Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Deer Hunting => Topic started by: davew on January 06, 2019, 07:05:09 AM

Title: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: davew on January 06, 2019, 07:05:09 AM
I just got back from a week and a half in the Methow, spending most of my time between Twisp and Mazama.  Wow.  It's a wasteland for mulies.  While I didn't spend time specifically looking for deer, I skied a lot and drove many roads through prime winter range.  They just aren't there.  The mule deer herd is a small fraction of what it was even five years ago. 

The whitetails seem to be doing OK, although I did find a number of predator kills.   It takes less than 48 hours to convert a carcass to a red blotch in the snow. 

I did see a couple of moose at the Loup.  That was cool.   
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on January 06, 2019, 07:18:30 AM
Yep, itís sad. 
And the WDFW is clueless
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: ljsommer on January 06, 2019, 07:27:04 AM
So what's the solution here? Remove OTC for muleys for a few years? I've never hunted muleys but based on the posts in this forum it sounds like it may be an unwise decision to do so.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Taco280AI on January 06, 2019, 07:28:22 AM
Go kill those coyotes
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: ljsommer on January 06, 2019, 07:36:28 AM
Go kill those coyotes

Is that it though? A lot of posts I read on here seem to suggest we've over hunted this subspecies in particular areas.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on January 06, 2019, 07:51:39 AM
no more doe tags would help, and I think we also need to replant the forest areas with bitterbrush
dont know if that could be done but there still a lot of country up there
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on January 06, 2019, 07:57:46 AM
You are going to hear that the Cougar population is just right and there is no mention of Bear and that wolves are having no impact.   Id suggest that it be recognized that the cat population is busting at the seams, Spring bear tags could be issued and just recognize wolves are eating deer would be a step in the right direction. 
You will hear its due to range loss due to wildfires, and that will continue as the Methow burns up, but there has been and still is a probablem where there was plenty of sustainable range.   Just recognizing that maybe the antlerless tags and late tags should be dialed back for a couple years would help. 
It would be lovely if the department recognized that the herd numbers were actually as low as they are, but that might be admitting they made a mistake somewhere along the line......  it would go a long ways to help it recover though.     
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Dick in the Dirt on January 06, 2019, 08:11:42 AM
Check this out. Herd is only down a bit, got to keep selling tags. :bash:
http://methowvalleynews.com/2018/12/26/wdfw-deer-survey-shows-methow-population-down-a-bit/
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Igor on January 06, 2019, 08:41:42 AM
While it's true that much of the browse and winter range in the Methow has burned, there are huge areas that have not been touched.  We hunt in the Methow, and a couple of our hunting spots have not been burned for many years, and are covered with bitter brush and other browse.  We used to see lots of deer and tons of sign in those areas every time we hunted them.  Now, there are virtually no deer and no sign that they have even been there.  So, while the WDFW likes to blame low deer numbers on lack of range and the fires, our conclusions are that there are just not that many mule deer in the areas where there used to be a lot of deer.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 06, 2019, 09:03:10 AM
Due to predators, over hunting, lack of winter habitat? I think you will find that most GMU's are way down. Top deer area's like the Methow, Entiat, Perrygin, Mission are all way down as far as population. The Methow gets The spotlite because it was the best area with the largest mule deer population. The WDFW just doesn't want to admit the severity. I am sure predators are one of the top contributors. I have even found in my area that the Blacktail population isn't even a shadow of what it once was. But that's just my observation.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on January 06, 2019, 09:37:16 AM
Has hunter harvest declined significantly in the Methow units over the last 5, 10, 15 years?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: fireweed on January 06, 2019, 10:21:16 AM
The low numbers are sad.   
That WDFW plan that shot all those does after the fires is being felt long term. 
Since nothing will be done for 4-legged predators the focus will be on us.  No doe tags.  Shorter seasons. 
There's plenty of habitat.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 06, 2019, 10:22:38 AM
I just got back from a week and a half in the Methow, spending most of my time between Twisp and Mazama.  Wow.  It's a wasteland for mulies.  While I didn't spend time specifically looking for deer, I skied a lot and drove many roads through prime winter range.  They just aren't there.  The mule deer herd is a small fraction of what it was even five years ago. 

The whitetails seem to be doing OK, although I did find a number of predator kills.   It takes less than 48 hours to convert a carcass to a red blotch in the snow. 

I did see a couple of moose at the Loup.  That was cool.   

Very sad but its what a lot of us have been seeing for years, and I would bet good money there are a lot more red blotches in the snow that you don't see(we found over 20 kills just this last hunting season over a 9 day period), and more and more are happening every year. All those cats, yotes, bears and wolves have to eat and their populations are growing every year, soon they will die off or move though and unfortunately it will be because the deer are all but gone.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bearpaw on January 06, 2019, 11:28:32 AM
Go kill those coyotes

Is that it though? A lot of posts I read on here seem to suggest we've over hunted this subspecies in particular areas.

I think coyotes are a bigger factor than most people realize, they are extremely effective at killing young fawns every summer and are hard on adult deer during winters with deep snow conditions. I know a ranch owner in another state who got F&G permission to cull coyotes two years ago on a 20,000 acre ranch, in 5 or 6 days of helicopter control 111 coyotes were removed. I spent time on that ranch this winter and there are already some coyotes running around, but what I really noticed is that the deer numbers seemed to have doubled or tripled in only two years and it seemed like almost every doe had one or two fawns with them this winter. There are a few does with three surviving fawns.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: trophyhunt on January 06, 2019, 12:02:06 PM
Sorry state of affairs, this day and age we should have figured out exactly how to have great deer/elk management.  Having a Wdfw that is pro predator makes a huge negative impact.  With 14 points for deer, my buddies are passing on those normal big mule deer permits.  Sad deal
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Night goat on January 06, 2019, 02:34:25 PM
went out there in October this year, didn't go hunting specifically, but brought the gun and a tag, saw 2 deer between the pass and Tonasket. went out to the barterfaire, but still, driving from Anacortes to Tonasket and back, I saw more deer in Anacortes than I did anywhere else.

 we stopped in Winthrop for coffee and ended up talking to a hunter about the state of affairs over there. 2nd weekend for gun season there wasn't even a check point in Winthrop for deer, and there were more illegal kills, does and bucks some taken from the road, some just shot because that's all there was, but I think he said there were 19 poached deer reported and 7 taken legally. there just aren't any legal bucks out there so from what I was told, those who wanted their meat, still got it.


that was a few months ago


last year, we started off deer season at my shack in skykomish and started at stevens pass, made our way to Leavenworth and the chumstick highway area, then headed up to Winthrop and baldy pass (between conconully and winthrop)  and set up shop up there for 5 days until we got snowed out, saw 3 deer taken/hanging the entire season, spotted 3 does on private land but interesting enough when we went into conconully to get beer there were about 150 deer sleeping in the city park right smack in the middle of down behing no shooting signs, and more scattered around town bedded down in peoples yards, probably 200+ deer in total safe in town.

we had to get out of the woods because I was in my 2wd ranger and woke up one morning because I had to take a leak and the snow started coming down hard, and we were starting to get snowed out and by the time we got loaded up I had to chain up my truck just to make it out of the woods, but on the way down saw one nice legal deer across the gorge, but it would have been 2 days of work to get that critter back to the truck, could have been a white tail, was rather large, couldn't tell, as it was a distance away, but, that's all we saw in a week and a halfs hunting last year.

after talking to locals and at the gun and gear shops over there, nobody is 100% sure what is going on, but those fires, both here and in Canada did a number, plus the wolves and coyotes and cats taking a number on em too, not to mention poaching and roadkill.... personally id like to believe that the migration path has changed and that the herd has just found different areas to travel through. ive theorized that because of how intense those fires are, any deer that survived that will run any direction it can for as far as it can until it doesn't smell smoke anymore... i think they might be absolutely traumatized by the fires and smoke they got out and will stay away from that area until something pushes them back, but, that's probably just wishful thinking 


i saw all i needed to see over there the last 2 falls.... road hunting is rampant, the diesel trucks start prowling at 330am, and one goes by about every 15 minutes, with about 4 guys inside each rig, even going as far back into the woods as you can you cant get away from it, what used to be prime hunting is now a burnt out wasteland, too many people, no deer, sometimes poor access, it just doesn't make sense to spend the time and money going out there anymore


sadly, i dont know how to say it any other way..... the methow herd doesnt exist anymore
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 06, 2019, 02:49:11 PM
Predators are a huge factor in the reduction of this herd whether they(WDFW) admit it or not this herd is slowly being eaten to death. As I said earlier, over 20 cat kills found in a 3-5 mile radius in one area we hunted last year, the area was void of deer except for the half buried ones we found 2 of which were bucks. Twenty years ago and before seeing a bear was a treat and very rare while out hunting, in the last 20 years our group has killed 6 and we know of probably another 20 or so that have been killed by others just in 3 or 4 units in the Valley, bears are fawn killers, I will never forget the time a few years ago when I seen a big black bear come out of a thicket with about a 2-3 day old fawn in its mouth while the doe stood about 50 yards away watching it.  A couple years ago we pulled into a friends driveway over there at about 11 o'clock at night during the summer when a big momma bear and 3 cubs stood up in front of us in our headlights, our friend said they had never seen so many bears as they have seen in the last few years and they have lived there over 50 years.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: timberfaller on January 06, 2019, 03:59:30 PM
"Has hunter harvest declined significantly in the Methow units over the last 5, 10, 15 years?" Idahohuntr asked.

As of the last time I hunted my old hunting grounds, it has stayed about the same.   Three seasons ago all the usual camps were there even with one main road washed out.   Usual season was by noon opening day there would be at least 50 or more shoots heard. That year I only heard about six by noon and nothing after that the rest of the day.

Now this just happened to be the year after the 2015 fire that brought on the 550 bucks killed in the Methow during general season.  The WDFW put out in the papers(all gullible to WDFW PR)that "see, the three point or better system is working" :bash:

There has been nothing but a steady decline in numbers over the years,  I was even given the excuse by the gal in charge of the latest study going on that the, "migration never took place the following year because the winter was so mild the deer stayed in the back country" Riiiiiiiiiiiiight!! :bash:  She also said "the numbers in the Methow are in great shape".   Anyone who has lived there and obviously some hunter here, KNOW and Understand where the problems lay!!

Besides the introduction of the wolves, ALL other predator's have been on a population explosion!  Bait and Hound hunting being banned has brought that on,  didn't take long.   So what is going to suffer first?  Mule deer.  NOT rocket science, except to WDFW biologist!!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: jstone on January 06, 2019, 05:23:17 PM
I played a snowshoe softball tournament last February. Wife and I took a drive saw maybe 10 deer just outside of Winthrop. There were some by the softball field but very discouraging on no animals. We will be there again mid February. Hope to see some?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 06, 2019, 06:02:09 PM
I played a snowshoe softball tournament last February. Wife and I took a drive saw maybe 10 deer just outside of Winthrop. There were some by the softball field but very discouraging on no animals. We will be there again mid February. Hope to see some?

I remember 20 years ago going over for a weekend in December and taking a drive up around Davis Lake and counting 6-7 hundred deer in a day, with around 100 of those being bucks, a friend of mine that lives by Davis says he has around 10 hanging around his place this winter(20 years and more ago he would have 2-3 hundred) and only sees around 30-40 when driving around back in there, he said lots of cats  and he has heard but not seen wolves. 6-7 hundred down to 30-40, thats a big reduction folks!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: no.cen.wa on January 06, 2019, 07:03:50 PM
One EXCUSE the WDFW makes is hunter pressure, what a joke, before 1997 when they went to 3 point and the season was 4-5 weeks long every camp, wide spot in the road, etc was taken by hunters on the Loop Loop Pass and roads off it. Beaver Creek campground was full for the 4-5 weeks. this year I took my grandson to one of our favorite canyons, which would hold 10-15 camps in the past and it had only 4, and one buck had been taken opening weekend, no one else had seen a legal buck, and only half dozen does. I left that area 10 years ago looking for better land, it was good for a few years but the same thing has happened and it's not because of LEGAL hunting pressure. I think predators, and poaching are the problem. The WDFW tells us the buck to doe ratio but neglects to tell us they only saw a few hundred deer when in the past you would count over a thousand for the same areas. I remember telling my grandfather about seeing 300 + deer in a big canyon off the Loop Loop, he said that's too bad, he used to hike up and lose count when he counted over a thousand! I never used to shoot predators when deer hunting, but changed that this year, if it's a predator shoot it.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: jnordwell on January 06, 2019, 07:10:03 PM
Seems like every deer/elk hunter in the state better start hunting cougars and coyotes and bears first then deer and elk afterwards.. cougar taste like pork, bear breakfast sausage is great... fish and game donít care about our deer or elk population.. itís a win if they can get x amount of hunters every year to just give up. And they like the fact that there heads are in the sand and state we donít know anything.. sad days indeed.. it will take a kid to get killed before the wdfw to understand there is a problem.. not before..sad but true.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: zwickeyman on January 06, 2019, 08:07:23 PM
Swakane is the same. Chukar hunted it yesterday and saw 1/5 of deer I saw 4 years ago
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bowhunterforever on January 06, 2019, 08:18:43 PM
Predator pit :bash:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: jstone on January 06, 2019, 08:22:38 PM
Time to call them out in these public meetings. Typical politics. They act as though everyone elseís are dumb. We see whatís going on and they do but they all try to spin it to something else? Hunters are out in the woods. We have a better grasp on what is going on.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: eastfork on January 06, 2019, 10:01:03 PM
I wish every one would try to predator hunt has hard as they deer or elk hunt. I really think if we put in as much effort it would help. I'm talking coyotes. I have watched them with my own eyes run calves off of a herd and kill it while the other elk look on. They are relentless killers. And they kill alt of fawns. Knocking them back would really help. If every one went at it aggressively it would be interesting to see the results
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: JWEBB on January 06, 2019, 10:04:29 PM
I wish every one would try to predator hunt has hard as they deer or elk hunt. I really think if we put in as much effort it would help. I'm talking coyotes. I have watched them with my own eyes run calves off of a herd and kill it while the other elk look on. They are relentless killers. And they kill alt of fawns. Knocking them back would really help. If every one went at it aggressively it would be interesting to see the results

 :tup:  We need hounds here desperately. Try talking to the game department about that though. Good luck is all I have to say
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Night goat on January 06, 2019, 10:52:20 PM
Seems like every deer/elk hunter in the state better start hunting cougars and coyotes and bears first then deer and elk afterwards.. cougar taste like pork, bear breakfast sausage is great... fish and game donít care about our deer or elk population.. itís a win if they can get x amount of hunters every year to just give up. And they like the fact that there heads are in the sand and state we donít know anything.. sad days indeed.. it will take a kid to get killed before the wdfw to understand there is a problem.. not before..sad but true.


Yeah right, all wdfg cares about is how many tags they can sell and how many tickets they can force people to pay
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Night goat on January 06, 2019, 10:54:34 PM
Release the hounds!!!!

He'll, even Cypress island now has coyotes according to Loki dog
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Spuddieselwwu on January 07, 2019, 12:21:13 AM
The problem is you canít shoot your way out of a coyote problem. They just come back even thicker.  Poison is the best way to get rid of predators...
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 07, 2019, 05:35:57 AM
Well this spring during the hunting season proposal comment period I hope to see people providing comment on predator control, doe tag elimination, Quality tag cutback. That is the only way to get them to listen as it is logged and documented and then they can be held accountable. But we can all sit here and complain on this forum but it falls on deaf ears without something to back it up. :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Special T on January 07, 2019, 07:04:08 AM
Hopefully all of you that are praying for predator control are paying attention to the up coming lawsuit over predator control. Anti hunting and Animal rights  groups rely on lawsuits to cram their agenda down everyone's throat.

I agree everyone should get out and hunt predators more, and if something isnt done it may be the only regular hunting we could enjoy. As other have said the most effective tools have been taken away. Only to be used when enough political pressure has been applied, and just enough to keep the mutiny at bay.

@bearpaw. What state was the aerial culling in? General area? How long/hard was it for them to get the permit?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: nwwanderer on January 07, 2019, 07:59:01 AM
Thanks bearpaw, similar story from Montana, a cattle and sheep man flies a cub with a shotgun, low and slow is the only way to keep his sheep business profitable.  Last I heard he was a county commissioner.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: nwwanderer on January 07, 2019, 08:06:09 AM
On the poisoning idea, the feds spent many decades and tens of millions of dollars, pretty much handled the wolves but only served to spread the once local coyote clear across the country. Arctic to the tropics, coast to coast they fill the voids.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Whitenuckles on January 07, 2019, 08:59:00 AM
Go kill those coyotes

Is that it though? A lot of posts I read on here seem to suggest we've over hunted this subspecies in particular areas.

I think coyotes are a bigger factor than most people realize, they are extremely effective at killing young fawns every summer and are hard on adult deer during winters with deep snow conditions. I know a ranch owner in another state who got F&G permission to cull coyotes two years ago on a 20,000 acre ranch, in 5 or 6 days of helicopter control 111 coyotes were removed. I spent time on that ranch this winter and there are already some coyotes running around, but what I really noticed is that the deer numbers seemed to have doubled or tripled in only two years and it seemed like almost every doe had one or two fawns with them this winter. There are a few does with three surviving fawns.
I agree! I also know a big ranch that did it 2 years ago. It was amazing seeing all the deer on the place this year. But not only deer, the pheasant population had exploded.  Apparently they will be doing another helicopter hunt this year. Hopefully with that and a little lion control, thinks will be even better next year.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on January 07, 2019, 09:22:46 AM
Statements from the 2017 Game Status Report:

For the East Slope Cascades management zone: (GMU's203,  209, 215,  218,  224,  231,  233, 239,  242,  243,  244,  245,  246,  247,  249,  250
,251, 328, 329, 330, 334, and 335)

47,000  mule  deer reside within  the  East Slope Cascades MDMZ (WDFW 2013).  In 2016, spring population surveys were conducted in southern portion of the zone (District 8).  The estimate was 3,718 deer (90% CI= 3,307-4,494).  The southern population was down 40% from 2003 and 10% from the last survey in 2013.   

Liberal harvest of antlerless mule deer is used at times to limit herd growth, or reduce deer numbers in damage areas, or for responses to dramatic changes in carrying capacity such as those associated with large wildfires.  Harvest estimates from 2006-2015 indicate an increasing trend in recent years despite a slow decline in hunter effort, as indicated by decreasing hunter days

Early  data  from a  new  predator-prey study in the northern portion of the zone support the previous finding of high adult doe survival (92% annual survival rate).  Investigations of deaths of radio marked adult female mule deer indicate cougars, poaching,  deer-vehicle  collisions,  and  unidentified  predators  are common  sources  of  mortality, although the high survival rates would suggest these mortality sources are not limiting the adult female segment of the population.

Extensive loss of winter range shrub forage is the primary management concern in the northern three-fourths of the zone.  Modest increases in antlerless harvest have been implemented in the most heavily impacted GMUs.  The objective of these changes is to stabilize or slightly decrease
the local population in the short-term to bring deer numbers in line with the landscapeís reduced carrying capacity, and avoid   over-browsing   of   recovering   winter   range   shrubs. 

This statement was in regards to Naches Mule Deer Management Area:
Predation  by  cougars  accounted  for  the  highest  proportion  of  the  radio-marked  deer mortalities in this MDMZ (≈40%).
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bearpaw on January 07, 2019, 10:19:58 AM
Hopefully all of you that are praying for predator control are paying attention to the up coming lawsuit over predator control. Anti hunting and Animal rights  groups rely on lawsuits to cram their agenda down everyone's throat.

I agree everyone should get out and hunt predators more, and if something isnt done it may be the only regular hunting we could enjoy. As other have said the most effective tools have been taken away. Only to be used when enough political pressure has been applied, and just enough to keep the mutiny at bay.

@bearpaw. What state was the aerial culling in? General area? How long/hard was it for them to get the permit?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

I don't want to post much publicly about them specifically. They didn't tell me how much hassle it was to get the permit, but as others have mentioned, there are other ranchers getting permits to reduce coyote predation too. I know ranchers in Idaho, Montana, and Utah who have had permits for arial gunning of coyotes. I have heard stories of it in WA but that was quite a few years ago, I don't know if you can still get a permit in WA, perhaps through wildlife services if not from WDFW.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: pianoman9701 on January 07, 2019, 10:35:33 AM
Yep, itís sad. 
And the WDFW is clueless complicit

Fixed it for you.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on January 07, 2019, 11:24:49 AM
 :tup:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: skagitsteel on January 07, 2019, 12:06:46 PM
I personally don't hunt the Methow, however, it lines up with a lot of what I've seen and heard in other parts of the state.  I have been able to document via lots of trail cams and scouting a couple deer herds that I hunt on the wetside and they have taken a sharp decline in the last three years.  Suspiciously the decline started at the same time I started getting wolves on my cameras in 2015. I can't blame the wolves for all of it I think they are just the straw breaking the camel's back in an ecosystem that is already above carrying capacity for predators.  I found in areas where large amounts of adult deer disappeared, mountain lions were always present and often wolves were present.  In areas that did not have as many lions and no wolves but had lots of bears/ coyotes, it was the absence of fawns and younger deer that was most evident.  I think another thing to realize is that even if actual depredation is low as argued by many predator protection advocates, ect.. (which I think they are are wrong and have no clue the true impact) the stress of being chased around and harassed leads to a much lower reproduction rate in deer and elk. 4-5 years ago it seemed like I could hike waaaay back to areas never hit by hunters and find more animals.  Often what I find now is less animals way back because there are more predators in those areas.  Areas closer to roads often seem to have more deer now vs farther back because at least vehicle traffic and the presence of hunters pushes a percentage of the predators away.  The increase in Mt Lion population has been the most alarming t me.  I would say honestly I see double the lion activity now vs 4 years ago on trail cams and have been stalked twice in the last four years.

It's a bummer to see this happen and feel like our hands are tied knowing we can't trap effectively, run hounds for cats or bait for bears all things that would allow us to help the situation.  I am trying to stay focused on what I can do to help:
1. Getting behind any sort of ground we can gain in supporting an improvement to effective hunting laws.  I think we start with pushing for more spring bear permits or general spring bear seasons in certain GMU's, with the hope of a statewide spring season.  A draw system for running hounds on cougars would be awesome, even if it was limited at first, the same could be said for baiting bears. 
2. Educating non-hunters/ family with factual information in appropriate situations- I hike/ hunt sometime in areas where I run into people and I always go out of my way to be a positive presence, friendly and maintain a good representation of what it means to be a hunter.  I've had half-hour long conversations with hikers on the importance of bear hunting, why I would hold out for an older age class deer, ect..  If done in a friendly manner it can shed light on something they may never have thought of before, like why bears are afraid of people in some of these areas and won't raid tents for food. I also am armed with some jerky/ pepperoni sticks to share if it comes up in a conversation.  Also teaching my kids, both my daughters understand and my son will too when he's old enough, the importance of hunting and predator management.  My 12-year-old could write a school paper on what predator management is and how to recognize where it is needed based on her time with me in the woods.
3. Make a point to predator hunt- I find its really easy to let the year pass spending all my time scouting for and hunting deer.  I've been in situations several times where just having a rifle along on some scouting trips would have allowed me to take out a few more predators, This year I plan to have a rifle out from august on, possibly even a .223 earlier if I see a coyote.  I have to admit I have been guilty of passing up way too many bears (30-40 every year) because of the effort and time required to pack them out and the interruption from hunting other species and scouting.  I have made a point to change that and have 'guided' three people into there first bears the last two seasons.  I also got some packgoats which have been a great tool and will be set up to pack more bears out this year.  I am also trying to learn effective methods for calling cougars, I have been researching, trying, ect... Have not succeeded yet but refuse to give up until I dial it in.
4. share predator tactic's- I'm as secretive as any hunter and actual locations I hunt have always been and will always be a secret.  However when it comes to how to hunt predators I'm an open book from here forward,  the only predator I've really learned to hunt effectively is a bear, when I learn better methods for calling cats, ect.. I will share and show as much as I can.  I will also keep taking new hunters or hunters that haven't harvested a bear and introduce them to it, its an easy species to hunt and I think at this point any dent we make in predators would be better than not. 

This may not ever make enough of a difference but it certainly would be really helpful if enough hunters in this state contributed towards predator management in whatever capacity they could. 
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 07, 2019, 12:16:19 PM
Statements from the 2017 Game Status Report:

For the East Slope Cascades management zone: (GMU's203,  209, 215,  218,  224,  231,  233, 239,  242,  243,  244,  245,  246,  247,  249,  250
,251, 328, 329, 330, 334, and 335)

47,000  mule  deer reside within  the  East Slope Cascades MDMZ (WDFW 2013).  In 2016, spring population surveys were conducted in southern portion of the zone (District 8).  The estimate was 3,718 deer (90% CI= 3,307-4,494).  The southern population was down 40% from 2003 and 10% from the last survey in 2013.   

Liberal harvest of antlerless mule deer is used at times to limit herd growth, or reduce deer numbers in damage areas, or for responses to dramatic changes in carrying capacity such as those associated with large wildfires.  Harvest estimates from 2006-2015 indicate an increasing trend in recent years despite a slow decline in hunter effort, as indicated by decreasing hunter days

Early  data  from a  new  predator-prey study in the northern portion of the zone support the previous finding of high adult doe survival (92% annual survival rate).  Investigations of deaths of radio marked adult female mule deer indicate cougars, poaching,  deer-vehicle  collisions,  and  unidentified  predators  are common  sources  of  mortality, although the high survival rates would suggest these mortality sources are not limiting the adult female segment of the population.

Extensive loss of winter range shrub forage is the primary management concern in the northern three-fourths of the zone.  Modest increases in antlerless harvest have been implemented in the most heavily impacted GMUs.  The objective of these changes is to stabilize or slightly decrease
the local population in the short-term to bring deer numbers in line with the landscapeís reduced carrying capacity, and avoid   over-browsing   of   recovering   winter   range   shrubs. 

This statement was in regards to Naches Mule Deer Management Area:
Predation  by  cougars  accounted  for  the  highest  proportion  of  the  radio-marked  deer mortalities in this MDMZ (≈40%).

Just a little perspective from an "old-timer" for some of you too young to have experienced the Methow when it was managed for the well being of the mule deer herd as priority #1. The 47,000 number they are giving here is for 22 units running down the east slope of the cascades from the Canadian boarder down to around Yakima. When the Methow valley was managed with the herds best interest always first and foremost and predators were kept in check just the 6 Methow units alone(203,218,224, 231,239 and 242) fluctuated in the vicinity of 30-38,000, it was the largest herd in the state bar none and consisted of not only a thriving "local herd" but a huge migrating herd also. There were some nasty winters of coarse with one of the worst I,ve ever seen happening during the winter of 67-68 when the town of Winthrop recorded the coldest temperature in the lower 48 one day, a flash freeze came down from Canada, my dad had old 8mm film we took of cows, horses and other livestock frozen, leaning up against trees and fence posts, thousands and thousands of deer perished. Feeding programs by the Game department along with the local people helped save the herd and get it back on track. I remember many times as a kid my dad and I stopping in at the houses of locals we knew or at the Game managers place and picking up feed to take out during rough winters. Ive told the story before of a real bad winter back in the 80,s when my dad and I stopped at a Game fellas place we knew, he sent us down to an orchard off the Burma Rd, there was 6-7 feet of snow in the north part of the valley and the majority of the Methow herd had been pushed south all the way to the Columbia. The Game Department had gotten permission from a few orchard owners to cut their fences and let deer into the orchards(I,m sure they were subsidized or taken care of) in the southern part of the valley and one was the one they sent us to. There was about 3-4 feet of snow down around there but they had kept the road plowed for access, when we drove in there we could only see the heads of about 3-400 deer making there way through trenches they had carved through the orchard, they congregated around my truck to the point I could not open my door and had to crawl out my back window to get into the back of my truck(I was a lot smaller then :chuckle:), we threw about 10 bags of pellets out and got the heck out of there. There were fires also but none like the Carleton complex. As I,ve said before seeing a bear or a cougar was an actual treat and a rarity, I remember only seeing a handful of bears from the late 50,s to the mid 90,s, since the mid 90,s Ive probably seen 20-25 bears, as far as cougars during the same time frames pre mid 90,s maybe 2 or 3 and post mid 90,s around 15. Deer numbers I,m afraid have gone the other way unfortunately, pre mid 90,s it was nothing to see 100 deer a day while hunting, heck I remember times during the 60,s 70s, and 80,s seeing an average of 200 deer a day during the season some years. I understand there are a lot of issues and once again the WDFW has to watch over to many irons that have been put into the fire and the Mule deer herd of the Methow is not the priority it once was but the predator situation in this valley cannot be glossed over, downplayed or taken lightly, most hunters with a history of hunting this valley and folks who were born and raised here are seeing it and have been for over 20 or so years, pre Carleton complex,  when the average Joe like myself who has hunted and stumbled around this valley for going on 60 years(along with a family history in the valley going back 100 years see,s what he see,s as far as predators booming and deer numbers continuing to spiral in this valley the problem or the biggest part of the problem is obvious, like I said this herd is being eaten alive and until the predator problem is aggressively addressed and the WDFW admits and accepts the fact that predation IS a problem concerning the Methow herd, not the only problem of coarse but it is a HUGE problem then this dance will just continue until only a shadow of this once mighty herd is all thats left.... just my observations and  :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: timberfaller on January 07, 2019, 12:46:47 PM
"Liberal harvest of antlerless mule deer is used at times to limit herd growth, or reduce deer numbers in damage areas, or for responses to dramatic changes in carrying capacity such as those associated with large wildfires.  Harvest estimates from 2006-2015 indicate an increasing trend in recent years despite a slow decline in hunter effort, as indicated by decreasing hunter days"

 :yike: What they didn't research was the late 70' and early 80's where HUGH amounts of "does" were taken! Base on a PR campaign by the "Game Department" that only 3 years of taking HUGH amounts of does and then they would close down the permits.  DIDN'T happen, to much revenue came it so it continued.   ONE only has to think about that for a little while and contemplate what the "effect" took place!    You'd have to understand "animal husbandry" first!!  Hint; by the late 80's sections of winter ranges in the valley never seen a single deer show up, I wonder why???  Did Ole Man Buck, forget where they were??  :o 
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 07, 2019, 02:30:52 PM

To a certain extent I understand why in the past they would give out doe tags, when the herd was thriving and Mother Nature delivered a blow etc., but as said, the herd was strong, thriving and predator numbers were very low so adjustments from time to time to the herd needed to happen. But like some are saying it hasn't stopped, the Methow herd is nowhere near the numbers it used to be but predators numbers are growing and thriving and are taking out more and more deer every year and not all are does, so the question is as some are asking, why continue selling doe tags in the Methow? HMMM, seems the predators have done a great job depleting this herd and continue to do so, especially since hounds were taken out and baiting was done away with amongst other ways to control predators, maybe with whats happening to this herd doe tags should be stopped for awhile and special predator tags along with "quality predator tags"(special seasons and allowing hounds for the lucky draw-ees) should be sold for thinning at least cougar and bear and for those who don't get drawn still buy your bear and cougar tags and also like some have said"shoot every yote you see". Even before the big fire this herd had started suffering and it was not a coincidence that it started happening when hounds were banned and other means of controlling predators was halted and a new apex predator was on the landscape in this valley, and nothing has been done to address the population explosion of these predators, IMHO this particular herd is not at a number where doe tags should be sold, for crying out loud a lot of deer are being picked off every day in this valley by predators, the herd is close to half the size it once was and predators have populated at even a faster pace, sell special permits for predators WDFW, I would bet you would bring in a lot of money and would also be helping out this herd.... :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on January 07, 2019, 03:30:20 PM
Given all the talk of how bad mule deer herds are doing does it really make sense to allow unlimited otc tags?  I know I would like to see most of the state go draw only for mule deer.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mburrows on January 07, 2019, 05:03:33 PM
Given all the talk of how bad mule deer herds are doing does it really make sense to allow unlimited otc tags?  I know I would like to see most of the state go draw only for mule deer.

