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http://wildlife.utah.gov/news/07-10/deer_elk.php

Making deer and elk seasons the same statewide
DWR proposals would give you more time to hunt

Many hunters believe that taking a few days off a hunting season means fewer deer will be taken.

But Division of Wildlife Resources surveys show that's not always the case: on average, Utah deer hunters take more deer during five-day deer hunts than they do during nine-day hunts.

That's why the DWR is recommending that the general rifle season in both the Southeastern and Southern regions return to a nine-day hunt for the 2008 season.

The DWR is also recommending that the statewide general spike bull elk hunt return to a 13-day season. That would make the spike season the same length as the state's general any bull elk season.

Some information regarding deer and elk management in Utah will also be discussed at a series of upcoming public meetings.

The meetings provide an opportunity to learn more about the proposals and to provide biologists with your input and suggestions.

Citizens from Utah's five Regional Advisory Councils will take the public input received to the Utah Wildlife Board when it meets in Salt Lake City on Nov. 29 to approve Utah's 2008 Big Game Guidebook.

Meeting dates, times and locations are as follows (two notes: the Southern Region meeting begins at 5 p.m. The Northern Region meeting is being held on a Monday):

Southern Region
Nov. 6
5:00 p.m.
Hurricane High School
345 W. Tiger Blvd.
Hurricane

Southeastern Region
Nov. 7
6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
Green River

Northeastern Region
Nov. 8
6:30 p.m.
Western Park, Room #2
302 E. 200 S.
Vernal

Central Region
Nov. 13
6:30 p.m.
Springville Junior High School
165 S. 700 E.
Springville

Northern Region
Nov. 19
6:00 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
Brigham City

Providing more opportunity

"It might be hard to believe, but our harvest data shows that more deer are typically taken during five-day hunts than during nine-day hunts," says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR.

The following chart compares five-day hunts in Utah to nine-day hunts. The chart begins in 1999, when Utah's first five-day deer hunt was held in parts of the Southeastern Region:

Year Season
length Average days
hunted Deer taken per
1,000 hunters
1999 5 days 3.2 470

9 days 3.9 321

2000 5 days 3.3 480

9 days 3.8 326

2001 5 days 2.9 330

9 days 3.6 275

2002 5 days 3.2 317

9 days 4.0 237

2003 5 days 3.0 224

9 days 3.7 241

2004 5 days 2.8 367

9 days 3.5 329

2005 5 days 3.1 282

9 days 3.5 229

2006 5 days 3.0 441

9 days 3.5 324

Aoude has some ideas about why fewer deer are typically taken during a nine-day hunt.

"I think it might have something to do with hunters putting in more effort during a five-day hunt," he says. "They know the hunt isn't going to last long, so they put some extra effort in. Because the hunt is fairly short, I think they're also willing to take one of the first deer they see."

A busy life and procrastination might also be factors.

"During a nine-day hunt, I think hunters are more selective. If they don't see a deer they want the first weekend, they know they can come back and hunt the second weekend," Aoude says. "But despite their best intentions, most hunters don't make it back the second weekend to hunt."

Aoude says Utah deer hunters hunt an average of three-and-a-half days during a five-day hunt. During a nine-day hunt, they hunt an average of four days.

"If Utah stays with a five-day hunt in southern Utah, four days including a weekend will be taken away from hunters," he says. "Most hunters wouldn't take advantage of the extra days, but those who would like to hunt some extra days could if we went to a nine-day hunt.

"That's very important for young hunters who are in school during the week and for those who have jobs that allow them to hunt only on the weekends."

More time to hunt spike elk

Another DWR proposal would give you more time to hunt spike bull elk in the state.

The DWR is recommending the general spike bull elk hunt return to a 13-day season. It's been nine days long for the past few years.

The general spike bull hunt would run from Oct. 4-16. Those are also the season dates the DWR is proposing for Utah's any bull elk hunt.

"The length of the spike bull elk hunt was shortened a few years ago when the age objective for bulls taken on limited entry units was lowered on most of the units," Aoude says. "Lowering the objective allows more permits to be issued and more bulls to be taken. The idea behind shortening the season was to save more spike bulls so they could grow into mature bulls."

Since that time, Aoude says the age objective on most of the elk units has been raised. Raising the objective means fewer bulls will be taken.

Even if there was a need to protect spike bulls, Aoude says keeping the season at nine days wouldn't make much of a difference. "The elk situation is the same as the deer situation," he says. "Even if the season is lengthened by four days, most hunters won't take advantage of the extra days."

