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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at the number of elk harvested each year and the number of elk hunters in the field each year: http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/hunting/bi ... report.pdf pg 65 shows a steady decrease in the number of bulls and cows harvested each year from 1989-2005. I also see a steady decrease in hunter numbers during the same timeframe. Is this a cause for concern, or is it just a by-product of 'modern living'? I see that deer numbers are similar in decline as well. Fewer deer/elk harvested and fewer deer/elk hunters does not bode well, IMHO, with the future of big game hunting. Small game hunting has suffered an even bigger decline. Will my 3 year old be able to be a hunter when he is 30, or is he doomed to be 'urbanized'?

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Pro,

I haven't got to the page that you mentioned yet but I was surprised that the Beaver, Monroe and Dutton are all in the 4-5 year old objective vs. the 5-6 on the Pahvant and the San Juan. These areas are putting out as many 400 + bulls as the others. (Except the Monroe) Any way that surprised me.

I just went back to it to read what you were talking about. Man it reminds me of when I was in school. I was getting a headache trying to figure it out.
 

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Pro, I too wonder about this. My oldest is almost 13 and he loves hunting waterfowl and elk so far. I think big reason is I love to hunt, talk about it with him, and take him. I can't say the same for others my age (mid-thirties.)

Nearly everyone in my father's generation hunted, heck, schools shut down for the deer hunt and didn't try to call it "harvest holiday" or any other pc name. I wonder if my father's generation did not instill the love of hunting in my generation as strong as was instilled in theirs, like it was a watered down version or something.

I often read posts that blame the rising generation because they are addicted to video games, ipods, cell phones etc... but surely the parents contribute to the disconnect between young hunters and the outdoors because the buy the electronics and don't take their kids hunting anymore.

I'm not preaching or blaming, just thinking about the spiral in hunter #'s that I have also seen. I can't even get my old hunting buddies to go, "too busy" I'm told, or "The wife won't let that stinking animal in the house."

Will hunter #'s continue to decline? Probably so.
Will they decline into oblivion until hunters do not have a voice? Not if I have anything to say/do about it. We'll all have a chance to holler about hunting this election season.
 

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PRO, you may be onto something here... BUT. I didn't grow up hunting. My dad hunted until he got married, then Mom put an end to it, however that inane desire still grew within me. I never hunted until three years ago, I was 26. I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing and I was with two other friends that were in the same boat, but we had a great time "hiking with guns." After that first year I was HOOKED!! Now it's an obsession and I can't wait to take my little girl on her first hunt. I don't have high hopes that my wife will ever hunt, but I'll keep working on her.

I guess what I'm getting to is... there is still that little seed in a lot of people that didn't grow up hunting. Don't forget about us. Yes, hunter numbers may decrease, but will we disappear... I don't think so. My enthusiasm and lucky success has turned a lot of my friends on to the thought of getting into hunting. Right now I have a list of about a dozen "newbies" that want to go with me for the first time next year. Now my problem is whittling that number down to those that I trust on the mountain. You know, the whole "watching people through a scope thing." That doesn't float so well with me.

There is still hope, just take someone under your arm and help them out. That's, in part, why I'm still around. Thanks Ty and Larry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good posts guys. harley, the point I am making is there are fewer tags ISSUED which leads to fewer hunters. We are losing hunters because the opportunities to hunt are dwindling. Fewer elk tags issued measn fewer elk hunters. I do NOT like were we are headed.

elkhunter22, you noticed what I did many months ago when I got researching data for I400. Everyone thinks that you need the average harvest age to be 7+ in order to harvest 400 class bulls, which simply is not true. Monroe has bulls a little smaller mainly because of easy access, IMHO. Bulls are not allowed to get to 400 class status before they are harvested. Yet look at the harvest age average on Monroe vs Dutton, Boulder, Beaver, and even Fish Lake. Survivabilty is a major factor in the size of bulls on a given unit. This also shows we are way underharvesting on all/most units. Excess bulls limits the number of cows that the unit can carry, fewer cows means fewer calves, fewer calves means fewer future bulls. We NEED to start getting these herds in line with objectives and INCREASE opportuinity for ALL hunters, not just a select few 'trophy' hunters. We need balance, and very few herds are balanced IMHO. Give out more primitive weapon tags, this is an under-utilized resource and opportunity to give more tags w/o hurting 'quality'.

