Why so many seasons?

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting Forum' started by ALLSTAR 1, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Bird Watcher

    Bird Watcher Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    622
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    COmarshrat,

    Have you read the article I mentioned? Do you have any comments specifically about the information in it?
     
  2. COmarshrat

    COmarshrat New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    Bird Watcher, yes I did read that article and it was very interesting. From what I remember of the article there was a lot of focus on states like Iowa which have a huge majority of private land and very little public land.

    Iowa is an interesting study. If you look at what is happening With pheasant populations in Iowa you see permanent habitat components like wetlands and other winter cover removed in the interest of more crop acreage. This is driven by high land prices (rent, payments, taxes...) and high corn and soybean prices.

    I fear that the removal of wood lots and other brushy cover is not far behind in Iowa. Then deer populations will crash, but it won't be the fault of antlerless permits or the existence of various seasons. There simply won't be very much habitat left except on the Lakoski farms and places like it.

    In places that have an overwhelming majority of private land organizations like Farm Bureau DO have more of an impact on wildlife regulation and legislation than in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and other states that have a much higher proportion of public land.

    We as hunters need to remember that these are SOCIAL issues though. We need to show up at meetings and be heard, but the farmers, ranchers, tree hungers et al are usually the only people who show up...and unfortunately, the squeaky wheels get the grease.
     
  3. COmarshrat

    COmarshrat New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    I will re-read and comment further...
     
  4. Bird Watcher

    Bird Watcher Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    622
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thanks COmarshrat for the thoughtful responses.

    One question though, if it is known that the habitat is being removed, shouldn't the target harvest numbers be adjusted as well?
     
  5. COmarshrat

    COmarshrat New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
  6. Bird Watcher

    Bird Watcher Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    622
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    Well, either, I guess.
     
  7. COmarshrat

    COmarshrat New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ah...good. Most people would have probably said "adjust down" because there's not as much habitat so we should kill fewer of them so we have more...which is convoluted thinking. Less habitat means lower carrying capacity obviously, whichever means fewer animals can be supported by that range. But that brings in a complicating factor. Studies have shown over and over that as deer densities decline so do hunter success rates. So to take x number of deer now requires MORE licenses than it would with higher success rates.

    In other words, in most hunting there are diminishing returns, if you will, and it is in large part self-regulating. As populations decline, hunter interest declines, success rates decline and harvest rates decline. That is why you often see still relatively high antlerless permit numbers even in areas with declining populations. The intent is not to "kill 'me all off" ( as in "the stupid idiots at the 'game department' want to kill off all the deer!" - a ridiculous statement). The intent is to issue enough to meet harvest objectives.

    The thing about wildlife management is it's comprised of basically three "arms" in my opinion - population management, habitat management and social management. Al three are intertwined. The social management is the most difficult and causes the most headaches on all sides. The existence of a social aspect to what many hunters think should be purely biological (wildlife management itself) stems from the fact that we are selfish creatures. All creatures are selfish in that we are all most concerned with self-preservation. A wildlife management book written by a fox would most likely favour sustainability for mice, moles and rabbits. One written by wolves would emphasize the propagation of beaver, moose and deer.

    We are more complicated...we need natural resources for a variety of things in a world with increasingly competing interests. If man were not on the planet nobody would care if the "deer starved in the winter time" (an often-used but pretty lame defence of hunting IMO); populations of all critters would build and crash over time as the biological facts of population growth carried on; habitat also would build and crash in response to the various pressures imposed upon it over time. The "balance of nature", which is actually chaos, would go on unimpeded. What wildlife management and other natural resource management strives for is to minimize the tremendous peaks and valleys which naturally occur (natural systems do tend towards chaos - there is no "balance of nature", which implies that everything is even all the time). We do it so we have food to eat, wood to build homes with, energy for building things, etc...and so that we have recreational activities and opportunities to keep us from going more nuts than we are.

    Sorry for the long-winded response but I was always very passionate about educating hunters and other people about my point of view on issues concerning wildlife. Happy new year!
     
  8. ALLSTAR 1

    ALLSTAR 1 Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    BOCOMO
    this is all well and good and "look how smart I am to cite statistics and S curves and HABITAT, Habitat, Habitat, social welfare, etc. etc." ad nauseum! I read the comments but they still did not answer, in my opinion, my question; Why so many seasons?
    As the commentor stated; at one time bow and primitive weapons were insignificant in the deer kill but not now.. so... why are managers not restricting and combining the seasons. If it is not political pressure, what is meant by more recreational opportunity... that is political pressure from bow hunters etc.
    More gun hunting would be more recreational opportunity, hunting in state parks would give more recreational opportunity... etc. etc.
    Now I am talking Missouri here so the comments may be spot on or more appropriate out west. But I know one thing; for all the years or preaching how to save Bob white quail and all the biologists that still draw a paycheck, they are watching a species go extinct.. talk about loss of recreational opportunities! They are just as scarce on MDC land as on private but you would think with all the accumulated education quail would be singing from every fencepost. Deer will be next if we don't start restricting the unsustainable harvest level.
    Let bowhunters hunt but let them shoot 2 deer that they recover. A doe and a buck.
    Just had a neighbor with a primitive weapon shoot a 150+ in deer that we watched and hunted all season at 220 yards about 50 yards on our property. He could not "tell for sure" where the line was??? That was the 4th deer they have taken so far. "Good meat" says he, and " I am taking the wife out she still has a tag". He owns 27 acres... Saw one deer this morning where we normally see a dozen+
     
  9. ALLSTAR 1

    ALLSTAR 1 Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    BOCOMO
    on a somewhat related question; I had a guy tell me they took 7 deer on their propery this year.. He owns 40 acres in an adjoining county. I have no indication that any were taken illegally or not tagged etc. In fact, I would like to believe they were..
    I mentioned this to an Agent as we were discussing my concerns over the excessive harvest as an example. He said what was his name? I can check if he and his wife have telechecked the deer.
    I declined to give the name. Am I being hypocritical here? The deer are dead now anyway..
    Would going back to having to physically check deer in help reduce poaching?
     
  10. 2eagles

    2eagles Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,717
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Location:
    gone
    And if he's hunting illegally this year, he'll probably do the same next year. :doh
    Speak up!
     

Share This Page