Do you want more deer in PA

tex3012
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby tex3012 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:44 am

ORIGINAL: ajkrem22



"I usually hunt the first two days of rifle season in the mountains of PA. Near Benezette. My first season there I think I saw 40 deer the first day. Now I agree that there was probably way to many deer in most areas of PA and the herd needed thinning. Last year I hunted for 2 solid days without leaving the stand and only saw 2 deer. I agree 40 was to many, but I only saw 2 deer in two days of hunting. The herd there is gone. What the game commission has done there is a freaking crime. It doesn't take that long to see what they were doing was wrong and change it. I understand they can't cater to everyone but I am pretty sure they have destroyed a tradition of hunters going to the mountains."

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Sorry i havnt figured out quotes and replys yet. Anyways about this statement above, we have to start taking matters like this into our own "hunters" hands. we need to stop blaming the game commission because were the ones that actually shot all the deer. if there are low deer numbers in areas you hunt, dont shot doe. convince your friends and family to not take a doe for a few years and numbers will be right back up. yeah you'll say the camp next door will just shot all the doe, well in that case talk to them and try to convince them not to shot doe.

its as simple as this, not enought deer, dont shot doe!
too many deer, shot doe!

ajkrem22
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby ajkrem22 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:19 am

Sorry i havnt figured out quotes and replys yet. Anyways about this statement above, we have to start taking matters like this into our own "hunters" hands. we need to stop blaming the game commission because were the ones that actually shot all the deer. if there are low deer numbers in areas you hunt, dont shot doe. convince your friends and family to not take a doe for a few years and numbers will be right back up. yeah you'll say the camp next door will just shot all the doe, well in that case talk to them and try to convince them not to shot doe.

its as simple as this, not enought deer, dont shot doe!
too many deer, shot doe!



No problem tex3012.

I agree with you and all the guys I hunt with in the mountains don't shoot doe. I started hunting there the first year they introduced the antler restriction. I was fortunate enough to kill a great buck and didn't fill my doe tag because I had enough meat. Next year we saw a huge reduction in deer sightings and no one from our group has killed a doe up there since before the antler restriction was in place.
Andy

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ishman
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby ishman » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:32 pm

mhouck06
     You nailed it. The goal of the PGC is a healthy deer herd. Not one that lets you see 50 does a day. Our herd was so out of wack and its starting to become what it needs to be. I get tired of everyone complaining about shooting to many does. Remember, that when deer are born, they are pretty much 1 buck fawn to 1 doe fawn. Thats the way nature intended it. Not 1 buck to 50 does.

danesdad
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby danesdad » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:43 pm

ORIGINAL: ishman

mhouck06
    You nailed it. The goal of the PGC is a healthy deer herd. Not one that lets you see 50 does a day. Our herd was so out of wack and its starting to become what it needs to be. I get tired of everyone complaining about shooting to many does. Remember, that when deer are born, they are pretty much 1 buck fawn to 1 doe fawn. Thats the way nature intended it. Not 1 buck to 50 does.

A lot of guys in PA dont get this. Many think it's some kind of conspiracy. And some just hate the PGC no matter what the PGC does. It's sad, actually.
Hunting: 10% skill and 90% location.

mhouck06
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby mhouck06 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:21 pm

danesdad and ishman. thank you.
 
it is upsetting how many people do not realize what the state is trying to do. and like you said danesdad. it is sad, very sad.
 
ajkrem, I understand where you are coming from. I had a very tough season in 2009. I had seen 5 deer total in rifle season until I harvested a buck the second wednesday. I hunted almost every day up until then. I do not blame the PGC though. They are doing what exactly what they must do. You have to realize that the traditions that you speak of started out when the deer numbers in PA reflected more of what they are now than 10 years ago. Also, about the size of PA, what else can they do? They must manage the population. You are right, they are doing the right thing by not allowing doe hunting in the first week of rifle in the mountains. They are reaching desired goals and adjusting accordingly. If population gets too high again, they will go back to what they have done the past few years. You can never just let it go. If we would have not had the opportunity to kill the deer, nature would have taken care of the population. They are acting in the best interest of PA as a whole.

ajkrem22
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby ajkrem22 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:38 am

danesdad and ishman. thank you.

