I watched the mule deer discussion video the division put out. If they approved those numbers almost every unit got tags cut. Seems like the one I hunt is one of the few that tags stayed the same. Drought and hard winters has messed up a big part of the state.
I look at it as something similar to Profit = Revenue - Cost. If tags are the "cost" and "revenue" the deer numbers, in order to get the most "profit" or, you have to decrease the "cost" because the "revenue" is what it is.
I'm in for antelope and understand they increased those some.
It's not either/or. It's more of a spectrum and the current priority definitely means managing for population just not necessarily in the way that maximizes size. I'd prefer a different balance myself but it's a public resource and sometimes my preference is on the losing side.
I'm glad the agency made the tough call. I don't envy the rage and hate that will be directed their way when the lottery results are in.
I, and many, if not all hunters I believe, would love to see the population increase to the point that its not a 2-4 year wait to draw a tag. I've had my enjoyment hunting deer in Utah for close to 40 years now. I apply every year more because its like a tradition instead of a passion. If I don't draw a tag I'll grumble a bit but be ok with it. There's plenty of other game to hunt other than deer. Fish to be hooked too.
I'm sure the Elk tags will sell out in record speed again this year with folks not winning the Deer lottery. The "quality" of deer on some GS units IMO aren't worth spending the price for the ticket to play anyway. When you see over 75 doe and not one small buck in the herd its insane.
I'm always skeptical behind the motivations on tag cuts as it seemed SFW came pretty close to destroying general hunting opportunities in exchange for an exclusive trophy hunt. I was concerned this year that Pine Valley had a 10% cut and was at objective. I think Covey Jones did a great job of addressing my concerns in his video presentation. He clearly understands that there are two parts to game management 1) overall population 2) buck quality and that they are not the same. He is addressing both and is weighing quality with opportunities. He explained that Pine Valley is going to be cut because of fawn recruitment is very low. This makes complete sense. If there is an expectation that less water is coming in the reservoir, you take less water even if its full. I feel like all sides have been considered. Although I hate tag cuts, I think it is reasonable to do so right now. I look forward to some tag increases when the range gets more water and fawn recruitment is up. DWR has my complete support this round.
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