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  1. #1

    Default FWP Tentative Mule Deer LE

    There is a good group of guys trying to get some older age class bucks in HD103.

    Here is a link to the proposal and one for your comments. Its nice to see the interest in getting some quality in a unit and not being satisfied in banging forkys for 5 weeks.

    http://fwp.mt.gov/fwpDoc.html?id=83882

    Comments:

    http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComm...erSeasons.html
    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

    ― Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2

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    check station info on the poor age harvest.

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    Last edited by tjones; 01-11-2018 at 12:39 PM.
    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

    ― Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3

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    I'll be interested to see how this turns out. Definitely one of the better areas to find mule deer in the NW part of the state, but I also wonder how many guys really work hard to find deer, which could lead to the lower age class deer being shot.

  4. #4

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    I bet those results look pretty similar in a lot of areas in the state.

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    Great concept but good luck!! opportunity lost will be greater than quality gained same old canned answers from montana fish wildlife and parks. Good luck Montana needs a change from current management and if you look at most districts stats would be the same or worse.

  6. #6

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    What would be real interesting would be how much the stats have changed since 1985.

  7. #7

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    In the fwp comments they indicate that there are 2500 - 3000 hunters in 103. They are averaging 30 deer per year.

    It seems western MT is producing a lot more hunters than mule deer.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsky2 View Post
    I bet those results look pretty similar in a lot of areas in the state.

    All the while FWP chooses to nothing about it.
    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

    ― Benjamin Franklin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Laramie, WY
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    10,031

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjones View Post
    All the while FWP chooses to nothing about it.
    True story...and I already know what the reply will be from FWP, "We don't care about age structure, we don't care about buck to doe ratio's, we still have our population numbers, we provide opportunity."

    Next....
    "...the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered, was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana." -Norman Maclean

    "They were still so young they hadn't learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy"
    -Norman Maclean

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzH View Post
    True story...and I already know what the reply will be from FWP, "We don't care about age structure, we don't care about buck to doe ratio's, we still have our population numbers, we provide opportunity."

    Next....

    Pretty close,,,,,,,,,,,,,,



    Montana FWPs comments about the
    HD 103 mule deer limited permit proposal
    December 7, 2017
    The proposal will not result in population growth. Population growth depends on fawn
    survival and recruitment. There are plenty of bucks to breed. Other factors are likely
    keeping recruitment down, which could include habitat, competition with white-tailed deer,
    predators, other factors or combinations of factors.
    o FWP has an ongoing research project to evaluate a number of factors, including potential
    habitat limitations, survival, reproduction, movement rates and corridors and other factors
    that could be limiting the population.
    o Its unclear if the proposed change would impact the results of the research project. FWP
    would prefer to assess baseline information first, before making changes to regulations.
    Most hunters (~2/3) want harvest opportunity over trophy management
    o Two surveys (1995 and 2011) show this FWP is considering a new survey.
    o Opportunity is important to recruit and maintain hunters, especially young hunters
    o Looking to Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and HDs in Montana with limited permits, these
    permits significantly reduce opportunity
    o HD 103 is one of the better areas in R1 for MD opportunity
    o About 2500-3000 hunters hunt in HD 103. Limited draw permits would be limited to
    about 5-15 permits for mule deer bucks, and hunters with permits would not be allowed to
    hunt mule deer bucks in other districts.
    o Issues with hunter shift
    CWD concerns Bucks are 2-3 times more likely to be infected with and consequently
    spread CWD. Montana is now CWD-positive in wild populations, with known cases to the
    northeast and east of HD 103 in southeast Alberta and north-central Montana. Our historic
    management for opportunity in most of the state has kept buck:doe ratios and buck ages
    lower than might otherwise be the case. FWP believes that managing for opportunity rather
    than older bucks helps in limiting the introduction and spread of CWD.
    In 2016 44% of MD buck harvest was ≥ 4 point, although most were not trophy size
    45 HDs in Montana already have regulations to enhance bucks (out of 165 HDs, or 27%)
    o 14 are limited draw
    o Others are unlimited draw or shortened seasons
    The proposed area is small and may not see desired results because of deer movement
    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

    ― Benjamin Franklin

  11. #11

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    "o About 2500-3000 hunters hunt in HD 103."

