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Author Topic: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID  (Read 14372 times)

Offline Todd_ID

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How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« on: June 19, 2014, 01:18:02 PM »
As part of the 3 year season setting process I've been crunching a ton of numbers in order to make sure archers are getting a fair shake for seasons based on harvest numbers across the state.  In running the numbers I started to wonder how Idaho compares overall to Washington for archery elk hunting. 

I know the reasons many hunt Idaho instead of, or in addition to, hunting Washington archery elk.  I do so myself for all those reasons: the biggest one being the hope that I can shoot a good bull in a general archery season.

I looked up the numbers for Idaho's archery hunters to see just how they compared with our numbers.  We all know the general argument about why ID seasons are so much better than WA seasons: less hunters and more elk.  Well, the more elk part is certainly true.  From the RMEF 2011 hunting forecast, ID has 103,000 elk; WA has 60,000 elk.  The less hunters is not true.  ID had 20810 archery elk hunters last year; WA had 16,088.  ID hunters had 12.7% success by taking 2636 elk; WA hunters had 9.9% success by taking 1592 elk.  The biggest difference comes in the bull:cow harvest ratios.  ID bull harvest was 2097 at 75.5% of the total harvest; WA bull harvest was 707 at 44.4% of the total harvest.

I think we could sell way more archery tags if we could find a way to get our success rates and bull:cow harvest percentage more in line with those seen in Idaho.  As long as the archery harvest doesn't inhibit the overall herd health, then I think it'd be a win-win for WDFW and archers to make that attempt.  I personally would hunt only in WA if I had a chance at a bull; now, I hunt 5 days or so in WA in hopes of getting a cow and then head to Idaho to try and bugle in a bull FOR THE REST OF THE MONTH.  I know the small towns in ID love seeing hunters' money coming and staying for long stretches; the small towns of WA could be the recipients of that money with some simple changes.
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Offline WSU

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 01:29:48 PM »
I think the problem with your theory is that Washington just has too few elk.  Harvesting an additional 1,300 archery bulls a year wouldn't be a problem if we had an additional 43,000 elk like Idaho does.

Offline jackelope

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 01:34:28 PM »
I think the problem with your theory is that Washington just has too few elk.  Harvesting an additional 1,300 archery bulls a year wouldn't be a problem if we had an additional 43,000 elk like Idaho does.

You're talking about a relative percentage of bulls though, not a total quantity matching Idaho's numbers. ~400 less cows and ~400 more bulls is what the number would be roughly, if I'm not mistaken, to match Idaho's bull elk success rate.

:fire.:

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Offline WSU

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 01:47:45 PM »
I think the problem with your theory is that Washington just has too few elk.  Harvesting an additional 1,300 archery bulls a year wouldn't be a problem if we had an additional 43,000 elk like Idaho does.

You're talking about a relative percentage of bulls though, not a total quantity matching Idaho's numbers. ~400 less cows and ~400 more bulls is what the number would be roughly, if I'm not mistaken, to match Idaho's bull elk success rate.

Could be.  I understood his point to be that more people would hunt here if you could kill bulls and seasons were better.  More people plus a higher success rate equals more dead bulls. 

Offline jackelope

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 01:59:42 PM »
Agreed. I don't know if I think it's a good or bad concept either. Not sure more hunters is a great idea from a selfish standpoint.


I think we could sell way more archery tags if we could find a way to get our success rates and bull:cow harvest percentage more in line with those seen in Idaho.  As long as the archery harvest doesn't inhibit the overall herd health, then I think it'd be a win-win for WDFW and archers to make that attempt. 

I need to hear Todd's explanation on why more sold tags/more archery hunters is a win for other archery hunters in this state.

:fire.:

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Offline Todd_ID

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2014, 03:05:02 PM »
The WIN for the hunters is better seasons, more areas, and more opportunity at a bull.  The WIN for the state is hunters like me will spend our money in WA and not go to ID if the opportunity is equivalent.

