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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has enjoyed (or will enjoy) the best hunting. I think it would be hard to beat the hunting my grandpa, who lived from 1918 to 1998, got to enjoy. Yes, he never got a once or twice in a lifetime chance at 350 bulls on these increasingly difficult to draw LE elk units, but that was probably of little concern to him when he was going out and buying a deer tag over the counter every year and shooting multiple limits of pheasants every year. Honest to goodness wild pheasants, not these glorified chickens that were raised in a pen and turned loose on a WMA for dozens of hunters to go fight for.

For as bad as we complain about things today, I don't think we have it absolutely terrible. There is quite a bit of opportunity out there for guys that are dedicated and willing to look for it. Hunting with a bow will really give a guy more opportunity (wasatch extended season, shorter waits on drawing for le hunts, OTC tags every single year on LE elk units for cows and spikes, drawing general season deer more often than muzzy/rifle guys). Statewide our elk numbers are doing fairly well and a guy can hunt branch antlered bulls every year with a bow or even a rifle if he doesn't be a dunce and wait until the bitter end to buy his tag. Spike hunts are another great option that have been offered to us for a good opportunity hunt. It sucks that deer hunting has gone from an OTC hunt to a draw, but I can still hunt deer pretty much every year if he plays his cards right and is willing to sacrifice a little. Guys who scout and do their homework are taking large, mature bucks with surprising consistency.
 

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It's all in the eye of the beholder! I think I've had it pretty good, being in my 30's right now. I would've liked to have seen better pheasant days but oh well. I do worry however about what the next 30 years will look like with this population boom. I don't think it will be good and these last few years and the next few will be the "good" ole days for many of us.
 

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I'm gonna go with past. To much crap to get a tag now. Growing up You could just get your deer tag at the grocery store, now you pay upfront and wait and see. If you are not successful then you get a point, oh boy a point. When all this stuff started is when I put the rifle away. I never hunted for trophies just meat. There were birds everywhere, yep I gotta go with past:V|:
 

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I'm gonna go with past. To much crap to get a tag now. Growing up You could just get your deer tag at the grocery store, now you pay upfront and wait and see. If you are not successful then you get a point, oh boy a point. When all this stuff started is when I put the rifle away. I never hunted for trophies just meat. There were birds everywhere, yep I gotta go with past:V|:
Where do you pay upfront at? All you have to do is to pay the $10 application fee then wait to see if your CC is hit or not.

As for better hunting, I don't know. Back in the 60-80's there were more hunters afield to keep the deer moving, they didn't have anyplace to hide so you saw more. But then again take a ride up over Skyline Drive or on the top of Fish Lake or just about anywhere else and you will see evidence of the old camps with game poles up in the trees. Now days those camps are never used and if they are there are only a few hunters in them. You also counted yourself lucky if you saw a elk back in the 60's and before and if you were lucky enough to draw a tag for them then you had a 5 year wait until the next time that you could apply.

Birds were a different matter. There was farm ground all over the place and the farmers welcomed you to come and hunt their property as long as you didn't shoot in the direction of their stock. Geese were a premium, you only got 8 metal bands to place onto their legs after you shot one, ducks on the other hand were all over the place. The nice thing about waterfowl is that the farmers and folks that owned the private reserviour didn't know about hunting clubs yet, you just went down to them and set up your decoy spreads and if you did see a owner they would tell you when the best time would be to set up and get some.

It was a lot like fishing, you just went fishing. I remember walking the lower Provo River from the mouth of Provo Canyon down to State Street in Provo where the old Skaggs store was located. The only person that ever bothered you would be another fisherman or some kids tubing the river. Then there were the June suckers. I killed more of them than a lot could imagine. We would build spears out of mop handles and head down to the Provo River below Geneva Drive and start wading as far down it as we could go, there were thousands in the river at that time.

Then there was the fun times packing a rifle down 9th East in Provo after hunting up Rock Canyon. We would have someone drop us off at the mouth of the canyon and then when we were done we would walk home without even a look from the police or anyone else. If we got a deer we would stash it in the brush at the bottom of the canyon and then go back and pick it up later when we found a ride. We did the same thing hunting Slate Canyon. There were bucks all over the place.

But then I guess this is one of the prices that we pay for civilizations showing up and towns getting bigger along with safety concerns and the all mighty dollar. Farmers post their fields and landowners want all the ground under the streams. Waterfowl hunting clubs come in and want a few hundred dollars a year from members just to go shoot some ducks once or twice a year.