 :yeah: would improve the herds and the experience for a lot folks, switch to a Colorado type of system :twocents:

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: buckfvr on January 07, 2019, 05:25:01 PM
Ungulate hunting opportunity is certain to be reduced soon, but it wont benefit hunters, as it will only add to whats available to predation.  Just like when wdfw said they were getting rid of any elk hunts in N.E. wa. in order to grow herds.......what they meant was, in order to provide more meals to the wolves to stave off domestic predation, but we are several years past that point now.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 07, 2019, 05:49:04 PM
Given all the talk of how bad mule deer herds are doing does it really make sense to allow unlimited otc tags?  I know I would like to see most of the state go draw only for mule deer.

Just my opinion here, first thing that I think should be done for the Methow herd is for the state to accept that there is a predator issue in the Methow and to aggressively confront that problem either through enhanced and extended predator seasons and "special" hound hunting permits that are set up as a draw system that would generate money also for the state, bottom line-reduce the amount of cougar and bears in this valley along with coyotes, we know nothing can be done at this time about the other 2(wolves and Grizzly),Grizzly are there and I would imagine they love their venison. Second would be to stop doe permits and late quality tags for 5 years, make up for lost revenue by offering special predator tags, seasons and drawings. Lets face it, it doesn't seem like the majority of decisions made by the WDFW are solely made with 100% interest and the well being of the mule deer herd in this valley, I,m sure that money and revenue plays some sort of role and as I,ve said many times there are a lot of other irons in the fire they need to tend to, so we as hunters(if some sort of system that addressed predators was put into play) would need to walk the talk and put in for these predator drawings and buy those enhanced season tags and do our part to not only thin the predators but help generate the money that won't come in for the doe tags/quality tags. If those ideas arnt tried I would be in favor of an every other year system(huntnphool had some great ideas on this) that would immediately cut hunting pressure in half in the Methow, let them double the price for a Methow tag when its your year to compensate for the loss in the amount of tag purchases along with the discontinuing of quality permits. Make the season a 2wk archery season in September and a 2 wk rifle season in October always ending on the 31st(no matter what day that falls on) this system immediately cuts pressure in half and will spread it over 2 weeks for the rifle season. As said I know a lot of whats going on is about money, if they could turn the Methow at least into a "real quality" area by implementing some of these ideas including addressing the predator issue, heck just speaking for myself I would pay $80 or so every other year for a Methow tag. They could do it in other areas of the state for mule deer also(the Chelan herds etc.). I still think although that just aggressively doing something about predators alone by the WDFW would be a HUGE step forward and we would see positive growth in the herd almost immediately, add in deleting doe tags and quality tags for a few years and that may be all it takes, possibly drawings etc. could be avoided, who knows, it hasn't been tried.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Night goat on January 07, 2019, 11:15:41 PM
Sorry state of affairs, this day and age we should have figured out exactly how to have great deer/elk management.  Having a Wdfw that is pro predator makes a huge negative impact.  With 14 points for deer, my buddies are passing on those normal big mule deer permits.  Sad deal

Frankly I see myself moving up to Alaska in the next 4 or 5 years
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 08, 2019, 02:16:01 PM
I just got back from a week and a half in the Methow, spending most of my time between Twisp and Mazama.  Wow.  It's a wasteland for mulies.  While I didn't spend time specifically looking for deer, I skied a lot and drove many roads through prime winter range.  They just aren't there.  The mule deer herd is a small fraction of what it was even five years ago. 

The whitetails seem to be doing OK, although I did find a number of predator kills.   It takes less than 48 hours to convert a carcass to a red blotch in the snow. 

I did see a couple of moose at the Loup.  That was cool.   

A week and a half and hardly seeing any mule deer.....IN THE METHOW VALLEY.....IN DECEMBER/JANUARY!..Olympia, we have a problem!  I remember walking from my friends porch to his barn and seeing hundreds, now you are lucky to see a couple every now and then but what you will see is an occasional cougar run across the hill in the back of his place, or find cougar kills scattered around, see an occasional bear lumbering along the river bank or crash through the thickets that dot his property and on those special nights either hear the yipping of coyotes coming from 3 or 4 different directions and or the howling of wolves, but every night you will here one or the other. I know I pull up a lot of memories of this valley, my family started hunting it in 1917, had family that lived there a while and lived in the surrounding area for years. My great grandparents were very good friends with many of the original familys that lived in the valley going back to the late 1800,s and early 1900.s, so yes I,ve herd many stories, seen many pictures and yes have experienced myself, the "hay days" of hunting in the Methow. My family has been privileged to call some of the old guard of the Game department friends, not just in this state but in Alaska also where my grandparents spent half their time. The issue we have here now is that everyone and I mean everyone who knows this valley sees the problem and it didn't start after the fire it started when predators began being coddled, we started noticing the decline 20-25 years ago, we were seeing less and less deer every year, spring scouting, summer scouting and winter, every year less and less and we were hearing the same things from folks who have lived there their whole lives, some of which had generations going back to the early 1900,s. The things that we were seeing were more cougar, more bear, more coyotes and then we seen the wolf. We were seeing more and more cached kills, we were seeing wounded deer, we were noticing how much more alert and skittish deer were becoming,  but like I said, the most alarming thing we were seeing was less and less deer and that trend has been going on for 20 or so years by our observations.  My dad and I seen our first moose back in the 60,s in this Valley, we've seen elk, we seen a Grizzly back in the late 70,s we seen a wolf in the early 90,s, we have put miles on in this valley into places most people have never been or will ever go and yes we've probably seen 10,s of thousands of deer in this valley. This is something that has been going on for awhile now and as said has been noticed by all that know this valley. Are they not getting out(WDFW), are they not getting out and putting on boot miles, theres half buried kills and "red blotches" in the snow all over that valley, pre 20 years ago you would hardly ever run into a predator kill, you would find winter kills that maybe birds and coyotes were scavenging but not half buried/half eaten carcasses with cat or bear sign all around, I can't believe how many fawn carcasses we've found over the last 5-7 years! Predators are a problem, not the only problem but IMHO it should be at the top of the list of "things to do" for the Methow Herd in 2019, "address the predator issue".....sorry for all the rants, its just so obvious :'(

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: R2Rcoulee on January 08, 2019, 04:38:59 PM
I still have a cougar tag. Anyone know of a good place to set up & call or just drive around? I have hunted the Chewuch unit in the past , but It was in the higher elevation areas. Iím sure itís snowed out by now & the deer are down at lower elevations. Let me know & Iíll burn up a weekend or two hunting dogs & cats.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 08, 2019, 04:42:17 PM
Best bet at this point to find a cougar is go where the deer are. Whatever area you go in make sure the quota for that area hasn't been filled.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 08, 2019, 05:46:47 PM
Best bet at this point to find a cougar is go where the deer are. Whatever area you go in make sure the quota for that area hasn't been filled.

I agree with what Skyvalhunter is saying here, the problem is finding the deer, if you know 218 there is plenty of cats up Boulder and we seen sign of them up 8 mile also. I have a friend who has seen 4 different cats in the Davis Lake area (224), 2 of them traveling together, although the last time he seen them was about a month ago, with all the cats running around its obvious the quotas are way to low, I really don't get it, why these things are being so coddled and pampered, I try not to be a conspiracy type but these things are deer killers, why especially after all the most effective ways to control these things have been taken away is there any quota on them period! I,m no cougar expert but I will be hunting them a lot more aggressively next year, our whole group will be. We pointed a fella in the direction of one we seen this last year and couldn't get a shot at it, him and his buddy went in and killed it. Good guys and were experienced cat hunters, at least I felt somewhat responsible for a cougar being harvested, saved 50 deer! I have been studying and learning all I can about hunting these dang things, I will kill one next year! Like many have said the most effective ways of hunting them have been taken from us.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 08, 2019, 06:14:59 PM
A question I have yet to get answered is this. Where was the survey taken was it up by Winthrop where you have deer from the Pasayten, Twisp river, Mazama, and northern Chiliwist. Or was any surveys done in th lower valley from Carlton south where u have deer from Alta south an Chiliwist. I can guarantee you if it were the latter the deer population is really dismal.
  Then I have yet to see a total deer count. The ratio might be 15:100 but if there is only 150 deer surveyed that is a low total. I would really like to know the total counted.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 08, 2019, 07:45:13 PM
A question I have yet to get answered is this. Where was the survey taken was it up by Winthrop where you have deer from the Pasayten, Twisp river, Mazama, and northern Chiliwist. Or was any surveys done in th lower valley from Carlton south where u have deer from Alta south an Chiliwist. I can guarantee you if it were the latter the deer population is really dismal.
  Then I have yet to see a total deer count. The ratio might be 15:100 but if there is only 150 deer surveyed that is a low total. I would really like to know the total counted.

Its dismal in the north also, Chewuch, Pearry, Gardner. I know folks who live in all 3 units, worst deer numbers they have ever seen. I keep hearing numbers in the 15,000-19,000 for a total herd count in the valley, thats from the Canadian border at the north down to the Columbia to the south. There are some including myself that find those numbers very high, even if its correct it means half of this herd has disappeared since the 1960,s. We are talking another 15,000-19,000 mule deer gone, just gone.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: davew on January 09, 2019, 07:30:15 AM
I've got a trail cam hung in an apple tree pointing at a salt block in my back yard near Wolf Creek in the Gardner unit.  Five years ago, I'd get a couple hundred pictures a month during the summer and fall, with most of them being mule deer.  Now, it's down to a couple of dozen pictures a month, with almost all of them being whitetails.  During the rut, I'd always get a few pictures of big mulie bucks.  This year - none. 

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on January 09, 2019, 08:17:51 AM
My buddies got a place up in that area
Same issues
And lots of bears too until it snows
We went 1 for 12 on legal mule deer last year
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on January 09, 2019, 08:27:55 AM
A question I have yet to get answered is this. Where was the survey taken was it up by Winthrop where you have deer from the Pasayten, Twisp river, Mazama, and northern Chiliwist. Or was any surveys done in th lower valley from Carlton south where u have deer from Alta south an Chiliwist. I can guarantee you if it were the latter the deer population is really dismal.
  Then I have yet to see a total deer count. The ratio might be 15:100 but if there is only 150 deer surveyed that is a low total. I would really like to know the total counted.

Its dismal in the north also, Chewuch, Pearry, Gardner. I know folks who live in all 3 units, worst deer numbers they have ever seen. I keep hearing numbers in the 15,000-19,000 for a total herd count in the valley, thats from the Canadian border at the north down to the Columbia to the south. There are some including myself that find those numbers very high, even if its correct it means half of this herd has disappeared since the 1960,s. We are talking another 15,000-19,000 mule deer gone, just gone.


Just circle the helicopter again and recount the same ones.  "Better take her around again Jim"
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Ridgeratt on January 09, 2019, 08:33:10 AM
A question I have yet to get answered is this. Where was the survey taken was it up by Winthrop where you have deer from the Pasayten, Twisp river, Mazama, and northern Chiliwist. Or was any surveys done in th lower valley from Carlton south where u have deer from Alta south an Chiliwist. I can guarantee you if it were the latter the deer population is really dismal.
  Then I have yet to see a total deer count. The ratio might be 15:100 but if there is only 150 deer surveyed that is a low total. I would really like to know the total counted.

Its dismal in the north also, Chewuch, Pearry, Gardner. I know folks who live in all 3 units, worst deer numbers they have ever seen. I keep hearing numbers in the 15,000-19,000 for a total herd count in the valley, thats from the Canadian border at the north down to the Columbia to the south. There are some including myself that find those numbers very high, even if its correct it means half of this herd has disappeared since the 1960,s. We are talking another 15,000-19,000 mule deer gone, just gone.


Just circle the helicopter again and recount the same ones.  "Better take her around again Jim"



Does it count if they count out the other window as well?  We had 20 out that side and now we have another 20.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MtnMuley on January 09, 2019, 08:54:06 AM
I would love to volunteer to go on the flight as a witness to actual numbers recorded, but I highly doubt anybody with DFW would want me in the air with him :chuckle:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: woodswalker on January 09, 2019, 09:10:49 AM
Did you ever wonder if this is not incompetence, but a deliberate coordinated action? 

Fact, the Department has gotten away from GAME management, Fact, there are a large number of greens and others whose interests do NOT coincide with those of hunters in WDFW.  I do not think its a coincidence that as the make up of WDFW has changed, the agenda has as well.  We are NOT told the truth, even have it denied when we have solid evidence...but are told we don't know what we are seeing/talking about.  And i sure don't like being lied to by Mr Fitkin to my face.  I know the difference between a coyote and a wolf.  Makes me question most everything that comes out of WDFW and flat pisses me off...  The fact that WDFW minimizes predator numbers (wolves in particular) and will not admit to them where anyone IN the woods has solid evidence that they are, further erodes my confidence in them.

In a wider sense, and coincidental with several other agendas, less game, fewer hunters, less hunting, less "Need" for firearms.  Also less access to the wild (human pollution) and fewer folks really conversant with wildlife.  More Corridor Areas.  Fewer rural residences, we see this along the Rockies and in other places where folks are getting forced off their lands.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Seabass on January 09, 2019, 10:08:27 AM
Did you ever wonder if this is not incompetence, but a deliberate coordinated action? 

Fact, the Department has gotten away from GAME management, Fact, there are a large number of greens and others whose interests do NOT coincide with those of hunters in WDFW.  I do not think its a coincidence that as the make up of WDFW has changed, the agenda has as well.  We are NOT told the truth, even have it denied when we have solid evidence...but are told we don't know what we are seeing/talking about.  And i sure don't like being lied to by Mr Fitkin to my face.  I know the difference between a coyote and a wolf.  Makes me question most everything that comes out of WDFW and flat pisses me off...  The fact that WDFW minimizes predator numbers (wolves in particular) and will not admit to them where anyone IN the woods has solid evidence that they are, further erodes my confidence in them.

In a wider sense, and coincidental with several other agendas, less game, fewer hunters, less hunting, less "Need" for firearms.  Also less access to the wild (human pollution) and fewer folks really conversant with wildlife.  More Corridor Areas.  Fewer rural residences, we see this along the Rockies and in other places where folks are getting forced off their lands.

I know it sounds like "tinfoil hat" talk but I'm afraid that your theory could be the real issue. I have felt this way for a few years now. When you only consider wild life management in isolation it sounds crazy. When you add in some of the other "land issues" it's not a stretch to connect the dots with a much more sinister agenda.

The "rural" minded person is much harder to control...
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 09, 2019, 11:16:42 AM
A question I have yet to get answered is this. Where was the survey taken was it up by Winthrop where you have deer from the Pasayten, Twisp river, Mazama, and northern Chiliwist. Or was any surveys done in th lower valley from Carlton south where u have deer from Alta south an Chiliwist. I can guarantee you if it were the latter the deer population is really dismal.
  Then I have yet to see a total deer count. The ratio might be 15:100 but if there is only 150 deer surveyed that is a low total. I would really like to know the total counted.

Its dismal in the north also, Chewuch, Pearry, Gardner. I know folks who live in all 3 units, worst deer numbers they have ever seen. I keep hearing numbers in the 15,000-19,000 for a total herd count in the valley, thats from the Canadian border at the north down to the Columbia to the south. There are some including myself that find those numbers very high, even if its correct it means half of this herd has disappeared since the 1960,s. We are talking another 15,000-19,000 mule deer gone, just gone.


Just circle the helicopter again and recount the same ones.  "Better take her around again Jim"

Exactly bone, the way I look at it is that IF this herd is in the 15,00 to 19,000 range(which is half of what it was in its hay-days of  fluctuating from 30,000-38,000) then we should be seeing half the deer we used to see, I will speak for myself here, during the "hay days" of this herd(1960,s) we would see roughly 100-150 deer a day during our pre season scouting trip(usually the first 2 weeks of Oct.), then we would go over during thanks giving weekend to take pictures after everything had migrated in, we would see anywhere from 1000 -1,500 on the Sat. and Sun. of thanksgiving weekend. IF this herd is what they say it is now, (roughly half of what it was) we should be seeing 50-75 deer a day during the pre-season and see 500-750 on the weekend after thanksgiving. ITS NOT EVEN CLOSE!!! This year we seen about 5-10 deer a day during a 3 day pre season scouting trip, I didn't go over thanksgiving weekend last year but I talked with a local fella I know who did go out and on Saturday(all day) seen around 60. Just my thoughts here, but I,m going to realistically guess(based on my numbers and observations of 55 plus years) that this herd is around 8,000 to 12,000, and I think I might be being a bit generous with those numbers.......Heck I remember my dad and I stopping to talk to a college kid one year back in the 70,s, she was parked along a road in a migration area counting deer come through, when we stopped to talk to her she had counted over300 or 400 deer move through in a 6 hour window, that was the 1st week in November and the season had closed a few days earlier. We ran into another college kid another year sitting on a stump watching a draw in another migration area, he sat there with a clicker and note pad and counted somewhere around 900 deer come through in the 2 days he was there, that was in the early 80,s if I remember correctly, point being it was well past the peak numbers of this herd(1960,s) and numbers like that were not uncommon to see during the migration, even into the 70,s and 80,s , that just doesn't happen anymore, I,ve seen with my own eyes and seen pictures of "masses" of deer migrating through various migration areas, litterly 100,s of head at a time, it was very common to see after multiple storms up high, I know a fella over there that showed me old movie film from sometime in the 70,s taken the week after the season closed, last wk of Oct./1st wk of Nov. :dunno:(once again, well after the "hay-day" years) of 3 different waves of deer coming down a particular ridge over there 2 days after a big snow in the high country, where each wave consisted of over 150-200 deer each, and consisting of some real monsters mixed in. I,m sorry, for me anyway, something is just not adding up about the health of this herd and its numbers. I know a lot of them(WDFW folks) were not around to actually SEE what this herd really was so they really have no personal experience to compare it to, so in their minds, from paper and computers, from a numbers standpoint they think the herds doing well, they are basically comparing their own numbers from 5,10 or even 15-20 years ago :dunno: which was POST predator explosion, and when this herd really started getting a beat down. The base numbers of this herd is a shadow of what it once was, so any kind of uptick its "Oh the herd is doing great", in reality it is an uptick, but its an uptick to a herd that has already been devastated....sorry, things keep popping into my head, like I said, its just not adding up.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: jstone on January 10, 2019, 09:57:34 AM
We will be in Winthrop mid February
Where is a good place to see deer. Besides down town
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on January 10, 2019, 10:07:02 AM
Rendezvous road
Let us know what you see
Usually deer up there wintering
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: hunter399 on January 10, 2019, 10:20:51 AM
What we really need is a change to the rules setting process.
That allows hunters that live and hunt in the gmu help make rules.
This WDFW setting regs to fill there pockets need to end.
I have to believe that hunters that live in the area ,hunt the area would make rules to conserve ,protect,and help herds better than WDFW.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 10, 2019, 11:10:53 AM
Well make your comments during the comment period of the proposals
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Sitka_Blacktail on January 10, 2019, 11:33:56 AM
What we really need is a change to the rules setting process.
That allows hunters that live and hunt in the gmu help make rules.
This WDFW setting regs to fill there pockets need to end.
I have to believe that hunters that live in the area ,hunt the area would make rules to conserve ,protect,and help herds better than WDFW.

So you'd micromanage rules down to only "Hunters" that live in a GMU? Why stop there? Why not let everybody who lives in the GMU have a say in the matter? Maybe property owners should set the rules? You'd probably end up with a lot more regulations like no hound hunting, no foothold or body gripping traps, etc etc.   You're going down a slippery slope.

Let the managers manage.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: TheGreenHunter on January 10, 2019, 12:25:19 PM
Just wondering what effects poachers are having on the population.  You had the poaching ring that was hitting Oregon/Washington last year where there was evidence for 7 bobcats, 4 cougars, 5 bear, and 35 deer killed illegally.  That was just evidence that the prosecution could use in court.  Was that the total of what they had done or just the tip of the iceberg?  They had communications between the people in the poaching group that said they were going out on a weekly basis.

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: blindluck on January 10, 2019, 12:26:25 PM
I just spent a day and a half Where we hunt mule deer expecting to see quite a few deer. In a day and a half we never saw a mule deer. It was unbelievable, however we did see lots of wolf tracks. So sad.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: hunter399 on January 10, 2019, 12:44:17 PM
What we really need is a change to the rules setting process.
That allows hunters that live and hunt in the gmu help make rules.
This WDFW setting regs to fill there pockets need to end.
I have to believe that hunters that live in the area ,hunt the area would make rules to conserve ,protect,and help herds better than WDFW.

So you'd micromanage rules down to only "Hunters" that live in a GMU? Why stop there? Why not let everybody who lives in the GMU have a say in the matter? Maybe property owners should set the rules? You'd probably end up with a lot more regulations like no hound hunting, no foothold or body gripping traps, etc etc.   You're going down a slippery slope.

Let the managers manage.
I'm not sure which state you live in but no hound hunting,no foothold trap or body gripping traps already are rules in this state. :twocents:

Let managers manage ,is gonna become a slippery slope in years to come .when OTC tags are gone and hunting in this state becomes very limited.

Hunters that live in a gmu can see a lot more of what's happening to our wildlife than a game commission that never leaves the office.When people lie on there hunting reports about harvest,how many days hunting etc. It hurts the rules setting process.Biologists lie about game counts can hurt rule setting.There is a lot factors that go into rule setting .All I'm saying is that hunters live in that area should be listened too a lot more.It pretty obvious that some of the systems we have in place now are not working with less game every year and hunters that are spending there money in other states.Your suggestion of let managers manage Sitka is not working plain and simple,what looks good on paper doesn't always look good out in the woods.

I do leave my comments every year when rule changes come up.It really does no good .Regs are alway set with how many tags can we sell ,without conservation in mind.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on January 10, 2019, 12:46:07 PM
Did you ever wonder if this is not incompetence, but a deliberate coordinated action? 

Fact, the Department has gotten away from GAME management, Fact, there are a large number of greens and others whose interests do NOT coincide with those of hunters in WDFW.  I do not think its a coincidence that as the make up of WDFW has changed, the agenda has as well.  We are NOT told the truth, even have it denied when we have solid evidence...but are told we don't know what we are seeing/talking about.  And i sure don't like being lied to by Mr Fitkin to my face.  I know the difference between a coyote and a wolf.  Makes me question most everything that comes out of WDFW and flat pisses me off...  The fact that WDFW minimizes predator numbers (wolves in particular) and will not admit to them where anyone IN the woods has solid evidence that they are, further erodes my confidence in them.

In a wider sense, and coincidental with several other agendas, less game, fewer hunters, less hunting, less "Need" for firearms.  Also less access to the wild (human pollution) and fewer folks really conversant with wildlife.  More Corridor Areas.  Fewer rural residences, we see this along the Rockies and in other places where folks are getting forced off their lands.


 :yeah:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 10, 2019, 07:13:39 PM
Rendezvous road
Let us know what you see
Usually deer up there wintering

A friend of mine drove around for about an hour and a half about 2 weeks ago, 19 deer not counting the 11 he seen around the PUD outfit. Perspective- same trip 10-15 years ago, 100-150..... 25-30 years ago,around 200-300.......30-50 years ago, around 250-350.......50-70 years ago, 400-600. All based on trips I have made or grandparents made from thanksgiving weekends. February numbers can go in all different directions, depending on weather, my great grandparents used to love to watch the spring migrations, they would go over towards the end of Feb. some years(if it was a mild winter) and sometimes see 1000 deer or more in staging areas we knew of, most years it was March or April. We haven't seen the big congregations in years, I know of a couple areas(and I know a few others on here know also ;))where the does will bunch up during their trips back to the high country to drop fawns during the spring migration, IF the winters linger to long down low . The big "herds" that would bunch up in the spring were really something to see, hundreds of deer just milling around for days, just waiting for someone to "make the move".
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Odell on January 10, 2019, 07:44:42 PM
If the cougars have eaten all the deer how are there still so many cougars? I'm not saying there isn't a problem but it seems like predators cannot be playing that big of a part. They rise and fall with the prey. The fires and droughts have been a huge part of it.

For what it is worth, i had the quality 218 rifle tag this year. From guys with history it was a terrible year to have the tag and I sure didn't see what I had hoped to see. But I ran into other tag holders who were moaning that this was the worst deer year ever and they hadn't seen hardly anything. They were usually parked off the rendezvous waiting for a booner to cross the road. Those days are long gone. We hiked in 1-3 miles each day and saw 30-50 deer a day. So barely getting off the road and we were seeing 10x the deer other guys were.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 10, 2019, 08:24:41 PM
If the cougars have eaten all the deer how are there still so many cougars? I'm not saying there isn't a problem but it seems like predators cannot be playing that big of a part. They rise and fall with the prey. The fires and droughts have been a huge part of it.

For what it is worth, i had the quality 218 rifle tag this year. From guys with history it was a terrible year to have the tag and I sure didn't see what I had hoped to see. But I ran into other tag holders who were moaning that this was the worst deer year ever and they hadn't seen hardly anything. They were usually parked off the rendezvous waiting for a booner to cross the road. Those days are long gone. We hiked in 1-3 miles each day and saw 30-50 deer a day. So barely getting off the road and we were seeing 10x the deer other guys were.

Just my opinion here, there is still deer in the valley, I don't think anyone is saying "cougars have eaten all the deer". Have cougars, bear, coyotes and wolves played a big role in the downward spiral of this herd? You bet they have, that 30-50 deer a day you were seeing during the prime of the rut would have been 4 times that, pre predator explosion of 20-25 years ago! As soon as the gloves were put on concerning how we controlled predators in this state, within 5 years is when we started noticing, just a little but we were noticing a downtick. Then as predator numbers really started going up and the new one entered is when it really started tanking. As I have always said, there is more than one issue that has effected this herd negatively, but IMO, with what myself and family have experienced for over 100 years in this valley, including fires and winters where over 10,000 deer perished the herd always bounced back and bounced back fairly fast, the booming population of predators in this valley along with the "showing up" of a new apex predator has put a smack down on the numbers of this herd and with growing predator numbers the "bouncing back" of this herd will take a long time when Mother Nature does strike, if they even bounce back at all.....with all due respect, just my :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Sitka_Blacktail on January 10, 2019, 11:05:57 PM

I'm not sure which state you live in but no hound hunting,no foothold trap or body gripping traps already are rules in this state. :twocents:

Let managers manage ,is gonna become a slippery slope in years to come .when OTC tags are gone and hunting in this state becomes very limited.

Hunters that live in a gmu can see a lot more of what's happening to our wildlife than a game commission that never leaves the office.When people lie on there hunting reports about harvest,how many days hunting etc. It hurts the rules setting process.Biologists lie about game counts can hurt rule setting.There is a lot factors that go into rule setting .All I'm saying is that hunters live in that area should be listened too a lot more.It pretty obvious that some of the systems we have in place now are not working with less game every year and hunters that are spending there money in other states.Your suggestion of let managers manage Sitka is not working plain and simple,what looks good on paper doesn't always look good out in the woods.

I do leave my comments every year when rule changes come up.It really does no good .Regs are alway set with how many tags can we sell ,without conservation in mind.

That's what I'm getting at Hunter 399. Management shouldn't be decided on people's feelings. Neither voters or hunters should be deciding what season there should be or what legal hunting methods should be used.  Management should be based on what is best for the herds and the habitat and should be done with the best science available. Just because some Yuppie in Seattle thinks hounds shouldn't be allowed to hunt predators or just because some hunters think they don't get enough opportunity, is no reason to let either of them decide what hunting regulations should be.  Leave it to the professionals. (I'm talking the biologists)  They know a lot more than they ever get credit for.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 11, 2019, 05:16:28 AM
You obviously don't know the reputation of the biologist in this area. Why do you think we are in this predicament in the first place. If you had any past experience with how it has been handled in the past you wouldn't put in the hands of the biologist. This biologist has way too large of an area to handle and cannot make judgment calls which are best for the herd.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: hunter399 on January 11, 2019, 07:52:27 AM

I'm not sure which state you live in but no hound hunting,no foothold trap or body gripping traps already are rules in this state. :twocents:

Let managers manage ,is gonna become a slippery slope in years to come .when OTC tags are gone and hunting in this state becomes very limited.

Hunters that live in a gmu can see a lot more of what's happening to our wildlife than a game commission that never leaves the office.When people lie on there hunting reports about harvest,how many days hunting etc. It hurts the rules setting process.Biologists lie about game counts can hurt rule setting.There is a lot factors that go into rule setting .All I'm saying is that hunters live in that area should be listened too a lot more.It pretty obvious that some of the systems we have in place now are not working with less game every year and hunters that are spending there money in other states.Your suggestion of let managers manage Sitka is not working plain and simple,what looks good on paper doesn't always look good out in the woods.

I do leave my comments every year when rule changes come up.It really does no good .Regs are alway set with how many tags can we sell ,without conservation in mind.

That's what I'm getting at Hunter 399. Management shouldn't be decided on people's feelings. Neither voters or hunters should be deciding what season there should be or what legal hunting methods should be used.  Management should be based on what is best for the herds and the habitat and should be done with the best science available. Just because some Yuppie in Seattle thinks hounds shouldn't be allowed to hunt predators or just because some hunters think they don't get enough opportunity, is no reason to let either of them decide what hunting regulations should be.  Leave it to the professionals. (I'm talking the biologists)  They know a lot more than they ever get credit for.
You are right Sitka.
I just wish biologist,commission,etc. would start makeing hard decisions that need to be made concerning wildlife and the future of hunting.
Instead of selling tags being first priority.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on January 11, 2019, 09:18:55 AM

I'm not sure which state you live in but no hound hunting,no foothold trap or body gripping traps already are rules in this state. :twocents:

Let managers manage ,is gonna become a slippery slope in years to come .when OTC tags are gone and hunting in this state becomes very limited.

Hunters that live in a gmu can see a lot more of what's happening to our wildlife than a game commission that never leaves the office.When people lie on there hunting reports about harvest,how many days hunting etc. It hurts the rules setting process.Biologists lie about game counts can hurt rule setting.There is a lot factors that go into rule setting .All I'm saying is that hunters live in that area should be listened too a lot more.It pretty obvious that some of the systems we have in place now are not working with less game every year and hunters that are spending there money in other states.Your suggestion of let managers manage Sitka is not working plain and simple,what looks good on paper doesn't always look good out in the woods.

I do leave my comments every year when rule changes come up.It really does no good .Regs are alway set with how many tags can we sell ,without conservation in mind.

That's what I'm getting at Hunter 399. Management shouldn't be decided on people's feelings. Neither voters or hunters should be deciding what season there should be or what legal hunting methods should be used.  Management should be based on what is best for the herds and the habitat and should be done with the best science available. Just because some Yuppie in Seattle thinks hounds shouldn't be allowed to hunt predators or just because some hunters think they don't get enough opportunity, is no reason to let either of them decide what hunting regulations should be.  Leave it to the professionals. (I'm talking the biologists)  They know a lot more than they ever get credit for.
You are right Sitka.
I just wish biologist,commission,etc. would start makeing hard decisions that need to be made concerning wildlife and the future of hunting.
Instead of selling tags being first priority.
I'm all for science based management - which means we are using facts and data to inform decisions.  However, seasons, methods, population goals, are not decided on science - the science informs how things like season length, timing, harvest methods etc. will effect populations.  But it is ultimately up to the owners of the wildlife (the public) - via their fish and wildlife commission - to make these decisions and at least some of those decisions are based on social and cultural values of the owners of the wildlife.  More simply - science does not tell us what is right or wrong - it just ensures professional staff can better achieve the public's desires.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: woodswalker on January 11, 2019, 11:27:41 AM
You obviously don't know the reputation of the biologist in this area. Why do you think we are in this predicament in the first place. If you had any past experience with how it has been handled in the past you wouldn't put in the hands of the biologist. This biologist has way too large of an area to handle and cannot make judgment calls which are best for the herd.
:yeah:
That is a FACT
 :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Bonehuntn on January 12, 2019, 08:17:19 AM
Pretty much comes down to if you donít live in the area you prob shouldnt Hunt it for a handful of years to help things out! 🤷‍♂️ 😂
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on January 12, 2019, 10:36:49 AM
Did you ever wonder if this is not incompetence, but a deliberate coordinated action? 