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I hate to say it but I think it is due to the baby-boomer generation and hunting isn't the only thing affected, it society in general. I am in my mid-thirties and have seen massive changes in my life, however I believe it will bottom out and rebound. My generation will start coming into power and things will get better. My theory is sound, just look at Hollywood, Politics, Public Schools or any other aspect of society. Will hunting ever return to the way it was in the fifties and sixties? No, but I truly believe society will become more logically driven versus emotionally. Hunting is a good and wholesome activity; it may change a little, but will never go away as long as predators are no longer involved in wildlife's management. Think of the money that the states will have to come up with for the habitat, hunters pump in almost all that money. Even as rabid anti-hunting as California is they still fly in hunters to control mountain lions, their legislature is infested with anti-hunters and they won't last more than twenty more years. Just like harley I did not start hunting until I was over twenty and of course I am raising two kids that live to hunt so there is still hope. As for the game populations that is do to habitat loss and that can change also. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As for the game populations that is do to habitat loss and that can change also
There are more elk now than 10 years ago, yet less tags issued today. Habitat is a factor for deer, but not for elk.

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I'm a little bit slow sometimes, so I couldn't really see the road you were driving down before. With your clarification, I have one question. Why, with the elk population doing as well as it is, are there fewer tags now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
harley said:
I'm a little bit slow sometimes, so I couldn't really see the road you were driving down before. With your clarification, I have one question. Why, with the elk population doing as well as it is, are there fewer tags now?
IMHO, to much management geared toward antler size, and the myth that bulls need to average 7+ years old to be trophy caliber. This leads to excess bulls, too few cows/calves, which means fewer tags available to the public.

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i have been volunteering to take one of those bulls out of the herd for years now. but nobody seems to want to take me up on my offer. there is always this year though.

seriously though for years i have talked with the fish and game officer who works the pahvant unit. for years he has made the recomendation to increase the bull tags off of that mountain. he is saying that year after year there have been countless "BIG" bulls that have died from old age. and with the managment tags that were implemented this year it kind of proves that what he has been telling me and the dwr has been true. in my opinion you could almost double the tags for the pahvant and still maintain one of the if not the countries best elk unit. there are elk all over the place it is almost impossible now to find an area that does not have elk sign in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
in my opinion you could almost double the tags for the pahvant and still maintain one of the if not the countries best elk unit.
In truth, you could do the same on pert near every LE unit in the state and quality would not be affected much, if at all.

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Pro,
I think the National Geographic article that has been posted a couple of times on the forum supports your original thought of declining numbers.
 

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Will my 3 year old be able to be a hunter when he is 30, or is he doomed to be 'urbanized'?
Won't your boy be "Hunter" all of his life regardless? :D
 

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Another reason elk numbers have increased is due to the change in range lands. Range lands for the past several years have gone from brush dominated ranges to grass dominated ranges. ( I dont know if that is how you spell dominated)
 

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proutdoors said:
Good posts guys. harley, the point I am making is there are fewer tags ISSUED which leads to fewer hunters. We are losing hunters because the opportunities to hunt are dwindling. Fewer elk tags issued measn fewer elk hunters. I do NOT like were we are headed.
Bingo...I have been saying this for months! If you further limit opportunity, you will see these numbers dip even more. The biggest hit hunting took in Utah was when the general rifle deer hunt was changed from OTC to draw...this alone was the biggest factor, in my opinion, to dwindling hunter numbers in Utah (not that it wasn't necessary or avoidable).

