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Author Topic: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?  (Read 1950 times)

Offline Cervid

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NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« on: October 09, 2017, 11:46:24 PM »
I think most of us know what kind of shape the methow herd is in and it seems the Yakima herd is in even worse shape. So where are the healthy herds?

Offline Gobble Gobble

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 12:12:05 AM »
I've asked myself the same thing about the area I hunt near Goldendale. It's gone from seeing 30 deer in a day to a handful of tracks at most in the snow. I'm looking for new a new area.

I hope it's only an isolated incident. http://www.chinookobserver.com/co/local-news/20170912/deadly-deer-disease-arrives-in-sw-washington
God Bless,
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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 05:21:11 AM »
The healthy herds are in AZ & UT at least they manage their herds to be that way.

Offline rtspring

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 06:23:44 AM »
As a whole the numbers are down. But my area has improved the last 5 years.  I think some of these burns should help the numbers in years to come, provided we have aome mild winters.
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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 07:52:53 AM »
Definitely not in the Entiat Valley. That herd is 1/2 a step behind the Methow. Been at it ALOT thru archery and muzzy....... worst Iíve seen it in 38 years of hunting.  :(

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Offline grade-creek-rd

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 08:45:41 AM »
the Yakima and Kittitas Co herds have been on the decline for a long time, with diseases (lice) taking their toll as well as a lot of their wintering grounds are either orchards (fenced off), a firing range (stress induced on wintering deer) or the wind farms...again, stress as there are always people up there working and monitoring the farms. Mule deer are migratory by nature, living high up on the slopes during summer and down low in the winter...it's basic carrying capacity 101.

Same goes for the Entiat and Methow...with homes being built in the wintering grounds it will only get worse, but the "good news" is the fires in those valleys created new wintering grounds as the buckbrush/bitterbrush (cianophis...sp?) has come back strong and is a primary food source. Give those two valley's 3 to 5 years and it will be "the good ole days" once again...but the Yakima and Kittitas herds don't have this option...

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Offline boneaddict

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 08:53:37 AM »
Entiat is holding in there along with Mission, but as noted, itís one step behind the Methow.   A banner harvest, a big winter, wolves taking over as they are already getting a foothold.  .   Itís all itís going to take.   
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Offline Cervid

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 10:05:59 AM »
Depressing. My family has hunted the Methow for something like 4 generations (family property in the Twin Lakes area). I grew up hearing stories and seeing pictures of the many deer they've taken out of there, but for all my time I've spent hunting it, I've shot one deer there. Seems like it's been on the decline for quite a while. We finally got fed up with the low numbers of deer and high numbers of hunters that we stopped hunting the methow. Problem is I don't have anywhere else to go that's a reasonable distance from Western WA. I went back and tried hunting there last year during muzzleloader, but didn't see anything legal on public land. I'm going to give it another go this weekend and hope for the best. I have a feeling I'm just going to be disappointed yet again though...

Offline wolfbait

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 11:02:36 AM »
the Yakima and Kittitas Co herds have been on the decline for a long time, with diseases (lice) taking their toll as well as a lot of their wintering grounds are either orchards (fenced off), a firing range (stress induced on wintering deer) or the wind farms...again, stress as there are always people up there working and monitoring the farms. Mule deer are migratory by nature, living high up on the slopes during summer and down low in the winter...it's basic carrying capacity 101.

Same goes for the Entiat and Methow...with homes being built in the wintering grounds it will only get worse, but the "good news" is the fires in those valleys created new wintering grounds as the buckbrush/bitterbrush (cianophis...sp?) has come back strong and is a primary food source. Give those two valley's 3 to 5 years and it will be "the good ole days" once again...but the Yakima and Kittitas herds don't have this option...

Grade

As for the Methow:

It isn't the homes being built that is causing the decline of deer, it's the over population of predators such as cougars and wolves. In fact you will see more deer hanging around peoples homes etc. for protection then out in the brush these days and especially when winter rolls around.



You can't count on WDF&Wolves to help the deer out by feeding during hard winters, like in the old days, until they are shamed into it by the public, and by then the deer are so starved that many of them bloat not far from the feeding station a few feet off the county road.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 11:28:14 AM »
While the wolves, cougars & coyotes may well have had an impact on the herd. Most of it can be contributed to WDFW's generosity of special permits to rifle, muzzle loaders & archery and senior citizens. Then throw in the fact they didn't want to feed the deer after the wildfires so they decided to hand out doe permits like their candy. You have people out there killing pregnant does and expect it to come back. You cannot kill off the breeding future of the herd and not expect it to suffer. :twocents:

Offline zwickeyman

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2017, 12:05:53 PM »
IMHO,

SKY hit it on the head. All contributing factors. Fires, Predators and a huge reason is year after year of special permits and slaughtering the Does. Our Game Dept is terrible and has been for 40 years, they have mismanaged the Muledeer worse than any other species in Wa.