Sometimes it makes me wonder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm gonna go with past. To much crap to get a tag now. Growing up You could just get your deer tag at the grocery store, now you pay upfront and wait and see. If you are not successful then you get a point, oh boy a point. When all this stuff started is when I put the rifle away. I never hunted for trophies just meat. There were birds everywhere, yep I gotta go with past:V|:
I gotta agree with you, Dunkem, and you as well Utahgolf. I've painted as rosy of a picture as I can for our current hunting situation, but it is obviously not as good as it was in the past. The future will probably be suckier than it is now. Just gotta enjoy what we can I guess. I can't fathom the idea of giving up on hunting and just hiking around in tevas and photographing things like some yuppie. Guess I better find a way to get rich and be the next Denny Austad or something!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where do you pay upfront at? All you have to do is to pay the $10 application fee then wait to see if your CC is hit or not.

As for better hunting, I don't know. Back in the 60-80's there were more hunters afield to keep the deer moving, they didn't have anyplace to hide so you saw more. But then again take a ride up over Skyline Drive or on the top of Fish Lake or just about anywhere else and you will see evidence of the old camps with game poles up in the trees. Now days those camps are never used and if they are there are only a few hunters in them. You also counted yourself lucky if you saw a elk back in the 60's and before and if you were lucky enough to draw a tag for them then you had a 5 year wait until the next time that you could apply.

Birds were a different matter. There was farm ground all over the place and the farmers welcomed you to come and hunt their property as long as you didn't shoot in the direction of their stock. Geese were a premium, you only got 8 metal bands to place onto their legs after you shot one, ducks on the other hand were all over the place. The nice thing about waterfowl is that the farmers and folks that owned the private reserviour didn't know about hunting clubs yet, you just went down to them and set up your decoy spreads and if you did see a owner they would tell you when the best time would be to set up and get some.

It was a lot like fishing, you just went fishing. I remember walking the lower Provo River from the mouth of Provo Canyon down to State Street in Provo where the old Skaggs store was located. The only person that ever bothered you would be another fisherman or some kids tubing the river. Then there were the June suckers. I killed more of them than a lot could imagine. We would build spears out of mop handles and head down to the Provo River below Geneva Drive and start wading as far down it as we could go, there were thousands in the river at that time.

Then there was the fun times packing a rifle down 9th East in Provo after hunting up Rock Canyon. We would have someone drop us off at the mouth of the canyon and then when we were done we would walk home without even a look from the police or anyone else. If we got a deer we would stash it in the brush at the bottom of the canyon and then go back and pick it up later when we found a ride. We did the same thing hunting Slate Canyon. There were bucks all over the place.

But then I guess this is one of the prices that we pay for civilizations showing up and towns getting bigger along with safety concerns and the all mighty dollar. Farmers post their fields and landowners want all the ground under the streams. Waterfowl hunting clubs come in and want a few hundred dollars a year from members just to go shoot some ducks once or twice a year.

Sometimes it makes me wonder.
I'm sitting indian-style on the floor just taking it all in. I love hearing these back in the day stories. As long as they are coherent :mrgreen:
 

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"Where do you pay upfront at? All you have to do is to pay the $10 application fee then wait to see if your CC is hit or not". Quote Critter;

Misunderstood: Never had to pay a fee to see if I could hunt or not.
 

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The past is gone for me. I'll never see the same hunting I did in the 70s and 80s. I remember counting over 120 bucks in one day during a July scouting trip in the Pavant.
I killed four P&Y and one 192 B&C mulies on the same hillside in Idaho. Some D-Bag took his 4-wheeler and tore his way up through a draw to the head of the bowl I hunted and started access for every other hunter. The place has never been the same.
The quality of bucks I use to see above my home town of Wellsville, Utah are gone. Brush canyon was such a good place.
Unit 66A in Idaho was a bowhunting mecca for elk. Not any more.
I use to bowhunt out of Johns Flats in the Tushers. We'd pack in and spike camp near the plane wreck and hunt from there. Man, the bucks we use to see there!!
The whitetail hunting in Idaho unit 15 was phenomenal! John Groom from Grangville us to let us hunt his land and the state land beyond. He died and his kids promptly had it logged and sold parcels out for cabins. The last time I went up there I nearly cried.
I could go on and on....
I'll tell you what though, I'm so glad I got to experience the awesome hunting I have. Now I have to compete with hundreds of other hunters to see the same kind of hunting I use to have with OTC tags. It's sad.
But, there's always Alaska!
 