Aoude says hunters who hunt nine-day elk seasons in Utah hunt an average of five days. That number increases to five-and-a-half days when the season is 13 days long.

Proposals for southern Utah

Some of the other big game proposals the DWR will present include the following for southern Utah:

Change the Fillmore, Oak Creek South bull elk unit from a limited entry unit to a general any bull elk unit.
"The habitat on the unit isn't very good for elk, and there aren't many bulls on the unit," Aoude says. "If you draw a tag for the unit, there's a pretty good chance you'll take a bull. But we can't offer many permits for the unit, and we don't believe it meets the requirements to be a limited entry unit."
Change the Plateau, Fishlake-Thousand Lake buck deer unit from a limited entry unit to a general season unit.
"This small unit rarely meets the minimum objective of 25 bucks per 100 does that each of Utah's limited entry deer units is supposed to meet," Aoude says.
"The unit is surrounded by private land, and deer move in and out of the unit a lot," he says. "General season hunters on the private land surrounding the unit take a lot of deer as they move to and from the unit."
Create a new general any bull elk unit in southeastern Utah. The unit would be on the east side of US-191, just east of the San Juan limited entry bull elk unit.
"The elk in this area could cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to sunflowers that are being raised for biofuel," Aoude says. "We're hoping general season elk hunters can help reduce these losses by taking some of the elk."
For more information about the meetings, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.
 

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I have mixed feelings about the 5 day hunt. I have seen a big improvement in the buck to doe ratio since the southern region was moved to a 5 day hunt.

I
think it might have something to do with hunters putting in more effort during a five-day hunt," he says. "They know the hunt isn't going to last long, so they put some extra effort in. Because the hunt is fairly short, I think they're also willing to take one of the first deer they see."
There might be some truth in this statement, but how many hunters are just after the first two point and it doesnt matter if its the opening morning or not they will shoot at that buck. I hunted the Southern Unit this year and probably saw 30 2 points. I hope a few of them survived the hunt from the baby deer killers.

I dont see the logic behind the statement that hunters will hunt harder with fewer days because most people hunt hard the first 3 to 5 days hunt regardless how many days they have to hunt.

During a nine-day hunt, I think hunters are more selective. If they don't see a deer they want the first weekend, they know they can come back and hunt the second weekend," Aoude says. "But despite their best intentions, most hunters don't make it back the second weekend to hunt."
How many times have you seen a two point run across a canyon and it sounds like World War 3????? How many yearling bucks get smoked on the first day??? I have seen this many times. Most hunters aren't selective because they will shoot any buck that has horns. They are meat hunters and they aren't necessarily looking for a trophy buck. Are the Central Region deer hunters and the Northern Region deer hunters more selective on their 9 day hunt????? OF COURSE NOT!!!!! If they dont make it back the second weekend then they really must not enjoy the sport of hunting.

Aoude says Utah deer hunters hunt an average of three-and-a-half days during a five-day hunt. During a nine-day hunt, they hunt an average of four days.
So what is the biggest difference between a 3-and-a half day hunt or a 4 day hunt? There isnt a huge enough difference to worry about. So whether is a 9 day and people on average hunt 4 days OR its a 5 day hunt and people hunt 3 1/2 days then it really doesnt matter.

"
The length of the spike bull elk hunt was shortened a few years ago when the age objective for bulls taken on limited entry units was lowered on most of the units," Aoude says. "Lowering the objective allows more permits to be issued and more bulls to be taken. The idea behind shortening the season was to save more spike bulls so they could grow into mature bulls."
On the spike issue I think they are going about it the wrong way. He should be shortening the spike season to allow more spikes to become branched antlered bulls so that MORE LE tags can be issued statewide, but what does the DWR do?????? They raise the average age of harvest------------------------>
Since that time, Aoude says the age objective on most of the elk units has been raised. Raising the objective means fewer bulls will be taken.
So what does this do for the hunters in the state of Utah???? It limits the amount of tags that will be issued and it creates problems like we are having now with very high bull to cow ratios. Instead of lengthening to spike hunt they should be shortening it which still gives hunters the opportunity to hunt spikes and it also allows more tags to be issued because more spikes survive and become branch antlered bulls.
 

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"During a nine-day hunt, I think hunters are more selective.
Which is exactly why we need to keep it 5 days! There's been both higher success and better quality. Let's keep it that way! If we go back to 9 days quality will go down.
 

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I guarentee that if the rifle hunt is changed back to 9 days that hunters wont be more selective. The baby deer killers will still want to kill their baby deer "The elusive 2 point." The trophy hunters will still be looking for that trophy. Everyone in between will still hunt the same. It wont change anything because hunters from other regions ARENT more selective on their 9 day hunt.

