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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished an archery elk hunt in the high uintas wilderness. I make this trip almost annually unless I draw an out of state tag and skip the Utah archery hunt so I have spent a considerable amount of time up there not to mention all of the other fishing/camping/horse packing trips over the years. In all the time I’ve spent up there, it’s pretty clear to me the deer density is quite low. I know this is not news to anyone but what’s the reason? Seems like a lot of feed and obviously plenty of water so what’s the issue?

Just curious, thanks in advance.
 

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Management of the Deer, Predation, low fawn numbers, stress???? It could many things. It's not just this area, it's the entire state of Utah.
 

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I've been hunting deer in Utah for more than a half century and throughout that time, we've been playing the same cards over and over again - eliminate predators, regulate hunters, blame the DWR, etc. If we want different results, it's time to shuffle the deck and deal a new hand.

Best example I can think of at the moment is the renewed attention being paid to migration corridors and the fact that mule deer wander. Seems to me that ongoing research has the potential to prompt some major shifts in our ideas of "management", even to the point of redrawing our arbitrary unit boundaries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Management of the Deer, Predation, low fawn numbers, stress???? It could many things. It's not just this area, it's the entire state of Utah.
Thanks for the reply. Yes those themes unfortunately persist throughout the entire state, but that being said it seems to me the uintas have even lower densities than other general units. For example, in one week of elk hunting this year I kicked up two does. I see a lot more deer than that in other general units. Could be anecdotal, but to me the density seems much lower and I’m curious why
 

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I've been hunting deer in Utah for more than a half century and throughout that time, we've been playing the same cards over and over again - eliminate predators, regulate hunters, blame the DWR, etc. If we want different results, it's time to shuffle the deck and deal a new hand.

Best example I can think of at the moment is the renewed attention being paid to migration corridors and the fact that mule deer wander. Seems to me that ongoing research has the potential to prompt some major shifts in our ideas of "management", even to the point of redrawing our arbitrary unit boundaries.
I just finished an archery elk hunt in the high uintas wilderness. I make this trip almost annually unless I draw an out of state tag and skip the Utah archery hunt so I have spent a considerable amount of time up there not to mention all of the other fishing/camping/horse packing trips over the years. In all the time I’ve spent up there, it’s pretty clear to me the deer density is quite low. I know this is not news to anyone but what’s the reason? Seems like a lot of feed and obviously plenty of water so what’s the issue?

Just curious, thanks in advance.
We are no longer a game hunting state. We now hunt elusive tags. It now takes 5 years to hunt buck and cow elk in my beautiful Boulder unit. UTDWR watched as predators ran our game herds into the ground even though they were warned. They mismanaged the bull elk draw leading to a completely clogged draw system. Waiting 23 years for a 90 % kill rate for bull elk in the rut. That's a shoot not a hunt.
On another point-what idiot put the NOT A HUMAN road block on this site?
 

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Thanks for the reply. Yes those themes unfortunately persist throughout the entire state, but that being said it seems to me the uintas have even lower densities than other general units. For example, in one week of elk hunting this year I kicked up two does. I see a lot more deer than that in other general units. Could be anecdotal, but to me the density seems much lower and I’m curious why
You sure it’s lower than other deer units? I hunted hunt 11 days on the archery elk this year and I can count on 2 hands how many deer I saw. And this unit isn’t anywhere near where you’re talking about
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You sure it’s lower than other deer units? I hunted hunt 11 days on the archery elk this year and I can count on 2 hands how many deer I saw. And this unit isn’t anywhere near where you’re talking about
I am very sure the high uintas have lower deer densities than other general units I’ve been on based on my observations. Like I said, that could be totally anecdotal and not large enough of a sample size but the high elevation basins in the wilderness area where I hunt elk are almost completely void of deer despite it looking like pretty darn good habitat.

I know they run sheep up there (a whole other topic to bitch about), perhaps that is a factor
 

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Just think predators, predators, predators and you will come up with a solution.

Back in the 50's and 60's cats, bears, and coyotes were shot on sight along with being poisoned. You felt lucky if you happened to see one out in the wild while deer hunting. Then came the folks that like to run bears and cats and the regulations to increase their numbers. As the predator numbers went up the deer populations went down, quite simple to figure out why.

As for the sheep and cattle, they were on the mountains back in the 50's and 60's also and in greater numbers so you really can't point the finger at them. The one thing that you didn't see at that time was elk. The first elk that I ever saw outside of a national park in Utah was just off of Skyline Dr way back in 67 or 68. Now you find them all over.

As for taking years to draw tags, most of it is supply and demand. You have a lot more hunters putting in for these tags with the same amount of tags being offered.
 

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Just think predators, predators, predators and you will come up with a solution.

Back in the 50's and 60's cats, bears, and coyotes were shot on sight along with being poisoned. You felt lucky if you happened to see one out in the wild while deer hunting. Then came the folks that like to run bears and cats and the regulations to increase their numbers. As the predator numbers went up the deer populations went down, quite simple to figure out why.