Fact, the Department has gotten away from GAME management, Fact, there are a large number of greens and others whose interests do NOT coincide with those of hunters in WDFW.  I do not think its a coincidence that as the make up of WDFW has changed, the agenda has as well.  We are NOT told the truth, even have it denied when we have solid evidence...but are told we don't know what we are seeing/talking about.  And i sure don't like being lied to by Mr Fitkin to my face.  I know the difference between a coyote and a wolf.  Makes me question most everything that comes out of WDFW and flat pisses me off...  The fact that WDFW minimizes predator numbers (wolves in particular) and will not admit to them where anyone IN the woods has solid evidence that they are, further erodes my confidence in them.

In a wider sense, and coincidental with several other agendas, less game, fewer hunters, less hunting, less "Need" for firearms.  Also less access to the wild (human pollution) and fewer folks really conversant with wildlife.  More Corridor Areas.  Fewer rural residences, we see this along the Rockies and in other places where folks are getting forced off their lands.

 :yeah: :bash: :bash:

WDFW knew exactly what wolves would do to the ungulate population in WA, like everyone else, they only had to look at the Yellowstone elk herd etc.. Then take away cougar and bear management tools, hounds and bear baiting, throw in hundreds of doe permits and expect the deer herd to keep up with demand?

I have watched the destruction of the deer herd for over ten years now, told about it here on H-W. Like many areas in WA, there are a few select coyote hunters that have their game down, and I know of a few here in the Methow that kill the heck out of coyotes every year, then there are those that shoot on sight any coyote they see, so coyotes can be controlled some what.

What's changed, wolves and cougars are seen and talk about it on a regular basis,, it's no big deal. It is the new norm.

I talk to a guy who has worked as a seasonal for the USFS in the Methow for 25+ years, he said next year he will be packing, he said last year he had several close calls with bears, and had never seen so many before.

Last week a friend and I drove up Beaver Cr and over the top down into Bear Cr, we put 60 miles on, driving back roads and the only deer we saw was in the orchard behind Hanks grocery store. We did see plenty of wolf tracks and a couple sets of cougar tracks and the occasional coyote track.

The cougars are snagging deer in the river bottoms and the outskirts of town, homes where the deer feel safe, many are noticing the drop in town deer as the winter wears on.

As for the Methow, anytime someone says it's the habitat they don't know what they are talking about, I can show you miles of bitter brush country where deer use to range, that now has no deer. Where once herds of 200 plus fed in alfalfa fields in the fall, there are now none.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure why the deer herd is on it's last legs, and figure out that without strict predator management this is the end..I highly doubt at this stage of the game the herds can be turned around.

To some, the term WDFW biologist has become a dirty word in the Methow and Okanogan, the rest are blind followers of WDF&Wolves.

A little WDFW wolf history:

In Washington, Feds Opt For Wolf Introduction Over Recovery

https://www.skinnymoose.com/bbb/2010/06/08/in-washington-feds-opt-for-wolf-introduction-over-recovery/

If you want to get a cougar in the Methow, PM me, quite sure I can direct you to success.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: jstone on January 13, 2019, 11:51:15 AM
Will the bucks have lost there racks in mid February?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: zwickeyman on January 13, 2019, 12:02:14 PM
All 3 bucks will most likely have dropped by then :bash:

Not too much of an exaggeration :'(
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on January 13, 2019, 12:05:02 PM
 :chuckle:


thats sad
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 14, 2019, 08:02:15 PM
I got permission to post this story from a friend of mine, it fits into this topic like a glove. I talked with a friend of mine who's brother has been living in Florida for the last 22 years. He used to hunt the Methow as a young man back in the 60,s, 70,s 80,s, his last year hunting it was 1996. He grew up in eastern Washington and the Methow was like a 2nd home to him and his brother. They packed in on horseback into a lot of remote areas and killed a lot of big bucks from the north part of the valley down to the Gold Creek area. My friend said his brother and wife now in their late 70,s came up to Washington for the holidays this last year, he wanted to make a trip to the Methow to see his beloved Mule deer that he has missed for 22 years, it was the first time setting foot in the valley since 1996. Well, they seen 26 deer in a day and a half going into areas that the last time he was in (back in the 90,s), he seen hundreds. It was 1996 that he and some friends went into the Davis Lake and Pipestone Canyon area on horseback in December to take pictures and video of deer, he said they seen around 500 that day along with about 100 bucks. I will say it again, he made the same trip this year, same time frame, the only thing different was that they spent an extra half day and it was 22 years later, from 500 down to 26, needless to say he was shocked and devastated to see the state of this once mighty Mule deer herd, while they sat on their horses overlooking some of the primest winter range in the valley,  he asked my friend(his brother) what has happened in 22 years, they looked about 10 feet to their left and in the snow was 2 sets of cougar tracks, my friend pointed to the tracks and told his brother "there is a lot more of those up and down this valley, A WHOLE LOT more than there used to be"
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: no.cen.wa on January 15, 2019, 08:41:34 PM
Thanks wolfbait for those old articles, makes me sick but not surprised! Think I'll stop hunting mule deer and switch to predators next season, if you see a dead carcass, I know nothing about it :dunno:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: splitshot on January 30, 2019, 07:23:03 PM
Where r the deer going 2 winter. Too many people.no one will realize this till it is 2 late. The next hard will put a big hurt on wildlife. Mike w
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mountainman on January 30, 2019, 08:43:26 PM
Growing up there and cut my teeth on mule deer in the Methow. Go up there still quite often. Breaks my heart to see what has happened to that herd. Once, the place to go out if the whole state, now just a sad remnant of what once was...
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on January 31, 2019, 09:19:25 AM
Yep :(
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on January 31, 2019, 11:45:42 AM
It's very interesting when I asked the Biologist about how the cougar population affects the deer population and was told:
 It is not a cougar problem as studies show that deer populations impact the cougars and not the other way around. If there are not enough deer the cougars will leave or die off. He said it is a number of issues. Tribal hunting, disease(louse issues), salvage law, habitat.

I say B.S.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: nwwanderer on January 31, 2019, 11:51:52 AM
Salvage law?  So folks are running over deer to get a salvage permit?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: DOUBLELUNG on January 31, 2019, 02:22:16 PM
Salvage law?  So folks are running over deer to get a salvage permit?
It's happened in other states when picking up roadkill was legalized, but I don't think its ever been a significant population-level source of mortality.  Way more illegally taken deer with .22s than bumpers.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on January 31, 2019, 07:56:45 PM
It's very interesting when I asked the Biologist about how the cougar population affects the deer population and was told:
 It is not a cougar problem as studies show that deer populations impact the cougars and not the other way around. If there are not enough deer the cougars will leave or die off. He said it is a number of issues. Tribal hunting, disease(louse issues), salvage law, habitat.

I say B.S.

Well then, according to their formula the cougar population should be going down the crapper because of the 10-15 thousand head reduction to this deer herd over the last 20-40 years, hmmm, yet we are seeing more and more cats every year, shouldn't the cougar population be dropping drastically? Its very obvious that those of us who have history in this valley that this herd is only a FRACTION of what it was and is continuing to plummet, yet we are seeing more cougar sign, more and more kills and more and more cougars, once again, since the cat population seems to be on the incline and has been for the last 20 years shouldn't the deer population be going through the roof to support a booming cougar population? Maybe the cats will actually start  to "leave or die off" in the next 5 -10 years because thats when this herd at this rate should be reduced to "town deer" and about a 2-3 thousand head migrating herd :bash: :bash:...what a shame! I,ve heard of "predator pits" and unfortunately I guess thats what this valley, that once had the largest migrating mule deer herd in the country is becoming. Great job WDFW :tup:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on February 01, 2019, 06:38:34 PM
Well said

WDFW should be ashamed of themselves

My relatives in Massachusetts do better deer hunting there
than I do here

Sad and embarrassing
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Axle on February 01, 2019, 07:33:52 PM
Quote
WDFW should be ashamed of themselves

Actually - they are anti hunters. And they are very proud of what they have accomplished.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: BKMFR on February 01, 2019, 07:51:05 PM
 :yeah:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on February 01, 2019, 08:09:22 PM
That in itself should be a separate topic of discussion
 How the heck can the Washington Department of Fish and wildlife be anti-hunting ?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on February 01, 2019, 08:12:48 PM
Just going to inject a little logic here...WDFW are not anti-hunters and declines are not all their fault.  Statewide initiatives and politics, human population growth, and habitat degradation/loss are a number of things outside their control that are major contributors to mule deer and other game species declines in this state.

Carry on.   
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: skidynastar33 on February 01, 2019, 08:34:30 PM
Just going to inject a little logic here...WDFW are not anti-hunters and declines are not all their fault.  Statewide initiatives and politics, human population growth, and habitat degradation/loss are a number of things outside their control that are major contributors to mule deer and other game species declines in this state.

Carry on.

Also I think hunters seem to confuse herd ďhealthĒ vs ďpopulationĒ. Too High of  populations are not healthy. It can bring diseases and high die offs. Are populations low? Yes. Can there be some Predators control? Yes. Can we get rid of doe permits? Yes. Do we need to over react and do something dramatic? No. Herds will rebound. They alaways do. Maybe not in the time we want to but they do. Last years super warm weather helped. Some warm winters will go a long ways as well. But remember that fires destroy a lot of the winter habitat in the area and that tge Herds reflect that.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Romulus1297 on February 01, 2019, 09:40:31 PM
Anyone have any pictures of the new Methow mule deer herd? Anyone?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Axle on February 02, 2019, 07:46:07 AM
That in itself should be a separate topic of discussion
 How the heck can the Washington Department of Fish and wildlife be anti-hunting ?

By creating a predator pit. Most hunters want ungulates. With little or no ungulates, the hunting is diminished by vast amounts.
I know they aren't 'all' anti hunters. That would be silly to assume that. But those calling the shots are showing themselves to be so. Our ungulate herds are rapidly diminishing and have been since the late '80s and this is due a predator population that's gone out of control. It's been purposely managed this way for a reason.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on February 02, 2019, 12:38:59 PM
That in itself should be a separate topic of discussion
 How the heck can the Washington Department of Fish and wildlife be anti-hunting ?

By creating a predator pit. Most hunters want ungulates. With little or no ungulates, the hunting is diminished by vast amounts.
I know they aren't 'all' anti hunters. That would be silly to assume that. But those calling the shots are showing themselves to be so. Our ungulate herds are rapidly diminishing and have been since the late '80s and this is due a predator population that's gone out of control. It's been purposely managed this way for a reason.

I have not been fitted for a tin foil hat nor have I ever wore one but the way this herd has been managed since the switch to "WDFW" from the "Game Department" 20 odd years ago really makes you wonder about about things like this, the mis-trust they have earned over the years since the switch has not done them any favors either, especially when it comes to predators. When it comes to the Methow herd at least they themselves have eroded the confidence of hunters and sportsman by their own voice and actions, and yes, it is truly a shame. Hopefully someday, somebody figures it out and this herd or whats left of it is put back on the top rung of the ladder.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bearpaw on February 02, 2019, 01:42:36 PM
Just going to inject a little logic here...WDFW are not anti-hunters and declines are not all their fault.  Statewide initiatives and politics, human population growth, and habitat degradation/loss are a number of things outside their control that are major contributors to mule deer and other game species declines in this state.

Carry on.

 :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

WDFW is being run to protect predators! That is their main goal! :twocents:

In eastern states with high human populations and tremendous development, where there are no cougar and no wolves, you can shoot multiple deer per season, one deer a day in one state! The states where elk are being reintroduced they are flourishing!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bearpaw on February 02, 2019, 01:55:32 PM
One of he biggest problems in wildlife management is that biologists being hired are being taught phony science and beliefs by anti-hunting professors like Wielgus in the universities.

Washington is still using Wielgus' bogus info to decrease cougar quotas. That is just one way that WDFW is essentially perpetuating an anti-hunting culture in Washington's wildlife management! Do I need to mention the influence Conservation Northwest has?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on February 02, 2019, 02:10:30 PM
Just going to inject a little logic here...WDFW are not anti-hunters and declines are not all their fault.  Statewide initiatives and politics, human population growth, and habitat degradation/loss are a number of things outside their control that are major contributors to mule deer and other game species declines in this state.

Carry on.

 :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

WDFW is being run to protect predators! That is their main goal! :twocents:

In eastern states with high human populations and tremendous development, where there are no cougar and no wolves, you can shoot multiple deer per season, one deer a day in one state! The states where elk are being reintroduced they are flourishing!
Apples and oranges bearpaw...not even close comparisons.  Nice try though.  :chuckle:

WDFWs main goal seems to be keeping their bloated bureaucracy afloat.  However, its unreasonable to talk about methow mule deer declines without acknowledging several other major factors outside their control. 

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Alan K on February 02, 2019, 03:21:25 PM
I don't see the initiatives being an excuse for them. It was obvious that the harvest of bear and cougar would tank without baiting/hounds, so you would have thought the seasons would have been increased, or even made year around to account for it.

I think if they were truely trying to maintain healthy ungulate populations they would have made immediate changes to seasons and bag limits to replace the lost baiting and hound harvest. Or at least as much of it as possible. :dunno: 

Predator harvest is so pathetic I don't see any reason there couldn't be a year around boot season and still not meet historical harvest.

Either WDFW is out to protect predators as bearpaw says, or completely inept at game management.  I hope the latter because at least someone with half a brain might get hired and turn things around.  A covert plot to replace hunting in this state with natural predators sounds far fetch'd on it's face but when you look at the actions (or lack thereof) it's pretty easy to become suspicious...



Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Bob33 on February 02, 2019, 03:38:24 PM
I don't see the initiatives being an excuse for them. It was obvious that the harvest of bear and cougar would tank without baiting/hounds, so you would have thought the seasons would have been increased, or even made year around to account for it.

I think if they were truely trying to maintain healthy ungulate populations they would have made immediate changes to seasons and bag limits to replace the lost baiting and hound harvest. Or at least as much of it as possible. :dunno: 

Predator harvest is so pathetic I don't see any reason there couldn't be a year around boot season and still not meet historical harvest.

Either WDFW is out to protect predators as bearpaw says, or completely inept at game management.  I hope the latter because at least someone with half a brain might get hired and turn things around.  A covert plot to replace hunting in this state with natural predators sounds far fetch'd on it's face but when you look at the actions (or lack thereof) it's pretty easy to become suspicious...
They did.

After the initiative passed the Department of Fish and Wildlife increased the number and reduced the cost of cougar hunting tags, increased the bag limit, and extended the duration of the hunting season in the years following.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Alan K on February 02, 2019, 04:21:43 PM
If that's the case I guess I'm confused as to why we are where we are today with the limited seasons, a single cat bag limit, quotas etc.

At some point they reversed course and placed the additional protections on them. Based on what?  Obviously not populations, that's readily apparent with the sightings that have skyrocketed.  :dunno:

I hope wholeheartedly that WDFW has our best interests in mind, but nothing they do with respect to predators illustrates that.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnfmly on February 02, 2019, 04:40:07 PM
Question from a cougar novice.
Is it possible that the up tick in cougar sightings where there normally weren't alot be caused by wolves pushing them into these areas ?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Bob33 on February 02, 2019, 04:55:04 PM
Politics play a role as well.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/oct/20/gov-inslee-nixes-cougar-hunting-quota-increases-overrules-wildlife-panel/ (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/oct/20/gov-inslee-nixes-cougar-hunting-quota-increases-overrules-wildlife-panel/)
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Alan K on February 02, 2019, 06:08:29 PM
Quote
However, George says, a "12-14 percent harvest rate is a worthless measure (for indicating sustainable cougar numbers) when we have no idea what the population is. It's an estimate at best. The whole thing is a bad joke."

There-in lies the problem. We have had relatively stable annual harvests averaging around 200 per year state wide for the last 20 years, but encounters and sightings have been climbing and climbing and climbing.  The use of trail cameras has been widespread for 10-15 years now and the continually increasing photos further illustrate it. They don't publish any numbers from the days of running dogs, but harvest was certainly considerably greater and they didn't go extinct or even close to it then...  What does that tell us about these quotas they've set?

None of this is directed at you personally Bob33, more of a venting frustration of WDFW's failure to control things.  They NEVER have any spine when faced with this political BS. They could put out a presser eviscerating Inslee on how the SCIENCE shows a need for increased harvest, and it's leading to devastation of our ungulate herds. They never do that though, and THAT is really why sports men and women believe WDFW is all for the predator explosions.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bearpaw on February 02, 2019, 06:14:59 PM
Just going to inject a little logic here...WDFW are not anti-hunters and declines are not all their fault.  Statewide initiatives and politics, human population growth, and habitat degradation/loss are a number of things outside their control that are major contributors to mule deer and other game species declines in this state.

Carry on.

 :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

WDFW is being run to protect predators! That is their main goal! :twocents:

In eastern states with high human populations and tremendous development, where there are no cougar and no wolves, you can shoot multiple deer per season, one deer a day in one state! The states where elk are being reintroduced they are flourishing!
Apples and oranges bearpaw...not even close comparisons.  Nice try though.  :chuckle:

WDFWs main goal seems to be keeping their bloated bureaucracy afloat.  However, its unreasonable to talk about methow mule deer declines without acknowledging several other major factors outside their control.

There are more mule deer living in the towns in the Methow than anywhere. Everyone who has actually been there know that! The problem is predators!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bearpaw on February 02, 2019, 06:20:52 PM
Politics play a role as well.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/oct/20/gov-inslee-nixes-cougar-hunting-quota-increases-overrules-wildlife-panel/ (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/oct/20/gov-inslee-nixes-cougar-hunting-quota-increases-overrules-wildlife-panel/)

That is definitely a serious issue, I'm not sure the governor will allow much predator hunting.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnfmly on February 02, 2019, 06:25:58 PM
Question from a cougar novice.
Is it possible that the up tick in cougar sightings where there normally weren't alot be caused by wolves pushing them into these areas ?
Anybody?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Twispriver on February 02, 2019, 07:00:16 PM
I've hunted the Methow for better than 30 years and have owned property there since 91. While not a full-time resident there I do spend a lot of time in the valley and while predators are a problem the thing that doesn't get much mention is domestic dogs. The Methow Valley is the home of the free range dog. Folks that have no rural life experience come over and buy a two acre or five acre lot and the first thing they do is get themselves a 20 acre dog and send him out to go for a "run" every morning. In the winter, in fawning season it takes a toll on the deer. It's not the biggest thing but it's another nail in the coffin for this herd.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on February 02, 2019, 07:05:02 PM
Question from a cougar novice.
Is it possible that the up tick in cougar sightings where there normally weren't alot be caused by wolves pushing them into these areas ?
Anybody?

That is exactly whatís happening in North Idaho. Like downtown cour d Alene fish and game treed one this summer. I get calls all the time of people seeing cougar on their property close to town.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on February 02, 2019, 07:10:01 PM
Question from a cougar novice.
Is it possible that the up tick in cougar sightings where there normally weren't alot be caused by wolves pushing them into these areas ?
Anybody?



The wolves are chasing the deer and elk into town and the cats are following the game. I donít think they are specifically moving lions but there is elk in around town in places they never were before wolves

That is exactly whatís happening in North Idaho. Like downtown cour d Alene fish and game treed one this summer. I get calls all the time of people seeing cougar on their property close to town.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnfmly on February 02, 2019, 07:13:30 PM
Question from a cougar novice.
Is it possible that the up tick in cougar sightings where there normally weren't alot be caused by wolves pushing them into these areas ?
Anybody?



The wolves are chasing the deer and elk into town and the cats are following the game. I donít think they are specifically moving lions but there is elk in around town in places they never were before wolves

That is exactly whatís happening in North Idaho. Like downtown cour d Alene fish and game treed one this summer. I get calls all the time of people seeing cougar on their property close to town.
Thank you I appreciate it
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: nwwanderer on February 02, 2019, 07:23:53 PM
I am hearing reports of cougar/livestock issues around Mansfield, seems likely that movement has occured from the north and east.  Any word from WDFW?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on February 02, 2019, 09:16:10 PM
Question from a cougar novice.
Is it possible that the up tick in cougar sightings where there normally weren't alot be caused by wolves pushing them into these areas ?
Anybody?



The wolves are chasing the deer and elk into town and the cats are following the game. I donít think they are specifically moving lions but there is elk in around town in places they never were before wolves

That is exactly whatís happening in North Idaho. Like downtown cour d Alene fish and game treed one this summer. I get calls all the time of people seeing cougar on their property close to town.


 :yeah:

A few years ago a friend of mine got six different cougars on one trail cam at a stock tank in small drainage a few miles outside of Twisp. Before wolves this drainage always had deer in it year around, now wolves are seen in the area on a regular basis year around.

As time goes on and WDFW refuse to address the predator problems more human/livestock incidences will occur, I wonder what kind of pressure it will take for WDFW to respond? To what extent will they go to cover up the predation impacts?

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Dan-o on February 02, 2019, 11:07:25 PM
I am hearing reports of cougar/livestock issues around Mansfield, seems likely that movement has occured from the north and east.  Any word from WDFW?

That would surprise me.

I've never seen a cougar track around Mannsfield, but I'm sure they're around.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on February 03, 2019, 10:19:37 AM
If that's the case I guess I'm confused as to why we are where we are today with the limited seasons, a single cat bag limit, quotas etc.

At some point they reversed course and placed the additional protections on them. Based on what?  Obviously not populations, that's readily apparent with the sightings that have skyrocketed.  :dunno:

I hope wholeheartedly that WDFW has our best interests in mind, but nothing they do with respect to predators illustrates that.

100% agree, when hounds and baiting were taken out of the playbook a much more aggressive approach should have been taken to control bear and cougar numbers, at least year round seasons on cats with no quotas and longer and more aggressive seasons on bear. Like some have said, the predators seem like they are being managed and coddled more than our deer and elk , their populations are increasing while our deer, elk and moose are decreasing.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on February 03, 2019, 09:58:44 PM
Just going to inject a little logic here...WDFW are not anti-hunters and declines are not all their fault.  Statewide initiatives and politics, human population growth, and habitat degradation/loss are a number of things outside their control that are major contributors to mule deer and other game species declines in this state.

Carry on.

 :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:

WDFW is being run to protect predators! That is their main goal! :twocents:

In eastern states with high human populations and tremendous development, where there are no cougar and no wolves, you can shoot multiple deer per season, one deer a day in one state! The states where elk are being reintroduced they are flourishing!
Apples and oranges bearpaw...not even close comparisons.  Nice try though.  :chuckle:

WDFWs main goal seems to be keeping their bloated bureaucracy afloat.  However, its unreasonable to talk about methow mule deer declines without acknowledging several other major factors outside their control.

There are more mule deer living in the towns in the Methow than anywhere. Everyone who has actually been there know that! The problem is predators!

You are right on the chin bearpaw :yeah:, what a lot of people don't realize is at one time the Methow herd was THE largest migrating Mule Deer herd in the country, the folks left in charge of "managing" this herd have done a disservice to not only us as hunters, but first and foremost they have done a disservice to this once proud and thriving herd. Predators are job 1 now days, its easy to see who is getting the attention, some are on the rise while the others are tanking, it doesn't take a college degree to see whats happening..... :twocents: :bash:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on February 04, 2019, 10:30:21 AM
Just talked with a friend who lives in the Davis Lake area, smack dab in the middle of some great winter range. He has lived-in the valley for over 50 years and knows it and its history well. Up until about 12-15 years ago he would see around 1500-2000 deer in the Davis area between Thanksgiving and Valentines day, according to his journals. Over the last 15 years the numbers have slowly been trending down each year. This year he has seen around 200 total in the area since Thanksgiving, from 1500 down to 200, thats quite a drop! He says the same thing a lot of us are saying, "the NUMBER ONE problem with this herd is when the gloves were put on concerning predators". He also said "the NUMBER TWO problem is we have a bunch of kids with laptops and politicians that are calling all the shots and they will tell you to your face, they know what they're doing". Well, IF their job is to grow and expand a number of different predators and help devastate a once thriving Mule deer herd then you know what, maybe they DO KNOW what they're doing.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bearpaw on February 04, 2019, 01:41:38 PM
Question from a cougar novice.
Is it possible that the up tick in cougar sightings where there normally weren't alot be caused by wolves pushing them into these areas ?
Anybody?

I've been hunting cougar every winter since 1976. When we first started cougar hunting we had to go back in the mountains to find cats, it took on average a week to find a cat. In the mid 80's WA began a draw system and the cougar population began climbing, cougar became so numerous that we would average finding 5 cougar tracks per day hunted, I began offering guaranteed 3-day cougar hunts and we could cherry pick for the biggest cat. It was during the 90's that we really began finding more and more cougar closer to towns. I continued offering hunts in WA until voters outlawed hound hunting in 1996.

In the last 20 years since hound hunting was outlawed I've also noticed even more cougar and a considerable decline in mule deer numbers in the mountains, a favored food of cougar. With fewer mule deer there are more and more cats eating whitetail deer and other food sources. So I think there are three factors at work, first being the cougar population is very high and the mountains are saturated with cats and other predators, secondly food sources in the mountains have dwindled, there are more possible food sources closer to human developments where whitetails, pets, and other possible food sources are more abundant, and third cougar no longer have as much fear of dogs or humans because dogs with humans are no longer allowed to hunt cougar in WA, as a result I think dogs are more frequently viewed as a food source by neighborhood dwelling cougar and even though cougar historically avoided humans, the frequency of cougar attacking humans is increasing.

There's not much doubt that wolf packs displace cougar either, even though one cougar might kill one wolf, it's been documented that wolves kill and eat cougar. I think the additional competition in the mountains has caused cougar and wolves to seek more abundant food sources and frequent human inhabited areas more often.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnfmly on February 04, 2019, 02:33:51 PM
Question from a cougar novice.
Is it possible that the up tick in cougar sightings where there normally weren't alot be caused by wolves pushing them into these areas ?
Anybody?

I've been hunting cougar every winter since 1976. When we first started cougar hunting we had to go back in the mountains to find cats, it took on average a week to find a cat. In the mid 80's WA began a draw system and the cougar population began climbing, cougar became so numerous that we would average finding 5 cougar tracks per day hunted, I began offering guaranteed 3-day cougar hunts and we could cherry pick for the biggest cat. It was during the 90's that we really began finding more and more cougar closer to towns. I continued offering hunts in WA until voters outlawed hound hunting in 1996.

In the last 20 years since hound hunting was outlawed I've also noticed even more cougar and a considerable decline in mule deer numbers in the mountains, a favored food of cougar. With fewer mule deer there are more and more cats eating whitetail deer and other food sources. So I think there are three factors at work, first being the cougar population is very high and the mountains are saturated with cats and other predators, secondly food sources in the mountains have dwindled, there are more possible food sources closer to human developments where whitetails, pets, and other possible food sources are more abundant, and third cougar no longer have as much fear of dogs or humans because dogs with humans are no longer allowed to hunt cougar in WA, as a result I think dogs are more frequently viewed as a food source by neighborhood dwelling cougar and even though cougar historically avoided humans, the frequency of cougar attacking humans is increasing.

There's not much doubt that wolf packs displace cougar either, even though one cougar might kill one wolf, it's been documented that wolves kill and eat cougar. I think the additional competition in the mountains has caused cougar and wolves to seek more abundant food sources and frequent human inhabited areas more often.
Thank you I appreciate the insight
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on February 04, 2019, 08:31:36 PM

Good points bearpaw. I am on your side.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: timberfaller on February 04, 2019, 09:35:09 PM
 "I'm not sure the governor will allow much predator hunting." :chuckle: quote by bearpaw

He is a Demoncrat!  HE supported the Brady bill when his office phones were ringing 3 to 1 against it EVERY time it was voted on.  WE kicked him and the Speaker out(Foley) as our Reps. at the next possible election!!

The people who gave us Inslee as governor are also going to determining our future of hunting and firearm ownership, WHO have you been voting for???? Are you a Party loyalist and do you suffer TDS??

Having lived most of my adult life in the Methow, I know where the real problems lays!  I remember the Hunter Ed IST held in Republic after the hound/bait bill was passed and lost in court,  WE were told then that the WDFW would become "pro-active" instead of "re-active" Well folks it doesn't look like they did as they said they would do!!   Last Aprils IST was living proof of it!  Rant over!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnphool on February 04, 2019, 09:46:14 PM
WE were told then that the WDFW would become "pro-active" instead of "re-active" Well folks it doesn't look like they did as they said they would do!!

 What?? Say it ain't so! :rolleyes:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on February 05, 2019, 01:39:29 PM
WE were told then that the WDFW would become "pro-active" instead of "re-active" Well folks it doesn't look like they did as they said they would do!!

 What?? Say it ain't so! :rolleyes:

And they wonder why mistrust in them is growing and confidence in them is falling, at least by most of the hunting public. On the other hand maybe they don't wonder and they probably don't care.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: davew on February 06, 2019, 07:25:04 AM
Unfortunately, WDFW responds to its political constituency.  The 4% of Washingtonians that hunt and want fewer predators are dwarfed by the number of Seattle metro area residents that love the idea of having more wolves, mountain lions and bears, even though they will probably never visit the areas those animals live.  In the long run, hunters in this state are f*%#ed. 
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on February 21, 2019, 04:50:28 PM
I sent an email to wdfw after receiving the attached and stressed they should be managing the Methow mule deer herd instead of butterflys
Id recommend more do the same
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on February 21, 2019, 07:29:06 PM
I sent an email to wdfw after receiving the attached and stressed they should be managing the Methow mule deer herd instead of butterflys
Id recommend more do the same

In route  :tup:........unbelievable, well, not really unfortunately.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on February 21, 2019, 07:42:32 PM
Good man
Ridiculous
Losing deer elk and moose in this state
But WDFW are worried about a butterfly and a puffin
Go figure ❄️❄️❄️S
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on March 22, 2019, 05:27:46 AM
I sent an e-mail to WDFW requesting info on the December 2018 mule deer survey conducted in the Methow and here was the reply I received.

Due to budget limitations, the duration of the survey was not long enough to obtain population estimates. A full write-up of the survey results will be available in the 2019 Deer Status and Trends Report which will be published in February of 2020.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on March 22, 2019, 05:38:03 AM
Interesting
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on March 22, 2019, 06:05:19 AM
did it feel like to you that they seemed to be more interested in whitetail than mule deer?  Not that Im not interested in whitetail but....
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on March 22, 2019, 06:15:30 AM
It did to me and the reason I believe that is so is because the whitetail are more localized to where people inhabit. Where as the mule deer are more prevalent to high country(in spring, summer, fall), or away from valley's for the most part. Which for the most part is where the predators hang out and have more of an impact on the mule deer than the whitetail. So when this happens its easier for the WDFW to say there is a stable deer population be it whitetail. So why the WDFW doesn't just say hunt whitetail because the mule deer population is hurting. Reason is they can't control the predator population!!! :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on March 22, 2019, 06:22:00 AM
I think thats worth more than two cents.   :yeah:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on March 22, 2019, 10:40:34 AM
It did to me and the reason I believe that is so is because the whitetail are more localized to where people inhabit. Where as the mule deer are more prevalent to high country(in spring, summer, fall), or away from valley's for the most part. Which for the most part is where the predators hang out and have more of an impact on the mule deer than the whitetail. So when this happens its easier for the WDFW to say there is a stable deer population be it whitetail. So why the WDFW doesn't just say hunt whitetail because the mule deer population is hurting. Reason is they can't control the predator population!!! :twocents:

 :yeah: :bash: :bash:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on March 22, 2019, 11:48:28 AM
It did to me and the reason I believe that is so is because the whitetail are more localized to where people inhabit. Where as the mule deer are more prevalent to high country(in spring, summer, fall), or away from valley's for the most part. Which for the most part is where the predators hang out and have more of an impact on the mule deer than the whitetail. So when this happens its easier for the WDFW to say there is a stable deer population be it whitetail. So why the WDFW doesn't just say hunt whitetail because the mule deer population is hurting. Reason is they can't control the predator population!!! :twocents:

 :yeah:, I agree with you Sky, If I may add also that with the exploding predator numbers of bear and cougar along with increasing numbers of wolves, the Mule deer herd is pretty much being pursued year round in the Methow by these predators now days, they are hitting them in the high country during the times you said and then are following them down during migration, they need to face this one fact and stop trying to spin the numbers and circumstances, NOT CONTROLLING PREDATORS in the Methow Valley over the last 20 years has resulted in at least this one thing, it has played a huge role in decimating what was once the largest migrating herd in the country, plain and simple!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: buckfvr on March 22, 2019, 11:57:24 AM
Unfortunately, WDFW responds to its political constituency.  The 4% of Washingtonians that hunt and want fewer predators are dwarfed by the number of Seattle metro area residents that love the idea of having more wolves, mountain lions and bears, even though they will probably never visit the areas those animals live.  In the long run, hunters in this state are f*%#ed.