One of the problems I see with the general season hunt is the DWR doesnt manage for quality, they manage for quantity only. As long as their objective REGION WIDE is 15 bucks per 100 or above then they're happy. As long as people keep buying tags they're happy. My point is this.....They need to focus on each particular area within that region to make sure each particular area is at least 15/100 buck to doe ratio.

We have talked about the Nebo unit and it went from 8/100 up to 19/100 when it was a 5 day hunt, but when the word gets out that the numbers of bucks increased on the Nebo.......then guess where the majority of hunters go???? The Nebo unit and they moved it back to 9 days which decreased the buck to doe ratio and not only that, but two bad snow storms during the rifle hunt lowered the ratio down lower. Now its at 12/100. But who cares right? As long as there is 5 bucks to every 100 does to breed all those does. Who cares if people keep killing 70 to 80 percent of all the yearling bucks because eventually we might have a a few more mature bucks. When someone asks about the low buck to doe ratio then just give them the famous three answers. The drought, carrying capacity and loss of habitat.

I realize that the drought and habitat can affect the deer herd, but so can A LOT of other factors.
 

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These are all good changes...they simplify the regulations, they allow for more opportunity without jeopardizing herd health, and the changes in the season lengths for deer hunting will actually improve herd health and quality--less bucks will be shot!

Also, general season units should not be managed for quality; they should be managed for maximum general season opportunity...they are GENERAL units not trophy units.

Good changes....
 

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They may or may not be good changes. You can't sit there and tell me that less bucks will be killed on a 9 day hunt than on a 5 day hunt. I dont buy into the data just yet. The data they gather isnt totally accurate.

As for General Season units. I wish they would look at quality a little on General Season units. They need to micromanage Utah like they do in Wyoming and Colorado.

Wyoming and Colorado put Utah to shame when it comes to deer herds and the size of the deer taken by the general public.
 

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coyoteslayer said:
The data they gather isnt totally accurate.
Typical, Coyote response....when the data doesn't support his claims, he claims the data is wrong. Suprise, surprise!

I have mentioned this in several other threads, but the DWR is really going to push for a couple of things: 1) a simplifying in regulations 2) increased general season opportunity.
 

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Wyo2ut, I dont believe every biologist that states their opinion. If I asked 20 different biologist they would probably give me 20 different opinions.

I dont believe their numbers when they say that a less buck will be killed on a 9 day hunt than a 5 day hunt>

Wyo2ut answer this simple question.....Are Northern hunters or Central region hunter more selective because they have 9 days to hunt or are people going to shoot the type of animals they always shoot??????. The meat hunters kill any buck for meat and the trophy hunters look for that trophy.

Wyo2ut, changing the season dates to 9 days isnt going to make meat hunters more selective hunters. It wont make the youth selective hunters. It wont make people who will kill any buck that has horns more selective hunters.

Anis said that when you have a 5 day hunt people hunt on average of 3 1/2 days compared to 4 days on a 9 day hunt.

So in his eyes and your eyes that extra 1/2 a day makes a huge difference. I dont buy into that crap Im sorry.
 

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wyoming2utah said:
These are all good changes...they simplify the regulations, they allow for more opportunity without jeopardizing herd health, and the changes in the season lengths for deer hunting will actually improve herd health and quality--less bucks will be shot!
Ummmm ok, call me stupid or whatever, but how in the heck does this even make sense? If there are still the same number of hunters, same number of deer and just more time to hunt them.... how does that equal less bucks being taken? Wouldn't it be common sense to say, ok, we have the same group of people hunting the same bunch of deer... and if you add more time, those same people are still going to harvest roughly the same number of deer... if you add opportunity for more hunters and the number of deer is pretty static or WORSE depending on the weather... doesn't that mean MORE deer will be taken? I don't get the more time = less deer shot line of thinking at all.... can this actually be explained in simple terms for folks like me?? :|
 

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the only way i can see how this would work is like this. for years the southern region was a 9 day hunt and i always go southern. during the 9 day hunt i would only hunt the weekends that gives me 4 days to hunt. i did not think that i really needed to hunt during the week if i had 2 weekends to get the job done. but since they went to the 5 day hunt i have been taking the whole hunt off of work. i peronally "believe" that there are a lot of people who did it this way. which adds one day for us to be in the field. by going back to the 9 day hunt i think the dwr is hoping that this pattern will return resulting in less days afield to hunt.

but for me over the last couple of years i have enjoyed taking the time off of work for the hunt so i myself will most likely take off the whole hunt again giving me more time to spend chasing that elusive 30" buck.
 

