collapse

Advertisement


Author Topic: Washington Mule Deer  (Read 10677 times)

Offline bigmacc

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 1951
  • Location: the woods
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2021, 11:03:23 AM »
The first step in addressing a problem, is to admit that there is a problem, something WDFW will not do  in the Methow. The biologist in charge up there told me, a few years ago in a public meeting, that "there are just as many Mule Deer in the Methow as there has always been, people just don't get off the roads and look for them".

Sad situation!

Coming back and reading over this topic again conjured up another couple experiences Ive had years ago. A friend and I were doing some counting and post season scouting in a corridor in the upper valley that in my youth I remember my dad and I counting hundreds come through over a days time when conditions were right, in fact it was close to were I killed that big 4 by 5 this past season, its a spot where when conditions align just right it used to be amazing. I remember the winter kill of 67-68 where the weather blew in from the Frazier river in B.C then into the Methow, it was a year my dad, an uncle and myself watched over 2000 head pass through this same area, I remember my dad saying something to the effect of "those deer are on a mission to get from point A to point B, they know something we don't".  I remember it was 2 or 3 weeks after the season had closed I believe, this particular route mostly
 originates in Canada but has "fingers" of other routes that would join in here and there, like creeks flowing into a river as it flows. Where we were at was in a spot where not many "creeks" had yet entered the river, what we were seeing was close to the beginning in fact my dad said he could never remember seeing that many deer come through that area, even when conditions and timing were perfect, maybe a few hundred but not over 2000 and maybe farther down the line when the more "creeks" flowed into the "river", then you might see 2,3 or 400 come through over a few hour period but this was something my dad had not experienced. It was like they knew that historic winter blast was coming, Mother Nature was giving them a warning. I remember my dad and I being there weeks later when the blast hit, flash freeze down to 40-50 below in some spots. We had old 8mm movie footage that my dad filmed of livestock froze solid leaning up against trees and fenceposts, deer carcases scattered everywhere with flocks of birds, crows and eagles hovering while packs of coyotes scanvenged. I Remember stories of frozen pipes, engine blocks, machinery etc., if I remember right the temperature plunged 60 something degrees within hours. I can't remember how many thousands of deer were lost that winter but it took years for it to recover but the herd did recover with help from the locals and the Game Department. Anyway, Im rambling, 20 years or so ago, about 2 weeks prior to Thanksgiving I ran into some college students with a tracking device, they were parked up on an old logging road and sitting down the bank aways, I stopped and talked with them, they said they were monitoring deer movement or something to that effect. There was a WDFW employee there also, he said A LOT of deer were being seen in this particular area while they were doing this study or tracking, or whatever. I asked about how many they had seen while they were up there, he said they had been in the area off and on for about 7 days and had seen over 100 deer move through over the week, he began throwing numbers at me, study plans, and computer modeling stuff along with projections and other fancy lingo. I said, well, thats better than 50 I guess but not like it was. I pointed at a ridge about 250 yards away and told him that back in the late 70,s I sat right where we are standing now the week prior to Thanksgiving and counted over 250 deer walk through in an hours time, ate lunch, walked around a little to stretch my legs, sat back down and counted another 3-4 hundred move through before it got dark. He also said the herd was in great shape and numbers were stronger than ever.....until I told him that story, once again, he picked the wrong guy that day to try the ole "baffle em with bulls@#t" routine :chuckle:.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 11:10:29 AM by bigmacc »

Offline Ironhead

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2007
  • Posts: 1447
  • Location: Mud Creek
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2021, 11:15:37 AM »
Ironhead, I'll go along with you on 4 legged predators, but where I hunted for 50 + years has nowhere close the the amount of hunters we had back in the 60s thru 90s, and the season was 3-4 weeks. Of course there are more different seasons, bow, muzzy etc, but still nowhere the hunters of the past.
John G
Thats because there are NO deer left to hunt in the Methow, compared to years past.
"The problem with quotes on Internet Forums is, that it is often difficult to verify their authenticity." - Abraham Lincoln

Offline ShaneTyTrey

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 1309
  • Location: Richland, Wa
  • Is there anything better than hunting?
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2021, 11:19:50 AM »
I have two different areas I hunt, one with kids and one that I personally hunt.  I see over 50 deer a day in both spots but mature bucks are far and few between.

I feel like considering our population and huntable land that is pretty good for OTC hunting.  If you want a true trophy experience you have to either get really lucky in the draw or go to one of the many other states that are draw only.  Making this state draw only is not going to increase your hunting opportunity it is only going to make it better when you finally do draw.

IMO it is nice to always have the option to hunt OTC in my home state and either get lucky in the draw or travel elsewhere if I want a trophy experience.

Just my :twocents:

100% Agreement!