Offline grade-creek-rd

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2017, 01:42:20 PM »
The one thing I will point out regarding the doe permits is the that season's they are given out for (early seasons) most of the does that are taken are non-migratory and "resident" deer and are not contributing to the migratory herds anyway as their fawns live in the lowlands (and eventually get hit by a car...another reason why the resident deer population needs to be kept in check...that highway has the highest car vs deer collisions in the state). Driving up the Methow valley the resident or non-migratory deer numbers, especially females, are just fine...that is if you want room during the harsh winter months for the backcountry deer to have a place to eat then you need to thin out the resident deer numbers. I don't have a problem with the doe permits when houses are going up in the wintering grounds...and for the comments about how the deer take refuge near homes to get away from predators...I totally agree, but that is still a minority of the deer that do this, and the displacement of feed/cover and human interaction is part of the decline...it is all relative to wildlife management 101 and mule deer do not adapt easily to human interactions...yes, when the winter grounds are burned up we should institute feeding programs, but I also believe that if we build homes or fence off orchards/alfalfa fields then we must also institute feeding programs. Instead of our goal being to meet the lowest carrying capacity (winter range) we should be striving for reaching the highest carrying capacity (summer range).

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Offline bigmacc

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2017, 01:44:29 PM »
My  :twocents:....I agree with what many have said, First, at this time if you want to hunt "healthy muley herds" you are going to need to go out of state, I have friends that hunt other states that are within a 6-14 hour drive and do very well. Second, predators are OUT OF CONTROL in this state, I have mentioned it in other threads(and I will only speak of the Methow) that when you go on scouting trips and the numbers of predators you see rival the amount of game you see it is not good. Third, Mother Nature has not been kind to our herds over the last 10 years, whether it be fires or winters. Fourth, throw in what I consider mis-management on top of the prior 3 points, IMHO you have a recipe for a nice "camping trip" in gods country, as far as hunting mule deer in the Methow goes, there will be some deer taken and a few will be big fellas(as there will be in the Entiat and other muley grounds) but I can assure you that the numbers in the Methow are the worst I have seen in 50 years!

Offline crankin04

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2017, 01:48:50 PM »
Entiat is holding in there along with Mission, but as noted, itís one step behind the Methow.   A banner harvest, a big winter, wolves taking over as they are already getting a foothold.  .   Itís all itís going to take.

I live basically between the Mission and Swakane unit, and would also add the Swakane in specific as "holding in there" based on all the deer I've seen this summer to now on Private lands. Been up Derby, Nahahum, Hay Canyon, etc the last 3 months and have... Counted 20 bucks and about 60+ does and fawns (8 legal shooters) all on PRIVATE lands up those canyons... They know they're safe there, but it is NOT what it used to be back when I was a teenager over 20 years ago.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2017, 04:01:22 PM »
While the wolves, cougars & coyotes may well have had an impact on the herd. Most of it can be contributed to WDFW's generosity of special permits to rifle, muzzle loaders & archery and senior citizens. Then throw in the fact they didn't want to feed the deer after the wildfires so they decided to hand out doe permits like their candy. You have people out there killing pregnant does and expect it to come back. You cannot kill off the breeding future of the herd and not expect it to suffer. :twocents:


That will go down as one of the stupidest blunders ever with deer management,  and there were members on here partaking in it with wide eyed wonder.   
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Offline buckcanyonlodge

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2017, 08:04:09 PM »
The one thing I will point out regarding the doe permits is the that season's they are given out for (early seasons) most of the does that are taken are non-migratory and "resident" deer and are not contributing to the migratory herds anyway as their fawns live in the lowlands (and eventually get hit by a car...another reason why the resident deer population needs to be kept in check...that highway has the highest car vs deer collisions in the state). Driving up the Methow valley the resident or non-migratory deer numbers, especially females, are just fine...that is if you want room during the harsh winter months for the backcountry deer to have a place to eat then you need to thin out the resident deer numbers. I don't have a problem with the doe permits when houses are going up in the wintering grounds...and for the comments about how the deer take refuge near homes to get away from predators...I totally agree, but that is still a minority of the deer that do this, and the displacement of feed/cover and human interaction is part of the decline...it is all relative to wildlife management 101 and mule deer do not adapt easily to human interactions...yes, when the winter grounds are burned up we should institute feeding programs, but I also believe that if we build homes or fence off orchards/alfalfa fields then we must also institute feeding programs. Instead of our goal being to meet the lowest carrying capacity (winter range) we should be striving for reaching the highest carrying capacity (summer range).

