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  1. #76
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,397

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    Do you mind me asking what state you're a biologist in? I will agree that the public land here is nothing remotely like the public land in western states. But, if you can find consistent success hunting eastern states public land, you won't have any problems out west as long as you put the time and right attitude into your hunt, but that can be applied to anything in life!
    Can't figure people down there eating hog when they could feed on elk.
    Bear Claw "Jeremiah Johnson"

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Wise River, MT
    Posts
    977

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3forks View Post
    I've begun to wonder whether I should provide honest answers when CPW calls for their hunter survey.

    I can appreciate that CPW needs accurate information to manage their herds and tag allocation; but why would I want to want to help the masses find out that that my unit is a good one?

    Obviously, one false survey result wouldn't make much difference overall. However, if a lot of hunters that were successful started replying falsely in an effort to battle increased competition and point creep - I could see that influencing survey numbers.
    Really?
    "The story goes that he was a man of proper wit and adventurous spirit, suited to the Mountains"

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    John- I appreciate what you do as a biologist, I'm sure it's not a easy task. My little tidbit for ya is stay positive, have fun, wear your boots out and sooner then later you'll be sharing a picture with us of your first successful elk hunt. Good luck this season!
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  4. #79

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    Most folks put too much stock in what got killed. Harvest data can be important but more important for planning season structure and permit/tag numbers is what is left on the ground post season. This is why post season survey flights are so important.
    “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.”

    ― Benjamin Franklin

  5. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by EYJONAS! View Post
    Wait a minute your a state biologist and your the one that started this thread.
    LOL, we are all biologists of the bar stool type.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
    Posts
    736

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjones View Post
    Most folks put too much stock in what got killed. Harvest data can be important but more important for planning season structure and permit/tag numbers is what is left on the ground post season. This is why post season survey flights are so important.
    This is highly dependent on the species and the habitat. For some species (certain predators, avian species and furbearers in particular) harvest data are extremely important because those animals are very difficult to “count” by other means. Aerial surveys also are far from perfect, and should be used in conjunction with harvest and other vital rates data to be most effective in setting seasons and limits. If I were Queen for a day, all harvest reporting would be mandatory.

  7. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunting Wife View Post
    This is highly dependent on the species and the habitat. For some species (certain predators, avian species and furbearers in particular) harvest data are extremely important because those animals are very difficult to “count” by other means. Aerial surveys also are far from perfect, and should be used in conjunction with harvest and other vital rates data to be most effective in setting seasons and limits. If I were Queen for a day, all harvest reporting would be mandatory.
    Since the OP was talking elk, deer and antelope that is the direction my post was headed. Aerial surveys are far from perfect but do work for trend counts. I will put my money on the post season flights before weekend only check stations and the lame phone harvest survey.
    “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.”

    ― Benjamin Franklin

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
    Posts
    736

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjones View Post
    Since the OP was talking elk, deer and antelope that is the direction my post was headed. Aerial surveys are far from perfect but do work for trend counts. I will put my money on the post season flights before weekend only check stations and the lame phone harvest survey.
    I hear you....just looks like some on here need to understand that the information is important. Agree with you 100% on the above. Do it right, or don’t do it at all.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand....the best advice OP is just get out there. “Sucks” is in the eye of the beholder, but the “perfect” unit only exists in people’s imaginations. A more realistic expectation is probably just find a unit you like. And doing that means you’ll have to get out there and start trying some on.

  9. #84

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    I have always wondered why states don't impose mandatory online harvest surveys for all hunting licenses. I feel like you could withhold preferences points or make it a prereq to buying a license for the following year until to make sure people complied. Probably would be pretty easy to implement and cheaper than mailings or phone calls.
    Last edited by wllm1313; 01-19-2018 at 10:39 AM.

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Wise River, MT
    Posts
    977

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    Quote Originally Posted by wllm1313 View Post
    I have always wondered why states don't impose mandatory online harvest surveys for all hunting licenses. I feel like you could withhold preferences points or make it a prereq to buying a license for the following year until to make sure people complied. Probably would be pretty easy to implement and cheaper than mailings or phone calls.
    I agree.
    "The story goes that he was a man of proper wit and adventurous spirit, suited to the Mountains"

  11. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinkshooter View Post
    You will never kill a bull elk with that attitude.
    This. Elk hunting is such a mental game. Your already defeated man, find some mental toughness before wasting money on a tag.

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    Here aerial surveys are out due to trees and money. On my place I do camera surveys they work well enough but deer roam a good bit. Ill see if I can share some collar data from a study we are working on with whitetails and traveling patters. Dont hold your breath tho. All the data we can get is important because we are so strapped for time from year to year and low manned that good info from hunters puts us ahead of the curve for the next season. What I often tell people when they ask where a buck was killed is "why does it matter that buck is dead" Remember all those numbers are DEAD animals.

  13. #88

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    One thing I have learned through my job is to use numbers as a baseline and develop a trend from a minimum of 3 sets of numbers that have been collect in the same manner.

    With that being said I will use MT as an example because that is the reporting I am most familiar with. While it isn't a perfect system it has been the same so you can use the trend in numbers to see what the herd in said unit looks like over time. I believe the Montana FWP site lets you look back to 2003-2016. I take a unit I am looking at put the number of RES/NR hunters, Harvest, Bow, Rifle, Bull/Cow into an excell sheet and than graph my results to see trends within a unit. The numbers might not be correct but at least I get a baseline of what a unit looks like compared to another.

    Also another HUGE I learned quick being new to western hunting, is that attitude is HUGE! The mountains can be a big lonely place with limit cell service and if you let it get into your head you failed already.

