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Author Topic: the Methow is even worse off than I thought  (Read 26229 times)

Offline Night goat

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #15 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
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 02:41:54 PM by Night goat »

Offline bigmacc

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #16 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.

Offline timberfaller

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #17 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!!
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Offline jstone

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #18 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?

Offline bigmacc

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #19 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!

Online no.cen.wa

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #20 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.

Offline jnordwell

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #21 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.

Offline zwickeyman

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #22 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

Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2019, 08:18:43 PM »
Predator pit :bash:
You sure you know how to skin griz pilgram

Offline jstone

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #24 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.

Offline eastfork

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #25 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

Offline JWEBB

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #26 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
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Offline Night goat

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #27 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

Offline Night goat

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2019, 10:54:34 PM »
Release the hounds!!!!

He'll, even Cypress island now has coyotes according to Loki dog

Offline Spuddieselwwu

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Re: the Methow is even worse off than I thought
« Reply #29 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...

 


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