Offline skidynastar33

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Scout
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2010
  • Posts: 301
  • Location: Wetside
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #48 on: March 09, 2021, 05:33:19 AM »
I appreciate the people that care about the health of the Mule Deer herds in Eastern Washington.
To the people that want to be able to hunt them every year with no cap for 90% of the units on the East side of the State. Pull your heads out of the sand and wake up. Between the unlimited 2 legged predators  and the four legged predators they don't stand a chance in hell!

Who says comparing the herd to when it was at Its peak is healthy? Maybe that was overpopulated and more prone to disease and winter die offs cause there wasn’t enough winter range. We all want a higher population (myself included) but when you talk about the “the health of the herd” all anyone talks about is total population which isn’t the determining factor in the “health of the herd”. Maybe today’s herd is more stable? How much winter range forage do they have? How healthy are they entering winter?

Offline Skyvalhunter

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Explorer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Oct 2007
  • Posts: 14542
  • Location: The valley/Methow
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #49 on: March 09, 2021, 05:50:30 AM »
You are really reaching if you think todays herd is more stable.

Online Jimmy33

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Posts: 592
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2021, 06:50:27 AM »
I personally dont want the opportunity in Washington to change. The only thing I would like to see is the multiseason tag to go away, and tag specifically for whitetail, blacktail, and mule deer. I like being able to hunt every year. I would rather restrict what we are currently doing than to go to draw tags.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
    from violent people you save me.

Offline Mtnwalker

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Posts: 927
  • Location: Selah
  • Groups: NRA RMEF MDF
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2021, 07:57:07 AM »
I appreciate the people that care about the health of the Mule Deer herds in Eastern Washington.
To the people that want to be able to hunt them every year with no cap for 90% of the units on the East side of the State. Pull your heads out of the sand and wake up. Between the unlimited 2 legged predators  and the four legged predators they don't stand a chance in hell!

Who says comparing the herd to when it was at Its peak is healthy? Maybe that was overpopulated and more prone to disease and winter die offs cause there wasn’t enough winter range. We all want a higher population (myself included) but when you talk about the “the health of the herd” all anyone talks about is total population which isn’t the determining factor in the “health of the herd”. Maybe today’s herd is more stable? How much winter range forage do they have? How healthy are they entering winter?

That's certainly a trendy argument with alot of today's newer Bio's, page 13 of the wolf reintroduction playbook. Claiming that winter range is full, meanwhile people who own the winter range are asking where all the deer have gone. I do agree that the glory days back in the 60's were possibly a spike at the tail end of predator poisoning and lucrative fur trades, heavy trapping etc etc.  But wdfw is currently using the robust ungulate numbers of the 1960's as a reason to further reduce mountain goat opportunity- citing the herd being well below historical high population- while simultaneously trying to say that they're doing a great job and mule deer and elk are all the healthier for it. Obviously you can't directly compare mountain goats to deer and elk, but the argument of herd health vs population can't go both ways IMO

Offline Rainier10

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2010
  • Posts: 10554
  • Location: Over the edge
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2021, 08:18:59 AM »
I personally dont want the opportunity in Washington to change. The only thing I would like to see is the multiseason tag to go away, and tag specifically for whitetail, blacktail, and mule deer. I like being able to hunt every year. I would rather restrict what we are currently doing than to go to draw tags.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
The multiseason is a cash cow for the WDFW and tons of hunters wanted it.  "remember the good old days when the seasons were longer and you could hunt with whatever weapon you wanted."  Well the WDFW can't get the ungulate population back to where it was in the good old days but they did bring back the extended season.  This is one that I think people should be concerned about what they asked for.  The extended multiseason option is putting way more pressure on our ungulates no question about it.  I use the multiseason so I can carry the firearm for my kids without any questions but I do think for the benefit of the herd this is one that should go away.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline walt

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2008
  • Posts: 620
  • Location: spokane
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #53 on: March 09, 2021, 08:30:28 AM »
I'd be all in for pick a specie for deer: whitetail, blacktail, or mule deer, pick one.  WDFW could then sell multi-specie tags in addition to the multi-season...everyone wins  :yike: :sry:

Offline skidynastar33

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Scout
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2010
  • Posts: 301
  • Location: Wetside
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #54 on: March 09, 2021, 11:01:43 AM »
You are really reaching if you think todays herd is more stable.

I don’t necessarily think that. (Tho I think they are probably more steady then we think on this forum). I was more playing devils advocate that when ever people seam to talk about the health of the herd on here it’s the same thing. They more population and bigger bucks. And it’s more complicated then that

Offline duckmen1

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Posts: 1848
  • Location: outdoors
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #55 on: March 09, 2021, 11:48:40 AM »
I'd be all in for pick a specie for deer: whitetail, blacktail, or mule deer, pick one.  WDFW could then sell multi-specie tags in addition to the multi-season...everyone wins  :yike: :sry:
In addition to the positive thought of more income for the state. I believe this would help the blacktail herd. Due to all the muledeer hunters from the westside that don't tag out come back and hunt the remainder of the season for blacktails. If it was species specific we would see lower blacktail harvest. And higher population.