Nothing but fact. True, every word of it.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: OutHouse on March 22, 2019, 12:32:01 PM
Twenty years ago when I was a kid it was rare to see any whitetail in upper valley heading up to Mazama (my experience maybe not for others). There were plenty of mule deer and I regularly saw decent bucks on the valley floor and lower hillsides. The last five seasons I've seen mostly whitetail. I learned from an old timer who lived in Mazama until recently that there was a guy named Rudy who used hounds (1980s and before I think) to hunt cougar and bear. He talked about seeing herds of mules in Mazama. Then at some point I think in the 1970s the north cascades highway was put in and things started to dwindle from there. This same fellow had a nice 30 inch wide mule deer rack that was shot near the valley floor sometime before the highway came. He said those were all over the place. I feel hesitant to take a mule deer so the last three deer I have gotten were whitetails and I'm happy with that. Spike whitetail was absolutely delicious.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Wunderlich33 on March 22, 2019, 02:20:28 PM
Smoke and mirrors by WDFW again... Wish they would just come out and say that are mule deer herds are in bad shape.

 :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on March 22, 2019, 02:44:57 PM
Twenty years ago when I was a kid it was rare to see any whitetail in upper valley heading up to Mazama (my experience maybe not for others). There were plenty of mule deer and I regularly saw decent bucks on the valley floor and lower hillsides. The last five seasons I've seen mostly whitetail. I learned from an old timer who lived in Mazama until recently that there was a guy named Rudy who used hounds (1980s and before I think) to hunt cougar and bear. He talked about seeing herds of mules in Mazama. Then at some point I think in the 1970s the north cascades highway was put in and things started to dwindle from there. This same fellow had a nice 30 inch wide mule deer rack that was shot near the valley floor sometime before the highway came. He said those were all over the place. I feel hesitant to take a mule deer so the last three deer I have gotten were whitetails and I'm happy with that. Spike whitetail was absolutely delicious.

You are correct, I have told many, many stories on here about the demise of this herd, personal stories and pictures of my family dating back to 1917. IMO the (at least concerning the chipping away at the herd)opening of the pass was the beginning of the problems, like I have said many times, in the "pre pass" days hardly anyone in the state even knew where to find the Methow Valley on a map let alone even hearing of Twisp or Winthrop. The Dept. of Game switching to the WDFW was the next big issue then the loss of hound hunting along with the "attitude" of the WDFW concerning predators all have contributed to the demise. Yes Mother Nature has reared up from time to time but she has done that from the beginning of time, at least in my times when she has, the Dept of Game seemed to manage the herd back into shape within a few years, along with predators being kept in check and this herd being put on a pedestal by the Dept., it thrived and grew. IMO, this herd could be saved, it would take someone to "manage" it again, even with the pass being here, fires, drought, predators etc, in a nutshell, this herd is suffering because its not being managed with the herds best interest as the priority anymore. Like I've said 100 times, the Dept. of Game took care of our game herds, the WDFW has way to many other irons in the fire and our herds, including the once mighty Methow herd is way down the list of priorities now days.... :twocents:

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on March 25, 2019, 02:20:21 PM
Unfortunately, WDFW responds to its political constituency.  The 4% of Washingtonians that hunt and want fewer predators are dwarfed by the number of Seattle metro area residents that love the idea of having more wolves, mountain lions and bears, even though they will probably never visit the areas those animals live.  In the long run, hunters in this state are f*%#ed.

You know the more I think about it and really step back and look at the series of events that have taken place in the last 20-25 years statements like this become clearer and clearer, statements that some make that includes "agendas" to end hunting in this state also become more and more believable. Maybe it becomes even more clearer for those of us that actually were around to see what this state actually had to offer. I remember as a kid spending a couple weeks over at Camp Grisdale(during its hay day as a logging camp, grandpa on my moms side was an equipment operator for Simpson)) over on the OP during elk season, word would travel through town that another big Rosie was on its way, we would walk around on the dirt roads of Grisdale and pop into garages around town that had bunches of people gathered to see huge bodied and dark horned elk hanging in the rafters, some 600lbs and more, I remember in just 1 weekend over 15 big elk coming into town and getting hung in the garages of the loggers, it was amazing the number of big elk over there, predators were kept in check and the herd was managed well. As far as the Methow herd went, my family used to have friends come in from Alaska, Oregon, Wyoming and even Idaho to hunt Mule deer in the valley. It was the 20,s, 30,s, 40,s 50,s and into the early 70,s that I have seen family pictures and have seen in person some huge bucks(many well over 30 inches) that used to come out of the Methow on a regular basis, back in the day it was a well kept secret that this valley offered some big bodied heavy horned deer. We have never been big on the "scores" of deer, and I don't frown upon those that do but I can tell you this, we have put a tape on deer many times just to see how wide it was. I can tell you this as the truth that many were over 30". I posted many pictures on here years ago and pulled them off after someone said people were copying them, I won't post anymore of my family hunting pictures. I have told some folks on here about huge bucks that I used to see and have killed(in the 28-30" range). For a lack of better words, they were plentiful enough that 4-5 were killed every year by my familys camp and friends of my family(20-30 people in our camp, close to 100 including friends camps). It was called "the little Bellingham camp" because thats where my great grandparents and the rest were originally from. It was a 2 day trip to get there in the early days, my dad said a caravan of cars and trucks pulling utility trailers that was 30-40 rigs strong would start in Bellingham, travel on mostly back roads(no I-5 back then) and they would make it over Stevens Pass the first day(it was gravel then) and spend the night at a friends farm in Cashmere then get up the next day and finish the trip to the valley, it was a full 2 day trek to get to the camp from Bellingham. Some of the group would spend a month there, hunting, hiking, fishing and photographing when the season ended, my dad told stories of seeing over 5,000 deer during the month with migrations of 200-600 deer in a bunch pouring through some of the migration routes. A lot of the valley was private back then, my great grandparents were good friends with many including the Sullivan family(Sullivans Pond), yep a lot of that was private back in the day and my family and their friends pretty much had it all to themselves. I remember my dad telling me stories of my family hunting Studhorse, it was all private and one of my great grandpas brothers became friends with the folks that owned it(I do not recall the familys name), had it to themselves for years. Most of the old-timers of the camp were gone years ago but to this day we still find some of the old pieces of camping equipment and parts of stoves etc. that they would bury each year so they wouldn't have to load and haul it. I also remember as a kid going into my great grandpas garage and seeing hundreds of racks hanging from the rafters, all killed by them, my grandparents, aunts and uncles and my mom and dad and everyone of them came out of the Methow Valley, they finally took over the garage to the point they gave them away to the Boy Scouts and others to make things out of(early 1960,s). I also remember my dad driving me around the valley to see 1 yard wide plus bucks hanging in shops and carports of some of the locals we knew. Yes I know its not the "good ole days" anymore but I think its important to have folks around to tell of times that our herds WERE managed for the sportsmen and women of this state. Point being, yes there was a time that the Methow had plenty of trophy deer around, deer that would rival and even surpass what a lot of folks are spending a lot of money to get chances at out of state nowadays. They were here in our own back yard, folks didn't need to go out of state, they were here folks and they were in Chelan units too, we had friends that hunted the 25 mile area and it was always a friendly contest to see which camp could shoot the most bucks and the biggest, 25 mile vs the Methow, my dad told a story and I seen pictures of our camp going 26 for 26 with 2 bucks that taped over 30"(one at 31 and one at 33) the 25 mile camp of my grandparents friend went 22 for 30 but they had 3 big bucks over 30" including one that was a big heavy 5 by 6 that went 36". Once again, it was the Dept of Game back then and this state was a lot different, politics were different and things were looked at differently. There were lots of deer in the Methow folks and they were quality, like I said that herd would rival any other state, it was "managed" for quantity AND quality, there are some of us that were there, we witnessed it and seen it with our own eyes, we looked through thousands of pictures and heard thousands of stories and thats why for some of us it especially hurts to see what has become of this once thriving, healthy and proud herd, a real shame. To say it is a mere shadow of what it once was is a gross overstatement, its not even close folks, it really is criminal what has happened to this herd, a small group of us still tromp around over there and I can tell you it is getting worse every year, the causes are many but most fall under the umbrella of "management" or lack of, with the number one issue affecting this herd being growing predator numbers that are being left unchecked, 20 or so years to decimate this herd, its not that long really but thats all it took, its just very sad ..I know I will probably catch flack for the whole "30 inch buck thing" but thats ok, like I said I had pictures on here at one time with a few and tell this as gods truth so say what you will, its ok..... :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: woodswalker on March 25, 2019, 03:46:02 PM
Unfortunately, WDFW responds to its political constituency.  The 4% of Washingtonians that hunt and want fewer predators are dwarfed by the number of Seattle metro area residents that love the idea of having more wolves, mountain lions and bears, even though they will probably never visit the areas those animals live.  In the long run, hunters in this state are f*%#ed.

You know the more I think about it and really step back and look at the series of events that have taken place in the last 20-25 years statements like this become clearer and clearer, statements that some make that includes "agendas" to end hunting in this state also become more and more believable. Maybe it becomes even more clearer for those of us that actually were around to see what this state actually had to offer. I remember as a kid spending a couple weeks over at Camp Grisdale(during its hay day as a logging camp) over on the OP during elk season, word would travel through town that another big Rosie was on its way, we would walk around on the dirt roads of Grisdale and pop into garages around town that had bunches of people gathered to see huge bodied and dark horned elk hanging in the rafters, some 600lbs and more, I remember in just 1 weekend over 15 big elk coming into town and getting hung in the garages of the loggers, it was amazing the number of big elk over there, predators were kept in check and the herd was managed well. As far as the Methow herd went, my family used to have friends come in from Alaska, Oregon, Wyoming and even Idaho to hunt Mule deer in the valley. It was the 20,s, 30,s, 40,s 50,s and into the early 70,s that I have seen family pictures and have seen in person some huge bucks(many well over 30 inches) that used to come out of the Methow on a regular basis, back in the day it was a well kept secret that this valley offered some big bodied heavy horned deer. We have never been big on the "scores" of deer, and I don't frown upon those that do but I can tell you this, we have put a tape on deer many times just to see how wide it was. I can tell you this as the truth that many were over 30". I posted many pictures on here years ago and pulled them off after someone said people were copying them, I won't post anymore of my family hunting pictures. I have told some folks on here about huge bucks that I used to see and have killed(in the 28-30" range). For a lack of better words, they were plentiful enough that we would kill 4-5 every year(20 people in camp). I remember as a kid going into my great grandpas garage and seeing hundreds of racks hanging from the rafters, all killed by them, my grandparents, aunts and uncles and my mom and dad, they finally took over the garage to the point they gave them away to the Boy Scouts and others to make things out of(early 1960,s). I also remember my dad driving me around the valley to see 1 yard wide plus bucks hanging in shops and carports of some of the locals we knew. Yes I know its not the "good ole days" anymore but I think its important to have folks around to tell of times that our herds WERE managed for the sportsmen and women of this state. Point being, yes there was a time that the Methow had plenty of trophy deer around, deer that would rival and even surpass what a lot of folks are spending a lot of money to get chances at out of state nowadays. They were here in our own back yard, folks didn't need to go out of state, they were here folks and they were in Chelan units too, we had friends that hunted the 25 mile area and it was always a friendly contest to see which camp could shoot the most bucks and the biggest, 25 mile vs the Methow, my dad told a story and I seen pictures of our camp going 26 for 26 with 2 bucks that taped over 30"(one at 31 and one at 33) the 25 mile camp of my grandparents friend went 22 for 30 but they had 3 big bucks over 30" including one that was a big heavy 5 by 6 that went 36". Once again, it was the Dept of Game back then and this state was a lot different, politics were different and things were looked at differently. There were lots of deer in the Methow folks and they were quality, like I said that herd would rival any other state, it was "managed" for quantity AND quality, there are some of us that were there, we witnessed it and seen it with our own eyes, we looked through thousands of pictures and heard thousands of stories and thats why for some of us it especially hurts to see what has become of this once thriving, healthy and proud herd, a real shame...I know I will probably catch flack for the whole "30 inch buck thing" but thats ok, like I said I had pictures on here at one time with a few and tell this as gods truth so say what you will, its ok.
:yeah:
I have my grandfather's and great grandfather's  photos of camps full of (now) Monster deer from the Methow.  I can recall in the early 1990s we still went 80% in camp but the deer were smaller antlered but it was not uncommon to have most of camp tagged out by the end of the first week.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Ironhead on March 25, 2019, 04:24:19 PM
It's almost like the Democrats are running the WDFW! HaHa!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Axle on March 25, 2019, 05:11:19 PM
It's almost like the Democrats are running the WDFW! HaHa!

Almost?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on March 25, 2019, 08:58:14 PM
 

To those interested, I added more thoughts and observations to my above post. Its a very passionate topic for me I'm afraid, especially with such a long family history there with a lot of fond memories and stories told to me over many, many years.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on March 26, 2019, 04:59:43 AM
Well we can all admit to one thing and that the Methow herd will never be what it once was. Not even a shadow of it and that's very unfortunate but a sign of the direction that this state is headed.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Wunderlich33 on March 26, 2019, 10:16:06 AM
 :yeah: Couldn't have said it better its a sad situation we're in
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on March 26, 2019, 12:46:05 PM
Well we can all admit to one thing and that the Methow herd will never be what it once was. Not even a shadow of it and that's very unfortunate but a sign of the direction that this state is headed.

 :yeah:, and is why a lot of folks are choosing to go out of state, like I said on the previous page at length, there really was a time and not that long ago, (especially in the Methow) that this state offered quality and quantity, there really was no reason to spend the money to go out of state, like I also said, my family actually had friends that would spend money to come HERE from out of state to hunt the Methow with them, seeing what has happened to the deer population in the valley over the last 25-30 years, I know that is hard to comprehend, especially for some of the younger folks on here.Heck, Ive told this on here before, one of the out of state folks that came over to hunt the Methow was my cousin, who graduated from the UW with a masters in biology, ended up getting a big shot job with Idaho Fish&Game, but he came back to hunt it as often as possible as a non resident, not just to be around family but he also knew the quality of deer that roamed the Methow and he knew where to find them. I remember he and my dad going up into an old haunt, they left at around 3 A.M, they made it back to camp at 10.30 that night with 2 of the knarliest non typicals I have ever seen, both had over 14 points each and both weighed over 350 lbs, killed them in a migration route we know of, they were traveling together with 6 other smaller bucks and over 40 does, 1971 was a good year.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MAVsled on March 26, 2019, 09:20:04 PM
1971 was a great year. My dad & I took big muley bucks from just west of the big beaver pond complex near what is now Sun Mtn Lodge.
used to catch the prettiest rainbow trout from the upper creek, draining the pond complex, downhill that fed Patterson Lake too, back in the late 60's.
my dad and I loved to hunt the ridges in the Gardner unit. West Fork Bridge creek was a favorite hike-in hunt back then.
I still go but area is not even close to being the same. Even though I get special feeling inside every time I go to our old haunts.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on March 27, 2019, 09:09:58 AM
 :yeah:  I've got some really good memories from that country.  I feel blessed I got to grow up and see it when I did.   There are generations of folks that will never know.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on March 27, 2019, 11:59:29 AM
:yeah:  I've got some really good memories from that country.  I feel blessed I got to grow up and see it when I did.   There are generations of folks that will never know.

Amen to that bone........Just a shame what they have let happen to the deer herd in this valley.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: OutHouse on March 27, 2019, 12:07:49 PM
This discussion makes me feel bad to even hunt it anymore. I hunt mostly Gardner unit and have opportunity at whitetails. But if I encounter a mule buck or doe in archery, I would be tempted. My brother took a mule doe during archery years ago and it was one of the best tasting I have ever experienced. I really want meat in the freezer but at what cost. I don't know many other areas. I have considered areas west of Yakima/Cowiche where I live but the hunting kinda sucks around here unless you're doing elk. Perhaps I will just commit to whitetail and nothing else? Maybe pursue bear as well? Always good to reduce predators.


Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on April 02, 2019, 01:48:56 PM
:yeah:  I've got some really good memories from that country.  I feel blessed I got to grow up and see it when I did.   There are generations of folks that will never know.

Amen to that bone........Just a shame what they have let happen to the deer herd in this valley.

As do I-

Since I came on H-W 2009, I stressed what wolves were doing to the deer herds etc.. The only reason I joined H-W was to inform and get people involved as to what was happening.

And what has happened to the mule deer herd in the Methow/Okanogan is and has been happening in much of WA, most just won't recognize it until it's too late. It is an over supply of cougars and bears, and then add wolves to speed things up, the protection of predators by WDF$Wolves.

I talk to an old timer a few weeks or so ago, he said he and some friend had hunted the Yakima elk herd for several years, he said in 1993 they got pictures of a pack of wolves hitting the elk where they were hunting. He said when they had packed up and headed for home they stopped at a check station and ask WDFW how long the wolves had been hitting the herd? The WDFW guys claimed there were no wolves, when he told them he had a whole roll of film that would prove them wrong, WDFW demanded they hand it over. He said things got a little hot before they were allowed to leave with their film.

We already know how hard it is to get WDF$Wolves to confirm wolf packs etc..

Hunt while you can, because like the Methow, the rest of WA will be decimated as well.




Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Sitka_Blacktail on April 02, 2019, 04:10:59 PM
[ The WDFW guys claimed there were no wolves, when he told them he had a whole roll of film that would prove them wrong, WDFW demanded they hand it over. He said things got a little hot before they were allowed to leave with their film.

We already know how hard it is to get WDF$Wolves to confirm wolf packs etc..

Hunt while you can, because like the Methow, the rest of WA will be decimated as well.

So why not print the photos and give copies to the WDF&W guys to confirm a pack? This story makes no sense if you really want accountability.  Let's see the photos?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on April 02, 2019, 11:37:25 PM
[ The WDFW guys claimed there were no wolves, when he told them he had a whole roll of film that would prove them wrong, WDFW demanded they hand it over. He said things got a little hot before they were allowed to leave with their film.

We already know how hard it is to get WDF$Wolves to confirm wolf packs etc..

Hunt while you can, because like the Methow, the rest of WA will be decimated as well.

So why not print the photos and give copies to the WDF&W guys to confirm a pack? This story makes no sense if you really want accountability.  Let's see the photos?

The old timer said they offered WDFW prints but not the roll, but WDFW wanted the roll, Not hard to believe at all knowing WDFW like we do now.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on April 03, 2019, 05:06:57 AM
I personally won't be hunting the Methow anytime soon at least for deer. If they ever come back I might think about it but for me I think its foolish to take a mule deer when they hurting so much. Probably give up all my points for special permits just to take a picture of the permit if drawn being burned and send it to the WDFW.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mountainman on April 03, 2019, 07:12:05 PM
:yeah:  I've got some really good memories from that country.  I feel blessed I got to grow up and see it when I did.   There are generations of folks that will never know.

Amen to that bone........Just a shame what they have let happen to the deer herd in this valley.
e .
I third that. We did get in on some amazing times through th 70's and 80's growing up there, didn't we. Sad what its become..
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MtnMuley on April 03, 2019, 07:35:49 PM
I contemplated using several videos and pictures I've taken over the last many years and incorporating them with a new series of pics and vids I would need to take dubbed, "Okanogan is Dying". Looked into a 30 minute documentary type film with a video producer and full narration showing the mule deer life over the last 30 years here, but in the end, the many days/weeks/months needed documenting the present has turned me off. A hike here and there into old shed haunts leaving only distant memories of what once was and the occasional trek up a mountain ridge into an early fall morning blue grouse hunt without the bumping of several muley bucks has me spending more of my time elsewhere these days.  It's not going to get better and many of us know that. I'm thankful I got to experience many awesome memories here in the valley I get to call home.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on April 23, 2019, 05:05:24 AM
Well last Falls survey results of the Methow units only confirm what I have been seeing.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: polishstunner on April 23, 2019, 07:03:30 AM
Lots of cougars and bears there. Lots. A local said something about a hair condition too. Not sure.

Every area I know that has cougar, bear, and wolves has taken a hit. My area in oregon is the worst. Oregon has it worse than we do....by a little.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: woodswalker on April 23, 2019, 07:09:25 AM
[ The WDFW guys claimed there were no wolves, when he told them he had a whole roll of film that would prove them wrong, WDFW demanded they hand it over. He said things got a little hot before they were allowed to leave with their film.

We already know how hard it is to get WDF$Wolves to confirm wolf packs etc..

Hunt while you can, because like the Methow, the rest of WA will be decimated as well.

So why not print the photos and give copies to the WDF&W guys to confirm a pack? This story makes no sense if you really want accountability.  Let's see the photos?

The old timer said they offered WDFW prints but not the roll, but WDFW wanted the roll, Not hard to believe at all knowing WDFW like we do now.

If the WDFW gets the roll, they will bury it and it will never see the light of day.  typical thing...destroy or confiscate the contradictory evidence.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on April 23, 2019, 12:17:24 PM
Well last Falls survey results of the Methow units only confirm what I have been seeing.

 :yeah:, for instance the "total" for 224(Pearrygin), very, very sad, I remember seeing over 372 deer just in ONE FIELD! Then drive down the road and see another 4-5 hundred on a hillside, then drive up a dirt road and see another 1-2 hundred in a particular draw, then park the rig and walk in a couple hundred yards and count another 2-3 hundred spread out in a big basin , then head back a different way and see another couple hundred in another field, and sprinkled throughout all was around 3-4 hundred bucks with about half of those being some real dandys, THEN we would head to town to have breakfast!!! This was only about 25 or so years ago! Like a lot of us have said on here many times, the Methow herd being a mere shadow of what it once was is a gross OVERSTATEMENT, this herd is being decimated before our eyes. FYI, predators are booming and doing just fine though, talked with a fella I know who said he has never seen more cats and cat sign along with "kills" as he has seen this past winter, at least they know how to "manage" predators to grow and thrive :bash:

Its like a lot of folks say, "the predator issue in the Methow will be resolved soon, because soon the deer will be all but gone and the predators will either die off or move on", if something isn't done this is just around the corner I predict, this particular herd cannot continue to withstand this beating by an overpopulation of predators..... :twocents:... for some of the younger folks on here and those that don't know this valley or its "Mule Deer history" well, at one time this was the largest migrating Mule Deer herd in the country and fluctuated between 30-40 thousand head in its prime(thats deer that migrated and wintered just in the Methow Valley), that was also pre predator explosion and wolves, I believe its way less than half that now and still dropping.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on April 23, 2019, 04:46:59 PM
Well last Falls survey results of the Methow units only confirm what I have been seeing.

Another observation as far as this dismal survey goes and I,m sure I have told some of this on here before so forgive me. They talk of 5 day aerial surveys or as some call it "fly-bys" which I,m sure are probably pretty pricey. My dad and I used to do our own counts after the season ended, usually the second or third week of November(depending on weather). I remember we would run into college kids(usually enrolled in Game or Forestry classes) that were out and about doing surveys. They would be a mile or two off a road on the side of a big draw that was in a migration corridor, we seen some over the years 5 miles into an area(migration route) that my great grandpa told some game guys about, he was sitting on a stump with a clicker clipboard, a pencil and about 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches :chuckle: just counting deer as they came through the saddle, if I remember right I think when we ran into him he was at about a 1000 count for the day with just an hour or so left. I remember a gal sitting in a rig on the side of a paved road (which will remain nameless :chuckle:) that had counted over 5 or 6 hundred cross the road in a 3 hour period. One year(I think it was mid 80,s?) a big snow storm hit a few days before the season was about to end, the temps dropped to single digits and my dad said "the deer are going to be pouring through here in another couple days!". We all had our bucks already and were thinking about packing up the camp and getting out of Dodge but decided to stick around to see the "show". Two days later as we were loading up over 300 deer total came through our camp, it was snowing hard again and over about a two hour period they were on a mission to get from point A to point B, they were coming through 5 or 6 in a bunch then it would be quiet for 10 or so minutes and another 30 would come through all around us, we took a few pictures of the chaos(some I posted on here years ago but pulled them off), there were instances when they passed by just a few yards or feet away from us, we had to actually dodge them a few times, I have never seen anything like it before or since, boneaddict, you know the spot, its the hill I told you of that my great grandma named back in the 20,s. Talk about a survey!, it was every man for himself :chuckle:.......oh and by the way, it was a real rarity, even a treat if you were lucky enough to even get a glimpse of a bear or cougar back then :tup:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mountainman on April 23, 2019, 09:56:49 PM
I remember those day in the upper Methow growing up👍
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on April 24, 2019, 05:05:47 AM
I too remember those good old days in the Gold Creek area. Now things have changed and the WDFW has move on to where they justify the low herd numbers by saying the areas can only sustain a lot fewer deer. Which is total BS as those areas can sustain a lot more.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: woodswalker on April 24, 2019, 07:56:26 AM
Well last Falls survey results of the Methow units only confirm what I have been seeing.

Another observation as far as this dismal survey goes and I,m sure I have told some of this on here before so forgive me. They talk of 5 day aerial surveys or as some call it "fly-bys" which I,m sure are probably pretty pricey. My dad and I used to do our own counts after the season ended, usually the second or third week of November(depending on weather). I remember we would run into college kids(usually enrolled in Game or Forestry classes) that were out and about doing surveys. They would be a mile or two off a road on the side of a big draw that was in a migration corridor, we seen some over the years 5 miles into an area(migration route) that my great grandpa told some game guys about, he was sitting on a stump with a clicker clipboard, a pencil and about 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches :chuckle: just counting deer as they came through the saddle, if I remember right I think when we ran into him he was at about a 1000 count for the day with just an hour or so left. I remember a gal sitting in a rig on the side of a paved road (which will remain nameless :chuckle:) that had counted over 5 or 6 hundred cross the road in a 3 hour period. One year(I think it was mid 80,s?) a big snow storm hit a few days before the season was about to end, the temps dropped to single digits and my dad said "the deer are going to be pouring through here in another couple days!". We all had our bucks already and were thinking about packing up the camp and getting out of Dodge but decided to stick around to see the "show". Two days later as we were loading up over 300 deer total came through our camp, it was snowing hard again and over about a two hour period they were on a mission to get from point A to point B, they were coming through 5 or 6 in a bunch then it would be quiet for 10 or so minutes and another 30 would come through all around us, we took a few pictures of the chaos(some I posted on here years ago but pulled them off), there were instances when they passed by just a few yards or feet away from us, we had to actually dodge them a few times, I have never seen anything like it before or since, boneaddict, you know the spot, its the hill I told you of that my great grandma named back in the 20,s. Talk about a survey!, it was every man for himself :chuckle:.......oh and by the way, it was a real rarity, even a treat if you were lucky enough to even get a glimpse of a bear or cougar back then :tup:
A few years ago we had a big dump of snow in the high country on Friday before the season end, by Saturday night the daytime trickle of deer turned into a freshnet and then a rising flood.  By Sunday, when i had to leave, i had counted over 300 deer through one saddle...and i was told there were several hundred more.  but its a shadow of what we saw in the 80s and into the early 1990s.  I too saw over 500 deer on a morning run into town from camp (after i filled my tag in the 1st hour of opening day - relaxed the rest of the 2+ weeks of the season in camp reading and sleeping.  We went 7 for 7 that year.)

LAst year i hiked my fanny off and managed to get GLASS on 61 deer...and over 50 were within 2 miles of town.  I never got in rifle range of a legal buck...only SAW 5 and 3 were in town.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on April 24, 2019, 10:27:11 AM
Well last Falls survey results of the Methow units only confirm what I have been seeing.

Another observation as far as this dismal survey goes and I,m sure I have told some of this on here before so forgive me. They talk of 5 day aerial surveys or as some call it "fly-bys" which I,m sure are probably pretty pricey. My dad and I used to do our own counts after the season ended, usually the second or third week of November(depending on weather). I remember we would run into college kids(usually enrolled in Game or Forestry classes) that were out and about doing surveys. They would be a mile or two off a road on the side of a big draw that was in a migration corridor, we seen some over the years 5 miles into an area(migration route) that my great grandpa told some game guys about, he was sitting on a stump with a clicker clipboard, a pencil and about 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches :chuckle: just counting deer as they came through the saddle, if I remember right I think when we ran into him he was at about a 1000 count for the day with just an hour or so left. I remember a gal sitting in a rig on the side of a paved road (which will remain nameless :chuckle:) that had counted over 5 or 6 hundred cross the road in a 3 hour period. One year(I think it was mid 80,s?) a big snow storm hit a few days before the season was about to end, the temps dropped to single digits and my dad said "the deer are going to be pouring through here in another couple days!". We all had our bucks already and were thinking about packing up the camp and getting out of Dodge but decided to stick around to see the "show". Two days later as we were loading up over 300 deer total came through our camp, it was snowing hard again and over about a two hour period they were on a mission to get from point A to point B, they were coming through 5 or 6 in a bunch then it would be quiet for 10 or so minutes and another 30 would come through all around us, we took a few pictures of the chaos(some I posted on here years ago but pulled them off), there were instances when they passed by just a few yards or feet away from us, we had to actually dodge them a few times, I have never seen anything like it before or since, boneaddict, you know the spot, its the hill I told you of that my great grandma named back in the 20,s. Talk about a survey!, it was every man for himself :chuckle:.......oh and by the way, it was a real rarity, even a treat if you were lucky enough to even get a glimpse of a bear or cougar back then :tup:
A few years ago we had a big dump of snow in the high country on Friday before the season end, by Saturday night the daytime trickle of deer turned into a freshnet and then a rising flood.  By Sunday, when i had to leave, i had counted over 300 deer through one saddle...and i was told there were several hundred more.  but its a shadow of what we saw in the 80s and into the early 1990s.  I too saw over 500 deer on a morning run into town from camp (after i filled my tag in the 1st hour of opening day - relaxed the rest of the 2+ weeks of the season in camp reading and sleeping.  We went 7 for 7 that year.)

LAst year i hiked my fanny off and managed to get GLASS on 61 deer...and over 50 were within 2 miles of town.  I never got in rifle range of a legal buck...only SAW 5 and 3 were in town.

