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  1. #1

    Default Montana deer management

    After sitting in a ground blind in mid-east Montana for a week and talking to some of the local landowners I came up with a plan. What do the great minds on this forum think about using a management plan similar to Wisconsin where you would have to shoot a doe first in order to shoot a buck. Right now some of the farmers and ranchers are overrun with deer in there hay and silage. When they bring the issue to Game & Fish they come out and shoot 5 or 6 animals and leave. The farmer in question has upwards of 100 to 150 deer in silage in the winter. Another large ranch near there that is outfitted had a similar problem but on a much larger scale. The state told them tough luck because they were outfitted.
    I know this would not work state wide and I know there would have to be some safeguards to prevent wanton waste. But what do guys think.
    On another topic one of the ranches I hunted had a pretty severe number of blue tongue deaths in the mule deer heard.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I think the problem you would have with that idea is you would see the vast majority of does being harvested on public land. I would entertain a doe tag for private land only.


    Is the large ranch that is outfitted allowing public access to harvest deer? If not, they are exacerbating the problem. Probably can't make much money on a mule deer doe.
    "I'll put some whiskey into my whiskey"

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    In the Sagebrush of Montana
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    I agree with Justin that it'll put a hurt on accessible deer and deer that reside on private lands will continue to thrive. I don't agree with private land tags...maybe if access is granted to the general public (access is managed via FWP) with no fee hunts allowed.

  4. #4

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    I don't think it would help anything. From what I've seen when I'm out hunting, public lands aren't over populated with deer. Making people shoot does would only hurt our mule deer herds even more. Like Schaaf said, the majority of the does would be harvested on public land. The only places I see where you could say the deer are over populated are private, and its probably because they aren't allowing enough hunting or no hunting at all.

  5. #5

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    I don't waste any tears on guys who charge big bucks to hunt on their land, or never allow access, and then whine about damage. FWP does what they can to manage the herd, but it is dependent on hunters having access to the deer. If you set up a sanctuary, you will be overrun by deer. Duh.

    It's going to take an adjustment in attitude among a lot of hunters, who absolutely never shoot a doe or young buck. They seem to think more deer is always better. Maybe CWD will wake some of them up. Excessive population density spreads CWD and EHD. You will never decrease population density by shooting mature bucks. In order to manage for mature bucks, landowners really need to encourage harvest of does. When the population density is lower, more post-rut bucks can survive. When a mature buck comes out of the rut and most of the feed is already gone, he's going to have a rough winter.

  6. #6

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    Do you think opening private lands to intensive harvest of antlerless would work

  7. #7
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    I don't see the problem as a rancher being "overrun with deer" as much as I do a simple density issue. Private land has two things, generally, that will cause this: good forage and little to no pressure to disperse (hunters or predators). Being a localized issue (ranch is "overpopulated" but the unit as a whole is within balance) you should treat localized. Right now, FWP will award depredation permits for the ranch, but to the general public (with a few exceptions). If a ranch does not want to open up access and cooperate with FWP, it is hard to be sympathetic. Yet, I can also understand ranchers wanting to vet hunters who come on. Shot up cows and irrigation lines, trash and rutted up roads, gates left wrong, etc. are all very real problems.

    So, an earn a buck program? NO. A program like One Montana that is working with to bring both land owners and hunters together to a mutually beneficial end, absolutely.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scubohuntr View Post
    Excessive population density spreads CWD and EHD. You will never decrease population density by shooting mature bucks.
    A slight caveat to this: most research right now is saying the spread of CWD is coming from younger bucks who leave home ranges. Also, EHD is not spread due to a density issue, although more deer in a certain area can be affected.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sschultz View Post
    Do you think opening private lands to intensive harvest of antlerless would work
    Intensive harvest on private is not going to happen. Been there done that and won't do it again if I have any say. Having too many does is the lesser of two problems. Around ten years ago deer numbers were sky hi on the meadows and we took every doe hunter we could find. Most of the hunters were fine. But far to many were incompetent. I don't know how some of them could ever take a buck on public land. Some could not spot a deer if it ran them over. One guy bore sighted his rifle but had yet to shoot it. Another was shaking so bad that he shot nearly a box of shells at deer before finally making a poor shot on a doe. After the third shot I wouldn't let him shoot more than a 100 yards. Nice old guy but could not shoot.
    By the end of the season we managed to have better than 50 does shot. We also managed to move most of the nice bucks to the neighbors where the paying hunters were waiting. Just not going to do that again.
    Outfitted ranches will not go for intensive doe hunting. The doe hunters will get in the way of the paying hunters. You can make a lot of money on does as long as the season is during the rut. A big doe population will draw in rutting bucks from miles around. Bucks from property that the outfitter may not have access to or is too difficult to hunt for most of their clients.
    I have to agree with schaaf. Far too may does will be shot on public and I currently see very little public were there is an over population of deer. It is mostly the other way around.
    Last edited by antlerradar; 10-10-2018 at 02:15 PM.