Offline ghosthunter

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • Old Salt
  • ******
  • Join Date: Apr 2011
  • Posts: 6062
  • Location: Mount Vernon WA
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #56 on: March 09, 2021, 12:11:48 PM »
I'd be all in for pick a specie for deer: whitetail, blacktail, or mule deer, pick one.  WDFW could then sell multi-specie tags in addition to the multi-season...everyone wins  :yike: :sry:
In addition to the positive thought of more income for the state. I believe this would help the blacktail herd. Due to all the muledeer hunters from the westside that don't tag out come back and hunt the remainder of the season for blacktails. If it was species specific we would see lower blacktail harvest. And higher population.

Great idea.
Lots of folks double dipping. Different tag each species of deer. Make your pick for the year.
GHOST CAMP "We Came To Hunt"
Proud Parent of A United States Marine

We are all traveling from Birth to the Packing House. ( Broken Trail)

Offline OutHouse

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 2081
  • Location: Cowiche WA
  • Department of Foliage, Lifetime Member
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #57 on: March 09, 2021, 12:19:04 PM »
I think picking species may backfire. I've talked to several on the west side who told me if they had to pick a species they wouldn't hunt black tails and would opt for mule deer. Then it would be even worse in eastern WA.

Offline no.cen.wa

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Dec 2008
  • Posts: 160
  • Location: Twisp
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2021, 01:34:33 PM »
Ironhead, I'll go along with you on 4 legged predators, but where I hunted for 50 + years has nowhere close the the amount of hunters we had back in the 60s thru 90s, and the season was 3-4 weeks. Of course there are more different seasons, bow, muzzy etc, but still nowhere the hunters of the past.
John G
Thats because there are NO deer left to hunt in the Methow, compared to years past.
Just saying, it's not the 2 legged predators, mis-management and 4 legged predators for sure!
John G

Offline duckmen1

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Posts: 1848
  • Location: outdoors
Re: Washington Mule Deer
« Reply #59 on: March 09, 2021, 02:33:12 PM »
I think picking species may backfire. I've talked to several on the west side who told me if they had to pick a species they wouldn't hunt black tails and would opt for mule deer. Then it would be even worse in eastern WA.
Those hunters are already opting to hunt mule deer. That is my point. They are headed east and hunting the whole mule deer season and afterwards if not tagged out coming back hunting blacktails. If they had to choose and went muledeer and didn't tag out that's it. Therefor raising blacktail population a bit from late season harvest being lowered. Or only hunting blacktails and putting less pressure on muledeer. Sounds like a win to me on both sides. I've been talking about this idea for years.

 


* Advertisement

* Recent Topics

Multi season draw results by trophyhunt
[Today at 04:52:13 AM]


WTS bullets by hemi
[Today at 04:30:52 AM]


Chainsaws chainsaws chainsaws by WRENCHMAN
[Yesterday at 11:40:49 PM]


Small vs. Large Munsterlander by munsterlander
[Yesterday at 10:55:01 PM]


F/S Black Gold Ascent Verdict Assault. 5-pin Custom built With Blind man's light by BLDtraLR
[Yesterday at 10:30:06 PM]


JOBS: Looking for work/Looking to hire by JTB
[Yesterday at 10:04:58 PM]


2021 Turkeys!!! Let see those birds. by Mulie87
[Yesterday at 09:53:25 PM]


SWFA rifle scope (price drop) by craigapphunt
[Yesterday at 09:41:29 PM]


Trade/Co-op reloading stuff by hunter399
[Yesterday at 09:38:05 PM]


Wts wtt brand new in box razor Gen ll 4x27x56 riflescope by wrchinook
[Yesterday at 09:05:35 PM]


Finding hoof rot dead elk shed hunting by High Climber
[Yesterday at 08:50:26 PM]


Alaska North Slope ( Please comment) by fishngamereaper
[Yesterday at 08:33:36 PM]


Swakane by scoutdog346
[Yesterday at 08:31:27 PM]


Galliformes of the world by Birdguy
[Yesterday at 08:20:06 PM]


Powder for primers by bugs n bones
[Yesterday at 08:17:58 PM]


WTT/ Rl26 for cci200 by big wood
[Yesterday at 08:12:27 PM]


For sale 2014 Harley Ultra limited by MADMAX
[Yesterday at 07:28:19 PM]


Buffalo Bore 9mm outdoorsman by jdb
[Yesterday at 06:54:27 PM]


Montana results??? by gasman
[Yesterday at 06:48:46 PM]


Let’s see your throwback pictures by Buck Rub Jr
[Yesterday at 05:49:06 PM]