I hear you woodswalker, the local population of deer are pushing closer and closer to civilization to try to avoid predation, been seeing the trend for over a decade now. The farther you get back in the hills the more "kills" you find, we found over 2 dozen cached kills in an area last year alone in about a 3-4 mile radius area, we were back in about 4 miles from the nearest road and most of the kills looked to have been from the previous winter. We were in a migration corridor and you could picture deer migrating through there and being picked off one by one over a period of time as they moved through. Then we went into another area and found more that looked like local deer that had been killed and cached probably during the summer, this area was closer to civilization, way to many cats in that valley, way to many. One deer a week is what one cat will kill.We are going to be putting in a lot of effort to kill some going forward, its the least we can do for this herd, I just wish we could get the powers to be to get a handle on them, year round seasons or something, when you stumble onto that many kills in a small area of that vast valley, how many more are out there just partially buried and rotting, probably thousands and thousands and that is probably being conservative, then throw in a booming bear population and wolves and like the Skyvalhunter says, WDFW is scrambling trying to justify low herd numbers. It seems they attempt to blame the crashing numbers of this herd on everything but an exploding predator problem which in all their writings and surveys they just gloss over,  I agree Sky and I know a lot of others that agree that for this particular herd it is BS, predators are a HUGE issue in the Methow and the number 1 reason this herd is spiraling downward, there are other reasons of coarse but a whole lot of deer are getting killed in this valley every week by bears, cats, yotes and wolves and their numbers are growing, it doesn't take a degree in somebody's back  pocket to figure out what has and what is going to happen to this herd.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on April 24, 2019, 11:54:33 AM
One thing I will tell you about those survey results I got from the WDFW. I had to request a public records request. When I first heard about the helicopter survey and requested it from the area biologist he never even replied back. So I said screw it and turned in a request to the WDFW. It took a while to get it back but after a couple follow up e-mails did receive it. Obviously this wasn't going to be made public on it's own. Why? If you look at the numbers the deer population is hurting but we already knew that. When you have GMU's like Alta and Chiliwist that are decent sized and that few of deer on the survey it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what's happening.
But hey lets keep the special permits as is. Maybe some of the people with 15 points or more would be willing to burn their points on a quality buck area where there are few and certainly no quantity!!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: boneaddict on April 24, 2019, 11:59:20 AM
 :yeah:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on April 24, 2019, 12:47:16 PM
 :yeah: :yeah:...nail on the head Sky.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on April 29, 2019, 01:59:48 PM


Just spent 3 days looking for deer, seen more deer around town in peoples yards and across the street from Pardners Store than I seen putting on close to 10boot miles and over 150 driving into different haunts. Seen around 25 out and about over 3 days and seen around 30 around town, just horrible is about all I can say. Way worse than last year about the same time, this herd is drying up. Did see a big ole bear with 2 cubs on a in a big saddle up on 8 mile and a cougar about 800 yards away up Boulder, which is also where we seen one last deer season that we sent 2 guys in after and they killed it, seems it got "replaced" pretty fast or like some folks I know over there say "kill one and theres 2 more to take its place they are so thick in here".
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on April 29, 2019, 05:11:45 PM
Just got back myself
Not many deer around
Did see one elk in with the deer herd, up on rendezvous
Saw turks, coyotes and lots of gophers though
No bears or cats seen
Sad
Looked green and lush with lots of feed and empty pastures
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on April 29, 2019, 05:40:58 PM
A wolf pack of six and nine wolves have been seen on a regular basis a few miles outside of Twisp, below Dead Horse lake and on the hill above Spokane Grade. Several people have seen them this spring, the latest sighting was a week ago.

Wolves have also been seen in McFarland Creek-Black Canyon this spring.




Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bearpaw on April 29, 2019, 05:46:24 PM
Well last Falls survey results of the Methow units only confirm what I have been seeing.

Those are pathetic deer number for that many GMU's!  :bash:

I'm not even sure how your predators are surviving?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on April 29, 2019, 08:29:44 PM
Well last Falls survey results of the Methow units only confirm what I have been seeing.

Those are pathetic deer number for that many GMU's!  :bash:

I'm not even sure how your predators are surviving?

Well bearpaw they claim somewhere around 15,000 deer (give or take) still roam the valley, I know a lot of folks including myself that think that number is way high, the folks I know think its more like  10-12,000. Either way its a huge decrease from the fluctuating 30-40,000 head of 25 and more years ago but still leaves enough prey for the predators to eat. If the herd continues this tailspin its a matter of another decade or two that the predators will start to move out(IMO), probably after they start wacking livestock and pets for awhile first, who knows, your right, those numbers are pathetic. I keep hoping I,m wrong about this herds demise but every time I spend time out there it just solidifies my observations and thoughts, I spend maybe a total of about 3-4 months there nowadays, just wandering around the old haunts, beautiful country but pretty sad as far as the herd goes, everytime I walk in to certain areas or glass certain saddles or draws this time of year I remember a time not long ago that hundreds of deer were seen only now to not even see one, not even one. Yes it is pathetic.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on April 30, 2019, 05:12:51 AM
Well I spent the weekend over there cutting out trails and roads below Carlton up to 5000 feet. Didn't see a lot of sign, did see 8 deer. I should say a glimpse because as soon as one saw me they bolted. Pretty skitterish which doesn't surprise me with the high predator population.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: h2ofowlr on April 30, 2019, 07:26:13 AM
They tagged 3 cougar just up Twisp River road this winter.  The old timer behind Hanks had two cougars in his orchard this winter as well.  Feeding on the deer that hang out in the orchard.  Bill just up the Twisp River Rd had his dog killed by a cougar.
Two of the cougar tagged were just above the Frost Rd.  They were feeding on the deer that hang out in peoples property along the road.
This past Oct. we were push the bottoms for whitetail and kicked out a nice cat.  It went right in front of the my buddy and he was able to shoot it at 30 yards.  Definitely seeing a lot of cats down lower around town.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on April 30, 2019, 08:30:45 AM
Probably the same 3 cats my friend had in his yard 1/2 mile from Twisp on the Carlton/Twisp road. He said they were juveniles.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on April 30, 2019, 11:23:54 AM
This valley is overrun with cats, man I get tired of the WDFW propaganda about these things, they(WDFW) really do think we are stupid enough to believe it. Cougars are killing LOTS and LOTS of deer in this valley, its plain as day, like I said it doesn't take a college degree in anybody's back pocket to figure this out, cull these cats by at least half using the REAL population numbers in this valley and you will see the deer herd start to bounce back almost instantly, even with huge population of bears and growing wolf numbers just zeroing in on cougars in this valley will make a huge difference for this herd, then they can come up with a bear plan. I myself am not asking to eradicate bear and cougar in this valley, heck like I have said it used to be neat to see one here and there over the years, now we are seeing them more and more and quite frankly looking over our shoulders constantly, letting my grandkids take hikes by themselves like my kids did and I did when I was a a 12 year old is out of the question in a lot of parts of this valley,  finding kills sites everywhere with half eaten/half rotting carcases will make you think twice before letting your young ones venture off. I as a lifelong contributor to the Game Department AND the WDFW just want them to be HONEST about this predator issue in the valley and do something to address it before THE DEER are all but ERADICATED from this valley, they need to stop spinning things to coddle these predators and put their focus on this deer herd again. If something isn't done and they(WDFW) continues to not be 100% honest about not only the predator situation as a whole but this cougar problem 1st, there are going to be tragedies, the writing is on the wall. More and more people are using this valley for recreation not to mention more people moving in, they need to get this under control.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: OutHouse on April 30, 2019, 01:08:06 PM
 :yeah:

But another problem has to do with the people building homes up there. Most who have built near where I go are put off by hunters, shooting etc.. Most are rich west side liberals who want to dictate what happens and they are usually pro predator. Up near mazama a lot of the newcomers are there for cross country skiing, biking etc.. and they do not like the hunting image. I scared the bejeezus out of some hikers during archery as they walked up on me in full face paint and didn't know until I raised a palm. "People hunt around here??" they asked with distressed looks on their faces. These people are pro predator plain and simple.

You can imagine the looks I have got at the mazama store during hunting season when all I want is a gallon of their ridiculously over priced milk. I think a lot of the property owners (not year around owners) would support anything that means less hunters. And by the way I have nothing against libs generally, I am very middle of the road politically but I despise they way these people show up and clear the five acres they bought and then want to speak up about how things should work in the valley. Its disgusting. My fam has property up there dating back to the early 90's and I never thought to influence with my agenda.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on April 30, 2019, 04:48:53 PM
:yeah:

But another problem has to do with the people building homes up there. Most who have built near where I go are put off by hunters, shooting etc.. Most are rich west side liberals who want to dictate what happens and they are usually pro predator. Up near mazama a lot of the newcomers are there for cross country skiing, biking etc.. and they do not like the hunting image. I scared the bejeezus out of some hikers during archery as they walked up on me in full face paint and didn't know until I raised a palm. "People hunt around here??" they asked with distressed looks on their faces. These people are pro predator plain and simple.

You can imagine the looks I have got at the mazama store during hunting season when all I want is a gallon of their ridiculously over priced milk. I think a lot of the property owners (not year around owners) would support anything that means less hunters. And by the way I have nothing against libs generally, I am very middle of the road politically but I despise they way these people show up and clear the five acres they bought and then want to speak up about how things should work in the valley. Its disgusting. My fam has property up there dating back to the early 90's and I never thought to influence with my agenda.

I agree, I was telling some folks on here about all the out of state plates I have been seeing and a lot of them are out and about with real-estate agents, this past year I have never seen so many, California mostly with a surprising number of people from back east(New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania to name a few), and man have I been seeing lots of BERNIE 2020 stickers! This valley is and has been morphing into more of a "liberal sanctuary" so to speak as most of the old guard of the valley is moving out or passing on. Tie dye shirts, braided hair and sandals are becoming the norm more and more as the old cowboy/ranching culture is dwindling. Before the North Cascade pass opened it was hunters and fishermen that pumped a lot of money into the economy of this valley, now our money is just a drop in the bucket a few weeks out of the year. People flock in there now for softball tourneys, hot air baloon festivals, cross country skiing, biking, music festivals etc. etc. and many of the folks that attend these are not folks that are into hunting but they spend lots of money, fall in love with the area, some even move there and so on and so on. Thats just the way it is now, I personally know a few people who have gotten so irate with what is happening that they have moved out of the valley, some had lived there their whole lives. Hunting in the Methow is not what it used to be even just 20 or so years ago and like I have always said it is for many different reasons, I am smart enough to know we can't pin the decline on just one factor, there are many, and in a strange way they all tie in with each other in some way, shape or form. I still stick by my opinion that the number one cause of this herds decline is the predator issue, but like you said OutHouse, this valley is becoming more and more anti-hunting and like I am saying, in a strange way it all ties in together and when its said and done, it doesn't look good for the future of hunting in the Methow Valley, and for a lot of us, that is very unfortunate and for a lot of others its exactly what they want... :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 01, 2019, 09:22:18 AM
Just talked with a friend in the Davis Lk. area, he seen a big cougar with what looked to have been a kitten or juvenile while taking a drive yesterday :bash:....4th and 5th cats he has seen since October, all were in different areas......They claim there are around 2,500 cougars in this state, heck, half of them are in the Methow for crying out loud! Just ridiculous :bash:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Alchase on May 01, 2019, 10:16:19 AM
Just talked with a friend in the Davis Lk. area, he seen a big cougar with what looked to have been a kitten or juvenile while taking a drive yesterday :bash:....4th and 5th cats he has seen since October, all were in different areas......They claim there are around 2,500 cougars in this state, heck, half of them are in the Methow for crying out loud! Just ridiculous :bash:

In 2010, we were camping in Bear Creek East for the General Season. I woke up to find a hefty two-point had been killed and partially eaten by a cougar, about 50 feet from my tent just past the gate, during the night.
I am usually a pretty light sleeper, I had even got up to use the Sani-can in the middle of the night and I did not hear a thing?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: ghosthunter on May 01, 2019, 11:28:17 AM
:yeah:

But another problem has to do with the people building homes up there. Most who have built near where I go are put off by hunters, shooting etc.. Most are rich west side liberals who want to dictate what happens and they are usually pro predator. Up near mazama a lot of the newcomers are there for cross country skiing, biking etc.. and they do not like the hunting image. I scared the bejeezus out of some hikers during archery as they walked up on me in full face paint and didn't know until I raised a palm. "People hunt around here??" they asked with distressed looks on their faces. These people are pro predator plain and simple.

You can imagine the looks I have got at the mazama store during hunting season when all I want is a gallon of their ridiculously over priced milk. I think a lot of the property owners (not year around owners) would support anything that means less hunters. And by the way I have nothing against libs generally, I am very middle of the road politically but I despise they way these people show up and clear the five acres they bought and then want to speak up about how things should work in the valley. Its disgusting. My fam has property up there dating back to the early 90's and I never thought to influence with my agenda.

I agree, I was telling some folks on here about all the out of state plates I have been seeing and a lot of them are out and about with real-estate agents, this past year I have never seen so many, California mostly with a surprising number of people from back east(New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania to name a few), and man have I been seeing lots of BERNIE 2020 stickers! This valley is and has been morphing into more of a "liberal sanctuary" so to speak as most of the old guard of the valley is moving out or passing on. Tie dye shirts, braided hair and sandals are becoming the norm more and more as the old cowboy/ranching culture is dwindling. Before the North Cascade pass opened it was hunters and fishermen that pumped a lot of money into the economy of this valley, now our money is just a drop in the bucket a few weeks out of the year. People flock in there now for softball tourneys, hot air baloon festivals, cross country skiing, biking, music festivals etc. etc. and many of the folks that attend these are not folks that are into hunting but they spend lots of money, fall in love with the area, some even move there and so on and so on. Thats just the way it is now, I personally know a few people who have gotten so irate with what is happening that they have moved out of the valley, some had lived there their whole lives. Hunting in the Methow is not what it used to be even just 20 or so years ago and like I have always said it is for many different reasons, I am smart enough to know we can't pin the decline on just one factor, there are many, and in a strange way they all tie in with each other in some way, shape or form. I still stick by my opinion that the number one cause of this herds decline is the predator issue, but like you said OutHouse, this valley is becoming more and more anti-hunting and like I am saying, in a strange way it all ties in together and when its said and done, it doesn't look good for the future of hunting in the Methow Valley, and for a lot of us, that is very unfortunate and for a lot of others its exactly what they want... :twocents:

The FS is a partner in all the decline too. Mountain Biking will take over the whole Thompson Ridge area in time. More and more bike trails being built all around that area. Was over there last weekend and there was a trail crew up one of the roads that are gated during hunting season building more bike trails. 10 more years they will be into the Bridge Creek drainage.
I picked up the two local papers while over there. One had a recreational insert  out lining all the activities in the valley. And talking about making the largest Mountain bike trail complex's in the state.
No where did it mention hunting.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 01, 2019, 08:07:06 PM
:yeah:

But another problem has to do with the people building homes up there. Most who have built near where I go are put off by hunters, shooting etc.. Most are rich west side liberals who want to dictate what happens and they are usually pro predator. Up near mazama a lot of the newcomers are there for cross country skiing, biking etc.. and they do not like the hunting image. I scared the bejeezus out of some hikers during archery as they walked up on me in full face paint and didn't know until I raised a palm. "People hunt around here??" they asked with distressed looks on their faces. These people are pro predator plain and simple.

You can imagine the looks I have got at the mazama store during hunting season when all I want is a gallon of their ridiculously over priced milk. I think a lot of the property owners (not year around owners) would support anything that means less hunters. And by the way I have nothing against libs generally, I am very middle of the road politically but I despise they way these people show up and clear the five acres they bought and then want to speak up about how things should work in the valley. Its disgusting. My fam has property up there dating back to the early 90's and I never thought to influence with my agenda.

I agree, I was telling some folks on here about all the out of state plates I have been seeing and a lot of them are out and about with real-estate agents, this past year I have never seen so many, California mostly with a surprising number of people from back east(New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania to name a few), and man have I been seeing lots of BERNIE 2020 stickers! This valley is and has been morphing into more of a "liberal sanctuary" so to speak as most of the old guard of the valley is moving out or passing on. Tie dye shirts, braided hair and sandals are becoming the norm more and more as the old cowboy/ranching culture is dwindling. Before the North Cascade pass opened it was hunters and fishermen that pumped a lot of money into the economy of this valley, now our money is just a drop in the bucket a few weeks out of the year. People flock in there now for softball tourneys, hot air baloon festivals, cross country skiing, biking, music festivals etc. etc. and many of the folks that attend these are not folks that are into hunting but they spend lots of money, fall in love with the area, some even move there and so on and so on. Thats just the way it is now, I personally know a few people who have gotten so irate with what is happening that they have moved out of the valley, some had lived there their whole lives. Hunting in the Methow is not what it used to be even just 20 or so years ago and like I have always said it is for many different reasons, I am smart enough to know we can't pin the decline on just one factor, there are many, and in a strange way they all tie in with each other in some way, shape or form. I still stick by my opinion that the number one cause of this herds decline is the predator issue, but like you said OutHouse, this valley is becoming more and more anti-hunting and like I am saying, in a strange way it all ties in together and when its said and done, it doesn't look good for the future of hunting in the Methow Valley, and for a lot of us, that is very unfortunate and for a lot of others its exactly what they want... :twocents:

The FS is a partner in all the decline too. Mountain Biking will take over the whole Thompson Ridge area in time. More and more bike trails being built all around that area. Was over there last weekend and there was a trail crew up one of the roads that are gated during hunting season building more bike trails. 10 more years they will be into the Bridge Creek drainage.
I picked up the two local papers while over there. One had a recreational insert  out lining all the activities in the valley. And talking about making the largest Mountain bike trail complex's in the state.
No where did it mention hunting.

"Everything all ties in together when its all said and done". ghosthunter, I agree.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 01, 2019, 08:19:37 PM
Just talked with a friend in the Davis Lk. area, he seen a big cougar with what looked to have been a kitten or juvenile while taking a drive yesterday :bash:....4th and 5th cats he has seen since October, all were in different areas......They claim there are around 2,500 cougars in this state, heck, half of them are in the Methow for crying out loud! Just ridiculous :bash:

In 2010, we were camping in Bear Creek East for the General Season. I woke up to find a hefty two-point had been killed and partially eaten by a cougar, about 50 feet from my tent just past the gate, during the night.
I am usually a pretty light sleeper, I had even got up to use the Sani-can in the middle of the night and I did not hear a thing?

Alchase, I have a friend who seen one of the biggest cats he has ever seen in the Bear Creek area in 2012, if I remember right a fella killed it that fall, once again, if I remember right it was over 120lbs :dunno:. That area is getting overrun with cats as well as most everything north of the lake. Only a few wolves being seen up north, I don't know if cats run the wolves out or vis-versa, I can't even believe these conversations are happening, what a shame. :'(
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 02, 2019, 05:21:52 AM
I will say one thing in Defense of WDFW on the cat issue. They tried to get the quota for the cats increased but Inslee vetoed it down then proceeded to send a letter to the Sierra Club to brag about what he did. He needs to stick to whatever it is he does and let those who know do their job.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 02, 2019, 09:20:21 AM
I will say one thing in Defense of WDFW on the cat issue. They tried to get the quota for the cats increased but Inslee vetoed it down then proceeded to send a letter to the Sierra Club to brag about what he did. He needs to stick to whatever it is he does and let those who know do their job.

Oh I agree Skyvalhunter :tup:, Like I have said there are many issues and reasons that have contributed to the downfall of this herd and the  politics of this state are certainly one of the big ones.

Just to add, as far as the Methow goes, with the amount of cats being seen in this valley the quota could be tripled and I doubt it would help, I know some folks who say what this deer herd needs is for cats to be hunted year round with no quota for a few years at least, if we can't use hounds, open it up. I know it wont happen but its whats needed to help turn this herd around.... :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on May 03, 2019, 09:30:42 AM
You could hunt the cougars year around with no quota and that still won't change the outcome in the Methow etc., wolves are going to take care of what the bears, and coyotes don't kill. Even taking out hunting isn't going to stop the decimation of the herds at this point.

Maybe if everyone felt then what they do now and stood up for the ungulates/hunting, WA would have gotten an honest wolf plan and we would be in a different place today. But then you look at Oregon which actually came out with a fairly good wolf plan and we see ODFW have play many of the same dishonest games as WDFW.


The USFWS and fake environmental groups had their ducks all lined up when they introduced wolves, the perfect tool to end hunting and put ranchers out of business, a tool protected with the highest form of fraud and corruption, the wolf introduction.

There's no doubt that the Bear-cougar population is out of control, but looking at other states where cougars and bears are hunted liberally wolves were/are still the main factor in hunting losses etc., cougars and bears didn't drop the Yellowstone elk herd from 20,000 to less then 4000.

The pro-wolf crowd on H-W should be very proud of themselves, their side won.

 
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 03, 2019, 11:58:05 AM
You could hunt the cougars year around with no quota and that still won't change the outcome in the Methow etc., wolves are going to take care of what the bears, and coyotes don't kill. Even taking out hunting isn't going to stop the decimation of the herds at this point.

Maybe if everyone felt then what they do now and stood up for the ungulates/hunting, WA would have gotten an honest wolf plan and we would be in a different place today. But then you look at Oregon which actually came out with a fairly good wolf plan and we see ODFW have play many of the same dishonest games as WDFW.


The USFWS and fake environmental groups had their ducks all lined up when they introduced wolves, the perfect tool to end hunting and put ranchers out of business, a tool protected with the highest form of fraud and corruption, the wolf introduction.

There's no doubt that the Bear-cougar population is out of control, but looking at other states where cougars and bears are hunted liberally wolves were/are still the main factor in hunting losses etc., cougars and bears didn't drop the Yellowstone elk herd from 20,000 to less then 4000.

The pro-wolf crowd on H-W should be very proud of themselves, their side won.

spot on-Idaho is going ballistic on ALL predators and the elk herds still have not fully recovered. The downward spiral of herds is/was directly correlated to the presence of wolves. Some areas will never recover their former glory even with the most liberal trapping and hunting seasons in the nation for wolves. Wolves are the x factor when it comes to declining game populations. Once they are established you cant ever go back to the "good old days" of especially elk hunting. Idaho still has good and even in some places great elk hunting but we will never get back what it was. This is with a fish and game that is super aggressive on predator management. We have it all bear baiting, hound hunting,trapping and year around hunting seasons on private land for wolves and we still wont ever fully recover our elk in many areas of the state. Once wolves are established you cant ever put the cat back in the bag. I am sorry to hear about the Methow that is amazing country that from what I have seen is perfect mule deer habitat. I wonder where all the pro wolf people are now? You will just have to be a better hunter they said  :chuckle:  All the guys sounding the alarm were just extremists wearing tin foul hats right? what a joke. I still usually get my elk but its not the same Idaho elk hunting that it once was. Good job pro -wolfers you won       
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mburrows on May 03, 2019, 12:48:25 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.




Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Armadillo on May 03, 2019, 06:29:37 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.

You're not wrong. Poaching is huge too
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 03, 2019, 07:26:35 PM
Well I think you are way off base when it comes to the deer in the Methow number 1 problem is human expansion. This has not been a gradual decrease. It's not like there are houses popping up all over the place in the valley. When the number of predators seen is way more than normal it is an issue. When the state hands out special permits mainly doe permits that has a huge effect. Late doe tags a few years back when the fires ravaged the area and those does were pregnant. Or had a yearling with was a bad decision by the WDFW. If the human expansion was such a problem why is it in the winter you see deer bedding in people's yards. Right or wrong the valleys residents feed the deer to help them thru the winter. The deer also seek refuge around humans hoping to escape the predators.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mountainman on May 03, 2019, 09:56:35 PM
Well I think you are way off base when it comes to the deer in the Methow number 1 problem is human expansion. This has not been a gradual decrease. It's not like there are houses popping up all over the place in the valley. When the number of predators seen is way more than normal it is an issue. When the state hands out special permits mainly doe permits that has a huge effect. Late doe tags a few years back when the fires ravaged the area and those does were pregnant. Or had a yearling with was a bad decision by the WDFW. If the human expansion was such a problem why is it in the winter you see deer bedding in people's yards. Right or wrong the valleys residents feed the deer to help them thru the winter. The deer also seek refuge around humans hoping to escape the predators.
Agreed!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 03, 2019, 10:11:51 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.

These counts arenít honest they added a huge area north of the park thatís has a lot of private ground. This area wasnít included in the original elk counts regardless going from 19,000 to 5800 now is not exactly a victory for elk. As usual they change the study area to control the narrative. Anyways Montana is hunting and trapping wolves outside the park and that will definitely help the herd in the general area. I donít think you are pro wolf but what I mean by that term is people that downplay their negative effects and are either dishonest or ignorant of what wolves do and their real impact on wildlife. I totally disagree on houses and habitat displacement being a big factor up there the existing habitat should support 20 times the current deer population. Habitat loss is the number one deflection all pro predator so called environmental groups use to excuse dwindling ungulate numbers. Itís not usually the case from what I have seen. There is no doubt that you desperately need hound hunting an uncontrolled lion population will devastate mule deer. My only point is wolves are the X factor when it comes to predators nothing can do close to the damage they will. Some studyís suggest you need to kill 50 percent annually just to stay even. Visualize a bunch of wild dogs having litters of 8-10 pups every year. Controlling that is a tall order. Itís frustrating to see the pro predator anti hunting agenda play out perfectly in Washington state. The play book is to misrepresent predators as a noble species that needs special protection from ďunfairĒ hunting practices. Step one eliminate accomplished elimination of hound hunting and bear baiting. Step 2 ridiculous season dates and quotas for predators. Step three introduce the X factor wolves and let them expand to ridiculous numbers. Step 4 end hunting as we know it because the North America wildlife model no longer works with very little or no excess population to even hunt. Well meaning hunters already want to reduce tags and seasons to save the herds but 1 hunter only kills 1 deer per year 1 lion kills 52 deer per year. I canít believe people are still willing to blame habitat or fires or excessive tags when the evidence is so clear that the agenda was to overpopulated predators as a means to reduce and end hunting. Step 5 is to come for your guns you wonít need them anymore in their minds. The other side has won in Washington state and still hunters want to have their blinders on and even still buy into their narrative. I am glad I live in Idaho but with all the new out of staters moving in they are trying the exact steps here. Right now a group is trying to stop bear baiting. As hunters we need to wake up and fight back sorry to rant. The methow is exactly what they wanted to accomplish.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on May 03, 2019, 10:13:31 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US. 
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on May 03, 2019, 10:17:15 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.

These counts arenít honest they added a huge area north of the park thatís has a lot of private ground. This area wasnít included in the original elk counts regardless going from 19,000 to 5800 now is not exactly a victory for elk. As usual they change the study area to control the narrative. Anyways Montana is hunting and trapping wolves outside the park and that will definitely help the herd in the general area. I donít think you are pro wolf but what I mean by that term is people that downplay their negative effects and are either dishonest or ignorant of what wolves do and their real impact on wildlife. I totally disagree on houses and habitat displacement being a big factor up there the existing habitat should support 20 times the current deer population. Habitat loss is the number one deflection all pro predator so called environmental groups use to excuse dwindling ungulate numbers. Itís not usually the case from what I have seen. There is no doubt that you desperately need hound hunting an uncontrolled lion population will devastate mule deer. My only point is wolves are the X factor when it comes to predators nothing can do close to the damage they will. Some studyís suggest you need to kill 50 percent annually just to stay even. Visualize a bunch of wild dogs having litters of 8-10 pups every year. Controlling that is a tall order. Itís frustrating to see the pro predator anti hunting agenda play out perfectly in Washington state. The play book is to misrepresent predators as a noble species that needs special protection from ďunfairĒ hunting practices. Step one eliminate accomplished elimination of hound hunting and bear baiting. Step 2 ridiculous season dates and quotas for predators. Step three introduce the X factor wolves and let them expand to ridiculous numbers. Step 4 end hunting as we know it because the North America wildlife model no longer works with very little or no excess population to even hunt. Well meaning hunters already want to reduce tags and seasons to save the herds but 1 hunter only kills 1 deer per year 1 lion kills 52 deer per year. I canít believe people are still willing to blame habitat or fires or excessive tags when the evidence is so clear that the agenda was to overpopulated predators as a means to reduce and end hunting. Step 5 is to come for your guns you wonít need them anymore in their minds. The other side has won in Washington state and still hunters want to have their blinders on and even still buy into their narrative. I am glad I live in Idaho but with all the new out of staters moving in they are trying the exact steps here. Right now a group is trying to stop bear baiting. As hunters we need to wake up and fight back sorry to rant. The methow is exactly what they wanted to accomplish.
The Idaho Farm Bureau is the biggest threat to the public land hunter in Idaho...be sure to add them to your list of things that are attacking the NAMWC.   
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 03, 2019, 10:27:54 PM
What? :dunno:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 03, 2019, 10:53:57 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

This is exactly what I am talking about!! I think you have been an avid hunter most of your life? Most likely from a hunting family? Yet here you are quoting their narrative and using their number one excuse to explain away dwindling herds. The other side won in Washington overpopulation of predators is killing off any huntable populations of ungulates. Look at the methow and your permit numbers. This is exactly what they wanted. The evidence is staring us all in the face and you still quote their narrative and thereby promote their agenda? Even a few years ago I could understand this but not now. Anti hunting groups posing as environmental groups protected predators as a means to end hunting as we know it. And youíre still willing to buy their bs propaganda?  The other side won in Washington and your deer and elk lost. But I know itís all those damn houses. Funny thing is all the elk and deer in Idaho moved to town to get away from the wolves. Please think about the state of Washington game herds and seriously consider the facts. Is it really habitat loss that created such sharp declines? Everything the tin foil conspiracy guys on here warned about is coming true. Some of them were mocked but itís playing out exactly as was said. Just look at the on the ground facts not the propaganda you read.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnphool on May 04, 2019, 12:50:42 AM
 Been reading posts on this thread for some time now, it's interesting reading how some fall for the propaganda.

 Like bigmacc, I've been hunting the Methow for a few years, and in all that time I've not seen this "loss of habitat and human population" BS that continues to be spewed on here.

 Fires have moved the head to different routes and wintering areas, but there is still plenty of food for them.

 We have shorter general seasons and far fewer hunters than years past, yet the numbers continue to fall.

 Some of you are :mor: ...SMFH!!!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: nwwanderer on May 04, 2019, 08:01:11 AM
Idaho Farm Bureau a threat to public hunting in the Methow?  I am all for moving the state line, when did it happen?  With one half of one percent of the population of the USA feeding 80% of us and less than 2% feeding all of us in the USA, why would you rock the little tiny boat that keeps you fed?  The sharks are circling that boat and have taken a big bite in Washington state just this week.  Take a moment to look at taxation and control here.  Private land feeds the vast majority of wildlife.  No deer or elk lived in my region before farmers provided for them.  Happy to provide references on all of that if needed.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on May 04, 2019, 08:48:32 AM
seemed to me last week the valley looked pretty lush, so looked like plenty of feed
devoid of many mule deer everywhere, even alfalfa fields
few
not many
couple a coyotes
one elk
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 04, 2019, 09:52:44 AM
Been reading posts on this thread for some time now, it's interesting reading how some fall for the propaganda.

 Like bigmacc, I've been hunting the Methow for a few years, and in all that time I've not seen this "loss of habitat and human population" BS that continues to be spewed on here.

 Fires have moved the head to different routes and wintering areas, but there is still plenty of food for them.

 We have shorter general seasons and far fewer hunters than years past, yet the numbers continue to fall.

 Some of you are :mor: ...SMFH!!!

 :yeah:....Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself. Number 1, 2 and 3 reasons of this herds decline IMHO.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: kodiak10 on May 04, 2019, 03:23:06 PM
I have been reading this thread for a while and have really enjoyed hearing all of what everyone has to say about the topic.

I actually spoke with a guy the other day that grew up in the Methow in the 70 and 80s. Ran into him by random chance at a bar in Seattle. Really was amazed by all his tales of catching beautiful trout in the streams and all the amazing wildlife he grew around. His family raised sheep back there and got out sometime in the late 80's apparently in time before all the changes that happened back here.

I really wish I could have seen this place before all the rapid changes occurred and the massive decline in its health. Makes me real sad, as I remember visiting about 4 years ago and heard it was even much more healthy than it was today. Heard one guy tell me that you can't drive around here for a year without hitting a deer since there is so many back there. I wish I was into hunting when I was that age, so I could have at least seen it and appreciated it for what it was, but climbing and hiking took up all my free time then. 

I appreciate all the information on this thread and stories and hope we can all come together to improve the health of the valley.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mburrows on May 04, 2019, 07:14:48 PM
By human expansion i mean the roads that are very accessible year round. That directly equals pressure on them year round. A house here a fence there, it all adds up.

I dont have a lot of experience in the methow ill be honest. So I'll defer to guys with more boots on the ground knowledge any day but in my opinion habitat loss and "molestation" are a huge problem.  I do have quite a bit of time logged in other areas of our core mule deer areas though

I also agree, we need to quit killing does.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: JimmyHoffa on May 04, 2019, 07:32:01 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

This is exactly what I am talking about!! I think you have been an avid hunter most of your life? Most likely from a hunting family? Yet here you are quoting their narrative and using their number one excuse to explain away dwindling herds. The other side won in Washington overpopulation of predators is killing off any huntable populations of ungulates. Look at the methow and your permit numbers. This is exactly what they wanted. The evidence is staring us all in the face and you still quote their narrative and thereby promote their agenda? Even a few years ago I could understand this but not now. Anti hunting groups posing as environmental groups protected predators as a means to end hunting as we know it. And youíre still willing to buy their bs propaganda?  The other side won in Washington and your deer and elk lost. But I know itís all those damn houses. Funny thing is all the elk and deer in Idaho moved to town to get away from the wolves. Please think about the state of Washington game herds and seriously consider the facts. Is it really habitat loss that created such sharp declines? Everything the tin foil conspiracy guys on here warned about is coming true. Some of them were mocked but itís playing out exactly as was said. Just look at the on the ground facts not the propaganda you read.
I'd agree with a lot here.  The houses and expansion have affected the access and huntable areas, but many animals seem to do really well in those types of areas.  When the development is to a point that humans don't tolerate predators and the deer get a safe area, they can really take off.  Some of the suburban areas have deer densities at something like 100x what the wilderness and national forests have.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 07, 2019, 11:00:09 AM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: nwwanderer on May 07, 2019, 11:11:55 AM
bigmacc gets it, not just the Methow, applies to most of Washington
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Utah on May 07, 2019, 07:57:11 PM
ftp://
So what's the solution here? Remove OTC for muleys for a few years? I've never hunted muleys but based on the posts in this forum it sounds like it may be an unwise decision to do so.