    This one is a nice spin. I believe it should read "hunter trips" not "hunters". Big difference.
    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

    ― Benjamin Franklin

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by antlerradar View Post
    What would be real interesting would be how much the stats have changed since 1985.
    What is/would be the significance of the year 1985? I've only been in MT since 2010 and NW MT for about 2.5 years.

    I do find the FWP comments interesting. They start off with the statement that these regulations will not result in population growth, yet I see nowhere on the proposal where they ever identify population growth as a goal. I do think FWP is probably correct about the size of the proposed area limiting the effect that the proposed regulations would have. It's also interesting to me that 2500-3000 people hunt this area. I'm not exactly doubting this, but is this total hunters (my guess), or hunters specifically targeting mule deer, because to me, that makes a big difference. In my pretty limited experience in that general area, it seems like a lot of folks are hunters of opportunity; as in shoot whatever gives you the opportunity.

    It also disappoints me that there hasn't been research previously by FWP to understand the population dynamic of mule deer in the area, especially when they identify it as one of the better areas for mule deer in all of Region 1 (Per previous conversation with biologist).

  13. #13

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    Tjones, I am sure you are right. The traffic would be extreme.
    Last edited by MTTW; 01-12-2018 at 09:29 AM.

  14. #14

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    [QUOTE=Bulldog0156;2676173]What is/would be the significance of the year 1985?

    That is when the check station data given above starts.

  15. #15

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    Lol, gotcha. That check station only gets the folks hunting from Libby too. I bet a lot of guys that hunt that area are coming from Kalispell.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In the Sagebrush (Dillon, MT)
    Posts
    2,601

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    I was told last night that they are "managing for the deer they have not the ones we want"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    4,260

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by antlerradar View Post
    What would be real interesting would be how much the stats have changed since 1985.
    The link tjones gave (http://fwp.mt.gov/fwpDoc.html?id=83882) has a table from 2006 to 2015 in addition to the one Tony screen captured. During that period 19.2% of the bucks were age 4.5 and above. I'm not sure if this data is a subset of Tony's table or how it should be interpreted. I got bigger fish to fry, but if anyone wants to explain it I'll listen. .

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mthuntr View Post
    I was told last night that they are "managing for the deer they have not the ones we want"
    FWP theme. We are in the very early stages of some additional MD management here in the Root. Things can be changed but it takes a lot of work.
    In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

    ― Benjamin Franklin

  19. Default

    I hope this passes, but I'm guessing it's going to be tough to get FWP to implement it. At the meeting I was at, I was the only one who testified in favor for it. Two testified against it, one the husband of a famous senator from this area testified that as a retired wildlife biologist with 24 years of experience that this wouldn't raise the age class of bucks. He stated that older bucks are the first to succumb to winter kill after the rut so the age wouldn't actually improve. I wanted to point out that currently there aren't any old bucks in that unit to succumb to winter kill but I didn't want to waste my breath. I had my say, he could have his.

    The other argument was it was a great area for many kids to harvest their first deer. Apparently, only spike and forkie Mule deer are suitable for first harvest. It was pointed out that everyone can still hunt whitetails in the area on a general tag.

    I forgot to mention in my testimony that these same regulations have worked wonders in the Bitterroot. Even if I never have the opportunity to hunt on that permit, it would be nice to have a few areas that a person could expect to run into a 4 1/2 year old buck if he drew the permit.

  20. #20

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    This is the problem every time a LE unit is proposed. Everyone thinks its a great idea, until it might effect them by restricting their ability to shoot a buck. The general hunting public likes it until its proposed where they hunt. Then not a chance

  21. #21

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    I hunted this exact area with my bow on the elk/deer combo license in early September 2017, and I did not see an antlered animal for the 7 days of hard hunting. The last day I shot a WT doe. I did not lay eyes on a mule deer. I don't know what the results on deer quality would be for making this a limited entry area, but I think everyone can agree that holding off on a little buck this year makes a bigger buck next year.

    Why not an antler point restriction on mule deer? it sounds like a reasonable compromise that gives both "opportunity" and "quality".

    Also, I would gladly go back and hunt that area again in the future.

  22. #22

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    Point restrictions on mule deer don't work. Every time four point or better is tried it has ended in failure.

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