ill edit that. Meant highway 2.
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2017, 01:03:12 PM »
It is nothing like it used to be, hasn't been for years! That area is where my mule deer dreams began and it's sad to see what it has become.

Very sad, I remember my dad and I (back in the 60,s) sitting on a rock bluff above a particular stretch of road counting 300-500 head in a day heading back up to the high country during the spring migration, and you could see those kind of numbers every day for a good week to 10 days just sitting in that one spot in the valley, now imagine all the other dozens and dozens of routes in that valley that were being used also. Kind of puts into perspective the decline in numbers of this herd by those of us who have a history there. :twocents:

Offline boneaddict

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2017, 01:29:40 PM »
It's lost on many.  They see thirty deer standing in a field by town and think the country is full of them.   What they don't realize is that field plus the one next to it, and the one next to it used to have 300. 
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Offline bigmacc

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Re: North central mule deer
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2017, 04:39:20 PM »
It's lost on many.  They see thirty deer standing in a field by town and think the country is full of them.   What they don't realize is that field plus the one next to it, and the one next to it used to have 300.

Yes sir bone! Your absolutely right, Heck I remember(I think I've shared this one on here before) sitting on a spot one morning during hunting season, some storms had been hitting the high country for about a week. I sat in that spot and counted over 200 deer move through in about a half hours time and not a horn in the bunch, all does and yearlings, the migration had started and they were on the move. If you knew the routes this was a common sight and if you weren't in the routes you would still see 8, 10, 12 or 15 in a bunch off and on throughout the day, it was common, it could have been the middle of October or the end, it just depended on when the move started. You don't see that any more, not even close. Now seeing a big group of 15 or more during the week is a rarity during hunting season. Yes the season is missing a second week nowadays but like I said it was common even during the first week of the season (middle of Oct.) to see the does and yearlings flooding in, even without weather pushing them you would still see them moving in, it was just that time to make the move. The herd was 35,000 to 40,000 strong and it was something great to be a part of. Then the north cascade pass was built and 2 of the 3 P,s took effect- Pressure and people. The Dept. needs to MANAGE this herd, back in the day(not that long ago) this deer herd was the Game Dept,s pride and joy, it was put on a pedestal, nurtured and taken care of. As I have mentioned before now there are to many irons in the fire, special interest groups, lack of predator control etc. etc., bottom line this herd has fallen down the pecking order of prioritys IMO. I, like a few of you have said (that remember how it was and the potential of what it could be again) would like to see the Methow either shut down for deer hunting for a couple years or go to a draw only or both. Draw 150 to 200 tags per unit, open the season the 2nd week of Oct. and shut it down Nov. 1st and do away with the "quality tags"or even go to an odd even system depending on the last digit of your wild ID so you can only hunt it every other year, heck, all I know is something needs to be done or there won't be much left for the next generation to chase around :twocents:

 

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