it is upsetting how many people do not realize what the state is trying to do. and like you said danesdad. it is sad, very sad.

ajkrem, I understand where you are coming from. I had a very tough season in 2009. I had seen 5 deer total in rifle season until I harvested a buck the second wednesday. I hunted almost every day up until then. I do not blame the PGC though. They are doing what exactly what they must do. You have to realize that the traditions that you speak of started out when the deer numbers in PA reflected more of what they are now than 10 years ago. Also, about the size of PA, what else can they do? They must manage the population. You are right, they are doing the right thing by not allowing doe hunting in the first week of rifle in the mountains. They are reaching desired goals and adjusting accordingly. If population gets too high again, they will go back to what they have done the past few years. You can never just let it go. If we would have not had the opportunity to kill the deer, nature would have taken care of the population. They are acting in the best interest of PA as a whole.


mhouck06

I have no problem giving the PGC a pat on the back when it is due. I said that in one of my previous posts. They have done a good job in Beaver County managing the deer herd. But how can we say they are doing a great job thoughout the state when in fact that is not true. I am sorry, what they have done to the deer herd in the mountains is a crime. They are in charge of handeling our natural resources and they have almost wiped them out in certian areas. How can anyone say that is the right thing to do. I am the first to agree there were to many deer in the mountains. But come one people, the deer are freaking gone up there. There is no way we are anywhere near the carrying capacity for those areas. They treat the whole state the same and that is wrong.

I also agree our deer herd was out of whack. 50 does to 1 buck was just horrible for our herd. Bucks were running themselves to death to breed every doe they could. It put a huge strain on the herd. With the antler restrictions and liberal doe harvest the herd is balancing. A great example would be Beaver County. When I was younger and was out spotting, it was a huge deal to see a spike. Now, if I don't see a couple bucks that are Pope and Young I think there is something wrong. Again the are doing a great job in certian parts of the states and a horrible job in others.
Andy

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doit
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby doit » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:18 pm

I don't want to see more deer, Ive seen enough. I want to see more quality deer ( bucks ) and have better action during the Rut. I If i remember correctly This was the part of goal of the PGC. take out the does let the buck live another year get the buck to doe ratio tighter and get the forest back to where they once were. it a tough balancing act and they need all Hunter coperation. Mother nature is a tuff enough oponent. we all should give them our support and give it a chance. in my area the biggest change ive seen is less big bucks more little bucks and the same amount of deer on avrg over the last 10 -15years. I don't blame the PGC. I blame, never mind. Best of luck to all. Remember u got to be in it to win it. Powerball is 60 million.

DaveYak
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby DaveYak » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:23 am

[font="times new roman"]I know this is an older discussions, however I thought I would put my 2 cents in.  Where I hunt the deer herd has declined but it is for the better, we had way to many deer, they were starving to death.  Also the bucks I am seeing are bigger and more mature than what I did 7 or 8 years ago, this makes them harder to hunt and kill, which I enjoy.  After talking to some PGC guys about this topic and listening to a seminar given by them it sounds like they have two big flaws in the system.  One being that a lot of people do not report there doe kills and they say there is no way to make people do it(which isn't true, I have hunted in other states that charge you if you don't complete a harvest report and submit it).  They do a statistical analysis on the reports received and get there license allocations for the following year from that data.  Like I said I think it is very important we all report our doe kills, it will help our herd and the PGC!  Secondly PGC is not accounting for predation, or the amount of fawns being killed by predators in our state when figure out the allocations.  I feel that they should come up with some statistics to figure out the amount of does killed per year by predators, other than humans (the ultimate predator ;-).  With that said , I guess I am agreeing with Everyday Hunter on this one, but we need to make sure the PGC's number are correct when they figure their 2.5 licenses issued = 1 doe in the freezer.  The only way I can see that happening is we all report our harvest accurately and timely, that's what I will do at least. [/font]
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[font="times new roman"]DaveYak [/font]
 

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby Everyday Hunter » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:51 am

I missed much of this thread since I posted above, so I'm catching up. I have two points to make.

