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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So there are lots of threads that talk about this scattered throughout, but they are usually in other topics that end up discussing this topic.

This is a hot topic right now as there is a technology committee that was formed somewhere and is discussing some things without much input from the public. People say they know of things that are being discussed, but they are being kept in innuendo and hushed tones, for some reason. Like our wildlife and how we pursue them should be a private discussion? I don't really get that, hence....this thread!

I know one of the key things people are suggesting should happen is taking scopes back off muzzleloaders. Some of the reasons for this is to return the hunt to a "primitive" hunt or put the "hunt" back in hunting. To reduce harvest rates so that we can add more tags is another popular narrative. I think this change is the most likely recommendation to come out of the technology committee. It was not overwhelmingly popular when it passed anyway, and has always remained controversial. And the popular narratives seem logical and persuasive, especially when you might have been on the fence anyway.

So because I logically believed adding scopes to MLs increased harvest rates, but wanted to know how much, I went and looked. I compared the last three years average harvest rate before the rule change allowing scopes on MLs passed to the most recent three years average harvest rate for the same units. (For purposes of my analysis, anything 4% or less is not considered statistically significant.) Here is what I found:

There are 29 ML units for deer where harvest rates are available. Out of 29 units, only 11 saw any increase in harvest rate at all. Of those 11, only four of those units was greater than a 4% difference in harvest. So 7 of the 11 are 4% difference or less. 4 of those 7 were less than 1.5% difference. Plainly stated, we did not see a statistically significant increase on 25 of the 29 ML deer units.

What about the other 18 units, you might be asking? Well, one was exactly the same, a 0.0% difference in harvest rates. 17 units actually decreased in harvest rate in the comparison. Of those 17, 11 of them decreased more than 4%. 10 of the 11 were actually 6% or greater in their decreased harvest rates.

I realize there is an awful lot that goes into harvesting a deer during these two different 3-year periods. But it is clear that putting scopes on MLs didn't increase harvest rates to the point where taking them back off will allow any increase in tag allotment. That is a fallacy that simply does not hold water, and should no longer be part of the discussion for if this is a good policy or not. There may be other good reasons for it, but allowing us to issue more tags by decreasing harvest rates simply is not factual, even if when we hear it we thing that sounds very rational. (I was in that group until I looked at the data, just for the record.)


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So what are people hearing in regards to the technology committee and how they plan to recommend changes for our big game hunts? I think it's important to have a public dialogue on these issues, not just some committee that I don't even know who is on it deciding what is best. Then we can turn around and contact our RAC reps and the Wildlife Board and make the public's will known.
 

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Alot of heartburn over the ML weapons, but the muzzleloader season isn't even responsible for the majority of deer killed.

When I was a video game software engineer, we'd have to make sure games run fast and fluid. We'd run a tool called a profiler, which showed the slowdowns in code. It made no sense to spend time trying to adjust code that was anything lower than the top 20% of "slow" code (if you took a function that takes 1% of a frame time and halved it, now its taking .5%, so what! Especially when maybe another function take up 20%). We'd spend time and effort hitting the top 3 or 4 slowest spots of code.

Apply that back to hunting management. I don't want to see more regulations unless there is an obvious win. As MooseMeat said in the other thread, this is more a SOCIAL change than an actual BIOLOGY based change. There just isn't any low hanging fruit, and I am still concerned with more wounded game causing FURTHER Tag reductions.

That's like running through new gun control legislation that really wont have any effect just as a "feel good" measure and for the powers to be to be able to say "Hey look, we did something!". I'm against that type of mentality.

-DallanC
 

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Harvest rates don't paint the entire picture. Harvest rates don't tell us the quality of the deer being harvested before vs after the change in scope laws. They don't tell us how many animals get wounded and never recovered either.

What bothers me is the idea that archery hunters still get such a long season. When archery hunters used to use long bows and recurves the furthest shots taken were probably 40 yards max!!!! This definitely made it a challenge to hunt and justified a longer season.