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I have killed more bigger, and better, deer the last 10 years than in the 30 years before. In that aspect it is better now.
But, it was more fun from the family and friend aspect for the deer hunt then. Everyone went, hunted and camped together as familes. Grandma and Grandpa would come up for the day. We would spend the day dropping fence between drives. Visited each other's camps, and it was the social event of the year.
All the kids could not wait until they could deer hunt........

I really miss that part of the hunt.
 

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PAST, but I'm optimistic for the future, I have kids and have to be. I'm in my late thirties, and long before I could legally hunt I was tagging along. I had been hunting, trapping, and fishing for a few years as a young teenager when things really changed, I watched it play out dramatically. In the late '80s early '90s I would come home from school(when I went), grab a shotgun and walk to some of the best pheasant, quail, duck, deer, and chukar hunting I've ever known.

That all collapsed, tags were cut, seasons shortened, draws implemented, etc. It has never been the same since.

You can define opportunity a lot of different ways. But one of these days it is not going to exist in the same way we see it now, or the way past generations saw it. Yeah, you can buy elk tags, and there is the extended archery hunts. And we have turkey hunting in the spring now. But when you get right down to it, deer have been the driving force behind hunting. Declines in hunters have followed the declines of deer, straight downward trend for 30 years. When you have kids that don't draw tags for multiple years. And you have families that don't get to hunt together, it changes things, as we have seen.

Opportunity and hunter recruitment are driven by wildlife numbers, and we just do not have the fish and wildlife we use to. There is a reason why terms like "opportunity" and "quality" have become the buzz words of the last 20 years, they are really just euphemisms for "We don't have as many hunters, or as much wildlife as we use to".
 

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I try not to get all caught up in which is better or worse. I mainly see things now as different.
A person can dwell on the negatives or try to make to best of what they have to work with at the moment.
I try to do the later.
 

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I try not to get all caught up in which is better or worse. I mainly see things now as different.
A person can dwell on the negatives or try to make to best of what they have to work with at the moment.
I try to do the later.
Which is a good way to look at, as long as you have an eye to, or a plan for the future. But without that eye to the future, with some reference to the past, it is just settling for mediocrity like the last generation.
 

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In The Past. Not the Rifle hunt with 2 hundred thousand hunters 97 thousand were drunk..Gave it up.Lot a deer and took some dandys. In the past fer sure. Archery Hunting was wonderful.. State wide was fantastic.Get off work go anywhere and hunt until dark.At 71 years waiting to draw a Boulder area archery every 2 years is absolute crap.. Pick your area to hunt with a Bow is crap..State Wide Archery was the BOMB.Now aren't you glad you ask?:grin::grin:
 

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I'm pretty young, so I never knew "the good old days" that I hear so much about. I do wish I had the opportunities that existed in years past. I'd love to have OTC deer tags, better public access, etc., but I'm content for the most part because I can go hunt waterfowl and upland game any time I want from September to February. That's pretty nice.

It all comes down to the fact that a lot of people want to utilize a limited resource, and with the population trending like it is, I doubt we will see greater opportunities moving forward.

I recently decided I wanted to start applying for an OIL species (I started a thread about it awhile ago, and got lots of great input). It was pretty depressing to look at the drawing odds report and realize that it will probably be 40-50 years before I draw my desert bighorn tag (and even if I live that long it may not happen). But what else is there to do? A lot of people want to hunt them, and few can.

As long as I have my opportunity hunts (waterfowl, upland, OTC elk), though, I'll be happy. More than anything, I just like to go.
 

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Which is a good way to look at, as long as you have an eye to, or a plan for the future. But without that eye to the future, with some reference to the past, it is just settling for mediocrity like the last generation.
Nice spin on words.
I think right now there is as good of a chance to kill a mature buck or bull on our general season units as ever before.
We may not have as many bucks as in the past but we do have a higher percentage of hunt able mature bucks per hunter right now.
If hunting conditions are just mediocre right now, I can't wait to see it when it gets really good.
 

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Nice spin on words.
I think right now there is as good of a chance to kill a mature buck or bull on our general season units as ever before.
We may not have as many bucks as in the past but we do have a higher percentage of hunt able mature bucks per hunter right now.
If hunting conditions are just mediocre right now, I can't wait to see it when it gets really good.
Complete nonsense, how old are you? One of the areas I grew up hunting, like my father, and grandfather, and great grandfather, and great great grandfather, had ~1/7th the deer on it in 2011, that it did 20 years before that. And that was an increase from what it had been just few years before that.