As hunters we should be strongly advocating any possible increases in tag numbers and increases in opportunity.

As far as quality not decreasing if you dramatically increased LE tags on units goes...well, let's say there is some truth in the idea that quality won't decrease and there is some non-truth in that statement. Dramatically increasing LE tags will not totally eliminate all the high scoring bulls...however, it would reduce the number of high-scoring bulls and make it more difficult to find and kill them. As things are now, the number of large bulls is high and they are relatively easy to find and shoot...if you lowered the number of these bulls--and dramatically increasing the number of LE tags will do this--you will also lose quality in that the number of big bulls will decrease.
 

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and yet you fight against I400 which is all about MORE hunting opportunities :shock: :roll: :roll: :roll:
 

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coyoteslayer said:
and yet you fight against I400 which is all about MORE hunting opportunities :shock: :roll: :roll: :roll:
I am glad you brought this up...I am against I400 because other plans could be put into place that would offer much more opportunity than what I400 could. Such a plan is what I would support!

I adamantly oppose I400 because it could potentially eliminate spike tags altogether--and significantly reduce opportunity. And, currently, looks to displace hunters from some of the most popular units...a concept that has proven time and again to push hunters away from hunting altogether instead of recruiting them!
 

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A lot of what you just said is a bunch of crap. We arent eliminating spike tags. Wyo2ut after all the reading you have done and since you believe anything a biologist says then you might have come across the word "management" once or twice in your heavy reading.

I400 wants to use spike tags as a management tool like they should be used because right now we are only using them as a hunting opportunity so why not use spike tags as a management tool and hunting opportunity??? We want to move the spike tags to areas where they are needed to most: San Juan, SWD, Monroe, Pahvant because they have a problem with very high bull/cow ratios and if we harvest spikes then less bulls are recruited to the herd.

Next we want to maximize units to where people who would just love the opportunity to even kill a 320 class could do so on the 5 pilot units instead of being in the same pool as the trophy hunters.
 

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talk about spilling crap...I haven't read a worthwhile post from you in a long time!

You keep selling all this crap, but I ain't buying...1)spike hunting IS a management tool and the sole reason that LE units with spike hunting have lower bull/cow ratios than LE units without them...our former big game biologist called this a type of "thinning of the carrots"...a quick google search should yield you this information 2)you want to displace general season hunters from the largest/most popular areas...this loss of "opportunity" will decrease again total number of hunters and elk killed 3) if you truly wanted to "maximize" hunter opportunity, you would do more than just that...you would remove ALL hunts from the rut because this reduces total number of tags possbily given and you would come up with a statewide management plan that increase total tags without destroying quality...something very possible!
 

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Have you ever had a worthwhile post because you are negative about everything and you talk in circles way to much. WHY? Because you have multiple personalities. Your poor students that is all i have to say.

1)spike hunting IS a management tool and the sole reason that LE units with spike hunting have lower bull/cow ratios than LE units without them..
Ding Ding Ding, you wrote it but yet you dont see the big picture. Wasatch, nebo, N. Cache etc have a bull cow ratio of 30/100 according to Anis because of spike tags. San Juan, SWD, Pahvant and Monroe have a bull/cow ratio of 60/100 or higher so which area needs spike tags more.

2)you want to displace general season hunters from the largest/most popular areas...this loss of "opportunity" will decrease again total number of hunters and elk killed
San Juan, Pahvant, SWD and Monroe will be popular spike hunting areas. We all know that Manti, Boulder and Beaver will still be popular.

you would remove ALL hunts from the rut because this reduces total number of tags possbily given and you would come up with a statewide management plan that increase total tags without destroying quality...something very possible; I400 doesn't do that!
We want to have 5 units with the archery hunt in the rut and rifle out of the rut. The remaining 23 units will still be in the rut. 5 units ISNT all of them. Maybe after your english class then you can go see a math professor so he can teach you how to add.
 
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