    Here is an example of a unit I did last night:

    2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 AVERAGES

    Resident 1010 983 1198 1446 1189 1361 1249 1330 1658 1203 1279 1601 1292
    Non Resident 82 165 203 166 211 205 159 221 174 244 245 284 197
    Total Hunters 1092 1148 1401 1612 1400 1565 1408 1551 1832 1447 1524 1885 1489
    Success 202 306 313 545 309 358 327 305 332 280 375 446 475 352
    % Success 18% 27% 22% 34% 22% 23% 23% 20% 18% 26% 29% 25% 24%
    Bow 19 20 11 34 18 12 10 22 31 25 23 29 40 23
    % Bow 9% 7% 4% 6% 6% 3% 3% 7% 9% 9% 6% 7% 8% 6%
    Rifle 183 283 298 512 291 347 316 283 301 255 352 409 434 328
    % Rifle 91% 92% 95% 94% 94% 97% 97% 93% 91% 91% 94% 92% 91% 93%
    Bulls 103 173 205 233 175 194 153 174 173 162 211 232 199 184
    % Bulls 51% 57% 65% 43% 57% 54% 47% 57% 52% 58% 56% 52% 20% 51%

    Sorry for the confusing formatting but gives you a picture of what I look at.
    Last edited by WIbiggame; 01-20-2018 at 07:03 PM.

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    I love how far off these threads and subjects get sometimes. Classic.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Northern Wyoming
    Posts
    519

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    Quote Originally Posted by EYJONAS! View Post
    I love how far off these threads and subjects get sometimes. Classic.
    The OP lost me once I found out he was a state wildlife bio...
    God I hate man buns...

  16. #91
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the basalt rocks
    Posts
    4,291

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    As a state biologist, you should know full well to believe about 10% of what you hear and or read. Effort is a relative term. A lazy hunt to some is very hardcore to others. Some people think seeing two hunters is a pumpkin patch, others are okay seeing lots of hunters because they don't get out of the truck or off the road.

    You should also know full well no unit is a guarantee, and a good unit last year can be a shit unit this year thanks to the interwebz. Personally I love reading about shitty units. I just spent about a half hour on the phone the other day with a Wyoming warden talking about a shitty unit. She said it's shitty because, wait for it.....

    Most folks want to kill a cow elk right off the road.

    Quit over analyzing stuff. Pick a unit based on your knowledge of habitat and animal needs, and then make yourself about five or six plans within the unit. Load up your truck and go on an adventure. If you can't have fun going on an elk hunting trip you probably should reexamine your priorities and perspectives.
    Fear the beard....

  17. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    As a state biologist, you should know full well to believe about 10% of what you hear and or read. Effort is a relative term. A lazy hunt to some is very hardcore to others. Some people think seeing two hunters is a pumpkin patch, others are okay seeing lots of hunters because they don't get out of the truck or off the road.

    You should also know full well no unit is a guarantee, and a good unit last year can be a shit unit this year thanks to the interwebz. Personally I love reading about shitty units. I just spent about a half hour on the phone the other day with a Wyoming warden talking about a shitty unit. She said it's shitty because, wait for it.....

    Most folks want to kill a cow elk right off the road.

    Quit over analyzing stuff. Pick a unit based on your knowledge of habitat and animal needs, and then make yourself about five or six plans within the unit. Load up your truck and go on an adventure. If you can't have fun going on an elk hunting trip you probably should reexamine your priorities and perspectives.
    All I can say is....YES!

  18. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Load up your truck and go on an adventure. If you can't have fun going on an elk hunting trip you probably should reexamine your priorities and perspectives.
    This write here is my favorite piece I have read in all 4 pages!

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    Aaannnnddd we're back, very well put JLS.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  20. #95
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Grand Ridge, FL
    Posts
    177

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    2018 will be only my third year hunting out west. I want to go hunting and I want to learn. So, my philosophy is to apply for the tags that are easy to get. After I decide on a tag, I spend my time on OnXmaps and Google Earth. After my first year, I decided not to Google "mule deer Wyoming Unit XX" anymore. I don't want to see anything negative about my unit to put negative energy in my head. I want to go into a sub-par unit with the mind set that I drew a premium tag.

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    Do your research man. goHunt, OnX maps, and Google Earth are huge resource for me. The only way that you will ever see elk and kill one is by getting out there and doing it regardless of the odds. On my first elk hunt I went to an OTC unit that was highly pressured and people regard it as a unit with a limited amount of elk. Mind you it was also 2nd rifle season in Colorado. I did plenty of scouting and went away from all other hunters across the wilderness and killed me a 6x7 herd elk. The success of your hunt is all what you make it and put into it regardless of the odds and statistics. With that attitude you will never get out and hunt...oh well more for us...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 375H&H View Post
    The OP lost me once I found out he was a state wildlife bio...
    For shame.....foooooor SHAME!!!!

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    Some units suck, some hunts suck...when you find yourself in a sucky situation and make the most of it or put it all out there attempting to make the most of it...well I guess it’s no 200 inch buck, but it gives you something deep down inside that nobody can take away from you. Oh man I’m such a romantic

  24. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCushman View Post
    I would suggest finding a unit that seems pretty good and hunting it on a cow tag to learn the unit. If you're successful you get a freezer full of elk, if you're not successful then you're out a lesser amount of money but you gained knowledge of an area.
    good advice. That is what I'm doing currently. Struck out on the visit hunt but hopefully get back out late this week. Learned a ton on the first hunt.

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