Fast forward 40+ years and people are shooting at animals from 100 yards with compound bows. Compound bows have made the archery hunt easier but they still get such long seasons.

Not only do modern compound bows make archery hunting easier when compared to stick bows but you also got a lot of idiots with no self control that can just go out and buy a $1,000.00 dollar bow and think they can hit a deer at 100 yards. This is unethical even if a guy can hit his target everytime at 100 yards because a deer or elk can literally take a step during the flight time of the arrow. I believe this is causing a large increase in injured and unrecovered animals.

Same concept applies to modern inline muzzle loaders.

Solution: maybe shorten the archery hunt a little. Than create a traditional hunt that has a longer season. No compound bows or modern inline muzzle loaders during this hunt.

Just some thoughts and ideas but I am sure I am wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Biological reasons are not the only reasons the RACs and WB can take into consideration. In fact, social reasons are specifically articulated as part of their decision making process. (Whether that is a good idea or not is up for debate.)

That said, it shouldn't be sold for biological reasons if it is a social reason. That much I very much agree with. That's why I say we need to quit talking about reducing harvest rates so we can increase tags. That simply won't work and shouldn't be sold as a biological solution to increase opportunity.
 

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Good info. I have long felt that a lot of what drives these moves to "primitivize" some of these hunts are from the so called "purists" who are upset that they can no longer draw "their" tag. They are mad that a bunch of wannabe muzzy and archery hunters started to apply to their hunts because of the availability of easier-to-use equipment.

They often can't come out and say that when presenting arguments so other narratives are adopted that may not stand up to scrutiny.
 

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Harvest rates don't paint the entire picture. Harvest rates don't tell us the quality of the deer being harvested before vs after the change in scope laws. They don't tell us how many animals get wounded and never recovered either.

What bothers me is the idea that archery hunters still get such a long season. When archery hunters used to use long bows and recurves the furthest shots taken were probably 40 yards max!!!! This definitely made it a challenge to hunt and justified a longer season.

Fast forward 40+ years and people are shooting at animals from 100 yards with compound bows. Compound bows have made the archery hunt easier but they still get such long seasons.

Not only do modern compound bows make archery hunting easier when compared to stick bows but you also got a lot of idiots with no self control that can just go out and buy a $1,000.00 dollar bow and think they can hit a deer at 100 yards. This is unethical even if a guy can hit his target everytime at 100 yards because a deer or elk can literally take a step during the flight time of the arrow. I believe this is causing a large increase in injured and unrecovered animals.

Same concept applies to modern inline muzzle loaders.

Solution: maybe shorten the archery hunt a little. Than create a traditional hunt that has a longer season. No compound bows or modern inline muzzle loaders during this hunt.

Just some thoughts and ideas but I am sure I am wrong.
Any data to support the archery argument you are making? Have success rates gone up over time? You sure that people are just sending arrows at 100 yards? I'm clueless just wondering if that is hyperbole/assumption, or really backed by data or examples.
 

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Any data to support the archery argument you are making? Have success rates gone up over time? You sure that people are just sending arrows at 100 yards? I'm clueless just wondering if that is hyperbole/assumption, or really backed by data or examples.
I know a "family" that were all irate they wounded 12 bucks before they tagged out a few years ago (Archery). I have to be careful with what I say as a couple of them visit this site from time to time.

-DallanC
 

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I know a "family" that were all irate they wounded 12 bucks before they tagged out a few years ago (Archery). I have to be careful with what I say as a couple of them visit this site from time to time.

-DallanC
Yeah that is an issue. I don't think the equipment is the issue exactly, but that is an issue.
 

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Harvest rates don't paint the entire picture. Harvest rates don't tell us the quality of the deer being harvested before vs after the change in scope laws. They don't tell us how many animals get wounded and never recovered either.

What bothers me is the idea that archery hunters still get such a long season. When archery hunters used to use long bows and recurves the furthest shots taken were probably 40 yards max!!!! This definitely made it a challenge to hunt and justified a longer season.


