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Poll

Is it time to push for a new system, draw, alternating year, etc?

No
Yes

Author Topic: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)  (Read 14973 times)

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #75 on: October 11, 2017, 10:52:50 PM »
The Crux of this problem is evident in so many peoples posts. A huge component of this issue is not under sportmens control. Many are mistaken that we can effect some meaningful change by altering the small portion we can control. If only it were that easy.

Part of the issue  IMO is that many are willing to dedicate a huge amount of time to hunting Deer and Elk but that is not the case with predator hunting, with exception of a few hunters.

I like the way you think Special t :tup: I will admit that I am not as aggressive at predator control as I could be. And cats are tough without four legged trackers.

HOWEVER, that said if the state would simply loosen the noose on predator restrictions, I don't think that predator control would be as gloomy as it sometimes seems. For instance if there were year round cougar seasons statewide, and OTC spring bear seasons, I would likely fill all four tags on a regular basis. I am fortunate to spend alot of time in the woods.  Often in late winter/spring. I see cats and bears nearly every year while scouting BT and shed hunting. But with the exception of a few units most are closed to cats because "quota" has been met in the productive units. ( which makes no sense, don't cats have like a statewide homerange :chuckle:) And bears well thats a whole debacle in and of itself. Its like bears are more tightly managed than deer and elk. If they dont want to go full state wide OTC, at least double or triple the permits and have an east and west.

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #76 on: October 11, 2017, 11:14:01 PM »
I don't want to get flamed for saying this but what about land owners with large tracts of land that pay taxes. Should they have to wait for a tag? Many land owners in agricultural Eastern Washington manage their land better than the state. Should they have to sit out seasons?

Will they allow public access to those animals? If so I would think some sort of incentive system, could work well. If not, how is it different than any other taxed citizen? They're are options available fof them to hunt every year as is.

Offline huntnphool

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #77 on: October 12, 2017, 01:06:16 AM »
I voted no mainly because of the "hope and change" lack of specificity in the poll mentioned previously.  That doesn't mean I would not favor certain changes.  I do believe we can continue to hunt buck mule deer every year under 3-point or better, without negatively affecting herd size or herd health.  I would like to see multiseason deer permit hunting done away with for mule deer, with relatively small harvest opportunities with depressed herds we don't need one subgroup with greater opportunities.   

I would like to see herd management prioritized over the current emphasis on opportunity and resource allocation.  Currently, herd managers have their hands tied by efforts to equalize success between user groups, that means it is nearly impossible with mule deer specifically to have archers have enough success without allowing antlerless harvest.  Same goes for pressure for increased harvest opportunities for youth, senior, disabled, and enough antlerless and second deer permits areas to get hunters to buy the special permit applications ($$$).  All of those are fine when numbers are high, the problem is they don't go away when numbers are down.  Prioritize protecting the reproductive segment of the herds over equalizing success between user groups and providing doe harvest opportunities.

I would like to see all mule deer hunting, general and special permit, end before the rut.  Over time this will increase the quality of general hunt trophy opportunities; more important, it will allow deer to breed and not expend precious energy avoiding hunters right before going into winter.  Better condition deer after November means higher winter survival, heavier birth weights, and may allow better mate selection by does.  Bona fide agricultural damage can be addressed on a case by case basis administered by WDFW's damage control specialists. 

I would like to see all public land winter ranges closed to motorized access December through March.  Including snowmobiles.  It continues to amaze me that this state - including the USFS - allow running snow mobiles on crucial winter ranges.   

I would encourage more mule deer hunters to take up serious predator hunting - if you want predator control, that is the ONLY way it is going to happen given Washington's human population.  The government isn't going to do it. 

I would like to see the USFS have success in not diverting their resource management funding to firefighting.  Open canopied forest stands are both resilient to crown fires, and produce a LOT more nutritious forage than overstocked, closed canopy timber.  Log the diseased stands while the trees are still alive, manage the reprod/regen to NOT create another closed canopy stand.  Cool understory fires are great for mule deer - stand replacing, soil sterilizing hellfire is not. 