The key to this idea is the part about not hurting the population with any changes that are made.  If WA were to decide to attempt to compete with ID for those hundreds of thousands of dollars, then it would mean opening different areas and different season structures which would alleviate the hunter/unit crowding we now have during archery seasons in areas like Nile, Bumping, Lick Creek, Manastash, Packwood, etc. 

The fact remains that 10% of the bowhunters are going to account for 90% of the harvest: that 10% is already hunting archery seasons, so large increases in archery hunters would bring only small increases in harvest.  It takes HOPE to obtain those large increases in sales and to keep hunters here.  The current season structure contains very little hope for the 90% who will harvest the 10%.

Archery is a good way for the state to be able to offer more opportunity, thereby enticing hunters to either start hunting or switch from modern without substantially increasing the harvest and upsetting herd dynamics.  Also, archers tend to spend more days afield than other user groups because it's simply tougher to harvest an elk with a bow.  A hunter switching from modern to archery will spend approximately 3 more days afield per year at roughly $100 per day in spending. (The average modern firearm hunter averages 4.5 days afield, and the average archer averages 7 days afield.)
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Offline jon.brown509

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2014, 07:50:17 PM »
 :twocents: Hate to be "that guy" but  It won't change. You have to look at it from the biologist side you want low success rates with low mortality.To change the season, would require to change muzzy and rifle.It sucks but the way the success rates are overall with the elk herds it's going pretty good for them and they have the most influence on the dates getting moved.

Offline D-Rock425

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 08:48:16 AM »
Idaho's elk to Hunter ratio is still better than Washington's. 

Offline Mxracer532

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 09:42:06 AM »
Your missing 1 major thing. It wont increase $ to the state at all. Why? Simply because the state would loose out on thousands of dollars from special hunt applications. The state isnt stupid they know where the $ is and if it was over the counter bull tags then they would have to make it up somewhere else, like raising the gas tax a few more times!!!!
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Offline Fullabull

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 03:22:51 PM »
They need to put the early season back to Sept. 8th - 21st. This will keep more hunters here in WA. Right now archers are going to other states (I'm going to Idaho) because their chances of taking a bull are higher because of the ability to hunt in late September.

Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2014, 03:52:07 PM »
Why not allow herd sizes increase.  I know they set goals and these are based on biological factors such as available forage and such.  One problem is habitat availability and the human population of Washington.  I would like them to set projected bull:cow herd ratios higher and reduce damage hunts/permits.  One thing that I have noticed in this state when it comes to the non-hunting population is that they love their wildlife until it becomes inconvenient for them.  I also think that controlled burns should be brought back (stop spraying chemical) this would ultimately reduce fire danger levels due to less debris and would increase forage for animals in the area. 

Offline Mr Mykiss

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2014, 04:53:48 PM »
Idaho's elk to Hunter ratio is still better than Washington's.
:yeah:
I have to agree. I imagine that once you get away from the panhandle and into the rest of the state pressure is much lower and you can hunt bulls!!

Offline Elk☆Steak

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 10:06:25 PM »
I would like to see longer archery seasons stretching later into September with less antlerless/ spike tags and more three point or better units... what do you guys think? Oregon gets 4 weeks for their early season.
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Offline Stein

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2014, 10:16:57 PM »
WDFW already gets your money.  Their concern is not for the mom and pop hotel, so if you had better chances or a longer season the net extra money to WDFW is exactly zero.

It's kind of a zero sum game since you have to choose a weapon in WA.  More bow hunters usually means less rifle hunters.

At the end of the day, the herd is managed to target sizes.  If you want to take more animals in general, the herd size goes down.  If you take less cows and more bulls, the herd over populates and goes down due to starvation.

It would be interesting to have a breakdown in the number of animals on public vs private land for the western states.  There could be a huge difference there as well.  Some states may have fewer public land opportunities.

Offline huntnnw

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Re: How WA Archery Elk Compares to ID
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 10:23:24 PM »
LOOK at ALL western states get longer seasons than here!  I hunt NE corner and thats it will never hunt a cow or spike unit EVER! reason I hunt ID is the season! Hunt till sept 30th plus if you dont get one you get a rifle season then a archery season and a muzzy season!

 

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