Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

kevjack6
 
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Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby kevjack6 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:57 am

Hello Everyone...this post is similar to one we had earlier. These are the most up to date details on the proposed changes (below) and they come from the VT Fish and Wildlife website. Also, don't forget about the 3 upcoming public hearings where you can give your input to the department.

Hearings
Three public hearings are scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. as follows:

Monday
January 3 Education Center, Kehoe Conservation Camp
636 Point of Pines Road
Castleton, Vt

Tuesday
January 4 Pavilion Auditorium
109 State Street
Montpelier, Vt

Wednesday
January 5 Dibden Auditorium, Johnson State College
337 College Hill
Johnson, Vt



Proposals for Deer Hunting
Muzzleloader deer hunting would include a new four-day antlerless-only season starting the Thursday following Columbus Day, the second Monday in October, when a person with an antlerless permit could take antlerless deer by muzzleloader. The existing nine-day December muzzleloader deer season starting the first Saturday after the rifle season would remain unchanged. Antlerless deer permits would be valid for both October and December muzzleloader hunting.

Archery deer hunting would be allowed October 1 through 31 except for the four days of the October antlerless muzzleloader season. The existing nine days of archery deer hunting in December, starting the first Saturday after the rifle season would remain unchanged. Up to three deer, only one of which could be a legal buck, would be allowed during the split archery deer hunting season. During archery season, a hunter would be allowed to take one legal buck anywhere in the state and antlerless deer in specific Wildlife Management Units if allowed annually by the Board.

The annual limit of three deer, TWO of which may be LEGAL BUCKS, would remain in effect for archery, youth, rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting seasons.

ZEEK
 
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RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby ZEEK » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:25 pm

Don't care what they do. Hunting sucks no matter what. I wish they would let spikehorns be shot during archery and mz. Saw four spikes in the back of a wardens truck last week. Heard another warden picked up four more. Also one shot in bow season that I know of. keep spikes off limits for gun season, that's when most get shot anyway,and hunters are looking for horns. Other than that I could care less what this state does.
Not knowing where you are going is the best way to get
somewhere you've never been.

J. Peterman.

johnsb
 
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RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby johnsb » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:02 pm

I'm not sure where they think all these does are at. This past summer while riding around looking for deer in the evening i did see more bucks than does. This may sound good but i saw a lot fewer deer. The Bucks i did see where not in my area that i normally hunt. The area i do hunt traditionaly, i didn't see a damn deer all summer long in these fields. could have been the lack of nutriton because of a near drought we experienced in this area. This fall there was an abundant acorn crop so i assume if there was any deer they where well spread out, just not in the area i hunted. Anyway i think the state needs to adjust the 3 deer limit in two ways. In areas where there ARE an overabundant doe population if a hunter wishes to take 3 deer 2 should be does(antlerless) and 1 buck. Areas that seem to be stable on the doe population it should be only 2 deer allowed, 1 buck 1 doe. If a hunter living in this area where only 2 can be shot and wants a third deer, apply for a doe tag in a wmu that is doe heavy.
By the way do you really need to shoot 3 deer a year? Maybe in overpopulated areas. thoughts? By the way i live in southeastern vermont windham county. and no this area doesn't seem to be overpopulated!!

ZEEK
 
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RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby ZEEK » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:46 pm

It's not that there is a lot of doe, it's the fact that our wintering habitat is sooooo poor. They did kill a lot of doe in K2, or at least it seemed that way.
Not knowing where you are going is the best way to get
somewhere you've never been.

J. Peterman.

TJR
 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:08 pm

RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby TJR » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:22 am

It has been my understanding that the proposed doe harvests are meant to remove mouths that would otherwise consume biomass better alotted to a growing buck. By eliminating some portion of the doe herd, regardless of the area, we will be balancing the famed Buck:Doe ratio. It is widely accepted that this ratio has been heavily skewed in our state for a long time. There are two motivating factors that have caused this: the first was the over-harvest of young bucks (<2yrs). I recall one statistic indicating that spikehorns made up nearly 50% of the overall kill? The second was that the remaining bucks have little good nutrition to survive on as it is, eating mostly twigs and buds in the mountainous regions. as the Doe herd continues to go unchecked the does consume this food indiscriminantly. what i mean is an unbred doe fawn or 1.5yr old OR an unfertile ancient Doe have the same nutritional requirements as other deer. Those animals will consume food that is essential to a buck recovering from the physical tolls of the rut. As this ratio balances out, and i agree we need to examine the areas where the 'balancing' needs to happen, but as this happens we will see greater competition for does during the hunting season. This should lead to more buck sightings, and eventually, more deer sightings in general (years away) assuming we do our part to conserve the habitat needed for these animals to prosper.

Furthermore, the increasingly conservative landownership in our great state has all but squelched the logging and forest regeneration industry in Vermont. The logging tracts usedf to provide essential new growth and bedding habitat for deer and especially mature buck. I can only speak for myself, but with the exception of chittenden and franklin counties, the most deer I see are on lands that have active forest management practices.