Predators need dead.  Especially cougar and bear and the game dept knows it and is flat out scared to fight  treetards.  WFGD is worthless
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: no.cen.wa on May 07, 2019, 10:20:09 PM
You said it right "bigmacc" , the Dept sucks, I went to 2 public meetings this year on the west side, they were 2 hours of fisherman bitching! Couldn't get a word in hardly. So, the Dept. pretty much screws up EVERYTHING we care about! I'm pretty much a predator hunter first now, then I'll see about deer.
John G
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on May 07, 2019, 10:38:02 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnphool on May 07, 2019, 10:48:40 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?

 You are right Idaho, there is no predator problem. The problem is the habitat loss due to all the track housing and development across the Mathew the last ten years....how have we missed this!!!

 Wake up and smell the *censored* you're shoveling man!... .SMFH
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MtnMuley on May 07, 2019, 11:08:48 PM
 :yeah:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on May 07, 2019, 11:23:24 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?

 You are right Idaho, there is no predator problem. The problem is the habitat loss due to all the track housing and development across the Mathew the last ten years....how have we missed this!!!

 Wake up and smell the *censored* you're shoveling man!... .SMFH
Your vulgar and personal attacks dont seem to add a lot of value  :dunno:  Can you answer the question?  How many months until all the deer are gone...its simple supply...the deer are declining rapidly and the predators are increasing exponentially...that cant last forever hp...so answer the question...seems you should know since you are so smart?  Give a specific timeline so the rest of us that dont hunt that area know what to expect.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnphool on May 07, 2019, 11:40:45 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?

 You are right Idaho, there is no predator problem. The problem is the habitat loss due to all the track housing and development across the Mathew the last ten years....how have we missed this!!!

 Wake up and smell the *censored* you're shoveling man!... .SMFH
Your vulgar and personal attacks dont seem to add a lot of value  :dunno:  Can you answer the question?  How many months until all the deer are gone...its simple supply...the deer are declining rapidly and the predators are increasing exponentially...that cant last forever hp...so answer the question...seems you should know since you are so smart?  Give a specific timeline so the rest of us that dont hunt that area know what to expect.

 Vulgar and personal attacks? How about you post up the "attacks" that hurt your feely feely's! :chuckle:

 It's interesting you continue to bloviate your opinion in this thread, yet admit you don't hunt the area or know what to expect. :chuckle:

 Clearly just another wolf loving antagonist on this forum IMO :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 08, 2019, 04:55:51 AM
Now that we got that off our chests
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Igor on May 08, 2019, 05:06:56 AM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?

 You are right Idaho, there is no predator problem. The problem is the habitat loss due to all the track housing and development across the Mathew the last ten years....how have we missed this!!!

 Wake up and smell the *censored* you're shoveling man!... .SMFH
Your vulgar and personal attacks dont seem to add a lot of value  :dunno:  Can you answer the question?  How many months until all the deer are gone...its simple supply...the deer are declining rapidly and the predators are increasing exponentially...that cant last forever hp...so answer the question...seems you should know since you are so smart?  Give a specific timeline so the rest of us that dont hunt that area know what to expect.

 Vulgar and personal attacks? How about you post up the "attacks" that hurt your feely feely's! :chuckle:

 It's interesting you continue to bloviate your opinion in this thread, yet admit you don't hunt the area or know what to expect. :chuckle:

 Clearly just another wolf loving antagonist on this forum IMO :twocents:

I know that you spend quite a bit of time in the Methow, scouting and hunting.  I'm curious as to how many cougars you have actually seen in the Methow in, say, the last 5-6 years ?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 08, 2019, 05:41:42 AM
Are you talking see in person or on cam. It also depends on the area of the Methow. You will see more cougar in the upper part of the valley as opposed to the lower say from Carlton down. Reason being the deer are a lot fewer and far between in the lower Methow.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on May 08, 2019, 08:13:39 AM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?

 You are right Idaho, there is no predator problem. The problem is the habitat loss due to all the track housing and development across the Mathew the last ten years....how have we missed this!!!

 Wake up and smell the *censored* you're shoveling man!... .SMFH
Your vulgar and personal attacks dont seem to add a lot of value  :dunno:  Can you answer the question?  How many months until all the deer are gone...its simple supply...the deer are declining rapidly and the predators are increasing exponentially...that cant last forever hp...so answer the question...seems you should know since you are so smart?  Give a specific timeline so the rest of us that dont hunt that area know what to expect.

 Vulgar and personal attacks? How about you post up the "attacks" that hurt your feely feely's! :chuckle:

 It's interesting you continue to bloviate your opinion in this thread, yet admit you don't hunt the area or know what to expect. :chuckle:

 Clearly just another wolf loving antagonist on this forum IMO :twocents:
Your language doesn't bother me personally, it just doesn't add a lot of value.

Why wont you give your best estimate on the question I posed? You say predators are skyrocketing and deer are declining rapidly...that cant be sustained.  So how long before the deer are gone?

And if you actually read what I've posted, and others have posted, nobody is disputing predator issues.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MADMAX on May 08, 2019, 08:20:09 AM
Was just there all around the lower valley areas up to Ramsey /Cub creek /Rendevous
spend an average of 3-4 weeks a year over there

saw a couple of coyotes
Have seen over the years a few bears
never seen a bobcat or cougar walking, seen a couple kills over the years from other deer hunters and read the papers reports
its sad
hardly any mule deer so to answer your question, they will never be "gone" completely IMO
But they sure have taken a major reduction
with all the wolf and cougar discussions I have not seen ravens on kills or found any significant amount of predator kills either
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 08, 2019, 08:43:55 AM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?

Why the sarcasm and bull$$$ question? I think your question has already been answered if you would just look at the FACT s. Every single deer in the methow will probably never be extinct. (Most of them live in predator free yards and among homes)But if you actually read big Mac posts (and others) you will see that the carnage of overpopulated predators happened YESTERDAY!! Winter range went from thousands of deer to a handful. what else needs to happen for you to accept all the stuff you must read every day is wrong? And the tinfoil hat conspiracy guys on here were right? The damage that was warned about on here ALREADY has happened!!! Look at your ungulate population and special permit numbers. They were right, your biologist buddies papers were wrong you need to wave the white flag on this one Idaho hunter
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 08, 2019, 08:52:43 AM
If I lived there I would become a full time predator hunter first. They have hamstrung you by outlawing some of the best methods but might as well hunt was is abundant and what population they are managing for abundance. predators! Save a few deer and elk and definitely have some fun!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 08, 2019, 10:22:23 AM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?

Well Idahohuntr I know I have never said the Methow herd would be gone by this fall, next year or in 2 years and I don't remember reading anyone saying that. I will speak for myself, to you, things I have written concerning the Methow herd are my and my familys observations dating back to 1917, they are my opinions based on what I have seen with my own eyes and what I have heard from family members that are still with us and things that were told to me when I was a younger man by those who are now gone, over 100 years of observing, listening and talking with others who I respect, some were friends, family and some worked in various state Game Departments back in the day. I don't know if you have read many of my posts concerning the Methow herd and the predator issues in the valley so here are a few posts in this thread.  page 1 reply12.....page 2 reply 16.....page 3 reply 40....page 4 reply 48 There are more that I have written concerning this herd but those may clear up for you some of your questions. This herd and hunting it are some very special memories for me, all involving family, friends and stories told around thousands of campfires. This herd has been a part of my and my familys lives for over 100 years, this herd is suffering and its numbers are and have been falling for over 25 years, the one thing constant over the last 25 years is that predator numbers have grown and a new one arrived, with respect, even a blind man can see whats happening here. The deer will never be "gone" but I do wonder what hunting will be like(if its even allowed) in this valley for my familys next generation to continue our tradition.   
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: no.cen.wa on May 08, 2019, 10:55:44 AM
I echo what bigmacc is and has said, my family moved to the methow in the 1920's, they are all gone now but I was lucky enough to hunt their and still do. There are still VAST areas with NO housing for miles, and like many have said "the deer do quite well in some populated areas. It takes me an hour to get to the nearest little store from camp right now, then another 30 miles to the nearest town.  In the last 5-6 years the deer count has dropped drastically! thats from 5000 ft to 10,000 ft. There are wolves up there, many have seen them, I haven't yet, but they are close. A hunter about 3 miles away had 4 wolves trying to invite his german shepard to dinner,,, luckily the dog was tied up! He yelled and they ran off, but one came back and watched his dog for about 15 minutes. LOTS of cougars and yotes, i've seen them. There are some bears, most seem to be alittle lower.
We have sooo many ANTI wildlife hunting people in Washington state right now,, but they love Idaho and are moving there so they can screw up hunting for that state, we all know it's happening.
We'll continue to try to change things back, mostly it will only happen if we vote some of them out of office.
MY :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on May 08, 2019, 11:19:30 AM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:

Great write up which tells the full story in short order.

The USFWS and Fake environmentalist started the propaganda that because of the expansion of housing etc. the deer etc. were declining, it is pure BS. Now we seemed to have a brand new brainwashed bunch, the pro-wolf crowd on H-W have tried to run with the same propaganda on several occasions only to be proven wrong time and again.

Most of the propaganda in support of wolves or studies by the USFWS have been proven to be lies that have been exposed do to facts on the ground. Yet the pro-wolf crowd still spew them as truth.

What has happened in the Methow is happening all over WA, and more then likely, like the Methow no action or thought will be given to the predator problems, until it is too late, the pro-wolf crowd will spew the same worthless crap they have been doing since the beginning, blame everything except predators.

This last winter we had a momma with a set of 1 1/2 year old kittens on her, plus a mamma with three yearling kittens, and two cougar without kittens, thatís quite a few mouths to feed in an area with few deer.

By the end of February the triplets and mamma were spending quite a bit of time on the river bottom sunning themselves on a porch. WDFW had caught one of the triplet kittens and chipped it, so the UW could study it, they tried to catch the mamma cougar in a live trap but it wouldnít go in, my understanding is they then tried a leg hold and she broke her leg. We saw the kittens for a few more weeks before they crossed the river and got into some ones goats, where WDFW shot one and gave the other two to a zoo.

Itís no big deal now to see wolves on a regular basis, and talk about shooting cougars and wolves etc. is open. "You know what to doĒ is the language used. There is even talk of LEOís encouraging the same.

The Public has recognized WDFW  as just another corrupt agency that created the problems we now have and have no plans of correcting them. I feel for those who work for WDFW, knowing how corrupt upper management is, the lying biologists who give honest bioís a bad rap, the fake studies that are touted as gospel. What a mess.
 
Debating wolves with the pro-wolf crowd on H-W is a waste of time, they have known all along the end game, they sold their soul to the corrupt USFWS, WDFW, and the Fake environmental groups, I have zero respect for them.

Hunters say: "just stop hunting WA, that will fix WDFWĒ-Nothing could be further from the truth, as that is exactly what WDFW are striving for, NO Hunting. If you want to help hunting in WA, Hunt predators as hard as you can, that is your only chance for change at this point.  :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 08, 2019, 11:31:42 AM
I echo what bigmacc is and has said, my family moved to the methow in the 1920's, they are all gone now but I was lucky enough to hunt their and still do. There are still VAST areas with NO housing for miles, and like many have said "the deer do quite well in some populated areas. It takes me an hour to get to the nearest little store from camp right now, then another 30 miles to the nearest town.  In the last 5-6 years the deer count has dropped drastically! thats from 5000 ft to 10,000 ft. There are wolves up there, many have seen them, I haven't yet, but they are close. A hunter about 3 miles away had 4 wolves trying to invite his german shepard to dinner,,, luckily the dog was tied up! He yelled and they ran off, but one came back and watched his dog for about 15 minutes. LOTS of cougars and yotes, i've seen them. There are some bears, most seem to be alittle lower.
We have sooo many ANTI wildlife hunting people in Washington state right now,, but they love Idaho and are moving there so they can screw up hunting for that state, we all know it's happening.
We'll continue to try to change things back, mostly it will only happen if we vote some of them out of office.
MY :twocents:

Folks like you, I and others that are old enough or experienced enough to notice the change and because of that can see what MAY be on the horizon are real pains in the a$$ for some folks, including a few on here also I guess :chuckle:. Well when were all gone nobody will know any better, what they have left will be the new normal AND it will be up to THEM to fight for what that new normal is, lets just hope its a fraction of what we have enjoyed. Like I have said many, many times, I hope I am wrong about all this concerning this herd, but everytime I,m out and about in this valley(about 3-4 months out of the year nowadays) my thoughts are reaffirmed.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Igor on May 08, 2019, 12:28:32 PM
Are you talking see in person or on cam. It also depends on the area of the Methow. You will see more cougar in the upper part of the valley as opposed to the lower say from Carlton down. Reason being the deer are a lot fewer and far between in the lower Methow.

I was basically asking huntnphool about his experiences because he seems to be knowledgeable about the Methow as well as being objective.  My question would be regarding the part of the Methow say, from Carlton to Washington Pass.  I know that is a huge area, but over the years we have hunted in most of that.



I'm going to stir the pot a little on the subject of predators in the Methow. We have been hunting there for over 30 years. When I say "we", I mean myself and my two sons. We hunt out of a camp of guys who have been hunting and (own property around Winthrop) for more than 40 years. There have been probably 25 hunters over the years who have spent time in this camp, hunting with us. We are not "road hunters". We hike miles back in, from Black Canyon to Black Pine Lake to Mazama to Texas Creek to Buck Lake to Tiffany Meadow to Hart's Pass. We have burned a lot of boot leather during deer season, and scouting during the off-season as well. And we have harvested a lot of bucks over the years.

As far as I know, not one of us have ever seen a cougar. We have seen a few tracks in the years when we hunted in the snow, but this idea of a cougar behind every tree just doesn't ring true. I'm not saying that people here are not being truthful, I'm just of the opinion that there may be just a little exaggeration happening. I realize that the mule deer herds are just a small remnant of what they once were. We, too, saw herds of migrating mulies numbering in the hundreds 25-30 years ago. My opinion on the declining herds is that there are many factors contributing to the problem, not just predators.

Flame away...............
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idahohuntr on May 08, 2019, 12:58:10 PM
So I wonder what's different about the last 25+ years in the methow from the previous tens of thousands of years where virtually unhunted cougars, wolves, and bears co-existed with mule deer? I'm especially curious to hear from those who are arguing human expansion and habitat degradation are not even "on the list" of factors limiting methow mule deer.

Nobody reasonable is suggesting predators aren't an issue.  But to ignore habitat degradation and human expansion is very shortsighted.  Predators and prey can often be cyclical in abundance.  The mule deer herds ability to rebound is dependent on quantity and quality of habitat. Reducing habitat quality or quantity exacerbates predator issues and makes a rebound much, much more difficult. 

Human population data shows the Methow valley growing at twice the rate (% change) as Seattle for the 2010-2017 period.  Combine this with the overall increased population visiting to hunt, hike, atv, snowmobile, shed hunt etc. And add in second homes, development, fires, fencing, etc...and that is where my statement comes from...human expansion and associated habitat degradation is a major long term factor in wildlife abundance across many parts of the western US...and this very basic fact is not mutually exclusive of predator impacts...but I'm always amused at the purity tests applied on this forum where any discussion of impacts from something without claws and teeth is perceived as pushing a liberal conspiracy to end hunting and take your guns.  :chuckle:

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: woodswalker on May 08, 2019, 01:03:35 PM
I echo what bigmacc is and has said, my family moved to the methow in the 1920's, they are all gone now but I was lucky enough to hunt their and still do. There are still VAST areas with NO housing for miles, and like many have said "the deer do quite well in some populated areas. It takes me an hour to get to the nearest little store from camp right now, then another 30 miles to the nearest town.  In the last 5-6 years the deer count has dropped drastically! thats from 5000 ft to 10,000 ft. There are wolves up there, many have seen them, I haven't yet, but they are close. A hunter about 3 miles away had 4 wolves trying to invite his german shepard to dinner,,, luckily the dog was tied up! He yelled and they ran off, but one came back and watched his dog for about 15 minutes. LOTS of cougars and yotes, i've seen them. There are some bears, most seem to be a little lower.
We have sooo many ANTI wildlife hunting people in Washington state right now,, but they love Idaho and are moving there so they can screw up hunting for that state, we all know it's happening.
We'll continue to try to change things back, mostly it will only happen if we vote some of them out of office.
MY :twocents:

Folks like you, I and others that are old enough or experienced enough to notice the change and because of that can see what MAY be on the horizon are real pains in the a$$ for some folks, including a few on here also I guess :chuckle:. Well when were all gone nobody will know any better, what they have left will be the new normal AND it will be up to THEM to fight for what that new normal is, lets just hope its a fraction of what we have enjoyed. Like I have said many, many times, I hope I am wrong about all this concerning this herd, but everytime I,m out and about in this valley(about 3-4 months out of the year nowadays) my thoughts are reaffirmed.

I have been hunting the Methow since 1982, at which time you had to be trying NOT to get a deer.  Even the camp-sitters usually bagged at least one, Pete took one off the john one year.  Rendezvous , Fawn peak, Buck Mt, Buck Lake, Eightmile were all stomping grounds and we harvested truckloads of deer.  Usually N to N or N-1 for the camp for the season.  As i posted earlier in the thread, it was not hard to see 500-700 deer in the morning...and hard to NOT find one in the higher elevations.  We hiked in off the roads, 1-4 miles usually and seldom saw a cat and never a wolf.  A decade ago we heard wolves at night and were stalked by cats,the take in camp had become N/2 and we WORKED for those... We went higher in the hills, deeper in the roadless areas, went in earlier and stayed later.  Still N/2.  My brother and later I were stalked by cats, he saw 2 taken, on off Cub Ck and one off Rendezvous.  We had a wolf in camp one night, sniffing around the fire and the john.  Tracks in the snow.  5 years ago i was up alone as the rest of the crew(mostly dispersed due to work) couldn't make it. Snowed on my spike camp the night before opener...and i had BOTH cat and wolf tracks in camp when i got up in the morning.  Found easily 4 kills before lunch, another 6-7 before dark...saw 2 deer, scared, moving fast.  I was joined by a partner the next day, they saw only 2 deer, heard wolves and saw the dog in the kennel in the truck bed at the trail head being teased by wolves and a cat. The dog was whimpering.

Yes the fires had an effect, as did logging and its cessation for a long time. But there are a few places where there are new homes where there were not before but the overall habitat has not been greatly reduced in the main.  Mostly the smaller fires and logging tended to provide more browse in a year or so.  There is TONS of good winter range. The real change in my observation is the predator population.  Last year i hiked my boots off between nursing a truck back to health.  Worked HARD from creek bottoms to over 4400 feet dark to dark...and saw less than 60 deer.  And MOST over 30) of those were holed up in town or close in fields.  I saw cat and wolf kills in abundance.  Wolves don't stash deer in trees...Cats do.  Wolves eat a deer while its still alive, I saw several that looked kind of gnawed-on.

WDFW is focusing the attention on the last 5-7 years, but the degradation of the herd has been going on LONG before that, its now just really noticeable. I would like to see herd counts from the 1980s and 90s compared to now  Honest ones and not doctored.

So in summary, the WDFW has (perhaps deliberately- I think so) failed to manage predators in a meaningful way and has in its employ, pro-wolf individuals who will lie like rugs to further their agenda. (Scott Fitkin, I'm talking about you, as well as others)  It certainly feels looks and tastes like Hunters are intended to be an endangered species.  Predators and mismanagement are the tools of our extinction.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 08, 2019, 02:06:25 PM
Are you talking see in person or on cam. It also depends on the area of the Methow. You will see more cougar in the upper part of the valley as opposed to the lower say from Carlton down. Reason being the deer are a lot fewer and far between in the lower Methow.

I was basically asking huntnphool about his experiences because he seems to be knowledgeable about the Methow as well as being objective.  My question would be regarding the part of the Methow say, from Carlton to Washington Pass.  I know that is a huge area, but over the years we have hunted in most of that.



I'm going to stir the pot a little on the subject of predators in the Methow. We have been hunting there for over 30 years. When I say "we", I mean myself and my two sons. We hunt out of a camp of guys who have been hunting and (own property around Winthrop) for more than 40 years. There have been probably 25 hunters over the years who have spent time in this camp, hunting with us. We are not "road hunters". We hike miles back in, from Black Canyon to Black Pine Lake to Mazama to Texas Creek to Buck Lake to Tiffany Meadow to Hart's Pass. We have burned a lot of boot leather during deer season, and scouting during the off-season as well. And we have harvested a lot of bucks over the years.

As far as I know, not one of us have ever seen a cougar. We have seen a few tracks in the years when we hunted in the snow, but this idea of a cougar behind every tree just doesn't ring true. I'm not saying that people here are not being truthful, I'm just of the opinion that there may be just a little exaggeration happening. I realize that the mule deer herds are just a small remnant of what they once were. We, too, saw herds of migrating mulies numbering in the hundreds 25-30 years ago. My opinion on the declining herds is that there are many factors contributing to the problem, not just predators.

Flame away...............

Igor, I am not speaking for phool but I will chime in if I may because some of those areas you mentioned we HAVE seen predators in, also I will speak for myself, I have never said there was a "cougar behind every tree" but there are a heck of a lot more of them than there was 30 years ago and I have said the departments estimates of predator numbers seem very low and deer numbers seem very high(compared to what we are seeing), once again over 100 years involved here but like I have said in previous posts the majority by far has been over the last 25 or so years, I will not mention areas specifically but most were in the north valley. I believe we have have seen a total of 4 cats in the Tiffany/Boulder/Baldy area, one was killed last year after we told a couple other guys about it and they killed it, another year we seen a BIG cat on a bluff watching us from behind, we don't know how long he had been watching us but when my partner noticed the tail swiping back and forth like a house cat ready to pounce on a mouse he spun his rifle around and took a snap shot at it as it leaped about 20ft and disappeared, the cat was about 40 feet from us, around 7-8 years ago we seen 2 up in the Tiffany area, 1 during a pre season scouting trip and 1 big cat that same year during hunting season that  had a collar. This area is where we found over 20 cached kills, partially eaten, some fresh enough to see cat sign in the dirt, the area was void of deer. The Eight Mile/Buck Lake/Doe Mt/Fawn Creek area is probably responsible for around 6-7 sightings, last year we seen 1 up in there at about 500 yards, slinking along a ridgeline, I seen 2 up in the Buck Lake area a few years ago while fishing, right by the boat launch spot! A pardner seen one while hunting up on Fawn, told a camp nearby and they killed it a couple days later, if I remember right a kid got it :dunno:. I seen a huge cat sitting on a rock bluff about 12 years ago on private property, my wife and I were watching a small bunch of deer about 100 yards from us, there was a nice big 4 by5 in the group and they did nothing but look uphill as we whistled at them to try and get them to look at us so we could get a good look at him, the deer just stared up hill, ears forward, could care less about us, we looked up the hill and there was the cat, about 50 yards up on a rock outcropping, waiting for the deer to move up hill, the deer(after about a 3 min stare down) eventually spun and got off that hillside like they were shot out of a cannon. I can go over more, but you get the idea, like I said in my other post above for Idahohuntr) check out some of my other posts that I highlighted earlier that are in this thread. I also have known a few local folks over the years, some were ranchers, farmers, hunters and packers, some are still around, most are gone. Some have found cached kills in hay bails, some have found kills under their house, some have been stalked going to the crapper in the high country and some have seen them in their garage. Bottom line, they will all tell you, "cats are a problem for these deer and there are a hell of a lot more of them than there used to be in this valley"..didnt mean to step on phools input but thought I could also contribute on your question, don't even get me started on bear over the last 25 years :chuckle:.. I also agree and have said many, many times, there are a number of issues that have contributed to the decline of this herd, through my experience, observations, conversations and aquaintances going back 100 years, my opinion is the number 1 cause of the decline of this herd is predators and you know what number 2 and 3 are. Whatever anyones elses opinion is is fine by me, bottom line is there are a lot less deer in this valley than there was 25-30 years ago and it seems every year is worse and worse, all I have done is try to have an open mind and connect the dots of what has happened over the last 25 or so years to cause this decline, and that is my opinion and :twocents:.



If I may add, I will say the majority of cats and bears we have seen have been north of Twisp, very rarely have we seen cats or bear south of there, lots of yotes though, we did see a cat up Gold creek around 15 years ago and we seen another one up by Alta lake while fishing about 8 or 9 years ago.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 08, 2019, 04:43:00 PM
So I wonder what's different about the last 25+ years in the methow from the previous tens of thousands of years where virtually unhunted cougars, wolves, and bears co-existed with mule deer? I'm especially curious to hear from those who are arguing human expansion and habitat degradation are not even "on the list" of factors limiting methow mule deer.

Nobody reasonable is suggesting predators aren't an issue.  But to ignore habitat degradation and human expansion is very shortsighted.  Predators and prey can often be cyclical in abundance.  The mule deer herds ability to rebound is dependent on quantity and quality of habitat. Reducing habitat quality or quantity exacerbates predator issues and makes a rebound much, much more difficult. 

Human population data shows the Methow valley growing at twice the rate (% change) as Seattle for the 2010-2017 period.  Combine this with the overall increased population visiting to hunt, hike, atv, snowmobile, shed hunt etc. And add in second homes, development, fires, fencing, etc...and that is where my statement comes from...human expansion and associated habitat degradation is a major long term factor in wildlife abundance across many parts of the western US...and this very basic fact is not mutually exclusive of predator impacts...but I'm always amused at the purity tests applied on this forum where any discussion of impacts from something without claws and teeth is perceived as pushing a liberal conspiracy to end hunting and take your guns.  :chuckle:

You are entitled to your opinion and I would respect it more if you actually spent a lot of time in the Methow Valley, hunting it, fishing it, scouting it, recreating in it or even living in it and like some on here,  we/they have been doing those things for a long, long time and even then, some of us sometimes still see things differently but still respect each others observations and opinions concerning the Methow Valley, which is what this topic concerns. As most of us have said many, many times, there are a lot of reasons this herd is not even a shadow of what it once was and most(not all) of us agree, from our observations, after spending many, many years roaming this valley that the decline DOES have a lot to do with things that have "claws and teeth". It seems you like to argue and in this case argue about an areas problem you really have no history or experience with, once again we are all entitled to our opinions and like my dad used to say "some guys have better opinions than others, I,ll listen to the one formed by experience everytime"
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Igor on May 08, 2019, 05:49:56 PM
This about covers things here:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/szNu6iNES0e9eTrJk1qzxHc-lor2wljQ23e89WMsnQ-dcxRmRSCLfbGuGUwWHTxkSV8xFOVgWOolreMKv3nRuRoZ7prfooNrAkqYxFpOgfpSRxoefatuMamnzrekHmUIdh40FaJb54IRdgdvUaLb4lkH1g1l9KeWJKlJzAlyjT7CyqSJ11tu1SKaT0iOjI7z5lnlx4FNB46VWmdEi0djdnZCw1-uCmsO4w95wyCpSbp0oPUFtVFlCVtx8bjvs2fHi8krQ2QKZq51yVLssbfrm-URhuZ29MzNmHEcnqhHGpAAYmW8-p38E31Hx4vJWvh281XB-zlpqlV92eEa9YJsPGB9sX75RxRu_c40t_iGaiyOgJ_TQzMlYHiyG-DO3nK4XR1a38gLH_7RgezNkgSwz7hYSdurx61q07dkKWIhwjgTC1D3ZNGnHG9fcbcEWQ1W8cp1mOCZVFyFHjb3zjkwdswyw3BXSedj4HVjfKwKv_sJ6-AxjQaLJB_Gvdcxpd6FkjlXrcGM1Iqm49NEGrv6AnV82ab0wYvvoieW5PikkhtwjUSIHbvmmsYU3k71i_E0U47ONXR7RtQgOIaTjP6y8kxoPqZVJvfkZsDxXzH3uXSiroXJhQSsVr_Uq4KOpISCPe6IIezn6U1_I75w1JjaZGSsngLUrA=s311-no)
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 08, 2019, 05:55:16 PM
Are you talking see in person or on cam. It also depends on the area of the Methow. You will see more cougar in the upper part of the valley as opposed to the lower say from Carlton down. Reason being the deer are a lot fewer and far between in the lower Methow.

I was basically asking huntnphool about his experiences because he seems to be knowledgeable about the Methow as well as being objective.  My question would be regarding the part of the Methow say, from Carlton to Washington Pass.  I know that is a huge area, but over the years we have hunted in most of that.



I'm going to stir the pot a little on the subject of predators in the Methow. We have been hunting there for over 30 years. When I say "we", I mean myself and my two sons. We hunt out of a camp of guys who have been hunting and (own property around Winthrop) for more than 40 years. There have been probably 25 hunters over the years who have spent time in this camp, hunting with us. We are not "road hunters". We hike miles back in, from Black Canyon to Black Pine Lake to Mazama to Texas Creek to Buck Lake to Tiffany Meadow to Hart's Pass. We have burned a lot of boot leather during deer season, and scouting during the off-season as well. And we have harvested a lot of bucks over the years.

As far as I know, not one of us have ever seen a cougar. We have seen a few tracks in the years when we hunted in the snow, but this idea of a cougar behind every tree just doesn't ring true. I'm not saying that people here are not being truthful, I'm just of the opinion that there may be just a little exaggeration happening. I realize that the mule deer herds are just a small remnant of what they once were. We, too, saw herds of migrating mulies numbering in the hundreds 25-30 years ago. My opinion on the declining herds is that there are many factors contributing to the problem, not just predators.

Flame away...............


Seeing a lion is rare even when they are abundant. I spend 3-4 months a year hound hunting every year and have seen hundreds upon hundreds of cats with my dogs but have only seen 3 or 4 without dogs in my lifetime. Something to consider they are definitely stealthy. I probably shouldnít even be in this discussion I just get frustrated when fellow hunters donít seem to acknowledge facts that seem to be staring them in the face. Not your post but others. There will always be a multitude of issues for mule deer but this situation seems obviously predators and there is a wealth of knowledge and experience on here saying so
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MAVsled on May 08, 2019, 06:00:32 PM
"...Itís no big deal now to see wolves on a regular basis, and talk about shooting cougars and wolves etc. is open. "You know what to doĒ is the language used. There is even talk of LEOís encouraging the same...."

2018: I saw 2 different big cats, big bear (sure looked grizzly like) and 3 wolves hunting high area of Little Bridge creek/Gardner unit. These spottings took place far from the gated forest road, climbing/hunting high & up to the horse trail & camp areas.
it was bad enough that a camp/hunting friend was shot up there by another "hunter" last year too. But they were down by the forest road....figures.
And after yet another bad winter, I'm probably skipping the area this year.

2017: I saw 4 wolves on my late November Teanaway archery muley buck permit...and very few deer. Perfect hunt conditions, cold, fresh snow the last 6 hunt days. Little did I know that the small 2point at 25 yards on my first day would be my only opportunity. Not filling my special permit buck tag after a successive 11 days hunt, first time for a permit tag soup for me.
But seeing those wolves now 2 years in a row just gave me a bad feeling that my fave muley hunt areas are going by the wayside...and quickly.

The quoted statement above from those "locals" talking just won't be followed by me. Those LOCALS would probably turn my butt in to the WDFW if they witnessed me do such a thing as they suggest.

darn glad I have my memories of the late 60's, 70's.