First, I agree with DaveYak that it is in our best interest to report our kills. And I also wish the PGC would come up with a way to make reporting mandatory, and I think they can find a way to do it. When we report our deer kills, it gives the PGC more and better data to use in their decision making. We cannot affect PGC policies without engaging, and reporting is one way of engaging. But I disagree slightly where he says the PGC is not accounting for predation. (And are they accounting for vehicle kills?) I think accounting for predation and vehicle kills is built into the system. The deer population is monitored in many ways, from pellet count to harvest reports (though a 100% accurate count is not possible). I do think natural predation would be a good question to ask the PGC. My bet is that they have a pretty good idea.

Second, I've heard many hunters complain about the deer population based on their own deer sightings during deer season. These comments are generally the same -- "I used to see 40 deer on opening day and now I see 5. I think we can be pretty sure that the 40 or 50 or whatever number we used to see did not represent that many individual deer. In those days deer would pinball willy-nilly from one hunter to another, bouncing around in the woods almost randomly. Most of those deer were young and had little idea what was going on that first Monday after Thanksgiving. Consequently, we were seeing many of the same deer two or three times, maybe more sometimes. There are a couple of differences now. The first one is obvious -- everyone knows we have a lower deer population, so fewer deer means not just that we'll see fewer deer. It also means we'll see fewer deer more than once. But the other is not so obvious -- that a higher percentage of the deer have gone through opening day at least once before, so they're more educated in how to avoid hunters. They don't run as much, and are more circumspect in their hunter avoidance tactics. That means we're seeing them only one time before they hide. So, we're not comparing apples to apples when we compare 40 deer sightings then to five now.

At least, that's the way I see it. Anyone see other reasons for fewer deer sightings?

Steve
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RE: Do you want more deer in PA

Postby Everyday Hunter » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:13 am

On the topic of deer predation in Pennsylvania, I wrote this to Jerry Feaser at the PGC:

On a discussion board the topic of whitetail predation came up, and someone made the point that the the PGC doesn't know how many deer are lost to predation from bears and coyotes. So, my questions are:

(1.) Does the PGC know how many whitetails are lost to bears, coyotes and other predators? (2.) How does the PGC know it? And, (3.) what is the breakdown, fawns to adults?
Secondarily, do we know how many deer are killed by collisions with cars, and how that compares to the numbers lost to predation?

Here is his reply:
Here is a link our deer page, which includes information on the fawn mortality study that we conducted, which documents predation:
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/deer/11949
 
Under "Research Publications," look for "Survival rates, mortality causes, and habitats of Pennsylvania white-tailed deer fawns."
 
As for road-killed deer, no one truly knows how many are hit and killed on the highways as there is no central reporting mechanism for such incidents.  Insurance companies only know the number of claims that they process. PennDOT only knows how many deer carcasses they handle.  We only know of the number claimed for consumption.  For example: a motorist clips a deer with their car and does very little damage to their car.  They don't want to pay the deductible, so they don't report it.  The deer runs off and dies in the bushes, so there is nothing to remove from the road.  How or who counts this?

He forwarded my questions to Dr. Chris Rosenberry, the deer section manager at the PGC, and back came this reply:
[size="1"]The Game Commission does not estimate the number and age of deer killed by various predators on an annual basis. However, we have conducted field studies to monitor survival and identify mortality causes over the last decade. From these studies and our ongoing monitoring of the deer populations, we also can monitor whether predators are preventing us from achieving our management objectives.[/size]

Rosenberry also added another place to look on the above link:
Also on the page link above is a document under "Deer Biology" titled "Predation and the Pennsylvania deer population" that covers predator effects and their role in deer population management.

That's a short, and very interesting document. Here's the salient quote: "Deer management objectives are based on ‘pre-hunt' deer population trends. The ‘pre-hunt' population is the number of deer available at the beginning of the first hunting season. Across most of Pennsylvania, this is the population in late September or early October. The ‘pre-hunt' population includes fawns that survived predation and other mortality during their first summer."

So, basing the antlerless allocation on the fall "pre-hunt" population means that fawn predation has already been taken into account. Obviously, this is not an exact science, since they don't have exact numbers and since the antlerless allocations are decided early. We're dealing with scientifically-based estimates here.

The earlier link is a longer paper, and part of a much larger study. I'll leave the reading of it to you, but clearly, this stuff is being studied and taken into account.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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