Could it be argued that the lack of deer sightings, regardless of the mast crop are due to a change in habitat? absolutely. As more and more land is closed to hunting, the deer will seek that sheltered land. Maybe adjacent landowners to your properties have taken the deer on as 'pets' and will not allow hunting? this would stand to reason why the deer seem to be invisible.

sorry for the long rant, but if anyone cares, i can talk for hours about this stuff. please keep the thread going, i think ive provided some starting points...


TJR

kevjack6
 
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RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby kevjack6 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:59 pm

There are some good talking points here. Nice to see some action on this board....been crickets lately!

Anyway, it's easy to fall in the trap that what is happening in our area and what we are seeing must be happening throughout the state. We know this isn't the case. Here in the Northeast Kingdom, our winters are typically a little more severe than the rest of the state so what happens here in the way of deer sightings, harvest totals, etc is not indicative for other WMU's. Plus, as habitat changes, so does the deer herd. When an area is over-browsed, the deer population in that area will naturally drop until the habitat improves enough to support them.

All and all, I think the department does a pretty good job managing our herd. The doe permits are increased or decreased in each WMU every year depending on harvest totals from the year prior. I think we could do some things differently, but that's always the case.

I'm not in love with the 3 deer limit (and I agree, who really "needs" to kill 3-deer, but to take it one step further, who really "needs" to kill a deer? [:)]) and I don't like the fact that you are allowed to kill two bucks. I really think a 1 buck limit is in order. Actually, I would love to see a 2 deer limit with no more than 1 buck. What I do like about the 3 deer limit is that it does allow for greater hunter opportunity and greater license revenue for the State.

Because of the mild winter in the NEK in 2010, we saw one of the best seasons ever in terms of mature bucks being harvested. I'm not sure what the final tally will be, but I know in Orleans and Caledonia counties the kill was up based on initial reporting station reports. Not only that, the quality of the bucks was nothing short of amazing. We are experiencing some of the best deer hunting ever in our area and this is coming from someone that had tag soup as referenced in one of my earlier posts.

Gotta run for tonight but I'm anxious to take this discussion further in the future.

TJR
 
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RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby TJR » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:00 pm

I agree completely with your analysis of the deer season. I too hunt in and around the NEK, although mostly at the southern end of it. This year provided some very good deer sighting days with some in our hunting party seeing as many as 30 deer this season. I saw 2 legal buck, and both were with a doe. I also noted a good number of young deer, an indication, I feel, is due to the milder winter mentioned by Kevjack. I agree that deer densities vary by year, and micro-geographic region within our state, and I also feel that the state's biologist have been taking proactive steps to manage our deer statewide over the past few years. Will it be perfect? absolutely not. Vermont has a long standing tradition of being naturally stable (or so we have been told) so the agressive herd managment tactics the state has implemented are still new for both the biologists and hunters. I think that the antler restrictions have improved overall hunter satisfaction as far as the quality of bucks being taken, as is proved by such organizations as the Vermont Big Game Trophy Club. We have the great fortune to be part of the group of hunters that is behind the great changes occuring in the world of Vermont deer hunting, and it is exciting to know that some of the oppurtunities we are getting have never been seen in the state before.

All of this comes at a cost, however. And as further prodding to get some others to comment, I offer another point of view (essentially just a thought I have had).

1) The 3 deer limit. In most areas of the state, Mine included, harvesting even one buck within your hunting GROUP is considered successful. I do not know many individual hunters that harvest more than 1 vermont buck a year, let alone 2, and a doe. It would seem that reducing the limit to less than 3 would eliminate crucial dollars from hunters that hunt every discipline, from bow to muzzleloader. a 3 deer limit would allow the taking of a single animal in any season, and for the fraction of hunters that may have an opportunity at a second buck, i dont feel they should end up eating their tags for other seasons because they have already limited out. (I am aware that it is possible to get 2 in archery and one in rifle and have to eat your muzzleloader tag). My point: the 3 deer limit is as much about supporting our fish and game department (a department starved of funding) and local economy as it is about controlling the deer numbers. a possible solution? Provide incentives (for example, limit the land access permitted hunters during special seasons so they know they will not have walkers and dogs running around) for hunters to hunt public land in areas where deer densities are on the rise. this will allow hunters to buck-hunt their favorite spots without over harvesting deer (if the population is strained).