Grade

Wrong..in my neck of the woods. And not just me but other locals. The mulies get along fine with human interactions...in my neck of the woods  It's the PREDATORS. I had a big black wolf stalking deer that were in my front yard in broad daylight. Coyotes are after them
EVERY night and how about the bear and cougar overpopulations? The WDFW allows 6 cougar to be taken in a 1500 Sq. Mile unit. CRAZY.
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Offline lokidog

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2017, 08:51:02 PM »
Talking with people while scouting around Plain made it sound like the populations are not doing well in that part of the Chiwawa unit either.   :(  We saw one little spike buck in a driveway, one pile of old poo and no fresh tracks in any of the areas we looked.   :dunno:

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2017, 09:47:07 PM »
4 days driving all over Entiat Unit last weekend saw one herd of 5 does and another pair of does.  Wasn't glassing but looks extremely sparse.

Offline huntnnw

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2017, 10:41:29 PM »
I know where some are. Not saying where tho

Offline Romulus1297

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2017, 10:51:09 PM »
I know where some are. Not saying where tho
I know right. I watched a pretty buck last night.

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2017, 11:34:20 PM »
Saw 12 legal bucks in 3 days hunting and not 1 single hunter last year. Held out for the 170-180" buck I spotted . Back at it this year now with more time

Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2017, 06:29:14 AM »
Entiat is holding in there along with Mission, but as noted, itís one step behind the Methow.   A banner harvest, a big winter, wolves taking over as they are already getting a foothold.  .   Itís all itís going to take.

Sounds like the 2015 central wa winter. I was seeing several hundred deer along the hwy. every night...that equals a ton of roadkill along with normal winter attrition. 


Saw 12 legal bucks in 3 days hunting and not 1 single hunter last year. Held out for the 170-180" buck I spotted . Back at it this year now with more time


I know where some are. Not saying where tho
I know right. I watched a pretty buck last night.



Just my  :twocents:, but a few deer do not constitute an entire herd like is being discussed in this thread. If anyone does not believe our mulie herds are in trouble right now.......SMH

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Offline grade-creek-rd

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2017, 08:31:44 AM »
buckcanyonlodge...you petting a deer does not do that deer justice as habitualizing them is bad...heck, every park has a sign saying "don't feed the wildlife". And just because you have a pet deer or two doesn't mean that the true wild deer (backcountry mulies) will come running to your front yard to eat apples out of your hand.

For those that have made comments about predators...obviously this is the main issue, as since the reintroduction of wolves the deer numbers have been declining steadily...they are the primary food source, unlike in Idaho where its the elk. But couple the fact that we are losing winter range at a steady rate and do nothing to support the deer during the winter it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that our mule deer herds will decline. The doe permits served one purpose (IMO) and that was either watch the deer die from starvation (because WDFW refused to feed them like the IDFG did) and die from auto collisions...or thin them out so the other deer could survive...Yes, killing does hurts any overall population but another member commented that hunters where shooting pregnant does, but all of the doe permits were for hunts pre-rut. Again, most of the does killed where resident deer and made room for the migratory herds during the winter.

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Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2017, 09:10:48 AM »
I think he's mostly pointing out that deer (all species) can and do move into the human domain just fine.  I tend to agree with him.  Deer living in neighborhoods seem to thrive--plenty of food and virtually no predators.  The deer densities in exurban areas can get ridiculous.  There seems to be a thought that only whitetails can, but I see it with blacktails quite frequently and see it with muleys when I go to places like Bend or in Colorado.
I think for the wilderness deer it is mostly the predators, followed by yearly food supply.

Offline Bigshooter

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2017, 09:13:14 AM »
The healthy herds are in AZ & UT at least they manage their herds to be that way.

UT manages for 12 - 15 bucks per 100 does.  WA wants 25 bucks per 100 does.  If there is a state that is more poorly managed than WA it is UT.  Plus they have about 300,000 less deer than what there management goal is.



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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2017, 09:37:16 AM »
Entiat is holding in there along with Mission, but as noted, itís one step behind the Methow.   A banner harvest, a big winter, wolves taking over as they are already getting a foothold.  .   Itís all itís going to take.

Sounds like the 2015 central wa winter. I was seeing several hundred deer along the hwy. every night...that equals a ton of roadkill along with normal winter attrition. 


Saw 12 legal bucks in 3 days hunting and not 1 single hunter last year. Held out for the 170-180" buck I spotted . Back at it this year now with more time


I know where some are. Not saying where tho
I know right. I watched a pretty buck last night.



Just my  :twocents:, but a few deer do not constitute an entire herd like is being discussed in this thread. If anyone does not believe our mulie herds are in trouble right now.......SMH
Outside of central Wa, I think they are doing ok.