Full disclosure: I do not voluntarily limit myself, but am willing to share being limited with everyone.  In the meantime, I will continue to apply for whatever opportunities are available, and use them when I draw.

 Spot on, although I believe we do need to limit the number of hunters each year to some extent.

 It would be insightful for you all to read this entire opinion! :twocents:
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Offline jagermiester

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #78 on: October 12, 2017, 06:07:24 AM »
Isn't this amazing that it is the hunter who spends his time in the deer habitat with her fingers on the pulse we are the ones who care.
It is truly awesome that so many are willing to make such a change.
Read the quote from double lung though this is where the true change will occur. He is spot on in my opinion.
Lead em if they're running.

Offline baldopepper

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #79 on: October 12, 2017, 07:57:22 AM »
Voted yes on this, but wish I could more clearly define what changes I think need to be made.  I can best relate to what Utah did.  In the 50's and 60's deer hunting in the state was a free for all, with numerous late hunts and multiple tags in many units with all over the counter either sex permits.  By the end of the 60's the herds were in terrible condition with both overhunting and bad winters the major factors.  The next 10 years seemed to be a transition period where drawings, closures, antler restrictions were all tried (antler restrictions were a consistent failure incidentally with both biologists and enforcement people adamantly opposed to them).  They finally started to refine it with closures in some units and restrictive permits in many units and doing away with many antlerless permits.  They have also broken the state down to multiple units so management of individual herds is much easier.  Another big factor has been the privatization of many big chunks of land under their cwmu system.  (nothing like big chunks of private property with limited entry to increase herds).  No question herds, for the most part, have rebounded.  Bad part?  Under the current draw system there is no guarantee you will be able to hunt every year and many big family hunting groups are finding only 1 or 2 have a permit.  Predator control there is much more intensive than Wa is, even with a $50.00 bounty on coyotes.  Personally, I think many areas in Washington just plain need to be shut down for a period of time and I also believe we need more units to better micro manage individual herds.  There are so many factors involved it's really hard to just pinpoint 2 or 3 that would do the trick.  I do believe we can't keep going as we are now.

Offline wolfbait

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #80 on: October 12, 2017, 09:33:37 AM »


I believe our current outcome to date is what WDFW have strived for, they would prefer WDFW be funded by the tax payer and to eliminate hunting altogether. That being said I wonder if a class action lawsuit could bring about some of the changes that need to take place, after all isn't WDFW suppose to manage all wildlife and not just predators?

Offline Special T

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #81 on: October 12, 2017, 09:48:27 AM »
The State and WDFW have boxed hunters in. They say it's because they have no choice and then give a list of excuses.  We only have a few friends in the legislature so our actions need to be more precise. We certainly won't get much real help from the department.

I wish there more coyote derbies like the one that has happened in the NE corner... where you had a month and got raffle tickets to enter in for prizes.  I think it's an example of how hunters left to their own devices can send a message.
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Offline Bushcraft

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #82 on: October 12, 2017, 09:55:19 AM »
I voted in the affirmative, but did so with the understanding that doing something for Mule Deer is only part of a complex puzzle.

Washington's mulies have a predator problem.  No question.

There are the usual culprits: Bears, Cougars, Wolves, Coyotes, etc.  We all agree that their numbers must be dramatically culled.

But, we must also factor in Humans.  Since we can't cull them, we need to reduce the opportunity for them to take a mule deer.

Comparing Washington to other states is problematic in the sense that we are different from other Western states. Our habitat is markedly different. Our critical habitat is under extensive pressure and encroachment. Our culture and social fabric is different (note that I did not say "better"  ;) ). And finally, our population is significantly larger than other states...and growing.  Ergo the problem.