2)Antler restrictions (this could be a whole new thread). As we kill more 2.5 and 3.5 yr old buck, we open the door for 1.5 yr Buck to become the main breeding stock in the population. at this young age we see a great amount of genetic inferiority that would otherwise be outcompeted by a more dominant buck as the population balances. However, a 1.5yrold spike horn that breeds a doe will produce a weak racked buck. Couple that with a lack of nutrition and minerals and we will have another generation of small, spindly racks. My point: as it relates to this thread, we need to balance the B:D ratios statewide. This will increase competition among the bucks and force inferior bucks out of the breeding stock (and hopefully into the freezer!). Secondly, the only way to get older buck is to let some grow. This may require extra restrictions (ie 3pt on one side). I have heard rumors of this and I would be interested to hear peoples input. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, we as hunters need to examine what is important to us. are we happy with 130lb 4ptr? (for the record i have shot several of these and loved every minute of it!!) OR would we like to get to the point where we are dragging 200 pounders out? These big boys dont happen by accident and it takes alot of hunter discipline to pass on the smaller, younger bucks first (something i currently lack). My resoning: if i dont shoot it, someone else will...

Now yall got me goin! ha. Lets get this thread fired up! this is great stuff!

TJR

ZEEK
 
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RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby ZEEK » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:17 pm

I don't think it's really is going to matter what the bucks rack looks like at a 1-1/2 old when it comes to breeding. It's DNA is fixed when it's born. The first set of antlers depends on it's health comming out of it's first winter. As far as going to anything more than a two points to a side if they do, I'm done hunting in VT. (Well buying a license anyway). You really get to look at a buck long enough to count three points? I don't, it's usually a couple seconds to see if it's got a fork. Any idea how many spikes get shot by accident now? Can you imagine how many four pointers are going to be shot hoping there will be a brow tine? I would rather shoot a spike or four pt every year than a 8 every 5-10 years. VT is never going to be Iowa and we can't regulate our deer herd like it's going to be. Our winters are too hard. Shoot them now, why wait for mother nature to take them to feed the dogs? I have no problem with the three deer limit, it's a very difficult task to tag three deer. I've never done it and I had two by Oct. 20th. this year. I can't wait for the next issue of D+DH. I'm sure Uncle Ted and I are going to agree a lot on the "shut up and hunt" thing.
Not knowing where you are going is the best way to get
somewhere you've never been.

J. Peterman.

TJR
 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:08 pm

RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby TJR » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:09 am

You make a very good point, ZEEK. I know where I rifle hunt i am lucky if my bullet finds a clear path...the tangled vermont woods we hunt makes even catching a glimpse of antlers difficult. Vermont will never be like Iowa or Illinois, but then again, who would want that! From what I understand in terms of antler growth is that the genetic characteristics are set in stone, but the strength of which they are displayed is dependent on nutrition and wintering browse etc. Our state, and others in the Northeast have notoriously poor mineral content in the soil (in non-silt based regions) and severe winters. this would perhaps explain the hardiness of the forest dwelling deer we hunt. Additionally however, we are lacking any sort of Darwinian hierarcy within the buck ranks (speaking to the areas i am familiar with), granted there are pockets of deer in the state that i am sure defy this. without additional competition for a doe, any able buck can breed and could potentially spread genes that would otherwise be eliminated because a) he didnt breed and b) he strolled past Zeek opening day (i say this to keep you hunting in VT!!!) with that buck gone, older, stronger, superior bucks that have survived becuase of hunter discretion will be the breeding stock. Charles Alshiemer actually just got a book out im hoping to read on the science of a deers rack.

At the end of the day I will say this: As a 24yr old life-long hunter, I go out every year with the hopes of baggin a monster. I hunt from first light of bow season to last light of muzzleloader, and I am a firm believer in "Never pass on the first day what you would settle for on the last day". If only someone would let the 4-pointers in my area know...haha.

Heres my fuel to the thread-fire: who/why passes on bucks, does, or coyotes for that matter. is it for betterment of the herd, size issues, timing, shot placement, etc.

AND because we hunt such thick cover we are rarely offered that perfect broadside shot at 80yards in a cornfield...so, what is considered ethical shooting in vermont? an empty clip?

TJR

ZEEK
 
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RE: Proposed Changes for Deer Seasons

Postby ZEEK » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:09 pm

I don't see enough deer to pass anything up. I know the first buck I see probably will be the last. Some big bucks have always been shot in this state before antler resrtictions, sure they shoot more now, but like I said I'd rather shoot a small buck than no buck at all. I spent too many days praying to see a deer with a 3" spike. It was tough back in the 80's after the wholesale doe killing that was done. I've never gotten over those early years. Like someone who lived through the depression has a different outlook on things. Most guys I talk to hunt out of state and know they're going to get deer so if they go empty handed in VT. so what. Or they're older and tearing the tag off isn't as big a deal anymore. I have let a lot of doe walk but I'll take whatever buck comes along. Maybe a racker maybe a spike. Don't get me wrong I'd like to shoot a big buck, but as they say a bird in the hand....... I'm not going to be someone I'm not. I'm a shooter. I need to kill. I'm embarrassed to tell someone who asks if I got a deer, no.
Not knowing where you are going is the best way to get
somewhere you've never been.

J. Peterman.


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