As for the sheep and cattle, they were on the mountains back in the 50's and 60's also and in greater numbers so you really can't point the finger at them. The one thing that you didn't see at that time was elk. The first elk that I ever saw outside of a national park in Utah was just off of Skyline Dr way back in 67 or 68. Now you find them all over.

As for taking years to draw tags, most of it is supply and demand. You have a lot more hunters putting in for these tags with the same amount of tags being offered.
A few years back Boulder had about 900 cow tags. Then the next year about 600 followed by the next several years of 20 cow tags. Sounds like Biden's style of planning. I have pushed strongly for antler restriction buck hunts to allow greatly increased opportunity. Get away from the 50% kill rate on yearling bucks often taken from vehicles.
 

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I just had a brain storm.... What if the DWR placed the bounty on Yotes from $50 to $100?? and do away with the 1099 form. That 1099 is 100% of the reason I wont turn a dog in for the bounty. State gets enough taxes as it is IMO. The Wild Fur market is an absolute joke on pricing. I can hardly cover fuel prices to set traps. Didn't even place one trap in the dirt last fall.

Whatever the issues/reason is for low herd numbers, something better happen soon or it could become a thing of the past.

Surrounding States are jacking up costs for non resident tags. They know that Utah is loosing big game animals in numbers and quality of mature animals. Worst case scenario is current Utah hunters will get fed up and disgusted with the "Ghost Hunts" we have seen lately and stop applying for a GS deer tag that can take 3 years to draw and chase ghost's. Then, the price of a tag will increase to offset the lower number of apps and to pay for another dead end management plan.

Something has to give! I don't know what it will take, but something has to happen.
 

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I just had a brain storm.... What if the DWR placed the bounty on Yotes from $50 to $100?? and do away with the 1099 form. That 1099 is 100% of the reason I wont turn a dog in for the bounty. State gets enough taxes as it is IMO. The Wild Fur market is an absolute joke on pricing. I can hardly cover fuel prices to set traps. Didn't even place one trap in the dirt last fall.

Whatever the issues/reason is for low herd numbers, something better happen soon or it could become a thing of the past.

Surrounding States are jacking up costs for non resident tags. They know that Utah is loosing big game animals in numbers and quality of mature animals. Worst case scenario is current Utah hunters will get fed up and disgusted with the "Ghost Hunts" we have seen lately and stop applying for a GS deer tag that can take 3 years to draw and chase ghost's. Then, the price of a tag will increase to offset the lower number of apps and to pay for another dead end management plan.

Something has to give! I don't know what it will take, but something has to happen.
Buck hunting cure is easy-antler restrictions-works in other states. Lets a lot of dumb yearling bucks grow up. Greatly decreases kill rate thereby increasing tags. Good hunters hunt often and do well. Casual hunters rarely score. DWR does well as much more income per buck taken. Very little downside except the perception of more pressure on older bucks but that already exists.
 

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Buck hunting cure is easy-antler restrictions-works in other states. Lets a lot of dumb yearling bucks grow up. Greatly decreases kill rate thereby increasing tags. Good hunters hunt often and do well. Casual hunters rarely score. DWR does well as much more income per buck taken. Very little downside except the perception of more pressure on older bucks but that already exists.
Something is about to happen. General bull going to a draw followed by a spike bull draw. Going to put a lot of pressure on jack rabbits.
 

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Buck hunting cure is easy-antler restrictions-works in other states. Lets a lot of dumb yearling bucks grow up. Greatly decreases kill rate thereby increasing tags. Good hunters hunt often and do well. Casual hunters rarely score. DWR does well as much more income per buck taken. Very little downside except the perception of more pressure on older bucks but that already exists.
We've done it here, it was a disaster.

I'll NEVER understand the mentality that to grow more mature bucks, you force ALL the pressure on to mature bucks... yikes.

-DallanC
 

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Whenever I hear about deer number issues the number one big thing I look at is us. Houses, I-15, increased population, more outdoor recreation and less space for animals. Sure there's other factors like increased bear and lion numbers but a lot of that comes back to habitat too. Poor body condition and less space is a predators dream. Look at the Cache those deer used to winter way out west in box elder county. No way they get there now, they're stuck in neighborhoods above North Logan and Smithfield.
As for the bounty idea I would rather use the money on something else. The thing with coyotes is they just increase the more you get after them. When pressured they have bigger litters and spread out more. It's their defense mechanism. I think killing them is great but I mean in the long run that program hasn't had much impact at all on statewide numbers.
I'm all for doing away with the 1099 but I wouldn't want to raise the bounty. I do think they could probably find some other ways to use that money though. They've never met the objective of coyotes killed right? I think there's extra money in that program that would be awesome to use for more habitat projects. P/J removal, reseed, fencing, things like that.
Antler restrictions don't work. It's well published that there's like a year or two bump in overall population then it goes back down. Besides that's going to restrict tag numbers even more then guys will gripe more.

