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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some guys and I have been talking about shortening the rifle hunt on the Nebo Unit to 5 days again because the buck/doe ratio is below objective. Right now its 10/100. I believe the DWR shouldnt manage the whole Central Region as one big region but micromanage some areas where the deer numbers are lower. We should manage those areas a little different and a little more restrictive to give the deer a chance to make a come back. I think when buck/doe ratios are low then the DWR should pay more attention to those areas to get the buck/doe ratios and the overall deer herd back up.

Here is the buck/doe ratios by years

1990-2000 the ratio was 5/100

Then the Nebo was changed to a 5 day rifle hunt and the buck/ratio INCREASED
2000-2001: 12/100
2001-2002: 19/100
2002-2003: 15/100

Then the rifle hunt was moved back to a 9 day hunt and the buck/doe ratio DECREASED
2003-2004: 16/100
2004-2005: 8/100
2005-2006: 13/100
Present time the ratio is 10/100

So was the INCREASED buck/doe ratio because the rifle hunt was reduced to 5 days???

I realize that habitat is an issue, but I think we have a particular area within a region that falls below objective then the DWR should pay special attention to those areas instead of give out 12,000 tags for the entire region without restricting hunt harvest in those areas.

What do you guys say?
 

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I say no way! the DWR has already outlined the reasoning for the drop in buck/doe ratios and the limiting factors of the deer herd as:

1) Crop depradation
2) Habitat--"Winter range is a limiting factor for deer on this unit. Large portions of critical winter ranges experienced a large die-off in recentyears and are in poor coindition. This has resulted in a reduction of winter range carrying capacity."
3) Predation
4) Highway mortality
5) illegal harvest

Because these are the limting factors, changing hunter harvest will NOT solve the problem but could very possibly only exasperate it. This is possible for two reasons: 1) increased competition for limited forage on winter ranges may lead to bucks outcompeting does for available food which could lead to fewer does and fewer fawns 2) over utilization of winter ranges which could further deplete the available forage and subsequently leave does and fawns in worse condition and a decreased doe/fawn ratio.

Limiting hunter harvest will ONLY help struggling deer herds out when these herds are being limited by hunter harvest. For the Nebo unit to rebound and improve, the above limiting factors must be corrected; these are the problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Wyo2ut its good to have you back :lol: So do you think its a coincidence that when they changed the 9 day hunt to a 5 day hunt then the habitat improved and only last three years and then the buck\doe ratio is heading back downhill again.

You even said so yourself that you are seeing more mature bucks on the 5 day hunts so if you are seeing more mature then then more bucks are escaping hunter harvest. I talked with the DWR today and they told me they arent doing much habitat restoration below Mount Nebo. I think the DWR needs to focus on each individual area within the whole region and when some areas fall below objective then they should use other methods of management instead of just giving 12,000 tags out and letting people hunt anywhere because some areas always get hit harder than others.
 

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Again, Coyote, you are trying to simplify a very complicated problem. You can't just make this into a simple cause (change in hunt days) and effect (fewer bucks) issues...there is (as the DWR has pointed out) numerous other factors that are contributing to the decreased buck/doe ratios.

Also, if you look closely at what happened, you would notice that the buck/doe ratio actually increased after it was implemented before going down. This alone indicates other factors are involved. Also, currently, the Nebo is at 12 bucks/100 does...

As Karpowitz and Cranney have already said, if the hunt is reduced to 5 days it could/would have a negative impact on other units...

...Again, the PROBLEM isn't hunter harvest. So, why fix what ain't broke?
 

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coyoteslayer said:
You even said so yourself that you are seeing more mature bucks on the 5 day hunts so if you are seeing more mature then then more bucks are escaping hunter harvest.

I think the DWR needs to focus on each individual area within the whole region and when some areas fall below objective then they should use other methods of management instead of just giving 12,000 tags out and letting people hunt anywhere because some areas always get hit harder than others.
1) NO, this isn't true...and this is what I have tried to repeatedly tell you. The SAME amount of bucks are still being shot despite the shortened season. The DWR has good evidence to back this up...I may be seeing more "mature" bucks, but that doesn't mean fewer bucks are being killed. Also, other factors are probably coming into play...we have recently had more moisture than the severe drought years. This alone would contribute to better and/or more bucks. Again, you can't make this a simple cause and effect thing...it is too complicated to look at it that way.