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Alchase on May 08, 2019, 06:28:07 PM
In all the years I hunted the Methow, I saw one cougar. Between 1986 and 2000 I would see a couple cougar kills a year. In the last few years, I have seen Many kills each year. Wolves are now active throughout the Methow, if hunters are not seeing the signs, honestly they canít be paying attention.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Igor on May 08, 2019, 07:13:14 PM
if hunters are not seeing the signs, honestly they canít be paying attention.

Well, I've been paying attention.  I just could never figure out how all those dang deer were getting up in those trees..........now I know.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 08, 2019, 08:09:59 PM
So I wonder what's different about the last 25+ years in the methow from the previous tens of thousands of years where virtually unhunted cougars, wolves, and bears co-existed with mule deer? I'm especially curious to hear from those who are arguing human expansion and habitat degradation are not even "on the list" of factors limiting methow mule deer.

Nobody reasonable is suggesting predators aren't an issue.  But to ignore habitat degradation and human expansion is very shortsighted.  Predators and prey can often be cyclical in abundance.  The mule deer herds ability to rebound is dependent on quantity and quality of habitat. Reducing habitat quality or quantity exacerbates predator issues and makes a rebound much, much more difficult. 

Human population data shows the Methow valley growing at twice the rate (% change) as Seattle for the 2010-2017 period.  Combine this with the overall increased population visiting to hunt, hike, atv, snowmobile, shed hunt etc. And add in second homes, development, fires, fencing, etc...and that is where my statement comes from...human expansion and associated habitat degradation is a major long term factor in wildlife abundance across many parts of the western US...and this very basic fact is not mutually exclusive of predator impacts...but I'm always amused at the purity tests applied on this forum where any discussion of impacts from something without claws and teeth is perceived as pushing a liberal conspiracy to end hunting and take your guns.  :chuckle:
[/quote 


The difference between the thousands of years before and predators and deer is the North American wildlife model. They killed off a lot of predators and started managing for excess deer and elk,established seasons and sold tags to raise money to go back to benefiting deer and elk and improving habitat. I know you know this and how it works. What most people donít realize is there wasnít very many deer in a lot of places before we started doing this. I knew quite a few of the old ranchers in eastern Montana in the 80ís that told me it was uncommon to see deer in the early 1900ís and in the 80ís they were all over and you could shoot 6 with otc tags and 5 had to be does. What has happened in Washington is they have flipped the North American wildlife model on its head by managing for excess predators . Once you do that the whole system falls apart because there isnít an excess of deer to even hunt much less sell very many tags. I guess it doesnít currently effect me but I think itís a shame. Look up the population growth of North American deer over the last 100 years. The old timers eliminated wolfs for a reason. We donít have to eliminate but controlling is absolutely necessary. I also agree habitat is super important long term but itís not the immediate problem
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: NOCK NOCK on May 08, 2019, 08:41:21 PM
if hunters are not seeing the signs, honestly they canít be paying attention.

Well, I've been paying attention.  I just could never figure out how all those dang deer were getting up in those trees..........now I know.


Ahhhh, the human predator.  ;) Seems a lot of folks still hunt the methowÖ...even though knowing the condition of the herd.

Do humans have teeth and claws???

Idahohunter is right you know...Ö.Seems like a "never cry wolf" scenario sometimes......Even with dwindling herds, there is a exponential growth of predators.....how is that? What are they eating to expand their masses since there are so few deer left?


Don't get me wrong, I do realize predators are an issue, but just one of many issues, not THE Issue.   :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 08, 2019, 08:55:40 PM
So I wonder what's different about the last 25+ years in the methow from the previous tens of thousands of years where virtually unhunted cougars, wolves, and bears co-existed with mule deer? I'm especially curious to hear from those who are arguing human expansion and habitat degradation are not even "on the list" of factors limiting methow mule deer.

Nobody reasonable is suggesting predators aren't an issue.  But to ignore habitat degradation and human expansion is very shortsighted.  Predators and prey can often be cyclical in abundance.  The mule deer herds ability to rebound is dependent on quantity and quality of habitat. Reducing habitat quality or quantity exacerbates predator issues and makes a rebound much, much more difficult. 

Human population data shows the Methow valley growing at twice the rate (% change) as Seattle for the 2010-2017 period.  Combine this with the overall increased population visiting to hunt, hike, atv, snowmobile, shed hunt etc. And add in second homes, development, fires, fencing, etc...and that is where my statement comes from...human expansion and associated habitat degradation is a major long term factor in wildlife abundance across many parts of the western US...and this very basic fact is not mutually exclusive of predator impacts...but I'm always amused at the purity tests applied on this forum where any discussion of impacts from something without claws and teeth is perceived as pushing a liberal conspiracy to end hunting and take your guns.  :chuckle:
[/quote 


The difference between the thousands of years before and predators and deer is the North American wildlife model. They killed off a lot of predators and started managing for excess deer and elk,established seasons and sold tags to raise money to go back to benefiting deer and elk and improving habitat. I know you know this and how it works. What most people donít realize is there wasnít very many deer in a lot of places before we started doing this. I knew quite a few of the old ranchers in eastern Montana in the 80ís that told me it was uncommon to see deer in the early 1900ís and in the 80ís they were all over and you could shoot 6 with otc tags and 5 had to be does. What has happened in Washington is they have flipped the North American wildlife model on its head by managing for excess predators . Once you do that the whole system falls apart because there isnít an excess of deer to even hunt much less sell very many tags. I guess it doesnít currently effect me but I think itís a shame. Look up the population growth of North American deer over the last 100 years. The old timers eliminated wolfs for a reason. We donít have to eliminate but controlling is absolutely necessary. I also agree habitat is super important long term but itís not the immediate problem

Well said Idahoguy, my great grandparents knew a Game fella back in the day that actually worked on the N. A wildlife model, I wish my dad was still around, I know his first name was Gabe and he was from Alaska, I don't remember his role in it, just that he was involved in someway, his name was on the back of one of the pictures I posted on here years ago, he had a huge non-typical that he killed over there, the writing on the back my great grandma wrote said "Gabe and his huge buck before he became a Warden" it said something else including a year but it was smeared and weathered, he hunted mule deer in the Methow with my great grandparents for many years and they would go up to Alaska to fish and hunt moose and caribou with him....bigmacc
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 08, 2019, 09:20:00 PM
if hunters are not seeing the signs, honestly they canít be paying attention.

Well, I've been paying attention.  I just could never figure out how all those dang deer were getting up in those trees..........now I know.


Ahhhh, the human predator.  ;) Seems a lot of folks still hunt the methowÖ...even though knowing the condition of the herd.

Do humans have teeth and claws???

Idahohunter is right you know...Ö.Seems like a "never cry wolf" scenario sometimes......Even with dwindling herds, there is a exponential growth of predators.....how is that? What are they eating to expand their masses since there are so few deer left?


Don't get me wrong, I do realize predators are an issue, but just one of many issues, not THE Issue.   :twocents:

Oh there are deer still there for the predators and eventually the predators will die or move on or disperse when numbers get to low I would imagine :dunno:, according to estimates there are still around 15,000 deer(give or take) in the valley, thats down from its peak of 35-40,000.  Hunters and locals every year are seeing less and less deer in this valley, that is a fact and every year more and more predators or sign of predators are being seen, also a fact, and once again I will say again, I have said many times there are many issues that have contributed to the decline of this herd, your opinion is it,s not "THE Issue" my opinion formed from my history and observations going back 100 years is that for this particular herd the predator issue is the number one(NOT THE ONLY) but THE NO 1 Issue contributing to the decline of this particular herd over the last 25 years....my  :twocents: we just disagree, no snide remarks or sarcasm pointed in your direction :tup:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnphool on May 08, 2019, 11:48:06 PM
Just FYI - There are far more than 4000 elk in Yellowstone NP. They just counted 5800 in the northern herd and this just inside the park, that doesnt count the other herds in the GYE.  Im not pro wolf, whatever that means.  I like to see pictures of dead ones and I like that they exist on the landscape at the same time. I agree they need to be aggressively managed and we cant start hunting them here in WA soon enough.

I still think loss of habitat and our own human expansion is the biggest issue for the Central WA deer herds decline.  Not to mention the recent fires and roads everywhere that see year round traffic.   I 100% agree though, we need better predator management, let the hounds men do their thing.
Spot on.  Human expansion and associated habitat degradation don't leave teeth marks like a wolf so people have a harder time "seeing" the effects.  No doubt, it is a major factor in long-term wildlife abundance for many parts of the Western US.

Well, cougars "don't leave teeth marks like a wolf' either, nor does a bear or a coyote, they are all different and their populations are and have been growing and expanding in this valley over the last 25 or so years. As far as the Methow herds decline goes, many different reasons, once again my top 3-Predators, mis management of predators and mis management of the herd itself, loss of habitat is way down the list, IF even on the paper. There is a lot of country in this valley A LOT and like some have said there is a lot of feed in this valley, even after the fires there was still an abundance of feed in some great historic winter range in the north part of the valley which is where we would see THOUSANDS of deer wintering before the predator boom, now and even before the fires you are lucky to see 50 out and about on a December weekend, the building of houses didn't cause that big of a drop over the last 25 or so years. The time frame of the start of this herds drastic decline coincides with 3 events, the outlawing of hounds and how we were able to hunt predators in this valley, the arriving of the wolf in this valley and the doing away of the Department of Game. Yep, the population of humans is growing in the valley and the deer don't seem to mind, but a lot of those folks are not hunter friendly (which doesn't do us as hunters any good, but offers the deer safety) and they feed them, plus there presence seems to serve as a buffer from wolves, cats, bears and yotes, for crying out loud for a 3 day period I seen a group of does and bucks inhabit a guys lawn and patio, even laying on his outdoor furniture! Fact is, what deer are left in this valley seem to be attracted to civilization for survival and thats not the way it should be but if you were being pursued by predators 24/7/365 you learn to adapt to survive. Its hard to argue with folks who know this valley like the back of their hand and have history here(yes, I am one) and there are many, and yes some have been tormented for their beliefs but like others have said its all coming to truth, wolf populations are here and are growing and they are killing a lot of deer, cougar numbers are booming and they are killing even more deer, coyotes are growing and killing yearlings and fawns and bear numbers are growing and taking out lots of fawns and these killers ARE NOT being managed for the health and growth of this mule deer herd, in fact the way they(predators) are being managed is doing the exact opposite for this herd. You want to know why you could see thousands of deer over a weekend in December in the Methow 25-30 years ago and now you are lucky to see 50, its not fires and houses because the decline was already in full swing before the house boom and it was in full swing before the fires, come on now, is it really just a coincidence this all started when wolves showed up and the gloves were put on concerning how we hunt cougar and bear AND the Game Department went away?....Well you know what, maybe some others are "wearing the tin foil hats" :dunno:
I guess you will be proven right very soon then...predators are at insanely high levels and the prey are nearly extinct.  So the last few surviving deer will be eaten by the massive number of wolves, cougars, and bears...all hunting will end in the methow and that will be that.  My question to you, since you are an authoritative figure with extensive knowledge of this herd...Do you think all the methow deer will be gone before this fall or will they make it one more year?  Certainly there wont be any left in 2 years at the rate predators are increasing...right?

 You are right Idaho, there is no predator problem. The problem is the habitat loss due to all the track housing and development across the Mathew the last ten years....how have we missed this!!!

 Wake up and smell the *censored* you're shoveling man!... .SMFH
Your vulgar and personal attacks dont seem to add a lot of value  :dunno:  Can you answer the question?  How many months until all the deer are gone...its simple supply...the deer are declining rapidly and the predators are increasing exponentially...that cant last forever hp...so answer the question...seems you should know since you are so smart?  Give a specific timeline so the rest of us that dont hunt that area know what to expect.

 Vulgar and personal attacks? How about you post up the "attacks" that hurt your feely feely's! :chuckle:

 It's interesting you continue to bloviate your opinion in this thread, yet admit you don't hunt the area or know what to expect. :chuckle:

 Clearly just another wolf loving antagonist on this forum IMO :twocents:
Your language doesn't bother me personally, it just doesn't add a lot of value.

You say predators are skyrocketing and deer are declining rapidly...that cant be sustained.  So how long before the deer are gone?

 1) Don't spin what you said, please post up the language in my post that offended you!

 2) Post up a quote of me saying the predators are skyrocketing and deer numbers declining rapidly and can't be sustained.

 3) Perhaps you have me confused with someone else's comments you are butthurt about? :dunno:
 
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 09, 2019, 06:34:16 AM
So the soap opera continues. Funny how people can look at the same wording and see different things. Oh what a tangled web we weave. One thing anyone that has a history in the Methow can agree on is the current deer population is in need of some help to say the least
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: NOCK NOCK on May 09, 2019, 08:07:56 AM
Just a thought I have not seen in this entire thread.......

Maybe, just maybe.......the reason folks are under the impression they are seeing more predators(especially lions) could be that they are having to spend more time hunting for their prey which puts them in a position to be seen more???
So technically the cougar population may not be exponentially larger and growing, we may just be seeing them more.  Thereís something for yíall to chew on.  :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: JimmyHoffa on May 09, 2019, 08:22:04 AM
Just a thought I have not seen in this entire thread.......

Maybe, just maybe.......the reason folks are under the impression they are seeing more predators(especially lions) could be that they are having to spend more time hunting for their prey which puts them in a position to be seen more???
So technically the cougar population may not be exponentially larger and growing, we may just be seeing them more.  Thereís something for yíall to chew on.  :twocents:
If that is the case, then WDFW should be seeing that the ratio of predators to prey has risen and be proactively lowering the predator numbers to have enough deer and elk for humans.
I think it is safe to say wolves don't fit the theory, they really have moved in that area and are growing.  If lions were at a stable number, the wolves could be stealing lion kills causing the lions to have to hunt more and be seen more--kind of what you are suggesting.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 09, 2019, 08:56:11 AM
Just a thought I have not seen in this entire thread.......

Maybe, just maybe.......the reason folks are under the impression they are seeing more predators(especially lions) could be that they are having to spend more time hunting for their prey which puts them in a position to be seen more???
So technically the cougar population may not be exponentially larger and growing, we may just be seeing them more.  Thereís something for yíall to chew on.  :twocents:
If that is the case, then WDFW should be seeing that the ratio of predators to prey has risen and be proactively lowering the predator numbers to have enough deer and elk for humans.
I think it is safe to say wolves don't fit the theory, they really have moved in that area and are growing.  If lions were at a stable number, the wolves could be stealing lion kills causing the lions to have to hunt more and be seen more--kind of what you are suggesting.
.
 :yeah:
One lion kills average 52 deer a year. If your deer herd is less than 50 percent of historical numbers you would think aggressively reducing lions would be 1 possible solution  :chuckle:It was studied in Coeur D Alene river the wolves were stealing lion kills and forcing lions to kill up to twice as much.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: JimmyHoffa on May 09, 2019, 09:11:03 AM
I saw something about wolves in yellowstone being run off kills by grizzlies.  The bears used to den throughout winter.  Now they are awake for most of it.  The bears follow wolves around and chase them off kills, forcing the wolves to kill more moose, elk and deer.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: NOCK NOCK on May 09, 2019, 09:16:52 AM
Just a thought I have not seen in this entire thread.......

Maybe, just maybe.......the reason folks are under the impression they are seeing more predators(especially lions) could be that they are having to spend more time hunting for their prey which puts them in a position to be seen more???
So technically the cougar population may not be exponentially larger and growing, we may just be seeing them more.  Thereís something for yíall to chew on.  :twocents:
If that is the case, then WDFW should be seeing that the ratio of predators to prey has risen and be proactively lowering the predator numbers to have enough deer and elk for humans.
I think it is safe to say wolves don't fit the theory, they really have moved in that area and are growing.  If lions were at a stable number, the wolves could be stealing lion kills causing the lions to have to hunt more and be seen more--kind of what you are suggesting.


Yes theroy fits for cats more than wolves.
As far WDFW, they have zero idea how many lions are anywhere, to expect them to ďmanageĒ cats/predators is a pipe dream for us.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 09, 2019, 09:21:29 AM
They also have no idea how many wolves I.e. the wolf scat study
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 09, 2019, 10:55:18 AM
Lets put it this way, we may all be agreeing with each other here :dunno: :chuckle:. One thing for sure is their are more cats in this valley than there were 25 years ago, there are more bears, just for the reason they are not being successfully hunted and killed as they were after more "successful ways" were outlawed,  whether it be 10 more or 100, fact is there are more, fact is another apex predator has established itself in this valley(wolf) and who's numbers are growing and expanding within the valley and if because of that its forcing the existing population of cats and bears to have to hunt more and harder for their food, which means they are being seen more, I could get on board with that. Bottom line is, there is a "predator issue" in this valley, what ever way you look at it, spin it or connect the dots, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of deer in this particular herd are gone and continue to disappear SINCE the gloves were put on concerning how predators were hunted, trapped and killed in this state, plus the arrival of the wolf and its growth within the valley AND the way ALL these predators are being managed. Add it all up, connect all those dots, count all these kills people are noticing more and more over the last 25 years, sightings, confrontations etc. etc., I think some folks have said this valley is becoming a "predator pit", it is actually starting to look more and more like one. No one really knows how long this herd can sustain this kind of onslaught by predators,  including the state, one thing is for certain, this herd has taken a beating and the "predator issue" in this valley(however anybody wants to look at it) has and is not being addressed and its because of that this herd continues to be hit hard by predation.   My book,  THE number 1 issue(amongst others) facing the health, growth and success of the Methow mule deer herd is the "predator issue".....Over and out.     
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: borntoslay on May 09, 2019, 12:10:38 PM
So the soap opera continues. Funny how people can look at the same wording and see different things. Oh what a tangled web we weave. One thing anyone that has a history in the Methow can agree on is the current deer population is in need of some help to say the least
Inserts Kieth Morrison voice

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 09, 2019, 05:35:41 PM


I know I have mentioned it before, but I had a cousin that was 10 years older than me, we both had the same interests of working for the Game Department here in Washington, he ended up getting many scholarships and ended up getting a couple different degrees, I pursued baseball :chuckle:  He ended up actually in Idaho, working for their Fish and Game, he moved up the ladder quickly and became a "big shot" eventually but when he could pull it off, get away or find time he knew where he could find big bucks when hunting season rolled around, he ended up in the Methow every chance he could and he killed some monsters, some pictures were of him that I posted in the past. I will not mention his name or what he did for IdahoFandG but he was a genius as far as how "we all could get along", hunters, prey AND predator. Before he passed we talked extensively about the Methow herd and what has caused its downfall. With all due respect for others on this site who don't agree, there Is a predator problem in this state folks, for some its obvious, for others it hits different chords but for those of us in this state who hunt, there are more and NEW apex predators to compete with and that is a fact. Is it affecting our hunting?, yes in some areas, not yet in others, its up to everyone of us as hunters in this state to write in, make calls, talk to wardens, bios and managers, etc. what ever chance you get talk to a "Game person". We did it for years in the Methow and a lot of what you see as far as road closers go(making people hoof-it) into different migration routes etc. are products of my family(especially my dad) being in the ear of these guys constantly, to benefit NOT him as a hunter but this Mule Deer herd he loved....just a little more family history, sorry.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Igor on May 09, 2019, 08:07:54 PM
I have another theory with regard to hunting in the Methow.  First, I will posit that the deer herds will never recover to what they were in the "good ol' days".  I believe that this is mostly by design.

In years past the local economy (Winthrop in particular) made big money by attracting hunters and fishermen.  I would now say that yuppies and millennials have replaced sportsman as the major source of income for the local economy........mountain bikers, rafters, cross-country skiers, horse-riders, etc.  If you spend any amount of time in the Methow you can't help but see them everywhere.  They are there all year long, not just during fishing and hunting season.  And they spend big money.  The local Inns, motels, and restaurants are designed to attract those folks, and not hunters.  Sun Mountain Lodge, Freestone Inn, Hotel Rio Vista, Mt. Gardner Inn, The Virginian Resort......the list goes on.  Hunters just don't stay at those places.......they cater to the crowd with more money to spend all year round.

Years ago if you went into Three Fingered Jacks or Antlers during hunting season, you saw lots of hunters.
That's just not the case any more. All of the local watering holes are populated by the afore-mentioned yuppies and millennials.  A number of the once-great fishing lakes now have rules and regulations tailored expressly for non-consumptive fishermen.  We used to take our kids to Davis Lake, Moccasin Lake, Little Twin and Big Twin Lakes.  Those lakes are no longer kid-friendly.......they are "selective fishery" lakes.  Guess who that benefits?

I have personally observed anti-hunter sentiment in the valley. My personal observations have led me to
believe that there will be more and more effort made to attract the yuppie and millennial crowd, and this could include making less effort in the area of game management because the source of revenue for the entire valley has shifted.  Hunting and fishing are just not that important as a revenue stream, so the emphasis is now on the people who actually spend big money in the Methow.  Increasing the mule deer herd in the Methow is no longer a priority for the WDFW.

Just my 2Ę............
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: MtnMuley on May 09, 2019, 08:10:19 PM
Well Igor, you nailed that assessment.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Tjv28 on May 09, 2019, 09:14:33 PM
The ďyuppiesĒ are not the ones hurting the mule deer population.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on May 09, 2019, 09:41:00 PM
I have another theory with regard to hunting in the Methow.  First, I will posit that the deer herds will never recover to what they were in the "good ol' days".  I believe that this is mostly by design.

In years past the local economy (Winthrop in particular) made big money by attracting hunters and fishermen.  I would now say that yuppies and millennials have replaced sportsman as the major source of income for the local economy........mountain bikers, rafters, cross-country skiers, horse-riders, etc.  If you spend any amount of time in the Methow you can't help but see them everywhere.  They are there all year long, not just during fishing and hunting season.  And they spend big money.  The local Inns, motels, and restaurants are designed to attract those folks, and not hunters.  Sun Mountain Lodge, Freestone Inn, Hotel Rio Vista, Mt. Gardner Inn, The Virginian Resort......the list goes on.  Hunters just don't stay at those places.......they cater to the crowd with more money to spend all year round.

Years ago if you went into Three Fingered Jacks or Antlers during hunting season, you saw lots of hunters.
That's just not the case any more. All of the local watering holes are populated by the afore-mentioned yuppies and millennials.  A number of the once-great fishing lakes now have rules and regulations tailored expressly for non-consumptive fishermen.  We used to take our kids to Davis Lake, Moccasin Lake, Little Twin and Big Twin Lakes.  Those lakes are no longer kid-friendly.......they are "selective fishery" lakes.  Guess who that benefits?

I have personally observed anti-hunter sentiment in the valley. My personal observations have led me to
believe that there will be more and more effort made to attract the yuppie and millennial crowd, and this could include making less effort in the area of game management because the source of revenue for the entire valley has shifted.  Hunting and fishing are just not that important as a revenue stream, so the emphasis is now on the people who actually spend big money in the Methow.  Increasing the mule deer herd in the Methow is no longer a priority for the WDFW.

Just my 2Ę............

Igor, if you have only read half of my posts through the last 5-6 years, you will know you have repeated in (some cases) exactly my thoughts, almost to the word. Many folks I have hunted with going well back into the 50,s are gone, some of coarse that my dad hunted with back until the 30,s are gone, and my grandparents(plus great) are all gone,  a very few folks of who are descendants of the original 1917 camp are still around.. Many trips (and goose chases :chuckle:) that I have been sent on by some very "respected" folks who worked for this states Department of Game back in the day paid off in some of the biggest bucks some will ever see.I posted some of those pictures years ago going back to the 1920,s only to find out from another that my familys pictures were being copied at an alarming rate(I am not tech savvy and was worse back then :chuckle:)but now my grandkids are helping me out a lot as far as how this whole thing works. They are and will carry on our camp, between my brother and I, most are girls that will be killing and dragging :chuckle:, my great grandma killed over 50 bucks and I have told personal stories to some on here how she drug most out herself, not all but most(some here remember the superman story) and named a few hills and landmarks in the valley, some of which were used for years by locals and State folks. The thread I started years ago about my familys history of hunting in the Methow have actually resulted in more than one question about where we hunt and even a few folks approached me about a book writing :chuckle:, and like many others on here Ive been offered good money for locations or being guided :chuckle:, we hunt the Methow, no secret, and it is nowhere even close to the bar that was set 30 years ago let alone 40, 50, 60 and 100.  My dad, my grandparents, uncles, myself and friends have killed over 800 bucks over all these years (not a brag, but a fact) and every one was a Methow mulie. Many memories of hunts, local folks, ranchers and packers visiting our campfire, many, many other hunters at our fire, Game Dept. folks visiting our fire as well as a few of all spending holidays with us at our home through the years. I have tried to stay humble explaining my passion and history of this herd and hunting it, some have challenged me, some have embraced me, some have stood with me shoulder to shoulder as far as our/my passion for this herd and my background, to you all I am grateful and respectful of YOUR time hunting, sharing your memories and respecting this once mighty herd. For now I am going to bow out, its getting a little rough in here :chuckle: I hope a few have enjoyed my stories and opinions concerning the Methow herd, I will say one last thing which I have said many times, it is a shame what has happened to this herd, its a shame some of you really don't know or had the chance to experience it "in its day".... so long.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: SuperX on May 10, 2019, 07:47:52 AM
I can't see the logic behind WDFW catering to the mountain bike / yuppie crowd.  Are they hoping to get rich on parking slips?  I think they are just cruddy at managing anything but the revenue stream and ironically that means they would not turn their back on hunters IN THIS CASE. 

I look back at what has happened as civilization encroached on white tail habitat - they adapted and grew beyond any known historic numbers.  I suspect Mule Deer will find a way to adapt.  Even if that means moving into the housing developments and away from their traditional habitat.  Even though they have specific foods they prefer, I am sure they'll learn how to survive on lawn clippings and rose bushes.
 :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 10, 2019, 08:08:50 AM
What about the fact that the whitetail deer are in the Methow currently
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: SuperX on May 10, 2019, 08:11:43 AM
What about the fact that the whitetail deer are in the Methow currently
just curious, how are they doing? 
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: davew on May 10, 2019, 08:12:41 AM
It's pretty obvious that there is a predator problem. 

If the root cause of the mule deer population decline was development in the valley, you'd see lots of deer on the remaining undeveloped winter range.  NOT TRUE

If the root cause of the problem was the burned off winter range, you'd see lots of deer on the remaining unburned winter range.   NOT TRUE

If the root cause was hiking and mountain biking yuppies scaring the deer away from the trails, you'd see lots of deer away from those trails.  NOT TRUE 


I've got a trail cam hanging on an apple tree, looking at a salt block in a field of high quality bitter brush.  Five years ago, I'd get hundreds of pictures a month of deer.  Now, it's a couple dozen a month, and almost all whitetails. 


In the old days, WDFW catered to hunters that wanted fewer predators and more deer.  Now, WDFW caters to the 96% of Washingtonians that don't hunt and generally like predators, and not the 4% of us that do hunt and don't like predators. 
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: SuperX on May 10, 2019, 08:38:44 AM
In the old days, WDFW catered to hunters that wanted fewer predators and more deer.  Now, WDFW caters to the 96% of Washingtonians that don't hunt and generally like predators, and not the 4% of us that do hunt and don't like predators.
How does that make sense?  How can they 'cater' to anyone who doesn't use their services?  Maybe I'm mis-reading your concluding point, the main points you made above this last paragraph were spot on. 

If we're saying it's because they won't kill wolves, that doesn't seem supported by the numbers, even if we have 400 wolves in the state instead of 120  If it is because they won't allow cougar hunting with hounds, wasn't it the voters and anti's who put the issue on the ballot who are to blame?  If it's because the quotas on cougars are too low, wouldn't that be because the governor vetoed the idea of increasing them just a few months ago?

Thinking out loud, maybe they could 'cater' to the anti's by biologists deliberately fudging the numbers due to some inherent bias toward cougars, or by previous leadership deliberately directing funding away from studying cougar / mule deer issues and toward steelhead, wolves and orcas?

Your post was great, I'm just trying to hone in on the last paragraph because WDFW involvement seems to be the only touch point where all theories coincide.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: davew on May 10, 2019, 09:10:28 AM
SuperX,

I don't think WDFW is making up data or lying to anyone.  I believe that WDFW employees are generally good people just trying to do their jobs.  The issue is more subtle than that. 

WDFW claims that the Methow deer herd is healthy, citing data on buck/doe and doe/fawn ratios.  They never cite absolute population numbers. 

WDFW routinely publishes press releases "celebrating" the spread of wolves throughout our state.  Never mentioned in them is the resulting decline of deer, moose, elk and caribou populations.  The casual reader thinks the spread of wolves is a cause for celebration because the downside is never brought up. 

When the referendum on hound hunting was on the ballot, did WDFW provide any information about the likely resulting effect of a predator population explosion and resulting deer herd decline?  I don't think so. 

When the Governor had the chance to increase the quota on cougars, did WDFW support the proposal?  I don't think so. 

WDFW reports up to the Governor, whose political base is in Seattle.  WDFW will take high level policy positions that reflect those of the political supporters of their boss. 

Does that help?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 10, 2019, 09:17:49 AM
You can give a ratio all you want but if there is a small population of animals total it's deceptive. Just look at last falls Helecopter surveys you will see the total number of deer is dismal in the Methow GMU's
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnphool on May 10, 2019, 09:38:27 AM
In the old days, WDFW catered to hunters that wanted fewer predators and more deer.  Now, WDFW caters to the 96% of Washingtonians that don't hunt and generally like predators, and not the 4% of us that do hunt and don't like predators.
Thinking out loud, maybe they could 'cater' to the anti's by biologists deliberately fudging the numbers due to some inherent bias toward cougars, or by previous leadership deliberately directing funding away from studying cougar / mule deer issues and toward steelhead, wolves and orcas?

 Oh they funded studies alright, it's what they base their ridiculous plans on.

http://www.cbbulletin.com/423008.aspx

 And about Mr Wielgus...

https://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,200702.msg2664077.html#msg2664077
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: SuperX on May 10, 2019, 10:00:27 AM
SuperX,

I don't think WDFW is making up data or lying to anyone.  I believe that WDFW employees are generally good people just trying to do their jobs.  The issue is more subtle than that. 

WDFW claims that the Methow deer herd is healthy, citing data on buck/doe and doe/fawn ratios.  They never cite absolute population numbers. 

WDFW routinely publishes press releases "celebrating" the spread of wolves throughout our state.  Never mentioned in them is the resulting decline of deer, moose, elk and caribou populations.  The casual reader thinks the spread of wolves is a cause for celebration because the downside is never brought up. 

When the referendum on hound hunting was on the ballot, did WDFW provide any information about the likely resulting effect of a predator population explosion and resulting deer herd decline?  I don't think so. 

When the Governor had the chance to increase the quota on cougars, did WDFW support the proposal?  I don't think so. 

WDFW reports up to the Governor, whose political base is in Seattle.  WDFW will take high level policy positions that reflect those of the political supporters of their boss. 

Does that help?
I wish it did, but you start by saying how WDFW not making up data or lying,  then list 5 ways the WDFW is at fault either directly or indirectly.  I'll respond by saying there are lies of omission.  Not collecting the right data, focusing resources on something else, not writing letters of support for hound hunting, prioritization, training, hiring,l etc.

We know what wolf 103 ate for breakfast on Wednesday, but we can't count a cougar population that had been estimated at 2300 4 years ago and now is estimated at 2300?  We take about 200 cougars a year by quota and apparently that is enough to keep the population stable... who here believes cougar population is stable over the past 4 years?  10 years?

In today's world word parsing is important.  If I read "I don't think so" I see opinion not fact, but for this response I did try to respond as if these styatements of yours were facts and I still see a pattern of 'mis-prioritization' not a pattern of 'catering' to a non-customer base.

WDFW employees are good people and bad people and smart people and dumb people and people just punching a clock.  I never meant to sweep a broad brush across the people and call them all liars.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: SuperX on May 10, 2019, 10:05:25 AM
In the old days, WDFW catered to hunters that wanted fewer predators and more deer.  Now, WDFW caters to the 96% of Washingtonians that don't hunt and generally like predators, and not the 4% of us that do hunt and don't like predators.
Thinking out loud, maybe they could 'cater' to the anti's by biologists deliberately fudging the numbers due to some inherent bias toward cougars, or by previous leadership deliberately directing funding away from studying cougar / mule deer issues and toward steelhead, wolves and orcas?