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wyo2ut wrote:
Also, general season units should not be managed for quality; they should be managed for maximum general season opportunity...they are GENERAL units not trophy units.
This is per the Deer Management Plan that the DWR is directed/mandated to manage to. If you don't like this, and want it changed, you need to let those who will be on the Deer Committee that will be meeting after the first of the year and let your voices be heard. There will be reps from the different sportsman groups (SFW, MDF, UBA, and a few others), the DWR, rancher rep, and a few at large people. Get a hold of these groups/people if you have suggestions. I noticed very few either care or noticed they are proposing eliminating the LE deer unit on the Thousand Lake unit and the LE elk Oak Creek unit. Both will be made general season units.

While my math is different than the DWR's on fewer deer killed on a 9 day hunt vs a five day hunt, I think the 9 day hunt is a good plan and will not hurt the herds in the southern and southeastern regions. That is because the number of hunters will be the same, yet the deer numbers are up, nad the buck/doe ratios are much improved, STATEWIDE not just where the 5 day hunts are.

PRO
 

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I also agree that the proposed changes will be a good thing, and that less deer will be taken. More and more I see people taking the entire five days to hunt. Most of those hunters left sunday afternoon, with even more leaving on monday,few stayed the entire week. Then it seemed like most guys hunted the opening weekend,then hunted saturday the following week. Which means a total of only two days actual hunting. All day saturday, half of sunday, then half to a full day the next saturday. I also like the changes at Fishlake, and the Elk changes off of 191. Another thing, what is all this chit of calling someone baby killer?? Or even worse a meat hunter??? I thought the whole purpose of hunting was supposed to be for meat???? The trophy was a bonus right??? Same with comments like "real hunters" Because someone takes a deer five miles back, it does not make them anymore of a hunter who shoots the same buck out of camp!!!! That's like saying someone who works in a office really does not work compared to a ditch digger. Yet the office guy pobably makes more, has more benefits ect.. Work smarter not harder and you can get the same or better results. Why does there need to be a division between hunters??? Its just stupid. Sorry got off the topic, Im just tired of reading this crap over and over and over.
 

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Greenhead 2 said:
what is all this chit of calling someone baby killer?? Or even worse a meat hunter??? I thought the whole purpose of hunting was supposed to be for meat???? The trophy was a bonus right???
Good Post!

I think this is an elitist view and is detrimental to long term stability of hunting. I have no problem with some one holding out for the big buck.........however i see no problem with the guy who thumps the first shoot-able deer. Usually what the elitist trophy hunters want is to get all the inferior "meat hunters" off the mountain so they can have more opportunity............. So there concern isn't for the longterm stability of hunting it is all about their trophy opportunities. Oh and spare me the quality versus quantity argument If you want quality only hunt LE deer hunts every 5 years besides your only worried about quality no quantity! :wink:

Lastly The DWR has Professional biologists with DATA but there are those who are sure their arm chair management is much better :roll: I think this is a good approach to increasing some opportunity, which is what general season hunts are all about. Besides the only way to really manage deer is by controling the nmbers of tags!
 

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I guess I am a baby-killer. I finally got my first buck last season and it was only a two point. I have only been hunting big game now for five years. I was excited as a fat kid eating cake. I thought hunting was about the memories, the meat, and the experience. I am not sure about extending the dates, but like Thack said, management really comes from the # of tags. Not the number of days. And all that crap about people being more pickey on a 9 day hunt is crap. Go up near Strawberry on opening day. You better not be Veitnam Vet. or you will have a flash back for sure.
 

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fatbass said:
callofthewild said:
the only way i can see how this would work is like this. for years the southern region was a 9 day hunt and i always go southern. during the 9 day hunt i would only hunt the weekends that gives me 4 days to hunt. i did not think that i really needed to hunt during the week if i had 2 weekends to get the job done. but since they went to the 5 day hunt i have been taking the whole hunt off of work. i peronally "believe" that there are a lot of people who did it this way. which adds one day for us to be in the field. by going back to the 9 day hunt i think the dwr is hoping that this pattern will return resulting in less days afield to hunt.

but for me over the last couple of years i have enjoyed taking the time off of work for the hunt so i myself will most likely take off the whole hunt again giving me more time to spend chasing that elusive 30" buck.
+1 with a twist. In a 9 day hunt, I'll be passing up 2 points on the opening weekend. The second weekend, I'll take the buck closest to the road. :mrgreen:
Blaring Judas Priest, no doubt. :p
 
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