Offline buckcanyonlodge

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2017, 09:45:32 AM »
I expected a response like that from an armchair biologist. No biggie..I live among WILD deer and Tame deer. Mule deer DO adapt to human interactions---in my backyard and in the"wild" .I am in the outdoors EVERYDAY on thousands of acres of timber,farm, and rural land. That is what I base my comments on...What do you base your comment "mule deer do not adapt easily to human interactions" on??      Not going to get into a pissing match. You will never change my mind and I will never change yours.  Over & out
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Offline grade-creek-rd

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2017, 10:05:55 AM »
armchair biologist...you assume a lot...and we all know what happens when you assume...

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Offline RileyH

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2017, 10:29:08 AM »
Disclaimer: This is pure opinion based on observation, and only relative to the Methow herd.

The healthy herds are not in Methow, I can tell you that. I think a big issue that's impacting the herd is simply lazy hunters. I'm seeing more of them than deer in the last couple seasons.

I was ~1.5 miles off the road when I shot my buck last year and had not one, but TWO sets of hunters literally DRIVE up to me on ATV's after I shot, and one group of 5 guys (who hunts like that?!) on ATV's come over the finger on the other side of the draw and glass me gutting my deer. All of that within 15 minutes of dropping my buck, no joke. Both sets commented they hadn't seen any deer all season, meanwhile they were pushing bucks like wild all around me. I could have shot three other bucks in the same morning that they drove past me. All head down, tongue hanging, and huffing from running away from the ATV's. I'm no biologist, but when they're getting driven that hard all season by lazy guys, it has got to impact their energy stores for the rut, winter, and escaping predators. In turn, hurting their ability to survive.

I've also seen at least two deer poached and left off the side of the backroads (Texas Creek is really bad) in Methow every year since the Carlton Complex Fire in 2014. Mostly Bucks (bodies left completely intact and heads gone) and a couple Does who most commonly have back-straps and one set of quarters taken off, rest left to spoil. Every instance of this has been after season, Nov-Dec. I almost think it's the same guy(s) based on what they take.

Just my  :twocents: but I can't imagine either of those has helped the herd.



« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 10:54:19 AM by RileyH »

Offline Cervid

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2017, 06:20:21 PM »
Disclaimer: This is pure opinion based on observation, and only relative to the Methow herd.

The healthy herds are not in Methow, I can tell you that. I think a big issue that's impacting the herd is simply lazy hunters. I'm seeing more of them than deer in the last couple seasons.

I was ~1.5 miles off the road when I shot my buck last year and had not one, but TWO sets of hunters literally DRIVE up to me on ATV's after I shot, and one group of 5 guys (who hunts like that?!) on ATV's come over the finger on the other side of the draw and glass me gutting my deer. All of that within 15 minutes of dropping my buck, no joke. Both sets commented they hadn't seen any deer all season, meanwhile they were pushing bucks like wild all around me. I could have shot three other bucks in the same morning that they drove past me. All head down, tongue hanging, and huffing from running away from the ATV's. I'm no biologist, but when they're getting driven that hard all season by lazy guys, it has got to impact their energy stores for the rut, winter, and escaping predators. In turn, hurting their ability to survive.

I've also seen at least two deer poached and left off the side of the backroads (Texas Creek is really bad) in Methow every year since the Carlton Complex Fire in 2014. Mostly Bucks (bodies left completely intact and heads gone) and a couple Does who most commonly have back-straps and one set of quarters taken off, rest left to spoil. Every instance of this has been after season, Nov-Dec. I almost think it's the same guy(s) based on what they take.

Just my  :twocents: but I can't imagine either of those has helped the herd.

Where in the Methow are ATVs allowed off the road or trail? I've seen it there before too, thinking I was going to be alone because I hiked away from the road then some dude rolls up on his retard chariot.

Offline JeffRaines

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2017, 12:15:18 AM »
Where in the Methow are ATVs allowed off the road or trail? I've seen it there before too, thinking I was going to be alone because I hiked away from the road then some dude rolls up on his retard chariot.


 :lol4: :lol4: :lol4:

Offline spin05

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Re: NOT according to the WDFW, where are the healthy muley herds?
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2017, 01:01:22 AM »
While the wolves, cougars & coyotes may well have had an impact on the herd. Most of it can be contributed to WDFW's generosity of special permits to rifle, muzzle loaders & archery and senior citizens. Then throw in the fact they didn't want to feed the deer after the wildfires so they decided to hand out doe permits like their candy. You have people out there killing pregnant does and expect it to come back. You cannot kill off the breeding future of the herd and not expect it to suffer. :twocents:

hahaha....  there are no Archery methow permits.  I wish there was id add em to my list