 Oh they funded studies alright, it's what they base their ridiculous plans on.

http://www.cbbulletin.com/423008.aspx

 And about Mr Wielgus...

https://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,200702.msg2664077.html#msg2664077

I read the first sentence and my brain exploded "Overharvest of cougars can increase negative encounters between the predator and humans, livestock and game, according to a 13-year Washington State University research project. "

It seems pretty hard to justify that reducing cougar populations makes the remaining cougars more likely to negatively interact with humans, livestock and game.  What seems more rational is that when you reduce cougar numbers, we'll have more game, livestock and humans and less cougars to 'negatively encounter'.  In fact wouldn't the remaining cougars be less likely to need to interact with humans or livestock since game is more plentiful?

Any plan based on the first assertion would be forced to reduce game numbers to decrease negative interactions.

Am I just reading this wrong??
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Deerelk37 on May 10, 2019, 10:41:43 AM
The good olí days for us younger generations...is now. Years from now when there are 5000 deer I the valley we will be wishing for the 10-15K that is around now. Hunt predators and protect public land  :)

Has ther ever been an idea to make a group of hunters dedicated to predator control? Not an agency, but a pool of hunters who want to help thin predators. Maybe target certain units and hit them hard for months or years?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: huntnphool on May 10, 2019, 11:04:34 AM
In the old days, WDFW catered to hunters that wanted fewer predators and more deer.  Now, WDFW caters to the 96% of Washingtonians that don't hunt and generally like predators, and not the 4% of us that do hunt and don't like predators.
Thinking out loud, maybe they could 'cater' to the anti's by biologists deliberately fudging the numbers due to some inherent bias toward cougars, or by previous leadership deliberately directing funding away from studying cougar / mule deer issues and toward steelhead, wolves and orcas?

 Oh they funded studies alright, it's what they base their ridiculous plans on.

http://www.cbbulletin.com/423008.aspx

 And about Mr Wielgus...

https://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,200702.msg2664077.html#msg2664077

I read the first sentence and my brain exploded "Overharvest of cougars can increase negative encounters between the predator and humans, livestock and game, according to a 13-year Washington State University research project. "

It seems pretty hard to justify that reducing cougar populations makes the remaining cougars more likely to negatively interact with humans, livestock and game.  What seems more rational is that when you reduce cougar numbers, we'll have more game, livestock and humans and less cougars to 'negatively encounter'.  In fact wouldn't the remaining cougars be less likely to need to interact with humans or livestock since game is more plentiful?

Any plan based on the first assertion would be forced to reduce game numbers to decrease negative interactions.

Am I just reading this wrong??

  Nope, you read it exactly right. To reduce human interaction we need to have more cougars! ;)
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: JimmyHoffa on May 10, 2019, 07:39:08 PM

How does that make sense?  How can they 'cater' to anyone who doesn't use their services?  Maybe I'm mis-reading your concluding point, the main points you made above this last paragraph were spot on. 

They are responsible for wildlife and the things that wildlife do.  When there are too many complaints about animals and damage, WDFW has had to pay for it.  WDFW has eliminated elk in certain areas to keep people from calling about golf course damage or tearing up farms.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: SuperX on May 10, 2019, 08:11:25 PM

How does that make sense?  How can they 'cater' to anyone who doesn't use their services?  Maybe I'm mis-reading your concluding point, the main points you made above this last paragraph were spot on. 

They are responsible for wildlife and the things that wildlife do.  When there are too many complaints about animals and damage, WDFW has had to pay for it.  WDFW has eliminated elk in certain areas to keep people from calling about golf course damage or tearing up farms.
yeah I get that, not the case here though.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: wolfbait on May 11, 2019, 06:25:49 AM

How does that make sense?  How can they 'cater' to anyone who doesn't use their services?  Maybe I'm mis-reading your concluding point, the main points you made above this last paragraph were spot on. 

They are responsible for wildlife and the things that wildlife do.  When there are too many complaints about animals and damage, WDFW has had to pay for it.  WDFW has eliminated elk in certain areas to keep people from calling about golf course damage or tearing up farms.


Doesn't seem to apply for wolf predation...
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Gobble Doc on May 13, 2019, 09:23:24 AM
https://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/travel/article/Methow-Valley-getaway-Winthrop-Twisp-Mazama-Wash-13665082.php

Where to plan your next getaway: Exploring the Methow Valley
By Genna Martin, SeattlePI Updated 6:00 am PDT, Monday, March 11, 2019

Washington state is blessed with opportunities for beautiful weekend getaways of all kinds. Mountains, kayaks, islands and more await those who are ready to jaunt beyond the Seattle area to find a vacation surrounded by natural splendor.

But if the islands have gotten a little too commercial for you, or if you need a break from the unceasing gray of Seattle winter, maybe it's time to head towards the Methow Valley.

Nestled just east of the North Cascades and extending from Pateros to Mazama, the Methow Valley is home to the largest network of cross-country skiing trails in North America, with 120 miles of groomed trails to choose from.

There's also more typical Washington tourism fare: fabulous landscapes year-round, small town comforts and artisan shopping.

The latter is a lot of what you'll find in Twisp. One resident described the difference between nearby Winthop and Twisp as "they've got the trails, we've got the art." Sitting at the union of the Twisp and Methow rivers, this small town has a strong sense of community and a swath of art galleries.

The best known of these galleries, the 30-year-old non-profit Confluence Gallery and Art Center, displays regular six-week art shows featuring both local and non-local artists. A new show with animal themed art opened Saturday and prominently displayed a large, bionic-looking metal work black widow spider created by Okanogan High School art teacher Dan Brown.

"The raddest part of this place is that we are just a bunch of weirdos who want to make art," said Confluence manager Rose Weagant.

A block down the street is the Glover Street Market, one of many organic, fresh and local, upscale groceries in the Valley. Glover Street remains unique and quirky with a colorful produce section watched over by plastic Godzilla dolls, a local food cafe, smoothie and juice bar and downstairs, a cozy wine cellar that offers wine and olive oil tastings from around the world. The knowledgeable sommelier was dolling out pours of four top-notch Italian wines to the host of cellar patrons when I visited.

For another unique grocery experience, head down to Hank's Harvest Foods on the south end of town. What at first looks like a regular grocery store takes a turn as soon as you cast your eyes above the frozen food aisles and see the dozens of taxidermy animals that stare down at shoppers from their perch. The rows of big game animals include your run-of-the mill white-tailed deer, mules, elk, a bear silently growling toward the meat section, but then you notice the more exotic animals, buffalo, a hyena, a skunk, a kudu bull, various horned African antelope and lions. The piŤce de rťsistance is a scene at the very front of the store, a full grown African lion chasing down a wild warthog, sandwiched between the check out aisle and the dry pet food display. It is all very surreal. Each animal was killed personally by store owner Hank Konrad on his many hunting trips to Africa, Canada and elsewhere. Konrad, who is a member of the conservation group Safari Club and says he only hunts on permitted lands and according to quotas, told the Methow Grist, "I ran out of room at home so I brought some of them down here for the kids to see."

About 15 minutes north of Twisp, you'll find the Old Western town of Winthrop. Though it may seem like just another theme town a la Leavenworth, Winthrop's history goes longer than that. After white settlers took the land from native tribes in the area, the town quickly grew as a spot for cattle ranching, nearby mining operations and, for a time, apple orchards.

It wouldn't be until 1905 that there would be production on a real road to Winthrop, better connecting one of the most isolated areas in the state to the rest of Washington. Because of this, the town maintained much of its Western charm, ultimately being restored in 1972.

But though the town may seem kitschy, it was always meant to be a functioning town; local historic photographs helped inspire the restoration, but the town has continued to grow for both vacation getaways and year-round homes.

Around Winthrop, you'll find a paradise for the outdoors enthusiast. Bucolic, rolling snow-covered hills lead to miles of cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and fat bike trails, an outdoor ice rink in town offers open skate hours, and you can wake up to sweeping views of the valley from the Sun Mountain Lodge. At the end of the day, enjoy a beer and burger at the cozy Old Schoolhouse Brewery.

Kurt Oakley, center, who owns Morning Glory Balloons with his wife Melinda, sits in a "hopper" and inflates his balloon as three hot air balloons are inflated in downtown Winthrop for spectators to check out during the annual Winthrop Balloon Festival, March 2, 2019. Oakley co-founded the festival 22 years ago.
The 22nd annual Winthrop Hot Air Balloon Festival took place last weekend and is a sight to be seen. The event features sunrise balloon flights over the weekend (which only went up one of three weekend days this year due to poor weather) and a Saturday night balloon glow in downtown Winthrop where the public can see the illuminated, inflated balloons up close.

Just a bit further north, on the cusp of the North Cascades, is the tiny town of Mazama, with even more opportunities for winter sports. Home to the Methow Trails, the area serves as a great place to learn or commit to cross-country skiing, with ample groomed tracks over flat and rolling farmland along the Methow River. The Methow Valley Sports Trails Association maintains the 120-plus miles of groomed, interconnected trails that are free for kids under 17. While other big-name ski areas in the country, like Aspen, Breckenridge, Stowe, Mt. Baker, can have a "bougie" resort vibe, Mazama is more down-to-earth with reasonably priced accommodations, including ski up cabins, available for rent and family friendly trails.

 Methow features one of the largest trail networks in North America.

There is also the opportunity for downhill skiing -- specifically, 300,000 acres of heli-skiing terrain, where skiers take off from Mazama in a helicopter to find fresh snow and untouched runs around the North Cascades. North Cascades Heli Ski, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, offers three packages including a day of heli-skiing with seven helicopter pick ups and drop offs ($1,250 per person), a three-day ski trip that includes meals and a stay in a mountain yurt ($3,450) or you can charter a helicopter privately for your group for the day.

While you're in town, don't forget to stop by the delightful Mazama General Store. The store has been around in some form or another since the 1920s, but 12 years ago it was purchased by Missy and Rick LeDuc who remolded and turned it into the locally sourced organic market and community hub it is today. It offers a deli with fresh pastries, breads, soups, pies and pizzas in house and is a jumping off point for the miles of groomed cross-country ski trails in the area. We were told not to skip out on the morning quiche options. Missy LeDuc is the daughter of John Miller who is the third generation owner of Husky Deli in West Seattle.

Regardless of season, the Methow is a relaxed, affordable and destination for anyone who wants to get out of the city and explore some of the beautiful landscapes our state has to offer.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: SuperX on May 13, 2019, 09:30:06 AM


https://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/travel/article/Methow-Valley-getaway-Winthrop-Twisp-Mazama-Wash-13665082.php

Where to plan your next getaway: Exploring the Methow Valley
By Genna Martin, SeattlePI Updated 6:00 am PDT, Monday, March 11, 2019

Washington state is blessed with opportunities for beautiful weekend getaways of all kinds. Mountains, kayaks, islands and more await those who are ready to jaunt beyond the Seattle area to find a vacation surrounded by natural splendor.

But if the islands have gotten a little too commercial for you, or if you need a break from the unceasing gray of Seattle winter, maybe it's time to head towards the Methow Valley.

Nestled just east of the North Cascades and extending from Pateros to Mazama, the Methow Valley is home to the largest network of cross-country skiing trails in North America, with 120 miles of groomed trails to choose from.

There's also more typical Washington tourism fare: fabulous landscapes year-round, small town comforts and artisan shopping.

The latter is a lot of what you'll find in Twisp. One resident described the difference between nearby Winthop and Twisp as "they've got the trails, we've got the art." Sitting at the union of the Twisp and Methow rivers, this small town has a strong sense of community and a swath of art galleries.

The best known of these galleries, the 30-year-old non-profit Confluence Gallery and Art Center, displays regular six-week art shows featuring both local and non-local artists. A new show with animal themed art opened Saturday and prominently displayed a large, bionic-looking metal work black widow spider created by Okanogan High School art teacher Dan Brown.

"The raddest part of this place is that we are just a bunch of weirdos who want to make art," said Confluence manager Rose Weagant.

Dozens of taxidermied big game animals look down on shoppers at Hank's Harvest grocery store in Twisp, March 3, 2019. The animals were all killed by store owner Hank Konrad, many on trips to Africa or Canada. The animals, which include two lions, are prominently displayed in the store. 

Dozens of taxidermied big game animals look down on shoppers at Hank's Harvest grocery store in Twisp, March 3, 2019. The animals were all killed by store owner Hank Konrad, many on trips to Africa or Canada. The animals, which include two lions, are prominently displayed in the store.
A block down the street is the Glover Street Market, one of many organic, fresh and local, upscale groceries in the Valley. Glover Street remains unique and quirky with a colorful produce section watched over by plastic Godzilla dolls, a local food cafe, smoothie and juice bar and downstairs, a cozy wine cellar that offers wine and olive oil tastings from around the world. The knowledgeable sommelier was dolling out pours of four top-notch Italian wines to the host of cellar patrons when I visited.

For another unique grocery experience, head down to Hank's Harvest Foods on the south end of town. What at first looks like a regular grocery store takes a turn as soon as you cast your eyes above the frozen food aisles and see the dozens of taxidermy animals that stare down at shoppers from their perch. The rows of big game animals include your run-of-the mill white-tailed deer, mules, elk, a bear silently growling toward the meat section, but then you notice the more exotic animals, buffalo, a hyena, a skunk, a kudu bull, various horned African antelope and lions. The piŤce de rťsistance is a scene at the very front of the store, a full grown African lion chasing down a wild warthog, sandwiched between the check out aisle and the dry pet food display.

It is all very surreal. Each animal was killed personally by store owner Hank Konrad on his many hunting trips to Africa, Canada and elsewhere. Konrad, who is a member of the conservation group Safari Club and says he only hunts on permitted lands and according to quotas, told the Methow Grist, "I ran out of room at home so I brought some of them down here for the kids to see."

About 15 minutes north of Twisp, you'll find the Old Western town of Winthrop. Though it may seem like just another theme town a la Leavenworth, Winthrop's history goes longer than that. After white settlers took the land from native tribes in the area, the town quickly grew as a spot for cattle ranching, nearby mining operations and, for a time, apple orchards.

It wouldn't be until 1905 that there would be production on a real road to Winthrop, better connecting one of the most isolated areas in the state to the rest of Washington. Because of this, the town maintained much of its Western charm, ultimately being restored in 1972.

But though the town may seem kitschy, it was always meant to be a functioning town; local historic photographs helped inspire the restoration, but the town has continued to grow for both vacation getaways and year-round homes.

Around Winthrop, you'll find a paradise for the outdoors enthusiast. Bucolic, rolling snow-covered hills lead to miles of cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and fat bike trails, an outdoor ice rink in town offers open skate hours, and you can wake up to sweeping views of the valley from the Sun Mountain Lodge. At the end of the day, enjoy a beer and burger at the cozy Old Schoolhouse Brewery.

Kurt Oakley, center, who owns Morning Glory Balloons with his wife Melinda, sits in a "hopper" and inflates his balloon as three hot air balloons are inflated in downtown Winthrop for spectators to check out during the annual Winthrop Balloon Festival, March 2, 2019. Oakley co-founded the festival 22 years ago.

Kurt Oakley, center, who owns Morning Glory Balloons with his wife Melinda, sits in a "hopper" and inflates his balloon as three hot air balloons are inflated in downtown Winthrop for spectators to check out during the annual Winthrop Balloon Festival, March 2, 2019. Oakley co-founded the festival 22 years ago.
The 22nd annual Winthrop Hot Air Balloon Festival took place last weekend and is a sight to be seen. The event features sunrise balloon flights over the weekend (which only went up one of three weekend days this year due to poor weather) and a Saturday night balloon glow in downtown Winthrop where the public can see the illuminated, inflated balloons up close.

Just a bit further north, on the cusp of the North Cascades, is the tiny town of Mazama, with even more opportunities for winter sports. Home to the Methow Trails, the area serves as a great place to learn or commit to cross-country skiing, with ample groomed tracks over flat and rolling farmland along the Methow River. The Methow Valley Sports Trails Association maintains the 120-plus miles of groomed, interconnected trails that are free for kids under 17. While other big-name ski areas in the country, like Aspen, Breckenridge, Stowe, Mt. Baker, can have a "bougie" resort vibe, Mazama is more down-to-earth with reasonably priced accommodations, including ski up cabins, available for rent and family friendly trails.

 Methow features one of the largest trail networks in North America.

There is also the opportunity for downhill skiing -- specifically, 300,000 acres of heli-skiing terrain, where skiers take off from Mazama in a helicopter to find fresh snow and untouched runs around the North Cascades. North Cascades Heli Ski, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, offers three packages including a day of heli-skiing with seven helicopter pick ups and drop offs ($1,250 per person), a three-day ski trip that includes meals and a stay in a mountain yurt ($3,450) or you can charter a helicopter privately for your group for the day.

While you're in town, don't forget to stop by the delightful Mazama General Store. The store has been around in some form or another since the 1920s, but 12 years ago it was purchased by Missy and Rick LeDuc who remolded and turned it into the locally sourced organic market and community hub it is today. It offers a deli with fresh pastries, breads, soups, pies and pizzas in house and is a jumping off point for the miles of groomed cross-country ski trails in the area. We were told not to skip out on the morning quiche options. Missy LeDuc is the daughter of John Miller who is the third generation owner of Husky Deli in West Seattle.

Regardless of season, the Methow is a relaxed, affordable and destination for anyone who wants to get out of the city and explore some of the beautiful landscapes our state has to offer.

Nice piece!  Hope it brings some cash in for the locals, I'm sure they're hurting for revenue like most rural communities.  Good job by the chamber of commerce's involved.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 13, 2019, 10:13:34 AM
So where is the part about hunting? Besides Hanks "killing", "run of the mill deer, bear, elk" which are now far and few between. But hey we have cougars, wolves which are soon to feast on your pets.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: jeffitz on May 13, 2019, 12:02:29 PM
Isnt there great snowmobiling areas up there also - maybe i missed that?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: kirkl on May 14, 2019, 10:15:36 AM
I commented on Winthrops facebook page about a month ago that it would be nice to come over and ride side by sides as we hunt and camp over there and was basically told by some locals (or they looked like west siders that have moved there) to F--k off and go ride somewhere else. Have been going to winthrop for probably 40 years so that was pretty nice of them.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 14, 2019, 11:14:19 AM
Do you feel it was the hunting part or the side by side portion maybe perceived to be a West sixer. I hope you left a comment back.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mountainman on May 14, 2019, 03:09:19 PM
I commented on Winthrops facebook page about a month ago that it would be nice to come over and ride side by sides as we hunt and camp over there and was basically told by some locals (or they looked like west siders that have moved there) to F--k off and go ride somewhere else. Have been going to winthrop for probably 40 years so that was pretty nice of them.

Yup, sure has changed, from the general locals to what type of tourism they want. Sad the way it has changed.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: jstone on May 14, 2019, 03:24:50 PM
It could just be the few bad apples who go off road and mess up the hunting area? Thatís why people have an issue with them.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: no.cen.wa on May 15, 2019, 07:48:57 AM
Yes, Winthrop has changed, 40 years ago when the season was 4 weeks and more you couldn't find a place to park, the bars and restaurants were full till the last day of the season, and then they said the town closed down :chuckle: of course some locals were glad but the businesses knew the season was over. But then, there were deer and it was important to keep the herd healthy,,,, it was the Department of Game :bash:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: timberfaller on May 15, 2019, 08:11:34 AM
"After white settlers took the land from native tribes in the area,"

I would say the writer doesn't have a clue about the history of the Valley!!!   BUT then it is written for the Seattle PI. :o
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: JimmyHoffa on May 15, 2019, 08:34:02 AM
"After white settlers took the land from native tribes in the area,"

I would say the writer doesn't have a clue about the history of the Valley!!!   BUT then it is written for the Seattle PI. :o
Saw that too. Should be after King George took the land from tribes that have been taking it from other tribes for thousands of years.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: mfswallace on May 15, 2019, 10:36:52 AM
"After white settlers took the land from native tribes in the area,"

I would say the writer doesn't have a clue about the history of the Valley!!!   BUT then it is written for the Seattle PI. :o
Saw that too. Should be after King George took the land from tribes that have been taking it from other tribes for thousands of years.

You mean since time immemorial! Yet we're responsible for past generations  :bash:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: no.cen.wa on May 16, 2019, 07:35:23 AM
Just have to say, there will always be mule deer,,, not in the methow, you'll be able to take your kids to the ZOO, I'm sure they will have one!
Next will be the ORCA going extinct, but don't worry you'll be able to take your kids the a museum to see a fishing pole, and maybe pictures of a hydro-electric dam, also the water for irrigation will be gone so eastern washington will become a desert again. It's a plan by many, just not me.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 16, 2019, 07:46:52 AM
Eastern Washington crops and dam electricity mean way too much to the economy and unless we stop getting snow the dams will never be demolished.  :twocents:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Wunderlich33 on May 16, 2019, 02:06:50 PM
no.cen.wa you have a real knack at showing yourself to be uneducated and completely out to be a internet troll.  We all know that within your posts you're trying to get a rise out of the members on this site.  The sad fact of the matter is that personally you probably have put in less conservation and wildlife restoration efforts than all Hunters and Fisherman across the country.

Please move out of your mothers basement, get a job, and become a quality member to society.  This is the "American Way" Yes, where you too can earn and participate in the things that interest you through hard work, taking ownership of decisions, failing at times / learning from those failures, and realizing the hard truth that others don't owe you anything.

Wunderlich OUT!!!           
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: NOCK NOCK on May 16, 2019, 04:10:40 PM
3......2.......1...........
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: hardrichard on May 16, 2019, 05:16:30 PM
DING DING DING.........and in this corner  :chuckle:  make it a clean fight no rabbit punches etc...... :tup:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: no.cen.wa on May 16, 2019, 09:37:14 PM
Wunderlich33,
  yes I was being a little facetious, guess a little humor goes no where with you. I've tried in previous posts to give personal information about the history of the Methow Mule deer from five generations of our family hunting them.
 The herd is in great trouble and I think people are interested to hear views, I try to give mine. Also, I've planted trees, browse, and helped throw hay out for winter migration herds, been years ago now, but I did it, just never needed to tell anyone. Uneducated,, you know, my Grandfather had to quit school in the 8th grade because his family needed help, so he did what he could in the early 1900's working in a logging camp in the Stemelt hills south of Wenatchee. He was one of the smartest men I have known, he managed the Plymouth, and, Ford dealerships in Twisp in the 1940's. Managed the lumber yard in Okanogan in the 50's, and more logging in the Republic area where he pasted away in the 80's
 Funny thing you should say something about my Mothers basement,,, well, it was probably more my Dad's basement, that was where the wood stove was that heated the whole house and it was my younger brother and my job to keep it full of firewood, 24/7.
   But anyway, I did move out of the basement when I got drafted, married my wife of 50 years now, GOT A JOB,,, (before I moved out by the way) and while I worked over 42 years for a local company I was a volunteer fireman for 25 years in our local community. I did make some mistakes along the way, and unlike some, I took responsibility and tried to do better next time. I figured out right away in life, no one owes me anything, I worked hard, honest day's work for honest days pay,, that's all I was owed!
 Now, that being said, the herd is hurting, the WDFW has an agenda I don't agree with,, but then I have TONS of memories of our hunting camps, deer we have taken, most of all family and friends. I'm hoping others will attend WDFW meetings(as I have, 2 this year) and try to let the WDFW know any way they can that the Methow herd is in bad shape.
I still hunt, cover more ground that many and love my time in the woods, just hoping my Great/grandson gets the chance to make the memories too!
John G.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: idaho guy on May 17, 2019, 11:45:44 AM
Wunderlich33,
  yes I was being a little facetious, guess a little humor goes no where with you. I've tried in previous posts to give personal information about the history of the Methow Mule deer from five generations of our family hunting them.
 The herd is in great trouble and I think people are interested to hear views, I try to give mine. Also, I've planted trees, browse, and helped throw hay out for winter migration herds, been years ago now, but I did it, just never needed to tell anyone. Uneducated,, you know, my Grandfather had to quit school in the 8th grade because his family needed help, so he did what he could in the early 1900's working in a logging camp in the Stemelt hills south of Wenatchee. He was one of the smartest men I have known, he managed the Plymouth, and, Ford dealerships in Twisp in the 1940's. Managed the lumber yard in Okanogan in the 50's, and more logging in the Republic area where he pasted away in the 80's
 Funny thing you should say something about my Mothers basement,,, well, it was probably more my Dad's basement, that was where the wood stove was that heated the whole house and it was my younger brother and my job to keep it full of firewood, 24/7.
   But anyway, I did move out of the basement when I got drafted, married my wife of 50 years now, GOT A JOB,,, (before I moved out by the way) and while I worked over 42 years for a local company I was a volunteer fireman for 25 years in our local community. I did make some mistakes along the way, and unlike some, I took responsibility and tried to do better next time. I figured out right away in life, no one owes me anything, I worked hard, honest day's work for honest days pay,, that's all I was owed!
 Now, that being said, the herd is hurting, the WDFW has an agenda I don't agree with,, but then I have TONS of memories of our hunting camps, deer we have taken, most of all family and friends. I'm hoping others will attend WDFW meetings(as I have, 2 this year) and try to let the WDFW know any way they can that the Methow herd is in bad shape.
I still hunt, cover more ground that many and love my time in the woods, just hoping my Great/grandson gets the chance to make the memories too!
John G.


 :tup: sounds like a life well lived!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: jackson7 on May 17, 2019, 01:11:07 PM
Do i hear mea culpa. Personal attacks have to stop. Well handled.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: no.cen.wa on May 18, 2019, 09:39:11 AM
jackson7,
   Thanks "mea culpa " :tup:is about right!
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 20, 2019, 05:14:58 AM
TMI
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: konradcountry on May 20, 2019, 11:32:50 AM
i saw all i needed to see over there the last 2 falls.... road hunting is rampant, the diesel trucks start prowling at 330am, and one goes by about every 15 minutes, with about 4 guys inside each rig, even going as far back into the woods as you can you cant get away from it, what used to be prime hunting is now a burnt out wasteland, too many people, no deer, sometimes poor access, it just doesn't make sense to spend the time and money going out there anymore

This describes the Olympics. Used to be you could drive in and see does right away but now it is a wasteland. You have road hunters patrolling during modern like military units. Game enforcement is about as rare as the deer. Then there are weirdos pretty much living up there or doing who knows what.

I think some of the Western Washington GMUs should go shotgun/blackpowder/archery only. I suspect a lot of the road hunters get frustrated and shoot anything with 4 legs.

I'm not convinced that cougars are the main problem on the West side for black tail. Probably a factor but there hasn't been a major increase in sightings.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on May 20, 2019, 11:50:11 AM
Well people will stop buying tags, lisc, and special permit apps eventually. But for the most part hunters don't really care.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on June 07, 2019, 10:38:04 AM

Well I have come to the conclusion that "worse off than I thought" is an understatement when it comes to Methow deer numbers. Just spent 2 weeks running around the hills, up to 7500 ft in numerous old haunts, this trip 20 years ago and more, in the same areas and this same time of year would produce around 2000 deer, this year 48. Did see 2 cougars, 5 bear and a lot of wolf sign. The wolf sign we seen were in areas I have never seen it in before, seems they are spreading out into more areas in the north part of the valley. We have seen signs of them up north in the past but they seem to be taking ahold and spreading. Found what looked to be 6 fairly fresh cat kills in one area above Sullivans, no deer to be seen up in there and hardly any sign. Pathetic and sad.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on June 07, 2019, 11:57:33 AM
I will agree with you there. I spent 5 days hiking, working on trails and riding motorcycles and saw 1 doe. There wasn't a lot of people out and very few in the higher elevations. Couldn't make it to sS Navarre TH with the snow from the Methow. Very little deer sign on my hikes, depressing on the cams. Who knows maybe they all went north as I certainly wasnt seeing them.  I am hoping to see this 15/100 buck to doe ratio the biologist was talking about.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: woodswalker on June 07, 2019, 01:31:34 PM
I will agree with you there. I spent 5 days hiking, working on trails and riding motorcycles and saw 1 doe. There wasn't a lot of people out and very few in the higher elevations. Couldn't make it to sS Navarre TH with the snow from the Methow. Very little deer sign on my hikes, depressing on the cams. Who knows maybe they all went north as I certainly wasnt seeing them.  I am hoping to see this 15/100 buck to doe ratio the biologist was talking about.

He meant that there are 15 bucks and 100 does in the Methow.  Period.  :bash:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Oh Mah on June 07, 2019, 01:45:36 PM
Curious what the cougar and bear numbers are there,in years past it was a haven for both.Now with the wolves there are the bear and cougar numbers still high?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Skyvalhunter on June 07, 2019, 02:01:39 PM
I did see a small bull mose, plenty of moose droppings. One we of cub and sow tracks. In the area I was not any cougar sign which makes sense with lack of deer to feed on.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on June 07, 2019, 02:33:25 PM
I will agree with you there. I spent 5 days hiking, working on trails and riding motorcycles and saw 1 doe. There wasn't a lot of people out and very few in the higher elevations. Couldn't make it to sS Navarre TH with the snow from the Methow. Very little deer sign on my hikes, depressing on the cams. Who knows maybe they all went north as I certainly wasnt seeing them.  I am hoping to see this 15/100 buck to doe ratio the biologist was talking about.

I wish you were right Skyvalhunter(about the deer being north) at least that would explain a few things but that is not the case at all. We went into some spring migration routes that lead into the Paysaten and a few that head into Canada, lots and lots of boot miles, used to look like "deer highways"25 years ago with all the sign heading back up, we seen a few deer here and there( 2 here, 1 there etc) and sign was few and far between, some of these routes are in the top 3 or 4 in the valley. These were some of the areas we were seeing wolf sign in where we had not seen it before, also, one of these areas is where we seen one of the bears, it was huge and we studied it for close to 20 minutes thinking it could have been a grizzly, we got to within about 150 yards of it and put a spotting scope on it, just a big blackie, around 250-300.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on June 07, 2019, 05:34:36 PM

Forgot to mention that we found a bigboy up Yellowjacket, probably from last fall or winter, a 6 by something?( one side had been nawed on pretty good, at least a 4 on that side). Mostly bone, a little hide and hair left, partially buried with limbs and debris. A lot of mass, real thick antlers. He was a meal for something, cat I assume. In all my years roaming this valley I have just never seen this many sightings or this much sign of cats. I know wolves are on everyones minds (which they should be if you are a hunter) but this cougar thing is ridicules......just my :twocents: and opinion.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: Oh Mah on June 07, 2019, 05:39:42 PM
how big were the limbs?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on June 07, 2019, 05:42:18 PM
how big were the limbs?

Maybe a foot to 2 feet long, hard to tell, it actually looked like the area had been worked over several times..
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: NOCK NOCK on June 07, 2019, 06:37:34 PM
@bigmacc   Any pictures of the cat kills, or other shots from your adventures?
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on June 07, 2019, 06:56:48 PM
@bigmacc   Any pictures of the cat kills, or other shots from your adventures?

No.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: HoofsandWings on June 08, 2019, 09:43:42 AM
Take away the game and hunters go elsewhere, then the anti-hunters have scored a victory.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: NOCK NOCK on June 08, 2019, 07:10:51 PM
@bigmacc   Any pictures of the cat kills, or other shots from your adventures?

No.


Bummer,I Enjoy checking out cat kill sites, Yes there are too many, but incredible creatures those cats are.
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: bigmacc on June 09, 2019, 07:43:07 PM
@bigmacc   Any pictures of the cat kills, or other shots from your adventures?

No.


Bummer,I Enjoy checking out cat kill sites, Yes there are too many, but incredible creatures those cats are.

Okie dokie....."those cats" just arnt my cup of tea....they are killing way to many deer and elk, especially in the last 25, just my opinion and my  :twocents: :tup:
Title: Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
Post by: 2MANY on June 10, 2019, 08:54:27 AM
Purdy sad but to be expected.

Obviously the lack of any hound hunting in this liberal pit of a state is the problem.

Meanwhile spandex sales are up.