2) Again, I too like the idea of smaller management units...BUT, if hunter harvest isn't the problem, giving out less tags will NOT be the solution! Right now, the numbers of deer killed is not holding/limiting the herd...other factors are. I don't understand why you can't get that!

Also, by limiting the hunt to 5 days, you will displace hunters from one area and increase hunter pressure to other areas...for the Central Region and specifically the Nebo area, this is not a good thing because the region as a whole is below objective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wyo2ut, yes I understand those problems and I havent ignored them. Nebo Creek asked the DWR what the buck/doe ratio is right now and he was told it is 10/100 and you claim its 12/100. Well both of these numbers are below objective and while I have faith in most of what the DWR does I still dont see them trying to correct the problem when a habitat manager today told me they arent doing much habitat work on the West Side below Nebo something needs to be done.

The 5 day hunt is working in the Southern Region if you are seeing more mature bucks :wink:
 

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Nebo, had the same information I have been quoting...according to that report, the Nebo subunit is at 12/100. In fact, Nebo, himself, corrected his own misquote and explained this very thing in the thread on the DWR forum...you must not have read that!

Also, regardless of how much work the DWR is or is not doing on habitat, limiting hunter harvest more will NOT solve the problem. And, no, just because I am seeing more mature bucks in the southern region does NOT mean it is working...again, more factors come into play than just one. Also, more "mature" bucks doesn't mean more deer...that is the ultimate goal. And, because the southern region is a different region, it may have different limiting factors than the Nebo...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nebo, had the same information I have been quoting...according to that report, the Nebo subunit is at 12/100. In fact, Nebo, himself, corrected his own misquote and explained this very thing in the thread on the DWR forum...you must not have read that!
Apparently you cant read, but like I said if its 10/100 or 12/100 then it doesnt matter both numbers are BELOW OBJECTIVE

The other thing that will help is when the DWR gets control over the opening season date for the rifle hunt because they can move the rifle hunt earlier in the october to where most of the time the snowfall isnt a factor like it is now because the last two years it has snowed during the rifle hunt which made it easier for hunters to harvest bucks.
 

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coyoteslayer said:
The other thing that will help is when the DWR gets control over the opening season date for the rifle hunt because they can move the rifle hunt earlier in the october to where most of the time the snowfall isnt a factor like it is now because the last two years it has snowed during the rifle hunt which made it easier for hunters to harvest bucks.
Help? Help? Are you really this thick-headed? You just don't get it, do you? Repeat after me: "Harvest is not the problem. The amount or number of bucks harvested by legal, law-abiding, hunters has not limited the deer herd or driven buck/doe ratios down." You keep pointing your fingers at what hunters are doing, but you keep forgetting that hunter harvest is NOT the limiting factor. Even if the DWR moved the hunt dates back, the problems in this area will remain and the deer will NOT recover as they should.

Do you understand that if the range studies done on the Nebo show that deer are over utilizing their winter range that MORE deer MUST be killed? Do you understand that the carrying capacity of this herd had been gradually DECREASING until about 2004? Do you realize that even if fewer bucks are harvested and the buck/doe ratio increases that the TOTAL number of bucks in the herd may actually DECREASE?

Come on, Coyote, what you are saying and asking for simply doesn't make sense!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Come on Wyo2ut, there isnt any reason to call people thickheaded. Why dont you try acting like an adult instead of a little snotty nose kid. When people dont agree with you then you call them thick-headed. This shows your mentality. I know somewhere inside you could have some class. When you call people thick-headed then it shows to don't have good character. I hope you dont use these types of methods with your students. Wyo2ut I just dont agree with you. You dont know the Nebo area that much. I have talked with habitat managers about this very subject. I have talked with biologists about this subject and they all agree that other factors can be involved and when you have snowfall during the rifle hunt then it will increase harvest pure and simple and it becomes a factor which reduces the buck/doe ratios.

The DWR havent listed all the factors involved with the Nebo Unit. Even the DWR biologist agree that moving the rifle hunt will help and that is the main reason they are trying to get control over the date.
 

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coyoteslayer said:
I have talked with habitat managers about this very subject. I have talked with biologists about this subject and they all agree that other factors can be involved and when you have snowfall during the rifle hunt then it will increase harvest pure and simple and it becomes a factor which reduces the buck/doe ratios.