We can't have more mule deer if every Tom, Dick, Harry and Becky try to take a whack at a mule deer every year.  There is a finite amount of them that is considerably less than the population of deer hunters.  There are perfectly viable and accepted reasons why Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose have limited entry.  Perhaps a draw only would decrease pressure on the mule deer herds? Perhaps if sportsmen helped make damn sure their critical winter habitat isn't adversely impacted would help? Perhaps if hunters did more to try and fill their bear and cougar tags every year? (That reminds me, I need to take some bear meat down to the local food bank.)  Perhaps stopping the taking of does would help? Can't have more babies without more mommies. Just sayin.

Now...if you're talking whitetails...unleash the fury!   
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Offline T-Dozzer

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #83 on: October 12, 2017, 11:48:58 AM »
Yes!

Offline jackelope

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #84 on: October 12, 2017, 12:00:50 PM »
I voted in the affirmative, but did so with the understanding that doing something for Mule Deer is only part of a complex puzzle.

Washington's mulies have a predator problem.  No question.

There are the usual culprits: Bears, Cougars, Wolves, Coyotes, etc.  We all agree that their numbers must be dramatically culled.

But, we must also factor in Humans.  Since we can't cull them, we need to reduce the opportunity for them to take a mule deer.

Comparing Washington to other states is problematic in the sense that we are different from other Western states. Our habitat is markedly different. Our critical habitat is under extensive pressure and encroachment. Our culture and social fabric is different (note that I did not say "better"  ;) ). And finally, our population is significantly larger than other states...and growing.  Ergo the problem.

We can't have more mule deer if every Tom, Dick, Harry and Becky try to take a whack at a mule deer every year.  There is a finite amount of them that is considerably less than the population of deer hunters.  There are perfectly viable and accepted reasons why Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose have limited entry.  Perhaps a draw only would decrease pressure on the mule deer herds? Perhaps if sportsmen helped make damn sure their critical winter habitat isn't adversely impacted would help? Perhaps if hunters did more to try and fill their bear and cougar tags every year? (That reminds me, I need to take some bear meat down to the local food bank.)  Perhaps stopping the taking of does would help? Can't have more babies without more mommies. Just sayin.

Now...if you're talking whitetails...unleash the fury!   

Well said.

Side note...What food banks take wild game meat? My mom used to volunteer at one and she couldn't take it. I'd like to donate also.
 


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Online bigmacc

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #85 on: October 12, 2017, 12:35:22 PM »
Some great points are being made here, good ideas being presented and a lot of passion being showed for our mule deer herds :tup: In a nut shell here is kind of how I look at it from a hunter(of over 50 years) and a 100 year family history of hunting mule deer in this state. Back in the early 60,s when I myself started the herds were huge, predators were kept in check, hunting pressure was low in some areas that held huge numbers of deer, heck the population of this state wasn't like it is today and the WDFW was actually called the Fish and GAME Dept. and a lot of the mule deer herds in this state were a top priority of the dept. Then big industries, jobs, and the plain beauty and climate of this state started getting noticed. Over the decades our population has boomed, more people are moving here for a lot of reasons. Along with the population boom over the last few decades has come more sportsmen, more fisherman, hikers, and yes hunters and even anti-hunters. Habitat has been encroatched on, more people are hunting, there is less habitat, more predators and the Fish and GAME Dept has now morphed into the WDFW. Priorities have been spread thin to accommodate many different user groups and unfortunately the mule deer herds are not the priority or the "darling" of the dept. like it once was. Too many hunters, too many predators, shrinking habitat and throw in natural issues such as fires and rough winters along with handing out doe tags ,so called "quality" tags and having all these different seasons where these deer are being chased and pressured for months are not going to bring these herds back to even close to what they once were. I have said before I like the every other year idea(at least for the Methow and the Entiat area). Another idea as far as a draw system, would be to allow (at least for the Methow) 200 or so permits per year/per unit from the border all the way to Pateros, eliminate the special permits, have the season run the last week of October and throw in youth, disabled and senior doe tags at times when they are needed. IMO there are many, many factors that have hit our mule deer herds in a negative way in this state, it will be a huge undertaking by all involved to try to bring it back even a little, sacrifices will need to be made by all that have irons in this fire if we want our future generations to be able to have opportunities tohunt this proud animal.....I know it was a big "nut shell", sorry.....my  :twocents:
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 03:34:05 PM by bigmacc »