Looking at at realistically, I don't think there is really one problem or one solution. It's a number of things like habitat, disease, people and predators. We better enjoy what we have while we have it because there's no guarantee it'll be here forever.
 

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Whenever I hear about deer number issues the number one big thing I look at is us. Houses, I-15, increased population, more outdoor recreation and less space for animals. Sure there's other factors like increased bear and lion numbers but a lot of that comes back to habitat too. Poor body condition and less space is a predators dream. Look at the Cache those deer used to winter way out west in box elder county. No way they get there now, they're stuck in neighborhoods above North Logan and Smithfield.
As for the bounty idea I would rather use the money on something else. The thing with coyotes is they just increase the more you get after them. When pressured they have bigger litters and spread out more. It's their defense mechanism. I think killing them is great but I mean in the long run that program hasn't had much impact at all on statewide numbers.
I'm all for doing away with the 1099 but I wouldn't want to raise the bounty. I do think they could probably find some other ways to use that money though. They've never met the objective of coyotes killed right? I think there's extra money in that program that would be awesome to use for more habitat projects. P/J removal, reseed, fencing, things like that.
Antler restrictions don't work. It's well published that there's like a year or two bump in overall population then it goes back down. Besides that's going to restrict tag numbers even more then guys will gripe more.

Looking at at realistically, I don't think there is really one problem or one solution. It's a number of things like habitat, disease, people and predators. We better enjoy what we have while we have it because there's no guarantee it'll be here forever.
That's perhaps what is wrong with the north areas. What about the south central part of the state? Granted there are more homes but they are spread out and the deer population is still in decline.

As for coyotes, what's wrong with just going out and shooting them and not worrying about the bounty? As for the 1099 forum the state has to comply with federal tax guidelines. So just go shoot a coyote and don't worry about the bounty.
 

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First off let's not forget the DWR stands for Div. of WILDLIFE Resources. It doesn't stand for Div. of Deer and Elk Hunting Resources. The needs and the wants of hunters is only part of their job. And, in fact, the undue pressure brought by hunters to make the DWR manage for the betterment of the hunting community actual may lead to the DWR making non-biological decisions in their managing. What is even worse is the pressure brought by selfish groups of specialized hunters willing to ignore good management practises just to enhance their little niche in the hunting world. I guess I don't need to drop names cause I think most of us already belong to one of those groups and would only respond with anger... gee, one guy even managed to bring Biden into this discussion.

It really makes me laugh when I hear guys espousing management ideas that I guess they think are novel and the trained biologist in the DWR have never thought about...you know, great new ideas like, "antler restrictions", "less tags", "more tags", more of this, and more of that.

Now, that said, I do believe many good ideas come from the public, so keep after the DWR to look into any "NEW" ideas, but don't expect them to just bow down to any old theory you may have based upon your 10 or 20 days out there in the field.

So hunters, step up and take some of the blame for the mess that hunting is in AND the resulting decline of animal numbers do to mismanagement because of your self-interest pressure.
 

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We've done it here, it was a disaster.

I'll NEVER understand the mentality that to grow more mature bucks, you force ALL the pressure on to mature bucks... yikes.

-DallanC
We have antler restrictions every year with spike only hunts. Antler restrictions are not a disaster where practiced. Check Pennsylvania deer and Colorado with 4 point or better elk. Didn't Wyoming or some other mule deer state successfully employ AR? Mature bucks are not needed as 2 year olds and yearlings can handle the breeding. I would rather hunt bigger bucks every year than wait 4 or 5 years to hunt any buck. At some point as tags get tougher hunters will decide that hunting is more important than waiting.
 

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As for the sheep and cattle, they were on the mountains back in the 50's and 60's also and in greater numbers so you really can't point the finger at them.
You can point fingers at them all you want. In the 50s and 60s, what was the population of people in utah? How much winter range was available? How much summer range was available? Far more than there is today. The state and feds over graze our public lands by a disgusting amount. Grazing is an issue. Just like predators is an issue. Just like winter range is an issue. And so is grown ass men shooting 2 points every year to make some chitty deer jerky that they won’t ever eat
 

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You can point fingers at them all you want. In the 50s and 60s, what was the population of people in utah? How much winter range was available? How much summer range was available? Far more than there is today. The state and feds over graze our public lands by a disgusting amount. Grazing is an issue. Just like predators is an issue. Just like winter range is an issue. And so is grown ass men shooting 2 points every year to make some chitty deer jerky that they won’t ever eat
While we're pointing fingers at management of livestock overgraze, I'll throw in the wild horses that repopulate at a rate faster than probably the deer and elk on the west desert. Nothing will be done about that! If any action to reduce numbers were taken it would be blown up on the news nation wide!! If folks in the south and Midwest want them, I'll volunteer to load them up and drive them out and kick them out of the trailer.
 
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