Thanks for the informative post.Except that data doesn't show anything but an increase in harvest percentage. There is no context for the information shared.
Here is a little more context which tells a much different story...
Population Archery Success MZ Success Rifle Success 2019 311,125 16.5% 27.0% 29.3% 2018 376,450 22.0% 37.5% 39.4% 2017 363,650 19.9% 33.5% 37.9% 2016 374,450 21.5% 39.3% 43.7% 2015 384,650 23.9% 34.5% 42.5% 2014 355,600 20.8% 31.1% 38.7% 2013 332,900 18.4% 30.7% 37.5% 2012 318,550 19.1% 32.0% 36.5% 2011 286,100 16.4% 19.6% 28.9% 2010 293,700 17.4% 22.7% 25.1% 2009 307,700 20.6% 29.4% 30.3% 2008 273,500 19.7% 27.6% 28.0% 2007 302,430 23.0% 33.3% 35.8%
This indicates the more likely explanation for increased rates is higher populations numbers. Regardless of weapon choice, success rates generally increase or decrease in relationship to the size of the deer herd. Post hunt deer populations were at there highest from 2015 through 2018, which also happens to be the years with the highest success ratios regardless of weapon choice.
As far as variable scopes driving interest in muzzleloader hunting, the numbers shared only indicate there was an increase in muzzleloader hunters because available tags increased over that time frame. Opportunity in Utah is capped by the number of tags the UDWR makes available. This is shown below.
Permits Issued Hunters Afield % of tags hunted 2019 16,342
85% 2018 16,734
84% 2017 16,279
87% 2016 16,941 14,561 86% 2015 16,149
86% 2014 15,825 13,502 85% 2013 15,649 13,578 87% 2012 15,238 12,916 85% Increase 1,104 924
The only way to know if interest in hunting with a muzzleloader increased with the introduction of scopes would be to be able to see application numbers in relation to applications for archery and rifle tags during the same time frame. That data is not available as far as I can tell.
There is little data here to support getting rid of variable scopes for muzzleloaders.
As has been stated by other posters, the muzzleloader hunt was never called or designated as a primitive weapon hunt which is difficult at best to define anyway.
I hit a calf one year in the ribs at about 40 yards. It completely destroyed the ribs on the off side where it came out and that dang calf still ran 50 yards.Yea the shockwave alone with a chuck of lead that big would indeed kill every elk within 100 yards from the point of impact 😁
That’s because he’s too self centered and only cares about himself. That and he probably can’t find a big deer if his life depended upon on, so he’s hoping banning scopes and inlines will make them magically appear behind every bush that hasn’t burned up on the Nebo.I find it challenging that you increase your enjoyment by taking someone else's enjoyment away.
It's got to be fake, that archery line needs to be much higher and on the upswing.
I really think this is the root of the discussion. But I could be wrong.Well- if the numbers in that graph are correct, we just need to look how close the ML success rates line is now in relation to the Any Weapon success line. They made variable scopes legal in 2016 and in 16-19 the lines are much closer than pre 2016. And there must be something to scopes if so many people are upset they are considering going back to pre2016 regs.
In full disclosure, I was against allowing scopes when it passed. Most public input was against it too. They passed it and I took my ML with a 6-18x40 out to the Vernon and tipped over a buck at longer-than-open-sights range. Hunters seem to follow the regulations.
I would be against removing scopes if they still allow a free-for-all on the Any weapon hunt. No reason to save ML bucks from being shot at 500 yards if we are just going to shoot them at 1000 yards with a rifle....
Those of us who prefer a muzzleloader season with restrictions, which limit participation and increases our enjoyment never went away.
Nah. Its just the Topic of the New Year. Look back every year this site has existed. Around this time of year we always find a subject to argue to death while we wait for the ice to get thick enough to get out fishing.Amazing suggesting muzzleloader optics roll back to 1X triggers such hysteria.
Nah. Its just the Topic of the New Year. Look back every year this site has existed. Around this time of year we always find a subject to argue to death while we wait for the ice to get thick enough to get out fishing.
I think your dates are backwards on the graph, at least for rifle and muzzleloader. The highest success ratios were from 2015 to 2018. This seems to indicate they were 2008 - 2011. This would also indicate rifle success increased at a higher rate than muzzleloader success.
Yikes! My bad--I fixed it. I have all sorts of excuses as to why I suck but I don't want to bore ya--thanks!I think your dates are backwards on the graph, at least for rifle and muzzleloader. The highest success ratios were from 2015 to 2018. This seems to indicate they were 2008 - 2011. This would also indicate rifle success increased at a higher rate than muzzleloader success.
I've been torn on this subject but what DNB just explained has changed my mind and gives some pretty good reasons why the DWR should leave the muzzleloader regulations the same as they are right now.I'll admit when the regulations on optics changed a few years I was surprised. It seemed like a radical move. Almost like cheating a little bit... I have since CHANGED my tune. I think it boils down to what is an "ethical shot". If you are hunting ML and you see a nice buck at 100 yards, you're going to TAKE the shot regardless of whether you are hunting with optics or steel sights. The question is what method will give you the best opportunity for a "clean kill"?
For those of us who's eyesight is diminishing and also for the rising generation of young hunters(many of whom have seldom if ever shot with open sights) optics on ML is a huge blessing.
I had the chance to hunt ML deer with 12 and 15 year old daughters this past season. They both were successful in filling their tags. We did our homework. We spent time at the range getting comfortable with the gun, we scouted a good area for deer that wouldn't require shots over 150 yards and we had a little/lot of luck come our way. My 12 year old made a 120 yard shot on opening day and my 15 year old made a 95 yard shot the following Saturday. One shot, one kill. In both cases, the deer didn't go more than 50 yards. I can almost guarantee if we were forced to use open sights, the result would have been much different. More than likely a shoot and miss... Or worse, a wounded animal that would have suffered and eventually died without being found. BTW, that's a great way to discourage first time hunters from ever taking the field again.
So my question is, do optics aid in "taking a more ethical shot"? As long as it is a reasonable distance, I think most logical people would say YES. Hope the DNR thinks so too!!
Getting to archery range is hard lol forget bow technology.Packout made some great points, especially that any deer 'saved' by getting rid of muzzy scopes would very well be harvested by unchecked rifle hunters. I didn't think about that aspect of it.
I do think it's interesting that archery success is relatively flat even with the improvements in archery tech. This sorta makes sense, I don't see a tremendous advantage in the new bows over my 2010 Hoyt.