Offline bullcanyon

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #86 on: October 12, 2017, 01:22:39 PM »
We can't control the weather, but we can control predators. Hunting was pretty good in the 90s. Well right up until they took away hound hunting. Why haven't we tried to bring that back?

Offline Bushcraft

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #87 on: October 12, 2017, 01:51:45 PM »
I voted in the affirmative, but did so with the understanding that doing something for Mule Deer is only part of a complex puzzle.

Washington's mulies have a predator problem.  No question.

There are the usual culprits: Bears, Cougars, Wolves, Coyotes, etc.  We all agree that their numbers must be dramatically culled.

But, we must also factor in Humans.  Since we can't cull them, we need to reduce the opportunity for them to take a mule deer.

Comparing Washington to other states is problematic in the sense that we are different from other Western states. Our habitat is markedly different. Our critical habitat is under extensive pressure and encroachment. Our culture and social fabric is different (note that I did not say "better"  ;) ). And finally, our population is significantly larger than other states...and growing.  Ergo the problem.

We can't have more mule deer if every Tom, Dick, Harry and Becky try to take a whack at a mule deer every year.  There is a finite amount of them that is considerably less than the population of deer hunters.  There are perfectly viable and accepted reasons why Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose have limited entry.  Perhaps a draw only would decrease pressure on the mule deer herds? Perhaps if sportsmen helped make damn sure their critical winter habitat isn't adversely impacted would help? Perhaps if hunters did more to try and fill their bear and cougar tags every year? (That reminds me, I need to take some bear meat down to the local food bank.)  Perhaps stopping the taking of does would help? Can't have more babies without more mommies. Just sayin.

Now...if you're talking whitetails...unleash the fury!   

Well said.

Side note...What food banks take wild game meat? My mom used to volunteer at one and she couldn't take it. I'd like to donate also.

Our local food bank is happy to take it in.  All of Washington's SCI chapters regularly do annual "clean out the freezer drives" and donate the meat to their local food banks with no issues that I recall.  Many, many thousands of pounds have been donated over the years. I suspect the other sportsmen's groups in the state do the same or similar.  Maybe it comes down to the meat being packaged vs. non-packaged?
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Offline Jimmy33

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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #88 on: October 12, 2017, 02:32:16 PM »
Make people  choose which side of the state to hunt on and which unit and which season and which weapon...this would also include late whitetail in the northeast


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Re: Washington State Mule Deer Hunting Future (poll)
« Reply #89 on: October 12, 2017, 04:09:32 PM »
We can't control the weather, but we can control predators. Hunting was pretty good in the 90s. Well right up until they took away hound hunting. Why haven't we tried to bring that back?

A big part of the problem is predator control as you, myself and a lot of others have stated. This state used to control predators through trapping, hound hunting etc.etc., heck, like I stated in another thread, there used to be a bounty on yotes in this state, turn in a tail and get cash! But then like I said before, more and more people started moving to this state, some being against a lot of things we as sportsmen and women enjoy. Slowly it has affected our logging, fishing, hunting etc. Back in the day sportsmens clubs were a big deal as far as community involvement goes and they were front and center proud of it,there were raffles, derbys, fund raisers, hunting pics and stories were printed in local papers and I,m talking papers from the west side, from Tacoma to Bellingham! Now we need to hide our kills, watch what we say to certain folks, live in the shadows and kill a little coyote, a furry cat or a cuddley bear, shame on you! Its the state we live in fellas and gals, all these critters that others don't want us to hurt are a big part of our mule deer decline, not the whole puzzle but a big piece of it.

 

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