  10. #10

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    When I saw the title of this thread, I assumed this was accidentally placed in the deer forum, instead of JOKES.

    MT's problem with deer management is the MT FWP and 99% of hunters are opposed to change, much less what kind of change will make any difference.

    I always laugh when I read guys claiming to want better hunting .. and claim to be "willing" to give up the last 2 weeks of rifle season (ie. Mid to late Nov).

  11. #11

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    Anyone that's ever been to any FWP or mule deer meeting has heard how everyone wants change, be it limited entry or what have you...until it directly affects them.

  12. #12

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    Didn't think blue tongue affected the mule deer?

  13. #13

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    Where I was it didn't appear to affect the whitetails but it hit the mule deer hard on another ranch nearby that I hunted.

  14. Default

    Outfitters want does around to gobble up bucks in November but then complain cuz they eat too much in winter . Karma is a bitch

  15. #15

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    I wish we managed like our Canadian friends...... anyone who says Montana doesn't have the genetics is freakin high. No one is gonna tell me different either. There's great genetics in this state. Its just that 99.9 percent never make it to 4 years old and 99 percent never make it to 3. We're a free for all state that cares only about opportunity. Name:  IMG955156001.jpg
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    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  16. #16

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    FYI, Wisconsin has broken down the doe tags into public and private land tags. Private land doe tags in many areas are free with a buck tag.
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  17. #17

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    The entire eastern half.....i.e half of region 4,5 all of 6 and 7 pick your district regardless of your choice that's what you got, no district hoping. The second half of November is a special draw to hunt from November 10 till the closure similar to the Gardiner late season bull tag. Or a restricted weapon tag like Saskatchewan. Archery is Otc, rifle comes every four or five years and I think it's district or zone specific, muzzle loader takes 2 or 3 years to get. Sprinkle a little of that on this state and voomba we got something decent to go out and pursue.

    Too bad this is just a dream and will never happen.
    Last edited by EYJONAS!; 10-11-2018 at 08:03 AM.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  18. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EYJONAS! View Post
    The entire eastern half.....i.e half of region 4,5 all of 6 and 7 pick your district regardless of your choice that's what you got, no district hoping. The second half of November is a special draw to hunt from November 10 till the closure similar to the Gardiner late season bull tag. Or a restricted weapon tag like Saskatchewan. Archery is Otc, rifle comes every four or five years and I think it's district or zone specific, muzzle loader takes 2 or 3 years to get. Sprinkle a little of that on this state and voomba we got something decent to go out and pursue.

    Too bad this is just a dream and will never happen.
    Guessing your a archery hunter

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8andcounting View Post
    Guessing your a archery hunter
    I could be any hunter...... ready to go rounds again?
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  20. #20

    Default

    Im a pick your unit advocate! But do it state wide. Too many people come to SW MT to elk hunt and just fill their deer tag with what ever buck they see.

  21. #21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EYJONAS! View Post
    The entire eastern half.....i.e half of region 4,5 all of 6 and 7 pick your district regardless of your choice that's what you got, no district hoping. The second half of November is a special draw to hunt from November 10 till the closure similar to the Gardiner late season bull tag. Or a restricted weapon tag like Saskatchewan. Archery is Otc, rifle comes every four or five years and I think it's district or zone specific, muzzle loader takes 2 or 3 years to get. Sprinkle a little of that on this state and voomba we got something decent to go out and pursue.

    Too bad this is just a dream and will never happen.
    Heck yeah, let's screw up Montana and make it just like Utah! Cut the harvest way down and we can get CWD spread all over the state by next year! Woohoo!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Eastern Montana
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    323

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    Regardless of your feelings on on season length, structure, weapons, etc., I would think we can all agree that some restrictions need to be made and hunters need to make some sacrifices. I don't know anyone who wants us to turn into Utah or Arizona or Nevada, but there has to be some middle ground were willing to go to.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by EYJONAS! View Post
    The second half of November is a special draw to hunt from November 10 till the closure.
    So only a couple solid weeks of killing rutting bucks - yeah the sacrifices that would be made. Ha ha.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by scubohuntr View Post
    Heck yeah, let's screw up Montana and make it just like Utah! Cut the harvest way down and we can get CWD spread all over the state by next year! Woohoo!
    I think that there could be something collectively brought together with those ideas. CWD is already here, killing everything isn't gonna make it go away. It's be proven time and time again. Eastern Alberta is a prime example.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenhorn View Post
    So only a couple solid weeks of killing rutting bucks - yeah the sacrifices that would be made. Ha ha.
    Dont tell me your not out there. I'm just an ant on the hill greeny with a couple ideas not saying their the answer to save all. At least having a limited rut hunt or no rut hunt would be better then the free for all we got going now.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

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