The DWR havent listed all the factors involved with the Nebo Unit. Even the DWR biologist agree that moving the rifle hunt will help and that is the main reason they are trying to get control over the date.
The DWR Has listed the limiting factors...you see, that is what they do. They first determine the problem, then they determine the cause of the problem, then they try to fix the problem. Unlike yourself, they don't try to fix things that aren't broken.

The bottom line, Coyote, is that you just don't get it! And the more stuff you spout out, the more obvious it is that you have a total lack of understanding. You claim that biologists tell you things and yet the biologists own work contradict exactly what you claim...sorry, but I think you are full of crap!

It doesn't matter whether the snow falling increases harvest...HARVEST IS NOT THE LIMITING FACTOR. The factors limiting the herd have nothing to do with legal harvest."

Coyote, you are not just "disagreeing" with me...you are disagreeing with the very essence of mule deer biology and management...and the core of mule deer biologists in the western US. You are disagreeing with the fact that does are the driving force behind herd health. What you and other hunters want is more bucks...your answer to this problem is an oversimplified approach of simply reducing harvest. The key, though, to having more bucks is by having more deer and subsequently a healthier herd...if you kill fewer bucks, you could be replacing does and losing fawns and having a smaller herd. Your solution is counterproductive.
 

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I had posted this before, but here is a conversation at a RAC meeting this past summer, it addresses the very thing I have been talking about. Read it Coyote...it explains the very thing you don't understand:

Steve Dalton: My question concerns deer. On your graphs you put up there you have one called reproduction comparison. Aren't all of these scenarios that you've presented here based on the fact that you have a maximum population for the herd unit?

Kent Hersey: Yes it is. It's for units that we are at objective and we are keeping it at that objective.

Steve Dalton: So anything that is under objective doesn't fall into this same scenario you presented to us here, for instance the Henry Mountain deer herd that's way below objective still.

Kent Hersey: It's all driven by the number of does in that population. Given the same reproductive rates and the same number of does it doesn't matter how many bucks are in there, you would have the same reproduction. But the fact is on a lot of these units we, if we are very high on does, I mean you have, and if you start getting into habitat damage issues because of too many deer or something like that these bucks are in place of a doe that could be putting out a fawn. And that's what drives your growth, not bucks.

Steve Dalton: Sure I understand that. What my point was, the point I'm trying to make is if you're under objective on the herd unit then the buck to doe ration isn't managing for population or potential it's just managing to reduce the number of bucks in that herd. I guess what bothers me, I live right on Boulder Mountain and they're managing that 15 to 20 does per hundred or bucks per 100 does. Yeah we're way below objective on the herd unit. The population of the herd is way up.

Kent Hersey: Well it doesn't matter if you manage it for 15 to 20, or 30 to 35, I mean your bucks will not affect your growth. You can harvest as many bucks as you want and it will not affect that population's growth. It will come back just as fast if we're at 15 to 20 as it would in another scenario. I mean the doe harvest is the key to whether that things going to grow and if we're way under objective we won't be harvesting does unless we have depredation issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HAHA, yeah they do have a lot of contradictions in their guessestimations. They have been wrong some time to time. Wyo2ut, you just dont know about the Nebo unit to know all the factors. The DWR clearing havent listed all the limiting factors because snowfall was a factor in lowering the buck population because it made it easy when the bucks were forced down to lower elevations because of the snowfall. You can't slaughter the bucks two years in a row and expect there to a good buck/doe ratio even with the best habitat in the world.

Why dont you talk about an area that you know about from experience instead of what you just find on paper. The DWR dont list all the factors because if they were to manage deer like they should be managed they would cut back on the number of tags and they would lose revenue.

Too often in may states mule deer management decisions are being made on the number of licenses sold, instead of on sound biological principals
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you asked this question to 20 different wildlife biologists, you would most likely get a different answer from each of them. It amazes me, as a biologist, the response I get from this question; everyone has his or her own opinion and it's hard to get a real good answer
Even Todd Black asks questions so Steven Dalton and Kent Hersey are just voicing opinions and they are necessary facts.
 

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This is getting entertaining!

I don't think either one of you is "thick headed", but I'm pretty **** sure that the both of you are Pig headed to some degree. I don't know a **** thing about Nebo, other than it's just past the land of theocrats, heretics and good football. Ok, I lied about knowing nothing, but it didn't fit what I was trying to say.

It would stand to reason that loss of habitat as a whole, is severely more detrimental to herd health than hunter harvest.