Same concept applies to modern inline muzzle loaders.

Solution: maybe shorten the archery hunt a little. Than create a traditional hunt that has a longer season. No compound bows or modern inline muzzle loaders during this hunt.
So the area they should address is the lowest harvest hunt?

And the primitive hunt you suggest would put recurve hunters on the mountain with ML hunters?


I know a "family" that were all irate they wounded 12 bucks before they tagged out a few years ago (Archery). I have to be careful with what I say as a couple of them visit this site from time to time.

-DallanC
Ok so, that's unethical hunters. Doesn't mean range or the bow was a factor. Having a recurve wouldn't make it so they injured less deer lol.

Every weapon has unethical hunters and every weapon results in injuries and losses.


I am not saying you are "emotional" - but to the OP's point there are emotionally charged stances that will drive this committee despite them not having data to back said arguments. That is scary. Outside of mechanical broadhead restrictions in some states, and poundage requirements, how many archery restrictions exist in any state?
 

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I want to know the backgrounds of the people on this "Technology Committee". What experience do they have on the weapons they are trying to restrict? How much of their opinion is bias vs actual experience?

-DallanC
Austin Atkinson, from huntin fool, you know, the wildlife/hunt/area/e-scouting pimp platform is on the technology committee. Sounds like he’s running the show too. The same guy who goes all over the place finding big animals for clients to walk in and blast with a high tech rifle from long distances. They have discussed anywhere from range finder bans, to slider sight bans, to no scopes on muzzleloader bans, to single pin archery sights… you name it, they are talking about it. EXCEPT! for banning these escouting, technology platforms that sell out public wildlife for a financial gain. I asked him several questions on Facebook about what was being discussed. Completely ignored other than he confirmed he’s on the committee and are looking at things from “every angle”… again, except for anything that will impact them financially. The angles they aren’t looking at is changing season dates, weapon changes for those season dates, new management objectives/plans… you know, the stuff that biologically makes sense. It’s always interesting to see who ends up on these specific committees and what their background is and who they represent. It’s never just your average guy. The public as a whole is in the process of being phucked with zero input or transparency to the public. Another back room, closed door, circle jerk… just like they’ve done so many times prior.

there’s a lot more to it. You just wait until September when they submit the RAC/WB meeting materials. At that point the decisions will have already been made, but the public will get the honor of being allowed the ability to submit their comments online as a formality to follow the “public process” in place 🙄
 

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Hey DallanC--do you have any data that backs up your belief that more primitive weapons = higher wounding rates? I see this claim but never data to back it up

I appreciate Niller's data crunch but were there other unaccounted for factors that contributed to higher or lower harvest rates before and after the muzzy scope thingy? It's not like we have a static universe each year where the deer on the landscape, weather, conditions, hunters, and a bunch of other factors were the same and the only thing different were the scopes? Each season is unique so a broad brush of scope do or don't influence harvest may or may not be correct.

This is science and if you have variable control factors that are not taken into account a one variable view may be skewed is all I am saying
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Moose- I would hope that the "Technology Committee" is not wasting their time talking about season changes. Not really the universe they were set up to address. In fact, I hope they ONLY thing they are discussing is the technology used to chase big game. I'm not suggesting I agree with the committee, but the committee was created and it is going to do its work. I hope it sticks only to its work, even if the recommendation is "no recommended changes" at all.

Airborne- The other possible factors were acknowledged above, but the data is the data. Harvest rates are not up. That is a popular claim that is out there, and regardless of how many factors are contributing, the harvest rates are not up.
 

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It’s always interesting to see who ends up on these specific committees and what their background is and who they represent. It’s never just your average guy.
It is. Seems like it is usually those cooperative to the division who are perceived as giving the "correct" answers. Or just representatives of big money or other groups they cannot ignore. Every once in a while a survey is sent out to represent the average person, but those results rarely have any real sway.
 