Were there some bruisers that came out of there after this small population bump?, yep, just like back in the day. But you can't say that having a 25+:100 buck to doe ratio and 100 deer total is some how equivalent to having 700 deer with a 15:100 buck to doe ratio. DH tags, cool, but that was essentially the norm back in the day. There is ZERO twist going on here, I'm just laying down the reality of what is, what was, and what could be. Are things better right now? Sure, but that has to be in reference to something, and that something was some very low and suppressed deer numbers. Is it going to get better? No, at least not in the next several years.

Don't get me wrong, I remember being 16 and not knowing how things had been before, or caring about where they were going, personally those were some great times, for life and hunting. But ultimately that mind set is what is sowing the seeds of our destruction as hunters.
 
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Complete nonsense, how old are you? One of the areas I grew up hunting, like my father, and grandfather, and great grandfather, and great great grandfather, had ~1/7th the deer on it in 2011, that it did 20 years before that. And that was an increase from what it had been just few years before that.

Were there some bruisers that came out of there after this small population bump?, yep, just like back in the day. But you can't say that having a 25+:100 buck to doe ratio and 100 deer total is some how equivalent to having 700 deer with a 15:100 buck to doe ratio. DH tags, cool, but that was essentially the norm back in the day. There is ZERO twist going on here, I'm just laying down the reality of what is, what was, and what could be. Are things better right now? Sure, but that has to be in reference to something, and that something was some very low and suppressed deer numbers. Is it going to get better? No, at least not in the next several years.

Don't get me wrong, I remember being 16 and not knowing how things had been before, or caring about where they were going, personally those were some great times, for life and hunting. But ultimately that mind set is what is sowing the seeds of our destruction as hunters.
If your area is really that bad, maybe try finding one that's a little better.
Lets talk statewide averages.
20 years ago the buck/doe ratio was about 7/100.
Now its about 21/100.
Was there three times as many deer 20 years ago? I don't think so.
Was there three times as many hunters in the field 20 years ago. Again, I don't think so.
Therefore, there must be more bucks per hunter now than there was 20 years ago.
I would have to guess it would be hard to beat the 1960s for hunting mule deer though.
There is also a higher percentage of mature bucks carrying over after the hunts than 20 years ago.
But still, pure nonsense.
 

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If your area is really that bad, maybe try finding one that's a little better.
Lets talk statewide averages.
20 years ago the buck/doe ratio was about 7/100.
Now its about 21/100.
Was there three times as many deer 20 years ago? I don't think so.
Was there three times as many hunters in the field 20 years ago. Again, I don't think so.
Therefore, there must be more bucks per hunter now than there was 20 years ago.
I would have to guess it would be hard to beat the 1960s for hunting mule deer though.
There is also a higher percentage of mature bucks carrying over after the hunts than 20 years ago.
But still, pure nonsense.
20 years ago was a sharp, marked decline from 20 years before that, and we are still pointed in that direction......down. What we are looking at right now is just a small bump, and we are coming out of the productivity that brought us these numbers. Those higher buck to doe ratios are just another part of the problem, not a plus.

We hunted public and private property all over Northern Utah back in the day, and we still do. The area that use to support 700 deer has historically produced the largest deer that I personally get to witness. But it currently is looking like its heading in to decline like several other places I frequent.

Buck to doe ratios were not 7:100 20 years ago, that is not a sustainable number, that is the threshold for reproduction. When things were good in the 1980s, when we had way more deer and better seasons than we have now, the buck to doe ratios were in the 10-15 to 100 range. 20 years ago the buck to doe ratios were actually quiet similar to right now, they were high for multiple reasons and played a big role in the population collapse and lack of rebound.

Right now looks very much like 20 years ago, except that we still do not have anywhere near as many deer now as we had back then. They were handing out 2 doe depredation deer tags by the thousands prior to the big declines a little over 20 years ago.

Your assessment just does not track with the reality on the ground, historically or now, that is the nonsense part.

I did not see the 1960s, but in the early 1980s I was chest deep in the trails my father broke for me when we went to watch the hundreds and hundreds of deer every winter that simply do not exist today. Same thing with the strings of hundreds that I was passing multiple nice 4 points out of in the late 1980s when I was able to first legally hunt deer, it is nothing like that now.
 

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Ridge, you are entitled to your opinion, but I think you are going to be hard pressed to come in and sing the same tune a few years from now......
 
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