If I had an ant farm and I decided to kill 2 a day fr 3 months, but stoppped feeding them after a month, could I expect to have the same amount of ants? If I stopped killing my ants, would that change the fact that they didn't have any food?

If I kept feeding them at a rate that made them outproduce how many I was killing, would they continue to multiply until the ant farm was overflowing? I have this plant in my house, the first 2 years I owned it, it grew from about 4 inches to about 5 1/2 inches. I started talking with the guy at the nursery who had one about the same age that was much bigger. He said to give it a bigger pot, so I did, and it grew.

Solution = More ant food and a bigger ant farm.
 

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coyoteslayer said:
T instead of on sound biological principals
"Sound biological prinicpals"? Sound biological principles dictate that biologists don't fix what ain't broken! Sound biological principles dictate that biologists don't reduce harvest when there is a possibility of a population to overutilize its habitat. Sound biological principles dictate that a herd's health and future depend on the breeding population of animals--does in this case--and not the bucks.

Your plan is brilliant:
1) reduce harvest of bucks and increase buck/doe ratio
2) displace does with bucks and reduce recruitment
3) decrease total number of bucks under the feel-good guise of buck/doe ratio
4) continue to have the herd limiting factors
5) anger hunters because deer population doesn't rebound and bucks aren't to be found

I could go on and on...sure we could increase the buck/doe ratio and get it back up to objective by reducing harvest, BUT we wouldn't fix the big picture and we wouldn't have a healthier herd and more bucks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hahaha for a treehugger then you could be pigheaded. Yes I understand that habitat is a limiting factor. Treehugger hunter harvest can be a factor when you have heavy snowfall during the rifle hunt and that is a given. With all the other factors plus you add that in to the mess it causes a bigger problem.

This what Wyo2ut doesnt understand. You cant kill a bunch of bucks one year and expect to have a great number of bucks the next year. Why do you think LE units do so great. Its not because they have better habitat. Its because we restrict hunter harvest. The drought affects LE units just as much as it affects general season units. If the Buck/doe was below objective on LE units they would issue less tags. If the buck/doe ratio is below objective then you look at all the factors and you cut back on the number of tags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Your plan is brilliant:
1) reduce harvest of bucks and increase buck/doe ratio
2) displace does with bucks and reduce recruitment
3) decrease total number of bucks under the feel-good guise of buck/doe ratio
4) continue to have the herd limiting factors
5) anger hunters because deer population doesn't rebound and bucks aren't to be
Sorry, but this isnt my plan
 

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I that assumes that evryone is out for themselves and doesn't care about consequences. Biologists make their decisions based on what is good for years to come, not this years harvest. Harvest reduction = a few good years of hunting then we are in the same boat we were before and possibly worse. The problem needs to be fixed, not patched with duct tap.

I think the difference is that harvest reduction is a small piece of the puzzle, not the save all. Yes, it would assist in recovery, But only IF a host of other issues are dealt with first.

We need to get to the root, and overharvest is not the root of this problem IMO.
 

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coyoteslayer said:
If you asked this question to 20 different wildlife biologists, you would most likely get a different answer from each of them. It amazes me, as a biologist, the response I get from this question; everyone has his or her own opinion and it's hard to get a real good answer
Even Todd Black asks questions so Steven Dalton and Kent Hersey are just voicing opinions and they are necessary facts.
Talk about cherrypicking articles...I have read that article numerous times. I should have known that you would fall back on your old reliable Mr. Black. The problem is that Mr. Black is referring to deer populations throughout the west and NOT specific areas. You are trying to say that biologists would contradict one another on why deer populations are in trouble...the problem is that all the biologists don't work in the same areas and each individual area has different limiting factors; therefore, biologists do disagree on what the limiting factors are. Also, the Central Region's objectives, limiting factors, and strategies for achieving objectives are not only agreed upon by the biologists within the region but in the state as well.

If I were to continue quoting the article from MR. Black, it would say: "The truth is mule deer and mule deer populations are complex and narrowing their decline down to one specific problem would be ludicrous." It is absolutely "ludicrous", to quote your favorite biologist, to simply identify hunter harvest as the limiting factor of the buck/doe ratios on Nebo. Yet, this is exactly what you want to do when you continue to support reducing harvest for this unit!

Again, by arguing that by killing fewer bucks we will have more deer/bucks on the Nebo unit, you are arguing the most basic of all mule deer principles and one that is FACT and not argued--does are the driving force behind population increases and recruitment not bucks.
 
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