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Moose- I would hope that the "Technology Committee" is not wasting their time talking about season changes. Not really the universe they were set up to address. In fact, I hope they ONLY thing they are discussing is the technology used to chase big game. I'm not suggesting I agree with the committee, but the committee was created and it is going to do its work. I hope it sticks only to its work, even if the recommendation is "no recommended changes" at all.

Airborne- The other possible factors were acknowledged above, but the data is the data. Harvest rates are not up. That is a popular claim that is out there, and regardless of how many factors are contributing, the harvest rates are not up.
Somebody needs to talk about it. WB and RACs refuse to.

my point was, we are talking about issues that don’t have much if any impact on the animals being hunted. There ARE other topics that should be looked at first, that would yield a much bigger impact on harvest, opportunity, etc
 

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Hunting is going backwards in my opinion if they keep trying to go back to primitive ways. They are taking away the ingenuity of progress and making things better and more proficient. We could still do old school hunts for those who like that but Colorado not allowing scopes on muzzle loaders or making hunters use a big heavy bullet and no bullets that are more proficient just wounds more animals in my opinion.
I believe that as hunters, we should have an oportunity for success. We recieve tags that are difficult to obtain then clear a spot on the wall for the animal we feel likely to get. Later, we find that the DWR implimented season dates or limitations to our equipment so the success numbers don't get too high. Hunting should be an opportunity to succeed and not trying to create a long shot. I love my Mathews bow. I also love my 1985 Hoyt Rambo that I have tried for two years to kill a bear with. It has fixed pin sights that are individual and very difficult to adjust. It has a rubber rest on the side of the riser. I shoot alluminum arrows with Satelite broadheads.I don't use a release with that bow but only a leather finger glove. I do this because I want to shoot old school for some fun and excitement while knowing it decreases my chances of success. I shouldn't be told by the board or the DNR that I have to shoot oldschool.
 

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From the Wildlife Board workshop agenda.....

2. Technology Committee - Derrick Ewell and Gabe Patterson, co-chairs ● Committee make up and schedule ● What topics should the committee tackle first? Could include hunting big game with all three weapon types, scopes on muzzleloaders, etc. ● Survey needs

I believe that during the discussion all the members were named. I do not see it published. Nor do I see any contact information.
 

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Airborne- The other possible factors were acknowledged above, but the data is the data. Harvest rates are not up. That is a popular claim that is out there, and regardless of how many factors are contributing, the harvest rates are not up.
It is one thing to acknowledge that other factors exist, and yes the data is the data. But, without running regression analyses, testing for heteroscedasticity, autocorrelation, etc. you really can't make valid conclusions about what the data actually means.

Do I think your conclusions are wrong? No, probably not. Do I think the p-value of the scope variable indicates that's there is a statistically significant correlation between scope restrictions and harvest rates? Based on the limited data set of reports, probably not, but in a perfect world where every shot is accounted for and confirmed as a hit/miss/kill I think it would. Do we live in such a world? No, but the hypothetical assumptions can help color in the noise when the analysis shows results that are inconsistent with face-value intuitive expectations.

As the data pool increases, and you see harvest rates over a period of years (decades ideally) then you don't have to be as concerned about unaccounted for variables in any given year as the impact becomes marginalized.

Which is a lot of funny words to say to reach the conclusion that I think the base harvest rate data is premature to use to draw conclusions-especially if such conclusions are used as a basis to make changes to wildlife management (biological or social).
 

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Hey DallanC--do you have any data that backs up your belief that more primitive weapons = higher wounding rates? I see this claim but never data to back it up
Annecdotal evidence is all based on my own experience with bows, muzzleloaders and rifles. Its alot easier to put a 9x crosshair on a heart than try and put a open sight front post on a heart at the same range. At 100 yards, a normal post covers most of an entire animals vitals.

But, IDK how you even begin a study... alot of people are embarrassed by wounding an animal so I doubt self reporting is all that accurate. But it is a question the DWR hunter survey does ask hunters. I'd be interested in hearing what that rate currently is.

-DallanC
 
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